Imágenes de páginas

CA. IV.]



Union. .... What is now combatted, whole class of seceder politicians would is the position that secession is consistent at once deny the power, and denounce with the Constitution—is lawful and the act as the greatest outrage upon peaceful. It is not contended that there state rights. But suppose that precisely is any express law for it; and nothing the same act, instead of being called should ever be implied as law which driving the one out, should be called leads to unjust or absurd consequences. the seceding of the others from that The nation purchased, with money, the one,' it would be exactly what the seced. countries out of which several of these ers claim to do; unless, indeed, they states were formed. Is it just that they make the point that the one, because it shall go off without leave, and without is a minority, may rightfully do what refunding? The nation paid very large the others, because they are a majority, sums (in the aggregate, I believe, nearly may not rightfully do." a hundred millions), to relieve Florida In concluding his message, Mr. Linof the aboriginal tribes. Is it just that coln, aware of the prospect before him she shall now be off without consent, or at so eventful a crisis, used words of without making any return? The nation solemn earnestness : “In full view of is now in debt for money applied to the his great responsibility, the executive benefit of these so-called seceding states, bas, so far, done what he has deemed in common with the rest. Is it just, bis duty. You will now, according to either that creditors shall go unpaid, or your own judgment, perform yours. He the remaining states pay the whole? A sincerely hopes that your views, and part of the present national debt was your action, may so accord with his as contracted to pay the old debts of Texas. to assure all faithful citizens, who have Is it just that she shall leave, and pay no been disturbed in their rights, of a cer. part of this herself? Again, if one state tain and speedy restoration to them may secede, so may another; and when under the Constitution and the laws. all shall have seceded, none is left to pay And having thus chosen our course, the debts. Is this quite just to credit- without guile and with pure purpose, ors? Did we notify them of this sage let us renew our trust in God, and go view of ours when we borrowed their forward without fear and with manly money? If we now recognize this doc- hearts.” trine by allowing the seceders to go in. The accompanying reports, from the peace, it is difficult to see what we can secretaries in the several departments, do if others choose to go, or to extort gave full and accurate information as terms upon which they will promise to to the position of affairs, and the de. remain. .... The principle (of se- mands which were to be made upon cession) is one of disintegration, and the country in the emergency upon which no government can possibly then existing. The entire army endure. If all the states, save one, force was thus computed : regulars and should assert the power to drive that one volunteers for three months and the out of the Union, it is pres:imed the war, 235,000; regiments of volunteers



accepted and not yet in service, 50,000; Mervine, consisting of 21 vessels, 282 new regiments of the regular army, guns, and 3,500 men* 25,000 ; making a total of 310,000. The secretary of the treasury, Mr. Deducting the 80,000 three months Chase, in view of the vast increase of volunteers, 230,000 would be left for expenditures consequent upon the crisis the effective national army for the into which the country had fallen, estiwar, and the speedy crushing out of máted the coming year's outlay at the rebellion.

$300,000,000. To meet this expendiSecretary Welles, of the navy, re. ture, custom duties, direct taxes and ported, that, on the 4th of March, there loans were recommended; and the sewere 69 vessels of all classes, in the cretary set forth at large that, in his navy, mounting 1,346 guns. The ves-judgment, the people would sustain sels in commission were mostly on the government in its call for funds to foreign stations, with about 7,500 men, crush the rebellion. Startling as was exclusive of officers and marines. The the prospect of passing from the ordinhome squadron consisted of 12 vessels, ary outlay of $60,000,000 a year to carrying 187 guns, and about 2,000 five times that amount, the government men; added to this, was the demorali- found by experience, that the loyal supzation among navy officers (259 reporters of the Constitution and laws signed or were dismissed the service were fully equal to the demands then, between March 4th and July 4th), al- or at any time, to be made upon them.t though to their honor be it recorded, Congress addressed itself to its duties the crews, like brave and loyal men, with energy and determination. It was stood by the flag of the Union, and a fixed fact, that the Union must be were not to be seduced into betraying maintained, and the legislature, by its or deserting it. Necessity compelling votes, proved what was the spirit of immediate action, the navy department the people on this subject. The army had, previous to the meeting of Con- was increased by authorizing the erdistgress, secured transport steamers, and ment of 500,000 volunteers; the navy given out contracts to build 23 gun received its proportional increase; a boats, each of about 500 tons burden,

* To assist the secretary in the labors of the de as well as larger vessels. Eight sloops parti

partment, the president was directed to appoint ar of war were put in forwardness at the assistant secretary of the navy. This office was con

ferred upon Lieutenant G. V. Fox, a gentleman of navy yards, and seamen were being ac

great practical experience and sagacity, and at the time tively recruited. The effective force, chief clerk in the navy department. His promotion at this date (July 4th), consisted of the

was hailed with pleasure as a promise of increased vigor

in the service. See Dr. Boynton’s History of the squadron on the Atlantic coast, under Navy during the Rebellion,” vol. i., chap. 111., pp. 56–69. the command of Flag-Officer S. H. + About a month after the adjournment of Congress,

Mr. Chase issued a circular, appealing to the citizens Stringham, consisting of 22 vessels,

essers, of the United States for subscriptions to the two hund296 guns, and 3,300 men—and the | red and fifty million loan. The appeal was promptly squadron in the Gulf of Mexico, under met, and the secretary's circular did good service in

setting forth the ability and resources of the country the command of Flag Officer William for so critical a condition of affairs as the preeent,

[ocr errors]

CH. IV.]



loan of $250,000,000 and $50,000,000 The army bill was very ably and issue of treasury notes were authorized; warmly debated in the Senate, on the import duties were increased; taxes 18th of July, and it is interesting to were laid, collectable at a future day; note the sentiments and views expressetc. Here and there, there were men ed by eminent men in Congress, just like Vallandingham of Ohio, B. Wood before the humiliating repulse at Buil of New York, Burnett of Kentucky, Run, and when, on the loyal side, there and such like, who made every sort of was a general and confident expectation opposition to the means proposed in that the rebellion would speedily be order to sustain the government; but subdued. Mr. Sherman of Ohio, they were a small, and on the whole, avowed that, in his view, there was no insignificant minority, and Congress intention of subjugating any state, or went on vigorously with its work, des interfering with slavery. Mr. Dixon of pite their efforts to the contrary. Connecticut, declared emphatically, that

Without attempting to go into de if the question was, either let the gov- . tails, we may notice a few of the pro-ernment or slavery be destroyed, then minent points of interest at this extra of course slavery must perish. Mr. session. On the 9th of July, Mr. Love Browning of Illinois, uttered words of joy of Illinois, offered the following re. similar import: “If the South force 1861.

solution, which was adopted by upon us the issue, whether the govern. " the House: “Resolved, That in ment shall go down to maintain the in. the judgment of this House, it is no stitutions of slavery, or whether slavery part of the duty of the soldiers of the shall be obliterated to sustain the ConUnited States to capture and return stitution and the government, for which fugitive slaves.” This bore more or our fathers fought and bled, and the less directly upon the views set forth in principles that were concentrated in ii. Gen. McClellan's proclamation in May. I their blood.—I say, sir, when (see p. 43, note), on the subject of sla- comes, if they force it upon us, that very and insurrection of the slaves, and one or the other is to be overthrown, what he and the army would do in such then I am for the government and a state of affairs. On the 10th of July, against slavery, and my voice and my Mr. Clark of New Hampshire, moved vote shall be for sweeping the last vesthe expulsion from the Senate, on the tige of barbarism from the face of the ground of their being engaged in a con- continent.” Other senators, who took spiracy against the Union, of Messrs. part in the debate, while they beld that Mason and Hunter from Virginia, slavery did not produce the rebellion, Clingman and Bragg from North Caro- and deprecated sentiments like those lina, Chesunt from South Carolina, just noticed, were still ready and will. Nicholson from Tennessee, Sebastian ing to give heart and hand to the putand Mitchell from Arkansas, Hemphill ting down disunion and rebellion. and Wigfall from Texas; which was. In the House, Mr. Crittenden, of Ken. accordingly don

| tucky, on the 19th of July offered a

resolution declaring, that the present forward free, any law to the contrary war was forced upon the country by notwithstanding. It was opposed by southern disunionists, and that Con- some senators as irritating and alarm. gress, disclaiming all intention of inter- ing; but it passed by a large vote. In fering with the rights, or institutions of the House, this bill was earnestly de. the states, and all purpose of conquest, bated. It was opposed by the

and 1861. would prosecute the war to defend the venerable Mr. Crittenden and Constitution and preserve the Union. others, as unconstitutional and danger. The resolution was laid over till Mon- ous; but it was strenuously and for. day, the 22d, and then passed almost cibly advocated by various members, unanimously. The same resolution as needful in the present state of affairs, was adopted by the Senate, July 24th, and as perfectly within the province on motion of Andrew Johnson. It inay of the legislature to determine upon. be set down to the credit of the nation. The bill was finally agreed to by a voto al legislature, that, notwithstanding the of 60 to 48. gloomy and disheartening condition of On the last day of the session, on affairs, on this memorable Monday, the motion of Mr. Wilson of Massachusetts, members went on steadily with their a clause was added to the bill increaswork; and the House, unanimously: ing the pay of soldiers, by which it was

"Resolved, That the maintenance of enacted, “That all the acts, proclamathe Constitution, the preservation of the tions and orders of the president of the Union, and the enforcement of the laws, United States, after the 4th of March, are sacred trusts which must be execut. 1861, respecting the army and navy of ed; that no disaster shall discourage us the United States, and calling out or from the most ample performance of relating to the militia or volunteers this high duty; and that we pledge to from the states, are hereby approved, the country and to the world the em- and in all respects legalized and made ployment of every resource, national valid, to the same intent, and with the and individual, for the suppression, same effect, as if they had been issued overthrow, and punishment of rebels in and done under the previous express arms." Three days later, the Senate authority and direction of the Congress adopted a resolution to the same effect, of the United States." The bill was which lacked only one vote (Brecken- agreed to by the House, and Congress ridge of Kentucky) to render it unani. adjourned on the 6th of August, after mous.

a session of only thirty-three days.* On the 24th of July, the Senate con

* Just at the close of the session a joint resolution sidered a bill to confiscate property of the two houses was unanimously adopted, asking the used for insurrectionary purposes by

president to call upon the people to supplicate God's

.: mercy and forbearance towards our country. The persons engaged in rebellion, to which

president acted upon the recommendation of Congress, Mr. Trumbull moved an amendment: and on the 12th of August issued a very earnest pro by this, slaves, if employed by their clamation, appointing September 26th as a national

fast-day. The people observed the day in every part masters to aid in rebellion, were thence of the loyal states.



The Confederate Congress (see p. 43) nation. They are at last compelled to

r the first time in Richmond, abandon the pretence of being engaged July 20th, the day before the battle of in dispersing rioters and suppressing Bull Run. The message of Davis was insurrections, and are driven ,

1861. of the usual length, but characterized to the acknowledgment that by an acrimonious, irritable spirit the ancient Union has been dissolved. against President Lincoln, and what he They recognize the separate existence had said in his message to Congress, of these Confederate states, by an inter. July 4th. Davis's language indicated dictive embargo and blockade of all quite clearly, though undesignedly, that commerce between them and the United he as well as his co-workers in rebellion States, not only by sea, but by land; were not at all pleased at the energy not only in ships, but in cars; not only and determination manifested by our with those who bear arms, but with government and people; and whether the entire population of the Confedehe intended to deceive the people of rate states. Finally, they have re. the South, or make capital abroad, he pudiated the foolish conceit that the stopped at nothing in order to accom- inhabitants of this confederacy are still plish his purpose. A passage or two citizens of the United States; for they may be quoted as illustrating the chief are waging an indiscriminate war upon rebel's riews and statements. “The them all, with savage ferocity, unknown rapid progress of events, for the last in modern civilization." few weeks, has fully sufficed to lift the Davis announced his purpose and veil behind which the true policy and plan of retaliation on account of the purpose of the government of the privateersmen captured by the United United States bad been previously con- States, and on trial for piracy. With cealed. Their odious features now stand congratulations at having escaped all fully revealed. The message of their connection with the loyal states, he president, and the action of their Con-called for increase of the army, lauded gress during the present month, confess the devotion of the people of the South, their intention of the subjugation of and wound up with a glorification of these states by a war, by which it is the “calm and sublime devotion” disimpossible to attain the proposed result, played on all hands. while its dire calamities, not to be Various measures were adopted by avoided by us, will fall with double the rebel congress, principally looking severity on themselves. ..... These to financial difficulties, which already enormous preparations in men and began to press heavily upon the secosmoney, for the conduct of the war, on sionists, and were among the most pera scale more grand than any which the plexing to manage in the existing state new world ever witnessed, is a distinct of affairs. Beside the “produce loan,” avowal, in the eyes of civilized man, treasury notes were authorized to the that the United States are engaged in a extent of $100,000,000; a war tax was conflict with a great and powerful imposed; etc. The army was reported

[ocr errors]


« AnteriorContinuar »