“You will please constantly to bear in mind the precise issue for which we are fighting; that issue is the preservation of the Union and the restoration of the full authority of the general government over all portions of our territory. We shall most readily suppress this rebellion and restore the authority of the government by religiously respecting the constitutional rights of all. I know that I express the feelings and opinion of the President when I say that we are fighting only to preserve the integrity of the Union and the constitutional authority of the general government.”
– General George Brinton McClellan,
7 November 1861 –
Source: McClellan, George Brinton. “Letter from George Brinton McClellan to Don Carlos Buell, November 7, 1861,” in Letter of the Secretary of War, Transmitting Report on the Organization of the Army of the Potomac, and of its Campaigns in Virginia and Maryland (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1864).
Image Credit: Frank Leslie’s The Soldier in Our Civil War.