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 29, 2009

Looking back at Lincoln: On March 29, 1863

On this day in 1863, Lincoln - persistent in his determination to raise African American troops wherever possible, as he believed this was the secret to winning the war - wrote a letter to Major General Banks asking him to provide any assistance possible to General Daniel Ullmann who was endeavoring to raise a brigade of African American soldiers in Louisiana.

Executive Mansion,
Washington, March 29, 1863.

Major General Banks
My dear Sir:

Hon. Daniel Ullmann, with a commission of Brigadier General, and two or three hundred other gentlemen as officers, goes to your department and reports to you, for the purpose of raising a colored brigade. To now avail ourselves of this element of force, is very important, if not indispensable. I therefore will thank you to help Gen. Ullmann forward with his undertaking, as much, and as rapidly, as you can; and also to carry the general object beyond his particular organization if you find it practicable. The necessity of this is palpable if, as I understand, you are now unable to effect anything with your present force; and which force is soon to be greatly diminished by the expiration of terms of service, as well as by ordinary causes. I shall be very glad if you will take hold of the matter in earnest.

You will receive from the Department a regular order upon this subject. Yours truly A. LINCOLN.


ALS, CSmH; ADfS, DLC-RTL. On January 13, Colonel Daniel Ullmann was authorized to raise a brigade of Negro Volunteers in Louisiana (OR, III, III, 14). A later order of March 24 authorized him to raise six companies of Louisiana Volunteer Infantry (ibid., pp. 99-100). On March 25, Stanton issued instructions to Banks and Ullmann covering the assignment (ibid., pp. 101-102). Banks acknowledged receipt of Lincoln's letter on April 17, "It gives me pleasure to assure you that I shall give him [Ullmann] every assistance . . . in carrying out your instructions. . . .'' (DLC-RTL). On September 3, 1863, Special Orders No. 50 revoked Ullmann's special powers and ordered him to report to Banks (ibid., p. 766).

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