On the part of America, there was not the most distant thought of subverting the government or of hurting the interest of the people of Great Britain; but of defending their own privileges from unjust encroachment; there was not the least desire of withdrawing their allegiance from the common sovereign [King George III] till it became absolutely necessary and indeed, it was his own choice.
Stand your ground. Don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here.
Militia Captain John Parker
And may the same kind Providence which has watched over this country from her infant state still enable us to defeat our enemies!
There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us.
Men in rags, men who froze,
Still that Army met its foes,
And the Army went rolling along.
Faith in God, then we're right,
And we'll fight with all our might,
As the Army keeps rolling along.
Stanza from official song of the U.S.Army
Edmund L. Gruber written and adapted by H.W.Arberg
Gruber is related to Franz Gruber, author of "Silent Night"
From Journal of Nicholas Cresswell, September 1776
"....Saw a Yankee put a pint of molasses into about a gallon of mutton broth. The army here is numerous, but ragged, dirty, sickly and ill-disciplined. If my countrymen are beaten by these ragamuffins I shall be much surprized..."
Official Hymn of the United States Army
God of Our Fathers
God of our fathers, whose almighty hand
Leads forth in beauty all the starry band
Of shining worlds in splendor through the skies
Our grateful songs before Thy throne arise.
Thy love divine hath led us in the past,
In this free land by Thee our lot is cast,
Be Thou our Ruler, Guardian, Guide and Stay,
Thy Word our law, Thy paths our chosen way.
Refresh Thy people on their toilsome way,
Lead us from night to never ending day;
Fill all our lives with love and grace divine,
And glory, laud, and praise be ever Thine.
Daniel C. Roberts
Blue of the Seven Seas;
Gold of God's great sun
Let these our colors be Till all of time be done-n-n-ne,
By Severn shore we learn Navy's stern call:
Faith, courage, service true With honor over, honor over all.
Anchors Aweigh Lieut. Charles A. Zimmermann, USN and Midshipman First Class Alfred Hart Miles
The last stanza was written by Midshipman Royal Lovell, Class of 1926
Official Hymn of the United States Navy
Strong to Save
Eternal Father, Strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bid'st the mighty Ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
O hear us when we cry to thee,
for those in peril on the sea.
O trinity of love and power
Our brethren shield in danger's hour.
From rock and tempest, fire and foe
Protect them wheresoe'er they go:
O hear us when we cry to thee
For those in peril on the sea.
Lyrics Reverend William Whiting and Music by Reverend John B. Dyke
wrongs are pressed because it is believed they will be borne, resistance becomes
Religious/Moral Behavior Required in the American Army and Navy
and Articles, for the better Government of the Troops . . . of the Twelve united
English Colonies of North America
Philadelphia: William and Thomas Bradford, 1775 Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress
Concerned about the moral condition of the army and navy, Congress took steps to see that Christian morality prevailed in both organizations. In the Articles of War governing the conduct of the Continental Army, Congress devoted three of the four articles in the first section to the religious nurture of the troops. Article 2 "earnestly recommended to all officers and soldiers to attend divine services." Punishment was prescribed for those who behaved "indecently or irreverently" in churches, including courts-martial, fines, and imprisonments. Chaplains who deserted their troops were to be court-martialed. Adopted, June 30, 1775; revised, September 20, 1776.
from the Journals of Congress, relative to the Capture and Condemnation of
Prizes, and filling out Privateers, together with the Rules and Regulations of
and Instructions to Private Ships of War Philadelphia: John Dunlap, 1776
Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (113)
Congress demanded that skippers of American ships make their men behave. The first article in Rules and Regulations of the Navy ordered all commanders "to be very vigilant . . . to discountenance and suppress all dissolute, immoral and disorderly practices." The second article required those same commanders "to take care, that divine services be performed twice a day on board, and a sermon preached on Sundays." Article 3 prescribed punishments for swearers and blasphemers: officers were to be fined and common sailors were to be forced "to wear a wooden collar or some other shameful badge of distinction."
Adopted on November 28, 1775
If fear is cultivated it will become
stronger, if faith is cultivated it will achieve mastery.
John Paul Jones
[W]hereas, to preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them; nor does it follow from this, that all promiscuously must go into actual service on every occasion. The mind that aims at a select militia, must be influenced by a truly anti-republican principle; and when we see many men disposed to practice upon it, whenever they can prevail, no wonder true republicans are for carefully guarding against it.
Federal Farmer, Antifederalist Letter, No.18, January 25, 1778
Sent it high into the blue
Hands of men blasted the world asunder,
How they lived God only knew!
Souls of men dreaming of skies to conquer
Gave us wings ever to soar,
With scouts before and bombers galore,
Nothing can stop the US Air Force!
Stanza from official Song of the US Air Force, Robert Crawford
The Marines Hymn
Here's health to you and to our Corps
Which we are proud to serve;
In many a strife we've fought for life
And never lost our nerve.
If the Army and the Navy
Ever look on Heaven's scenes,
They will find the streets are guarded
By the United States Marines.
In a chariot of light from
the regions of day,
The Goddess of Liberty came;
Ten thousand celestials directed the way,
And thither conducted the dame,
This fair budding branch, from the garden above,
Where millions with millions agree;
She bro't in her hand, as a pledge of her love,
The plant she call'd Liberty Tree.
This celestial exotic struck deep in the ground,
Like a native it flourish'd and bore;
The fame of its fruit, drew the nations around,
To seek out its peaceable shore.
Unmindful of names or distinction they came,
For freemen like brothers agree:
With one spirit endow'd, they one friendship pursued,
And their temple was Liberty Tree.
Beneath this fair branch, like the patriarchs of old,
Their bread, in contentment they eat;
Unwearied with trouble, of silver or gold,
Or the cares of the grand and the great.
With timber and tar, the old England supplied,
Supported her power on the seas;
Her battles they fought, without having a groat,
For the honor of Liberty Tree.
But hear, O ye swains, ('tis a tale the most profane)
How all they tyrannical powers,
King, Commons, and Lords are uniting amain,
To cut down this guardian of ours;
From the east to the west, blow the trumpet to arms,
Thro' the land let the sound of it flee,
Let the far and the near, all unite with a cheer,
In defense of our Liberty Tree.
A naval flag known as the "Liberty Tree" flag flown by American ships in New England waters in 1775. The land forces flag read "An Appeal to God." see: http://www.ushistory.org/betsy/flagpics.html
To sink the foe
or save the maimed
Our mission and our pride
We'll carry on 'til Kingdom Come
Ideals for which we've died.
We're always ready for the call,
We place our trust in Thee.
Through howling gale and shot and shell,
To win our victory. From Semper Paratus (Always Ready)
The United States Coast Guard Theme Song
Day is done
Gone the sun
From the Lakes
From the hills
From the sky.
All is well,
God is nigh.
Dims the sight
And a star
Gems the sky,
Falls the night.
Thanks and praise,
For our days,
'Neath the sun,
'Neath the stars,
'Neath the sky,
As we go,
This we know,
God is nigh.
Duty is ours; results are God's.
John Quincy Adams
An honorable Peace is and always was my first wish! I can take no delight in the effusion of human Blood; but, if this War should continue, I wish to have the most active part in it.
John Paul Jones
Peter Brown, born in Newport, R.I., in 1753, was a son of William Brown and a descendant of the Peter Brown who came over on the Mayflower. The second Peter fought during the Revolution. Following are words taken from a letter he wrote to his mother in June 1775,
"But God in mercy to us fought our battle for us and altho' we were but few and so were suffered to be defeated by them, we were preserved in a most wonderful manner far beyond expectation, to admiration, for out of our regiment there was about 37 killed, 4 or 5 taken captive, and about 47 wounded....If we should be called into action again I hope to have courage and strength to act my part valiantly in defence of our liberties and our country, trusting in Him who hath yet kept me and hath covered my head in the date of battle, and tho' we have lost 4 of our company and our Lieutenant's thigh broke and he taken captive by the cruel enemies of America, I was not suffered to be toutched altho' I was in the fort till the Regulars came in and I jumped over the walls, and ran for about half a mile where balls flew like hailstones and cannons roared like thunder."
Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in
almost every kingdom of Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce
unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and
constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any
pretence, raised in the United States.
Noah Webster, An Examination into the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution, 1787
It is important also to consider, that the surest means of
avoiding war is to be prepared for it in peace.
Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution, 1833
Laws that forbid the carrying of arms... disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.
Cesare Beccaria, On Crimes and Punishment, quoted by Thomas Jefferson in Commonplace Book, 1774-1776
Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? It is feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American...the unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.
A Pennsylvanian, The Pennsylvania Gazette, February 20, 1788
When the resolution of enslaving America was formed in
Great Britain, the British Parliament was advised by an artful man, who was
governor of Pennsylvania, to disarm the people; that it was the best and most
effectual way to enslave them; but that they should not do it openly, but weaken
them, and let them sink gradually, by totally disusing and neglecting the
George Mason, speech in the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 14, 1778
What, Sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty. Whenever governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins.
A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves ... and include all men capable of bearing arms.
Richard Henry Lee
Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man gainst his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American...[T]he unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.
Tenche Coxe, The Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788
The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.
Americans [have] the right and advantage of being armed, unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust their people with arms.
A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball, and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be your constant companion of your walks. Thomas Jefferson to Peter Carr, 1785. The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, (Memorial Edition) Lipscomb and Bergh, editors.
One loves to possess arms, though they hope never to have occasion for them. Thomas Jefferson to George Washington, 1796. The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, (Memorial Edition) Lipscomb and Bergh, editors.
Laws that forbid the carrying of arms... disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man. Jefferson's "Commonplace Book," 1774_1776, quoting from On Crimes and Punishment, by criminologist Cesare Beccaria, 1764
No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. Thomas Jefferson, Proposed Virginia Constitution, 1776, Jefferson Papers 344.
Official National Rifle Association of America Home Page
Engraving depicting Ethan Allen demanding the surrender of Fort Ticonderoga
When told to surrender his fort, Captain Delaplace, Commandant at Fort Ticonderoga, New York, on May 10, 1775, asked, "By whose authority do you act?"
Ethan Allen stepped back, held his sword up, and replied, "In the name of the great Jehovah, and the Continental Congress!"
This image is in the public domain because its copyright has expired in the United States and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years or less.
First, I think it proper to express my unshaken opinion of the immortality of my soul or mind; and to dedicate and devote the same to the supreme head of the Universe to that great and tremendous Jehovah, Who created the universal frame of nature, worlds, and systems in number infinite . . . To this awfully sublime Being do I resign my spirit with unlimited confidence of His mercy and protection. From Will of Henry Knox, Revolutionary War General, Secretary of War
[F]irst, I give my soul to a holy, sovereign God Who gave it in humble hope of a blessed immortality through the atonement and righteousness of Jesus Christ and the sanctifying grace of the Holy Spirit. My body I commit to the earth to be buried in a decent Christian manner. I fully believe that this body shall, by the mighty power of God, be raised to life at the last day; for this corruptable (sic) must put on incorruption and this mortal must put on immortality. [I Corinthians 15:53] From Will of Rufus Putnam, Revolutionary War General, First Surveyor General of the United States
Military Records of the American Revolution
The thing that separates the American Christian from every other person on earth is the fact that he would rather die on his feet, than live on his knees!
"Evacuation day" and Washington's triumphal entry in
New York City, Nov. 25th, 1783. Lithograph by E. P. & L. Restein, 1879.
Reproduction number: LC-USZC4-737 (color film copy transparency)
During the Revolutionary War, Washington rode two horses that we know of. His favorite mount, especially in time of action, was Nelson. The other horse was a light bluish gray, almost white, named Blue Skin.
America has furnished to the world the character of Washington. And if our American institutions had done nothing else, that alone would have entitled them to the respect of mankind.
Completion of Bunker Hill Monument, June 17, 1843. Daniel Webster
He is that fallen lance that lies as hurled,
That lies unlifted now, come dew, come rust,
But still lies pointed as it ploughed the dust.
If we who sight along it round the world,
See nothing worthy to have been its mark,
It is because like men we look too near,
Forgetting that as fitted to the sphere,
Our missiles always make too short an arc.
They fall, they rip the grass, they intersect
The curve of earth, and striking, break their own;
They make us cringe for metal-point on stone.
But this we know, the obstacle that checked
And tripped the body, shot the spirit on
Further than target ever showed or shone.
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