One of several patriotic prints issued by Currier & Ives in May 1861, closely following the Confederate bombardment of Fort Sumter and President Lincoln's appeal to the states for troops to suppress the rebellion. (See also "The Flag of Our Union" and "The Spirit of 61," nos. 1861-15 and 1861-16.) Issued in the North, these prints express a militant determination to preserve the Union.
"The Union Volunteer" shows a young Union soldier, holding a saber and the stars and stripes and trampling underfoot a Confederate flag which has fallen from a broken staff. Verses appear below the title:
"O'er Sumters walls "OUR FLAG" again we'll wave,
And give to traitors all a bloody grave.
"OUR UNION" and "OUR LAWS" maintain we must;
And treason's banner trample in the dust."
The New-York Historical Society owns another version of the print, issued the same year, where the soldier's face has been redrawn and his foot rests on a cannon.