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ACTION IN CONGRESS.
tive slave law of 1850. The committee Deferring for the present the further of investigation was engaged in looking consideration of the proceedings of Conafter disloyal persons employed as gress, it may be well to take a brief clerks, etc., in public offices. Further review of the state and condition of debates were had early in the new year, affairs at the close of the year 1861. in favor of conducting the war so as Such a review is not only interesting to destroy slavery, root and branch; in itself considered, but, if duly weigha course which the majority were much ed, will prove instructive in a high disposed to pursue in regard to the degree. The people of the loyal states, question at issue.
for the most part, entertained confident In the Senate, Dec. 4th, Mr. Sauls- expectations in regard to the active, bury, of Maryland, made a motion to energetic and successful prosecution of appoint commissioners to meet gentle. the war for the Union.
In general, men who might be named by the con- excepting the few serious reverses at federate authorities, so as to adjust ex- Bull Run, Ball's Bluff, etc., our military isting difficulties peaceably, without success was decidedly encouraging; and fighting; but it was laid on the table; the brilliant exploits of the navy the day had passed for any such mode cheered and animated all bearts. of settlement. The next day, Mr. Trum. Western Virginia was almost wholly bull introduced a bill " for the confisca- in our hands. The prospects in the tion of the property of rebels, and giv- West were growing brighter. The ing freedom to the persons they held in people at large were ready and willing slavery;" it was referred to the commit to any extent to furnish means, as well tee on the judiciary. A resolution was as men, for putting down effectually offered, Dec. 16th, to inquire into ar- this wickai rebellion; and there was rests made by the government, the such self-reliant strength in the Union, habeas corpus being suspended; this that no resort was had to foreign aid was also referred to the committee on in taking our national loans, or in findthe judiciary. Papers, certifying that ing recruits for the army and navy. Mr. B. F. Stark of Oregon, was appoint. The army was steadily on the increase; ed to take the place vacated by the discipline was becoming more and more death of Col. Baker, were presented and complete; and our men were growing read, Jan. 6th, 1862; objections were stronger, day by day, and better fitted made by several senators on the ground for the work before them. Gen. Mcof Mr. Stark's disloyalty; he was, Clellan was engaged in making prehowever, permitted to take his seat for parations on à scale of magnitude the balance of the present session.*
which showed that he meant to sweep * The Senate took measures, early in the session, to deemed it best to set the Army of the
everything out of his path, when he purify that body by removing several unworthy occupants. J. C. Breckenridge, of Kentucky, was expelled, Potomac in motion. Dec. 4th, 1801; W. P. Johnston and Trusten Polk, of
The drawback in McClellan's case Missouri, were expelled, Jan. 10th, 1862 ; and J. D. Bright, of Indiana, was expelled, Feb. 6th, 1862. seemed to be, and it provoked abund
ant criticism, that he was waiting quite the course which was pursued. It too long before making a forward move would not do to hang or shoot those ment, and that something ought to be taken on land or sea, because there done during the autumn of winter; were so many of our men in the hands of and it was charged that the re vels, who the rebels after the battle of Bull Run, had proved themselves most skilful in that they could, as no doubt they deceiving our generals and other officers would, have retaliated to the fullest exin regard to their numbers, had im- tent. The government, on its part, posed on McClellan also, making him seemed disposed to ignore the matter, believe that they had from 120,000 to leaving exchange to be agreed upon 150,000 in East Virginia, while Gen. and conducted by the commanders and Wadsworth affirmed confidently, from officers as they deemed best. Quite a information gained from“contrabands” number were discharged informally on and deserters, that 60,000 was the both sides, on parole. Early in Sephighest number they ever had encamp- tember, Colonel Wallace exchanged ed in front of the Army of the Potomac some prisoners with Gen. Polk. A
see p. 94). The autumn passed away month later, this rebel general with its fine weather; the winter set- proposed to Gen. Grant to extled down, and “all quiet on the Poto change prisoners with him on the same mac” was the regular response to in- basis. Grant replied that he was not quiry as to our grand army and its authorized to do anything of the kind, doings.* The army was waiting at as he neither knew nor recognized any the end of the year, exposed in tents to such thing as a Southern Confederwinter's discomforts and severe trials; acy." Three
hree prisoners were sent by yet it was waiting in hope of soon being Gen. McClernard from Cairo to Columcalled on to move for its appointed bus ; Polk sent back sixteen to Mcwork,
Clernard. On the 8th of November, One question had proved perplexing after the battle of Belmont, Grant and and annoying in the early part of the Polk had further correspondence on rebellion, we mean that relating to this subject, but without any
additional prisoners and what to do with them. result as to settling the point. Gen. Naturally, the government was reluct- Fremont (as noted, p. 88) established, ant to admit, even in appearance, any November 1st, an agreement with belligerent right as due to the rebels Price in regard to exchanges; but it by exchanging prisoners with them; was repudiated by Gen. Hunter. At yet, under the circumstances, there was the close of the year, and early in the no help for it, and the government can new year, in compliance with public hardly he said to have acted wisely in opinion and action in Congress, the
secretary of war, Mr. Stanton, appoint* Mr. Swinton points out clearly and forcibly the mistake of Gen. McClellan in delaying his movements, ed two commissioners to proceed to the and giving so little satisfaction to the universal call confederate states and inquire into the for activity and energy against the rebels. Sce “Army condition of Union prisoners there; of the Potomac," d.). 68–74.
AFFAIRS AT THE CLOSE OF THE YEAR.
but they were refused admission into the rebel states; and though they Richmond ; and the subject remained, helped along volunteering in a rather at the end of 1861, unsettled as before, forcible way oftentimes, still they were so far as any clear, defined principles in reality weaker than was supposed, were concerned. *
and were growing weaker, while our Our foreign policy was ably conduct- armies were improving and becoming ed, and we stood, at this date, in such stronger. They were but poorly suprelation to the principal powers of plied with various needful articles, and Europe that there was little or no dan. the blockade, much as it was abused ger of direct intervention in our affairs on the score of inefficiency, cut them on their part. The giving up of off from obtaining aught but casual Mason and Slidell, and the settling and unreliable help from abroad. the Trent difficulty on terms acceptable Two causes, according to Pollard, to England, showed the good sense as conspired to reduce the southern cause well as statesmanship of our govern. to a critical condition of apathy: viz., ment; and the secretary of state made " the overweening confidence of the it so plain, that there was no misunder- South in the superior valor of its peostanding it, viz., that the rebellion was ple, induced by the unfortunate victory purely a domestic matter, and that no of Manassas (or Bull Run), and the vain outside interference would be permitted delusion, continued from month to for a moment.
month, that European interference was As for the rebels, they were only too certain, and that peace was near at glad to maintain the appearance of a hand.” No gun boats, we are told, sort of siege of Washington, and to were built for interior navigation and give the impression of their great and service; the privateers proved almost a powerful numbers, and of the immense failure, and did not, as was predicted, risk to be run in attacking them. They cut up or destroy the commerce of the had not yet enforced a general conscrip- United States; no naval preparations tion, as was soon after found necessary in were made, though they had the best
* We may mention here, as most convenient for the taken at Roanoke Island, but refused to do the same reader, that the rebel authorities were desirous to ar. with the Fort Donelson prisoners. Much disputing range some terms for a general exchange of prisoners. took place, and ill feeling in abundance, with criminaTwo persons were sent to Norfolk, and an agreement tion and recrimination, was manifested In the latter was entered into with our commissioners for an equal part of July, Gen. Dix and Gen. D. H. Hill arranged an exchange. Gen. Wool, at Fortress Monroe, Feb. 14th, agreement for exchange, based on the cartel of 1812, 1862, informed Gen. Huger at Norfolk, that he was between the United States and Great Britain. Excharged with full authority to settle upon terms of changes again commenced, and were carried forward proposed exchange. Our government agreed to re- for some time; but new troubles arose, and fierce gard privateersmen as prisoners of war. Howell Cobb threats of retaliation were made by Davis, outlawing met Gen. Wool and terms were arranged. Exchange Gens. Hunter and Pope, and all officers concerned in went on for a while ; but March 18th, Davis charged helping to arm the negroes. The whole subject was the U. S. government with “ infamous and reckless complicated and perplexing ; and all through the war breach of good faith,” with regard to the privateers- there was much of annoyance and trouble with regard men, and the prisoners taken at Fort Donelson. So to prisoners. For a fuller account of this snbject, with far as appears, our government carried out its agree-documents, set App!eton's “ American Annual Cy:lo ment hon brably and fairly; it released 3,000 on parole, | pædia,” for 1862, pp. 710–716.
navy yard on the continent; “King embodied and drilled into an invincible Cotton” was little better than a sham, army, competent not only to oppose in and did not, as it was confidently said vasion at every point of our frontier, it would, “ bring Europe to its knees;" but to conquer peace in the dominions and the political measures of the South of the enemy." amounted to almost nothing. “They Bitter complaint also is made by Polare justly described as weak and halting lard, as to “the policy of monotonous responses to the really vigorous acts of defence," and the leaving the Union the northern government, in its heartless army to arrange and perfect its plans but strong and effective prosecution of without hindrance. Added to all this, the war. While the Washington govern- he notes various abuses and defects exment protected itself against disaffected isting in the manageinent of southern persons and spies by a system of mili- affairs ; and altogether gives a discourtary police, extending over the whole aging view of the prospects of the soNorth, the provisional Congress at Rich. called “Confederate States of America.” mond was satisfied to pass a law for the The result of our review, brief as it deportation of alien enemies,' the exe is, seems to be this much at least,—that cution of which afforded facilities to the position of the government and the egress of innumerable spies. The people was such as to lead to cheering Washington government had passed a hope and expectation * that the war law for the confiscation of the property would speedily be brought to a close, of rebels. The Congress at Richmond especially as Gen. McClellan said, more replied, after a weak hesitation, by a than once, that when he did strike, he law sequestrating the property of alien meant to strike at “the heart," and enemies in the South. The Washington crush the rebellion entirely thereby. government was actually collecting an How it happened that these bright army of half a million of men. The forecastings of the future were doomed Richmond Congress replied to the to disappointment, and the rebelliou threat of numbers, by increasing its was able to drag out a lengthened existarmy, on paper, to four hundred thou- ence, will be made plain to the reader sand men; and the Confederate govern- who watches the progress of events, as ment, in the midst of a revolution that detailed in subsequent pages of our histhreatened its existence, continued to tory. rely on the wretched shift of twelve
* The financial condition of the government, it must months' volunteers and raw militia, be noted, however, was not sa' isfactory. More or less with a population that, by the opera- distrust prevailed as to pulic credit ; and on the
last day of the year 1861, th: banks suspended specie tion of conscription, could have been
STATE OF AFFAIRS IN KENTUCKY.
1 8 6 2.
OPERATIONS IN THE WEST: MILL SPRINGS, FORTS HENRY AND DONELSON, ETC.
Gen. Buell in Kentucky - Johnston, the rebel commander, and his plans — Affair at Munfordsville - Garfiol:
pursues Marshall and routs his forces near Prestonburg — Zollicoffer and Crittenden at Mill Springs — Gen Thomas advances - Defeat of the rebels — Value of this victory – The iron-clad gun boats on the Mississipp: - Mortar boats — Commodore Foote in command — President's general war order – Foote and Grant ad vance against Fort Henry — Bombardment and capture by the gun boats - Lieut. Phelps' expedition up the Tennessee – Union sentiments – Fort Donelson — Its strength and importance — Pillow in command The fort invested by Grant - Severity of the weather - Attack by the gun boats unsuccessful — Rebels at: tempt to cut their way out — Length and severity of the battle — Floyd and Pillow decamp - Buckner surrenders to Grant - Large number of prisoners - Chagrin of Davis and company – Bowling Green evacuated — Commodore Foote ascends the Cumberland – Nashville taken possession of — Panic of the inhabitants - Andrew Johnson military governor — His course – Columbus abandoned by the rebels — Gen. Halleck’s order — Alarm in the South, and extreme measures - Gen. Curtis in Missouri — Price retreats from Spring field — Parsued into Arkansas — Poisoned food – Gen. Curtis's address to the people of the South-west — Price reinforced largely - Amount of force on each side — The enemy begin the attack — Three days' battle – Defeat of the rebels — Employment of Indians by the rebels — Southern view of the result of the battle of Pea Ridge, or Elk Horn.
THE year 1862 opened with various Missouri. Polk also received additions encouraging evidences of activity and to his force, which was already large; energy, in the West especially. The while Zollicoffer (see p. 39), having forces under McClellan were maintain. secured the pass at Cumberland Gap,
ing their position undisturbed, was taking up an important position in
and continued to do so for some the midst of the rich mineral and agri. time after the year began; but, in Ken- cultural district on the upper waters of tucky, our army was more actively em. the Cumberland. Johnston, in the latployed. Gen. Buell, an able and ener- ter part of December, issued a proclagetic officer, was in command in this de- mation to the people of South-eastern partment, having succeeded Gen. W.T. Kentucky, in which, with considerable Sherman, in Nov., 1861. The rebels flourish of rhetoric, he declared that he were commanded by Gen. A. S. John- was come to repel“ those armed northston, formerly an officer in the United ern hordes who were attempting the States army. He, having got together subjugation of a sister southern state.” bodies of troops from various quarters, He asserted, also, though he himself strengthened Bowling Green—a point knew that it was a slander, that the of great importance in Kentucky—by avowed ohject of the North was to set Hardee's division, from South-eastern the slaves at liberty, and to put arms in