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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

July 04, 1861

Editorial Contrasted July 4, 1861 with July 4, 1776

The Daily Constitutionalist of Augusta printed an editorial contrasting - and equating - this independence day with the same date in 1776.

Independence Day. Eighty-five years ago to-day, the people of the thirteen original colonies declared themselves free and independent of the tyranny with which they home Government had oppressed them. In that enduring instrument-the Declaration of Independence-the wrongs of the oppressed colonies were plainly and emphatically stated-and the great principles which are the foundation of self-government were clearly laid down. Eighty-five years ago to-day that instrument was adopted, fresh from the hands of its illustrious author-and proclaimed to the world as the embodiment of the principles which were to govern the new-born nation. Eight-five years have passed away since that time, and with them have passed away the grand structure of government which was built upon the Declaration of Independence. That structure has crumbled into ruins, and the 4th day of July, 1861, finds a portion of its people battling, as they were on the 4th day of July, 1776, for Constitutional liberty and the right of self-government. The tyranny of the majority of to-day, is but a repetition of the tyranny of a government in 1776, and with the assistance of kind Heaven, we shall achieve in this revolution, as our fathers did on the first, a glorious victory. The struggle may be a long and bloody one, or it may be brief and comparatively harmless-but we cannot, for one moment, doubt as to the result. Providence has already favored our arms on every field of conflict, and a continued trust in His guidance, and a prayerful faith in His protection, will give to our own strong arms and willing hearts renewed energy, and increased devotion in the cause of our beloved country. Let us, then, commemorate the day by no noisy demonstrations-by none of the pageantry of the past; but rather by silent tokens of respect for the memories which it brings, and the great principles which [it] recalls. Let us renew our patriotic devotion to our country, and our fealty to the cause of Constitutional Liberty. Let us contribute, according to our means, to the good work of redeeming our land from the grasp of tyranny; and, above all, let us not forget our dependence upon the Supreme ruler of the Universe, and cease not to implore His continued protection to our cause and our country. Then, when the dark clouds, which now hang heavy over our young Confederacy, shall have passed away, and the bright sun of peace and prosperity shall once more shine over us-as we fondly hope it soon will-we may once more celebrate this glorious day with loud huzzas-with the roar of artillery, and the clangor of martial music-with military pageants, and oratorical displays-and not only this independence day, but with it the new independence day of the Confederate States of America.