"To you is reserved a proud destiny. When the time comes that, from the source of the Father of Waters, you shall descend to where the fate of the nation is being decided, the solicitude and the love of the entire state will follow you. From this Capitol to the most remote frontier cottage, no heart but shall send up a prayer for your safety and success; no eye but shall follow with affection the flutterings of your banner as you cover it with glory. In your hands we feel the honor of our young state is safe. To you—and with firm faith—we commit its virgin and unsullied fame. When the troubles that now agitate the nation are past, when the Rebellion is suppressed, and when once more peace folds her white wings among us, you will return to receive that praise and gratitude which you have nobly earned; and, in after years, amid the avocations of your peaceful lives, men will point to you and say: “There is one who, when his country’s liberty was in danger, abandoned everything and rushed to her rescue. There is a soldier of the great army of freedom.”
We accept this flag as the emblem of the cause in which we have unsheathed our swords, and, with the help of the God of Battles, we will never allow them to return to their scabbards until treason shall be punished, and this flag, the union, and the Constitution be vindicated and made perpetual. I now accept it in the name of the gallant officers and men of the First Minnesota Regiment, and most solemnly make the pledge to our noble young state, and to her people, and to our fathers mothers sisters, brothers, wives, and children—in this presence—never to surrender it to a foe until its folds have been baptized in our blood. We shall carry it wherever duty calls until it shall please a kind Providence to restore peace to our country and us to the bosom of our homes.