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(title page) Liquor and Lincoln
between 1861 and 1865
Call number 4739 Conf. (Rare Book Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
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digitization project, Documenting the American South.
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From the Lincoln ursurpation, every lover of Constitutional liberty desires to be free. And every honest patriot, no matter how ardently attached to the Old Union he may have been, now freely offers his life and property, if need be, to secure that freedom. But ardent wishes and patriotic resolves--loud professions of attachment to our Southern Republic, and boastful acclamations of what we can, and mean to do will never secure our independence. God reigns and rules supremely, over nations and individuals alike; and He will permanently prosper no cause, the advocates of which are guilty of a constant disregard of his laws or authority. This He has proclaimed in his Holy Book, and ignore it as we may, it is inexorably true and certain. At one period of our struggle, the God of heaven beheld a nation on its knees, and in answer to their earnest prayers, His unseen hand was outstretched to direct and support our struggling troops on the bloody plains of Manassas, and lead them to victory. But since that memorable day, our people have become vainglorious and boastful--our soldiers profane and licentious; and now God has deserted us, and the tide of fortune has changed, and we are in danger of being overrun. Officers and privates--church members and worldlings, gather around the festive board, and spend the hours and days, in drinking, gambling, and too often, alas! In obscene and profane jocularity. The man who raises his stalwart arm to break the shackles which an earthly Despot would impose on this sunny South, now bows at the shrine of Bacchus, and sells himself to a Despot, who has enslaved both soul and body. While he refuses to submit to the authority of one, who can do no more, that destroy body and property--he is paying his devotions to another, who will do no less than destroy his body and property here, and his immortal soul in hell! And all this is
done, under the specious plea, that whiskey, "prevents disease, increases the energies, protects against cold and heats, AND IS ADVANTAGEOUS TO AN ARMY ABOUT TO ENGAGE IN BATTLE!" In a brief article, it is impossible to give the evidence, which is in the possession of every respectably intelligent physician, to establish the folly and falsehood of these declarations. Suffice it to say, that carefully collected and arranged statistics, prepared by the sanitary officers of the British army through a space of thirty years, establish the following facts:
1. That the Total Abstinence regiments, can endure more labor, more cold, more heat, more exposure, and more privations than those who have their regular grog rations.
2. That they are less liable to fevers, fluxes, pleurisies, colds, chills, rheumatisms, jaundice aud cholera than other regiments.
3. That when attacked by any of these diseases their recovery is much more certain and speedy.
4. That they are much more readily aroused from the effects of concussions and severe wounds, and are far less liable to lockjaw or mortification after wounds.
5. That only about six in the temperance regiments die, from all causes, to ten of the other regiments.
These facts are collected from various fields of observation--from Africa, Canada, Greenland, India, the East Indias, West Indias, and the Crimea. And facts as these are worth all the theories and conjectures, which may be spun out in a thousand years, by the unreliable, and unconsciously suborned witnesses of King Alcohol. For it is the easiest matter in the world for any man to convince himself, that whatever he wishes to do is really the best thing he can do.
How sad it is to reflect, that fathers and mothers have sent their sons into the army of independence, to be watched over and protected by faithful and competent officers, and those officers should become the instruments of initiating these ingenuous youths into the vices of drinking and gambling? And yet it is no less true than sad.
But how is it that "a little whiskey is beneficial to an army about to engage in battle?" Medical writers tell us; that it increases thirst, unduly excites the mind and body for a time, to be speedily followed by a corresponding depression. It can not then be of any benefit physically. The soldier
has to obey the orders of his officers, and his obedience is rather mechanical than intellectual. So it must be alone morally beneficial! But have the defenders of the South so far degenerated already, as to require the aid of whiskey to arouse them to a sense of their obligations to country, friends and home? Have they no higher incentive to action than low, brute passion, which is alone excited by whiskey? Heed they not the appeals of oppressed sons and daughters from every Southern State, who have been driven from their homes by the cruel invader? Do they feel no patriotic impulse animating their souls, and nerving their arms to strike for the honor and liberty of mothers, wives, sisters and daughters, and all that the heart holds dear, unless they are under the influence of whiskey? Is it possible that State pride--love of home and country, a high sense of honor and a patriotic devotion to principle, are not enough to nerve every arm and fir every heart, without the aid of whiskey? Oh! Shame upon my countrymen if this be so!
Better had we lowed the neck to Lincoln's yoke, than made ourselves the willing slaves of groveling passions, and depraved appetites. All the honors and glories of a hundred battles fought and won, cannot efface from the fair escutcheon of the South, this foul and degrading moral pollution. Nor, so long as it lasts, can the prayers of all the saints, and the blood and fat of all the goats and bullocks from a thousand hill, propitiate the favor of heaven, or secure in our behalf the interposition of a benignant Providence.
This evil must be abated--this nefarious habit must be broken, or our liberties will be lost, and our country ruined. No wonder the bones of thousands of our brave defenders have been left to bleach on their native hills, when drunken ignoramuses, under the appellation of "Surgeon," have delt them more numerous and deadly blows than the missiles of the enemy. No wonder that disasters have befallen our arms, when in defiance of the mandates of heaven and the melting appeals of suffering humanity, reeling inebriates, are appointed to lead our brave cohorts to the charge. No wonder that God has forsaken us when we raise the puny arm of rebellion against his authority, and proclaim, that we will not have this man, Christ Jesus, to reign over us. Nor should any one wonder to see our fields desolated during
the present year by blighting droughts, when we are consuming the bountiful supplies of Providence, in past years, in "distilled damnation," to destroy the souls and bodies of our people!
Every thing worthy of a manly consideration in our land demands of our people, our army and our Government to abate this evil. The mothers and maidens from very hill and vale in the South, demand it. The thousands of treasure squandered by drinking, drunken, stupid, thoughtless, callous legislators demand it. The alarming increase of bloody crime in the capital of the Confederacy demands it. The waining fortunes of bleeding Liberty, as she bends with weeping eyes over her struggling sons, demand it. The present welfare and future hopes of the entire South, in earnest and eloquent tones, importunately and imperiously demand it. The clouds of ghosts wrested daily from the bodies of our brave defenders by this monster evil, pointing to their bleaching bones as they lie scattered by every by-path of the army, demand it. Our duty to ourselves, our country and our God demands it. "For if a nation forsakes the statutes and commandments of God," he has declared, "he will cast them out of his sight and make them a proverb and a by-word among all nations. And to him who asks, why bath the Lord done this unto this land, it shall be answered because they forsook the Lord God, therefore hath he brought all this evil upon them." "But if you will call upon my name," saith Jehovah, "humble yourselves, pray and seek my face and turn from your wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, forgive your sins, and heal your land." WHAT GOD SPEAKETH, LET A STRUGGLING NATION HEED!
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