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On a sunny March 4, 1861, 30,000 spectators gathered in front of the East Portico of the Capitol to witness Chief Justice Roger Taney administer the oath of office to Abraham Lincoln.  They heard the new president speak the following words:

I hold that in contemplation of universal law and of the Constitution the Union of these States is perpetual.  Perpetuity is implied, if not expressed, in the fundamental law of all national governments.  It is safe to assert that no government proper ever had a provision in its organic law for its own termination. . . .  

Again: If the United States be not a government proper, but an association of States in the nature of contract merely, can it, as a contract, be peaceably unmade by less than all the parties who made it? One party to a contract may violate it—break it, so to speak—but does it not require all to lawfully rescind it? . . .

But if destruction of the Union by one or by a part only of the States be lawfully possible, the Union is less perfect than before the Constitution, having lost the vital element of perpetuity.

It follows from these views that no State upon its own mere motion can lawfully get out of the Union; that resolves and ordinances to that effect are legally void, and that acts of violence within any State or States against the authority of the United States are insurrectionary or revolutionary, according to circumstances.

From April 12, 1861, when the Confederates attacked Fort Sumter, until September 22, 1862, when President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, Union troops fought and bled and died for one reason and one reason alone - for the Union - for the principle that no state "can lawfully get out of the Union."

These are the major battles, followed by the numbers of dead, wounded and captured Union soldiers, where more Union casualties exceeded 1,000, when the sole cause was the preservation of the Union from secessionists:

1st Manassas - 2,950
Wilson's Creek - 1,235
Fort Donelson - 2,331
Pea Ridge - 1,349
Shiloh - 13,047
Winchester - 2,019
Seven Pines - 5,739
Port Republic - 1,002
Gaines Mill - 6,800
Savage Station - 4,700
Glendale - 2,700
Malvern Hill - 3,214
Cedar Mountain - 1,400
2nd Manassas - 13,830
Richmond, Ky - 4,900
Chantilly - 1,300
Harpers Ferry - 12,476
South Mountain - 1,800
Monfordville - 4,148
Antietam - 23,100

The Alaska Independence Party is an insult to every American with one or more ancestors who fought and bled during the Civil War to preserve a united, United States of America.  And this group is an insult to every one of us who since those days has worn the uniform of our great country.

What would the Republican Abraham Lincoln think of is party's vice presidential nominee?

Originally posted to Navy Vet Terp on Tue Sep 02, 2008 at 03:29 PM PDT.

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