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DAVIS'S APOLOGY FOR REBELLION.
and if the rebel states were to fight at all, sophism of sovereign state rights and they found that they must rely on their the secession of any state at pleasure, own resources in the present emergency. the Union being a mere rope of sand. Jefferson Davis, the astute politician and The apology was intended for effect fit leader in a bad cause, was well aware abroad quite as much as at home; and of all this; and consequently, every subsequent events showed that Davis effort was made to nerve the deluded bad made bis calculations to good purpeople, who had been drawn into sec- pose. On the 6th of May, the Montession and rebellion, to enter with all gomery Congress formally declared war their might into the contest. At Harper's on the United States, as a foreign power. Ferry, Manassas, Hampton, and Rich- An enlistment act was passed ; an issue mond, the rebels were strongly posted, of $50,000,000 treasury notes was auand it was the plan of the leaders to thorized; debtors were forbidden to pay make Virginia, as far as possible, the their northern creditors, etc. By rebattle-ground on which to test the quest, Davis appointed a fast day, and cause they had adopted, against the on the 21st of May, the congress adforce of arms wielded by Union hands. journed, to meet July 20th, in RichDavis and his co-workers knew that, on mond, Virginia, which was henceforth every account, it was important as well to be the capital of the Confederate as desirable for them and their so-called States of America. Immediately Davis government to be in Virginia; and ac- left Montgomery, and, on arriving at cordingly, they made arrangements to Richmond, on the 28th, was received this effect as speedily as possible. with due honor and attention. Some
At the close of April, (see vol. iii. of his words may be quoted here, as p. 562,) the Confederate Congress met manifesting the spirit which actuated at Montgomery, Alabama, and Davis, the head of the rebel organization. in his address, made an elaborate apol. Speaking of the loyal population in the
ogy for southern secession. It free states, he said: “They have al
was prepared with undoubted lowed an ignorant usurper to trample ability and skill; but, like all papers upon all the prerogatives of citizenship, of the kind, emanating from that and to exercise powers never delegated source, it was based upon the necessary to him; and it has been reserved to
your own state, so lately one of the States, wrote to Jefferson Davis, January 6th, 1860, encouraging him and others in their fell designs
, in original thirteen, but now, thank God, language such as this: “Without discussing the fully separated from them, to become question of right, of abstract power to secede, I have the theatre of a great central camp, never believed that actual disruption of the Union can occur without blood; and if through the madness of from which will pour forth thousands northern abolitionism that dire calamity must come, of brave hearts to roll back the tide of he fighting will not be along Mason's and Dixon's this despotism. Apart from that gratiline merely. It will be within our own borders, in our non streets, between the two classes of citizens to fication we may well feel at being sepawhom I have referred. Those who defy law and sacred rated from such a connection, is the constitutional obligations, will, if ever we reach the arbitrament of arms, find occupa-ion enough at home." pride that upon you devolves the task
of maintaining and defending our new fortunes and your lives, are involved
in this momentous contest." Witt Beauregard reached Richmond a few this, and more such like stuff Beaure. days afterwards, to take command in gard entered upon his work in VirVirginia. Before leaving Charleston, ginia. Troops from every quarter were he gave expression to the disappoint- gathered together, and generals and ment and spite entertained at the South other officers of various grades, who towards Gen. Scott, because the brave had forsworn themselves by desertold hero held to his loyalty without ing the flag of the United States, wavering.* On the 5th of June, Beaure were busily engaged in fortifying varigard issued a proclamation, which, for ous points, and in bringing the troops its ridiculous bluster and foul-mouthed into as high a state of discipline and insinuations, was not surpassed by any efficiency as was in their power. of the southern rebels, military or The rebels saw no opportunity now otherwise. “A reckless and unprinci- of assaulting Washington, or carrying pled tyrant has invaded your soil. the war, as they had been led to hope, Abraham Lincoln, regardless of all into the loyal states. Their main efforts moral, legal, and constitutional re were now directed to the sustaining straints, has thrown his abolition and holding the positions already occuhosts among you, who are murdering pied, and to the repulsing the advances and imprisoning your citizens, confisca of the Union troops. Numerous skirting and destroying your property, and mishes and collisions, of no great mo committing other acts of violence and ment, occurred at several points in Viroutrage, too shocking and revolting to ginia ; and the gunboats began to prove humanity to be enumerated. All rules their value at Sewall's Point, Acquia of civilized warfare are abandoned, and Creek, Matthias Point, etc. On the they proclaim by their acts, if not on 1st of June, Lieutenant Tomptheir banners, that their war-cry is, kins with a company of cavalry, * Beauty and Booty ! All that is made a bold dash into Fairfax Courtdear to man-your honor and that House, and defeated a detachment of of your wives and daughters—your the enemy whom he found there. Two
days later, a camp of some 1,500 seces. * See Beauregard's letter to Gen. Martin, May 27th, sionists at Philippi, Barbour Co., in 1861 : “Whatever happens at first, we are certain to Western Virginia, was, assaulted by have triumph at last, even if we had for arms only pitchforks and flint-lock muskets ; for every bushand Union troops under Colonels Kelly hay-stack will become an ambush, and every barn a and Dumont. A heavy storm interfer fortress. The history of nations proves that a gallant ed with their operations; Col. Kelly firesides, are invincible against even disciplined mer- was dangerously wounded; but the cenaries at a few dollars per month. What, then, rebels were routed and ran away,
leav. must be the result when its enemies are little more than an armed rabble, gathered together hastily on a ing everything behind. A spirited ad. false pretence and for an unholy purpose, with an octo vance of an Indiana regiment, under genarian at its head ? None but the demented can doubt the issue.”
Colonel Wallace, was made on the 11tb
BUTLER'S BIG BETHEL FAILURE.
of June, in a rapid march across Hamp- took each other for enemies, and fired shire County; a body of secessionists at both musketry and cannon, killing two Romney was dispersed and compelled and wounding nineteen. The rebels to retreat. On the 9th of June, Gen. received warning of the approaching Patterson at Chambersburg, Penn., ad. expedition and profited by it; so that, vanced towards Harper's Ferry with a when towards noon the assault was considerable force; the result of which made by the Union troops, it proved movement was, that on the 14th, the unsuccessful, and the order was given rebels abandoned that position, after to retreat. Major Winthrop and Licut. having burned the railroad bridge over Greble were killed, together with quite the Potomac, destroyed all the proper a large number of the troops, and the ty they could, and torn up the track of expedition turned out to be a failure. the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad for On the 17th of June, Gen. Schenck, about twelve miles from the Ferry. by order of Gen. McDowell, went on a
Gen. Butler, having in command, at reconnoitring expedition with the 1st Fortress Monroe, about 6,000 men, Ohio regiment. The troops left Alexlearned that the enemy had fortified andria in the cars on the Leesburg themselves strongly at Big Bethel, Railroad, and soon after reached some twelve miles from the fortress.* the little village of Vienna. A secret expedition was thereupon pre- Here a masked battery was opened pared to drive them out. Late on the upon them with fearful destructiveness ; night of the 19th of June, boats con. and although the Ohio men stood their veyed troops, under Col. Duryea, across ground bravely, they were at last comHampton Creek, to take the advance. pelled to retire. Their loss was five These reached Little Bethel, a few miles killed, six wounded and seven missing; from Big Bethel, about four o'clock the enemy, it was reported, suffered no in the morning, and made prisoners of loss whatever. At the same date, June a picket guard of the enemy. Every 16th, Gen. Thomas crossed the Potomac thing promised success; but unbappily, at Williamsport, Maryland, but was the main body, consisting of two regi. ordered to recross on the 18th, which ments, in the darkness of the night mis- gave the rebels a fresh chance for des
* The facilities afforded to the rebels by slave labor truction at Harper's Ferry. General in erecting fortifications, etc., brought up a novel and Patterson, in command, crossed at Wilrather difficult question. At Hampton, when the
and it was esti. whites fled, the negroes came into camp near Fortress liamsport on July 2d; Monroe. What was to be done with them ? Gen. mated that at the close of the month of Butler could not think it right to send them back to June, there were on and near the Pototheir masters to work against the Union and its cause ; 80, with great cleverness, he pronounced them contra mac a hundred thousand troops, more band of war. When a certain lawyer, named Mallory, or less ready for active service. The sent for three fugitives, the
above was the answer he rebel force, as nearly as could be ascerreceived; with the privilege, however, of coming in, and on taking the oath of allegiance, receiving back tained, was supposed to be, though it his slaves. The government sustained the action of Gen. was not, equal to ours in number. Butler, whose letter to Gen. Scott, May 27th, is worth rcading even at this day.
With such and such like evidences
of the uprising and spirit of the people, what was theirs of right, but I have there was good ground to hope that gone to the very extreme of magnanithey would manfully sustain the Union mity. The return we receive is war and the integrity of the nation. Few, armies marched upon our capital, obvery few probably, appreciated at all structions and dangers to our navigafully, the vastness and fearfulness of tion, letters of marque to invite pirates the struggle now at hand; and it was to prey upon our commerce, a concerted not till many months had rolled by, movement to blot out the United States that the loyal supporters of the govern- of America from the map of the globe. ment understood the greatness of the The conspiracy is now known. work imposed upon them, and the Armies have been raised; war is levied many and peculiar trials and hardships to accomplish it. There are only two yet to be undergone by those who were sides to the question. Every man determined to sustain the Constitution must be for the United States or against and laws of our country.
it. There can be no neutrals in this In concluding the present chapter, war-only patriots or traitors." we may fitly make mention of the clos- On the 10th of May, being too uning scenes of Senator Douglas's life and well to leave his room, he dictated his
This distinguished statesman, last letter, reiterating his often ex. though defeated in the presidential pressed sentiments; in this letter he election, and though, as a democrat, far said : “My previous relations to them too obsequious to the South and its (Mr. Lincoln and his party) remain politicians, was nevertheless too good a unchanged; but I trust the time will patriot and too sincere a lover of the never come when I shall not be will. Union, not to give all his support to ing to make any needful sacrifice of the new administration in its effort to personal feeling and party policy for put down secession and rebellion. the honor and integrity of my country. Having left Washington, after the ad- I know of no mode by which a loyal journment of Congress, he was fre- citizen may so well demonstrate his de. quently called on, on his way home, to votion to his country as by sustaining address the people. On the 1st of the Flag, the Constitution, and the May, at Chicago, he spoke freely and Union, under all circumstances, and at large. A sentence or two will give under every administration (regardless evidence of the spirit of the man : of party politics), against all assailants, “That the present danger is immi- at home and abroad.” nent, no man can conceal. If war must Uttering such sentiments as these come_if the bayonet must be used Stephen Arnold Douglas died, on the to maintain the Constitution-I can 3d of June, 1861, in the 49th year of say before God my conscience is his age. All political animosity ceased clean. I have struggled long for a on his death, and the country generally peaceful solution of the difficulty. I mourned his loss in the existing crisis have not only tendered those states in its affairs.
Kentucky wishes to be neutral — Gov. Magoffin's proclamation – Neutrality impossible - Magoffin's letter to
the president - Reply - Legislature in session — Grant's course — Efforts of rebels — Anderson in com. mand - Contests in Kentucky - Condition of Missouri - Governor Jackson - F. P. Blair — Capt. (General) Lyon’s zeal — Breaks up Camp Jackson - General Harney's doings — Lyon in command - Gov. Jackson calls out 50,000 militia — Lyon at Jefferson City and Booneville - Western Virginia - Population, charac ter, etc.-Secession denounced - Meeting at Clarksburg - Convention at Wheeling – Its action - Address of Governor Pierrepont — Meeting of the legislature - General McClellan's activity – Attacks rebels at Beverly, Laurel Hill, Rich Mountain - Surrender of Pegram — Death of Garnett — Eastern Tennessee Feeling of the people— Position of this part of the state – Convention at Knoxville — Vote of Tennessee on secession - Convention at Greenville - Declaration of Grievances - Sufferings of the people in East Tennessee - Andrew Johnson - The appeal to the sword — Relative position of the loyal and seceding states in respect to population, claims of law and order, habits and education of the people, means of defence and of fence, preparedness for war, importance of cotton to the world, foreign sympathy and aid, etc.
TURNING our attention to the South. the “State Guard,” under Gen. S. B. west, we find matters of interest and Buckner's command. This person reimportance transpiring in Kentucky and cruited all he could and dispatched Missouri. We have spoken on a pre- them as soon as possible to join the vious page (see p. 23) of Virginia and rebel army; and when he had corrupt. Tennessee, and the means resorted to ed as many Kentuckians as he was able by secessionists, not only to crush out to reach, he followed them into the Union sentiments, but to force those camp of treason, ready to imbrue his states into joining Davis and company. hands in the blood of those who loved In Kentucky and Missouri similar and meant to uphold the Union. The efforts were made, and it was from no government, on its part, was not prepar
want of exertion on the part of ed to give up its rights; and the Union
the rebels that these states were men in Kentucky sought the aid of saved from being dragged into the vor- loyal troops to keep down secession tex of disunion. Kentucky, by advice plans and movements in their state. of the governor and secession sympa. The legislature met, April 28th, and thizers, was asked to take the ground Gov. Magoffin, asserting that the Union of neutrality between the loyal and in- was dissolved, called on the members surrectionary states ; a ground which, of the legislature to summon a convenfrom the nature of the case, could never tion of the people, that process by be maintained. Gov. Magoffin placed which disunionists and traitors had