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A determined Union Legislature | having thus been elected but not yet assembled, Gov. Magoffin, feeling that his time was short, and that any further mischief to the Union cause at his hands must be done quickly, addressed to the President of the United States, by the hands of two 'Commissioners,' the following cool epistle :
“COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY, “EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, FRANKFORT, 'August 19, 1861. "To His Excellency, ABRAHAM LINCOLN,
"President of the United States: "SIR: From the commencement of the unhappy hostilities now pending in this country, the people of Kentucky have indicated an earnest desire and purpose, as far as lay in their power, while maintaining their original political status, to do nothing by which to involve themselves in the war. Up to this time, they have succeeded in securing to themselves and to the State, peace and tranquillity as the fruits of the policy they adopted. My single object now is to promote the continuance of these blessings to the people of this State.
"Until within a brief period, the people of Kentucky were quiet and tranquil, free from domestic strife, and undisturbed by internal commotion. They have resisted no law, rebelled against no authority, engaged in no revolution; but constantly proclaimed their firm determination to pursue their peaceful avocations, earnestly hoping that their own soil would be spared the presence of armed troops, and that the scene of conflict would be kept removed beyond the border of their State. By thus avoiding all occasions for the introduction of bodies of armed soldiers, and offering no provocation for the presence of military force, the people of Kentucky have sincerely striven to preserve in their State domestic peace, and avert the calamities of sanguinary engage
portion of Kentucky. This movement was preceded by the active organization of companies, regiments, etc., consisting of men sworn into the United States service, under officers holding commissions from yourself. Ordnance, arms, munitions, and supplies of war, are being transported into the State, and placed in large quantities in these camps. In a word, an army is now being organized and quartered within the State, supplied with all the appliances of war, without the consent or advice of the authorities of the State, and without consultation with those most prominently known and recognized as loyal citizens. This movement now imperils that peace and tranquillity which, from the beginning of our present difficulties, have been the paramount desire of this people, and which, up to this time, they have secured to the State.
Within Kentucky, there has been, and is likely to be, no occasion for the presence of military force. The people are quiet and tranquil, feeling no apprehension of any ocFederal arm. They have asked that their casion arising to invoke protection from the territory be left free from military occupation, and the present tranquillity of their They do not desire that Kentucky shall be communications left uninvaded by soldiers. required to supply the battle-field for the They do not desire that Kentucky shall be contending armies, or become the theater of
State of Kentucky, and in the name of "Now, therefore, as Governor of the the people I have the honor to represent, and with the single and earnest desire to avert from their peaceful homes the horrors of war, I urge the removal from the limits of Kentucky of the military force now organized and in camp within the State. such action as is hereby urged be promptly taken, I firmly believe the peace of the people of Kentucky will be preserved, and the horrors of a bloody war will be averted from a people now peaceful and tranquil.
The President, declining to receive Magoffin's Commissioners otherwise than as private citizens, returned this terse and pungent reply to their master's request:
large portion of the Kentucky people to the Northern cause must be attributed to permanent causes; and among these were, first, an essential unsoundness on the Slavery question, under the influences of the peculiar philosophy of Henry Clay, who, like every great man, left an impress upon his State, which it remained for future even more than contemporary generations to attest."
"I also believe that some arms have been furnished to this force by the United States.
"I also believe that this force consists ex
clusively of Kentuckians, having their camp in the immediate vicinity of their own homes, and not assailing or menacing any of the good people of Kentucky.
"In all I have done in the premises, I have acted upon the urgent solicitation of many Kentuckians, and in accordance with what I believed, and still believe, to be the wish of a majority of all the Union-loving people of Kentucky.
"While I have conversed on the subject with many eminent men of Kentucky, including a large majority of her members of
Congress, I do not remember that any one of them, or any other person, except your Excellency and the bearers of your Excellency's letter, has urged me to remove the military force from Kentucky or to disband it. One other very worthy citizen of Kentucky did solicit me to have the augmenting of the force suspended for a time.
"Taking all the means within my reach to form a judgment, I do not believe it is the popular wish of Kentucky that the force shall be removed beyond her limits; and, with this impression, I must respectfully de
cline to remove it.
"I most cordially sympathize with your Excellency in the wish to preserve the peace of my own native State, Kentucky; but it is with regret I search for and cannot find, in your not very short letter, any declaration or intimation that you entertain any desire for the preservation of the Federal Union.
The Legislature convened September 3d, but was not fully organized till the 5th, when Magoffin submitted a Message based on the assumption of Kentucky's proper and perfect neutrality between the belligerents North and South of her; com
plaining that she had suffered in her commerce and property from the acts of either; but more especially that a Federal force had recently been organized and encamped in the heart of that State without the permission of her lawful authorities (Beriah Magoffin, to wit ;) whereupon he proposed to so amend an act of the late Legislature as to enable the Military Board to borrow money for the purchase of arms and munitions for the defense of the State, etc., etc. desired the Legislature authoritatively to request all Military organizations within the State, not under her authority, to be disbanded forthwith; and complained of the introduction of arms by the Federal Government and their distribution among private citizens, which-considering that the incipient Rebels obtained a large proportion thereof, and in due time carried them off to the camps of the Secession forces-was unreasonable. On the main question at issue, he said:
"Kentucky has meant to await the exhausting of all civil remedies before she will reconsider the question of assuming new external relations; but I have never understood that they will tamely submit unconditionally to the aggressions of the North; that they renounce their sympathy with the people of her aggrieved sister States; nor that they will approve of a war to subjugate the South. Still can I not construe any of their votes as meaning that they will prosecute a coërcive war against their Southern brethren. They meant only that they have still some hope of the restoration and perpetuation of the Union; and, until that hope is blasted, they will not alter their existing relations. Their final decision will be law to me; and I will execute every constitutional act of their representatives as vigilantly and faithfully as though it originated with myself."
These few words elicited no sympathetic response from the Legislature, fresh from the people, and imbued with
their sentiments. On the contrary, the House, six days thereafter, resolved 71 to 26-that the Governor be directed to order by proclamation the Confederate troops encamped on the soil of that State to decamp immediately. An attempt so to amend the resolution as to require all Union | as well as Disunion forces to quit the State, was decidedly voted down; and the two Houses united in passing, by overwhelming votes, the following:
"Resolved, That Kentucky's peace and neutrality have been wantonly violated, her soil has been invaded, and the rights of her
citizens have been grossly infringed, by the so-called Southern Confederate forces. This has been done without cause: therefore,
"Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, That the Governor be requested to call out the military force of the State to expel and drive out the invaders.
Resolved, That the United States be invoked to give that aid and assistance, that protection against invasion, which is guaranteed to each one of the States by the 4th section of the 4th article of the Constitution
of the United States.
Resolved, That Gen. Robert Anderson be, and he is hereby, requested to enter immediately upon the active discharge of his duties in this military district.
"Resolved, That we appeal to the people of Kentucky, by the ties of patriotism and honor, by the ties of common interest and common defense, by the remembrances of the past, and by the hopes of future National existence, to assist in expelling and driving out the wanton invaders of our peace and neutrality, the lawless invaders of our soil."
These resolves were adopted-in
5 Gov Magoffin communicated to the Legislature, Sept. 9th, a message to him from the four Commissioners of the Governor of Tennessee, in explanation of the reason why the Confederates had not been withdrawn from Kentucky, from which the following is an extract:
the House by 68 to 26, and in the Senate by 26 to 8.
Magoffin promptly vetoed them. The Legislature as promptly passed them over his veto by overwhelming majorities. Gen. Grant, commanding at Cairo, had already telegraphed to the Legislature, Sept. 5th, that Western Kentucky had been invaded by a large Rebel force, who were then holding and fortifying strong posi tions on the east bank of the Mississippi at Hickman and Chalk Bluffs. The Legislature referred this dispatch to a Special Committee, which telegraphed thereupon to Gov. Harris, of Tennessee, who thus responded:
"The Confederate troops that landed at Hickman last night did so without my knowledge or consent; and, I am confident, also without the consent of the President. I have telegraphed President Davis, requesting their immediate withdrawal."
Gen. Grant did not see fit to depend on the fair promises of Gov. Harris, nor the amenity of Gen. Bishop Leonidas Polk, nor yet of President Davis, for the safety of his department, but occupied, next morning, Paducah, on the south bank of the Ohio, near the mouth of the Tennessee, with two regiments and a battery, finding Rebel flags flying over many of the buildings in that little city, in anticipation of the speedy appearance of a Confederate force, reRichmond, requesting that Gen. Polk be ordered to withdraw his troops from Kentucky; and that such order was issued from the War Department of the Confederacy; that Gen. Polk replied to the War Department that the retention of the post was a military necessity, and that the retiring from it would be attended by the loss of many lives. This embraces the message received.
"The messenger, it is true, in conversation, said that he had heard in Nashville that Secretary Walker had sent a dispatch to Gen. Buckner, giving Gen. Polk a discretion to hold to or withraw from the occupation of the post in Kentucky."
GRANT AT PADUCAH-ZOLLICOFFER IN KENTUCKY.
ported 3,800 strong, and but sixteen | crossed the Ohio was made an excuse miles distant. He found there large quantities of prepared rations and of leather for the expected Rebel army, and put them to a better use. In his proclamation, thereupon issued, he said:
"I have come among you not as an enemy, but as your fellow-citizen; not to maltreat or annoy you, but to respect and enforce the rights of all loyal citizens. An enemy, in rebellion against our common Government, has taken possession of and planted his guns on the soil of Kentucky, and fired upon you.
Columbus and Hickman are in his hands. He is moving upon your city. I am here to defend you against this enemy; to assist the authority and sovereignty of your Government. I have nothing to do with opinions, and shall deal only with armed Rebellion and its aiders and abettors. You can pur
sue your usual avocations without fear. The strong arm of the Government is here, to protect its friends and punish its enemies. Whenever it is manifest that you are able to defend yourselves, maintain the authority of the Government, and protect the rights of loyal citizens, I shall withdraw the forces under my command. U. S. GRANT,
Brig. General Commanding."
Bishop Polk had not then occupied Columbus, as Gen. Grant supposed; but he did so next day, with a force of ten regiments, six batteries, and three battalions of cavalry. Of course, the promise of Gov. Harris that he should be withdrawn was not fulfilled, and the fact that Grant had now
• Zollicoffer telegraphed, Sept. 14th, to Magoffin as follows:
"The safety of Tennessee requiring, I occupy the mountain passes at Cumberland, and the three long mountains in Kentucky. For weeks, I have known that the Federal commander at Hoskins's Cross-Roads was threatening the invasion of East Tennessee, and ruthlessly urging our people to destroy our own road and bridges. I postponed this precautionary movement until the despotic Government at Washington, refusing to recognize the neutrality of Kentucky, had established formidable camps in the center and other parts of the State, with the view, first, to subjugate your gallant State, and then ourselves. Tennessee feels, and has ever felt, toward Kentucky as a twin-sister; their people are as one people in kindred, sympathy, valor, and patriot
for this invasion. In other words: the people of Kentucky, through their then freshly chosen Legislature, having decided to remain in and be loyal to the Union, the Confederates regarded this as justifying them in seizing any portion of that State of which they should deem the occupancy advantageous to their cause; and, in fact, Gen. Zollicoffer, commanding their forces in East Tennessee, had already occupied Cumberland Gap, and advanced through that pass into Kentucky, at least so early as the 5th; though no pretense of Federal invasion, accomplished or meditated, was, in that quarter, justified.
But East Tennessee was earnestly and unchangeably loyal to the Union-had so voted by more than two to one at the recent State Election; and it had become necessary to surround her with Confederate camps, and cut her off from all communication with the loyal States, to prevent a general uprising of her hardy mountaineers in defense of the cause they loved.
Gen. Robert Anderson assumed command, at Louisville, of the Department of Kentucky, Sept. 20th; and the organization of Union volun
ism. We have felt, and still feel, a religious respect for Kentucky's neutrality. We will respect it as long as our safety will permit. If the Federal force will now withdraw from their menacing position, the force under my command shall immediately be withdrawn."
"The despotic Government at Washington" could hardly, with reason, be blamed for refusing to recognize the neutrality of Kentucky, when Kentucky herself did that very thing with a decision and emphasis quite equal to those evinced in President Lincoln's reply to Magoffin. Zollicoffer's "religious respect," therefore, was paid to something exceedingly convenient to his cause, but which, if it ever had been, no longer existed.
teers was thenceforth actively pro- | Thomas B. Monroe, sr., U. S. Dismoted. On the 25th, a bill calling trict Judge, Thomas B. Monroe, jr., out 40,000 volunteers for the defense Secretary of State, Col. Humphrey of the State and Union passed the Marshall, late 'American' member of House by a vote of 67 to 13; the Congress, Col. George W. Johnson, Senate concurring by a vote of 21 to Capt. John Morgan, and several 5. On that day, the Senate, by 16 other prominent traitors, escaped to 10, passed a bill providing that about this time to the Rebel camps any and every Kentuckian who shall in Southern Kentucky, and passed have voluntarily joined the Rebel thence into Tennessee or Virginia, force invading the State, shall be in- where they openly gave in their adcapable of inheriting any property in hesion to the Southern Confederacy. Kentucky, unless he shall return to Judge Monroe formally renounced his allegiance within sixty days; and, his office and his allegiance, and was on the next day, the House Judiciary adopted a citizen of the Confederacy Committee, having reported that, in in open court at Nashville, October its judgment, Congress had not tran- 3d. Breckinridge and Humphrey | scended its powers in imposing taxes Marshall were promptly made Confor the preservation of the Union, federate Brigadier-Generals. was discharged from further consideration of the subject by a vote of 67 to 13; and the Senate concurred without a division.
On the 16th, Zollicoffer advanced to Barboursville, Ky., capturing the camp of a regiment of Kentucky Unionists, who fled at his approach.
The changed attitude and determined purpose of Kentucky encouraged the Federal Government to take some decided steps in defense of its own existence. Ex-Gov. Morehead,' a most inveterate traitor, was arrested at his residence near Louisville, and taken thence to Fort Lafayette, in New York harbor, wherein he was long confined, and whence he should not have been released. Warned by this blow, ex-Vice-President John C. Breckinridge, Hon. Wm. Preston, late Minister to Spain,
Charles S. Morehead, formerly a Whig representative in Congress from the Lexington district, afterward 'American' Governor of the State from 1855 to 1859, was originally a Unionist of the Henry Clay school; but, having become largely interested in slaves and cotton-growing
Zollicoffer, on entering Kentucky, issued an order promising that no citizen of that State should be molested in person or property unless found in arms for the Union, or somehow giving aid and comfort to the National cause. Of course, this did not save active Unionists from seizure, abuse, and confinement, nor the pigs, fowls, cattle, etc., whether of Unionists or Confederates, from wholesale confiscation by his loosely organized and undisciplined banditti, who swept over the poor and thinly settled mountainous region wherein the Cumberland and Kentucky rivers have their sources, devouring and destroying all before them.
Mr. Breckinridge, on finding himself safely within the Confederate lines, issued an elaborate and bitter Address, announcing his resignation
in Mississippi, was now and evermore a devotee of the Slave Power-hence a Disunionist. He bore an active and baleful part in the Peace Conference of February, 1861; and was thenceforth, though professing moderation, fully in the counsels of the Secessionists.