It is a piece of good fortune to be a young man now and here. It is a time for sacrifice and so a time for heroism. At no period in this country’s history, save in the revolution, at few epochs in the world’s history has it been so glorious and joyful to have a life to give. Now is the time not to write or read history, but to make it. We read with wonder and admiration of the great of other days. Just as great and as good patriots are now living. Rhode Island has sent forth a regiment of as noble and self-denying fellows as ever the Spartan mothers sent forth “to return upon their shields or with them.” Just such men are still walking our streets, toiling in our workshops, tilling our farms. Let them understand the solemn but glorious duty to which Heaven now call[s] them. The destinies of generations are now to be shaped. The great battle between anarchy and law, between rebellion and government, is now to be fought. The fair fabric, whose stones were cemented with the blood of our fathers, is now to be defended. Can any offering be too great in such a cause? Can a life be more worthily or sacredly given up than upon the altar of our country? The world looks on and waits to record upon the scroll of enduring fame the names of those who are true and unfaltering in this hour of trial.

Young men, this is a proud epoch in which to live, and if need be, to die in the holy cause that asks for your services.