THE FIRST GUN IS FIRED  

 

The following spirited lyric, composed and set to music by George F. Root was read at a Union meeting in Chicago, April 16, 1861. It was read at Aledo Court House in Mercer County on Friday evening, April 19, and was just one of many stirring songs that spurred the Mercer County boys to action. It was published in the Aledo Weekly Record, April 23, 1861:
 
  "May God protect the Right!" Let the free-born sons of the North arise In power's avenging might! Shall the glorious Union our Fathers made By ruthless hands be sundered? And we of Freedom's sacred rights By trait'rous foes be plundered? Arise! Arise! Arise! And gird ye for the fight! And let our watchword ever be "May God protect the Right!" The first gun is fired! Its echoes thrill the land, And with bounding heart the patriot throng Now firmly take their stand. We will bow no more to the tyrant few Who scorn our long forbearing; But with Columbia's stars and stripes We'll quench their trait'rous daring. Arise! Arise! Arise! And gird ye for the fight! And let our watch-word ever be "May God protect the Right!" The first gun is fired! Oh! heed the signal well, And the thunder-tone as it rolls along Shall sound Oppressing's knell. For the arm of Freedom is mighty still Its strength shall fail no never; That strength we'll give to our righteous sense And our glorious land forever. Arise! Arise! Arise! And gird ye for the fight! And let our watchword ever be "May God protect the Right!" Pursuant to call, the citizens of Mercer County met at the Court House in Aledo on Monday, April 22d (1861) for the purpose of taking some action in relation to the affairs of the nation. The meeting was called to order by Col. W. D. Henderson; George Simms of North Henderson was elected President and J. H. Reed of Aledo was appointed Secretary. The throne of Divine Grace was addressed by the Rev. J. S. Poage, after which the band executed a National air.

A committee of one from each township drew up a resolution (for a complete copy, please refer to the web site maintaned by Nadine Holder.

Patriotic remarks were made by W. L. Campbell, Dr. E. P. Wood,J. H. Reed, Rev. J. S. Poage, and G. B. Burnett. A committee was appointed to draw up some plan whereby the resolution could be carried out. The committee consisted of:

Keithsburg - R. C. Cabeen
New Boston - James Thompson
Eliza - D. F. Noble
Abington - Frederick Frick
Millersburg - R. Kiddoo
Duncan - A. R. Sutton
Ohio Grove - W. I. Nevius
Mercer - J. McCoy
Perryton - J. G. Gilmore
Suez - Charles Caldwell
Greene - Wm. M. Carnahan
Pre Emption - H(?). M. Boone
North Henderson - Thomas Jones
Rivoli - J. W. Mills
Richland Grove - E. S. Roberts

All the above proceedings were interspersed by patriotic music eloquently discoursed by the New Boston Band, and the meeting adjourned by singing the "Star Spangled Banner." Aledo Weekly Record April 30, 1861  

NOTE:  Nadine Holder has volunteered to help with lookups for those men in the Civil War from Mercer County. She has books with information for those not in regular Union Regiments, and⁄or that joined units outside the State of Illinois. Since she is doing lookups in other things besides the Civil War, be patient because she is doing other things.   Please, don't forget to thank her!

 

 

   

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