Monday, June 19, 2006

"They are armed, and have been accustomed from their youth up to handle and use fire-arms...

"That war has demonstrated, that upon the breaking out of hostilities not anticipated, and for which no previous preparation had been made, a volunteer army of citizen soldiers equal to veteran troops, and in numbers equal to any emergency, can in a short period be brought into the field. Unlike what would have occurred in any other country, we were under no necessity of resorting to draughts or conscriptions. On the contrary, such was the number of volunteers who patriotically tendered their services, that the chief difficulty was in making selections and determining who should be disappointed and compelled to remain at home. Our citizen-soldiers are unlike those drawn from the population of any other country. They are composed indiscriminately of all professions and pursuits: of farmers, lawyers, physicians, merchants, manufacturers, mechanics, and laborers; and this, not only among the officers, but the private soldiers in the ranks. Our citizen-soldiers are unlike those of any other country in other respects. They are armed, and have been accustomed from their youth up to handle and use fire-arms; and a large proportion of them, especially in the western and more newly-settled States, are expert marksmen."
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- President JAMES K. POLK, Washington, December 5, 1848, Journal of the Senate of the United States of America

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