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and direct mind of General Benjamin F. Butler, of Massachusetts. He had been a pro-slavery Breckinridge democrat. When his political friends at the South drew the sword, he, without hesitation, drew his for his country, and against them; and he was the first to lead a brigade to the defense of Washington.
In May, General Butler found himself in command at Fortress Monroe. One evening three negroes came into his camp, saying, “ they had fled from their master, Colonel Mallory, who was about to set them to work on rebel fortifications!" If they had been Colonel Mallory's horses or mules, there could be no question as to what should be done with them. But so strangely deluded were the army officers, that up to that time, they had returned fugitive slaves to rebel masters, to work and fight for the rebel cause! Would Butler continue the folly?
He uttered the words, “ These men are contraband of war."" This sentence, expressing an obvious truth, was more important than a battle gained. It was a victory in the direction of emancipation, upon which the success of the Union cause was ultimately to depend. He, of course, refused to surrender them, but set them at work on his own defenses. Up to this time, the South had fought to maintain slavery, and the Government, for fear of offending Kentucky, and other border States, would not touch it. Strange as it may seem, a rebel officer had the presumption, under a flag of truce, to demand the return of these negroes, under the alleged Constitutional obligation to return fugitive slaves. General Butler, of course, refused, saying, “I shall retain the negroes as contraband of war! You are using them upon your batteries; it is merely a question whether they shall be used for or against us." Other Generals of the Union army, were very slow in recognizing this obvious truth. General McClellan, on the 26th of May, issued an address to the people of his military district, in which he said, “ Not only will we abstain from all interference with your slaves, but we will, on the contrary, with an iron hand, crush any attempt at insurrection on their part.”
Early in June, the administration and the country, sustained a great loss in the death of Douglas. He died at Chicago, on the 3d; his death, hastened by the zeal and energy he exerted to aid and strengthen the Government to meet the dangers surrounding it.
Mr. Lincoln was deeply grieved by the death of his great rival, who had become one of his most valued advisers. Douglas had caused the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, and thereby precipitated the conflict between freedom and slavery; but for this repeal, probably the resort to arms might have been delayed for a generation; possibly by the influence of moral and peaceful agencies prevented; but as has been stated, he did all in his power to redeem the past, by giving all his influence to the Government when the conflict came. The moment the flag of the insurgents was raised, he tried to hush the voice of party strife, and rallied his friends to the support of his country. He died at a moment when he had the opportunity and the disposition to have rendered the greatest service to his country. Had he lived, his energetic, determined, positive character would have continued him a leader, and there would have been no voice louder, more emphatic than his, demanding prompt, vigorous, and decisive measures. The Nation will not forget him, and Illinois will cherish his memory, and as the early opponent, and later, the friend of Lincoln, his name will live as long as Lake Michigan shall roll her blue waves upon the shore where rest his remains.
EXTRA SESSION OF CONGRESS - CIVIL POLICY AND MILITARY
EVENTS TO THE CLOSE OF 1861.
CONGRESS - PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE - ACTION OF CONGRESS-BA
KER'S REPLY TO BRECKENRIDGE — ANDREW JOHNSON — DENOUNCES DAVIS — THE REBEL LEADERS — PROMINENT SENATORS, AND MEMBERS —SUMNER, BAKER, FESSENDEN AND OTHERS-STEPHENS, COLFAX, LOVEJOY AND OTHERS- - BILL TO CONFISCATE THE PROPERTY AND FREE THE SLAVES OF REBELS — THE ARMY NOT TO RETURN FUGITIVE SLAVES-CRITTENDEN'S RESOLUTION
Bull Run— McCLELLAN IN COMMAND-FREEMONT-His EMANCIPATION ORDER — LETTER OF HOLT- PRESIDENT MODIFIES THE ORDER — His REASONS CAMERON'S INSTRUCTION TO SHERMAN IN S. C.- MILITARY MOVEMENTS IN THE FALL OF 1861 - DEATH OF LYON -- BALL'S BLUFF — DEATH OF BAKER — BELMONT — THE TRENT AFFAIR – ARREST
THE special session of the 37th Congress met at the Capital
on the Fourth of July, agreeably to the call of the President. IIannibal Hamlin, Vice President, presided over the Senate, Galusha A. Grow of Pennsylvania was elected Speaker of the Ilouse, and Emerson Etheridge of Tennessee, Clerk.
In the Senate, twenty-three States, and in the House twenty-two States were represented. There were forty Senators, and one hundred and fifty-four Representatives, on the first day of the session. No Representatives appeared from Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, or Arkansas. drew Johnson, “ faithful among the faithless,” represented Tennessee in the Senate, and Horace Maynard and Andrew
EXTRA SESSION OF CONGRESS.
J. Clements appeared and took their seats at the second session, in the House. Among the more prominent Senators of New England, who had already secured a National reputation, were Fessenden and Morrill of Maine, Ilale and Clark of New Hampshire, Sumner and Wilson of Massachusetts, Collamer and Foote of Vermont, and Anthony of Rhode Island. New York was represented by Preston King and Ira J. Harris.
Mr. Hale, from New Hampshire, had been the leader of the old Liberty party. “Solitary and alone" in the United States Senate, by his wit and humor, his readiness and ability, he had maintained his position against the whole Senatorial delegation of the Slave States, and their numerous allies from the Free States. From Vermont, the dignified, urbane, and somewhat formal, Solomon Foote; his colleague was Jacob Collamer, a gentleman of the old school who had been a member of Cabinets, and was one of the wisest jurists and Statesmen of our Country. Preston King had been the friend and confidant of Silas Wright and Thomas H. Benton, and a leader at the Buffalo Convention; genial, true and devoted to the principles of democracy as enunciated in the Declaration of Independence. From Pennsylvania, was David Wilmot, who, while a member of the House, introduced the “Wilmot Proviso," which connects forever his name, with the Anti-Slavery contest.
From Ohio, John Sherman, a brother of General Sherman, and late a distinguished Speaker of the House of Representatives and Chairman of the Committee on Finance; and Benjamin Wade, staunch, rude, earnest and true.
From Illinois, Lyman Trumbull and O. H. Browning, both distinguished lawyers, and competitors at the bar with Douglas and Lincoln. From Iowa, Senators Grimes and Harlan; from Wisconsin, Doolittle and Howe; from Michigan, Bingham and Chandler; from Indiana, Jessie D. Bright and Henry S. Lane; the latter of whom had presided over the Philadelphia Convention of 1856.
But many vacant chairs in these council chambers, impressed the spectator with the magnitude of the impending struggle. The old Chiefs of slavery were absent; some at
Richmond, others in arms against their country. The chair of their leader, Davis; that of the blustering Toombs; the accomplished, cautious Hunter; the polished Benjamin ; the haughty, pretentious Mason; the crafty, unscrupulous Slidell, and their compeers, were all vacant. The seat of the "Little Giant” of Illinois, the ambitious but true patriot, Douglas, was vacant-not, thank God, from treason, but by death. Lifelong opponents gazed sadly upon his unoccupied seat.
Well had it been for the fame of Breckenridge if his chair had been made vacant by early death. But still conspicuous among the Senators of this Congress, was the late Vice Pres. ident, now the Senator from Kentucky. As the representative of one of the historic families of that State, no young man of the Nation, until 1860, had prouder prospects.
Entering into the conspiracy to divide the Union, he first permitted, as a preliminary step, his name to be used at Charleston, for the Presidency, to divide the Democratic party. He came to the United States Senate in July 1861, with no loyalty to the Union. He had on the 25th of April preceding, denounced the call of the President for troops, and advised, that in the event of the failure to arrest what he called coercion, Kentucky should unite with the South. He entered the Senate with the avowed determination to arrest, if possible, the efforts of the Administration to protect and maintain the Government by force. He had now few friends or sympathizers in Washington, and was regarded with distrust by his loyal associates. Dark and gloomy, he could be daily seen, without companions, wending his way to the Senate Chamber, where his voice and his votes were constantly exerted to thwart the measures introduced for maintaining the authority of the Constitution. He soon came to be looked upon as a spy as well as a traitor. It was obvious that his heart was with his old associates at Richmond.
As soon as the special session closed, he threw off all disguise, entered the Secession Camp, and joined his fortunes with the insurgents.
President Lincoln, in his message to this Congress, calmly reviews the situation. IIe calls attention to the fact, that at his inauguration, the functions of the Federal Government