Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others.

As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor; let every man remember that to violate the law, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the charter of his own, and his children's liberty.

Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap; let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs; let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and Let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.

While ever a state of feeling, such as this, shall universally, or even, very generally prevail throughout the nation, vain will be every effort, and fruitless every attempt, to subvert our national freedom.

- Abraham Lincoln, January 27, 1838
  Address Before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Looking back at Lincoln: On March 8, 1862

On this day in 1862, President Lincoln issued General War Orders No. 2 and No. 3, as follows, to ensure the protection of Washington:

President's General War-Order, No. 2
Executive Mansion
Washington, March 8, 1862


1st. That the Major General commanding the Army of the Potomac proceed forthwith to organize that part of said Army destined to enter upon active operations (including the reserve, but excluding the troops to be left in the fortifications about Washington) into four Army corps to be commanded according to seniority of rank as follows:

1st. Corps, to consist of four Divisions & to be commanded by Major General McDowell.

2nd. Corps, to consist of three Divisions, & to be commanded by Brigadier General E. V. Sumner.

3rd. Corps, to consist of three Divisions & to be commanded by Brigadier General Heintzelman

4th. Corps, to consist of three Divisions, & to be commanded by Brigadier General E. D. Keyes.

2. That the Divisions now commanded by the officers above assigned to the command of corps, shall be embraced in, and form parts of their respective corps.

3. The forces left for the defence of Washington will be placed in command of Brigadier General James Wadsworth, who shall also be Military Governor of the District of Columbia.

4. That this order be executed with such promptness and despatch as not to delay the commencement of the operations already directed to be undertaken by the Army of the Potomac.

5. A fifth Army Corps, to be commanded by Major General Banks will be formed from his own, and Gen. Shields, late Gen. Lander's Division.


President's General War Order No. 3
Executive Mansion
Washington, March 8, 1862.

Ordered, that no change of the base of operations of the Army of the Potomac shall be made without leaving in, and about Washington, such a force as, in the opinion of the General-in-chief, and the commanders of all the Army corps, shall leave said City entirely secure.

That not more than two Army corps, (about fifty thousand troops) of said Army of the Potomac, shall be moved en route for a new base of operations until the navigation of the Potomac, from Washington to the Chesapeake bay shall be freed from enemies batteries and other obstructions, or, until the President shall hereafter give express permission.

That any movement, as aforesaid, en route for a new base of operations, which may be ordered by the General-in-chief, & which may be intended to move upon the Chesapeake-bay, shall begin to move upon the bay as early as the 18th. day of March Inst.; and the General-in-chief shall be responsible that it so move as early as that day.

Ordered that the Army and Navy co-operate in an immediate effort to capture the enemies batteries upon the Potomac between Washington and the Chesapeake-bay.


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