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OF "THE BITUATION."
Rebel Views of « The Situation."
Rebel Views of " Tho Situation."
tone of their journals prove | produce a total loss of con-
tary successes but depress- ministration among its own ed at the formidable attitude of the Federal people; and that would most probably be Government, and the failure of all their the real effect. Both the North itself, and schemes for a foreign recognition. Their more particularly the administration in powsuceesses were conceived to have been deci. er, are impelled to offer battle at this moment sive, east and west-were so avowed by Da- by necessities which seem to us as imperative vis in his message of Nov. 18th, as well as by as irresistible. They must fight, and we are the press generally. There was complaint ready for the fray. The defiant cry of the at the want of greater success. Those oppos- whole South is, 'Lay on, Macduff.?” ed to the “defensive" policy adopted by Da- tered by an enemy this was prophetic. None vis, conceived it possible to have winter- so well as the rebels themselves knew the quartered their armies on Northern soil; and best policy to pursue for their “subjugation :" their organs, while accepting the general re- it would have been well to have profited by sults of victories won, still declared the past their apprehensions. Earlier than this the campaign but a comparative success. (See rebel chiefs considered the advance against the article quoted in Appendix, page 523.] Manassas as a failure; and though they preThere was no fear of McClellan's approach. pared to run, if such a necessity should arise The Richmond Dispatch of Dec. 23d, said: by McClellan's springing upon them some "It is the warm sun that brings out the ad- unlooked-for strategy or energy, they still der. The splendid season of dry weather regarded the Army of the Potomac as harmthat we have had for three weeks has hard- less, for the winter at least. The Richmond ened the earth, restored the roads, prepared Examiner of November 14th, reviewing their the way for a grand advance of the enemy successes, said : wherever he is in force. It is almost incredi- * In the Peninsula Magruder holds the cnemy seble that he will refuse to avail himself of the curely in check. In the single battle there fought auspices which thus smooth his path. The the enemy was ignominiously routed. At Manassas untoward affair on Friday last at Dranesville, our army has held its ground firmly, proudly and will probably inspire his soldiers with some defiantly. It awaited with confidence the onset of confidence in themselves, and conspire with the finest army that had been hitherto organized on the excellent roads to invite an advance."
this continent, and drove it back with a loss, not so
much of numbers as of honor, that never will be The expectation of an advance against Manassas was as generally entertained in Rich- forgotten. In its old stand point it defies the ad
vance of the enemy. It is a standing menace and mond as in the Northern cities. The rebel insult to the enemy. It is within twenty miles of Congress had prepared for such a contingen- his capital, and it means to stay there or to advance cy by resolving Nashville, Tennessee, as the
-not to fall back. Meantime McClellan has let the best future capital of the Confederacy; Govern- period for an attack go by. We still believe he will assaib ment and State archives were put in order General Johnston in this position, but we have no apprefor immediate shipment to the interior-all hension about the result.” in expectation of the march of the vast army The enemy thus indicated the situation" around Washington upon Richmond. So in Virginia, where was gathered the mighticertain were the Confederates of this advance est army this continent is likely ever to bethat the press construed any further delay hold; and if this freely confessed scorn of on the part of the Federals as an evidence of Federal pluck and sagacity now has the sigwant of pluck, and of confidenee in their nificance of historic truth, it is not the histo
Said the Dispatch: "To refuse to rian's place to suppress this evidence of their fight under the influences now pressing upon prescience for fear of injury to the memory it, would argue an imbecility in the North, of those wholly responsible for it. The peoits generals, and its armies, which could not ple of the North writled under this scorn of fail to be interpreted most unfavorably their army; but, what could the people do ? against that section. Such a failure ought to The chief in command, having adopted the
Rebel Views of “ The Situation."
The Battle of Dranes.
injunction of the veteran, , announced by firing on the
terference in his plans"- by which about thirty-five was deaf to the public voice that besought hundred rebels were approaching, under him to strike! and, as the weary months command of Colonel Stewart. The enemy's waned, the dissatisfaction became so deep force consisted of the Eleventh Virginia, that the President himself was constrained to Colonel Garland; Sixth South Carolina, Lieuassume the authority delegated to him by tenant-Colonel A. J. Secrest; Tenth Alabama, the Constitution to compel an advance of his Colonel Jolin H. Forney; First Kentucky, armies.
Colonel Tom Taylor; the Sumter flying arIn viewing the fruits of that winter's leth-tillery, Captain Cutts; and detachments from argy the patriot's voice must ever be raised Ransom's and Radford's cavalry. This force in condemnation—not in spite, but in righte- served as an escort of two hundred wagons, ous indignation; and, if any behold in it a out, like the Federals, for forage. deeply laid political plan to prolong the war The discovery of each party proved simulfor partisan purposes, they may be forgiven taneous, and the disposition for battle at once their evident misconstruction of causes from took place. The rebels deployed to the right the magnitude of sad effects. The key to the and left of the road in the thick woods—the want of success is, we conceive, to be found | Eleventh Virginia and Tenth Alabama on the in the want of capacity to grapple the mag-riglit, the Sixth South Carolina and First nitude of the situation—a want of confidence Kentucky on the left. These were pushed in himself felt by the Commanding-General : forward to within three hundred yards of the his loyalty, his devotion to duty, his desire Leesburg pike, to the edge of the clearing. for success, we are sure are not to be ques. The Kentuckians first showed theniselves, tioned by any attentive student.
when the tiery Bucktails advanced upon The “untoward affair at them, and after a sharp round at short disDranesville," referred to by tance pressed the enemy back. The Pennsyl
the Richmond Dispatch, we vania reserves, after an hour's skirmislung have already adverted to, as having occurred and sharpshooting, advanced to the attack. on Friday, December 20th. On the morning Easton's battery, in the meanwhile, had made of that day, the brigade of McCall's division sad work with the rebel battery, killing all commanded by General 0. C. Ord, was order- its horses, exploding two caissons, destroying ed out on a foraging and scouting expedition one limber and killing twelve artillerists. toward Dranesville, to the north of its posi- After the advance, the contlict was short and tion. The force detailed consisted of the severe, ending in the enemy's retreat and Bucktail ritles, Lieutenant-Colonel Thos. L. pursuit. McCall coming up at the moment Kane; Sixth Penusylvania reserve corps, of victory, ordered the pursuit to be disconLieutenant-Colonel W. M. Penrose; Ninth, tinued, fearing a fluuk movement from CenColonel C. F. Jackson ; Tenth, Colonel Jolin treville, where the enemy was in permanent G. McCalmont; Twelfth, Colonel John H. force. That evening, the forage ina ving' been Taggart; and Captain H. Easton's battery A, secured, McCall returned the whole force to of the Thirteenth, and two squadrons caval- his camp quarters near the Falls, taking adry, Lieutenant-Colonel Higgins. McCall, ap- vantage of which, the rebels again moved prehending an attack, ordered the brigade forward and occupied Dranesville. of General Reynolds forward to Difficult Run,
The loss of the rebels in where it awaited orders under arms. With this affair never was made his staff and escort the Division-Commander known. It was severe. Ninety dead and followed in the track of General Ord, to be wounded were left ou the field. Seven prispersonally present in case of emergency. oners only were taken. The enemy fought
Marching by the Leesburg pike, the Fede- with great obstinacy—the First Kentucky ral advance, Bucktail rilles, lad entered particularly so. I Was opposed by Colonel Dranesville, where the enemy's presence was Jackson's regiment, whose wounded exceeded
The Battle of Dranes
that of all other regiments engaged. The At Centreville formidable fortifications were “Bucktails” there commenced their career of reported to exist. The artillery was located honor, McCall reported his loss as seven between Cub Run and Stone Bridge back of killed, sixty-one wounded and missing. Centreville, leaving enough guns.in position
This was the only battle proper of the cam- | in the fortified post of Centreville to answer paign against Manassas. Judged by future for any likely contingency. In all these sevstruggles it was but a small affair, though eral commands snug huts were constructed, then considered worthy of the special thanks and, in all respects, the Confederate troops of the Secretary of War, and serving as the felt at home for the winter. Beauregard ococcasion for recommendations for a general cupied the old Wier mansion in the first Bull promotion of those engaged.
Run battle-field ; General Johnston took up The rebel army, as
his quarters in the Lewis House, near at hand. The Rebel Army in
ganized in Virginia for the Thus endis the story of the Winter Quarters.
The " Anaconda." winter's campaign against second campaign against McClellan, was under the chief command of Manassas, up to February 1st. Little has been General Joseph E. Johnston. The army of chronicled of military events for little transthe Potomac was commanded by General P. pired: a few advances after the rebels had T. Bcauregard; First Division, General Van retired toward their winter quarters at CenDorn; Second, General G. W. Smith; Third, treville and beyond—a few skirmishes and General Longstreet; Fourth, General Kirby scouting expeditions—the collision of rival Smith. General Thomas Jackson command- foraging parties to Dranesville-picket shouted the army of the Valley and General Holmes | ing—artillery duels along Banks' lines—that the army of Acquia. These forces opposed was all. The great army lay like a vast serthe Federal lines from Cumberland to Acquia. pent, plethoric with fullness, and immobile in As early as December 27th they were fixed in its lazy ease. It was, indeed, the “anaconda,” winter quarters. Longstreet's division, in- whose coils were to close upon the Laocoon cluding the brigade of General Stuart, held of treason, until it and all its progeny Centreville. Kirby Smith occupied “ Camp were strangled forever. If its agile foe never Wigfall," on the Orange and Alexandria rail. was caught in its coils, it still was the “anaroad. Van Dorn's brigades lay along Bull | conda,” for so the people had christened it, Run. Four brigades we in quarters on the and as such it will be embalmed in history. Ocuquan river as far down as Davis' ford. | Alas for its memory!
The final communication of the Confederate Commissioners to the Federal Government (given on pages 69–71) did not cover their entire statement of their case. A Message from Jefferson Davis to the Confederate Congress May 10th, 1861, was accom. panied by documents of considerable interest, if not importance, as embodying the Southern presentment of their course and wishes in the matter of the evacuation of the forts, Sumter and Pickens. As Mr. Davis, in his Message, said: “It is due to you (Congress), to him (Judge Campbell), and to history that a narration of the occurrences with which he was connected should be made known,' we here append the Message and accompanying documents :
DAVIS' MESSAGE. « Gentlemen of the Congre88 :
“ In the Message addressed to you on the 29th inst., I referred to the course of conduct of the Government of the United States toward the Commissioners of this Government Bent to Washington for the purpose of effecting, if possible, a peaceful adjustment of the pending ditliculties between the two Governments. I also made allusion to an intermediary, whose high position and character inspired the hope of succose;' but I was not then at liberty to make my communication on this subject as specific as was desirable for a full comprehension of the whole subject. It is now, however, in my power to place before you other papers, which I herewith address to you from them. You will perceive that the intermediary referred to was the Hon. John A. Campbell, a Judge of the Supreme Court of the United States, who made earnest efforts to promote the successful issue of the mission intrusted to our Commissioners, and by whom I was kept advised, in confldeutial communications, of the measures taken by him to secure so desirable a result. It is due to you, to him, and to history, that a narration of the occurrences with which he was connected should be made known, the more especially as it will be seen by the letters hereto appended, that the correctness and accuracy of the recital have not been questioned by the Secretary of State of the United States, to whom it was addressed. I avail myself of this opportunity to rorrect an error in one of the statements made in my Message of the 29th of April. It is there recited that I was prompted to call you together, in extraordinary 8cesion, by roason of the declarations contained in the pro
clamation of President Lincoln of the 15th of April. My pro clamation, convoking you, was issued on the 12th of April, and was prompted by the declaration of hostile purpuseg contained in the Message sent by President Lincoln to the Governor of South Carolina, on the 8th of April. As the proclamation of President Lincoln, of the 15th April, repeated the same hostile intention in more specific terms, and on a much more extensive scale, it created a stronger impression on my mind, and led to the error above alluded 10, and which, however unimportant, I desire to correct.
“ JEFFERSON DAVIS. “ MONTGOMERY, May 30, 1861."
JUDGE CAMPBELL vs. WM. 1. SEWARD.
“ WASHINGTON CITY, Saturday, April 13th, 1861. “ Sir : On the 15th of March ult., I left with Judge Craw. ford, one of the Commissioners of the Confederate States, a note in writing to the effect following:
"I feel entire confidence that Fort Sumter will be evacuated in the next ten days. And this measure is felt as imposing great responsibility on the Administration. I feel entire confidence that no measure changing the existing status, prejudicially to the Southern Confederate States, is at present contemplated. I feel an entire confidence that an immediate demand for an answer to the communication of the Commis. sioners will be productive of evil and not of good. I do not believe that it ought at this time to be pressed.'
“ The substance of this statement I communicated to you the same evening by letter. Five days elapsed, and I called with a telegram from General Beauregard, to the effect that Sumter was not evacuated, but that Major Anderson was at work making repairs.
“ The next day, after conversing with you, I communicated to Judge Crawford, in writing, that the failure to evacuate Sumter was not the result of bad faith, but was attributable to causes consistent with the intention to fulfill the engagement; and that, as regarded Pickens, I should have notice
; of any design to alter the existing status there. Mr. Justice Nelson was present at these conversations, three in number, and I submitted to him each of my written communications to Judge Crawford, and informed Judge C. that they had his (Judge Nelson's) sanction. I gave you on the 22d March, a substantial copy of the statement I had made on the 15th.
“ The 30th of March arrived, and at that time a telegram came from Governor Pickens inquiring concerning Colonel lamon, whose visit to Charleston he sdpposed had a connection with the proposed evacuation of Fort Sumter.
“I left that with you, and was to have an answer the follow.
JUDGE CAMPBELL'S BTATEMENT.
ing Monday (1st April). On the 1st of April I received from ten, and consider for a moment what is going on at Sumter, you the statement in writing, 'I am satisfied the Govern- will agree that the equivocating conduct of the Administra. ment will not undertake to supply Fort Sumter without giv- tion, as measured and interpreted in connection with these ing notice to Governor Pickens.' The words I am sat. | promisos, is the proximate cause of the great calamity. isfied' were for me to use as expressive of confidence in the “I have a profound conviction that the telegrams of the 8th remainder of the declaration.
of April, of General Beauregard, and of the 10th of April, of “ The proposition, as originally prepared, was, The Presi. General Walker, the Secretary of War, can be referred to dent may desire to supply Sumter, but will not do so,' &c., nothing else than their belief that there has boen systematic and your verbal explanation was that you did not believe any duplicity practiced upon them throughout. It is under an such attempt would be made, and that there was no design oppressive sense of the weight of this responsibility that I to reenforco Sumter.
submit to you these things for your explanation. " There was a departure here from the pledges of the previous “ Very respectfully, JOHN A. CAMPBELL, month, but with the verbal explanation I did not consider it
" Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. a matter then to complain of; I simply stated to you that I “ The Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State." had that assurance previously.
THE DISPATCHES. “On the 7th of April I addressed you a letter on the subject “ To L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War : An authorized meg. of the alarm that the preparations by the Government had senger from President Lincoln just informed Governor Pickcreated, and asked you if the assurances I had given were well ens and myself that provisions will be sent to Fort Sumter or ill founded. In respect to Sumter, your reply was: 'Faith peaceably, or otherwise by force.” as to Sumter fully kept—wait and see.' In the morning's « General P. G. T. BEAUREGARD : If you have no doubt of paper I read: 'An authorized messenger from President Lin- the authorized character of the agent who communicated to coln informed Governor Pickens and General Beauregard that you the intention of the Washington Government to supply provisions will be sent to Fort Sumter, peaceably or otherwise Fort Sumter by force, you will at once demand its evacuation, by force.'
and if this is refused, proceed in such manner as you may de“This was the 8th of April, at Charleston, the day following termine to reduce it.” your last assurance, and is the evidence of the full faith I was
THE SECOND DEMAND, invited to wait for and see. In the same paper I read that
" WASHINGTON Crry, April 20th, 1861. intercepted dispatches disclose the fact that Mr Fox, who had
« Sir: I inclose you a letter corresponding very nearly been allowed to visit Major Anderson, on the pledge that his
with one I addressed to you one week ago (13th April), to purpose was pacific, employed his opportunity to devise a
which I have not had any reply. The letter is simply one plan for supplying the fort by force, and that this plan had
of inquiry in reference to facts concerning which I think I am been adopted by the Washington Government, and was in entitled to an explanation. I have not adopted any opinion in process of execution. My recollection of the date of Mr. For's
reference to them which may not be modified by explanation, visit carries it to a day in March. I learn he is a near con
nor have I aflirmed in that letter, nor do I in this, any con. nection of a member of the Cabinet. My connection with the
clusion of my own unfavorable to your integrity in the wholo Commissioners and yourself was superinduoed by a conversa
transaction. tion with Justice Wilson. He informed me of your strong " All that I have said, and mean to say, is, that an expladisposition in favor of peace, and that you were oppressed with
nation is due from you to mysell. I will not say what I shall a demand of the Commissioners of the Confederate States for
do in case this request is not complied with; but I am justi. a reply to their first letter, and that you desired to avoid, if tled in saying that I shall feel at liberty to place these letters possible, at that time. I told him I might, perhaps, be of some
before any person who is entitled to ask an explanation of service in arranging the difficulty. I came to your office en
Very respectfully, tirely at his request, and without the knowledge of either of
" JOHN A. CAMPBELL, the Commissioners. Your depression was obvious to both
" Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Judge Nelson and myself. I was gratified at the character of
“ The Hon. W. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State." the counsels you were desirous of pursuing, and much im.
To this Mr. Seward did not reply. Whereupon pressed with your observation that a civil war might be prevented by the success of my mediation. You read a let. Judge Campbell communicated the whole matter to ter of Mr. Weed, to show how irksome and responsible the Mr. Davis, accompanying the inclosures with the withdrawal of troops from Fort Sumter was. A portion of my following note: communication to Judge Crawford on the 15th of March was
“ MONTGOMERY, Ala., May 7th, 1861. founded upon these remarks, and the pledge to evacuate Sum- “ Sir: I submit to you two letters that were addressed by ter is less forcible than the words you employed. Those words me to the Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State of were:· Before this letter reaches you (a proposed letter by me
the United States, that contain an explanation of the naturo to President Davis), Sumter will have been evacuated.' and result of an intervention by me in the intercourse of the “ The Commissioners who received these communications,
Commissioners of the Confederate States with that officer. I conclude they have been abused and overreached. The Mont- considered that I could perform no duty in which the entire gomery Government hold the same opinion. The Commission- American people, whether of the Federal Union or of the Con. ers have supposed that my communications were with you,
federate States, were more interested than that of promoting and upon the hypothesis prepared to arraign you before the
the counsels and the policy that had for their object the presercountry in connection with the President. I placed a peremp- vation of peace. This motive dictated my intervention. Bo. tory prohibition upon this as being contrary to the terms of side the interview referred to in these letters, I informed the my communications with them. I pledged myself to com- Assistant Secretary of State of the United States(not being ablo municate information upon what I considered as the best to see the Secretary), on the 11th of April, ultimo, of the exanthority, and they were to confide in the ability of myself, istence of a telegram of that date from General Beauregard to aided by Judge Nelson, to determine upon the credibility of the Commissioners, in which he informed the Commissioners my informant.
that he had demanded the evacuation of Sunter, and if ro. " I think a candid man who will read over what I have writ- fused he would proceed to reduce it. On tho same day, I had