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AND OTHER FEDERAL DISASTERS.
Unionist loss of 1,512 killed and 6,000 wounded,* followed by a fresh withdrawal of the Federal army beyond the Rappahannock, and a new dash of Confederate cavalry into Maryland (which however proved a mere raid);—the scarcely less terrible repulse of Sherman before Vicksburg (26-29) followed by the temporary withdrawal of the army from its neighbourhood, and Sherman's own supersession by M'Clernand,
-a few days previously (December 19) the surrender of Holly Springs, Mississippi, to the Confederates, with 2,000,000 dollars' worth of stores (an event which compelled General Grant to fall back, and thereby prevented him from co-operating with Sherman, whilst enabling the Confederates to throw reinforcements into Vicksburg)—the capture of three whole regiments and a party of cavalry, by Morgan's guerrillas at Hartsville, Tennessee (December 7), —and other smaller mishaps, were not suffi
* The President is reported to have said on this occasion: "If there is a man out of perdition that suffers more than I do, I pity him."
118 THE EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION
ciently set off by successes in Arkansas, an advance of General Foster in North Carolina, which led to nothing, and the hardly contested battle of Murfreesborough in Tennessee, which began on the 31st by the defeat of General M'Cook, and only terminated on January 4 by the retreat of the Confederates. At sea, while the Alabama was continuing her depredations on the coast of Cuba, the Monitor, the single Federal vessel which had won a distinct name hitherto, foundered a little before the last midnight of the year.
It was under these circumstances that the President had to fulfil his pledge given in September, 1862, and to issue, on the 1st of January, 1863, his famous proclamation, whereby, in virtue of the power vested in him as " Commander-in-Chief of the army and navy of the United States in time of actual armed rebellion against the authority and Government of the United States, and as a fit and necessary war measure for suppressing the said rebellion," he designates as being in rebellion the States of
OF 1ST JANUARY, 1863.
Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana (thirteen counties excepted), Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia (the forty-eight counties of Western Virginia, and seven others, excepted), and ordered and declared :—
"That all persons held as slaves within said designated States, and parts of States, are and henceforward shall be free; and that the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons. And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free, to abstain from all violence, unless in necessary self-defence; and I recommend to them that, in all cases where allowed, they labour faithfully for reasonable wages. And I further declare and make known that such persons, of suitable condition, will be received into the armed service of the United States to garrison forts, positions, stations, and
* The words "and maintain," are due to Mr. Seward.
other places, and to man vessels of all sorts in said service. And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind, and the gracious favour of Almighty God."*
The exact bearing of this step should not be exaggerated. Mr. Lincoln proclaimed the slaves within the rebellious States free: he did not abolish slavery therein. To do this would have altogether transcended even his war powers as Commander-in-Chief, which might, however, authorise the enfranchisement of all slaves existing at a given period within certain limits, such enfranchisement being practically only a peculiar form of confiscation of a peculiar kind of property. Yet this would no more hinder the inhabitants of the States in question from purchasing other slaves, and exercising over them, the war once ended, all powers given by the local
This last sentence is due to Mr. Chase, with the exception of the words "upon military necessity," inserted by Mr. Lincoln.
or general law over slaves generally, than a confiscation of all horses and mules within the same limits would have hindered them from buying other animals of the same description, and saddling or harnessing them at pleasure. The proclamation could thus be no more than a beginning of the good work, to be completed in every case by State action. Nor indeed did it or could it apply to the loyal Slave StatesDelaware, Maryland, Kentucky, Missouri, with the excepted portions of Virginia and Louisiana, besides Tennessee. Slavery was thus left subsisting over an area which, at the Census of 1860, had contained between seven and eight hundred thousand human chattels; although that figure had been enormously reduced by the various events of the war-emigration South of planters with their slaves, escapes, confiscations.
Still, the great word had been spoken. Upwards of 3,000,000 of slaves were declared entitled to immediate freedom. The chief magistrate of the United States proclaimed to his countrymen, to the world, that the freedom of