From Lincoln to the Maine
Address of Gen. E. Porter Alexander Delivered on Alumni Day, West Point Military Academy Centennial, June 9, 1902. This is a wonderful example of reunion rhetoric at the turn of the twentieth century.
“There resulted many years of bitterness and estrangement between the sections, retarding the growth of national spirit and yielding but slowly, even to the great daily object-lesson of the development of our country. But at last, in the fullness of time, the stars in their courses have taken up the work. As in 1865 one wicked hand retarded our unification by the murder of Lincoln, so in 1898 another assassin, equally wicked and equally stupid, by the blowing up of the Maine, has given us a common cause and made us at last and indeed a nation, in the front rank of the world’s work of civilization, with its greatest problems committed to our care.”