from The Worcester Spy, August 14, 1861 , (Volume 92 # 32), 
City and County

Presentation of a Banner to the Fifteenth Regiment

Several ladies of this city have interested themselves in providing an elegant flag for our Worcester county regiment, and Thursday afternoon the ceremony of presentation took place in the City Hall, the rainy weather not admitting of the presentation on the common, before the whole regiment, as was intended. The field and staff officers of the regiment, and the commissioned officers of the several companies were present, accompanied by the regimental band. The were escorted to the hall by the officers of the twenty-first regiment, and were there welcomed by the ladies through whose patriotic exertions the banner had been secured. Mayor Davis presided, and Rev. Dr. Hill offered a fervent prayer that those to whom the flag was to be entrusted might never tire, in the good work, until it shall wave over all places in our broad land, the symbol of liberty union and peace.

Hon. George F. Hoar came forward with the banner in his hand, and in behalf of the ladies, spoke as follows, while he gave the flag into the charge of Col. Devens:---

Mr Hoar’s Speech

Colonel and Officers of the Fifteenth Regiment:
I am deputed by the ladies of Worcester to present to you this banner. Eighty-four years ago today there were mustering in these streets the first regiment ever raised in Worcester county for actual warfare, the fifteenth regiment of the Massachusetts line. What hard fought battles at Monmouth and Trenton what suffering at Valley forge, what glory and victory at Saratoga, and Yorktown have made that name famous, history has recorded. And now that, for the second time, Worcester county sends out to battle a full regiment of her sons, by a coincidence to appropriate to be called accident, the name which your fathers rendered illustrious has been allotted to you. What they won for us it is yours to preserve for us.

The ladies of Worcester desire to testify that, while you strive to emulate the courage and self devotion of your fathers, they still cherish the sentiments which animated the mothers of Revolutionary times. Take this banner, as a token that there are those at home to whom the cause in which you are enlisted is precious. As you look upon its folds, blazoned with the clear emblems of the country, let it bring he thought of the mothers sisters and wives, without whom country would be worthless. Amid the hardship and temptations of the camp, and the dangers of the battle field, let it witness to you that there are those to whom your welfare is dear. Absent, but with most intense spiritual presence, wherever you go, what ever you may suffer or dare, they will be with you. And when you return, your duty all well done, liberty re-established, law vindicated, peace restored, bring back with you this flag. know that
“there are bright eyes will mark
Your coming, and grow brighter when you come.”

If when they next look upon it, they shall see those folds, now so beautiful and pure blackened by smoke or torn by shot and shell, it matters not, if there is no rent in the union of which it is the symbol, no stain on the honor of the sons of Worcester, to whom it is entrusted.

As the speaker finished, “The Star Spangled Banner” was played by the regimental band with fine effect, and Col. Devens, receiving the flag from Mr. Hoar, responded in be half of he regiment under his command, substantially as follows:---

Colonel Deven’s Response

Mr. Hoar,--- I accept this beautiful banner, which you have presented to the regiment under my command, in behalf of the ladies of Worcester; I lay hold of this emblem, as the symbol of all that is glorious, which has been respected wherever it has floated on land and sea, and which I believe, from the bottom of my heart, shall yet be respected wherever it may float, whether it be in the field or the fortress, or from the wave rocked topmast. May God give me strength to perform fully the task this day undertaken, to aid in up bearing that standard in the contest before us, in defending our country without and traitors within, be not dimmed.

There is indeed a remarkable coincidence, as you have so well said, in the name of the regiment which I have the honor to command, being numbered the same as that commanded during the revolutionary was by Col. Timothy Bugelow, over whose remains yonder proud monument was three months ago erected, with such inspiring ceremonies. It is indeed a most fortunate omen. I trust that some of the spirit that animated our ancestors has descended upon the resent sons of Worcester county, and that they will be able to render an equally good account of their labors. I know they stand ready to defend that flag, as much dearer than life, as honor is dearer; that they will “not suffer a single star to be obscured” from the glorious symbol of our national Union. I am unable to predict as to our return; yet this symbol shall be returned to the ladies of Worcester, untarnished; defeat, disaster and death may come to us, but dishonor never. I know well, from three months experience, how much the aid of the ladies has contributed to the welfare of troops in the field, and we shall be doubly encouraged by them to do everything which can be done in the performance of our duty, cheered by their approving smiles upon our endeavors.

Mayor Davis, in conclusion addressed the officers of the 15th regiment in patriotic words, thanking them in behalf of the city, for their zeal in proceeding with such promptness and fidelity to the defense of the country, whose liberties, purchased by the blood of our fathers, were now endangered. The sympathies and prayers of all patriotic and loyal men were with them, with the example of the glorious old fifteenth regiment, commanded by Col. Bigelow, before them, he trusted they would continue in the fight till the flag waved over every portion of our once united country. The mayor closed by invoking God’s blessing upon the departing soldiers.

The band struck up “Hail Columbia,” the sergeant having the flag in charge, waved it from the platform, the ladies sprang to their feet, waving their handkerchiefs, while cheers went up for the colors of the 15th regiment.

The flag is made regulation size, and is finished in the most elegant and beautiful manner. On the silk these words are neatly blazoned in gold lettering: “Worcester County Volunteers Fifteenth Regiment Infantry.” A silver shield on the richly finished staff, bears the inscription “Presented to the Fifteenth Regiment, Worcester County Volunteers, Mass. by the ladies of Worcester, 1861.”



15th Massachusetts VI