BERKSHIRE County, Massachusetts, has long been noted as the birth-place of many men and women distinguished in the higher ranks of the best phases of American life, literature, law, science, art, philosophy, as well as religion, philanthropy, and the industrial and commercial progress of our country have all been brilliantly illustrated and powerfully aided by those who drew their first breath, and had their earliest home among the green hills and lovely valleys of Berkshire. Bryant gained the inspiration of his poems--sweet, tender, refined, elevating--from its charming scenery; and from amidst the same scenes Miss Sedgwick gathered up the quiet romance of country life, often as deep as silent, and wove it into those delightful tales which were the joy of our youthful hearts.
The men of Berkshire are brave and strong, its women fair and noble. Its mountains are the green altars upon which they kindled the fires of their patriotism. And these fires brightened a continent, and made glad the heart of a nation.
Berkshire had gained the prestige of its patriotism in two wars, and at the sound of the signal gun of the rebellion its sons-- "brave sons of noble sires"--young men, and middle-aged, and boys, sprang to arms. Its regiments were among the first to answer the call of the country and to offer themselves for its defense. Let Ball's Bluff and the Wilderness, the Chickahominy, and the deadly swamps and bayous of the Southwest, tell to the____________________