Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

me

tion. When they see a president mak- perhaps so far as their convictions ing war without the assent of Congress; reached, the rebel leaders held, that when they behold judges threatened be they were abundantly able to maintain cause they maintain the writ of habeas the ground they had taken. Kentucky corpus, so sacred to freemen; when and Missouri, by a piece of foolish asthey see justice and law trampled un- sumption, were voted into their ranks. der the armed heel of military author- | A resolution was adopted refusing to ity, and upright men and innocent wo make any advance to planters or purmen dragged to distant dungeons upon chase their produce, surprise being exthe mere edict of a despot; when they pressed that such application should find all this tolerated and applauded be made. About $60,000,000 were by a people who had been in the full appropriated for the army, and $4,000,enjoyment of freedom but a few months000 for the rebel navy. One signifi. ago, they believe that there must be cant feature was noted at the time, and some radical incompatibility between was held up to public indignation in such a people and themselves. With the loyal states, viz., that most of the such a people we may be content to proceedings of the rebel congress were live at peace, but the separation is conducted in secret sessions; which final, and for the independence we have was certainly a curious commentary on asserted we will accept no alternative."* | their pretensions to superior liberty as

The proceedings of the rebel con- representatives of a free people. gress were of no great interest or im- The Provisional Confederate Con. portance. The evident impression was, gress continued in session during the that the loyal states were resolved winter, and reached its end, Feb. 17th, upon breaking down the confederacy, 1862. It was immediately succeeded and were making preparations accord by the “ permanent” congress, which ingly; still, so far as words went, and began its session on the next day.

Tere

* There were also some paragraphs expressing | which the virtues of justice, moderation and gentleness Davis's astonishment and horror at what he called the especially flourish; but it is affirmed, and the history savage barbarism with which the government of the of the war proves it, that no one but a slanderer and Union was trying to suppress the rebellion. The words falsifier of the truth can charge, as Davis and comare not worth quoting ; Davis probably, if not certainly, pany do, the government and officers of our army and knew them to be false ; if he believed them himself

navy with intentional, systematic violations of the he was more ignorant than anybody ever supposed. laws of humanity and right. On the contrary, they It is not meant to be asserted that instances--alas, too strove to mitigate the horrors and excesses of war in many-of acts of cruelty and inhumanity cannot be

every way that was in their power. croduced, war not being at any time the condition in |

[blocks in formation]

Thirty-seventh Congress, second session -President's message — Character of its contents — Extracts relating

to finances, judiciary, colonization scheme, etc.-Notices of army and navy operations-Reports of the secre. taries - Secretary of war's views -- Secretary of the navy's views - Secretary of the treasury's statements - National debt-Questions in Congress for discussion - Subject of slavery and what to do with the negroes — Difficult to agree upon — Course pursued in the House - Warm debates had, various acts passed, etc. - In the Senate, motion made to appoint commissioners to settle difficulties with the Confederate States - Laid on the table — Bill for confiscating the property of rebels and giving freedom to their slaves — Other action in the Senate — Review of the state and condition of affairs at the close of 1861 - Feelings and views of the people in the loyal states --Successes of the army and navy cheering - Army improving under McClellan — The drawback in McClellan's case - Estimate of numbers of rebels in the field — Probably exaggerated — “All quiet on the Potomac" - Question as to exchange of prisoners, perplexing Left to the generals and officers — Steps taken — No settlement — Foreign policy of the United States Situation of the rebels-Causes of inactivity, according to Pollard, and abuses in administration, etc. — Sum of the review as a whole.

On Monday, the 2d of December, | side with them against the Union. In the Thirty-seventh Congress met for its the belief, however, that foreign nations second session. Senators and repre-would be clear sighted enough to persentatives from twenty-five states were ceive where their true interests lie, he

... present, and the national legis. gave it as his conviction, “ that we 1861.

lature entered at once upon its have practised prudence and liberality important duties. The next day, towards foreign powers, averting causes President Lincoln sent in his message, of irritation, and with firmness main in which he laid before Congress a clear, taining our own rights and honor.” carefully prepared review of the posi- At the same time, the president recom. tion of the government and the pro. mended that ample measures be adoptgress of the war. “In the midst of ed for maintaining the public defences unprecedented political troubles,” were on every side, the great lakes and the opening words,“ we bave cause of rivers as well as the sea coast being great gratitude to God for unusual included. good health, and most abundant har. The financial condition of affairs was vests." The president then, in a few spoken of in encouraging terms: "The brief paragraphs, touched upon our revenue from all sources, including foreign relations, and upon the efforts loans for the financial year ending or of the rebels to induce other nations to the 30th June, 1861, was $86,835,900,

[ocr errors][merged small]

and the expenditures for the same states; while the suggestion with which period, including payments on account it was coupled of remuneration by of the public debts, were $84,578,034. Congress for the slaves set free, pared For the first quarter of the financial the way for the plans of compensated year ending on the 30th September, emancipation afterward strongly urged 1861, the receipts from all sources, in- | by the president. cluding the balance of July 1st, were. The progress of the war was briefly $102,532,509, and the expenses $98, noted, and due commendation bestowed 239,723....... It is gratifying to upon our gallant navy and army. Not know that the expenditures made only Maryland, but Kentucky and necessary by the rebellion are not be- Missouri had furnished 40,000 troops yond the resources of the loyal people, in all, and were warmly and decidedly and to believe that the same patriotism in favor of supporting the govern which has thus far sustained the gov- ment; and the various successes, espeernment will continue to sustain it till cially of the navy,“ demonstrated," in peace and union again bless the land.” | the opinion of the president, “ that the

Various matters connected with the cause of the Union was advancing judiciary and its arrangements, and steadily and certainly southward.” other topics of domestic policy, were Gen. Scott's retirement was approprireferred to Congress; among them the ately noticed, and high expectations project of a military railroad connect. were founded on the appointment of ing the loyal regions of East Tennessee Gen. McClellan as his successor. The and Western North Carolina with proceedings of Davis and his coadjutors Kentucky and other parts of the Union. were denounced as evidencing a liking “The territories of Colorado, Dakotah, for and a return to despotism; and it and Nevada, created by the last Con- was ably argued that “ labor is prior to, gress, have been organized, and civil and independent of, capital;" conseadministration has been inaugurated quently, the dignity and honor therein under auspices especially grati- against southern aristocracy and pride fying, when it is considered that the were to be understood and maintained. leaven of treason was found existing in With words of gratulation in regard some of these new countries when the to the population and prospects of our federal officers arrived there."

country in general, the president closed Reference was made to the confis- his message as follows:-“The struggle cation act of the recent session of Con. of to-day is not altogether for to-day; gress, and was noticeable for its sug- it is for a vast future also. With a gestion of a measure which became firm reliance on Providence, all the afterward a prominent subject of dis- more firm and earnest, let us proceed cussion—the furtherance of a system in the great task which events have de. of colonization for the disposal of volved upon us.” negroes liberated by the war or by The reports of the several secretaries, concert with some of the slave-holding referred to in the message, contained

CA. VIII.]

ARMY, NAVY, AND TREASURY REPORTS.

103

numerous and valuable details for the and sought the shelter and protection inforination and guidance of Congress of our flag, then they should be cared The secretary of war estimated the for and employed in some useful man. strength of the army for suppressing ner, and might be enlisted to serve on the rebellion at 660,971, and cited this our public vessels or in our navy as an evidence of the wonderful vigor yards, receiving wages for their of our institutions, seeing that this vast labor. The difficult and import

1861. military array was procured without ant work of the navy was clearly pointed conscriptions, levies or drafts.* The out; due honor was bestowed upon secretary also discussed the questions, what had already been done at Hatter. which began now to be pressing, as to as and Port Royal, and by Captain what we were to do with the slaves Wilkes; and the highest expectations abandoned by their masters; he urged were freely entertained of the valuable the economical view of the matter, and assistance yet to be rendered by the asked, “ why deprive the rebels of sup- navy in crushing the rebellion. plies by a blockade, and give them men. The secretary of the treasury discussto produce supplies ?" The whole sub.ed fully and carefully the condition of ject was commended to the earnest the finances, the probable income of the attention of Congress, nothing doubting treasury, and the steps necessary to be that they in their wisdom would dis- taken in order to provide for deficienpose of it properly and safely.t cies. Mr. Chase reported that his ex

The secretary of the navy reported pected income of July preceding had the vessels of all ranks as 212 in num- fallen short some $30,000,000, and he ber, half of them or more being steam asked for $200,000,000 additional, to vessels; while fifty-two others, steamers, meet the expenditures growing out of were in process of construction. The the vast increase of the army and navy; seamen in service were 22,000. Secre- thus, making the outlay for the year, tary Welles spoke also of the course, from June, 1861, to June, 1862, about in his judgment, to be pursued in regard $543,500,000. The probable wants of to fugitive slaves. His remarks were the fiscal year, ending in June, 1863, sensible and to the point, viz., that if were set down at about $475,000,000, fugitives came on board any of our to provide for which, with the supply ships, and if they were free from any of the previous year's deficiencies, voluntary participation in the rebellion, would necessitate an aggregate of $655,was less than $65,000,000 ; on the 1st rebellion. The ground taken in the be day of July, 1863, supposing the war to ginning, and persisted in for a long continue, it was estimated it would time, by the national authorities, was, reach $900,000,000. This amount that the insurrectionary states were to seemed almost incredible to a people he brought to submission to the Consti like ours, who had heretofore lived in tution without regard to, or interferenc freedom from national debt and its bur-with, state institutions, and especially dens; but no one, probably, at that that the abolition or destruction of sladay could have contemplated without very was in no respect a part of the purshuddering, that, before the rebellion pose of the goverument. The progress should be finally crushed out, the debt of events, however, and the necessity of would mount up to some four times dealing with the negroes on something that amount, or over three thousand of a settled plan, compelled a change or millions of dollars !—thus putting us on modification of public sentiment; and a footing with the nations of the old as we shall see on subsequent pages, world in a particular least of all to be slavery was doomed to universal and desired.

000,000 in loans. On the 1st day of * Gen. McClellan, in his report, estimated the rebel July, 1860, it was stated, the public debt force in Virginia at 115,500 men, with over 300 guns for field and siege service. One of the journals of the (and printed in advance in the newspapers), dwelt day set forth the entire rebel force at not less than much more fully and pointedly on this subject; tho 500,000 men. Later writers and critics, with more represident modified it more considerably. Other sug. liable means of information, have shown that the gestions were also made in the resort, respecting the above numbers, given by McClellan, are greatly ex-“expediency of a reconstruction of the boundaries of aggerated, and that the rebels at no time had more the states of Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia," but than 60,000 encamped in our front.

they do not seem to have met with favor or counten + Secretary Cameron's report, as originally prepared | ance.

complete destruction. During the present session of Con- In the House, slavery was denounced gross, various and important questions as the cause of the rebellion, and move. came up for discussion in relation to ments were made looking to the in.me slavery and its concern with the rebel. diate emancipation of slaves who had lion, and also as to the position of the left their masters. A bill was introgovernment in the struggle now going ed, Dec. 5th, “to confiscate the properon. As is evident from what we have ty of rebels, to liberate their slaves, and noted on previous pages, and from the employ or colonize the same, and

1861. suggestions and statements of the secre- for other purposes," which was taries of war and the navy, the subject referred to the committee on military of slavery and what to do with the ne- affairs. Gen. Halleck's order (see p. 88) groes was perplexing and very difficult of was severely commented on by some settlement. The opinions of the people members, and defended and explained were divided, and by no means in bar- by others; the resolution respecting it mony. Some held, what was thought was laid on the table. A discussion to be the more extreme view, that sla- was had on the general question, with very, being the primal cause of the re- various disagreements as to facts and bellion, ought to be done away with at the purposes of the government. A once and forever. Others, considering motion was made, Dec. 16th, to raise a themselves as more conservative in their volunteer force to protect Kentucky. views, wished to have the war conduct. It was opposed by many members; it ed irrespective of the question of sla- passed the House, however, but it fail. very, as not interfering with it at all, ed in the Senate. On the 20th, the and even going so far as to sustain it, to committee on the judiciary was instruct. the evident benefit aui' advantage of the ed to report a bill amending the fugi

« AnteriorContinuar »