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It will be remembered that when Gen. Robertson assumed the duties of this office it was no idle thing to be the Adjutant General of the State of Michigan. The terrors of a civil war were upon us, and Michigan was girding on her sword to take part in the struggle, and, in consequence, the work and duties of the office were vastly multiplied. But through faithfulness in the discharge of every duty, and faithfulness in looking after every detail, the brave old general maintained the honor and dignity of Michigan among the sisterhood of States, and it is largely due to him that the fame of Michigan's soldiers has gone down to history with a lustre and glory undimmed.
Again the lesson of honesty and integrity is emphatically taught in the life of Gen. Robertson. He considered it worth far more to him to be known by his countrymen as an honest man, in every position he was called to fill, than by intrigue to attain a higher position. And it seems to me that in this age of bickerings and strife, we ought to call a halt and seriously contemplate this grand
lesson, for after all the record of an honest life shines forth as a brilliant star amid the fog and smoke of deception and intrigue, and sooner or latter 18 sure to win and command the respect of all right thinking men.
And I hope that the young men of this generation, who are now taking the places of their fathers and assuming the duties of guiding the old ship of state across the stormy waters of the future, will receive into their hearts and minds these lessons taught us in the noble life so recently ended. The possibilities that are before our young men are emphasized in the life of Gen. Robertson.
His earnest attention to the duties that came to hand every day, the honest discharge of every responsibility as it presented itself, were but the parts of a grand whole—the parts that went to make up the fullness of his grand life. And this fact in itself is a standing rebuke to those who seek by one bound to pass from obscurity to fame; for ability, talent, and genius go for naught without hard work. It is work, and work alone, that accomplishes what he accomplished during the years of his grand life.
Now these possibilities are before the young men of this age, and we can but hope that these lessons will impress themselves upon them, and that they will remember that the royal road to fame and honor is to be traveled step by step; and now as we to-day mourn the departure of Gen. Robertson, let us thank God that the world and our State has been blessed by such a grand, noble, and useful life as was his; and may we be enabled to copy his virtues, and become better men and citizens of this great republic.
Eloquent and fitting remarks were also made by Senators Giddings and Palmer; the remarks being extemporaneous, copy for the same could not be furnished.
President pro tem. Monroe, from his place in the chair, called attention to the fact that General Robertson had been a man whose actions “spoke louder than words ;” that while the first five or six years of his twenty-six years of service to the State had been intensely active in recruiting, equipping and sending men to the front, while the rebellion lasted, the years' service have been spent in the quiet of office work, and his records are models of completeness, accuracy, and neatness. The works to which attention is specially called are:
His “ History of Michigan during the Rebellion,” as found in the Red Book of Michigan, a most valuable contribution;