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As a nation, we began by declaring that "All men are created equal." We now practically read it, "All men are created equal, except Negroes." Soon, it will read "All men are created equal, except Negroes, and Foreigners and Catholics." When it comes to this, I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty. To Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.
[Reacting to the Confederate Government's move to have African American Slaves serve as soldiers in the Army]
Senator Howell Cobb:
You cannot make soldiers of slaves, or slaves of soldiers. The day you make a soldier of them is the beginning of the end of the Revolution. And if slaves seem good soldiers, then our whole theory of slavery is wrong.
A week before the battle of Bull Run, Sullivan Ballou, a major in the 2nd Rhode Island Volunteers, wrote home to his wife in Smithfield.
July 14, 1861. Washington, D.C. Dear Sarah, indications are very strong that we shall move in a few days-perhaps tomorrow. Lest I should not be able to write again, I feel impelled to write a few lines that may fall under your eye when I'm no more. I have no misgivings about, or lack of confidence in, the cause in which I'm engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter. I know how American Civilization now leans upon the triumph of the Government, and how great a debt we owe to those who went before us through the Revolution. And I am willing, perfectly willing, to lay down all the joys in this life, to help maintain this Government and to pay that debt. Sarah, my love for you is deathless. It seems to bind me with mighty cables that nothing but Omnipotence can break. Yet my love of Country comes over me like a strong wind, bearing me irresistibly with all these chains to the battlefield. The memories of all the blissful moments I've enjoyed with you come crowding over me. And I feel most deeply grateful to God and you that I've enjoyed them for so long. How hard it is to give them up and burn to ashes the hopes of future years, when God willing, we might still have lived and loved each other and seen our boys grown to honorable manhood around us. If I do not return, my dear Sarah, never forget how much I loved you. Nor that when my last breath escapes me on the battlefield, it will whisper your name. Forgive my many faults and the many pains I have caused you. How thoughtless, how foolish I have sometimes been. But, oh, Sarah, if the dead can come back to this earth and flit unseen around those they love, I'll always be with you; in the brightest day and the darkest night, always. Always. And when the soft breeze fans your cheek, it shall be my breath. Or the cool air at your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by. Sarah, do not mourn me dead. Think I am gone, and wait for me, for we shall meet again.
Sullivan Ballou was killed a week later at the First Battle of Bull Run.
Elisha Hunt Rhodes:
This afternoon, seeing the general alone in the office, I stepped up to him and said, "General, I want to go home." "Want to go home, and for what?" he said. Unable to think of an answer, I blurted out. "I want to see my mother." "Is she sick?" he asked. "No," I replied, "I hope not." He asked me how long I had been away from home and if I was ever away for so long a time before. I told him I had been in the service for seven months and had never been away from home before.
Secretary Of State William H. Seward hoped to replace Lincoln. Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase wanted to replace Seward. Mary Todd told her husband to get rid of both of them. Instead, Lincoln fired War Secretary Simon P. Cameron, a Pennsylvania boss so corrupt said Lincoln, "The only thing he wouldn't steal was a red hot stove."
Herself - Historian:
It is *the* event in American history in that it is the moment that made the United States as a nation. And I mean that in different ways. The United States was obviously a nation when it adopted the Constitution, but it adopted a Constitution that required a war to be sorted out, and therefore required a war to make a real nation out of what was a theoretical nation as it was designed at the Constitutional Convention.
Himself - Writer:
Before the War, it was said 'the United States are'. Grammatically it was spoken that way and thought of as a collection of independent states. And after the War, it was always, 'the United States is,' as we say today without being self-conscious a'tall. And that sums up what the War accomplished. It made us an 'is'.
Let me tell you what is coming. After the sacrifice of countless millions of treasure and hundreds of thousands of lives, you may win southern independence, but I doubt it. The north is determined to preserve this union. They are not a fiery, impulsive people as you are, for they live in colder climates, but when they begin to move in a given direction, they move with move with the steady momentum and perseverance of a mighty avalanche.
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