Father Mooney, on the occasion of the baptizing of one of the big guns mounted at Fort Corcoran in June, 1861, made the following remarks:
“Gentlemen: It is with more than ordinary pleasure I come forward to perform a ceremony which is not only pleasing to us all, but highly honorable–I may say, a welcome prerogative to me on this auspicious occasion–and that is, the christening of the noble gun on Fort Corcoran. In the kind providence of God, it has been for me, as a priest, during the last nine years, to baptize many a fine blue-eyed babe; but never had I brought before me such a large, quiet, healthy, and promising fellow as the one now before me. Indeed, I may remark, it has often occurred, when pouring the baptismal water on the child’s head, he opened his little eyes, and got a little more of the baptismal water than he wished; but, on this occasion, this noble son of a great father has his mouth open, evidently indicating that he is anxious to speak, which I have no doubt he soon will, in a thundering voice, to the joy of his friends and terror of his enemies. I need not tell you that a most appropriate name has been selected by our esteemed Colonel, and one that will be welcomed by you all; and that is the honorable name of the gallant commander of our brigade, Colonel Hunter. Therefore, the great gun shall hereafter answer to its name–the Hunter Gun. Now, parents anxiously listen to the first lispings of the infant’s lips, and the mother’s heart swells with joy when she catches the first utterance of her cherished babe, in the words, ‘mamma, mamma!’ but here I shall guarantee to you that this promising boy will speak for the first time, in loud, clear accents, those endearing words, ‘papa, papa, papa!–patria mia, patria mia!’ and, in name as in effect, he will hunt traitors from his fort, while the echo of his voice will be as sweet music, inviting the children of Columbia to share the comforts of his father’s home; and thus may he soon speak, to the glory of the Stars and Stripes, honor to the name that he bears, and lasting credit to the Sixty-ninth New York.”
Originally posted 2009-03-29 17:33:53.