an essential to the legitimacy of arty establishment, to reaffirm the doctrine of Franklin
of the inherent right of a people to abolish and withdraw from a government which had ceased for them to subserve the purposes for which formed; to commit no aggressions, to make no demands outside of their own territory, but to assert and exercise the reserved rights of every party to a violated contract, the right to cease membership in a union which was no longer administered by the letter or spirit of the Constitution
which created and defined its powers, and to erect within their own borders a structure adapted to their needs, consistent with their political views, and preservation of their domestic rights and institutions.
Thus, one by one, with deliberation and dignity, the States of that vanished country decided.
They proclaimed their decrees of separation in solemn form, declared their pacific purposes, justified their action in almost the very language which the colonies addressed to Great Britain
in 1776; and then assembled at Montgomery
to launch a new ship of state upon the sea of experiment.
The answer (for the episode of Fort Sumter
has no significance in determining the question of overt aggression), was the calm of a right and the announcement of a purpose to coerce by force of arms the submission of the seceding States to the bonds of union and the authority of the government at Washington
So the issue was joined!
And so there came a time in that far-off country (our time my comrades), when the god of battle was involved against usurpation and armed invasion; and when all the blossom of youth and flower of manhood in that fair land, rallied to a flag which stood for constitutional liberty as the fathers of the republic had asserted and defined—and against despotic rule and coercion by the bayonet as George the Third had exercised.
Then came the splendor of heroic deeds, the dedication of an entire people, their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor, upon the altar of sacrifice.
The glory of fleeting victory, snatched from the very jaws of opposing fate!
The pathetic spectacle of transcendent genius and almost superhuman valor fighting like Sisera, against the stars in their courses!
The tender beauty of woman's ministrations and the brave, sweet faces which masked their aching hearts!
The uplifting of souls to self-oblivion!
The delirium of the headlong charge!
The superb record of constancy, loyalty and endurance, which lent a rainbow's lustre to those bloody annals!