Fairchild         Photograph by Ellen Vukovic

At the conclusion of the Governor’s remarks, the regiment loudly called for Gen. Fairchild, who took the speaker’s stand, in the midst of enthusiastic cheers, and said,
Comrades of the Old Second: when I rode at your head to-day, for the last time, as a volunteer aid to Major Otis, I tried to think that I was once more an honest Colonel in the army.
(Laughter and cheers.) 

We have been through many rough experiences together; we have been through many long marches, many dangers and many hardships; we have seen many of our brethren fall by our sides in battle; but I have never seen you flinch, or known you to be discouraged. And I have always thanked God that it was my fortune to be honored with the command of such a regiment. 

The last time I spoke to you before this, - and, boys, you know I never talked to you very often-was at Rocky Camp just after the battle of Antietam. 
Then there were but seventy of you able to report for duty. during the three preceding weeks four hundred of your number had fallen in battle.

I told you then that I wanted you to so acquit yourselves that every parent who had a son, every sister who had a brother, and every sweet heart who had a lover in the old Second, would be proud to acknowledge it, and that when you returned to your homes the whole people would welcome you as having done your entire duty. 
Faithfully have you heeded those admonitions, and now you have returned to receive that welcome. You will be soldiers no longer, but citizens.

Let me admonish you-each one of you-to remember that you have still the reputation of the old Second to maintain. 
Show yourselves as true to your country when citizens as you have been when soldiers. Act so that you can hold your heads up. Never let the good name you have won as soldiers be tarnished by anything you may do as citizens. I know you will not. 
I know that you who have fought so well to sustain the Government in the field, will at home, by word and deed as citizens, do all you can for its support, and to cheer on and maintain our armies.

Comrades, from the bottom of my heart I give you welcome. 

(Great cheering.)