American Civil War
Francis Lieber was the principal author of Lincoln’s General Orders, No. 100,—the basis of today’s Geneva Conventions—written for the purpose of prosecuting the Civil War as humanely as possible. Lieber, a strong Union supporter, had sons serving on both sides.
On Our Country and Her Flag.
Written in 1861, on the Raising of the Flag on Columbia College, New York, after the Attack on Fort Sumter.
WE do not hate our enemy—
May God deal gently with us all.
We love our land; we fight her foe;
We hate his cause, and that must fall.
Our country is a goodly land;
We’ll keep her alway whole and hale;
We’ll love her, live for her or die;
To fall for her is not to fail.
Our Flag! The Red shall mean the blood
We gladly pledge; and let the White
Mean purity and solemn truth,
Unsullied justice, sacred right.
Its Blue, the sea we love to plow,
That laves the heaven-united land,
Between the Old and Older World,
From strand, o’er mount and stream, to strand.
The Blue reflects the crowding stars.
Bright Union-emblem of the free;
Come, all of ye, and let it wave—
That floating piece of poetry.
Our fathers came and planted fields,
And manly Law, and schools and truth;
They planted Self-Rule, which we’ll guard,
By word and sword, in age, in youth.
Broad Freedom came along with them
On History’s ever-widening wings.
Our blessing this, our task and toil;
For “arduous are all noble things.”
Let Emp’ror never rule this land,
Nor fitful Crowd, nor senseless Pride.
Our Master is our self-made Law;
To him we bow, and none beside.
Then sing and shout for our free land,
For glorious FREELAND’S victory;
Pray that in turmoil and in peace
FREELAND our land may ever be;
That faithful we be found, and strong,
When History builds as corals build,
Or when she rears her granite walls—
Her moles with crimson mortar filled.