« AnteriorContinuar »
HARVARD COLLEGE LIBRARY
JUN 14 1917
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1865,
BY CLARKE & CO.,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the
Northern District of Illinois.
Stereotyped by JOEN CONAIAS
I gives us pleasure to present to the public, and especially to the
citizens of Illinois, the First volume of the military history of the State. The work has been prepared, we think, with marked ability and impartiality, and the Publishers bave spared no pains or expense to make it attractive and permanent. As it is a record of the part our noble State has borne in the great struggle to maintain our glorious government and to hand down our institutions untarnished and unimpaired, therefore every family will be interested to possess a copy of the work. Much care has been taken to combine incidents and statistics, sketches of persons and battles, thus embodying the essential and important facts of our great history, so that the work shall be instructive to all classes of readers.
The second volume will follow in as close proximity as possible. It will be issued in the same style, so that when completed it will make an interesting standard work for both private and public libraries; containing, as far as possible, a complete record of our brave men who have fallen in their country's cause.
ATRIOTISM is the love of country. It has ever been recog.
nized among the cardinal virtues of true men, and he who was destitute of it has been considered an ingrate. Even among the icy desolations of the far north we expect to find, and do find, an ardent affection for the land of nativity, the home of childhood, youth and age. There is much in our country to create and foster this sentiment. It is a country of imperial dimensions, reaching from sea to sea, and almost “from the rivers to the ends of the earth.” None of the empires of old could compare with it in this regard. It is washed by two great oceans, while its lakes are vast inland seas. Its rivers are silver lines of beauty and commerce. Its grand mountain chains are the links of God's forging and welding, binding together north and south, east and west.
It is a land of glorious memories. It was peopled by the picked men of Europe, who came hither “not for wrath but conscience' sake." Said the younger Winthrop to his father, “I shall call that my country where I may most glorify God and enjoy the presence of my dearest friends." And so came godly men and devoted women, flying from oppressive statutes, where they might find
“Freedom to worship God." There are spots on the sun, and the microscope reveals flaws in burnished steel, and so there were spots and flaws in the early records of the founders of this land, but with them all, our colonial history is one that stirs the blood and quickens the pulse of him who reads.
And then the glorious record of that Revolutionary struggle gives each American a solid historic platform on which he may plant his foot. It was an era of high moral heroism, and for principle, against theoretical usurpation, rather than practical (though of the latter there wanted not enough to give to our fathers' lips a full and bitter cup), the men of the Revolution drew their swords, and entered the field against the most powerful nation of the world, and fought on and on, through murky gloom, until triumph came. also an era of Providential agencies and deliverances, and each right feeling American, realizes that not more truly did God raise up Moses and Aaron and lead Israel with the pillar of cloud and fire, than He raised up our leaders and led our fathers. And reverent is our adoration, when we remember how he guided the deliberations of our Constitutional Convention and poured the peaceful spirit, in answer to ascending prayer, down upon that august convocation
There are later memories, when again measuring strength with Britain, our gallant tars showed on the Sea and on the Lakes that the empire of the deep was not henceforth conceded to the so-called “ Mistress of the Seas." It was a new sensation experienced by the old nations, when the youngest of them all dared lift the glove of the power which "ruled the waves," and defy her on the field of her greatest prowess.
Yet so it was, and the achievements of Decatur, McDonough, Paul Jones and Porter gave luster to our navy to be brightened by Foote, Farragut, Porter, Dahlgren and Worden in our own times. For it is no idle boast to say that to-day the United States floats the most powerful navy of the world. These and other memories invest our land with sacredness, and commend it to the reverent love of its sons, native or adopted.
Its institutions of civil and religious freedom, guaranteeing the rights of citizenship, education and worship, extending the blessings of beneficent law silently and extensively as the atmosphere about us, demand our love. True, one dark blot, one iron limitation, one cruel exception was in our organization, one tolerated by our fathers in the faith that it would soon die, endured as a necessary but transient evil, but which from toleration, soon claimed protection, from protection, equality, and from equality, supremacy; one deplored by the good, and destined to bring its terrible harvest upon us, remind