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up its quota of troops first; and, especially, that the quota of each should be filled without a resort to the draft. Hence, large local bounties were offered, and much the larger portion of the troops called for were obtained without the draft.
All who were opposed to the war, and who sympathized with the rebels, availed themseves of the draft, to excite prejudice against, and opposition to, the administration. Every means were resorted to by this party to oppose enlistments, and stir up, if possible, violent resistance to the draft. Among the most active of these agents was Vallandigham. The patriotism and loyalty of the people, however, was in most parts of the country too strong to be seduced, and no formidable opposition to the execution of the law manifested itself, except in the city of New York. Here there was a larger number of rebel sympathizers and Southern emigrants, and the emissaries of the rebellion succeeded in creating a formidable opposition to the law.
Orders were given to proceed with the draft on the 11th of July. The first day's proceedings passed off quietly; but on Monday the 13th the business was arrested by a violent and excited mob, which broke into and burned the building in which the Marshal's office was situated. Then refusing to permit the firemen to extinguish the fire, the whole contiguous block was consumed. The Superintendent of Police was attacked and beaten nearly to death. The troops and many of the State nilitia were absent in Pennsylvania to aid in resisting Lee's invasion; and it was found difficult to raise a force to suppress the riot. It was joined by the worst and most degraded elements of that great city, and marched from street to street, murdering, pillaging, and burning. The animus of the rioters was hatred of the negro, and its especial purpose was to murder and rob negroes and abolitionists. The infuriated mob attacked the colored half-orphan Asylum, a charitable institution, which furnished a home for seven or eight hundred colored children. With inhuman yells, and a spirit which can find its parallel only among the fiends of the most cruel and inhuman plantations in the Gulf States, the mob abused and scattered the children, set fire to the
building itself, and, maddened with crime, caught and hung every negro they could find. In one instance, a negro was first hung, and then a fire kindled beneath him, the heat of which restored the poor sufferer to consciousness, while the smoke stifled him. The police did their duty manfully, but were overpowered. Governor Seymour was in New York at the time, and addressed these rioters in the Park, and mildly urged them to forbearance. The remedy needed was cold steel and musket balls, rather than civil words. On the 14th of July he issued a proclamation calling upon all persons engaged in the riot to disperse. This produced as little effect as his speech, and the second day was as bad, or worse than the first. The militia were recalled from Pennsylvania; other troops were sent to New York, and the riots were suppressed. The design of the rebel emissaries who stirred up the riot was to create a formidable diversion in favor of the rebel armies. It did cause the weakening of the army of Meade, by the withdrawal of troops, and enabled Davis to send Longstreet to reönforce Bragg in Tennessee. There was also a riot in Boston, but it was so promptly met, as to gain no considerable head. There is no doubt that the rebel incendiaries fomented and urged on the riots of New York, and hoped by violence to make a strong diversion in the free States in favor of the insurgents. They so far succeeded as to raise a mob, which rioted in violence and plunder from Monday until Thursday, and gave to the rebel sympathizing ci izens of that city a taste of anarchy. They discovered that a mob once in motion, was as likely to destroy friend or neutral, as foe.
The American people are a law abiding people, and no rash counsels could succeed in stirring up violent resistance to law outside the purlieus of a great city. To the American citizen the ballot and not the bullet is the remedy for political evils and wrongs. If defeated to day at the ballot-box, he appeals to the next election, and trusts to reason and intelligence to bring a majority to his side.
We have already traced the gradual progress of public opinion and Executive policy, in the employment of the negroes as soldiers. General Hunter at Hilton Head, and General Butler at New Orleans, had organized them into regiments, drilled, and prepared them for active service. Congress and the Executive had not only sanctioned, but encouraged such employment. When the States were called on to furnish their quotas of troops under the several calls, and learned that negroes would be credited, vigorous means were taken by Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New York, and other States to recruit free colored men. In furtherance of the policy of placing as many negroes as possible in the service, General Thomas, Adjutant General of the United States, visited the Southwest, charged with the organization of colored troops; and from this time the number rapidly increased. Large numbers were recruited in Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, North and South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. By November, 1863, there had already been organized and were in active service over 50,000 colored men, besides nearly an equal number employed as laborers, teamsters, etc. Stimulated by the proclamation of emancipation, the negroes flocked in crowds into the Union army to secure the freedom of their race.
Emancipation now became the clear, open, and avowed policy of the administration. How would these colored soldiers be treated if taken prisoners by the rebels ?
The issue of the emancipation proclamation by President Lincoln, and the employment of negroes as soldiers, had created deep anxiety and excitement in the rebellious States. It was at first proposed by the rebel press and Congress to make slaves of all free negroes, to put to death all slaves found in arms, and to punish their officers with death. Finally, the subject was referred by the Confederate Congress to their President, Davis.
Jefferson Davis, by proclamation, announced that the colored troops and their white officers, if captured, would not be treated as prisoners of war, but would be turned over for punishment by State authority. The question became a practical one, when members of the gallant Fifty-fourth Mas sachusetts colored troops, in their brave, but unsuccessful assault on Fort Wagner, at Charleston, fell into the hands of the rebels as prisoners of war. From the threats which had been made as to their treatment, and the treatment of other negro soldiers taken prisoners by the rebels, Mr. Lincoln felt it his duty on the 10th of July, 1863, to issue the following order:
“It is the duty of every Government to give protection to its citizens, of whatever class, color, or condition, and especially to those who are duly organized as soldiers in the public service. The law of Nations and the usages and customs of war as carried on by civilized powers, permit no distinction as to color, in the treatment of prisoners of war as public enemies. To sell or enslave any captured person on account of his color, and for no offense against the laws of war, is a relapse into barbarism, and a crime against the civilization of the age.
“ The Government of the United States will give the same protection to all its soldiers; and if the enemy shall sell or enslave any one because of his color, the offense shall be punished by retaliation upon the enemy's prisoners in our possession. It is therefore ordered, that for every soldier of the United States, killed in violation of the laws of war, a rebel soldier shall be executed; and for every one enslaved by the enemy, or sold into slavery, a rebel soldier shall be placed at hard labor on public works, and continued at such labor until the other shall be released, and receive the treatment due to a prisoner of war.
In this connection, what Mr. Lincoln said at Baltimore, April 18th, 1864, may appropriately be quoted as expressive of his views:
“At the commencement of the war, it was doubtful whether black men would be used as soldiers or not. The matter was examined into very carefully, and after mature deliberation, the whole question, resting as it were with myself, in my judgment, I decided that they should. I was responsible for the act to the American people, to a Christian world, to the future historian, and above all to my God, to whom I shall have one day to render an account of my stewardship. I would now say that in my opinion the black soldier should have the same protection as the white soldier, and he shall have it.” †
General Grant, with the directness of the soldier, pursued the same course, In a communication addressed to General Lee, dated October 29th, 1864, he said:
* McPherson, p. 280. + McPherson, p. 180.
"I shall always regret the necessity of retaliating for wrongs done our soldiers; but regard it my duty to protect all persons received into the army of the United States, regardless of color or Nationality. When acknowledged soldiers of the Government are captured, they must be treated as prisoners of war, or such treatment as they receive will be inflicted upon an equal number of prisoners held by us.
“ In answer to the question at the conclusion of your letter, I have to state, that all prisoners of war falling into my hands shall receive the kindest treatment possible, consistent with securing them, unless I have good authority for believing any number of our men are being treated otherwise. Then, painful as it may be to me, I shall inflict like treatment on an equal number of Confederate prisoners."
The power of the slaveholding Confederacy grew weak under the blows inflicted at Gettysburg, at Arkansas Post, at Port Hudson, at Vicksburg and Chattanooga ; and near the close of 1863 their Congress in its desperation enacted a law declaring every man between the ages of eighteen and fifty-five to be in the military service for the war. Thus, every man between those ages became subject to the articles of war, to military discipline and penalties, and, on failure to report for duty within a certain time, became liable to the penalty of death as a deserter. This measure indicated the desperate fortunes and the approaching dissolution of the Confederacy. Desertion, absenteeism and straggling, under such means of filling their army, prevailed to such an extent, that the rebel Secretary of War 'reported that the effective force of their army was not more than one-half or two-thirds of the men, whose names appeared on the muster rolls.
Depreciation of their currency, and the loss of credit, paralyzed the Confederate cause. The paper money issued by the Richmond Government depreciated so as to be worth only five or six cents on the dollar. The credit of the Government was gone, and the agriculturists refused to sell their products for Confederate notes. The destruction of their army for lack of supplies was inevitable, and the Confederates were compelled to seize and impress all the food and supplies necessary to carry on the war. These embarrassments were enhanced by the wearing out of the Southern railways, and * McPherson, p. 445.