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GENERAL FREMONT'S PROCLAMATION.
Fremont's Proclamation of Freedom.
of Fremont's complicity with contractors to | wherever they find plunder, rob the National Treasury; but, he is worse finally demand the severest than a detractor who will say the Austrian measures to repress the daily uskets secured were not worth more than increasing crimes and outrages which are driving off the inhabitants and ruining the State. In this all their cost when twenty thousand men condition the public safety and the success of our were standing before an enemy totally unarms require unity of purpose, without let or hinprepared for the field. drance to the prompt administration of affairs.
Fremont's Plans for
Fremont's plans of defense against the victorious Confederates were, as stated by himself: "On the 13th of August intelligence of the battle of Wilson's Creek reached me at St. Louis. In expectation of an immediate advance by the enemy, I informed the President and Governors of the neighboring States, requesting that all the disposable force that could be spared should be sent at once to Missouri. Fortunately, dissension in the camp of the enemy prevented them from using that success, and gave time, which I used, to carry on as rapidly as possible the plan I had adopted for the defense of the State. This was to fortify Girardeau, Ironton, Rolla and Jefferson City, with St. Louis as a base, holding these places with sufficient garrisons, and leaving the army free for operations in the field."
The disaster which fell upon our arms at Lexington came to add force to the tide setting in against Fremont. Previous to it (August 31st,) was issued the somewhat celebrated proclamation, placing the State under martial law-setting free all slaves of disloyal men-confiscating the property, real and personal, of all persons who had taken, or should take, up arms against the Government, &c., &c. This stringent, but thoroughly warlike, document read as follows:
Fremont's Proclamation of Freedom.
"HEADQUARTERS OF THE WESTERN DEP'T, ST. LOUIS, August 31st. "Circumstances, in my judgment, of sufficient urgency, render it necessary that the CommandingGeneral of this department should assume the administrative power of the State. Its disorganized condition, the helplessness of the civil authority, the total insecurity of life, and the devastation of property by bands of murderers and marauders, who infest nearly every county in the State, and avail themselves of the public misfortunes and the vicinity of a hostile force to gratify private and neighborhood vengeance, and who find an enemy
"In order, therefore, to suppress disorders, to maintain as far as now practicable the public peace, and to give security and protection to the persons and property of loyal citizens, I do hereby extend and declare established, martial law throughout the State of Missouri. The lines of the army of occupa tion in this State are for the present declared to extend from Leavenworth by way of the posts of Jefferson City, Rolla and Ironton, to Cape Girardeau, on the Mississippi river. All persons who shall be taken with arms in their hands within these lines
shall be tried by court martial, and, if found guilty, will be shot. The property, real and personal, of all persons in the State of Missouri, who shall take up arms against the United States, or who shall be directly proven to have taken active part with their enemies in the field, is declared to be confiscated to the public use; and their slaves, if any they have, are hereby declared free men.
"All persons who shall be proven to have destroyed, after the publication of this order, railroad tracks, bridges, or telegraphs, shall suffer the extreme penalty of the law.
"All persons engaged in treasonable correspondence, in giving or procuring aid to the enemies of
the United States, in disturbing the public tranquillity by creating and circulating false reports or incendiary documents, are in their own interest warn ed that they are exposing themselves.
"All persons who have been led away from their allegiance are required to return to their homes forthwith; any such absence, without sufficient canse, will be held to be presumptive evidence against them.
"The object of this declaration is to place in the hands of the military authorities the power to give instantaneous effect to existing laws, and to supply such deficiencies as the conditions of war demand.
But it is not intended to suspend the ordinary tribunals of the country, where the law will be administered by the civil officers in the usual manner and with their customary authority, while the same can be peaceably exercised.
"The Commanding-General will labor vigilantly for the public welfare, and in his efforts for their safety, hopes to obtain not only the acquiescence but the active support of the people of the country. "(Signed,) J. C. FREMONT, Maj. Gen. Com."
Its Reception by the
What a storm this mandate raised! It was as if a new element had been introduced into the contest. So leniently had the Administration treated those guilty of treason, that it was not deemed at all dangerous to person or property to take up arms against the country. Our Generals had, unasked, made overtures to suppress all "insurrections" of slaves, and had otherwise volunteered protection to rebel property. No bridge-burner, no assassin, no spy, no deserter had been shot-no property confiscated! There was no certain penalty attached to disloyalty, nor any reward extended for loyalty. The world never before witnessed such an anomalous proceeding-fighting an enemy, yet volunteering protection and immunities which made the armed men of the Union ar
my servants of traitors, and agents of officers whose loyalty was qualified with an if. No wonder the "conservative" men were startled. Here was a real, royal throwing down of the gauntlet—a proclamation of war on war principles-an acknowledgement that it was necessary to conquer in order to subdue.
Opposition to the
policy which left the States, as such, unharmed-punishing the rebels by meeting them on the field according to the most humane rules of warfare. But, that it was a misdirected generosity, the bloody page of 1862 will stand as a blasting witness; and when the President at length proclaimed his decree of confiscation and emancipation, he simply approved of Fremont's proclamation of August 31st. Fremont's error was in anticipating the Administration; yet, history will sit in judgment to write its approval of the General's firm, judicious and comprehensive conception of his mission.
The Rebel Invasion.
During the latter part of August troops began to pour into St. Louis and Northern Missouri in great numbers. The camp of rendezvous at St. Louis presented a stirring appearance. Every where were the signs of energetic preparation. The Confederate forces under Price and McCullough were slowly making their way North, leaving devastation in their track. Northern and Central Missouri swarmed with men, women and children fleeing before the Vandal horde which came as the 'liberating army." It is charged that Fre-. mont was not equal to the emergency, in that he allowed the rebels to progress so far as to strike the Missouri river at Lexington. His defense was the same as that urged for the non-reenforcement of Lyon. If able to throw forward ten thousand men to fill up Lyon's fast dissolving ranks, he could have contested every inch of ground from Wilson's Creek to Jefferson City. As he did not so confront the invaders, the way was open for his adver
It is one of the novel and interesting phases of the War for the Union that great numbers of persons, of eminence as guides of public opinion, received this proclamation with such marks of disfavor as to press the Administration very strenuously for its nullification. It ever will be regarded as one of the anomalies of the time that an unrelenting and implacable enemy, who scorned the Constitution-violated every rule of civ-saries; and soon it became evident that the ilized warfare by robbery, murder and pillage -scouted every offer of mercy-broke every oath of allegiance and parole, should have been deemed "citizens" whose "Constitutional" rights could not be "violated." Constitutional rights! Why, under the Constitution, they were all guilty of high treason; and any constitutionalist, claiming protection for enemies and traitors, became, by the lex scripta, a party to treason-he gave aid and comfort to a common enemy. Unquestionably the "conciliatory" course pursued was from the best of motives-to retain the Border States and to reclaim the recusant Confederates by a
line of the river was to be assailed. Jefferson City was supposed to be the destination of Price's division, while McCullough menaced Rolla and the lines converging upon St. Louis, thus to keep the regiments at Rolia employed. Martin Greene, the guerilla, with two thousand well mounted desperadoes, was pursuing his rapid raids to the north of the capital, defying Pope and out-running Hurlbut, ready for any sudden dash which might disconcert the militia, Home Guards and Federal forces scattered throughout the Northern counties. A sense of insecurity prevailed along the Missouri river which found its way
The Rebel Invasion.
to St. Louis: a distrust of Fremont's capacity began to be entertained and loudly expressed. Thus, a letter in the "Missouri Democrat," St. Louis, from Jefferson City, September 8th, said: "We lie on our oars discussing the probability of Jefferson City being taken. Why should Jefferson City be in any more danger than New York? We are only 125 miles from headquarters. We talk about restoring peace to these miserable counties, and yet are not secure even of the positions from which we are to send them aid. What is the matter? Out with it. In God's name, how long is this to last?
"But it is a bitter thing to have to chronicle no victories of Union men. Since the death of Lyon, and the scandalous evacuation of the Southwest, the whole country is overridden. The declaration of martial law is so much waste rhetoric, where there are no means provided for its enforcement."
As this journal was, editorially, a warm supporter of Fremont, it gave the letter place from no enmity or desire to increase the growing feeling. It was indicative of the set of the popular current.
Generals Price, and Rains, after several movements calculated to mislead the Unionists, suddenly appeared in heavy force at Warrensburg, thirty miles from Lexington, en route for the latter place. Preliminary to their approach, St. Joseph had been captured by the rebels, thus cutting off communication with the regiments in Kansas. Fremont's forces, as stated by himself under date of Sept. 14th, were, in numbers, and disposed, as follows: St. Louis (including Home Guard).. Under Brig. Gen. Pope (including Home G'd) .5,483 Lexington (including Home Guard) ..2,400
Giving a total of 55,693—not a great army, when we consider its wide-spread dispersion, stretching from Paducah and Cairo to Lexington.
Mulligan's Advance to Lexington.
To cover Lexington Fremont ordered Colonel Mulligan, with his "Irish brigade," to proceed thither. officer started immediately after the reception of the order, Sept. 1st, from his camp at Jefferson City. Colonel Marshall's cavalry (Illinois) was to join him, with Colonel White's Home Guards, while Colonel Peabody (Thirteenth Missouri) was to fall back upon Lexington from Warrensburg, if pressed by the enemy. In the meantime, General Sturgis was to move down from Kansas city with his entire disposable force (1,500) to the reenforcement of Lexington, while General Lane was to press forward from Harrisonville and assail Price from that direction. These movements, it was thought by Fremont, would so employ the enemy as to keep him at bay until he (Fremont) could come forward with his own forces from St. Louis and vicinity.
Mulligan did his part. By a forced march of ten days his troops reached Lexington, having foraged by the way for rations. At Lexington he found Colonel Marshall with his cavalry and Colonel White's Home Guards -each command about five hundred strong. Colonel Peabody soon came in, pressed back by the enemy advancing upon Lexington from Warrensburg. The Federal troops had not long to wait, for, on the afternoon of September 11th, the rebels under Price, in person, appeared off the town. Then followed a conflict, memorable in the annals of the war for the heroism of the defense made by the Unionists. No account of the battle, or rather "siege" and series of battles, presents a more vivid and apparently correct delineation of the three days' struggle than that made by the Colonel commanding, after his release on parole. We reproduce so much of it as will give the reader a good idea of that obstinately contested field of battle.
"On the 18th of September, a letter arrived from Colonel Peabody, saying that he was retreating from Warrensburg, twenty-five miles distant, and that Price was pursuing him with ten thousand men. A few hours afterward, Colonel Peabody, with the Thirteenth Missouri, entered Lexington. We then had two thousand seven hundred and eighty men in garrison and forty rounds of cartridges. At noon of the 11th we commenced throwing up our first intrenchments. In six hours afterwards, the enemy
Mulligan's Defense of
opened their fire. Colonel Pea- ing General Parsons, with ten body was ordered out to meet thousand men at his back, sent them. The camp then present-in a flag of truce to a little gared a lively scene; officers were hurrying hither and thither, drawing the troops in line and giving orders and the Commander was riding with his staff to the bridge to encourage his men to plant his artillery. Two six-pounders were planted to oppose the enemy, and placed in charge of Captain Dan. Quirk, who remained at his post till day-break. It was a night of fearful anxiety. None knew at what moment the enemy would be upon the little band, and the hours passed in silence and anxious waiting. So it continued until morning, when the Chaplain rushed into headquarters, saying that the enemy were pushing forward. Two companies of the Missouri Thirteenth were ordered out, and the Colonel, with the aid of his glass, saw General Price urging his men to the fight. They were met by Company K, of the Irish brigade, under Captain Quirk, who held them in check until Captain Dillon's company, of the Missouri Thirteenth, drove them back and burned the bridge. That closed our work before breakfast. Immediately six companies of the Missouri Thirteenth and two companies of Illinois cavalry were despatched in search of the retreating enemy. They engaged them in a cornfield, fought with them gallantly, and harassed them to such an extent as to delay their progress, in order to give time for constructing intrenchments around the camp on College Hill. This had the desired effect, and we succeeded in throwing up earthworks three or four feet in height. This consumed the night, and was continued during the next day, the outposts still opposing the enemy, and keeping them back as far as possible. At three o'clock in the afternoon of the 12th, the engagement opened with artillery. A volley of grapeshot was thrown among the officers, who stood in front of the breastworks. The guns within the intrenchments immediately replied with a vigor which converted the scene into one of the wildest description. The gunners were inexperienced, and the firing was bad. We had five six-pounders, and the musketry was firing at every angle. Those who were not shooting at the moon were shooting above it. The men were ordered to cease firing, and they were arranged in ranks, kneeling, the front rank shooting and the others loading. The artillery was served with more care, and within an hour a shot from one of our guns dismounted their largest piece, a twelve pounder, and exploded a powder caisson. This achievement was received with shouts of exultation from the beleagured garrison. The enemy retired a distance of three miles. At seven o'clock the engagement had ceased, and Lexington was ours again. Next morn
Mulligan's Defense of
The men made
rison of two thousand seven hundred men, asking
Mulligan's Defense of
MULLIGAN'S DEFENSE OF LEXINGTON.
Mulligan's Defense of
make one grand rout, and bury when we asked for quarter it us in the trenches of Lexington. would be time to settle that.' Lexington The batteries opened at nine It was a terrible thing to see o'clock, and for three days they never ceased to those brave fellows mangled, and with no skillful pour deadly shot upon us. About noon the hospital hands to bind their gaping wounds. Our surgeon was taken. It was situated on the left, outside of was held with the enemy, against all rules of war, the intrenchments. I had taken for granted, never and that, too, when we had released a surgeon of thought it necessary to build fortifications around theirs on his mere pledge that he was such. Capthe sick man's couch. I had thought that, among tain Moriarty went into the hospital, and, with civilized nations, the soldier sickened and wounded nothing but a razor, acted the part of a surgeon. in the service of his country, would, at least, be saWe could not be without a chaplain or surgeon any cred. But I was inexperienced, and had yet to longer. There was in our ranks a Lieutenant Hicklearn that such was not the case with the rebels. ey, a rollicking, jolly fellow, who was despatched They besieged the hospital, took it, and from the from the hospital with orders to procure the surgeon balcony and roof their sharpshooters poured a dead- and chaplain at all hazards. Forty minutes later ly fire within our intrenchments. It contained our and the brave Lieutenant was borne by, severely chaplain and surgeon, and one hundred and twenty wounded. As he was borne past I heard him exwounded men. It could not be allowed to remain claim, God have mercy on my little ones!' And in the possession of the enemy. A company of the God did hear his prayers, for the gay Lieutenant is Missouri Thirteenth was ordered forward to retake up, as rollicking as ever, and is now forming his the hospital. They started on their errau but brigade to return to the field. On the morning of stopped at the breastworks, 'going not out because the 19th the firing was resumed and continued all it was bad to go out.' A company of the Missouri day. We recovered our surgeon and chaplain. Fourteenth was sent forward, but it also shrank The day was signalized by a fierce bayonet charge from the task, and refused to move outside the in- upon a regiment of the enemy, which served to trenchments. The Montgomery Guard, Captain show them that our men were not yet completely Gleason, of the Irish brigade, were then brought worried out. The officers had told them to hold out out. The commander admonished them that the until the 19th, when they would certainly be reenothers had failed; and with a brief exhortation to forced. Through that day our little garrison stood uphold the name they bore, gave the word to with straining eyes, watching to see if some friendly 'charge. The distance was eight hundred yards. flag was bearing aid to them-with straining ear, They started out from the intrenchments, first quick, awaiting the sound of a friendly cannonade. But no then double-quick, then on a run, then faster. The reenforcements appeared, and, with the energy of enemy poured a deadly shower of bullets upon despair, they determined to do their duty at all them, but on they went, a wild line of steel, and hazards. The 19th was a horrid day. Our water what is better than steel, human will. They storm- cisterns had been drained, and we dared not leave ed up the slope to the hospital door, and with irre- the crown of the hill, and make our intrenchments sistible bravery drove the enemy before them, and on the bank of the river, for the enemy could have hurled them far down the hill beyond. At the head planted his cannon on the hill and buried us. The of those brave fellows, pale as marble, but not pale day was burning hot, and the men bit their cartfrom fear, stood the gallant officer, Captain Glea- ridges; their lips were parched and blistered. But He said: 'Come on, my brave boys,' and in not a word of murmuring. The night of the 19th they rushed. But when their brave Captain return- two wells were ordered to be dug. We took a raed, it was with a shot through the cheek and ano- vine, and expected to reach water in about thirty ther through the arm, and with but fifty of the hours. During the night, I passed around the field, eighty he had led forth. The hospital was in their smoothed back the clotted hair, and by the light of possession. This charge was one of the most bril- the moon, shining through the trees, recognized liant and reckless in all history, and to Captain here and there the countenances of my brave men Gleason belongs the glory. Each side felt, after who had fallen. Some were my favorites in days this charge, that a clever thing had been done, and gone past, who had stood by me in these hours of the fire of the enemy lagged. We were in a terri- terror, and had fallen on the hard fought field. ble situation. Towards night the fire increased, Sadly we buried them in the trenches. The morn and in the evening word came from the rebels that ing of the 20th broke, but no reenforcements apif the garrison did not surrender before the next peared, and still the men fought on. The rebels day, they would hoist the black flag at their cannon had constructed movable breastworks of hemp bales, and give us no quarter. Word was sent back that rolled them up the hill, and advanced their batteries