Dedication of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument Boothbay, Maine
October 11, 1879
Only a few months before the Count Out
crisis, Chamberlain addresses the rising tensions.
Stating almost prophetically, "Politicans make wars and soldiers end them."
When he speaks of "a national jealousy between politicians and soldiers." He may also have had the
hard feelings between himself and James G. Blane in mind. Possibly the attacks on his Lewiston
only a few months earlier had helped fuel Chamberlain's apparent bitterness. He rather bluntly states,
"It is weakness of party leadership that has given us a solid south and a disunited north. Their positive wickedness has been the means of
provoking the slumbering forces of hate and rage."
It is probable that Chamberlain is referring the Compromise of 1877 when he says,
"Friends, when we gaze to-day on this monumental stone, let us not grieve that all is not as we would wish."
After a tied presidential election, the
North agreed to pull its troops out of the South in return for the Presidency. After the North's departure
conditions deteriorated for the African Americans in the South.
Chamberlain seems hopeful though, saying, "The social system of the South has been shaken and overturned in a manner we can have no idea of."
As he had in his speech The Old Flag
, here again Chamberlain advocates protecting civil rights through
peaceful measures rather than bloodshed.
We who went into the war saw the dear old flag insulted and disgraced, and did not stop to
think how right we were till God slowly revealed His purpose to us, and made us to see we were not working out
our own petty wills but His great purpose. We learned many things in that war. We went in as boys and came out men. We then knew we had many things to do,
but did not realize all God required of us. The best has not yet been done. Great evils cannot be cured in a day.
The true education of the people will not be hastened by hate. Our brethren of the South must learn that
violence never gives strength but the reverse. The South is full two centuries behind what it ought to be in
enlightenment, but you cannot fight men into civilization, and we shall not hasten anything by anger.