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PROCLAMATION OF THE UNION COMMANDERS
GENERAL BURNSIDE'S STATEMENT
OF THE UNION COMMANDERS TO THE PEOPLE OF NORTH
ROANOKE ISLAND, N. C., February 16th, 1862.
THE mission of our joint expedition is not to invade any of your rights, but to assert the authority of the United States, and to close with you the desolating war brought upon your State by comparatively a few bad men in the midst of you.
Influenced infinitely more by the worst passions of human nature than by any show of elevated reason, they are still urging you astray to gratify their unholy purposes.
They impose upon your credulity by telling you of wicked and even diabolical intentions on our part-of our desire to destroy your freedom, demolish your property, liberate your slaves, injure your women, and such like enormities—all of which, we assure you, is not only ridiculous, but utterly and wilfully false. Those men are your worst enemies. They, in truth, have drawn you into your present condition, and are the real disturbers of your peace and the happiness of your firesides.
We invite you in the name of the Constitution, and in that of virtuous loyalty and civilization, to separate yourselves at once from their malign influence, to return to your allegiance, and not compel us to resort further to the force under our control.
We are Christians as well as yourselves, and we profess to know full well, and to feel profoundly the sacred obligations of that character. No apprehension need be entertained that the demands of humanity or justice will be disregarded. We shall inflict no injury, unless forced to do so by your own acts, and upon this you may confidently rely.
The Government asks only that its authority may be recognized, and, we repeat, in no manner or way does it desire to interfere with your laws constitutionally established, your institutions of any kind whatever, your property of any sort, your usages in any respect.
L. M. GOLDSBOROUGH,
OF MAJOR GENERAL BURNSIDE, IN THE VALLANDIGHAM CASE, IN ANSWER TO THE PRISONER'S APPLICATION FOR THE WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE OHIO,
To the Honorable the Circuit Court of the United States within and for the Southern District of Ohio:
The undersigned, commanding the Department of the Ohio, having received notice from the Clerk of said Court, that an application for the allowance of a writ of habeas corpus will be made this morning before your Honor, on behalf of Clement L. Vallandigham, now a prisoner in my custody, asks leave to submit to the Court the following Statement:
If I were to indulge in wholesale criticisms of the policy of the Government, it would demoralize the army under my command, and every friend of his country would call me a traitor. If the officers or soldiers were to indulge in such criticisms, it would weaken the army to the extent of their influence; and if this criticism were universal in the army, it would cause it to be broken to pieces, the Government to be divided, our homes to be invaded, and anarchy to reign. My duty to my Government forbids me to indulge in such criticisms; officers and soldiers are not allowed so to indulge, and this course will be sustained by all honest men. Now I will go further. We are in a state of civil war. One of the States of this Department is at this moment invaded, and three others have been threatened. I command the Department, and it is my duty to my country and to this army, to keep it in the best possible condition; to see that it is fed, clad, armed, and, as far as possible, to see that it is encouraged. If it is my duty and the duty of the troops to avoid saying anything that would weaken the army, by preventing a single recruit from joining the ranks, by bringing the laws of Congress into disrepute, or by causing dissatisfaction in the ranks, it is equally the duty of every citizen in the Department to avoid the same evil. If it is my duty to prevent the propagation of this evil in the army, or in a portion of my Department, it is equally my duty in all portions of it; and it is my duty to use all the force in my power to stop it. If I were to find a man from the enemy's country distributing in my camps speeches of their public men, that tended to demoralize the troops, or to destroy their
confidence in the constituted authorities of the Government, I would have him tried, and hung, if found guilty, and all the rules of modern warfare would sustain me. Why should such speeches from our own public men be allowed? The press and public men, in a great emergency like the present, should avoid the use of party epithets and bitter invectives, and discourage the organization of secret political societies, which are always undignified and disgraceful to a free people, but which now are absolutely wrong and injurious;-creating dissensions and discord, which just now amount to The simple names "Patriot" and "Traitor" are comprehensive enough. As I before said, we are in a state of civil war, and an emergency is upon us which requires the operations of some power, that moves more quickly than the civil. There never was a war carried on successfully without the exercise of that power. It is said that the speeches which are condemned have been made in the presence of large bodies of citizens, who, if they thought them wrong, would have then and there condemned them. That is no argument. These citizens do not realize the effect upon the armies of our country, who are its defenders. They have never been in the field; never faced the enemies of their country; never undergone the privations of our soldiers in the field: and, besides, they have been in the habit of hearing their public men speak, and, as a general thing, of approving of what they say. Therefore, the greater responsibility rests upon the public men and upon the public press, and it behooves them to be careful as to what they say. They must not use license and plead that they are exercising liberty. In this Department, it cannot be done. I shall use all the power I have to break down such license, and I am sure I will be sustained in this course by all honest men. At all events, I will have the consciousness, before God, of having done my duty to my country; and when I am swerved from the performance of that duty by any pressure, public or private, or by any prejudice, I will no longer be a man or a patriot. I again assert, that every power I possess on earth, or that is given me from above, will be used in defence of my Government, on all occasions, at all times, and in all places within this Department. There is no party-no communityno State Government-no State Legislative body-no corporation or body of men that have the power to inaugurate a war policy that has the validity of law and power, but the constituted authorities of the Government of the United States; and I am determined to support their policy. If the people do not approve that policy, they can change the constitutional authorities of that Government at the proper time and by the proper method. Let them freely discuss the policy in a proper tone; but my duty requires me to stop license and intemperate discussion, which tend to weaken the authority of the Government and army. Whilst the latter is in the presence of the enemy, it is cowardly so to weaken it. This license could not be used in our campsthe man would be torn in pieces who would attempt it. There is no fear of