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The North and the South.
incompatible with density of population; and a study of the Census of 1860 reveals the fact that of more
Population than thirty-one million human beings who of the seceded
States. then inhabited the United States, only about twelve millions dwelt in the slave States. As a partial offset to this disproportion in population, the Southern leaders expected that the people of the newly settled regions of the North-west would side with them, or, at least, would remain neutral. At the very outset, the seceders met with two great disasters: the North-west threw its whole strength on the side of union and all the slave States did not secede. The population of the seceding States was in this way about three and one-half millions less than that of the slave-holding States. Subtracting this number from one side and adding it to the other, it is found that the States which seceded contained less than nine million inhabitants to more than twenty-two millions living in the Union States. Moreover, of the nine millions dwelling in the former section about three and one-half millions were negro slaves. The free population of the Confederate States was only about five and one-half millions. The entire adult male white population of the seceding States was only two million seven hundred and ninety-nine thousand and the federal government had on its muster rolls in May 1865 over one million men, exclusive of those serving in the navy. In this connection one more fact may be stated. There were only about three hundred and fifty thousand slave-holders in the whole country in 1860, and probably not more than two millions of white persons were supported directly by slave labour.
President Buchanan, a Democrat, occupied the position of chief gistrate at the time of the secession of South Carolina. He possessed constitutional constitutional
scruples. scruples against coercing a “sovereign State”; and the possibility of coercing a Southerner seems not to
have occurred to him. Nor was the doctrine yet invented which comforted many a Northern Democrat later on – that the sovereign State of Pennsylvania or New York might wage war on the sovereign State of South Carolina. The constitutional position of the administration was extraordinary. It seemed to be admitted that South Carolina was sufficiently “sovereign" to seize the forts, arsenal, and military equipment of the United States which might happen to be within her borders; but was not sufficiently “sovereign" to be warred on and coerced by a presumably sovereign government like the United States. South Carolina commissioners appeared at Washington to arrange for a partition of the public debt and assets, for although “out of the Union” in this sense she was “in the Union” as regards coercion.
On the 1st of January, 1861, many Republican State governors, Andrew of Massachusetts and Blair of Michigan, for example, were sworn into office in the North. They were not content to allow matters to drift along, and began making preparations for war. Some of them, like Andrew, ordered arms and ammunition from foreign firms on their own responsibility, and thus were enabled to equip their State troops for service and send them to Washington within a day or two after the fall of Fort Sumter. Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated President on March 4th,
1861. He was a typical man of the people, and Inaugural represented that which was soundest in Ameri
His father belonged to that most discouraging class - the "poor white" of the South. Absolutely without early advantages, Abraham Lincoln raised himself by his own efforts to the highest position in the gift of his fellow
In his seriousness and in his humour, nay even in his ungainly person and kindly face, he stood for the American people. In his inaugural address he stated that he considered that in the view of the Constitution and the laws, the Union
is unbroken, and to the extent of my ability I shall take care, as the Constitution itself expressly enjoins upon me, that the laws of the Union be faithfully executed in all the States.” Appealing to the Southerners, he said: “In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war You have no oath registered in Heaven to destroy the Government, while I have the most solemn one to preserve, protect, and defend it.”
He gathered about him a cabinet of able men: Seward, Secretary of State, Chase, Secretary of the
Lincoln's Treasury, Cameron, and later Stanton, Secretary
policy. of War, and Welles, Secretary of the Navy. Mr Seward at first appears to have regarded himself as the head of the government; but Lincoln quietly set him in his proper place, and throughout the war exercised himself the great powers conferred on him, although he always took advice as to any important matter. In pursuance of the conciliatory yet firm line of policy enunciated in his inaugural address, he sent word to the Governor of South Carolina that the federal garrison in Fort Sumter would be provisioned. Then ensued the bombardment and capture of that fort by the Southerners, on April 14th, 1861. The next day President Lincoln issued a proclamation calling for seventy-five thousand volunteers. This document, which was elaborated with great skill, contains an admirable statement of the points in controversy from the Northern standpoint.
“The laws of the United States," said the President, “have been for some time past, and now are opposed, and the execution thereof obstructed in the States of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, by combinations too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial pro- i ceedings.
“Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the
United States, in virtue of the power in me vested by the Constitution and the laws, have thought fit to call forth, and hereby do call forth, the militia of the several States of the Union, to the aggregate number of seventy-five thousand, in order to suppress said combinations, and to cause the laws to be duly executed.
“I appeal to all loyal citizens to favour, facilitate, and aid | this effort to maintain the honour, the integrity, and existence of our national Union, and the perpetuity of popular government, and to redress wrongs already long enough endured.
“And I hereby command the persons composing the combinations aforesaid to disperse and retire peaceably to their respective abodes, within twenty days from this date.” He also summoned Congress to meet on July 4th, 1861. The response to this call for aid was more hearty than
even Lincoln, in his simple faith in the righteousness of his cause, could have hoped for; many
times seventy-five thousand men prepared to answer the summons. Douglas, his late rival for the presidency, promised the President his hearty support, and this fact telegraphed over the country turned many a doubting mind. The ex-Presidents, Franklin Pierce and James Buchanan, also
came out for the Union,” now that the seceders had levied war on the national government. Four days later, on April 19th, 1861 — the anniversary of
the battles of Lexington and Concord — the Sixth Massachusetts Regiment, hastening to the de
fence of the capital, was attacked by a mob while marching through the streets of Baltimore, and several men were killed and wounded. This was the first bloodshed of the war, for the garrison of Fort Sumter had surrendered to starvation. Baltimore was soon cut off from the rest of the country. But troops proceeded by way of Annapolis, and soon Washington and Maryland were saved for the Union. Delaware,
The Volunteers of 1861.
The “ Border States."
Progress of Secession.
also, in which slavery existed, took the same side. In Missouri there was a large body of men favourable to the cause of secession. But, largely through the exertions of General Lyon, who lost his life in the struggle, Missouri was prevented from joining the Southern cause. Kentucky also was saved, after giving the administration considerable anxiety. The people of the western part of Virginia had no sympathy with secession. They were outvoted in the State Convention by the delegates from the eastern part of the State; but, with the aid of a small Union army, they seceded from Virginia. Later, in 1862, that section was admitted to the Union as the State of West Virginia — although not without straining a point of constitutional interpretation. Tennessee, Arkansas, and the remainder of Virginia seceded from the Union and joined the extreme ? Southern States in their resistance to the federal authorities.
Men who already had some knowledge of military methods naturally came to the front in the early days of recruiting. Among them was Ulysses S. Grant, of Galena, Illinois. He had been educated at West Point, the government military training school, and had served with the colours during the Mexican War. entered with great energy into the contest; and acting under the authority of the Governor of Illinois, he seized the town of Cairo, in the extreme south-western corner of that State, where the Ohio joins the Mississippi. Soon afterwards he took possession of Paducah, at the junction of the Ohio and Tennessee Rivers. These two opportune seizures prevented the Confederates from using the Ohio River as their first line of defence.
The earliest considerable conflict of the war, however, was the battle of Bull Run, in Virginia. At the first glance, the conditions of warfare east of the
of Virginia. Alleghanies seem difficult to comprehend. But a knowledge of the field of operations will help to diminish the