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perhaps fight on the side of the rebellion.* There was in the tone of a portion of the Northern press, and in the speeches of some of the Northern democrats, much to encourage this idea, and some leading republican papers were at least ambiguous on the subject. There was, however, one prominent man from Massachusetts, who had united with the rebel leaders in support of Breckinridge, who sought to dispel this idea. This was Benjamin F. Butler, who came to Washington, to know of his old political associates what it meant? “It means,” said his Southern friends, “separation, and a Southern Confederacy. We will have our independence, and establish a Southern Government, with no discordant elements."

“Are you prepared for war," said Butler.
“Oh! there will be no war; the North will not fight.”

“ The North will fight. The North will send the last man, and expend the last dollar to maintain the government,” said Butler.

“But,” said his Southern friends, “the north can't fight, we have too many allies there."

“You have friends," said Butler, “in the North, who will stand by you so long as you fight your battles in the Union ; but the moment you fire on the flag, the Northern people will be a unit against you.” “ And,” added Butler, “you may be assured if war comes, slavery ends.Butler, sagacious and true, became satisfied that war was inevitable. With the boldness and directness which has ever marked his character, he went to Buchanan, and advised the arrest of the commissioners sent by the seceding states, and their trial for treason. This advice was as characteristic of Butler to give, as of Buchanan to disregard.

During the last months of Buchanan's administration, there was a struggle between the conspirators in his cabinet, and the honest men-Dix, who had replaced Cobb as Secretary of

* Ex President Pierce in a letter to Jefferson Davis, dated January 6th, 1860, among other things said: “If through the madness of Northern abolitionists, that dire calamity, (disruption of the Union,) must come, the fighting will not be along Mason and Dixon's line merely. It will be within our own borders, in our own streets between the two classes of citizens to whom I have referred. Those who defy law, and scout Constitutional obligation, will, if we ever reach the arbitrament of arms, find occupation enough at home!" Such a letter is sufficiently significant.

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the Treasury; Holt, who had replaced Floyd, as Secretary of War; and Stanton, who had replaced Black as Attorney General; Black having been called to the department of State, on the indignant retirement of Gen. Cass from that position, when Buchanan refused to reinforce Anderson at Moultrie.

When Lincoln entered upon his duties as President, such had been the misrepresentation of the speakers and press in the Southern States, that the people regarded him as a savage monster, in form and in character.

The following incidents will illustrate this feeling.

A distinguished South Carolina lady, the widow of a Northern scholar, proud, aristocratic, and conscious of the blood of all the Howards," and to whom Lincoln had been represented as a demon, half ape and half tiger, the very devil himself-called upon him at Willard's Hotel, just before his

inauguration. The President elect came into the parlor accompanied by senators Hale, Seward, and others, prominent members of Congress. As she approached, (she was nearly as tall as the President, she hissed in his ear, “ South

, Carolinian!” He turned and addressed her with the greatest courtesy and gentlemanly politeness. After listening to him a few moments, astonished, she said to him :

“ Mr. Lincoln, you look, act, and speak like a humane, kind and benevolent man!” He replied, “Did you take me for a savage, madam ?"

Certainly, I did,” said she. Such was the impression his genial, benevolent nature made upon her, that she said to him, “ Mr. Lincoln, the best way for you to preserve peace is to go to Charleston, and show the people what you are, and tell them you have no intention of injuring them.” She went home, and entering a room, where were assembled a partyof secessionists from South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama, exclaimed as she entered, “I have seen him ! I have seen him!” “ Who?" enquired they. “ That terrible monster, Lincoln, and what is more, I am going to his first levee.” The evening of the reception arrived, and dressing herself in a black velvet dress, with two long white plumes in her hair, this tall daughter of South Carolina repaired to the White House. Being nearly six feet high, with black hair, black eyes, a Calhoun

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or Cataline face, (as her friends called it,) in her velvet robes, with her long, white plumes, she was a very striking and majestic figure. As she approached the President, he recognized her instantly. “Here I am again,” said she, « that South Carolinian.” “I am glad to see you,” said he, “and I assure you that the first object of my heart is to preserve peace, and I wish every son and daughter of South Carolina were here, that I might tell them so." Meeting Mr. Cameron, Secretary of War, “South Carolina is the Prodigal Son,” said he. She replied instantly, “Ah, Mr. Secretary, but “The father divided the inheritance and let him go, but they say you are going to inakewar on Carolina."

, In the light of to-day how aptly Mr. Cameron might have replied, that the “ Prodigal son, after having spent his portion in riotous living, would arise, and go to his father;" and he might have prophecied, that when the seceding States “had spent all, and there should arise a mighty famine in the land,“they would be compelled to say, “We will arise and go unto our father and say, Father, we have sinned against Heaven and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son, make us

one of thy hired servants.” The parable has been literally fulfilled. The people of the South after spending their all in the war, came to Washington and said to the President, “ We are no more worthy to be called thy sons, make us as hired servants." But the President, with a wisdom as yet very questionable, when the rebel states were yet “a great way off, had compassion on them, and ran out to meet them, and fell on their neck and kissed them, and he brought forth the best robe and put it on them, and rings on their hands and shoes on their feet, and killed the fatted calf.”

“But Massachusetts, the elder son and the elder brothers were not pleased with this, and doubting the sincerity of their repentance, and like the elder brother of the “Prodigal son,” complained and were angry. Is it yet time for Liberty to reply to Massachusetts, “son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have, is thine—it was meet that we should make merry and be glad, for these, thy erring brothers were dead, and are alive again—they were lost and are found.”

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OHAPTER IX.

FROM THE 4TH OF MARCH TO THE 4TH OF JULY, 1861 - FROM TIIE

INAUGURATION OF LINCOLN TO THE MEETING OF CONGRESS.

THE REBELS SEND COMMISSIONERS TO WASHINGTON POSITION OF

THE BORDER STATES—THE REBELS BEGIN THE WAR - ATTACK on SUMTER— DANGER OF WASHINGTON -PRESIDENT'S CALL FOR 75,000 MEN — DOUGLAS SUPPORTS LINCOLN — UPRISING OF THE PEOPLE— MURDER OF MASSACHUSETTS SOLDIERS — RESPONSE OF BORDER STATES TO CALL FOR TROOPS—THE NORTH-WEST — VIRGINIA, TENNESSEE, MARYLAND HENRY WINTER DAVIS—THE CLAY GUARDS — MISSOURI, BLOCKADE OF SECEDING STATES CALLS FOR ADDITIONAL TROOPS — REBELS SEIZE HARPER'S FERRY AND GOSPORT NAVY-YARD-DEATH OF ELLSWORTH — GREAT BRITAIN AND FRANCE RECOGNIZE THE REBELS AS BELLIGERENTS - LEE AND BENEDICT ARNOLD-DEATH OF DOUGLAS.

ON the 12th of March the Confederate authorities commis

,

Commissioners to the United States, with a view, as they said, to a speedy adjustment of all questions growing out of the political separation.

Mr. Seward, Secretary of State, declined to receive them; denied that the Confederate States had, in law, or in fact, withdrawn from the Union ; denied that they could do so, except through a National Convention, assembled under the provisions of the Constitution. On the 9th of April the Commissioners withdrew from Washington, after addressing a letter to the Secretary of State, saying that they, on behalf of the rebel Government, accepted the gage of battle, etc. And yet, after the receipt of this letter, such was the unparalleled forbearance of the Government,that these Commissioners

were

not arrested, but permitted quietly to withdraw, with the open avowal of going home to wage war!

On the 18th of March, General Braxton Bragg, commanding insurgent forces in Florida, issued an order, forbidding the citizens of the Confederate States from furnishing supplies to the Navy of the United States.

At this period, in March, even Mr. Douglas had not fully made up his mind, in favor of coercing the seceding States, into submission. Prominent Democrats in the free States, openly advocated the joining of Northern States to the Confederacy.” Such was the undecided condition of public sentiment, in the free States in March; and as yet the Government of Mr. Lincoln had taken no bold, decided action, clearly indicating its policy. Meanwhile the Confederate author. ities had siezed, as has been stated, with few exceptions, all the arsenals, forts, custom-houses, post-offices, ships, ordinance and material of war, belonging to the United States, and within the seceding States; and this, notwithstanding that General Dix, Secretary of the Treasury, had issued an order, directing that “If any man attempts to haul down the American flag, shoot him on the spot.”

No position of greater difficulty can be conceived, than that of President Lincoln, in the spring of 1861. Congress had adjourned, without making any provision for the approaching crisis. The office of Secretary of War, for eight years previous to Mr. Lincoln's administration, had been conducted by Jefferson Davis and John B. Floyd, by whom a collision with the Federal Government had been anticipated. As we have already seen, they had strengthened the South at the expense of the North. They had armed the South by robbing the Northern national armories, and scattered beyond immediate recall, our little army and navy. Besides this, they, and especially Davis, had driven out of the service of the Army as far as possible, every man who was not a States’-rights, pro-slavery man.

The North was politically divided; a powerful political party, from long association, was in sympathy with the seceding States. This party had just come out of a violent contest against the party which had elected Lincoln. The

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