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78

PATRIOTISM AT THE NORTH.

and the confederated government. A man who holds a double allegiance-one to his state, and another to the United States--will not always fix the exact line where fealty to one ends, and loyalty to the other begins to be paramount. We at the north did not allow enough for this in our charity, and never have since. To strike at one's own mother, and join those who are to invade his native soil, and help slay his own kindred and neighbors, requires a higher patriotism and loftier sense of duty than belongs to most men. Hence, those at the south who stood the test of this terrible ordeal, and remained faithful to the national flag throughout, deserve greater honor than the most successful warrior of the north. The spoiling of our goods, the entreaties and taunts of kindred and friends, imprisonment, and even death, are easier to be borne than to come as an enemy into the home of our childhood.

While matters were assuming such a warlike aspect around Washington, the entire north became a great camp, and the sound of arms, and the strains of military bands, drowned the hum of industry, and occupied the thoughts of young and old. Patriotic sermons were preached, prayers were offered, and voluntary contributions made, and war became the theme of every tongue. The great north-west was stirred like a hive, and her hardy sons gathered in uncounted thousands to the defense of the national flag. A similar military frenzy swept the south, and the two sections that had so long been members of the same government, now seemed impelled by a burning desire to close in mortal conflict. Hitherto, New York city, the stronghold of democracy, and the emporium of the country, had not spoken. Her trade with the south had been one of her chief sources of wealth. She had also millions at stake, in the shape of debts, owed by merchants and planters there. She had never been accused of fanaticism, and no sickly sentimentality or mock philanthropy

GREAT UNION MEETING.

79

characterized those who controlled her world-wide commerce. The President had issued a proclamation on the 19th of the month, blockading all the southern ports, and denouncing as pirates the privateers commissioned by Jefferson Davis. The commerce of New York must stop, her southern debts remain unpaid; and her wharves and storehouses stand idle, in order that a political faction might carry out its niad and unconstitutional schemes, was the language of the south. Would she submit to such a state of things, was a question everywhere asked, and the universal response was "No!". The truth of this was soon to be tested, for a Union meeting was called to be held in Union Square on the 20th April. This meeting was one of the largest ever assembled on this continent. Leading men from every part of the country, democrats, republicans, and whigs joined hearts and voices, and from the uncounted thousands that were gathered, but one cry went up, “Down with the rebellion!" New York had at last spoken, and with bankruptcy staring her in the face, declared she would stand or fall with the government. The news of this meeting was received with astonishment at the south. At New Orleans such a state of public excitement was created that the police had to be called out to keep down the mob. The last hope of the rebels of sympathy from the north had failed them. The latter was a unit, no division weakened its force, and the dread issue which the south had provoked, she now saw was to be settled by the comparative strength of the two sections. As a last resort the turned to Europe, and despatched Messrs. Mann and Yancey to obtain a recognition of their government, and to get the blockade broken by promising free trade and an ample supply of cotton. The conspirators, instead of flinching at the dread prospect that opened before them, grew bolder. Though Missouri was divided, Kentucky neutral, and the western part of Virginia in open revolt against their

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CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS.

assumed government, they boldly pressed the issue of combat. United States vessels were seized in southern ports—the Star of the West captured' at Galveston, and turned into a southern national vessel-forts in Arkansas and Texas were seized, and arsenals and troops captured, and northern property confiscated as recklessly as though no day of reckoning was at hand.

On the 3d of May, the President issued an important proclamation, portions of which caused a good deal of discussion at the north. He called for forty-two thousand and thirty-four volunteers to serve for three years or the war, and directed the increase of the regular army by the addition of eight regiments of infantry, one of cavalry, and one of artillery, and the enlistment of eighteeen thousand seamen for not less than one nor more than three years in the navy. It was asked where the President obtained the power to increase the regular army without the sanction of Congress which could not meet for two months to come. If he could increase it by ten thousand men, why not by a hundred thousand; and if it could be called together two months before the meeting of Congress, why not for a year? It was undoubtedly an extraordinary stretch of executive authority considering the well known repugnance of the people to a large standing army. But in the appalling evils that threatened the government, and in the anxiety to save the country at any and all hazards, the remonstrances uttered against the measure by a portion of the northern press were little heeded, or drowned in the one cry for self-preservation.

The south openly proclaimed its determination to have Washington, and the two armies were rapidly coming face to face on the Potomac. At the West the neutral position of Kentucky, which had resolved to side with neither party, but present herself as a barrier to prevent the collision of armies along the Mississippi, alarmed the government, and troops

THE

COMING CONTEST.

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were concentrated at Cairo, which in turn was looked upon by the traitorous governor of that state, Magoffin, as a menace. In the mean time, Tennessee had entered into a league with the southern confederacy, which, in a few days (May 11th), ended in her formally joining it. Affairs gradually assumed definite form. The only three forts of importance in the slave states which at present we could reach, Mc Henry at Baltimore, Monroe in Virginia, and Pickens at Pensacola, had been reinforced, and the number of states we must meet in open rebellion pretty nearly ascertained. Maryland had reconsidered her action, and under the leadership of her loyal governor, decided to remain in the Union. Missouri, it was evident, must be the scene of fierce internal strife. Her governor, Jackson, was a traitor, and a great portion of the southern and western parts of the state for secession, while St. Louis stood loyal. Kentucky was still firm in her determination to stand neutral, though the government well knew that every effort would be made through her governor and the late Vice President, Breckenridge, and other leaders to take her over to the south. Against these were the noble Romans, Crittenden, Holt, and others, and the powerful influence of the Louisville Journal, edited by Prentice. It was not difficult, therefore, to measure somewhat the magnitude of the coming contest. Some reliance was placed on the portions of North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama, bordering on the Alleghany Mountains, for their inhabitants had shown from the outset an invincible repugnance to leaving the Union. Stiil, for the present, uintil victory was thoroughly inaugurated, they would practicaily have to be left out of the calculation.

Secretary Seward had previously instructed our foreign ministers who had been hurried abroad to see to our interests in foreign Courts, that the United States would permit no interference whatever in our domestic troubles. It was

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TRAITORS. -HABEAS CORPUS.

especially important that France and England should not be induced by the representations of southern commissioners to recognize the Southern Confederacy. Attention was then turned to clearing all departments at home of secret traitors. This latter was no easy task, for they swarmed in every public office at Washington, and were busily at work in every important city at the north. The telegraph was suddenly seized to find evidence of treason. Numerous arrests followed, and some thus seized took advantage of the writ of habeas corpus to get released. The President felt it necessary in self-protection to suspend this writ, which caused a great deal of angry discussion at the north, for the power of doing so had always been supposed to lodge in Congress alone, and was never before assumed by the Chief Executive. The right to exercise it admitted the most serious doubts. It was one that the King of England dare not assert. Congress under the Constitution, rules the Republic, and the President, with the exception of a few reserved rights, designed mostly to act as a check on unconstitutional legislatior., is but its minister to carry out its will; and no anticipation of evil can justify an unnecessary assumption of its appropriate powers. If the President had assembled Congress sooner he would have been spared many executive acts that furnish at least bad precedents for the future. The people, however, submitted, for in the present imminent danger they refused to consider remote evils.

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