« PrejšnjaNaprej »
During a long and bloody war, Davis and Lee saw, without interference, their comrades and fellow soldiers of the days before their fall, murdered by thousands, while prisoners of war. With their residences at Richmond, one as President and dictator, and the other as Commander of the armies in Virginia, the dark and horrid records of Libby, and Belle Isle, and Andersonville, could not have been unknown to them. Those sickening details of slow murder, starvation and suffering, at which humanity shudders, it would be well, for the sake of our common manhood, to consign to oblivion, but that they exemplify how some of the best blood of the South could, under the influence of the slave system, be converted into the brutal barbarians, by whom such outrages were perpetrated! The saddest spectacle of this fearful war is not the desolated field, the burning city, the homeless family, nor the bloody battle-scene, with its bleeding mutilated sufferers, patient, noble, sublime in their agony; nor is it the hospitals of sick, wounded, and dying; nor is it even those great prison-fields, where famine, and thirst, and heat, and vitiated air, and nakedness, and vermin, and every loathsome disease, joined with brutal guards, combined to reduce gallant, brave, heroic men to insanity, to imbecility, to idiocy, and to death. No! the the saddest picture of all, is to see educated, refined Southern gentlemen, the boasted “chivalry” of the slaveholding section, suffering, tolerating these barbarities as an instrumentality of war to reduce the power of their enemies !
This is indeed, the saddest spectacle of the war. For this the South has been purged with fire. Passing through this agony, the slave States have come out of it, freed, emancipated, disenthralled, and regenerated. The noble manhood of the South will be restored. On the dark clouds, which still envelope the Southern section of the Union, the bow of promise appears. That bow rests upon liberty.
To returu to Robert E. Lce. The personal misfortunes of such a man, the romance of his bravery as a soldier, the charm of his personal manners, will not excuse the historian from recording the truth; that this man, gallant soldier as he was, had no loyalty to his flag, no regard for his oath, po fidelity nor gratitude to his country, or his Chief; no humanity, nor good fellowship towards his comrades, to induce him to interfere to prevent their extermination by fearful cruelties while prisoners of war. He must go down to posterity as a deserter and a traitor.
There were Southern loyalists true and faithful, scorning all temptations addressed to their fidelity. Among others, in civil life, were Andrew Johnson, and Andrew J. Hamilton; in war, the glorious names of Generals Scott, George H. Thomas, Geo. G. Meade, and Admiral David G. Farragut. How do the names of Lee and Davis grow black in contrast with that of the hero of Lundy's Lane, of Gettysburg, and of Nashville, and the blunt, but honest sailor, who so nobly and gloriously triumphed over traitors at New Orleans and Mobile.
Shall we so teach our children? Shall we thus make up the record ? or are all moral distinctions to cease? Is treason odious ? Shall truth, fidelity, and patriotism continue to be honored, and falsehood, perjury, and treachery scorned? Or is there no distinction between Andrew Johnson and Jefferson Davis; · between General Scott and General Twiggs; between George H. Thomas and Robert E. Lee; between David G. Farragut and Raphael Semmes ?
The former were faithful, the latter faithless; the former kept their oaths, the latter broke them; the former shed their blood in heroic defense of their flag, and the latter deserted, and then made war upon it.
Somebody will be held responsible for the suffering of this terrible war. Unrepentant rebels and traitors are consistent in holding the Federal Government responsible. Loyal men cannot be consistent, in honoring Scott, Thomas, and Farragut, without condemning Twiggs, Lee, and Davis.
Of the officers who remained, a few were only half loyal, How would such men -- the Government seeking to hold the slave States of Kentucky, Maryland and Missouri — treat the negroes?
The solution of this question was practically made, and the difficulties surrounding it, cut away by the clear, bold,
and direct mind of General Benjamin F. Butler, of Massachusetts. He had been a pro-slavery Breckinridge democrat. When his political friends at the South drew the sword, he, without hesitation, drew his for his country, and against them; and he was the first to lead a brigade to the defense of Washington.
In May, General Butler found himself in command at Fortress Monroe. One evening three negroes came into his camp, saying, “they had fled from their master, Colonel Mallory, who was about to set them to work on rebel fortifications!" If they had been Colonel Mallory's horses or mules, there could be no question as to what should be done with them. But so strangely deluded were the army officers, that up to that time, they had returned fugitive slaves to rebel masters, to work and fight for the rebel cause ! Would Butler continue the folly?
He uttered the words, “ These men are contraband of war!” This sentence, expressing an obvious .truth, was more important than a battle gained. It was a victory in the direction of emancipation, upon which the success of the Union cause was ultimately to depend. He, of course, tefused to surrender them, but set them at work on his own defenses. Up to this time, the South had fought to maintain slavery, and the Government, for fear of offending Kentucky, and other border States, would not touch it. Strange as it may seem, a rebel officer had the presumption, under a flag of truce, to demand the return of these negroes, under the alleged Constitutional obligation to return fugitive slaves. General Butler, of course, refused, saying, “I shall retain the negroes as contraband of war! You are using them upon your batteries; it is merely a question whether they shall be used for or against
Other Generals of the Union army, were very slow in recognizing this obvious' truth. General McClellan, on the 26th of May, issued an address to the people of his military district, in which he said, “ Not only will we abstain from all interference with your slaves, but we will, on the contrary, with an iron hand, crush any attempt at insurrection on their
Early in Junc, the administration and the country, sustained a great loss in the death of Douglas. He died at Chicago, on the 3d; his death, hastened by the zeal and energy he cxerted to aid and strengthen the Government to meet the dangers surrounding it.
Mr. Lincoln was deeply grieved by the death of his great rival, who had become one of his most valued advisers. Donglas had caused the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, and thereby precipitated the conflict between freedom and slavery; but for this repeal, probably the resort to arms might have been delayed for a generation; possibly by the influence of moral and peaceful agencies prevented; but as has been stated, he did all in his power to redeem the past, by giving all his influence to the Government when the conflict camne. The moment the flag of the insurgents was raised, he tried to hush the voice of party strife, and rallied his friends to the support of his country. He died at a moment when he had the opportunity and the disposition to have rendered the greatest service to his country. Ilad he lived, his energetic, determined, positive character would have continued him a leader, and there would have been no voice louder, more emphatic than his, demanding prompt, vigorous, and decisive measures. The Nation will not forget him, and Illinois will cherish his memory, and as the early opponent, and later, the friend of Lincoln, his name will live as long as Lake Michigan shall roll her blue waves upon the shore where rest his remains.
EXTRA SESSION OF CONGRESS -CIVIL POLICY AND MILITARY
EVENTS TO THE CLOSE OF 1861.
CONGRESS — PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE — ACTION OF CONGRESS-BA
KER'S REPLY TO BRECKENRIDGE — ANDREW Johnson-DENOUNCES Davis — THE REBEL LEADERS - PROMINENT SENATORS, AND MEMBERS-SUMNER, BAKER, FESSENDEN AND OTHERS-STEPHENS, COLFAX, LOVEJOY AND OTHERS— BILL TO COW FISCATE THE PROPERTY AND FREE THE SLAVES OF REBELS — THE ARMY NOT TO RETURN FUGITIVE SLAVES -CRITTENDEN'S RESOLUTION - BULL Run— McCLELLAN IN COMMAND-FREEMONT-HIS EMANCIPATION ORDER — LETTER OF HOLT- PRESIDENT MODIFIES THE ORDER— His REASONS - CAMERON'S INSTRUCTION TO SHERMAN IN S. C.- MILITARY MOVEMENTS IN THE FALL OF 1861 - DEATH OF LYON — BALL'S BLUFF — DEATH OF BAKER — BELMONT — THE TRENT. APPAIR — ARREST
THE special session of the 37th Congress met at the Capital
on the Fourth of July, agreeably to the call of the President. Ilannibal Hamlin, Vice President, presided over the Senate, Galusha A. Grow of Pennsylvania was elected Speaker of the House, and Emerson Etheridge of Tennessee, Clerk.
In the Senate, twenty-three States, and in the House twenty-two States were represented. There were forty Senators, and one hundred and fifty-four Representatives, on the first day of the session. No Representatives appeared from Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, or Arkansas. Andrew Johnson, “faithful among the faithless," represented Tennessee in the Senate, and Horace Maynard and Andrew