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FRANCE ON THE
on board the English packet that Messrs. Mason and Slidell The French View.
The French View Trent, by an American cruiser, could not be assimilated to per. has produced in France, if not the same emotion as sons in that category. in England, at least extreme astonishment and sen- “ There remains, therefore, to invoke, in explana. sation. Public sentiment was at once engrossed tions of their capture, only the pretext that they with the lawfulness and the consequence of sush an were the bearers of official dispatches from the act, and the impression which has resulted from this enemy. But this is the moment to recall a circumhas not been for an instant doubtful.
stance which governs all this affair, and which ren. “The fact has appeared so much out of accord ders the conduct of the American cruiser unjustifiaance with the ordinary rules of international law ale. The Trent was not destined to a point belong. that it has chosen to throw the responsibility for it ing to one of the belligerents; she was carrying to exclusively on the commander of the San Jacinto. a neutral country her cargo and her passengers ;
“ It is not yet given to us to know whether this and, moreover, it was in a neutral port that they supposition is well founded, and the Government of were taken. the Emperor has therefore also had to examine the “If it were admissable that, under such conditions, question raised by the taking away of the two pas- the neutral flag does not completely cover the per. sengers from the Trent. The desire to contribute to song and merchandise it carries, its immunity would prevent a conflict, perhaps imminent, between two be nothing more than idle words. At any moment Powers for which it is animated by sentiments equal the commerce and navigation of third Powers would ly friendly, and the duty to uphold, for the purpose have to suffer from their innocent and even their of placing the rights of its own flag under shelter | indirect relations with the one or the other of the from any attack, certain principles essential to the belligerents. These last would no longer find them. security of neutrals, have, after mature reflection, selves as baving only the right to exact from the convinced it that it could not, under the circum- neutral entire partiality, and to interdict all interstances, remain entirely silent.
meddling on his part in acts of hostility; they would “ If, to our deep regret, the Cabinet of Washing. impose on his freedom of commerce and navigation ton were disposed to approve the conduct of the restrictions which modern international law has re. commander of the San Jacinto, it would be either by fused to admit as legitimate, and we should, in a considering Messrs. Mason and Slidell as enemies or word, fall back upon vexatious practices, against as seeing in them nothing but rebels. In the one, which, in other epochs, no Power has more earrestas in the other case, there would be a forgetfulnessly protested than the United States. extremely annoying of principles upon which we “ If the Cabinet of Washington would only look nave always fouud the United States in agreement on the two persons arrested as rebels, whom it is with us.
always lawful to seize, the question, to place it on “ By what title, in effect, would the American other ground, could not be solved, however, in a cruiser, in the first case, have arrested Messrs. Ma.
sense in favor of the commander of the San Jacinto. son and Slidell? The United States have admitted, there would be, in such case, misapprehension with us, in the treaties concluded between the two
of the principle which makes a vessel a portion of nountries, that the freedom of the flag extends itself the territory of the nation whose flag it bears, and over the persons found on board should they be ene- violation of that immunity which prohibits a foreign mies of one of the two parties, unless the question sovereign, by consequence, from the exercise of his is of military people actually in the service of the jurisdiction. It certainly is not necessary to recall enemy. Messrs, Mason and Slidell were, therefore, to mind with what energy, under every circumstance, by virtue of this principle, which we have never the Government of the United States has maintained found any difficulty in causing to be inserted in our
this immunity, and the right of asylum which is the treaties of friendship and commerce, perfectly at
consequence of it. liberty under the neutral flag of England. Doubt- “Not wishing to enter upon a more deep discus. less it will not be pretended that they could be con- sion of the questions raised by the capture of Messrs. sidered as contraband of war. That which consti- Mason and Slidell, I have said enough, I think, to tutes contraband of war is not yet, it is true, exact- settle the point that the Cabinet at Washington ly settled ; the limitations are not exactly the same could not, without striking a blow at the principles for all the Powers; but, in what relates to persons, which all neutral nations are alike interested in the special stipulations which are found in the trea. holding in respect, nor without taking the attitude ties concerning military people define plainly the of contradiction of its own course up to this time, character of those who only can be seized upon as give its approbation to the proceedings of the coin. belligerents; but there is no need to demonstrate mander of the San Jacinto. In this state of things,
The French view.
it evidently should not, according to our views, hes- | the British nation, and that he
Seward's Answer. itate about the determination to be taken.
is equally just in assuming that * Lord Lyons is already instructed to present the the United States would consistently vindicate, by demand for satisfaction, which the English Cabinet their practice on this occasion, the character they is under the necessity of reducing to form, and have so long maintained as an advocate of the most which consists in the immediate release of the per liberal principles concerning the rights of neutral sons taken from on board the Trent, and in sending States in maritime war. explanations which may take from this act its offen.
“ When the French Government shall come to see sive character toward the British flag. The Federal at large the views of this Government and those of Government will be inspired by a just and exalted the Government of Great Britain on the subject now feeling in deferring to these requests. One would in question, and to compare them with the views search in vain to what end, for what interest, it expressed by M. Thouvenel on the part of France, would hazard to provoke by a different attitude a it will probably perceive that, while it must be adrupture with Great Britain.
mitted that those three powers are equally impress“ For ourselves, we shoulded with the same desire for the establishment of
see in that fact a deplorable principles favorable to neutral rights, there is, at complication, in every respect, of the difficulties the same time, not such an entire agreement conwith which the Cabinet at Washington has already cerning the application of those principles as is deto struggle, and a precedeut of a nature seriously sirable to secure that important object. to disquiet all the powers which continue ontside of
" The Government of the United States will be the existing contest. We believe that we give evi- happy if the occasion which has elicited this corredence of loyal friendship for the Cabinet of Wash-spondence can be improved so as to secure a more ington by not permitting it to remain in ignorance, definite agreement upon the whole subject all by in this condition of things, of our manner of regard maritime powers. ing it. I request you, therefore, sir, to seize the
“ You will assure M. Thouvenel that this Govern. first occasion of opening yourself frankly to Mr.
ment appreciates as well the frankness of his es. Seward, and, if he asks it, send bim a copy of this planations as the spirit of friendship and good dispatch.
will towards the United States, in which they are “ Receive sir, the assurances of my high consider- expressed. ation,
“ It is a sincere pleasure for the United States to “ Monsieur HENRI MERCIER, Minister of the Empe-| exchange assurances of a friendship which had its ror at Washington."
origin in associations the most sacred in the history
of both countries. Mr. Seward's reply was in excellent tone,
“I avail myself of this opportunity to renew to seizing that opportunity as the good occa
you, sir, the assurance of niy high consideration. sion whereby to make a forcible and perti
“ WILLIAM H. SEWARD." nent request :
Lord Lyons did not await the remission to "DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
his Government of Mr. Seward's reply in or“ WASHINGTON, Dec. 27th, 1861. 5 “M. HENRI MERCIER, &C., &c. :
der to accept the terms conceded. The Con. “Sir: I have submitted to federate ambassadors were released Jan, 1st, Seward's Answer.
the President the copy you passing out of the fort in a quiet manner to were so good as to give me of the dispatch address-a tugboat in waiting. The tug conveyed ed to you on the 3d of December instant, concern them to Provincetown, where they were ing the recent proceedings of Captain Wilkes in ar- transferred to the British war steamer Rinaldo, resting certain persons on board of the British con. which sailed, the same evening, for England. tract mail steamer Trent.
Thus ended an affair “ Before receiving the paper, however, the Presi- that gave promise of one
The Good Result dent had decided upon the disposition to be made of the most serious wars of modern times. of the subject, which has caused so much anxiety That this country came out of the difficulty in Europe. That disposition of the subject, as I think, renders unnecessary any discussion of it in
with honor, even its enemies confessed. The reply to the comments of M. Thouvenel. I am per
settlement was a staggering blow to those mitted, however, to say that M. Thouvenel has not friends of the Southern Confederacy abroad been in error in supposing-first, that the Govern- who saw, in the impending collision, the ment of the United States has not acted in any spir- surest way to Southern independence. It it of disregard of the rights or of the sensibilities of | signally defeated the combinations and ma
BATTLE OF BELMONT.
chinations of the secessionists abroad whose rebuke which must have been humiliating, sharpest weapons were falsehoods and mis- were it possible for such an emotion to affect representations. It materially qualified the the hearts of men influenced by the ideas effect of Jefferson Davis' message of Novem- which appeared to prevail in the “influential ber 18th, (see pages -] especially direct- circles” of British society during the fall of ed to the end of obtaining foreign sympathy. the year 1861. To the great majority of English journals The ambassadors arrived in London in the which had fairly reeked with invective and latter part of January, 1862, to enter upon defamation toward the United States Gov- the career of usefulness' prescribed by the ernment, as a people and a power, it was a Confederate President.
AFFAIRS IN MISSOURI DURING HUNTER'S COMMAND. BATTLE
OF BELMONT. CONFEDERATE CONGRATULATIONS. SAD EF. FECT OF THE RETREAT FROM SPRINGFIELD. THE MISSOURI
MILITIA IN SERVICE. NEW MILITARY DEPARTMENTS. CONCENTRATION OF FEDERAL FORCES. HUNTER'S REPUDIATION OF THE FREMONT - PRICE "TREATY." THE "TREATY" AND HUNTER'S REASONS FOR REPUDIATING IT. FREMONT'S ERRORS.
Amairs in Missouri.
Battle of Belmont.
In Chapter IX. Division from this purpose, and also
V. we record the events of to prevent him from reenFremont's rule in Missouri, ending with his forcing Jeff Thompson's command, defeated suspension from command and the retreat of at Fredericksburg—which command Grant his army by orders of his successor, General hoped to capture or disperse by an expediHunter. We may now resume the narrative, tion under Colonel Ogilvie, then in the field considering events which transpired pending -a movement was ordered upon Belmont, General Halleck's assumption of the chief led by General Grant in person, assisted by command in that department.
General McClernand. Wednesday evening, The operations of General Grant in the Nov. 6th, the Seventh Iowa, Colonel Lanman, District of Southeastern Missouri, during the Twenty-seventh Illinois, Colonel Buford, early part of November, properly belong to a Twenty-ninth, Colonel Fouke, Thirtieth, record of the campaign in Missouri, although Colonel Logan, Twenty-second, Colonel he acted independently and reported directly Dougherty. Taylor's battery of six pieces and to headquarters at Washington.
two companies of cavalry, making in all a While Fremont was press- force of two thousand eight hundred and
ing forward to engage the eighty-six, took steamers at Cairo for pisforces of Price and McCullough, apprehen- sage down the river. The transports, escortsions were entertained by General Grant of cd by the gunboats Tyler and Lexington, hay the Confederate General Polk, commanding all night at a point about nine miles below at Columbus, Kentucky, pushing reenforce- Cairo, and on Thursday morning proceeded ments forward from Belmont and New Madrid, to Lucas' oead four miles above Belmoni, thus to overpower Fremont by the mere where the troupe detaarked and took up there strength of numbers. To divert the enemy march to the chenys camp at Belmont. The
Battle of Belmont.
Battle of Bolmont.
Battle of Bolmont.
gunboats proceeded down infantry and artillery, and
the river to engage the after a desperate resistance batteries above Columbus. Grant in his re- drove the enemy back the third time, forcing port said of his disposition of forces: “Know- them to seek cover among thick woods and ing that Columbus was strongly garrisoned, brush, protected by the heavy guns at CoI asked General Smith, commanding at Pa- lumbus. While this struggle was going on ducah, Ky., to make demonstrations in the a tremendous fire from the Twenty-seventh, same directions. He did so, by ordering a which had approached the abattis on the small force to Mayfield, and another in the right and rear of the tents, was heard. About direction of Columbus, not to approach near the same time the Seventh and Twenty-secer, however, than twelve or fifteen miles. I ond, which had passed the rear of the Thirtieth also sent a small force on the Kentucky side, and Thirty-first, hastened up, and, closing some twelve miles from Columlus. All this the space between them and the Twenty-sevserved to distract the enemy, and lead him enth, poured a deadly fire upon the enemy. to think he was to be attacked in his strong. A combined movement was now made upon ly fortified position."
three sides of the enemy's works, and, driving The enemy was on the alert. The Federals him across the abattis, we followed close moved forward to find their antagonists upon his heels into the clear space around his drawn up in a good position, nearly two camp." miles in advance of their entrenched camp
In this fierce contest many brave men were on the river, immediately opposite and pro- slain. Grant's horse was there killed under tected by the Columbus batteries. Grant said: him. McClernand's horse was struck several “ At daylight we proceeded down the river to a
times. Colonel Lanmann fell. Yet, considpoint just out of range of the rebel guns, and deering the exposure and daring of officers and barked on the Missouri shore. From here the troops men, the loss was comparatively small. were marched by a flank for about one mile towards But, the victory, though won, was not seBelmont, and then drawn up in line, one battalion cure. Bishop Polk, in his special dispatch having been left as a reserve near the transports. to Jefferson Davis, said : Two companies from each regiment, five skeletons “ The enemy came down on the opposite side of in number, were thrown out as skirmishers to ascer- the river Belmont to-day, about seven thousand five tain the position of the enemy.
hundred strong, landed under cover of gunboats, “ It was but a few moments before they met him, and attacked Colonel Tappan's camp. I sent over and a general engagement ensued. The balance of
three regiments, under General Pillow, to his relief, my force, with the exception of the reserve, was then at intervals three others, then General Cheat. then thrown forward, all as skirmishers, and the ham. I then took over two others in person, to enemy driven, foot by foot, and from tree to tree support a flank movement which I had directed. It back to their encampment on the river's bank, a was a hard fought battle, lasting from balf-past ten distance of over two miles. Here they had strength. | A. M. to five P. M. They took Beltzhoover's batte. ened their position by felling the timber for several ry, four pieces of which we recaptured. The enemy hundred yards around their camp, and making a were thoroughly routed. We purrued them to their sort of abattis.
boats, seven miles, then drove their boats before “ Our men charged through this, driving the ene- The road was strewn with their dead and my over the river banks and into their transports in wounded, guns, ammunition and equipments. Our quick time, leaving us in possession of everything loss is considerable--theirs heavy." not exceedingly portable."
The first three Confederate regiments unThis brief mention covers much gallant ac- der Pillow participated in the early figlit, tion. The fight was one of great obstinacy and were driven back into the timber after and was only won by the unflinching nerve attempting to cut McClerland's line. The of the assailants. McClernand, after advert- other reenforcements sent over by Polk, uning to the enemy's attempt to cut his line der Cheatham and others, joined Pillow's and his disposition to avert their design, thus forces above the camp, with the well conceivcharacterised the struggle which followed: ed purpose of cutting off the Federal retreat “We again opened a deadly fire from both to the transports, four miles away. Even
Battle of Belmont.
Battle of Belmont.
while the Illinois and Iowa engaged, in killed, wound
“boys” were shouting for ed and missing, as three the Union in the captured camp, the enemy hundred and sixty-four. In this ratio was planting his forces, three to one, in the their total loss must have reached a number way of a retreat. Eight full regiments, in but little short of one thousand. addition to such of Tappan's finely armed As wil be inferred from General Polk's brigade as could be gathered, were thus dispatch to Jefferson Davis, the Confederates thrown into position on the line. Grant was claimed a great victory. Davis returned his not caught unawares. Almost as soon as the congratulations to General Polk. “Accept,” camp was captured he fired its property and he said, “ for yourself and the officers and sounded the retreat. He said :
men under your command, my sincere thanks “ Belmont is on low ground, and every foot of it for the glorious contribution you have just commanded by the guns on the opposite shore, and, made to our common cause." And, in his of course, could not be held for a single hour after message of November 18th, he referred to the enemy became aware of the withdrawal of their the battle of Belmont as one of the “ glorious troops. Having no wagons with me I could not victories" which had blessed the Confederate move any of the captured property, consequently
He did not, of course, allude to the gave orders for its destruction. Their tents, blan
which Grant had carried away-to the kets, &c., were set on fire, and we retreated, taking
entrenched encampment destroyed — to the their artillery with us, two pieces being drawn by hand, and one by an inefficient team, were spiked true nature of the Federal “ advance.” and left in the woods, bringing two to this place,
The dispatch of Colonel Ogilvie from Cai“ Before getting fairly under way, the enemy ro, and the movement of troops from Cape made his appearance again and attempted to sur-Girardeau and Ironton-all designed to surround us. Our troops were not in the least dis; prise Jefferson Thompson's camp at Bloomcouraged, but charged the enemy and again defeat-field-was only a partial success. After a ed him."
painful march through the Big Mingo swamp, McClernand, in his report, detailed with Ogilvie arrived at Bloomfield on the morning much pride the splendid conduct of his men of November 7th, to find Thompson and his in the retreat. It was a fight in solid column, braves gone : they had incontinently fled to the artillery opening the way before them. the swan:ps. The enemy, easily broken, fought with great These dashes by Grant served the good puri:regularity A lack of generalship was pose of inspiriting the troops if nothing else. shown in their manæuvres. Had they been Long inactivity in camp rendered them unwell ordered the route to the transports must easy, while their employment in active serhave been thick with Federal dead.
vice excited that emulation which is the best The official returns gave the following ta- assurance of success. The retreat of Freble of Federal loss :
mont's advance upon Springfield, and the Killed. Wounded. Missing. centralization of his forces at Rolla, St. Seventh Iowa regiment........... 26
Louis and Sedalia, rendered further diverTwenty-second Illinois regiment... 28 Twenty-seventh Illinois regiment.10
sions by Grant unnecessary.
He therefore Thirtieth Illinois regiment..
turned his attention to Western Kentucky, Thirty-first Illinois regiment......10
from whence the Confederates menaced both Taylor's Chicago battery...... Dollins' Illinois cavalry...
Cairo and St. Louis. His campaign up the Delano's Illinois cavalry.
Cumberland, which soon followed, forms one On gunboat Tyler..
of most exciting chapters of the war. Total .........
Hunter having assumed The Confederates reported two hundred command in Missouri after prisoners in their possession, including one Fremont's deposition, or
Springfield. hundred of the wounded. The rebel loss dered the retreat from Springfield, already never was accurately stated. A table pub-chronicled, (see page 340.] The troops, lished in the Memphis Appeal, November thrown forward at such vast cost, retired, 12th, gave the loss of four of the regiments and the public sought to discover whether
28 62 8
Sad Results of the