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where the loyal sentiment largely presion of the legislature, which had been vailed, mass meetings were held at once, organized under the same authority and a convention of nearly 500 dele- which filled the state offices, and which gates assembled early in May, declared met on the 6th of May, 1862. An act the secession ordinance null and void, was passed, giving the consent of the and recommended that, in case the or- legislature to the formation of a new dinance should be ratified by the popu- state within the state of Virginia, and lar vote, on the 28th of May, an elec. making application to Congress for its tion of delegates be made on the 4th admission into the Union. When the of June, from all the counties of Vir- matter came up in Congress, the admisginia, to meet in general convention, sion was opposed by several members and provide, as might seem best, for of the republican party, as well as the rights and welfare of the people. others; but, on the 14th of July, the At the election in May, Virginia seced- Senate passed the bill for admission ed, and the convention, as recommend by a vote of 23 to 17, and the House ed, met at Wheeling, on the 11th of passed the same at the opening of the June.

next session, December 10th, by a vote The ground assumed at this conven- of 96 to 57. The president's approval tion was, that the various offices of the was given on the last day of the year state government were vacated, in con- 1862. sequence of those who held them hav- The act of Congress just referred to, ing joined the rebellion. Steps were recited the proceedings of the popular accordingly taken to fill these offices convention at Wheeling, November, and re-organize the government of the 1861, their ratification by the people at entire state, which was done as speed- a general election in the following May, ily as possible. On the 20th of Aus and the concurrent action of the recog. gust, 1861, the convention passed an nized legislature of Virginia. Until ordinance to “provide for the forma- the next general census, West Virginia tion of a new state out of a portion of was declared to be entitled to three the territory of this state.” In accord members in the House of Representaance with its provisions, delegates tives. The people within its limits, were elected to a constitutional con- .desirous of freeing the state from slavention, which met at Wheeling, No- very and its incumbrance, was allowed vember 26th, and proceeded to draft a to incorporate provisions to that effect constitution for the state of West Vir- in the constitution, when ratified by a ginia, which was submitted to the peo- popular vote; whereupon the president ple of West Virginia, on the 3rd of was to issue his proclamation stating April, 1862. The vote in its favor was the fact, and upon the expiration of 18,862, against 514.

sixty days thereafter, the admission of Governor Pierpont, appointed by the state was to be complete. the convention of June, 1861, issued a These conditions having been com. proclamation convening an extra ses- plied with, the president, on the 20th

CH. XXVI.)

PROSPECTS OF THE REBEL CAUSE.

275

of April, 1863, issued his proclamation extent, rather than suffer it to fall into accordingly; and on the 20th of the Union hands; the measure adopted by following June, Arthur J. Boreman, the government for emancipating the who had been elected Gov. Pierpont's slaves was tremendous in its effects successor, was duly inaugurated at upon the rebel states; their finances Wheeling. The new governor, in ad- were almost hopelessly involved, and dressing the Senate and House of De were fast approaching insolvency and legates, expressed his determination to bankruptcy; the conscript acts were exdo all in his power to sustain the hausting all the strength of the sogovernment and snppress the rebellion. called “Confederacy;" the Union armies

The territory of the new state in- were gradually and surely hemming the cluded forty-eight counties, irregularly rebels in, always retaining important bounded by the Ohio on the west, and positions when once gained; and though by a zigzag line on the east, following Jeff. Davis begged and pleaded for furthe chain of the Alleghanies, from Ken-ther devotion, and for men to hasten tucky to the Potomac, in the vicinity forward, in order to keep possession of of Williamsport. The white popula- Vicksburg and Port Hudson on the tion, in 1860, was about 335,000, the Mississippi; though Stephens cried out number of slaves about 13,000. In lustily, “never give it up!" though he agricultural and mineral resources, and exclaimed energetically, “ let the world the facility of river communication, know, and history record the fact, if West Virginia promised the most invit such should be our unhappy fate, that ing rewards to her citizens, and there though our couutry may be invaded, was and is every reason to expect that, our land laid waste, our cities sacked, in due time, she will assume a prom- our property destroyed, the people of inent place among her sister states. the South could die in defence of their

The position in which the leaders in rights, but they could never be conthe rebellion had involved themselves quered;" still it was evident that the and their followers, during the year rebel cause was by no means in a very just past, was anything but comfort- hopeful condition, and that the loyal able or satisfactory, and offered but lit- states were as ready as they were willtle encouragement for the future. The ing to put forth their utmost efforts in Masons, Slidells, Yanceys, etc., had their settled determination to crush it failed utterly in obtaining recognition utterly. abroad, or any promise looking in that The rebel Congress, which had addirection; the blockade, though not journed in October, 1862, met again, perfect, was maintained with a vigor early in January, 1863, and endeavored and effectiveness which told in a mark- to do something towards bearing up the ed manner upon the condition of affairs; fortunes of the rebellion. As most of cotton was found to be no longer the the proceedings were in closed session,

king” which it was supposed to be, but little is known as to what really and the rebels destroyed it to a large took place during the meetings. Jeff

1863.

Davis sent in a message, on the 12th nest as has been our wish for

peace,

and of January, in which he used great as have been our sacrifices and

words of confidence in regard sufferings during the war, the determi to the state of affairs, and uttered his nation of this people has, with each "assurance of ability to meet and re- succeeding month, become more unal. pulse the utmost efforts of the enemy, in terably fixed to endure any sufferings spite of the magnitude of their prepara- and continue any sacrifices, however tions for attack.” His anticipations of prolonged, until their right to self-govbeing able to establish permanently the ernment and the sovereignty and inderebel government and power were pendence of these states shall have been earnestly expressed, and he avowed the triumphantly vindicated and firmly esconviction that if they only, continued tablished.” to exhibit the courage and steadfast- Davis also entered upon a long, and in ness of the past, there was “every reason many respects bitter complaint against to expect that this would be the clos. various European powers, who had re. ing year of the war. The war," he cognized the blockade, and had done went on to say, “which, in its inception, nothing for the benefit of the privateer. was waged for forcing us back into the ing interests of the rebellion. But, in Union, having failed to accomplish that bis judgment, “ the proudly self-reliant purpose, passed into a second stage, in Confederacy” superior, as he claimed, which it was attempted to conquer and in all respects, to its enemies, had no rule these states as dependent provinces. need to regret the lack of outside help. Defeated in this second design, our He branded McNeil, Milroy and Butler enemies have evidently entered upon as guilty “of every conceivable atrocity, another, which can have no other pur- and as stamped with indelible infamy; pose

and thirst for blood, and spoke of President Lincoln's emanand plunder of private property. But cipation proclamation with especial however implacable they may be, they virulence and vindictiveness. On the can have neither the spirit nor the re. whole, if one might believe his words, sources required for a fourth year of a he was rather glad than otherwise that struggle uncheered by any hope of suc- Mr. Lincoln had taken this step, since cess, kept alive solely for the indulgence he thought it would open the eyes of of mercenary and wicked passions, and

* A few days before sending in his message, Davis demanding so exhausting an expendi- made a speech at Richmond, in which he indulged in ture of blood and money as has hitherto language and evidences of temper strangely inconsisbeen imposed on their people. The tent with the tone of piety in his public docu.

ments. “It is true," he said, "you have a cause advent of peace will be hailed with which binds you together more firmly than your joy; our desire for it has never been fathers were. They fought to be free from the usur

pations of the British crown, but they fought against concealed; our efforts to avoid the war, a manly foe; you fight against the offscourings of the forced on us as it was by the lust of earth. ... By showing themselves so utterly disgraced, conquest and the insane passions of our would combine with hyenas or Yankees, I trast that

that if the question was proposed to you whether you foes, are known to mankind. But, ear every Virginian would say, Give me the hyenas!""

than revenge,

Cu. XXVI.)

THE UNITED STATES NAVY.

277

Europe, and render any reconstruction were stated the grounds and mode of or restitution of the Union "for ever inflicting punishment on our officers impossible.” Davis concluded his long and troops who might in any wise be message with urging attention to finan- concerned in “overthrowing the institucial necessities, with congratulations on tion of African slavery, and bringing on the benefits arising out of “the har. a servile war" in the rebel states. Fur mony, energy, and unity of the states," ther action was taken in regard to the and with boastful statements of what conscription law; a resolution was the confederacy had done in supplying adopted, declaring that the navigation its wants of every kind. “The injuries of the Mississippi River was free to all resulting from the interruption of for- who lived on its banks or tributaries; eign commerce have received compensa- a tax bill was passed, which levied a tion by the developments of our inter- tax of eight per cent. on the value nal resources. Cannon crown our for- of salt, liquors, tobacco, cotton, wool, tresses that were cast from the proceeds flour, sugar, etc., and a very heavy tax of mines opened and furnaces built on farmers, and all kinds of trades and during the war. Our mountain caves occupations. In addition, an impressyield much of the nitre for the manu. ment bill was passed, which, with facture of powder, and promise increase other actions of the rebel congress, of product. From our own foundries showed that the boastful“Confederacy and laboratories, from our own armories was not in that flourishing and prosand work-shops we derive, in a great perous condition which Jeff. Davis had measure, the warlike material, the ord. represented in his message. nance and ordnance stores which are The condition and strength of the expended so profusely in the numerous United States navy, at the opening of and desperate engagements that rapidly the year, was substantially as follows: succeed each other. Cotton and wool. —there were, as reported by the secrelen fabrics, shoes and barness, wagons tary of the navy, 427 vessels, carrying and gun-carriages, are produced in 3,268 guns an increase during the daily increasing quantities by the fac- year of 123 vessels, carrying 711 guns. tories springing into existence. Our Of these, 104, with 1,415 guns, were fields, no longer whitened by cotton sailing vessels, and 323, with 1,853 that cannot be exported, are devoted guns, were steam vessels. In the latte. to the production of cereals and the were included fifty-four iron-clad ves. growth of stock formerly purchased sels of various constructions, of which with the proceeds of cotton."

twenty-eight were on the seaboard and The rebel congress discussed various twenty-six in the Western waters. measures of a retaliatory character, In regard to naval operations at the which were urged as necessary in con beginning of 1863, we may briefly note sequence of Mr. Lincoln's Emancipation here the capture of the Harriet Lane Proclamation. A number of stringent and the fate of the steamer Hatteras. resolutions were adopted, in which Galveston, in Texas, had been held by

1

Commander Renshaw, since October, to be an English war steamer, but 1862, by a small naval and military speedily avowed herself to be the Alaforce at his command, consisting of the bama, and poured a broadside into Harriet Lane and four other steamers, the Hatteras. The latter took fire, and and less than 300, rank and file, occu- was compelled to surrender. Within a pying a wharf in the town.

few minutes after the officers and crew The rebels, under Magruder, fixed were taken off, the Hatteras and all she upon January 1st, 1863, for an attack, contained went down into the deep. both by land and water, upon our

Just at the close of the session of forces. The attack was begun very Congress (p. 263) Senator Harlan of early in the morning, the rebels bring- Iowa introduced a resolution, in which ing artillery to bear upon the troops on he spoke of our countrymen being “enshore, and also making a violent onset couraged in the day of trouble by the upon the Harriet Lane by two heavy assurances of God's Word to seek Him steamers. After a severe contest, the for succor, according to His appointed Harriet Lane was obliged to succumb way, through Jesus CHRIST;” and in to the enemy, about seven A.M. The which also the president was requested rebels tried to induce the other steam to appoint a day of national prayer ers to surrender, promising, in that and abasement before the Most High. case, to allow the crews one in which Mr. Lincoln very willingly took action to leave the harbor. Renshaw refused, upon this resolution, and on the 30th and ordering Lieut. Law to get the of March, issued a proclamation, in vessels out of port as soon as possible, which, among other suitable things, he prepared to blow up his vessel, the said :—“We have been the recipients Westfield, which was aground. The of the choicest bounties of Heaven. explosion was premature, and not only We have been preserved these many Renshaw but several other officers and years in peace and prosperity. We fifteen of the crew perished. Lieut. have grown in numbers, wealth and Law made his escape in the Owasco, power, as no other nation has ever and gave up the blockade for want of grown. But we have forgotten God. force to maintain it.

We have forgotten the gracious hand This disaster, at Galveston, was fol. which preserved us in peace, and mul lowed soon after by the loss of the tiplied and enriched and strengthened United States steamer Hatteras in an us; and we have vainly imagined, in encounter off the harbor with Semmes's the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all rebel privateer, the Alabama. On the these blessings were produced by some afternoon of the 11th of January, Lieut. superior wisdom and virtue of our own.

Blake, in command of the Hat- Intoxicated with unbroken success, we

teras, was ordered to chase a have become too self-sufficient to feel strange sail to the south-eastward. | the necessity of redeeming and presert This he did, and just after dark came ing grace, too proud to pray to the up

with her. At first, she pretended | God that made us! It hehooves us,

1863.

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