Page images
PDF
EPUB

HISTORY

OF THE

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

CHAPTER I.

1863.

BURNSIDE AND DEPARTMENT OF THE OHIO: MORGAN'S DARING RAID: EAST TENNESSEE.

General state of affairs — Relative position and tone of the rebels and the people of the loyal states — Views as

to peace, etc. — Burnside in command of the department of the Ohio — State of the department - Burnside's fitness for the post — General Order, No. 38 — Case of C. L. Vallandingham — His arrest, trial, sentence, etc. – Newspapers brought under the order – Burnside's force — Inadequate to the wants of the department - Rebel notions and policy as to invasion of the free states — Morgan's famous raid into Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio - Details of his wanton destruction of property, and of the steps taken to cut him off — Exciting race — Morgan caught at last — Escapes afterwards from prison – Burnside's preparations for advance into East Tennessee — Leaves Lexington, August 16th — By unfrequented roads crosses the Cumberland Mountains — Entrance into Knoxville, Tennessee - Joy and enthusiasm of the inhabitants at release from rebel despotism and cruelty — Public property seized by Burnside — De Courcy sent against Cumberland Gap - Other force sent - Burnside demands the surrender — The Gap given up to him — The loss severely felt by the rebels — Davis's complaints — Burnside's further movements to September 14th, 1863.

The tremendous blows inflicted upon pect of a speedy dying out of the rebel the rebels at Gettysburg, Vicksburg, power and capability of continuing the and Port Hudson, of which we have war, and of the consequent return of given an account in preceding chapters, peace, with its manifold blessings and “ changed all the aspects of the war privileges. It was deemed hardly cred(according to a zealous secession writer) ible that the leaders of the rebellion and brought the South from an une could either persuade or compel those qualled exaltation of hope to the very over whom they exercised dominion, brink of despair.” In similar wise, the to go on with the struggle; and if any government and people of the loyal one had predicted that they would be states indulged in the pleasing pros- able for two years to withstand the

VOL. IV.-43.

1863.

force brought to bear against them, and Both the rebel leaders and the gov. to sustain the trials of want and well ernment and people of the loyal states

nigh famine, and the gradual seemed at this time to have some un

but sure approach of final and certain, shadowy idea that the war was complete defeat, he would have been nearly finished; both gave credence to considered a very lugubrious prophet. the notion that one or the other would Nevertheless, the stern logic of facts soon be wearied or worn out; but both showed clearly that, as the arch traitors lay under a mistake. The rebels were at Richmond had resolved to venture in no humor to give it up as yet; they all

upon the cast of a die, that as with meant to hold out, even though affairs them success was everything, even might speedily become desperate, and though they brought ruin and misery certain defeat was ultimately befi re upon

all around them, so these disas- them. On the other hand, while few ters to the secession cause were not perhaps believed that the rebel capaallowed, if they could hinder it, to pro- bility of resistance was so great as it duce any permanent discontent. There proved to be, it was simply impossible was no lowering of the haughty tone for loyal men ever to submit to the assumed by the rebels. They claimed rending of the country in pieces, as se. great elasticity and power of rising su- cession proposed. The supporters of perior to misfortune. They swallowed the Union, having never wavered from their mortification, and talked as if the their determination to put down the cutting the “Confederacy” in twain, and rebellion and preserve the integrity of the ignominious results of invasion of the Republic, could not be wearied into the North, were rather to be rejoiced a yielding to the demands of traitors, over than otherwise. Davis had the even if it should take ten years or twice assurance, a few days after the defeat ten years to bring the war to an end. of Lee, to declare that a victorious As time rolled on this mistake was corpeace, with proper exertions, was yet rected; the rebels saw the folly of im. immediately within his grasp. It is agining that the North would ever lay true, that popular confidence in Davis aside its settled purpose; and the loyal and his co-workers in the management people only wondered, but were never of affairs, was very considerably dimin. discouraged, at the persistency of the ished; but this did not prevent the re- rebels in their wicked designs. bellion from going on. The leaders Henceforth, too, it began to be betwere determined it should go on to the ter understood than at an earlier date death, and numbers of others, however that, so long as the leaders in this un. little they thought of Davis and the natural struggle could maintain organRichmond officials, had got their pride ized military forces, just so long the aroused to its highest pitch, so that rebellion would be able to continue its they, too, resolved to fight to the end existence, and necessitate military and for the cause in which they had im- naval operations on our part. Of course, perilled their all.

more money and more men were need

[ocr errors]

Ch. I.]

BURNSIDE'S GENERAL ORDER.

339

1863

ed; both were readily to be obtained; ment; and certain noisy politicians and both were obtained; and despite more sympathizers with secession were doing or less of factious opposition, and sym- all in their power to annoy, and vex, pathizing with secession and its de- and hinder the efforts which were being structive purposes, the work went put forth to break down the rebellion. bravely on. Conscious of rectitude These were comparatively few in numand of the perfect justice of their cause, ber, it is true, but they were bold, the people, as a body, never wavered, loud-mouthed, and unscrupulous; and never admitted a thought of giving up, it was deemed a matter of duty to apnever faltered in urging forward the ply the proper remedy. war to its conclusion.

On the 13th of April, Burnside issued In this position of affairs, and actu- his general order, No. 38, which was ated by these principles and views of expressed in very decided terms: “The duty, the government steadily sought commanding general publishes for the to render the army and navy as effi. information of all concerned, that herecient as possible, and through the able after, all persons found within our lines, and energetic officers and men to at- who commit acts for the benefit of the tack and subdue the rebel strongholds, enemies of our country, will be tried and places occupied by them, so soon as spies or traitors, and, if conas the work could be accomplished. victed, will suffer death.

Burnside, who had been succeeded The habit of declaring sympathies for by Hooker in command of the Army the enemy will not be allowed in this of the Potomac, at the close of January, department. Persons committing such 1863, (see p. 244), was put in charge offences will be at once arrested, with a of the department of the Ohio, on the view to being tried as above stated, or 26th of March following. This depart- sent beyond our lines into the lines of ment comprised the states of Ohio, their friends. It must be distinctly unMichigan, Indiana, Illinois, Western derstood that treason, expressed or imVirginia, and Kentucky east of the plied, will not be tolerated in this deTennessee River, including Cumber-partment; all officers and soldiers are land Gap, with headquarters at Cincin. strictly charged with the execution of nati. The position was an important this order." one, and by no means easy to fill. It The warning contained in the docu required nerve, decision, and activity, ment just given was significant, and all of which Burnside was thought to clearly evinced the determination of the possess. The southern borders of Ken-government. An opportunity for the tucky were alive with those pests of application of Burnside's order speedily

the guerrillas, and the state occurred. There was in Ohio, at this itself was again seriously threatened date, a number of gentlemen who were with invasion. There were, too, in this styled, or styled themselves,“ peace department, considerable disaffection democracy.” Prominent among these and lukewarmness towards the govern- was C. L. Vallandingham, a member of

the war,

Congress from Ohio. He had made the Circuit Court of the United States himself conspicuous at Washington for for the writ of habeas corpus. A letter persistent efforts to hinder, obstruct, from Burnside was read in court, setand carp at the proceedings and views ting forth the considerations which led of the goverriment in regard to mea- him to make the arrest, after which sures for suppressing the rebellion; Vallandingham's counsel made a long and being now at home he indulged and able argument on the case. The himself in public speaking in various writ was refused, and Burnside's course parts of Ohio. He was one of those was justified on the ground of military who, under claim of privilege fairly to necessity. discuss and review public proceedings, On the 16th of May, the military took occasion to denounce the govern. commission, of which Gen. R. B. Potment in unmeasured terms; he declar. ter was president, found Vallanding. ed, in a public speech, that the war ham guilty of the charge brought was "wicked, cruel, and unnecessary,” against him, and sentenced him to close “not being waged for the preservation confinement till the end of the war. of the Union,” but “ for the purpose Mr. Lincoln changed the sentence to of crushing out liberty and erecting a transportation through the Union lines despotism;" characterizing Burnside's Vallandingham was handed over to the order, No. 38, as "a base usurpation rebels under Bragg, and finally made of arbitrary authority,” and inviting his way to Canada.* resistance to it by saying, “ the sooner In the further carrying out the rethe people inform the minions of usurp-pressive policy in his department, ed power that they will not submit to Burnside, on the 1st of June, prohibit such restrictions upon their liberties ed the circulation, within the limits of the better."

his jurisdiction, of certain newspapers, This course of conduct was held to which, in his judgment, were quite as be so inexcusable, and so injurious to active in doing mischief, and quite as the effective prosecution of the war necessary to be restrained, as popular against the rebels, with whom Vallan- speakers like Vallandingham and others.t dingham evidently strongly sympathiz- Prominent among these was the New ed, and whose traitorous designs he York World, whose articles and opincertainly favored, that Burnside took ions, it was alleged, tended “to cast steps at once for his arrest. The speech reproach upon the government, and to referred to above was made on the 1st of May, at Mount Vernon, Knox county,

* We may state, in this connection, that Vallanding.

ham was nominated by his political friends for goverOhio, and, on the night of the 4th of

nor of Ohio, and much use was made, in his behalf, of May, he was arrested by order of Burn- charges of cruelty, usurpation, etc., on the part of the side, at his residence at Dayton, carried government. At the election, however, in October,

John Brough was elected over Vallandingham by 100; to Cincinnati, and imprisoned. The 000 majority. In June, 1864

, Vallandingham was next day, Vallandingham applied, allowed to return to Ohio without hindrance.

+ See Woodbury's Burnside and the Ninth Army through his counsel, Senator Pugh, to corpo,” pp. 265—277.

« PreviousContinue »