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T 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 have 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.
PREFAT0 RY NOTES.
ATRIOTISM is the love of country. It has ever been recognized 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. It was 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
PREFATORY NOTES, 7
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 all 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 know, as some past recollection tugs at your heart-strings. The free 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 ©o 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 highest 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 altars 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 government 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 minister 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,