Page images
PDF
EPUB

formed Brough that he was a regular officer and could take no orders from him, and then he deliberately took his own leisurely way. The Governor assured him that if he reported him to headquarters he would be struck by lightning; but the officer smiled and refused to change his habits. The intrepid Governor sent a despatch to the Secretary of War, and a quick answer ordered an officer of equal rank from another post to report immediately to Governor Brough, and directed the delinquent to await the decision of the department. As he took his leave, he griinly admitted that he had no idea that lightning could strike so suddenly. After which the road to Chattanooga was opened, and the Army of the Tennessee duly supplied.

Oliver Perry Morton, who died a Senator in Congress from Indiana, was elected Lieutenant-Governor of his State in 1860, and became Governor in 1861, when the incumbent, Governor H. S. Lane, was chosen to the Senate. Morton, after serving out the term of General Lane, was elected Governor by the people in 1864. Here again the Government was most fortunate. Morton fitted in the place as if born to it. He was ubiquitous; his financial, political, and military responsibilities were incalculable, but he met them with intuitive skill and force. Indiana was the focus of a most active disaffection. The Democratic leaders were crafty, scheming, and full of expedients; but they had more than a match, even a master, in Morton ; and the faithful historian will tell not only how he raised troops and money, but how, by his magnetic eloquence, he put heart into the people and the soldiers, confidence into the Government, and despair into his adversaries. And when the war was over, he was elected to the Senate of the United States, and took his seat on the 4th of March, 1867, where he soon assumed the first rank, and to the end held it by his wisdom and genius, and especially by his careful avoidance of intrigues with his opponents and intolerance of his friends. He was re-elected to the Senate by the Legislature of Indiana in January last, for six years from the 4th of March, 1873. Morton was only fifty August 4, 1873.

I saw Governor Sprague for the first time when the Rhode Island regiment, twelve hundred strong, was drawn up in Seventh Street, opposite the Patent-office, in the city of Washington, in April, 1861. How young he looked! What a resemblance to the boyish Ellsworth, shot by Jackson at Alexandria, Virginia, on the 25th of May following! This first regiment was but the avant-courier of thousands more from the same State. The Governor was just thirty-one, and the way he organized the military of his State, the rapidity of their movements, his princely generosity, and his personal intrepidity are titles of enduring honor. The Rhode Island Assembly complimented him for his vigorous conduct in camp and field, and presented him with the cannon belonging to the ad Rhode Island Battery, and brought away by them from the battle-field of Bull Run. But the State was not satisfied with this. He was elected to the United States Senate in 1862, and remained there till 1875. Born in 1830, he is still living, aged fifty.

Edwin D. Morgan was Governor of New York when the Rebellion broke out, and served until 1863 with uncommon ability and energy, mainly through his large fortune, high personal qualities, and intimate knowledge of financial circles. His successor up to 1865 was Horatio Seymour (Democrat). Discount his administration by the tragic New York riots of 1863, and by his party affiliations, and history will accord to him the credit of having done many patriotic things during the war. His abilities are varied, his character without a blemish; and it stands to his credit that, in his desperate canvass for the Presidency against General Grant in 1868, he displayed uncommon capacity, and received a very large vote, notwithstanding the ruinous theories to which he allowed himself to be committed. Morgan is living, aged sixty-nine, and Seymour at the same age.

Richard Yates was Governor of Illinois from January, 1861, to January, 1865, when he was elected a Senator in Congress, and served until March 4, 1871. Here again the National Government was most fortunate. Illinois entered the field with eager promptitude. She began with characteristic offers of money and of men. On the 12th of April, the day of the first attack on Fort Sumter, Governor Yates called the Legislature in extra session for the 25th. He sent a special message, to the effect that he had taken military possession of Cairo, and garrisoned it with regular troops, to defeat the conspiracy of the enemy. Three million five hundred thousand dollars were immediately appropriated for war purposes, and from that auspicious day Illinois poured her treasure into the cause of the country, stimulated all the time by the genius of her gallant Governor. It was in his office that President Grant received his first distinct recognition; it was Governor Yates who gave him the responsible appointment of mustering-officer of troops for the State, and then made him colonel of the 21st Regiment of Illinois Volunteers. The fame of Illinois will glow on the page of history; and among all her sons, civil and military, none brought a purer spirit or a warmer heart to her cause than Richard Yates. He died while a Senator in Congress.

I could dwell through many pages upon the patriotism of Governor Leland Stanford, of California; William A. Buckingham, of Connecticut; Samuel J. Kirkwood and William M. Stone, of Iowa; Israel Washburn, Jr., and Samuel Coney, of Maine; Thomas Carney, of Kansas; Charles S. Olden and Joel Parker, of New Jersey; Ichabod Goodwin, Nathaniel L. Berry, and Joseph A. Gilmore, of New Hampshire; Austin Blair, of Michigan; Alexander Ramsey, of Minnesota; Erastus Fairbanks and Frederick Holbrook, of Vermont; Alexander W. Randall, Leonard P. Harvey, and Edward Salomon, of Wisconsin; F. E. Pierpont, of Virginia; A. I. Boreman, of West

Virginia ; but I must close this number with John A. Andrew, of Massachusetts.

All the free States did well for their country; but there was something sublime in Massachusetts, and something peculiar in John A. Andrew, happily her Governor from January, 1861, to January, 1866. The very air of this great old commonwealth is instinct with patriotism and intelligence. Beginning with the Revolution, and ending with the end of the Rebellion, she has been a leader and a teacher. Unfortunate in a sterile soil and a severe climate, she has been fortunate in her men, fortunate in her traditions, her services, and her sacrifices, and, above all, in the moral and mental seeds she has planted, and the harvest of civilization and freedom she has gathered for herself and dispensed to others. But among all the riches that have fallen to her lot, she can point to no treasure richer than John A. Andrew, who died all too early for himself and his country. He was born at Windham, in the District of Maine, about fifteen miles from Portland, May 31, 1818. His mind, early trained in the right direction, was adapted to the consideration of national issues. Reared to the law, and practising in all the courts, high and low, he was engaged as counsel in the John Brown affair in 1860, and, in the same year, for the notorious slave-yacht Wanderer against forfeiture. A Whig and then a Republican, a member of the State Legislature, having subsequently declined a place on the bench in the Superior Court, he came into the gubernatorial office at the moment when he was needed, amply equipped for a long and arduous campaign. It would intensely interest you if we could trace, step by step, the manner in which he prepared Massachusetts for the war and carried her through. He was singularly attractive in personal appearance-a face of magnetic benevolence; an extraordinary flow of language and beauty of expression; a manner of winning and holding attention; and, withal, that consummate coolness in argument which is sometimes

called audacity, and that quickness of retort which is sometimes called repartee. He began by invoking the Governors of all the loyal States to join him in suppressing the Rebellion, and then proceeded to manipulate the Legislature. His speeches before the people, his letters, his messages, his physical exertions, his rapid visits to Washington, proved his energy and zeal. When Sumter fell, Massachusetts was ready. Hers were the first troops that passed through the fiery and leaden hail at Baltimore in defence of the capital. A mere consideration of the incidents of his governorship would fill a volume. Perhaps I cannot better conclude this tribute to one whom I proudly remember as a friend, and from whom I received more than one act of significant kindness, than by quoting his last address to the veteran officers and men who had served against the Rebellion when they presented to him the battle-flags, that they might be preserved in the archives of the commonwealth:

“GENERAL,—This pageant, so full of pathos and of glory, forms the concluding scene in the long series of visible actions and events in which Massachusetts has borne a part for the overthrow of the Rebellion and the vindication of the Union. These banners are returned to the government of the commonwealth through welcome hands. Borne one by one out of this capital, during more than four years of civil war, as the symbols of the nation and the commonwealth under which the battalions of Massachusetts departed to the fields, they come back again, borne hither by surviving representatives of the same heroic regiments and companies to which they were intrusted. At the hands, General, of yourself, the ranking-officer of the volunteers of the commonwealth (one of the earliest who accepted a regimental command under the appointment of the Governor of Massachusetts), and of this grand column of scarred and heroic veterans who guard them home, they are returned with honors becoming relics so venerable, soldiers so brave, and citizens so beloved.

« PreviousContinue »