Louisville Daily Courier
July 11, 1860
[For the Louisville Courier]
Celebration of the Fourth of July in Adair County, Ky.
On the banks of a beautiful stream near Columbia, and on the above day, music burst forth with its voluptuous sounds to lend joy and gladness to the assembled throng of ladies who had collected for the purpose of presenting, by the hands of Miss M. A. P. H. Saunders, a beautiful flag to a noble looking company of young men called the “Adair Guards.” The ceremony was opened by the Rev. Jno. L. McKee with a few preliminary remarks, concluding with prayer; after which he introduced Miss Tip Saunders to the audience, when she delivered the following address, in a calm, clear, deliberate and dignified manner:
Gentlemen of the Adair Guard: I have had the honor of being selected by the ladies of Columbia to present (on there behalf) this banner – THE FLAG OF OUR UNION – to you and your gallant comrades, and preface the same with a short address to you.
Unaccustomed, as you all are aware I am, to public speaking, and the inadequacy of my powers to express the feelings and sentiments of my fair companions towards you, I trust you will scan me with you’re a critic’s eye, but treasure up the will for the deed.
This day is the day of days, ad day that should be celebrated in every inhabited spot of these United States. A day ever to be commemorated in the annals of our history and the history of the world; the day on which our forefathers promulgated freedom to mankind, which gave new thoughts, new vigor to the mind, and regeneration to man; it is the birthday of liberty, and a very appropriate one for this occasion; for liberty had progressed, is now progressing, and will, I hope, progress throughout the whole universe to the end of time. Our forefathers fought, bled, and died for liberty, and the consummation of their hopes, wishes, and victories has made us the proudest, happiest, and most independent nation on the face of the globe.
Mexico and the States of the South American Continent, stimulated by out example, after a severe and arduous struggle, threw off the iron yoke of their European despots, and most of them are now basking in the sunshine of prosperity. But poor down-trodden Italy, with its far-renowned azure sky delightfully cultivated hills and vales, is now struggling under the patriot Garibaldi for this glorious freedom which we enjoy, and may God, by his overruling providence, (as wad the case with us), prosper her enterprise, and all other States that are oppressed.
Gentlemen and friends, let me say to you that we have this day, and on other occasions, noticed with much pleasure your gallant bearing, martial display, orderly evolutions, and fine soldier like appearance, which makes us reel proud that “if the blast of war blows in our ears” we have within our midst an efficient, well officered, and good disciplined corps of stout hearts and willing hands to protect us from the ruthless hordes of savage warfare.
We are fully aware that, from the known and tried courage of many of your and all of you, as Kentuckians, that it is needless to stimulate you to heroic acts of valor, recounting to you the glorious achievements of your forefathers on the battle of Bunker Hill, Saratoga, King’s Mountain, Eutaw Springs, the illustrious termination of that immortal struggle for liberty, by the siege and capture of Yorktown, and the surrender of Britain’s haughty General Cornwallis with all his forces, to the Father of our Republic; or those of a more modern date, where the British, equal in numbers, were defeated with their favorite weapon at the point of the bayonet, on there heights at Queenstown; and with their cruel allies, again at the battle of the Thames, at Tippecanoe, and the total over throw and discomfiture of the British Waterloo veterans, by the Southern arms, under the illustrious Hero of New Orleans; or those still fresh in your memory, where some of you had brothers and other relatives, who pored out their valiant blood so freely for their country and their country’s cause, on the plains of Palo Alto, Resaca de la Vista, Monterey, toe hard fought field of Buena Vista, the heights of Cerro Gordo, Churubusco, Contreras, Moline del Rey and Chapultepec, to the last of which one of Columbia’s brave sons led the van, and was the first to plant the stars and stripes upon its towering walls, where many of our friends and relative achieved glorious deeds of valor, that will be immortalized in the history if our country, and which has shown to the world that we are inferior to none under the broad canopy of Heaven. And some of you, who compose this most worthy band, not withstanding to lamentations and entreaties of fond mothers, dear sister, and loving friends you, with daring ____ ________ hearts, tore yourselves from their endearing grasp, and boldly trod in the paths of the heroes of the Mexican war, endured privation, fatigue, and all the incidents relative to a harassing and long march through an enemy’s country. You went to the support and aid of your brave companions, who had preceded you, and, although the object of the war had been accomplished before you reached your destination, yet it was the no less meritorious in you seek to protect and assist your heroic countrymen and to emulate their noble deeds. With such leaders and such personnel as compose your corps, the mother, wives, and daughters of old Adair return you many and sincere thanks for the perfect safety which we feel under the protection of the “Adair Guard;” for, should British aggression invade our shores, or any European despot have the audacity to disrespect our rights, we feel assured that at the call of the Executive you, brave captain, with your gallant band, would be amongst the first to vindicate our honor. Yes, you would.
“Strike, till the last armed foe expires,
Strike, for your altars and your fires,
Strike, for the green graves of your sites,
God and your native land.”
Or should the barbarous, half civilized hordes of Mexico have the temerity to molest our commerce or insult our citizens, your response to mete them out a merited chastisement would be preformed with alacrity and a free-hearted good will; or should that dire calamity, servile war, (brought about by the bigoted fanatics of the North, and which now threatens us in the distance,) befall this our happy land, which God in his infinite wisdom forefend – should that “irrepressible conflict” pervade this fair garden of the South, or any of our Southern sister State, with all its inexpressible horrors and concomitant evils, that usually attend such wars – we, the mothers, wives and daughters, feel a full reliance upon your honor, integrity, nobleness and love of country that you will strive to protect us in our Southern rights to the last; and may our Union ever be preserved by the support and defense of its growing generation; -- may they ever remember that they are friends to liberty, and every act as men who claim that glorious title.
As the lamented Lawrence of the Chesapeak said, “Don’t give up the ship,” so now say to you, gentlemen and soldiers, that if perchance you are ever engaged with a foreign or domestic enemy, never give up the flag, but stand by it, so long as there is one man of you left to hold on; for the deepest emotions of your hears could not speak the lasting gratitude we should owe to you for the preservation of our Union, our lives, and of our sacred honor.
With the greatest confidence and assurance, on the part of the ladies of Adair, that you will ever prove worthy of the sacred trust reposed in you, I have the honor of being the medium to present this beautiful flag to you, the members of the “Adair Guards,” hoping its motto may ever treasured in your hearts, and trusting that you will accept and appreciate it as a small token of the high regard that we, the ladies of Adair, have for your success, prosperity, happiness, and welfare.
Miss Hantippi Saunders was then responded to by James H. Bramlett, Esq., in a very impressive, complimentary, and appropriate speech. Then followed Mr. Seldon Hatcher and Mr. Nat. Gaither, jr., in their usual gallantry highly complimented the ladies for their generous offering. After which all did ample justice to sumptuous repast, spread out upon nature’s verdant carpet, and every one seemed highly delighted with the entertainments of the day.