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RETALIATORY MEASURES PROPOSED.
Notwithstanding these disabilities, and the fading away of every hope of recognition by foreign governments, or the moral support of any civilized people, the Conspirators at Richmond, holding the reins of despotic power with firm grasp, resolved to carry on the war regardless of consequences to their deluded and abused victims.' The Emancipation Proclamation "fired the Southern heart” somewhat, and, for a time, strengthened the power of the Conspirators. It produced great exasperation, and led to the authorization of cruel retaliatory measures by the Confederate “Congress," on the recommendation of Jefferson Davis. The most flagrant misrepresentations were put forth as solemn truths, in order to inflame the passions of the people at home and excite the sympathies of those abroad. In this work Confederate clergymen were not ashamed to appear conspicuous. Ninety-six per sons of that class signed an “Address to Christians throughout the World," which was sent out from Richmond in April, 1863, in which, after asserting that the Union could not be restored, said they considered the President's proclamation of freedom to the slaves a “suitable occasion for a solemn protest on the part of the people of God, throughout the world.” Then, without a shadow of truth, they, like the chief Conspirator, charged Mr. Lincoln with intending to produce a general insurrection of the slaves, and solemnly declared that such insurrection “would make it absolutely necessary for the public safety that the slaves be slaughtered.”
The advice of more sagacious men in Confederate councils was heeded, through fear of consequences; and threats of vengeance and retaliation were seldom executed. The most serious result, in this regard, of the President's Proclamation, was the suspension, for a time, of the exchange of captives, in consequence of the Confederate authorities refusing to recognize Negro soldiers as legitimate and exchangeable prisoners of war." The Government took the just ground, that it would give equal protection to all its soldiers, and, at the close of July,“ the President issued an order to that effect, in which he declared, in allusion to a threat to reduce negro captives to bondage, that if the Confederates should sell or enslave any Union captive, in consequence of his color, the offense should be punished by retaliation upon the prisoners of the enemy. The sad consequences of
but two eggs anıl a slice of cold baker's bread, and a glass of water.” She added, in a postscript, that Jefferson Davis looked “ care-worn and troubled." • He is very thin," she said, "and looks feeble and bent, aloud in church, and is a devout Episcopalian.”
i See page 97.
? The portion of Davis's " Message" relating to retaliation was referred to the “ Committee on Ways and Means." That committee reported to the “ House" joint resolutions, which were adopted, by which ful power was given to Davis to use retaliatory measures “in such manner and to such an extent as he might think proper." It was resolved that every commissioned white officer, who should be engaged in disciplining and leading freedmen as soldiers in fighting the Confederates, or in inciting slaves to rebel, should, if captured, " be put to death, or otherwise punished;" and that all negroes engaged in war or taken in arms, or known to givo "aid and comfort to the eneiny, should be delivered to State authorities," and dealt with in accordance with the sanguinary slave codes of the State in which the offender should be caught.” There were propositions to sell into slavery all free negroes who should be caught with arms in their hands, and to butcher all slaves guilty of such offense; but the more sensible members of the “ Congress," plainly perceiving that such measures would be a two-edged sword that would cut both ways, took ground against them, and prevented the passage of many mischievous laws on that subject,
3 See note 1, page 82.
• The Richmond Examiner revealed the secrot reasons for refusing to treat negro soldiers as regular prisoners of war, when it said: “If we were insane enough to yield this point, to treat black men as the equals of white, and insurgent slaves as equivalent to our brave soldiers, the very foundations of Slavery would be fatally wounded."
* It is therefore ordered," said the President, “ that for every soldier of the United States killed in violation of the laws of war, a rebel soldier shall be executed, and for every one enslaved by the enemy or sold into slavery, a rebel soldier shall be placed at hard labor on the public works, and continued at such labor until the other shall be released and receive the treatment due to a prisoner of war."
EMANCIPATION THE GOVERNMENT POLICY.
the suspension of exchange fell heavily upon the Union captives, who suffered terribly in Confederate prisons. The story of their wrongs in that respect forms one of the darkest chapters in the history of crime.
In regard to the fiat of emancipation, the President stood firm. He did not recede a line from the original stand-point of his proclamation. It was the exponent of the future policy of the Government. Congress passed laws in consequence of it, and authorized the enlistment into the military service of the Republic of one hundred and fifty thousand negroes. The slave-holding Oligarchy raved. The voices of their organs, especially of those at Richmond, sounded like wails from Bedlam. The Peace Faction protested. They denounced every thing calculated to crush the rebellion to be “unconstitutional.”! Yet the President and Congress went steadily forward in the path of duty prescribed by the necessities of the hour. The successes of the National arms at Gettysburg and on the Mississippi gave the most strengthening encouragement. In the campaigns in the West, fifty thousand square miles of the National domain had been recovered from the Confederates before the middle of August, when the President said: “The signs look better. The Father of Waters again goes unvexed to the sea, thanks to the great Northwest for it. Nor yet wholly to them. Three hundred miles up, they met New England, Empire, Keystone, and Jersey, hewing their way right and left. The sunny South, too, in more colors than one, also lent a hand. On the spot their part of the history is jotted down in black and white. The job was a great National one, and let none be banned who bore an honorable part in it. And while those who have cleared the great river may well be proud, even that is not all. It is hard to say that any thing has been more bravely and better done than at Antietam, Murfreesboro', Gettysburg, and on many fields of lesser note. Nor must Uncle Sam's webfeet be forgotten. At all the waters' margins they have been present, not only on the deep sea, the broad bay, and the rapid river, but also up the narrow, muddy bayou, and wherever the ground was a little damp, they have been and made their tracks. Thanks to all! For the great Republicfor the principles by which it lives and keeps alive—for man's vast future, thanks to all! Peace does not appear so distant as it did. I hope it will come soon, and come to stay; and so come as to be worth the keeping in all future time. It will then have been proved that, among freemen, there can be no successful appeal from the ballot to the bullet, and that they who take such appeal are sure to lose their cause and pay the cost. And then there
1 To these he said: “ You desire peace, and you blamo me that we do not have it. But how can we obtain it? There are but three conceivable ways. First, to suppress the rebellion by force of arms. This I ain trying to do. Are you for it! If you are, so we are agreed. If you are not for it, a second way is to give up the Union. I am against this. If you are, you should say so plainly. If you are not for force, nor yet for dissolution, there only remains some imaginary compromise. I do not believe that any compromise, embracing the maintenance of the Union, is now possible."
2 William Whiting, the able Solicitor of the War Department (see page 558, volume II.), in a letter to a convention of colored citizens at Poughkeepsie, New York, at the close of July, said: “ The policy of the Government is fired and immovable. Abraham Lincoln takes no backward step. A man once made free by law cannot be agnin made a slave. The Government has no power, if it had the will, to do it. Omnipotence alone can re-enslave a freeman. Fear not the Administration will ever take the back track. The President wishes the aid of all Americans, of whatever descent or color, to defend the country. He wishes every citizen to share the perils of the contest and to reap the fruits of victory."
THE AUTUMN ELECTIONS.
will be some black men who will remember that, with silent tongue, and clinched teeth, and steady eye, and well-poised bayonet, they have helped mankind on to this great consummation; while I fear there will be some white men unable to forget that, with malignant heart and deceitful speech, they have striven to hinder it. Still, let us not be over-sanguine of a speedy final triumph. Let us be quite sober. Let us diligently apply the means, never doubting that a just God, in his own good time, will give us the rightful result.” 1
Other encouraging “signs” soon appeared, and gave evidence of a determination of the loyal people to stand by the Government in its struggle with the assassin. That struggle had assumed, to the view of most thinking men, the grander features of a war for free institutions, rather than those of a strife for party supremacy, and thousands of the Opposition, impelled by patriotic emotions, refused longer to follow the leadings of the disloyal Peace Faction. When the autumn elections had passed, it was found that the friends of the Government, who had spoken at the ballot-box, were in overwhelming majorities everywhere. The majorities of the Opposition the previous year were wiped out, and the weight of their numbers appeared largely on the Republican or Union side. Ohio, as we have observed, gave over a hundred thousand majority against Vallandigham; and in New York, Governor Seymour's majority, of ten thousand in 1862, was annihilated, and a majority of nearly thirty thousand appeared on the opposite side of the political balance-sheet. Even in Maryland, where the emancipation of the slaves was made a distinct issue in the canvass, there was given a very large Union majority.
This political reaction, and the progress of the National armies in “repossessing” territory, emboldened the Government to take measures for prosecuting the war with great vigor in 1864. The reports of the Cabinet officers accompanying the President's first message to the new Congress (XXXVIIIth),' were very encouraging. With the hope of weakening the moral as well as the material strength of the Confederates,
> Dec. 8.
· Letter of President Lincoln, dated August 26, 1863, and addressed to James M. Conkling, in answer to an invitation to attend a mass meeting of unconditional Union inen, to be held at Springfield, Illinois.
? See page 18.
* There was a good working majority of Republicans and unconditional Unionists in the XXXVIIIth Con. gress. In the Senate there were 36 Unionists to 14 of the Opposition. In the House of Representatives there were 102 Unionists against 75 of the Opposition.
The following is a list of the members of the XXXVIIIth Congress, with the names of the States they severally represented :
California.—John Conness, James A. McDougall. Connecticut.-James Dixon, Lafayette S. Foster, Delaware.-George Read Riddle, Willard Saulsbury. Ilinois.-W. A. Richardson, Lyman Trumbull. Indi. ana.–Thomas A. Hendricks, Henry 8. Lane. Iowa.-James W. Grimes, James Harlan. Kansas.-James H. Lane, Samuel C. Pomeroy. Kentucky.-Lazarus W. Powell, Garrett Davis. Maine.---Lot M. Morrill, William P. Fessenden. Maryland.-Reverdy Johnson, Thomas H, Hicks. Massachusetts.-Charles Sumner, Henry Wilson. Michigan.--Zachary Chandler, Jacob M. Howard. Minnesota.-Alexander Ramsay, M. S. Wilkinson. Missouri.-B. Gratz Brown, J. B. Henderson. Vero llampshire.-John P. Hale, Daniel Clarke. New Jersey.William Wright, John C. Ten Eyck. New York.-Edwin D. Morgan, Ira Harris. Ohio.-Benjamin F. Wade, John Sherinan. Oregon.-Benjamin F. Harding, G. W. Nesmith. Pennsylvania.-Charles R. Buckalew, Edward Cowan, Rhode Island.-William Sprague, Henry B. Anthony. Vermont.—Solomon Foot, Jacob Collamer. Virginia.—John S. Carlile. West Virginia.-Waitman T. Willey, P. G. Van Winkle. Wisconsin, James R. Doolittle, Timothy 0. Howe. HANNIBAL Hamlin, Vice-President of the Republic and President of the Senate.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. California.-Thomas B. Shannon, William Higbee, Cornelius Cole. Connecticut.-Henry C. Deming, James E. English, Augustus Brandegee, John H. Hubbard. Delaware.-Nathaniel B. Smithers. Ninois.
MEMBERS OF CONGRESS.
the President appended to that message a proclamation, in which he offered full pardon and restoration of all rights of property, excepting as to slaves, to all persons (with specified exceptions)' who had participated in the rebellion, who should take a prescribed oath of allegiance to the Government. In it he also offered a prescription for reorganizing civil governments in States in which rebellion existed, by which the people might be restored to all the political privileges guaranteed by the National Constitution; at the same time pointing to the fact that the vital action necessary to consummate the reorganization by the admission of representatives of those States to seats in Congress, rested “exclusively with the respective Houses, and mot to any extent with the Executive."
Isaac N. Arnold, John F. Farnsworth, Elihu B. Washburne, Charles M. Harris, Owen Lovejoy, Jesse O. Norton,
DELEGATES FROM TERRITORIES,
1 The persons excepted were all who were or had been civil or diplomatic agents of the so-called Confederate Government; all who had left judicial stations under the United States to aid the rebellion; all who were or had been military or naval officers of the so-called Confederate Government above the rank of colonel in the army and lieutenant in the navy; all who left seats in the National Congress to aid the rebellion; all who resigned commissions in the National army or navy, and afterward aided the rebellion; and all who had engaged in any way in treating colored persons, or white persons in charge of such, otherwise than lawfully as prisoners of war. ? The following was the form of the oath: “I,
do solemnly swear, in the presence of Almighty God, that I will benceforth faithfully support, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and the Union of the States thereunder; and that I will, in like manner, abide by and faithfully support all acts of Congress passed during the existing rebellion with reference to slaves, so long and so far as not repealed, modified, or held void by Congress or by decision of the Supreme Court; and that I will, in like manner, abide by and faithfully support all proclamations of the President made during the existence of the rebellion having reference to slaves, so long and so far as not modified or declared void by decisions of the Supreme Court. So help me God."
3 The President proclaimed that whenever, in any of the States of Arkans:&, Texas, Lonisiana, Mississippi,
POSITION OF THE CONTENDING FORCES.
Let us now consider military events in the year 1864.
Standing at the opening of the year, and taking a general survey of military affairs as we left them in the preceding record, we find the Army of the Potomac, under Meade, and the Army of Northern Virginia, under Lee, confronting each other in the vicinity of the Rapid Anna. Looking farther southward, we observe almost absolute quiet in North Carolina. Gillmore and Dahlgren are seen besieging Charleston very quietly. Mobile is held by the Confederates, and Banks, at New Orleans, anxious to attempt its capture, is restrained by superior authority. His hold on Texas is by a feeble tenure, and the confining of Taylor westward of the Atchafalaya may be of very short duration. Steele has a considerable army at Little Rock, threatening Taylor's flank, and Rosecrans, who was succeeded by Thomas in the command of the Army of the Cumberland, is at the head of the Department of the Missouri. Between the Mississippi River and the Appalachian chain of mountains little more than guerrilla operations are seen; while near the southern extremity of that chain of hills, at and near Chattanooga, Grant lies with a strong force, watching the army he has lately conquered, under Bragg, which is now in the vicinity of Dalton, in Georgia, commanded by General Joseph E. Johnston. It is about fifty thousand strong, including troops sent to Mobile. Burnside and Longstreet are confronting each other in East Tennessee.
CONFEDERATE HEAD-QUARTERS AT MOBILE. The National forces in the field now numbered about eight hundred thousand. Those of the Confederates numbered about four hundred thousand. The former were ready and disposed to act on the offensive; the latter, generally, stood on the defensive. Both parties were resolved to make the campaign about to be opened a decisive one, if possible, and made preparations accordingly. The Government and the people were tired of delays, and the almost undecisive warfare of posts, as the struggle had been, in a great degree, up to that time. It was evident to both that proper vigor to secure quick success in efforts to crush the rebellion, could only be obtained by committing the supreme control of the armies in the field to some person more competent than General Halleck, and all eyes were turned to General Grant, whose ability as a leader appeared pre
Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina and North Carolina, a number of persons, not less than one-tenth in number of the votes cast in such States at the Presidential election of the year of our Lord 1860 each having taken the oath aforesaid, and not having since violated it, and being a qualified voter by the election law of the State existing immediately before the so-called act of secession, and excluding all others, shall re-establish a State Government, which shall be republican in form."
1 The Confederates reported the Army of the Tennessee at 54,000 men of all arms. This included four divisions sent to re-enforce General Polk in the heart of Alabama, and two divisions sent to Mobile, with the entire body of cavalry, under Wheeler, Wharton, and Morgan. Johnston's command embraced all the Confederate troops in Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi, excepting those at Mobile, and others in Tennessee, under Forrest, who had a sort of roving commission. ,
* This is a view of the Custom-House at Mobile, which was used as the head-quarters of the Confederates in that Department It is a very fine building, of Quincy granite. The picture shows its fronts on Royal and St. Francis Streets.