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To the Grand Army of the Republic

When you went forth with weapons in your hands,
Was it for gold, for vengeance, or for glory,
The loud acclaim, the toast, the song, the story,
That you went bravely forth in serried bands,
Grand old men of the Grand Army?

We know 't was not for one or all of these;
'T was not by glory's glitter you were tempted;
'T was not for wealth's allures your veins were emptied;
You had no heaped-up hatreds to appease,
Grand old men of the Grand Army!

You fought for Union and for liberty,
You gave your lives to save the threatened State,
Which needed freedom to be truly great,
Which needed union, to be surely free,
Grand old men of the Grand Army!

You reared on high a sure abiding place,
Where liberty, on law and justice founded,
In peace and civic honor firmly grounded,
Might ever dwell with calm and shining face,
Grand old men of the Grand Army!

And on the wing of victory rode fame,
And with her silver trumpet told the story,
Covering your warlike deeds with well won glory,
Heaping renown on every soldier's name,
Grand old men of the Grand Army!

Now honor, wealth untold, and peace and power
Are our reward for your sublime endeavor.
God grant, we pray, that they may last forever,
Without one backwards step or doubtful hour,
Grand old men of the Grand Army!

What though your ranks grow thinner year by year,
They stand, we know, forevermore unbroken,
Of loyalty each name the unfolding token,
Upon the nation's roll of honor clear,
Grand old men of the Grand Army!

To you our city's gates we open wide;
We open wide our hearts and homes to you!
We pray Almighty God to prosper you!
You are our joy, our honor, and our pride,
Grand old men of the Grand Army!
On Fifth Avenue.

Chesnutt, Charles W. "To the Grand Army of the Republic." The Cleveland Leader. (Sep. 8, 1901): 12.