University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The State of Wisconsin Collection

Page View

The history of Columbia County, Wisconsin, containing an account of its settlement, growth, development and resources; an extensive and minute sketch of its cities, towns and villages--their improvements, industries, manufactories, churches, schools and societies; its war record, biographical sketches, portraits of prominent men and early settlers; the whole preceded by a history of Wisconsin, statistics of the state, and an abstract of its laws and constitution and of the constitution of the United States

Butterfield, C. W.
V.--Wisconsin as a state,   pp. 52-109 PDF (28.8 MB)

Page 70

unwavering devotion to its interests and integrity." "The hopes,"
added the governor, most
eloquently, "of civilization and Christianity are suspended now upon
the answer to this question
of dissolution. The capacity for, as well as the right of, self-government
is to pass its ordeal,
and speculation to become certainty. Other systems have been tried, and have
failed; and all
along, the skeletons of nations have been strewn, as warnings and land-marks,
upon the great
highway of historic  overnment. Wisconsin is true, and her people steadfast.
 She will not
destroy the Union, nor consent that it shall be' done. Devised by great,
and wise, and good
men, in days of sore trial, it must stand. Like some bold mountain, at whose
base the great seas
break their angry floods, and around whose summit the thunders of a thousand
hurricanes have
rattled --strong, unmoved, immovable  so may our Union be, while treason
surges at its base,
and passions rage around it, unmoved, immovable -here let it stand forever."
These are the
words of an exalted and genuine patriotism. But the governor did not content
himself with
eloquence alone. He came down to matters of business as well. He urged the
necessity of
legislation that would give more efficient organization to the militia of
the State. He warned
the legislators to make preparations also for the coming time that should
try the souls of men.
"The signs of the times," said he, "indicate that there may
arise a contingency in the condition
of the government, when it will become necessary to respond to a call of
the National Government
for men and means to maintain the integrity of the Union, and to thwart the
designs of men
engaged in organized treason. While no unnecessary expense should be incurred,
yet it is the
part of wisdom, both for individuals and States, in revolutionary times,
to be prepared to defend
our institutions to the last extremity." It was thus the patriotic governor
gave evidence to the
members of both houses that he " scented the battle afar off."
     On the 16th of January, a joint resolution of the legislature was passed,
declaring that the
people of Wisconsin are ready to co-operate with the friends of the Union
every where for its
preservation, to yield a cheerful obedience to its requirements, and to demand
a like obedience
from all others; that the legislature of Wisconsin, profoundly impressed
with the value of the
Union, and determined to preserve it unimpaired, hail with joy the recent
firm, dignified and
patriotic special message of the president of the United States; that they
tender to him, through
the chief magistrate of their own State, whatever aid, in men and money,
may be required to
enable him to enforce the laws and uphold the authority of the Federal Government,
and in
defense of the more perfect Union, which has conferred prosperity and happiness
on the
American people. "Renewing," said they, "the pledge given
and redeemed by our fathers, we
are ready-to devote our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honors in upholding
the Union and
the constitution."
     The legislature, in order to put the State upon a kind of "war
footing," passed an act for
its defense, and to aid in enforcing the laws and maintaining the authority
of the General
Government. It was under this act that Governor Randall was enabled to organize
the earlier
regiments of Wisconsin. By it, in case of a call from the president of the
United States to aid
in maintaining the Union and the supremacy of the laws to suppress rebellion
or insurrection, or
to repel invasion within the United States, the governor was authorized to
provide, in the most
efficient manner, for responding to such call -to accept the services of
volunteers for service,
in companies of seventy-five men each, rank and file, and in regiments of
ten companies each,
and to commission officers for them.,  The governor was also authorized to
contract for
uniforms and equipments necessary for putting such companies into active
service.  One
hundred thousand dollars were appropriated for war- purposes; and bonds were
authorized to
be issued for that amount, to be negotiated by the:governor, for raising
funds. It will be seen,
therefore, that the exigencies of the times --for Fort Su-nter had not yet
been surrendered--

Go up to Top of Page