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JOSEPH HOLT'S LETTER.
ing their day. The people will yet have theirs. I have an abiding confidence in the right, and I know this secession movement is all wrong. There is, in fact, not a single substantial reason for it. If there is, I should be glad to hear of it; our Government has never oppressed us with a feather's weight. The direst oppression alone could justify what has brought all our present suffering upon us. May God, in his mercy, save our glorious Republic!"
The Senate, on the 24th of May--the last day of the session-passed resolutions declaring that "Kentucky will not sever connection with the National Government, nor take up arms for either belligerent party; but arm herself for the preservation of peace within her borders, and tendering their services as mediators to effect a just and honorable peace."
It is extraordinary, in view of the great strength of the secession sentiment in the Legislature, that a more revolutionary course was not pursued. Much was owing to the firm stand taken by the friends of the General Government. Though the test vote in the lower House stood forty-nine Unionists to forty-three Secessionists, the former acted in perfect concert, while the latter were divided and vacillating. But, with infinitely less power to back him, the Tennessee Governor had given his State over to the embraces of the black monster of rebellion, and why could not Kentucky be "leagued" with the same dark power?
and the other two States-that saved Kentucky. The question was flatly asked by General Boyle, of the army, then a private citizen of Kentucky, 'Will you have twelve thousand men ready the moment we ask for them?' It was flatly asked of the Governors of Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, and the reply was, they would sustain them; and I suppose I may add that Mr. Lincoln was telegraphed to, asking whether he would assist them, and he said, 'with his whole power.' Mr. Boyle telegraphed to Governor Dennison for ten thousand men at call. He replied, 'You can have them.' He also asked for ten thousand from Indiana and Illinois, and received the same reply. This was the salvation of Kentucky."
Maryland, Missouri and Kentucky all must have cast their fortunes with the Slave Confederacy had it not been for their proximity to the Free States, and for the presence, among them, of citizens whose devotion to the Union exceeded their love for "Southern institutions."
Tennessee and Virginia had such · citizens; but, alas! they were "precipitated” before help could reach them, and were only restored to the Union by the appalling ordeals of suffering and blood.
The future will
scarcely credit as a fact that the conspirators were really eager to court the ordeal-knowing, as they did, that their soil would become the battle-field, and desolation would, inevitably, follow in the train. But, the fact is written in the very word rebellion; and can only be accounted for by the reckless ambition which controlled the leaders, and the mental and moral hallucination which possessed the people, namely: of founding a vast Slave Confederacy, untrammeled by any
Rev. Dr. Breckenridge, in his Cincinnati address (May, 1862) said: "We are in the habit of thinking hard, very hard, of the loyal portion in Tennessee or South Carolina, that they permitted this insurrection. They were oppressed at home, and compelled to take up arms against the Gov-alliance with Free States. ernment. You will allow me to make a local and personal reference, and to say that if it had not been by mere accident-if it had not been for the blessing of God and the heroism of some persons-the very same thing would have happened in Kentucky; and I will go further and say, in extenuation of the conduct of many who were really loyal citizens further south--I will say further, that it was the proximity of Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, the fidelity of the people of the latter States, upon which these men depended-of your people
Joseph Holt's Letter.
We should not omit to mention, as having exercised an important influence on the loyal sentiment of the State, a letter written by Joseph Holt, ex-Secretary of War, to a citizen of Kentucky, upon the policy of the Federal Government, &c. Its examination of the entire question of Kentucky's relations and duty to the Government, was most able and exhaustive. It dealt unsparing blows at treason-vindicated the right of the Federal Administration to send troops through or into any
Joseph Holt's Letter.
Address to Kentucky.
State to suppress rebellion | ders. Let those hostile armies and treason-rebuked, with meet on our soil, and it will much severity, the proclaimed "neutrality" matter but little to us which may succeed, for deof Kentucky, and censured the course of those struction to us will be the inevitable result. Our whose fears prevented them from doing their fields will be laid waste, our houses and cities duty in the crisis. The letter was printed at length in several leading Union journals, and was, also, issued in pamphlet form. It thus found its way to all sections of the State, and, commanding very general attention, proved one of the most powerful silent influences | brought to bear in centralizing opinion to the point of active co-operation against the rebellion.
If any thing was wanting to arouse the patriotism of the people, it was found in the menacing attitude of Tennessee. As early as May 20th, troops in large numbers began to rendezvous along the border-at Fountain Head, Springfield, Mitchellville and near Union City; while, the gathering at Nashville of a force sufficient to "open a way through to Louisville," indicated, more clearly than ever, the design of "compelling Kentucky to assume her true position in the Southern movement." If Kentucky remained independent she would require not only the arms of her own people, but also the co-operation of the General Government.
The Border State
The Border State Convention assembled May 27th. It was attended by one delegate from Tennessee and four from Missouri. None appeared from Virginia-the State at whose instigation the Convention was called. John J. Crittenden was made President. Among the Kentucky delegates were James Guthrie, Archibald Dixon, exGovernor Morehead, ex-Governor Wickliffe, Joshua F. Bell, &c., &c.
The proceedings culminated in two addresses-one to the People of Kentucky and one to the People of the United States. The first discussed at considerable length the position of the State in the controversy pending. Its terms will be inferred from this closing paragraph:
"Already one section declares that there will be no war at home, but that it shall be in Kentucky and Virginia. Already the cannon and bayonets of another section are visible on our most exposed bor
will be burned, our people will be slain, and this goodly land be re-baptized the land of blood.' And even the institution to preserve or control which this wretched war was undertaken, will be exterminated in the general ruin. Such is the evil that others will bring upon us, no matter which side we take, if this is to be the battle-field. But there is danger at home, even more appalling than any that comes from beyond. People of Kentucky, look well to it that you do not get to fighting among yourselves, for then, indeed, you will find, that it is
an ill fight where he that wins has the worst of it.
that sheet anchor of republican liberty, that the will
Frown upon the petty ambition of
The address to the People of the United States was an elaborate appeal for peacepatriotic in its tone, yet ambiguous on the point of duty; for, while it deprecated war, it said: "It is proper for us to say that, in our opinion the Constitution delegates to no one department of the Government, nor to all of them combined, the power to destroy the Government itself, as would be done by the division of the country into separate confede racies, and that the obligation exists to maintain the Constitution of the United States and to preserve the Union unimpaired."
If the obligation existed to "maintain the Constitution of the United States and to preserve the Union unimpaired," why did that Convention pettifog Kentucky into a condition of "neutrality"-of indifference to obli gations and solemn duty? The address was also an appeal. The closing portions read:
GENERAL BUCKNER AND GENERAL MCCLELLAN.
to the People.
the whole people, without regard to parties or sections, will be able to command a settlement of the national difficulties, and will see the propriety and necessity of having a cessation of present hostilities, so that the measures of pacification which your wisdom may devise can be calmly considered by your constituted authorities?
"We venture to suggest for your consideration and action two specific propositions as most likely to lead to pacification:
First. That Congress shall at once propose such constitutional amendments as will secure to slaveholders their legal rights, and allay their apprehensions in regard to possible encroachments in the
"Second. If this should fail to bring about the re
sults so desirable to us, and so essential to the best hopes of our country, then let a voluntary Conven
tion be called, composed of delegates from the peo
ple of all the States, in which measures of peaceable adjustment may be devised and adopted, and the
nation rescued from the continued horrors and calamities of civil war.
"To our fellow-citizens of the North we desire to say: Discard that sectional and unfriendly spirit, manifested by teaching and action, which has contributed so much to inflame the feelings of the Southern people, and justly create apprehension on their part of injury to them.
"To our fellow-citizens of the South we desire to
say: Though we have been greatly injured by your precipitate action, we would not now reproach you
as the cause of that injury; but we entreat you to re-examine the question of the necessity for such action, and if you find that it has been taken without due consideration, as we verily believe, and that the evils you apprehended from a continuance in the Union were neither so great nor so uhavoidable as you supposed, or that Congress is willing to grant aeequate securities, then we pray you to return promptly to your connection with us, that we may be in the future, as we have been in the past, one great, powerful and prosperous nation."
The first Federal "Invasion" of Kentucky.
the presence of a camp of disloyalists at a point only ten miles below Cairo, and five miles inland in Kentucky, dispatched two companies to proceed to the point indicated and scatter the rebels. This was done during the night of June 5th, when the Union troops returned to Cairo. As a matter of course a protest followed from "the authorities" of Kentucky. These authorities, however, consisted of only one person who, it appeared from his " instructions,' had been requested by the Governor to preserve the "attitude of self-defense" demanded by the proclamation. Colonel Prentiss answered the protest very curtly by informing the protestant that the Union men of Kentucky should have his aid and protection at all times when it was solicited—that he was only amenable to the Federal Government for his acts.
General Buckner and General McClellan.
Under date of June 10th, Major-General Buckner informed the Governor that he had entered into an agreement with General McClellan the Federal commander of the Department of the Ohio-by which the Kentucky authorities were to protect United States property within the limits of the State -to enforce the laws of the United States
according to their interpretation by the United States courts, and to enforce, with all the powers of the State, Kentucky's "obligations of neutrality as against the Southern States," &c., &c. McClellan, it was stated, stipulated that the territory of Kentucky should be respected even though the Southern States should occupy it"-in which case, he was to call upon the State to remove the Southern forces. Failing to remove them within a reasonable time, McClellan claimed the same right of occupancy as that given to the Souther troops, &c., &c. Also stipulating that he (McClellan) would withdraw his forces as soon as he had "removed" the Southern forces! This most absurd "arrangement" was soon made public, much to the dismay of the Federal Administration; but, only a momentary dismay, for General McClellan denied, in toto, the statements of Buckner, and stated that he had made no arrangement, of any kind —that the interview was repeatedly solicited
Still prating compromise! When the Government was in the throes of a revolution to ask the revolutionists to accept any other terms of settlement than an adoption of the fundamental principles of their movement ! To ask the Free State majority to accept such "terms of settlement" as a minority would dictate! It was the folly of "whistling down the hurricane," as Mr. Crittenden and his excellent friends soon discovered. Colonel Prentiss, having been informed of by Buckner, and when it did occur was per
sonal, not official. He said: "I made no | publish some tangible excuse for his defection, stipulation on the part of the General Government, and regarded his voluntary promise to drive out the Confederate troops as the only result of the interview." Buckner's course, in soon after joining the Confederate cause, bearing with him all the Kentucky troops over whom he exerted any influence, gives us the key to the "views" which he entertained of the interview referred to. He wished to
and found it in the assumed bad faith of the General Government in not carrying out the arrangement which he had made with McClellan! He had quaffed too deeply at the fountain of Jefferson Davis and John C. Breckenridge, and ceased to be the soul of honor when he became the instrument of Southern dishonor. He lived long enough to read his errors and feel his disgrace.
CAMPAIGN OPENED. OCCUPATION OF VIRGINIA. DEATH OF ELLSWORTH. REBEL MALIGNITY. BEAUREGARD'S INFAMOUS PROCLAMATION. MCDOWELL IN COMMAND. SCOTT'S PLAN OF WAR. LIEUTENANT TOMPKINS' GALLANT DASH AT FAIRH.. OPERATIONS OF GENERAL BUTLER.
Plans of the
THE gathering of troops | sand rash, insolent and vioat Washington and Richmond to the majority of observers was, after all, a mystery. The "defense of Washington" did not require so vast an army as rendezvoused there in May; nor was the immense aggregation of Southern forces at Richmond, at the same time, explained by the declared policy of the Confederates "to resist invasion." If the Federals did not intend invasion, and the Confederates did not design to attack the Capital, the novice in the art of war might well askthen why the armies?
There was wisdom in this careful avoidance of the first aggressive step. Notwithstanding the offenses already committed by the revolutionists against the United States Government, and the menacing attitude of their armies, the Federal Administration evidently preferred to allow the hot-heads to commit the first act of hostilities direct. The 'e was not much delay in that act. With twenty-five thou
Plans of the Belligerents.
lent men-the "flower of
Plans of the
THE FEDERAL ADVANCE INTO VIRGINIA.
The Federal Advance into Virginia.
entire disposable Confede- | were advanced down the rate force upon Chambers-country as far as Four Mile burg and Philadelphia. It Run. Thus, the District was conceived that a quick stroke in that di- | volunteers served as pioneers in opening the rection, securing the great commercial centre campaign of the War for the Union. of Philadelphia, and cutting off Washington from all approach-for the Potomac was commanded by rebel batteries at Acquia Creek and other points-would allow the Confederates to dictate their terms of settlement and peace.
All these manœuvres were fully understood by General Scott. With his usual sagacity the old Commander changed the face of affairs in a night. Awaiting the election in Virginia, on the 23d, on the night of that day the movement over the Potomac was made, which compelled the enemy to centre all his attention in that direction and at the Yorktown peninsula, to cover their then capital from seizure.
The Federal Advance into Virginia.
The passage of the troops commenced simultaneously, at two o'clock Friday morning, over the Long Bridge and the Chain Bridge at Georgetown, while the Ellsworth Fire Zouaves steamed away on transports direct from their encampment for Alexandria. The vanguard, commanded by InspectorGeneral Stone, was composed of six companies of the District volunteers. This was followed (over Long Bridge) by the New York Twelfth and Twenty-fifth, the First Michigan, the First, Second, Third and Fourth New Jersey; then two companies of regular cavalry; then Sherman's two batteries, while the New York Seventh, as a reserve, brought up the rear. General Mansfield commanded the The advance was well and movement over the bridge, though Major secretly matured. But few General Sandford, of the New York volunpersons, even of those in teers, assumed temporary command in Virgihigh places, knew of the stroke designed, al- nia, passing over the bridge at four o'clock, though from the note of preparation sound- A. M. He proceeded, with his staff, directly ing through all the camps, it was apparent to Arlington Heiglits. General Scott and that some movement was contemplated. All Secretaries Cameron and Seward were at the the various points of crossing the Potomac bridge to witness the passage. But few other were guarded late in the day of May 23d, to spectators were present. The slumber of the prevent the passage over of any boat which city was not broken. Its citizens awoke to might communicate news of the "invasion" learn that ten thousand troops had passed to the rebel pickets on the opposite shore. into the enemy's country. These sentries were composed chiefly of the Washington City volunteer companies, who acted throughout the entire proceeding with commendable zeal and courage. "A full moon looked peacefully down, and perfect quiet reigned on all the neighboring shores. But this was to give place very speedily to more stirring movements. Somewhat after midnight Captain Smead's company, the National Rifles, and Captain Powell's company were advanced across the bridge to the neighborhood of Roach's Spring. Scouts were sent out in all directions, who managed to get past the line of the Virginia pickets. Somewhat later the Virginia pickets, getting the alarm, set spurs to their horses and made off down the road towards Alexandria, in hot haste." The Constitutional Guards, Captain Degges, were on duty over the bridge. They The New York Fire Zouaves arrived at
General McDowell conducted the advance over the Georgetown bridge. The New York Sixty-ninth, Colonel Corcoran, followed by the Twenty-eighth, a company of regular cavalry (Drummond's) and 8 battery. The Sixty-ninth proceeded to seize the Orange and Manassas Gap railway, over which the Secessionists of Alexandria must retreat. A few rails were displaced, when the train, as expected, came up, having on board about seven hundred persons-among whom were three hundred men, who were held as prisoners.
The work of entrenching immediately commenced; the great number of tools as well as construction material which followed the force over, indicated the extent of labor designed.