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1863 September 12: Let Wisconsin’s Answer be “FOR THE UNION UNTIL DEATH!”

September 15, 2013

Samuel S. Fifield’s editorial in the September 12, 1863, issue of The Polk County Press.

Country.

He that lives to-day—in this dark hour—has reason to thank God for it, because he can prove himself to be a man.  After nearly three years of war and bloodshed ;  after passing through a fiery furnace of trial ;  after facing the dark days of adversity, and standing face to face with a venomous foe for long and dreary months amid carnage and blood ;  after defeat and depression, have been lifted by the light of victory !  and the old flag been sustained through so mighty a struggle to save its honor and integrity ;  after all this, our loved country stands alone upon the rock, washed by the waves of discord and treason, which almost surrounds its foundation ;  we say truthfully, that he who lives to-day—has reason to thank God for it, because he can now prove himself to be a man.

Our Nation is soon to be restored, or to be lost.  The struggle which we are now engaged in for national life—like all others, must come to an end sometime, and that end is seemingly very near.  We, of the loyal North, who have everything dear to us at stake,—our homes, our honor, and our flag, must now prove ourselves to be MEN.

The Government needs the help of every man, not in the field alone, but in words of encouragement and assurances from us, the people, that it will be sustained in its efforts to suppress this Treason which has so nearly destroyed our land.  It wants new strength infused into its nightly arm, and appeals to us to stand by the flag of our fathers, in defense of Principle, Justice, and Liberty !

Will we do it?  Will we stand by the “Cradle of Liberty” which for eighty years rocked us in infancy and old age, in security and peace?  Will the people of the North stand firm ?  This question will be answered by the ballot box this fall, and will tell plainly what the Government has to expect in the way of support.  Already California sends greeting to the Capital,  “For the Union 23,000 strong,”  and the echo is caught up by the Green Mountains, and sends back “Vermont for the Union forever!”

Thus the answer comes, let it continue.  Light the liberty fires on the hilltops, and let Wisconsin’s answer be “FOR THE UNION UNTIL DEATH!”

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