Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

i

and just way to deal with the tenets and positions from time to time held by contending parties--this, namely: to cite fully and fairly from the 'platforms' and other formal declarations of sentiment put forth by each; or (in the absence of these) from the speeches, messages, and other authentic utterances, of their accepted, recognized chiefs. This I have constantly and very freely done throughout this volume. Regarding the progress of Opinion toward absolute, universal justice, as the one great end which hallows effort and recompenses sacrifice, I have endeavored to set forth clearly, not only what my countrymen, at different times, have done, but what the great parties into which they are or have been divided have believed and affirmed, with regard more especially to Human Slavery, and its rights and privileges in our Union. And, however imperfectly my task may have been performed, I believe that no preëxisting work has so fully and consistently exhibited the influences of Slavery in molding the opinions of our people, as well as in shaping the destinies of our country.

To the future historian, much will be very easy that now is difficult; as much will in his day be lucid which is now obscure; and he may take for granted, and dispatch in a sentence, truths that have now to be established by pains-taking research and elaborate citation, But it is by the faithful fulfillment of the duties incumbent on us, his predecessors, that his labors will be lightened and his averments rendered concise, positive, and correct. Our work, well done, will render his task easy, while increasing the value of its fruits.

Some ancient historians favor their readers with speeches of generals and chiefs to their soldiers on the eve of battle, and on other memorable occasions; which, however characteristic and fitting, are often of questionable authenticity. Modern history draws on ampler resources, and knows that its materials are seldom apocryphal. What Franklin, Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Laurens, the Pinckneys, Marshall, Jackson, Clay, Calhoun, Webster, etc., etc., have from time to time propounded as to the nature and elements of our Federal pact, the right or wrong of Secession, the extension or restriction of Slavery under our National flag, etc., etc., is on record; and we know, beyond the possibility of mistake, its precise terms as well as its general purport. We stand, as it were, in the immediate presence of the patriot sages and heroes who made us a nation, and listen to their wellweighed utterances as if they moved in life among us to-day. Not to have cited them in exposure and condemnation of the novelties that have so fearfully disturbed our peace, would have been to slight and ignore some of the noblest lessons ever given by wisdom and virtue for the instruction and guidance of mankind.

It has been my aim to recognize more fully than has been usual the legitimate position and necessary influence of the Newspaper Press of our day in the discussion and decision of the great and grave questions from time to time arising among us. To-day, the history of our country is found recorded in the columns of her journals more fully, promptly, vividly, than elsewhere. More and more is this becoming the case with other countries throughout the civilized world. A history which takes no account of what was said by the Press in memorable emergencies befits an earlier age than ours.

As my plan does not contemplate the invention of any facts, I must, of course, in narrating the events of the war, draw largely from sources common to all writers on this theme, but especially from The Rebellion Record of Mr. Frank Moore, wherein the documents eluci

[ocr errors]

PRELIMINARY EGOTISM.

11

dating our great struggle are, in good part, preserved. Perhaps the events of no former war were ever so fully and promptly embodied in a single work as are those of our great contest in The Record, which must prove the generous fountain whence all future historians of our country may draw at will. But I am also considerably indebted to Mr. Orville J. Victor's History of the Southern Rebellion, wherein is embodied much valuable, important, and interesting material not contained in The Record. I shall doubtless appear to have made more use of Mr. Edward A. Pollard's Southern History of the War; which I have often cited, and shall continue to cite, for peculiar reasons. Its author is so hot-headed a devotee of Slavery and the Rebellion, that nothing which seems to favor that side is too marvelous for his deglutition; so that, if he were told that a single Confederate had constrained a Union regiment to lay down their arms and surrender, he would swallow it, without scrutiny or doubt. His work, therefore, is utterly untrustworthy as a whole; yet, in certain aspects, it has great value. He is so headlong and unquestioning a believer in the Confederacy, that he never dreams of concealing or disavowing the fundamental ideas whereon it is based; it is precisely because it stands and strikes for Slavery that he loves and glories in the Confederate cause. Then his statements of the numbers engaged or of the losses on either side are valuable in one aspect: You know that he never overstates the strength nor the losses of the Confederates; while he seems, in some instances, to have had access to official reports and other documents which have not been seen this side of the Potomac. Hence the use I have made, and shall doubtless continue to make, of his work. But I trust that it has been further serviceable to me, in putting me on my guard against those monstrous exaggerations of the numbers opposed to them with which weak, incompetent, and worsted commanders habitually excuse, or seek to cover up, their failures, defeats, and losses.

I have not found, and do not expect to find, room for biographic accounts of the generals and other commanders who figure in our great struggle, whether those who have honored and blessed or those who have betrayed and shamed their country. To have admitted these would have been to expand my work inevitably beyond the prescribed limits. By nature little inclined to man-worship, and valuing individuals only as the promoters of measures, the exponents of ideas, I have dealt with personal careers only when they clearly exhibited some phase of our National character, elucidated the state of contemporary opinion, or palpably and powerfully modified our National destinies. Thomas Jefferson, Eli Whitney, Andrew Jackson, Daniel Webster, John C. Calhoun, Benjamin Lundy, Elijah P. Lovejoy, John Brown--men differing most widely in intellectual caliber as well as in aspirations, instincts, convictions, and purposes--may fairly be regarded as, in their several spheres, representative Americans, each of whom in some sense contributed to lay the train which we have seen fired by the Secessionists of our day with so magnificent a pyrotechnic display, so majestic a resulting conflagration; and of these, accordingly, some notion may be acquired from the following pages; while, of our generals and commodores,

achievements, are all that I can give. So many battles, sieges, marches, campaigns, etc., remain to be narrated, that-ample as this work would seem to be, and capacious as are its pages-a naked record of the remaining events of the war, especially should it be protracted

for a full year more, will test to the utmost my power of condensation to conclude the work in another volume of the generous amplitude of this.

My subject naturally divides itself into two parts: I. How we got into the War for the Union ; and II. How we get out of it. I have respected this division in my cast of the present work, and submit this volume as a clear elucidation of the former of these problems, hoping to be at least equally satisfactory in my treatment of the latter.

It is the task of the historian to eliminate from the million facts that seemed important in their day and sphere respectively, the two or three thousand that have an abiding and general interest, presenting these in their due proportions, and with their proper relative emphasis. Any success in this task must, of course, be comparative and approximate; and no historical work ever was or will be written whereof a well-informed and competent critic might not forcibly say, ' Why was this fact stated and that omitted? Why give a page to this occurrence, and ignore that, which was of at least equal consequence? Why praise the achievement of A, yet pass over that of B, which was equally meritorious and important!! But, especially in dealing with events so fresh and recent as those of our great convulsion, must the historian expose himself to such strictures. Time, with its unerring perspective, reduces every incident to its true proportions; so that we are no longer liable to misconceptions and apprehensions which were once natural and all but universal. We know, beyond question, that Braddock's defeat and death before Fort Du Quesne had not the importance which they seemed to wear in the eyes of those who heard of them within the month after their occurrence; that Bunker Hill, though tactically a defeat, was practically a triumph to the arms of our Revolutionary fathers; that the return of Bonaparte from Elba exerted but little influence over the destinies of Europe, and that little of questionable beneficence; and that 'fillibusterism,' so called, since its first brilliant achievement in wresting Texas from Mexico and annexing her to this country, though attempting much, has accomplished very little, toward the diffusion either of Freedom or Slavery. And so, much that now seems of momentous consequence will doubtless have shrunk, a century hence, to very moderate dimensions, or perhaps been forgotten altogether.

The volume which is to conclude this work cannot, of course, appear till some time after the close of the contest; and I hope to be able to bestow upon it at least double the time that I was at liberty to devote to this. I shall labor constantly to guard against Mr. Pollard's chief error-that of supposing that all the heroism, devotedness, humanity, chivalry, evinced in the contest, were displayed on one side; all the cowardice, ferocity, cruelty, rapacity, and general depravity, on the other. I believe it to be the truth, and as such I shall endeavor to show, that, while this war has been signalized by some deeds disgraceful to human nature, the general behavior of the combatants on either side has been calculated to do honor even to the men who, though fearfully misguided, are still our countrymen, and to exalt the prestige of the American name.

That the issue of this terrible contest may be such as God, in His inscrutable wisdom, shall deem most directly conducive to the progress of our race in knowledge, virtue, liberty, and consequent happiness, is not more the fervent aspiration, than it is the consoling and steadfast faith, of

H. G. NEW YORK, April 10, 1864.

0

[ocr errors]

CO

INDEX BY CHAPTERS.

PAGE

PAGE
I. Our Country in 1782 and in 1860.... 17 | XVII. The Nebraska-Kansas Struggle.....224
Increase of Population and Wealth.

1854-614-Pierce- Atchison-A. C. Dodge-Douglas

--Archibald Dixon-Salmon P. Chase-Badger of

II. Slavery in America, prior to 1776.... 24

N. C.-English of Ind.--A. H. Stephens-Gov. Reed-

er-William Phillips--John W. Whitfield Civil

War in Kansas-Win. Dow-Sheriff Jones--Nomi-

III. Do. in the American Revolution... 33

nation of Fremont-President Fillmore at Albany-

Election of Buchanan-Lecompton-Wyandot--Ad-

mission of Kansas as a Free State.

IV. Do. under the Confederation....... 37

Jefferson's Proposal of Restriction-Nathan Dane's do. XVIII. Case of Dred Scott in Sup. Court...251

V. The Convention of 1787 and the Fed-

Views of President Buchanan-Chief Justice Taney

Judge Wayne-Judge Nelson-Judge Grier

. .eral Constitution................ 41

Judge Daniel-Judge Campbell-Judge Catron--

Col. Benton-Wm. L. Yancey-Daniel Webster

VI. Slavery after 1787..
187.................

Judge McLean--Judge Curtis.
Persistent Hostility of Congress to Slavery Extension
Purchase of Louisiana--Eli Whitney and his Cot.

XIX. Our Foreign Policy-Monroe-Cuba. 26-1
ton-Gin-Colonization.

Treaty with France-Washington-Jefferson-The

VII. Missouri—the Struggle for Restriction. 74

• Monroe Doctrine'-The Panaina Congress---Se

cret Intrigues for the Acquisition of Cuba-Ed-

Scott--Clay-Pinkney--P. P. Barbour-Webster-

ward Everett on the Proposition of France and
John W. Taylor--Thomas-the Compromise.

England for a triplicate guarantee of Cuba to Spain

-The Ostend Manifesto-William Walker and the

VIII. State Rights Resolutions of '98..... 81

"regeneration of Central America-Mr. Buchanan on

Cuba-Democratic National resolve of 1860 respect-

Nullification-Hayne-Webster-Jackson--Calhoun

ing Cuba,

Georgia and the Indians.

IX. Abolition—Its Rise and Progress....107

XX. John Brown and his Raid..........279

Early efforts for Emancipation--Slave-holders con-

Lineage and early life of John Brown--His Kansas
deinn Slavery-Virginia - Benjamin Lundy-Wm.

Experiences His Convention in Canada--Repairs

Lloyd Garrison.

to Virginia-Seizes Harper's Ferry - Is overpowered

captured-convicted-hung.

X. The Churches on Slavy and Abolition .117

XXI. The Presidential Canvass of 1860..299

XI. The Pro-Slavery Reaction-Riots.....122

State Elections of 1857-8-9-Lincoln versus Douglas

Rifling the Mails—Persecution and Murder of Rev.

-Gov. Seward's Irrepressible Conflict'-Slavery
E. P. Lovejoy-The Struggle in Congress for the

legally established in New Mexico—'Helper's Im-

Right of Petition.

pending Crisis' in Congress--defeats John Sherman

for Speaker-Pennington chosen-Jeff. Davis's new

XII, Texas and her Annexation to the U.S.147

Deinocratic Platform-The National Democratic

Convention at Charleston-Splits on a Platform

Sam, Houston-M. Hunt-Webster—T, W. Gilmer-

The fragments adjourn to Baltimore and Richmond
Jackson J. Q. Adamso-Van Buren-Clay-Benton

Douglas and Fitzpatrick nominated by the larger

--Polk-Tyler--Calhoun.

fraction-Breckinridge and Lane by the smaller-

Fitzpatrick declines-H. V. Johnson substituted-

XIII. The Mission of Samuel Hoar to S. C.. 178

Bell and Everett nominated by the Constitutional

Union Party-Lincoln and Hamlin by the Re-

XIV. War with Mexico-Wilmot Proviso...185

publicans--The Canvass-Gov. Seward's closing

Gen. Cass--Letter to Nicholson--Gen. Taylor chosen
President-Attempts by Gen. Burt, of s. C., and by
Senator Douglas, to extend the Compromise Line of

1. XXII. Secession inaugurated in S. C......328

36° 30' to the Pacific.

Legislature called-Gov. Gist's MessageSenator

Chesnut's Speech - Boyce — Moses - Trenholm-

XV. The Struggle for Compromise in 1850..198

McGowan--Mullins--Ruffin-Judge Magrath re-

Gov. Seward-James Brooks-Gen. Taylor-Hen-

signs--Military Convention in Georgia-Votes to se-
ry Clay-Jefferson Davis-Webster's 7th of March

cede-Facilities to Disunion-Houston-Letcher-
Speech The Texas Job.

Magoffin-Conway-C. F. Jackson- Alex. II. Ste-

phens-S. C. Convention--Ordinance of Secession

XVI. The Era of Slave-Hunting-1850-60.210

immediately and unanimously passed Georgia fol-

lows--so do Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louis-

Fugitive Slave Law John Van Buren-Judge Grier

iana, and Texas-Arkansas, North Carolina, Vir-
R. R. Sloane-Margaret Garner-Anthony Burns

ginia, Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky, Maryland and
- The Flaunting Lie - National Party Platforms

Delaware, refuse to do likewise-The Secessionists a

of 1852---Gen, Scott Election of Pierce and King.

minority in the Slave States.

[graphic]
[graphic]

PAGE

XXXII. West Virginia clings to the Union 516

Convention called-State organization effected

McClellan advances-Fight at Ricb Moun-

tain-Rebel rout at Carrick's Ford-Union Re-
pulse at Scarytown-Surprise at Cross Lanes-
Carnifex Ferry-Guyandotte-Romney-Alle-

ghan y Summit-Huntersville.

XXXIII. The War in Old Virginia ........528

Ft. Monroe-Great Bethel-Alexandria occu-

piedVienna,Patterson's advance-His flank

movement to Charlestown-Johnston rushes to

Manassas–Geu. Sanford's testimony---McDow-

ell advances to Centerville-Blackburn's Ford

-Bull Run--Union defeat and flight-Causes

thereof-Gen. Scott's plan--Criticised by Hon.

F. P. Blair-Consequences of our failure.

XXXIV. First session of the 37th Congress 553

Organization of the House-Mr. Lincoln's first

Message—Various propositions-Henry May's

visit to Richmond--Conservative Republicans

on Slavery and the Union-Mr. Crittenden's

resolve-Proposals to Compromise-Confisca-

tion of Slaves used to promote the Rebellion

The President's acts approved--Adjourument.

XXXV.

Rebellion and War in Missouri.572

State preparations to aid the Rebellion--Flight

of Jackson from Jefferson City-Fight at

Booneville-Cainp Cole--State Convention-

Jackson's Proclamation of War-Dug Springs

--Battle of Wilson's Creek-Death of Lyon-

Freinont in coinmand-Letter to the President

--Proclains Martial Law-Mulligan besieged

at Lexington-Surrenders - Price retreats-

Fremont pursues--Zagonyi's Charge at Spring-

field-Fremont superseded----Halleck in com-

mand-Battle of Belmont.

XXXVI. War on the Seaboard and Ocean.597

The Privateer Savannah The Petrel-Fort

Hatteras--Pensacola and Pickens-The Sum-

ter-Hollins's Ram exploit--Dupont and Sher-

man's Expedition-Capture of Port Royal-
The Trent Case-Surrender of Mason and Sli-

dell.

XXXVII. Kentucky adheres to the Union.608

Politicians-Elections-Overwhelming Union

majorities--Magoffin's neutrality-The Presi-
dent's response-Rebel Invasion Legislature
protests-Gen, Grant occupies Paducah-Zol-
licoffer at Wild Cat--Nelson at Piketon
Schoepf's Retreat--Rebel Government organ-
ized at Russellville-Geo. W. Johnson made
Governor-Kentucky gravely admitted into
the Southern Confederacy--Full delegation
sent to the Congress at Richmond-Richard

Hawes finally declared Governor.

XXXVIII. The Potomac-Ball's Bluff......617

Scott a failure-Gen. McClellan called to

Washington-Brings Order out of Chaos-

Great increase of our Army-No advance

Ball's Bluff-Dranesvillema. All Quiet'-The

Hutchinsons expelled-Whittier's Lyric.

Appended Notes..............

I. The Synod of Kentucky and Slavery. II.

New School Presbyterians condemn the insti-

tution. III. The Albany Evening Journal on

Gov. Seward and Judge Campbell. IV. Jere.
Clemens on Alabama secession—the Rebels
feared delay. V. The confidence of the Rebels
-Russell on the capture of Washington, VI.
The North Carolina Convention-an error
corrected.

[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]

S......................449

Virginia sends Envoys to Washington-The
President's response to them“He calls for
75,000 Militia--Comments of the Press-Re-
sponse of the Border State Governors“Balti-
more in a ferment-Attack on the 6th Massachu-
setts--Do. on Pennsylvanians-The Rebels up-
permost-Railroads and telegraphs broken up
Mayor Brown and the Young Christians visit
Washington to demand that no more Northern
troops enter Baltimore-Their success-General
Butler lands at Annapolis and recovers Mary-
land-Her traitorous Legislature.

[graphic]
[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »