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THE GREAT REBELLION.
est sympathies and admiration are excited, and we forget the horrors of the carnage in the mighty stake at issue. So in the bloody revolution of France; though the views of the masses were vague, and their speech often incoherent, yet when we behold inscribed on their banner the great charter of human rights, and the head of a king thrown down as the gage of battle, we no longer see the crimson field with its garments rolled in blood," we see only the divine image of human liberty hovering over it.
Ours is of a mixed character, and hence in some respects unlike all others that have preceded it; but like all civil wars in republics, it sprung from a faction who sought only political power. Those make a great mistake who suppose it grew out of a desire merely to perpetuate slavery. Slavery was used as a means to an end-a bugbear to frighten the timid into obedience, and a rallying cry for the ignorant, deluded masses. The accursed lust of power lay at the bottom
The entire north, including the Republican party, had repeatedly declared, in the most emphatic manner, that it had no intention to interfere with slavery in the states where it existed; for they had no right to do so under the Constitution. Its perpetuity there was conceded, until the states themselves should get rid of it. Hence, the southern conspirators had no fear on that point, but they knew they could not carry the people with them unless they convinced them that slavery was to be assailed in their very homes, to be followed by a servile insurrection. They desired, of course, to extend slavery, because in that way alone they
could extend their power. The perpetuity of slavery was a necessary consequence of all this; because the power they sought to obtain was founded on it-it was the chief cornerstone. Here is where the mistake is made in getting at the true cause of the rebellion.
The whole question may be stated thus: southern politicians saw in the rapid increase of the free states, both in number and population, and the deep hostility to the admission of any more slave states, that the power they had so long wielded in the Government would be broken.
The only course left them was to set up an independent government. Though they might be weak at first, slave states could be added, as circumstances should determine. To effect their purpose they would seize on the tariff or slavery, or any thing else that would unite the South. Calhoun tried the former and failed, they, the latter and succeeded. Thus it will be seen that the perpetuity and extension of slavery is a necessary consequence of the present rebellion, if successful; not its first cause,-just as free trade would have followed the attempt of Calhoun to take the South out of the Union, had it succeeded.
The great, moving cause was the desire of power— slavery the platform on which they worked their diabolical machinery.
This was unquestionably the view taken by our Government, and the cause of its extreme leniency at first, which so many condemned. It sought to disabuse the people of the idea that we meant to attack their peculiar institutions, and hoped they would see that they were being duped and
THE GREAT REBELLION.
led into ruin by desperate, unscrupulous, ambitious men. So also did the mass of the northern people view it, and hence rushed to arms, feeling but little animosity, except towards the leaders. The "CONSTITUTION " was their rallying cry-the preservation of the Government the sublime motive that sent them to the field of carnage.
On the one hand the world saw men crowding to battle, pretending to fight for the very freedom which they were all the time in the full enjoyment of on the other hand more than a million of citizens rising in arms, with no object beyond the desire to see their enemies secure in that very freedom.
The future historian will stand amazed at this strange spectacle. No wonder European nations are puzzled as they contemplate us from beyond the ocean. They can understand the struggle of a brave people to overthrow a government that robs them of liberty, but not one to destroy the very charter of human liberty.
True, there has become mixed up with the determination of the North to uphold the Constitution, a desire to strike a deadly blow at slavery. Forbidden by this Forbidden by this very charter to touch it in the states where it existed, many believe the rebellion has cancelled all obligations growing out of the provisions it contained, and that in its wasting, bloody track, it will sweep that relic of barbarism from the bosom of the republic.
Clouds and darkness wrap the future, and we are safe only as we look up to the Throne that is founded in "Justice and Judgment."
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
1. PORTRAIT OF PRESIDENT LINCOLN,..
2. BOMBARDMENT OF FORT Sumter,
Vignette title page.
3. PORTRAIT of Major-General GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN,.
12. ATTACK ON THE MASSACHUSETTS TROOPS IN BALTIMORE,
13. GENERAL LYON'S CHARGE AT THE BATTLE OF WILSON'S CREEK,..129 14. PORTRAIT OF JEFFERSON DAVIS, President of the so called "Con
THE GREAT REBELLION.
24. PORTRAIT of Major-General WINFIELD SCOTT,.....
25. CHARGE OF THE IOWA TROOPS AT FORT DONELSON,.
26. LANDING OF TROOPS OF GENERAL BURNSIDE'S EXPEDITION AT
BETWEEN IRON-CLAD VESSELS,...
27. BATTLE BETWEEN THE Monitor and MERRIMAC-FIRST CONFLICT
28. PORTRAIT of Rear-Admiral A. H. FOOTE,..