Our Heroic Dead” excerpts a speech by Governer Andrew honoring those from Massachusetts who died in battle. Like all such in Student and Schoolmate, it was intended to be memorized and recited with gestures appropriate to the subject.


http://www.merrycoz.org/ssmate/HERODEAD.xhtml
[Declamation] “Our Heroic Dead,” by Gov. Andrew (from The Student and Schoolmate, February 1863; pp. 56-57)

[How to make this speech]

There is a 4history is almost every home of Massachusetts, which will never be written. But the memory of kindred has it embalmed forever. This representative of the pride and hope of uncounted households, departing, will return no more. The shaft of the 2archer, attracted by the shining mark, numbers them among his fallen. In the battles of Big Bethel, of Bull Run, of Ball’s Bluff, of Roanoke Island, of Newbern, of Winchester, of Yorktown, of Williamsburg, of West Point, of Fair Oaks, the battles before Richmond from Mechanicsville to Malvern Hill, of James’s Island, of Baton Rouge, of Cedar Mountain, of Bull Run again, of Chantilly, of Washington in North Carolina, of South Mountain, of Antietam, of Fredericksburg, and Goldsborough—through 4all the capricious fortunes of the war—the regiments of Massachusetts have borne her 7flag by the side of the banner of the Union. And, beyond the 3Atlantic slope, every battle-field has drunk the blood of her sons, nurtured among her hills and sands, from which in adventurous man-

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p. 57

hood they turned their footsteps to the West. 5+Officers and 5enlisted men have vied with each other in deeds of valor. The 8flag, whose standard-bearer, shot down in battle, tossed it from his dying hand nerved by undying patriotism, has been caught by the comrade, who in his turn has closed his eyes for the last time upon its starry folds, as 4another hero-martyr clasped the splintered staff and rescued the symbol at once of country and of their blood-bought fame.

How can fleeting words of 5human praise gild the record of their glory? Our eyes suffused with tears, and blood retreated to the heart, stirred with unwonted thrill, speak with the eloquence of nature, uttered, but unexpressed. From the din of the 9battle, they have passed to the 7peace of eternity. Farewell! warrior, citizen, patriot, lover, friend—whether in the humbler ranks, or bearing the sword of official power, whether private, captain, surgeon or chaplain, for all these in the heavy fight have passed away—4+Hail! and 4Farewell! Each hero must sleep 10serenely on the field where he fell in a cause “sacred to 10+liberty and the 6rights of mankind.”

“Worn by no wasting, 5+lingering pain,

No cold gradations of 5decay

Death broke at once the vital chain

And freed his soul the 8nearest way.”


[DIRECTIONS.—Words in Italic should be emphasized; words in SMALL CAPITALS should be strongly emphasized; and words in LARGE CAPITALS should be very strongly emphasized. The numbers refer to the cuts illustrating gesture. The sign plus indicates that the gesture is to be continued to the next number. The gestures are marked to come upon emphatic words, and the motion of the hands should correspond with the stress laid upon the words.]

[This speaker’s chart is special to this speech.]

speaker's chart
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