« PreviousContinue »
A DANGEROUS PRINCIPLE.
incalculable evil. He was denounced as a tyraht and despot, on every hand, by his enemies, and crimination and recrimination took the place of calm discussion and argument. The ablest papers friendly to the Administration, and the soundest thinkers, deprecated these arbitrary arrests, and feared for the result, but still repudiated the charge of tyranny and despotism, as all felt that there was not a man in the land who loved liberty more, or who would make greater sacrifices for constitutional freedom, than the President. Such papers as The Evening Post and New York Tribune condemned them, not so much on the ground of personal injustice or hardship, but because no more dangerous principle can be introduced into a republican government, than that its citizens can be deprived of liberty at the mere dictum of those in power, and for no other reason than that in their judgment the public safety requires it. It is the fundamental law of the Constitution of the United States, and of the Constitution of every State, that “no person shall be deprived of life and liberty without due process of luw;" and all history proves that no danger to a republic is so great, as the violation of this law. To override it on the plea of public necessity, is to adopt the policy of all despotic governments. It ought never to have been discussed or treated as a party measure, for every citizen, of whatever political faith, is equally interested in the principle invoived.
OPERATIONS WEST-VICKSBURG-RAM ARKANSAS-MITCHELL'S GALLANT EX
PLOIT-CURTIS CROSSES THE STATE OF ARKANSAS-BUELL'S CAMPAIGN
BRAGG INVADES TENNESSEE AND KENTUCKY-RETREAT OF BUELL TO LOUIS
VILLE-IS SUPERSEDED BY THOMAS-KIRBY SMITH ADVANCES AGAINST CIN
CINNATI-LANE IN KANSAS-NEW-ORLEANS--BATTLE OF BATON ROUGE DEATH OF GENERAL WILLIAMS-PORTER, WITII TIIE ESSEX, DESTROYS THE REBEL RAM ARKANSAS-ROSECRANS AT CORINTH.
HILE such momentous events were passing on the At
lantic seaboard, the military movements at the West were not crowned with that success, which our previous victories had led the public to expect. The capture of Memphis brought our victorious fleet to Vicksburg, the fall of which would
open the Mississippi to New Orleans. But this place, situated on a high bluff, bid defiance to our gunboats; so that, while it was hoped that we had reached the end of our labors, it was found that they had only begun.
In the middle of July, the rebel rain Arkansas, an ironplated vessel, came down the Yązoo, and, passing triumphantly through our surprised fleet, safely anchored under the guns of Vicksburg. Flag-officers Farragut and Davis, withi Porter, now held a consultation as to the best mode of destrov. ing this powerful antagonist at its moorings. It was determined to make the attempt at four o'clock on the 22nd, by Farragut attacking the lower batteries and Davis the upper, while W. D. Porter, in the Essex, should move boldly and swiftly down on the steamer and crush it with one deadly blowy. Reckless of the fire of the batteries, Porter dashed full on the
A DARING ATTEMPT.
astonished repel. The blow glanced from the mailed sides, and the Essex was carried by her momentum, high up on the river bank, where she lay for two hours or snore, under the fre of seventy heavy guns in battery and twenty field pieces, besides tlie guns of the ram. Yet, strange to say, she eventually got off, and, passing down stream, anchored under the protection of the lower fleet of Farragut. A few days after, Col. Ellet went up the Yazoo and destroyed the rebel gunboats Van Dorn, Polk and Livingston.
On land, but little was accomplished. In Arkansas, Missouri ad Louisiana, fights occurred between small forces, but having no important bearing on the maiņ movements of the armies. The army of Curtis, which, after the battle of Pea Ridge the Spring before, attempted to cross the State of Arkansas to the Mississippi, arrived at Helena safe on the 12th of July, to the great relief of the country. It had been a long, most difficult and painful march; the cavalry, twenty-five hundred strong, on one occasion, marching sixty-five miles in twenty-fjur hours.
The great movement; however, at the West, during this month, was that of the army under Major-Gen. Buell, the object of which was to seize Chattanooga. His force consisted of about twenty-five thousand men, with some sixteen thousand more, scattered through Middle Tennessee and Northern Alabama, mostly under the command of the gallant Mitchell. His first great object was to repair the railroad running north to Nash. ville, which he foresaw, contrary to Halleck's opinion, must be his base of supplies. While this herculean task was being accomplished by the force under Mitchell, he with his army marched rapidly towards Chattanooga. All this time, Mor. . gan was on a grand raid in Kentucky. Forrest, also, with a formidable force, suddenly appeared before Murfreesboro' on the 13th, surprised and captured the garrison, consisting of fourteen hundred men, and broke up the railroad
to Nashville, which had only been completed the day before. - This was a serious drawback, and Buell was blamed at the
time, for the catastrophe. But the truth was, a sufficient force had not been given him to protect his front, three hundred miles long, reaching from Corinth to. Cumberland Gap; he was also lamentably deficient in cavalry, though he had urged upon the Government the great necessity of his being supplied. It was plain to him, and ought to have been plain to Halleck, that the force was too small to hold the country, even if he should conquer. it, to say nothing of the long line of communication to Nashville, wbich must be kept open. Morgan interrupted this so constantly, threatening even Nashville, that Buell sent Major-General Nelson there to take charge of affairs. In the meantime, Bragg was concentrating an army of sixty thousand men at and near Chattanooga, preparatory to an invasion of Middle Ten
Buell was aware of the approaching storm, and divided his inadequate force, so as to protect the most important points the best way he could. On the 20th of August, hearing that Bragg had commenced his march, and was crossing the Tennessee at Chattanooga and other points, he began to concentrate his forces at Altamont. But his supplies were getting short, when the startling news was received, that Kirby Smith, with a large army, had poured
through the gaps of the Cumberland Mountains, and was invading Kentucky-having beaten Nelson and routed his army at Richmond. Even this stern and self-reliant tonumander, who had never turned his back on the foe, began to be filled with anxiety at the perils that surrounded him, and to see clearly, that instead of conquering East Tennessee, it would tax his utmost skill and energy to save Middle Tennessee and Kentucky. He immediately concentrated his troops at Murfreesboro'. It was now September, and he at conce marched out in search of the enemy, who retired as
he advanced, first from Glasgow, and then from Munfords. ville from which he withdrew on the 20th. Buell now determined to fall back to Louisville, which was seriously threatened by Kirby Smith. He accomplished the long, tedious march without the loss of a wagon. The citizens of the place were in great trepidation, and when the tread of his advance columns sounded through the street, at midnight, the shout of “Buell has come! Buell has come!" went up, as it did on the banks of the Tennessee, at Pittsburg Landing, from our shattered, beaten forces, when they saw his trained legions sweeping to their relief. He immediately reorganized his army, and prepared to march forth against the enemy,
but an order was received from Washington suspending him from chief command, and appointing Thomas in his place.
All this time, General George Morgan was grimly holding Cumberland Gap, against overwhelming odds.
While military affairs were assuming an alarming aspect in Tennessee and Kentucky—the bold advance of - Smith threatening even Cincinnati, causing consternation among its inhabitants and sending them forth to the defense of the cīty-along the Mississippi, but little was accomplished, for Vicksburg still held out against the Federal fleet. Farther west, General Lane, having been appointed by the Government to raise an array in Kansas, issued his proclamation in August, calling on the inhabitants of Nebraska, Colorado and Dacotah to rally to his standard. Affairs remained unchanged at New Orleans under Butler's rigorous sway. He issued an order this month, assessing the inhabitants who had subscribed to the rebel defense fund, three hundred and forty-two thousand dollars. Colonel McNeil and General Blunt were dealing the guerrillas and organized bands some severe blows in Missouri; but the only battle that occurred in the West during the month was at Baton Rouge, which was attacked on the 5th by a heavy force