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

Friday, May 08, 2009

Looking back at Lincoln: On May 8, 1863

Lincoln is still leaning on General Joseph Hooker.

On this day in 1863, after meeting with Brigadier General August Willich (who the Confederates had just released from Richmond's Libby Prison,) Lincoln wrote again to General Hooker. In short, Lincoln seems to be once again encouraging his general du jour, suggesting that Richmond isn't in a position to put up much of a fight (and thus with a bit of aggressiveness on the part of Union leadership, could perhaps be taken.)

Unfortunately, Lincoln wouldn't have his aggressive commander until 1864, and Richmond wouldn't be in Union hands until 1865.

Judging from the daily letters, I'd have to guess that privately, Lincoln's frustration with Hooker hasn't lessened...

Executive Mansion,
Washington, May 8. 1863.

Major General Hooker.

The news is here, of the capture, by our forces of Grand Gulf---a large & very important thing. Gen. Willich, [2] an exchanged prisoner, just from Richmond, has talked with me this morning. He was there when our cavalry cut the roads in that vicinity. He says there was not a sound pair legs in Richmond, and that our men, had they known it, could have safely gone in and burnt every thing & brought us Jeff. Davis. We captured and parold three or four hundred men. He says, as he came to City point, there was an army three miles long (Longstreet's he thought) moving towards Richmond. Milroy has captured a despatch of Gen. Lee, in which he says his loss was fearful, in his late battle with you. [3]. A. LINCOLN


[1] ALS, IHi.

[2] Brigadier General August Willich had been captured December 31, 1862, at Stone River near Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

[3] General Milroy's telegram to General Schenck of 8 P.M., May 6, reads in part: "A telegraphic dispatch was received at Edenburg an hour before my forces took this place, addressed to Major Myers [Samuel B. Myers] rebel commander . . . signed by General Lee, stating that they (the rebels) had gained a glorious victory, but with fearful loss on both sides. . . ." (OR, I, XXV, II, 437).

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