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Escape of the Nashville, &c.
The Chicacomico Affair.
as in other preparatory | being to cut off Brown's plunder of the resources retreat. This, however, they of the United States, they failed to do, for Colonel might have had a navy with which to defend Brown destroyed whatever property was not their harbors quite effectually. The Theodora portable, and, after a double quick march passed out the night following the Nashville's through the sand, reached the lighthouse in escape, running direct for Cardenas, Cuba. the evening, with the loss of about fifty-most The drama of their arrest by the vigilant of them being stragglers, and officers trying Commander Wilkes, was soon to follow, form- to reclaim them, taken prisoners. ing one of the most exciting and important events of the year.
The Chicacomico Affair.
A somewhat remarkable conflict occurred on the Hatteras beach, Oct. 4th and 5th, which deserves more than a brief Summary allusion.
The 20th Indiana regiment, Colonel Brown, was dispatched by Colonel Hawkins-commandant at the fort-to form a camp at Chicacomico, a settlement about forty miles south of the Inlet, where a number of Unionists were understood to dwell. The camp was formed for their protection. The regiment proceeded, late in September, to the point named, in the propeller Fanny, accompanied by the gunboats Ceres and General Putnam. Nothing transpired to cause alarm until the capture, by the rebels, of the Fanny, on the 29th of September, when she was proceeding from the fort to the camp, with a full cargo of stores and forty men, chiefly belonging to the 30th Indiana and 9th New York regiments. This capture was effected by three armed steamers. It much encouraged the enemy, and a bold descent was arranged, by which the camp of Colonel Brown was to be cut off and the troops captured. It was also determined to "punish" those Union families at Chicacomico, who had given the Federalists such warm welcome.
Early on the morning of October 4th, Colonel Brown discovered five rebel steamers, with flatboats and schooners in tow, emerging from Croatan Sound, steering for the Federal encampment. Colonel Brown lost no time in communicating these facts to Colonel Hawkins at the Fort, informing him that he would retreat to the lighthouse at Cape Hatteras. The steamers succeeded in landing over fifteen hundred men about three miles above Colonel Brown's position, and proceeded to land troops further down, their policy
Colonel Hawkins, apprised of this attempt to bag the whole regiment, at once communicated with the fleet, and then marched, with six companies, to the lighthouse, to reenforce Colonel Brown. Of the fleet, the Susquehanna and Monticello were present. These vessels at once moved up to the vicinity of the lighthouse. Thus affairs stood during the evening and night of the 4th. On the following morning, the Monticello, commanded by Lieutenant Braine, doubled the cape and proceeded along the shore to look for the enemy. The vessel had not gone when the rebels were seen, whereupon the Monticello opened fire. The exploding shells did the work proposed. Not only were the rebels scattered in every direction, but, ow. ing to the precision with which the shells were thrown, many were killed, wounded or driven to the water. It is said that a single shell, entering the side of one of the schooners, exploded in her hold, filling the air with the wreck, mingled with the remains of human beings. It was an appalling sacrifice. The level and barren beach, being but three fourths of a mile in width, afforded no spot of refuge from the terrible missiles, which not only swept the sands, but were dropped among the vessels beyond. Dead bodies strewed the beach and sank in the waters. Accoutrements, guns, clothing, musical instruments were flung aside in despair, and each soldier sought such place of refuge as the barren spot offered-a sand heap-a clump of bushes, a scrub oak or holly tree. For three and one half hours the rain of shot and shell was not intermitted, and only ceased when night drew its pitying veil over the field. The Monticello having expended one hundred and eighty shells withdrew to the cape. The forces there then marched to the Fort, accompanied by the families of Unionists who had fled from Chicacomico to avoid
STRENGTH OF THE NATIONAL ARMY.
the threatened vengeance of their fellow citi- | gave forth accounts astonishing for their miszens from the mainland. It was a mistake in statements. The Norfolk Day Book, then conthe Federal commander not to have moved sidered good authority, reported only one his forces up the beach to co-operate with the man wounded; and, to the latest day, when Monticello. Had there been a few companies the carnage was confessed by those engaged present the entire rebel force would, doubt in the expedition, that journal never gave less, have been secured. As it was, the dis- any other statement of the disaster. The aster covered the enemy with confusion, and truth, in that instance as in many others, was sent an alarm through the rebel heart at the not calculated to "fire the Southern heart"mention of the word gunboat. Yet, the se- therefore it was suppressed. The actual rebel cession journals, true to their old instincts, loss wan never published.
STATE OF PUBLIC FEELING AT THE NORTH DURING
OF GOVERNMENT FINANCES. THE BALTIMORE BOARD
Unity of the War
THROUGHOUT the North | quate to he great task of public sentiment remain- suppressing the rebellion Legislation. The Na. ed, up to the meeting vi et armis. Up to August of Congress in December (1861), a unit on the 15th, the States had answered the President's policy of a vigorous prosecution of the war. | first and second calls thus prodigally: Scarcely a voice was raised, throughout the whole domain of the Free States, for peace Illinois.... or in justification of the Southern movement. This solidity of feeling and purpose gave the Administration great cause for satisfaction, filling, as it did, its armies, its coffers, its commissariat, and indicating the straight forward course to pursue. No government could have been more loyally or more materially sustained.
August 2d, the extra session of Congress passed its War tax and modified tariff bills, supplying the National exchequer with funds for immediate use. The Army bill authorized an equivalent of five hundred thousand men for active service, including all arms of infantry, cavalry and artillery. Under this act enlistments were active, and generals in the field found themselves with men ade
The Confiscation Act passed by the extra session of Congress, was, to some extent, enforced. This important measure and the proclamation for its enforcement we subjoin:
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Represent
declared, by proclamation, that the laws of the
United States are opposed, and the execution there
Giving, as the grand total of men enlisted in the Union cause, from April 15th to August 15th, (1861,) the aggregate of four hun-atives of the United States of America in Congress assem dred and ninety-nine thousand two hundred bled, That if, during the present or any future insurrection against the Government of the United States, and fifty. At the date last named there were, after the President of the United States shall have in the field, about three hundred and seventyfive thousand men. Of this vast mass McClellan had (at the date of Sept. 14th) in the of obstructed, by combinations too powerful to be immediate Department of the Potomac (in- suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial procluding the Departments of Annapolis, Lower ceedings, or by the power vested in the marshals by Virginia, and the defenses around Washing-law, any person or persons, his, her, or their agent, ton,) one hundred and eighty thousand men attorney, or employee, shall purchase or acquire, of all service. One month later, the Com-sell or give, any property of whatsoever kind or demanding - General held two hundred and scription, with intent to use or employ the same, or sixty thousand men under call, with which suffer the same to be used or employed, in aiding, to assail the Confederate Capital. abetting, or promoting such insurrection or resistance to the laws, or any person or persons, engaged therein; or if any person or persons, being the own er or owners of any such property, shall knowingly use or employ, or consent to the use or employment of the same as aforesaid, all such property is hereby declared to be lawful subject of prize and capture wherever found; and it shall be the duty of the Pre
Confederate Forces in
seized, confiscated and condemned.
"Sec 2. And be it further enacted, That such prizes and captures shall be condemned in the district or circuit court of the United States having jurisdiction of the amount, or in admiralty in any district in
which the same may be seized, and into which they may be taken and proceedings first instituted.
Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That the Attor
The Confederate forces enlisted up to August 1st, were put down by rebel writers at three hundred and twenty thousand; but, it is certain that no such numbers were in the field at that time. In Eastern Virginia there were not to exceed one hun-sident of the United States to cause the same to be dred and twenty thousand at any time prior to the evacuation of Manassas Junction (February 8th, 1862). In Western Virginia not to exceed twenty-five thousand. In Tennessee, up to the fall of Nashville (Feb. 25th, 1862,) not to exceed one hundred thousand. In Missouri, up to the battle of Pea Ridge (March 6th, 8th, 1862), not to exceed thirty-ney-General, or any district attorney of the United five thousand. These figures are outside estimates, drawn from the concessions of the Southern authorities after their several defeats in the departments named; and, from a careful collaboration of accounts bearing on this question, we are prepared to state with confidence that, at no time prior to the advance on Richmond from Yorktown (May 2d, 1862), had the Confederate generals more than two thirds the number of available men, at any particular point, than were at the disposal of the Union commanders. The great diversity of opinions and statements on this point renders exactness of estimate impossible; still, we are confident that we have closely approximated to the truth in our figures and assumptions.
States in which said property may at the time be, may institute the proceedings of condemnation, and in such case they shall be wholly for the benefit of the United States; or any person may file an information with such an attorney, in which case the proceedings shall be for the use of such informer and the United States in equal parts.
"Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That whenever hereafter, during the present insurrection against
the Government of the United States, any person claimed to be held to labor or service under the law of any State shall be required or permitted by the person to whom such labor or service is claimed to be due, or by the lawful agent of such person, to take up arms against the United States; or shall be required or permitted by the person to whom such labor or service is claimed to be due, or his lawful agent, to work or to be employed in or upon any
THE PRESIDENT'S PROCLAMATION.
fort, navy-yard, dock, armory, ship, intrenchment, | are in a state of insurrection
Approved, August 6th, 1861."
The Proclamation for the enforcement of this Act was as follows:
"WASHINGTON, Friday, Aug. 16th, 1861. Whereas, On the 15th day The President's Pro- of April, the President of the United States, in view of an insurrection against the laws, Constitution, and the Government of the United States, which had broken out within the States of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas, and in pursuance of an act entitled 'An act to provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections, and repel invasions, and to repeal the act now in force for that purpose,' approved Feb. 29th, 1795, did call forth the militia to suppress said insurrection and cause the laws of the Union to be duly executed, and the insurgents have failed to disperse by the time directed by the President; and whereas, such insurrection has since broken out and yet exists within the States of Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Arkansas; and whereas, the insurgents in all the said States claim to act under authority thereof, and such claim is not disclaimed or repudiated by the person exercising the functions of Government in each State or States, or in the part or parts thereof in which combinations exist, nor has such insurrection been suppressed by said States.
"Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, in pursuance of an act of Con
The President's Proclamation.
against the United States, and that all commercial intercourse between the same and the inhabitants thereof, with the exceptions aforesaid, and the citizens of other States and other parts of the United States is unlawful, and will remain unlawful until such insurrection shall cease or has been suppressed; that all goods and chattels, wares and merchandise, coming from any of said States, with the exceptions aforesaid, into other parts of the United States, without the special license and permission of the President, through the Secretary of the Treasury, or proceeding to any of said States, with the exceptions aforesaid, by land or water, together with the vessel or vehicle conveying the same, or conveying persons to and from said States with said exceptions will be forfeited to the United States, and that from and after fifteen days from the issuing of this proclamation, all ships and vessels belonging in whole or in part to any citizen or inhabitant of any of said States with said exceptions, found at sea or in any port of the United States, will be forfeited to the United States, and I hereby enjoin upon all District Attorneys, Marshals, and officers of the Revenue and of the Military and Naval forces of the United States, to be vigilant in the execution of said act, and in the enforcement of the penalties and forfeitures imposed or declared by it, leaving any party who may think himself aggrieved thereby to his application to the Secretary of the Treasury for the remission of any penalty or forfeiture, which the said Secretary is authorized by law to grant, if, in his judgment, the special circumstances of any case shall require such remission.
"In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
"Done in the City of Washington, this 16th day of August, in the year of our Lord 1861, snd of the Independence of the United States the eighty-sixth. 66 ABRAHAM LINCOLN.
"By the President,
"WM. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State. This act, though quali
gress, July 13th, 1561, do hereby declare that the in-fied by its title to cover Nullity of the Act. habitants of the said States of Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi and Florida, (except the inhabitants of that part of the State of Virginia lying west of the Alleghany Mountains, and of such other parts of that State, and the other States hereinbefore named, as may maintain a loyal adhesion to the Union and the Constitution, or may be from time to time occupied and controlled by the forces engaged in the dispersion of said insurgents,)
only such property as had been "used for insurrectionary purposes," was designed to be retaliatory. The friends of the Slave regarded it as the first step towards his enfranchisement. But, it soon came to be regarded as a dead letter in spite of its Congressional authority and Executive endorsement. commander of a department saw it enforced, if we except Fremont's attempt in Missouri,
and some few cases under
Nullity of the Act. General Butler's rule in New Orleans. Rather, it was set aside, and orders were promulgated by officers of all grades, forbidding slaves within their linesthus denying them the protection guaranteed by the act and bidding the law defiance,* Seizures for confiscation were made in New York early in September, under the act of July 30th, 1861. This professedly provided "for the collection of duties on imports and for other purposes," but was particularly designed to confiscate rebel property in vessels or afloat. Section 6th of this act we may quote:
Seizures of Rebel
"Sec. 6. And be it further enacted, That from and after fifteen days after the issuing of the said proclamation, as provided in the last foregoing section of this act, any ship or vessel belonging in whole or in part to any citizen or inhabitant of said State or part of a State whose inhabitants are so declared in a
This class grew stronger with the slow progress of Opposition to the Ad. the Federal arms. In the fall of 1862, it took the open form of opposition to the Administration, and proved strong enough to elect several of its candidates to the responsible positions of Governors, Congressmen, &c. The distinctive issue assumed was the President's exercising unconstitutional powers in conducting the war-in suspending the writ of habeas corpus-in arresting and incarcerating citizens without examination or trial-in forbidding the publication of newspapers by excluding them from the mails-in the promulgation of edicts of confiscation and emancipation: all of which this opposition assumed were "usurpations of power." These issues were galvanized by the ever popular cry of " danger to liberty;" hence, soon gained the strength of a powerful movement in their support.
The question of the right to suspend the state of insurrection, found at sea, or in any part of privileges of the habeas corpus writ already the rest of the United States, shall be forfeited to has been adverted to (Judge Taney's counter the United States." Under the provisions of this law the Sur-dix to this volume). The defense relied upon opinion being given at length in the Appenveyor of the port of New York proceeded by the President, on the other counts of this against numerous parties; but, the interpre"unconstitutional" indictment, like that as tation given to the act by the Secretary of the sumed in the habeas corpus proceedings, was Treasury in regard to forfeitures and penal- simply his right and duty, in time of war and ties, as well as transfers and sales, real great public danger, to use every proper and or fictitious, made by owners of the pronecessary power to suppress treason, restrain perty seized, served to render the law almost revolution and overthrow inoperative. The processes for its enforcement conspiracies for evil. In revealed the fact that there existed, in comhis two capacities of Chief mercial circles, a large and powerful class Executive of the Constitution and Laws, and who were ready to oppose every act for the Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, sequestration or confiscation of the property he not only is properly empowered to enforce of disloyal Southern men. Having been as- obedience to the law of the land, but is resociated with the South in business relations, quired to do so by his oath of office. His their commercial sympathies were stronger failure to perform these functions is cause for than their loyalty; and, though comparative- his impeachment. In time of national danly silent during the early stages of the rebelger and war-the Constitution never contemlion, they were not therefore harmless, for plated, nor expressly provided, for, a state of they became the nucleus of the party which re-insurrection and revolution-he is expected solved that treason should not work attainder.
by usage, and enjoined by law, to assume such powers as are absolutely necessary for the public safety-to control interests and persons both at home and abroad, and to su persede, to the extent that he shall judge ne
*A Kentucky court, sitting in judgment on the law, in October, 1862, declared it to be unconstitutional and set aside the confiscation ordered in the case tested. The Emancipation act proclaimed September 23d, 1862, would have been deemed un-cessary, domestic or foreign law, for military constitutional by the same ruling.
reasons. (Const. U. S., Art. 2: 17 John. R.,