Excerpt from Our Preparations for the War of 1846-8
It is certainly a grand sight when a nation of freemen, leav ing the plow and the pruning-hook at their country's call, go forth to fight her battles; and this has always been a favorite picture with our orators. If a possib... ility of war darkened the horizon, if a foreign nation required a warning, if the destiny of our ¿ag appeared to suggest some especially high emprise, they have pointed with lofty pride at the wall of brave men behind our seaports and the teeming millions of the Mississippi Valley. 80 they did, for example, when the difficulties with Mexico that led to the War of 1846-8 became acute, and it may not be amiss to observe just how brilliantly all expectations were realized. The problem, to be sure, was comparatively simple. We were not precisely at the bow-and arrow stage, but almost literally the ¿intlock-on-the-wall period still continued. Mostly our field guns threw six pound shot. Our armies were comparatively mere squads. The exhibition cannot therefore be as telling as it could be made today, of course; but it is worth while, none the less, to pass it brie¿y in review.
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