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1863 October 3: “Organize and marshal the grand phalanx of Wisconsin’s loyal men”

October 8, 2013

The following editorial, reprinted from the Madison (Wisconsin) State Journal, comes from the October 3, 1863, issue of The Prescott Journal.

There remains but little more than one month before the election.

Are the Union men of Wisconsin doing their whole duty?  Are they preparing to respond to Maine and California, with a voice clear and empathetic, declaring their unswervering purpose to sustain the Government in suppressing the rebellion, as has ascended from the thousands of those noble states?

The splendid majorities by which they have signified their inflexible resolve were not attained without labor.  Every Union man set at work.  It was by steady, systematic, untiring effort that the great result was accomplished.  Public meetings were held.  Loyal newspapers and Union documents were placed in the hands of every Union voter that could rend.  For many weeks before the election, those states rang from side to side with the noise of the conflict.

How is it with Wisconsin?

As yet there is hardly a ripple upon the surface to show that we are close upon an election involving issues never surpassed in weight or moment.  Be sure that your opponents are not idle?, The Copperhead is a quiet reptile.  if permitted to be, but a busy one.  The less discussion, the less excitement, the less interest among the masses, the better for his purposes.  The men who vote the Copperhead ticket are men that never loose [sic] an opportunity to vote.  The men that vote the Union are largely from the agricultural districts, and unless aroused to the importance of casting their votes, often neglect to go to the polls.

There is but one danger which threatens the Union ticket, but that is a great danger.  It is that the Union men will be lulled into a false security, and betrayed, by over confidence, into a fatal neglect of adopting the measures and employing the means to assure a great and beneficent success.

Let the alarm then be sounded !  Let every Unit a man gird up his loins and and [sic] devote himself to the necessary work.  Our State must speak this fall in no doubtful accents.  The wily foe, who is seeking to array it in hostility to the Federal Government, is now exulting over the lethargy which seems to prevail and grows hopeful of accomplishing his infamous purpose.  The unconditionally loyal masses of the State have but to arouse and bestir themselves to turn his exultation into sorrow had his hope into despair.  Let the work begin at once.—The month of October should be made vocal with their rallying cries.  There is no time to be lost.  Union men, Republicans and War Democrats put the bail in motion.

Hold meetings in every ward and school district, and set all the local speakers at work !

At least at one central point in every county, let there be a grand rally of the people during the coming month, where the ablest Union speakers that can be procured may meet and address them.

Extend the circulation of loyal newspapers, and see that they are brought within the reach of every voter that can read.

Organize Union Clubs and Leagues.

Canvas thoroughly every district ;  learn the views of every voter ;  enlighten and reclaim the doubtful and erring ;  and prepare for rallying every Union man to the polls on the 3d of November.

There are five weeks yet for work.— Let them be wisely and energetically employed.  For two years past the policy of a quiet canvas has been tried, and by its enervating influence the State has narrowly escaped falling under the control of the Copperhead allies of treason.  The Union cause has everything to lose, by a bold, vigorous and thorough discussion before the people of the questions at issue between parties.  Let us challenge them to the proof.  Fling out the starry flag of the Union to the breeze, sound the rallying cry, organize and marshal the grand phalanx of Wisconsin’s loyal men, and move immediately upon the enemy’s works! —State Journal

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