MOBILE REGISTER AND ADVERTISER, August 27, 1863, p. 2, c. 4
The ensign which we noticed some time since as being intended by the ladies of Huntsville for the steamer bearing the name of their beautiful but afflicted city, was yesterday, at meridian, hoisted on board of her, circumstances having thus far delayed the presentation. A large number of ladies and gentlemen were present at the agreeable ceremony, which was attended with little parade, consisting chiefly of reading the correspondence which we subjoin. The ensign made by Miss Seaman, of Richmond, is an elegant naval flag, twelve feet by eighteen, bordered with silver fringe, the stars upon the cross worked in silver, and embroidered in yellow and orange silk with the inscription:
WE HAVE PUT OUR TRUST.
Presented by the Ladies of Huntsville,
Ala., June, 1863.
At the same time an elegant Confederate jack was hoisted on the Huntsville, the gift of Miss Todd, of Selma, to Capt. Myers. This is of crimson silk, bearing the azure saltire and silver stars of the Confederacy, and only differing from the battle flag of the land service in the arms of the cross being, in the language of heraldry, rebated, or not extending to the margin.
Mobile, (Ala.) Aug. 20, 1863.
Captain Julian Myers, C. S. Navy, commanding C. S. Steamer Huntsville, Mobile, Ala:
Captain: The Ladies of Huntsville, North Alabama, have honored me with the pleasing duty of presenting to you, as the commander of the gallant vessel which bears the name of their beautiful little city, a chaste and handsome Ensign of our country.
In performing this duty, there is no little pride and gratification excited in my breast, and I am sure that the emotion finds a ready echo in your own heart.
On all occasions, the reception of the banner of our country from the hands of fair woman, excited sensations of pride and pleasure—kindles anew the patriotic fires of our bosoms, and nerves the arm to strike another blow for the defense of that country, and the protection of her daughters.
I crave no greater honor than that thus conferred upon me.
This Flag, Sir, is tendered you by a band of brave, noble and self-sacrificing women—by those who have long since sent their loved ones to the field to do battle for their country, and to meet and drive back from our soil the ruffian hordes that have been so mercilessly hurled upon us by our cruel foes of the North. It comes from the daring and determined spirits of whom the cowardly tyrant Mitchell spoke, when he said: "I may conquer the men, I have almost succeeded in bringing them back to their original loyalty; but I have not been able to subdue the rebel spirit of the women of Huntsville." This Flag, Sir, is presented to you by patriotic and christian women, as the motto upon its folds indicates: "We have put our trust in God;" and although they now mourn the loss of many dear ones who have fallen at the hands of the ruthless invader, they falter not, but send forth others to be offered as sacrifices, if need be, upon their country's altar.
They offer it to you, Captain, with a confidence and a full belief that in your hands, and in your keeping, no dishonor or disgrace will ever mar or pollute a single star of its bright folds. And now, Sir, in saying to you that I also share and join in this confidence and believe, I intrust [sic] the Flag to your care and protection.
I have the honor, Sir, to be,
Very respectfully, your obt. servt.,
Jno. Jas. Ward,
Captain Light Artillery, Alabama Volunteers.
C. S. Steamer Huntsville,
Mobile River, Aug. 23, 1863.
John Jas. Ward, Captain Light Artillery, Ala. Vols.:
Capt. Ward—The manner in which you have so appropriately conveyed the wishes of the ladies of Huntsville, justifies the selection, in appointing you their representative on that interesting occasion. Assure yourself, sir, that you do me no more than justice when you believe that my heart echoes the pride and gratification which inspires your own breast, officiating as the exponent of their wishes. There are occasions when language, however copious and versatile, fails to give utterance to emotions. This, sir, is eminently one of those occasions, and I unexpectedly feel the oppression under which this beautiful manifestation of the fair daughters of our Confederacy has placed me, but I also feel that my poverty in words to do justice to my feelings is immeasurably out-weighed by the sensations of a proud and grateful heart—a heart which would be dead to every manly attribute, did it not fail to respond in pulsations as exalted as the pure and ennobling sentiment which animated the donors of this beautiful Ensign. Such presentations, sir, are not unusual in ordinary times—they are even then, in the absence of extraordinary events, received and valued as testimonials worthy of acceptance; but, Sir, this Banner, consecrated by the hands and the hearts of our beautiful and virtuous women, comes accompanied by high claims to recognition, it comes sanctified by the glorious cause of a people battling for freedom and their rights. It comes glowing with the record of deeds of heroic daring, unequaled in the annals of the world. It comes redolent with the memory of noble martyrs who have breathed their last breath upon the battlefield, in prayer for the triumph of law, order, and morality, at the hands of a God-loving and God-fearing people, over the misrule and wickedness of a race whose enormities and brutalities stand without parallel. It comes moistened by the tears, and echoing the woes of bereaved hearts, for the untimely end of the loved ones "whose place shall know them no more" when the great and glorious object for which we now struggle shall, through God's blessing be brought to a successful issue. It comes sir, and I receive it, as a stimulus to prosecute that object to its consummation, by all the energies of body and mind and soul, of which I am possessed, and if ever it be my proud fortune and privilege to strike in the name of the Confederacy beneath its folds, I can do no more than promise that the blow shall be nerved by the recollection of this moment. When I give this flag to the breeze I give it, sir, with the benediction of a true Southron, who asks no brighter mead in victory than the approving smiles of those who have thus honored me, nor a more glorious shroud, should I fall in its defence. I say this sir, in no vain-glorious spirit, but I say it in accordance with the solemnity of the motives which prompted its presentation, and as a grateful acknowledgment for the confidence they have expressed that it would not be dishonored in my keeping, which sentiment you have so kindly and felicitously repeated. I bow, sir, in deference to the eminent piety of my fair countrywomen, whose reverential motto hallows this precious gift—"We have put our trust in God." It is that trust which has carried us thus signally through the dark and trying times of this revolution—a trust which like a halo illumined the battle path of Lee and Jackson—a trust which has mercifully sustained our mothers and our wives, our daughters and our sisters, under the heavy affliction of death, and through their angelic ministry at the couch of the wounded and the dying—a trust which has fortified them to brave without a murmur suffering and privation, poverty and outrage, rather than re-unite their destiny with the heartless savages from whom we have separated. I trust in God forever—finally, sir, that trust which, like the bow of promise, speaks of auspicious blessing from the Throne of Grace, a reward for the illustrious services they have rendered. For the officers who embarked with me in the common cause, and the crew, upon whose strong arms and stout hearts we rely, I feel that I can promise a faithful and zealous co-operation.
In their name and my own, sir, we offer our heartfelt thanks to the ladies of Huntsville for their inestimable guidon, and to yourself for the courtesy of your mission.
Julian Myers, Capt. C.S.N.