E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Pegging Away (Keep).
Keep on attacking, and you will assuredly prevail. But screw your courage to the sticking-place, and well not fail (Macbeth). Patience and perseverance will overcome mountains. It was President Lincoln who gave this advice to the Federals in the American civil war.