« AnteriorContinuar »
tendered his resignation as Secretary of State, and Mr. Chase had, at the same time, proposed to withdraw from the Secretary. ship of the Treasury. Both these resignations, the President peremptorily refused to accept.
On the 30th of June, 1864, Secretary Chase, for personal reasons, again tendered his resignation, which Mr. Lincoln deemed it expedient to accept. A want of cordiality on the part of Mr. Chase toward the President had been noticed for a good while previous, and his attendance on Cabinet meetings had been irregular, or, in fact, practically intermitted altogether. The occasion of his final resignation—the acceptance was perhaps not confidently anticipated—was a disagreement with the President in regard to an important appointment for New York City. There was, perhaps, no period during the war when the financial condition of the country was deemed more critical than at this date and during the few weeks succeeding prior to the 1st of September. The place thus made vacant was first tendered to Ex-Gov. David Tod, of Ohio, who declined the appointment. Senator Wm. P. Fessenden, of Maine, was afterward appointed, and entered upon the duties of the office on the 5th of July.
In the midst of a Presidential canvass, while the people were becoming weary over hopes deferred and indecisive campaigns, it may well be supposed that an executive who was studying the chances of a reëlection would have long hesitated to eall for five bundred thousand more men for the army, to be made good by a draft, after a very short period, if not previously filled by volunteers. But the success of our arms demanded it, and President Lincoln promptly determined to do what duty required. The following proclamation was accordingly issued:
WAEREAS, By the act approved July 4, 1864, entitled "An act further to regulate and provide for the enrolling and calling out the national forces, and for other purposes," it is provided that the President of the United States may, “at his discretion, at any time hereafter, call for any number of men as volunteers, for the respective terms of one, two, and three years, for military service,” and “that in case the quota of any part thereof, or any town, township, ward of a city, precinct, or election district, or of a county, not so subdivided, shall not be filled within the space of fifty days after such call, then the President shall immediately order a draft for one year to fill such quota, or any part thereof, which may be unfilled;"
AND WHEREAS, The new enrollment heretofore ordered is so far completed as that the aforementioned act of Congress may now be put in operation for recruiting and keeping up the strength of the armies in the field, for garrisons and such military operations as may be required for the purpose of suppressing the rebellion and restoring the authority of the United States Government in the insurgent States;
Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, do issue this my call for five hundred thousand volunteers for the military service : Provided, nevertheless, that this call shall be reduced by all credits which may be established under section eight of the aforesaid act, on account of persons who have entered the naval service during the present rebellion, and by credits for men furnished to the military service in excess of calls heretofore made.
Volunteers will be accepted under this call for one, two, or three years, as they may elect, and will be entitled to the bounty provided by law for the period of service for which they enlist.
And I hereby proclaim, order, and direct, that immediately after the fifth day of September, 1864, being fifty days from the date of this call, a draft for troops, to serve for one year, shall be had in every town, township, ward of a city, precinct, or election district, or county not so subdivided, to fill the quota which shall be assigned to it under this call, or any part thereof which may be unfilled by volunteers on the said fifth day of September, 1864.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed. Done at the city of Washington this eighteenth day of July,
in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred [L. s.] and sixty-four, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-ninth.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN. By the President:
WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.
The governments of the several loyal States at once set about the work of filling their quotas by volunteering, and the response showed an alacrity and confidence among the people which disappointed alike those who had hoped our armies
could not again be replenished, and those who feared disaffection to the cause from the heavy sacrifices demanded. No disheartening circumstances could shake the people from their firm purpose of wrenching from the hands of treason its weapons of revolt. No hour was so dark that loyal eyes could not clearly see the duty of keeping up our armies, and of steadily pressing forward to ultimate and decisive victory, however long deferred the consummation.
Military Operations before Petersburg and Richmond, from June to
November, 1864.--Gen. Hunter's Campaign.--Movements in the Shenandoah Valley.--Early's Invasion of Maryland.-His Demonstration against Washington.-His Retreat up the Valley, and Second Advance to the Potomac.--Burning of Chambersburg.--Successes of Gen. Averill.--Battle of Moorfield.--Gen. Sheridan takes Com. mand in the Valley.--Admiral Farragut before Mobile.—Brilliant Naval Victories.-Movements of Sheridan.--Important Successes in the Valley.--Thanksgiving Proclamation of President Lincoln.
After it had become apparent that Petersburg was not at once to be taken, and the several army corps had intrenched themselves in the positions indicated in a previous chapter, it next became an object to work all practicable damage on the Rebel communications. Of the three railroads leading southward from Petersburg, the Suffolk road alone was yet in Grant's possession. This, extending south-eastward, connects with another at Suffolk, leading from Norfolk to Weldon, having no military value to the enemy, while Norfolk and Portsmouth are in our hands and the junction within easy command. The Weldon road, running due south, was at this time the one most immediately important of all; yet its loss was by no means a fatal one, with the Danville road, extending south-west from Burkesville, still open, and the Southside road (to Lynchburg) still occupied by the Rebels, from Petersburg to Burkesville. To extend the Union lines across the Weldon and Southside roads, without cutting loose from the base at City Point, was not at once practicable. It only remained, with the present force, to endeavor to reach and hold the Weldon road, and to rely upon cavalry raids for the remainder of the work of breaking up the Rebel communications.
President Lincoln visited the army in its new position, south of Petersburg, on the 21st of June, and was warmly greeted
by the soldiers as he rode along the lines. On the 22d, he visited Butler's command on the right, meeting with a like hearty reception from the soldiers and their commanders.
Gen. Sheridan had gained a victory at Trevillian Station, on the Virginia railroad, near Gordonsville, on the 11th of June, after having materially injured the Rebel communications northward from Richmond by a sweeping raid, commenced before Grant's movement from Cold Harbor to the south of the James. On the 13th, he recrossed the North Anna, and aided in covering the movements then in progress. The cảvalry of Hampton and Fitzhugh Lee, on the 20th, recalled Sheridan, by attacking the small force under Gen. Abercrom. bie, at the White House, endeavoring to cut off the former's communications and supplies. This assault was repulsed with. out severe loss. Sheridan maintained his position at the White House against all attacks, until, on the 25th, he rejoined Grant, after accomplishing the purpose for which he remained north of the James.
Movements had now been commenced on the Weldon and Southside railroads, by the cavalry forces under Gens. Wilson and Kautz. As the former moved out on the Weldon road, the Second and Sixth Corps were transferred to the left, for the purpose of extending the line across that road. This movement had been anticipated by Lee, and when the Second Corps was near the Jerusalem plank road, it was met by the Rebel corps of Hill, about two o'clock, on the 22d, and an engagement of some severity followed. The Sixth Corps had advanced still further on the left, and a portion of the Fifth Corps was within supporting distance of the Second, on its right. Lee assumed the offensive, with considerable vigor, capturing a battery in the advance, turning the flank of Barlow's division, taking several hundred prisoners and driving back our men, for the time, in some confusion. The Union lines were speedily re-formed, after which the repeated assaults of the enemy were repulsed. Skirmishing was kept up along the whole line during the night, and about midnight the musketry firing and cannonading in front of the Ninth Corps, which held the Prince George county road, were particularly heavy. The