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CHAP. V.

1861.

W. R. Vol. XIII.,

p. 7.

avoided. This agreement was entered into between President Lincoln and Governor Gamble on November 6, and on November 27 Brigadier-General J. M. Schofield received orders from Halleck Schofield,

Report, to raise, organize, and command this special militia corps. The plan was attended with reasonable success, and by the 15th of April, 1862, reported General Schofield, “an active, efficient force of 13,800 men was placed in the field,” nearly all Ibid., p. 8. of cavalry. The raising and organizing of this force during the winter and spring of 1861-62 produced a certain degree of local military activity just at the season when the partisan and guerrilla operations of rebel sympathizers were necessarily impeded or wholly suspended by severe weather; and this, joined with the vigorous administration of General Halleck, and the fact that Curtis was chasing the army of Price out of Southwest Missouri, gave a somewhat delusive appearance of quiet and order throughout the State. We shall see how this security was rudely disturbed during the summer of 1862 by local efforts and uprisings, though the rebels were not able to bring about any formidable campaign of invasion, and Missouri as a whole remained immovable in her military and political adherence to the Union.

With a view still further to facilitate the restoration of public peace, the State Convention at the same October session extended an amnesty to repentant rebels, in an ordinance which provided that any person who would make and file a written oath to support the Federal and State Governments, declaring that he would not take up arms against the United States or the provisional gov

VOL. V.-7

1861.

CHAP. V.

ernment of Missouri, nor give aid and comfort to their enemies during the present civil war, should be exempt from arrest and punishment for previous rebellion. Many persons took this oath, and doubtless kept it with sincere faith. But it seems no less certain that many others who took it so persistently violated both its spirit and letter as to render it practically of no service as an external test of allegiance to the Union. In the years of local hatred and strife which ensued, oaths were so recklessly taken and so willfully violated that a ceremony of adjuration became, in the public estimation, rather a sign of suspicion than an assurance of good faith. It grew into one of the standing jests of the camps that when a Union soldier found a rattlesnake, his comrades would instantly propose, with mock gravity, “Administer the oath to him, boys, and let him go."

CHAPTER VI

LINCOLN DIRECTS COÖPERATION

THE

1861.

Halleck to

\HE President was highly gratified when Hal- Chap. VI.

leck wrote from the Department of Missouri, under date of December 19, to McClellan, who was yet General-in-Chief, that the discipline of the troops was improving; that sundry minor expeditions had been successful; that Price would be ruined in Missouri by another retreat; and that he hoped soon to be able to attack him under favoring conditions; also that he was gradually curing the serious disorders in military administration be- McClellan, queathed him by Frémont. “An excellent letter,” 1861, and wrote Lincoln, as an endorsement, though he also noted his regret that Halleck was unfavorably im- 1867.°w.R. pressed with Lane on the Kansas border, from pp. 148–450. whose coöperation under Hunter, with a quasiindependent column, the President had hoped for substantial benefit. But the prospect at Washington was not so encouraging. Except to organize, drill, and review the Army of the Potomac, to make an unfruitful reconnaissance, and to suffer the lamentable Ball's Bluff disaster, McClellan had nothing to show for his five months of local, and two months of chief command. The splendid autumn weather, the wholesome air, and dry roads

, Endorsement, Dec. 27,

Lincoln

and Buell,

Dec. 31, 1861. W.R. Vol. VII.,

p. 524.

Lincoln

W. R. Vol. VII.,

p. 526.

CHAP. VI. had come and gone. Rain, snow, and mud, crip

pling clogs to military movements in all lands and epochs, were to be expected for a quarter, if not for half, the coming year. Besides all this, McClellan had fallen seriously ill. With most urgent need of early action, every prospect of securing it

seemed to be thus cut off. In this dilemma, Linto Halleck coln turned to the Western commanders. “Gen

eral McClellan is sick,” he telegraphed to Halleck on the last day of the year. “Are General Buell and yourself in concert?” The following day he

repeated his inquiry, or rather his prompting sugto Buteland gestion that, McClellan being incapable of work, Jan. 1, 1862. Buell and Halleck should at once establish a vig

orous and hearty coöperation. Their replies were not specially promising. “There is no arrangement between General Halleck and myself,” responded Buell, adding that he depended on McClellan for instructions to this end; while Halleck said, “I have never received a word from General Buell. I am not ready to coöperate with him," adding in his turn that he had written to McClellan, and that too much haste would ruin everything. Plainly, therefore, the military machine, both East and West, was not only at a complete standstill, but was without a programme.

Of what avail then were McClellan's office and function of general-in-chief if such a contingency revealed either his incapacity or his neglect? The force of this question is immensely increased when we see how in the same episode McClellan's acts followed Lincoln's suggestions. However silent and confiding in the skill and energy of his generals, the President had studied the military situa

to

Vol. VII.,

p. 524.

Buell

., p. 526. Lincoln to Chase,

Chase,"

p. 395.

tion with unremitting diligence. In his telegram CHAP. VI. of December 31 to Halleck, he started a pregnant inquiry. “When he [Buell] moves on Bowling Halleck, Green, what hinders it being reënforced from Co- 1861.W.R. lumbus ?" And he asked the same question at the same time of Buell. Halleck seems to have had no answer to make; Buell sent the only reply that was possible : “There is nothing to prevent Bowling Green being reënforced from Columbus if a military force is not brought to bear on the latter to Lincoln, place.” The sequel proves that Lincoln was not W. R. vol. content to permit this know-nothing and do-nothing policy to continue. “I have just been with Jan. 2, 1862. General McClellan, and he is much better,” he wrote salmon P. the day after New Year's; and in this interview the necessity for action and the telegrams from the Western commanders were fully discussed, as becomes evident from the fact that the following day McClellan wrote a letter to Halleck containing an earnest suggestion to remedy the neglect and need pointed out by Lincoln's dispatch of December 31. In this letter McClellan advised an expedition up the Cumberland River, a demonstration on Columbus, and a feint on the Tennessee River, all for the challen purpose of preventing reënforcements from joining Jaw. R. Buckner and Johnston at Bowling Green, whom pp. 527, 628. Buell was preparing to attack.

Meanwhile Lincoln's dispatch of inquiry had renewed the attention, and perhaps aroused the ambition, of Buell. He and Halleck had, after Lincoln's prompting, interchanged dispatches about concerted action. Halleck reported a withdrawal of troops from Missouri “almost impossible"; to which Buell replied that “the great power of the

Jan. , 1862.

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