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ing the world that, as truly of nations as of individuals, is it written that whatsoever is sown shall be reaped, and “with what measure ye mete, shall it be measured to you again.” But with this, there was much that was great and elevating in our institutions, so that with more than ancient Roman pride could the traveler in far-off lands exclaim, “I am an American citizen.”
It is a land of innumerable resources. Extending through so many parallels of latitude, and isothermal lines, its soil yields almost an infinite variety of productions. It gives the fruits and grains of ail zones. Within its bosom lie hid all minerals, the iron, the copper, vast fields of coal, the gold, the silver, the platina, the quicksilver, while the very “rock pours out rivers of oil.” Its forests are rich in exhaustless stores of timber, while its prairies are the granaries of the world.
It is the land of the free school, the free press, and the free pulpit. It is impossible to compute the power of this trio. The free schools, open to rich and poor, bind together the people in educational bonds and in the common memories of the recitation-room and the play-ground, and how strong they are, you, reader, well
press may not always be altogether as dignified or elevated as the more highly cultivated may desire, but it is ever open to the complaints of the people; is ever watchful of popular rights and jealous of class encroachments, and the highest in authority know that it is above President or Senate. The free pulpit, sustained not by legally exacted tithes wrung from an unwilling people, but by the free-will offerings of loving supporters, gathers about it the millions, inculcates the highest morality, points to brighter worlds, and when occasion demands, will not be silent before political wrongs. Its power, simply as an educating agency can scarcely be estimated. In this country its freedom gives a competition so vigorous that it must remain in direct popular sympathy. How strong it is, the country saw when its voice was lifted in the old cry, “Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft.” Its words started the slumbering, roused the careless, and called the “sacramental host,” as well as the “men of the world to arms." These three grand agencies are not rival but supplementary, each doing an essential work in public culture.
Ours, above all others, is the land of homes. Local attachment is essential to patriotism. Give a man a bit of ground and let him build a house, though it be scarce larger than Queen Mab’s, and he becomes a permanent part of the country. He has something to live for, vote for, fight for. Here there is no system of vast landownerships, with lettings and sub-lettings, but, on the contrary, the abundance and cheapness of land, and the prevalence of wise homestead exemptions, give a large proportion of the population proprietary interests. To all this, add the freedom of elective franchise, which invests the humblest citizen with the functions of sovereignty, and opens to his competition the bighest places of trust and profit, and is there not reason for loving such a country? Is there not reason why its home-born sons should swear upon its holy altarg that this trust received from their fathers, shall be transmitted, pure and whole, to their children? Is there not reason why each adopted son should see that the land which gives him sanctuary, refuge and citizenship shall not be rent in twain ? Especially that it shall not be divided in the interest of class-distinctions, of distinction between labor and capital, based upon a difference of birth and ancestry?
Above all: When we assume the higher doctrine that civil gov. ernment is divinely appointed, “that the powers that be, are ordained of God,” and the maintenance of lawfully established government becomes a duty, God, the King of Nations, summons us to prevent its overthrow; and He declares that the hour when it is imperiled, the magistrate shall not bear the sword in vain, but shall be “the min. ister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil,” and that they who rise up against lawful authority and “resist the power, resist the ordinance of God, and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation."* Patriotism then comes to the baptism of Christian duty, and for the hour when just government and righteous authority are periled, the duty is one of sternness, and the sword of the magistrate is its symbol.
The civilization of the West is in some respects peculiar. Its growth has been so rapid as to be almost incredible. Into it have come the active young of Eastern and Middle States, young men portionless or desiring a wider field than their narrow patrimony
* Romans xiii. 1-4.
afforded. They are not the men to settle in quiet dignity. We know not who originated the use of “push” as a noun, but it expresses the characteristic of these “younger sons”-younger but not "prodigal”—who come to our Western States. “Push”—they will stop for no obstacle and brook no difficulty. Before that “push” forests disappear, prairies are decked with cultivated beauty, railways are projected of length sufficient to open the eyes of grave eastern directors, which yet, somehow, secure eastern capital for their construction. These are not men to be held in leading strings, and kept in subjection to effete systems.
The traveler from the Eastern States, will find in each Western frontier village the evidences of highest culture. In the cabin of unhewn logs or “ended” slabs he will find music and painting. With this, there is, of course, the endless variety of foreign population. German, Irish, Scandinavian are its chief elements, though in the Northwest there is a large infusion of the genuine English. This population must be fused, and that work has been going on under the combined influence of the educating trio of powers above indicated, with the additive influence of business and politics.
To these is now being added the uniting influence of the WAR FOR THE UNION. Together are we all being “baptized in the cloud and in the sea," and we shall emerge more than ever ONE PEOPLE.
Illinois has full share of all Western peculiarities. Its size and elements of material wealth have long since caused it to be conceded that it was destined to rank with the foremost of the States of the Union. When, therefore, the tocsin of war was sounded, it was proper, it was natural, that the nation should turn its eyes upon this, with other large States, and ask, “What will Illinois do ?” The answer is given in the offering of more than a quarter of a million of soldiers and untold millions of money to the country.
It is proper that each State should, in some form, make its own record during the war. No general history can do the individual States justice; nay, no complete, comprehensive history can be written until, at the end of the war, the States have made up their annals. For these the Irvings, Bancrofts and Prescotts of the Union must wait. In each State should be written the deeds of its sons; the achievements of its regiments, the deeds of its officers and citizen soldiery. If delayed, much will be lost; if issued at once, there cannot be perfect symmetry and complete finish. Between these alternatives, it seems better to seize the present and accept the artistic sacrifice.
When the proposition was made to the author to undertake the preparation of the present work he promptly declined. He had enough work upon his hands to tax all his strength and consume all his time. But the proposition was renewed and so pressed upon hini by numerous and influential gentlemen whose judgment he highly respects, that it became a question of duty. The entire business management has been with the publishers, the author declining any participation in its details.
As to material, of course all published works are procured, regardless of expense, and the uninitiated would wonder at the amount of war literature from massive octavos down to pamphlets, already produced.
His Excellency, Governor Yates, placed at the author's disposal u valuable collection of State papers and other documents, and for his uniform courtesy the author renders this public acknowledgment. Adjutant-General Fuller courteously tendered access to the documentary stores of his office. Major-General McClernand placed in his possession his full memoranda of the movements of his command. Major-General Hurlbut kindly furnished important information.
Learning that Rev. F. Senour, of Rockford, Illinois, had contemplated a similar work and had already collected considerable material, a correspondence was opened, followed by a personal interview, resulting in the transfer to the writer of Mr. Senour's MSS., principally biographical and regimental sketches. These have been of much service, and their use is thus acknowledged.
In a very few instances pamphlet sketches of single regiments have been published and made available. The “History of the Old Second Division,” by Wm. Sumner Dodge, and the “annals of the Army of the Cumberland,” by John Fitch, have afforded valuable assistance. Col. James Grant Wilson's “Sketches of Illinois Officers," have aided in personal biography. But the principal reliance for regi. mental and personal sketches has been upon the Adjutant-General's reports, official reports of commanders, and MSS. furnished the author.
In giving regimental sketches there is a difference in the space given. This may need explanation. There is a wide difference in the service rendered by regiments equally meritorious. One has been from “muster” almost constantly with the same brigade and division, while another has been on detached service, or thrown from division to division, from one department to another.
The same principle will explain the difference in personal notices. One officer has performed service so varied in kind and field that any just notice requires much detail—another has served as well, as bravely, but his career has been with one corps or division.
There has been a difference also in accessible materials which no industry could prevent. The history of very few regiments is yet completed, and among the most difficult to reach, the author has found the regiments out of service. It will be remembered that the work is yet incomplete, and that for regiments with scanty mention there is ample record in store.
Much regimental history is found in the record of campaigns, battles and sieges. Indeed it is such as is the most satisfactory. You find a regiment, as for instance the 13th at Chickasaw Bayou, or the 19th at Stone River, and what special record does it need to tell its gallantry?
Illinois troops have seldom been brigaded together, at least this was so early in the war. This adds to the labor of the historian and prevents that unity which is desirable. From the manner in which the regiments were distributed it has not been practicable to treat them in numerical order.
Furthermore, in the preparation of regimental sketches, the author has followed very closely the authorities before him, editing rather than preparing them. Hence they sometimes seem bald and rugged, but there was only space for the rugged statement of facts.
Care has been taken to secure accuracy, and corrections have been made at much expense, subsequently to stereotyping—in some instances chapters canceled and rewritten on receiving later or more satisfactory authorities; and yet, in such a work, it is too much to hope that entire accuracy, especially in names and dates, has been secured. Proper names are the terror of printers and proof-readers and the vexation of authors. “What's in a name ?” Much, and no