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resolution declaring, that the present forward free, any law to the contrary war was forced upon the country by notwithstanding. It was opposed by southern disunionists, and that Con- some senators as irritating and alarmgress, disclaiming all intention of inter- ing; but it passed by a large vote. In fering with the rights, or institutions of the House, this bill was earnestly dethe states, and all purpose of conquest, bated. It was opposed by the would prosecute the war to defend the venerable Mr. Crittenden and Constitution and preserve the Union. others, as unconstitutional and dangerThe resolution was laid over till Mon- ous; but it was strenuously and forday, the 22d, and then passed almost cibly advocated by various members, unanimously. The same resolution as needful in the present state of affairs, and as perfectly within the province of the legislature to determine upon. The bill was finally agreed to by a vote of 60 to 48.

was adopted by the Senate, July 24th, on motion of Andrew Johnson. It may be set down to the credit of the nation. al legislature, that, notwithstanding the gloomy and disheartening condition of affairs, on this memorable Monday, the members went on steadily with their work; and the House, unanimously:

"Resolved, That the maintenance of the Constitution, the preservation of the Union, and the enforcement of the laws, are sacred trusts which must be executed; that no disaster shall discourage us from the most ample performance of this high duty; and that we pledge to the country and to the world the employment of every resource, national and individual, for the suppression, overthrow, and punishment of rebels in arms." Three days later, the Senate adopted a resolution to the same effect, which lacked only one vote (Breckenridge of Kentucky) to render it unani


On the 24th of July, the Senate considered a bill to confiscate property used for insurrectionary purposes by persons engaged in rebellion, to which Mr. Trumbull moved an amendment: by this, slaves, if employed by their masters to aid in rebellion, were thence

On the last day of the session, on motion of Mr. Wilson of Massachusetts, a clause was added to the bill increas ing the pay of soldiers, by which it was enacted, "That all the acts, proclamations and orders of the president of the United States, after the 4th of March, 1861, respecting the army and navy of the United States, and calling out or relating to the militia or volunteers from the states, are hereby approved, and in all respects legalized and made valid, to the same intent, and with the same effect, as if they had been issued and done under the previous express authority and direction of the Congress of the United States." The bill was agreed to by the House, and Congress adjourned on the 6th of August, after a session of only thirty-three days.*

Just at the close of the session a joint resolution

of the two houses was unanimously adopted, asking the president to call upon the people to supplicate God's mercy and forbearance towards our country. The

president acted upon the recommendation of Congress, and on the 12th of August issued a very earnest proclamation, appointing September 26th as a national

fast-day. The people observed the day in every part of the loyal states.




nation. They are at last compelled to abandon the pretence of being engaged in dispersing rioters and suppressing insurrections, and are driven


The Confederate Congress (see p. 43) met for the first time in Richmond, July 20th, the day before the battle of Bull Run. The message of Davis was of the usual length, but characterized to the acknowledgment that by an acrimonious, irritable spirit the ancient Union has been dissolved. against President Lincoln, and what he They recognize the separate existence had said in his message to Congress, of these Confederate states, by an interJuly 4th. Davis's language indicated dictive embargo and blockade of all quite clearly, though undesignedly, that commerce between them and the United he as well as his co-workers in rebellion States, not only by sea, but by land; were not at all pleased at the energy not only in ships, but in cars; not only and determination manifested by our with those who bear arms, but with government and people; and whether the entire population of the Confedehe intended to deceive the people of rate states. Finally, they have rethe South, or make capital abroad, he pudiated the foolish conceit that the stopped at nothing in order to accom- inhabitants of this confederacy are still plish his purpose. A passage or two citizens of the United States; for they may be quoted as illustrating the chief are waging an indiscriminate war upon rebel's views and statements. "The them all, with savage ferocity, unknown. rapid progress of events, for the last in modern civilization." few weeks, has fully sufficed to lift the veil behind which the true policy and purpose of the government of the United States had been previously concealed. Their odious features now stand fully revealed. The message of their president, and the action of their Congress during the present month, confess their intention of the subjugation of these states by a war, by which it is impossible to attain the proposed result, while its dire calamities, not to be avoided by us, will fall with double severity on themselves. These enormous preparations in men and money, for the conduct of the war, on a scale more grand than any which the new world ever witnessed, is a distinct avowal, in the eyes of civilized man, that the United States are engaged in a conflict with a great and powerful

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Davis announced his purpose and plan of retaliation on account of the privateersmen captured by the United States, and on trial for piracy. With congratulations at having escaped all connection with the loyal states, he called for increase of the army, lauded the devotion of the people of the South, and wound up with a glorification of the "calm and sublime devotion" displayed on all hands.

Various measures were adopted by the rebel congress, principally looking to financial difficulties, which already began to press heavily upon the secessionists, and were among the most perplexing to manage in the existing state of affairs. Beside the "produce loan," treasury notes were authorized to the extent of $100,000,000; a war tax was imposed; etc. The army was reported

at 210,000 men in the field. Davis was just at this time; but the people, imauthorized to increase this number by patient and in general unreasoning, 400,000 more, and also to add to the were calling for action, the soldiers so-called navy. An act respecting wished for action; action seemed one alien enemies was passed, ordering then of the easiest things in the world; the to depart out of the confederacy, and enemy was undervalued; and a battle another sequestrating their property, must be fought, on such a scale and in intended as retaliatory for the confisca such wise, as to prove the superiority of tion act of Congress (see p. 54). After our forces, and the insignificance of the a short session, the Confederate Con- rebel hosts. gress adjourned, September 2d, to meet again in November.


As stated on a previous page (see p. 35), General Patterson, at the begin At this period of the contest, when ning of July, crossed the Potomac at the impression largely prevailed in the Williamsport, with a force of North, that the rebellion could be about 20,000 men. The rebels crushed by rapid, decided action, the retired on his appearance; and on the cry became quite prevalent, "On to 15th of July, he moved forward to Richmond!" People, unacquainted Bunker Hill, nine miles from Wincheswith the science of war and its mani- ter, and occupied it without resistance. fold details, were incapable of fathom- On the 17th, instead of advancing on ing why it was, that, with so large a the direct road, he turned to the left force as that now in the field, nothing and marched to Charlestown, twelve apparently was being done, no victory of moment was gained, the rebels were not at once put down, etc. In their lack of acquaintance with this subject, they cast aside all considerations of the time and drilling needed to make good and efficient soldiers out of new recruits, and the complicated, weighty difficulties connected with furnishing military stores and supplies, at proper times and places, for an army of 50,000 to 100,000 men. The pressure was urgent, and the troops were expected to make a brilliant campaign of three or six months, and speedily reduce the rebels to submission. Military men, having a clearer conception of what was to be done, and the material in hand to work with, were rather doubtful as to the expediency of attempting a great battle

miles eastward and near the Potomac; thus, as it turned out, leaving the road open for Johnston, the rebel general at Winchester, to carry his entire force to Manassas, and do his share in the defeat of our army at Bull Run. The reasons for this course are not at all clear, and the testimony on this subject elicited by the committee on the conduct of the war, is very damaging to the character of General Patterson. Although urged by General Scott to do something efficient, he remained at Charlestown under an idea that he was checking Johnston's advance; in reality, it was to no purpose, and on the 22d, he fell back to Harper's Ferry where, on the 25th of July, Genera. Banks took his place.

General McDowell was in command

CH. IV.]



that the rebel army had taken position between Centreville and Manassas Junction, and intended to remain there. The loss on the Union side was between 80 and 90; the rebel loss was reported at somewhat less.*

Gen. McDowell was convinced, on examination, that the strength and position of the rebels rendered it unadvis able, without a diversion, to risk the main attack directly in front, or to make the attempt to gain Manasses by an ap proach from the east. Above Stone Bridge, however, the ground appeared more practicable. The stream, Bull Run, might readily be forded, and though there were no good roads leading from the camps in that direction, the country afforded no serious obstacle

of the department of North-eastern Vir- Gen. Tyler, having passed through Cenginia, an able and excellent officer, to treville, found the rebels strongly posted whom was committed the charge of at Blackburn's Ford on Bull Run, where, making an assault upon the enemy, under Gen. Longstreet, they resisted who were strongly entrenched, under the further advance of our troops. The Beauregard, at Manassas. His force conflict was mainly with artillery, and consisted of about forty-five regiments was well sustained; it proved clearly of volunteers, chiefly from New York and the eastern states, with several from the West, a large portion of the whole being called out, under the requisition of the president, for three months only. The remainder were three years' volunteers; but, having come into the field later, they had enjoyed but slightly the advantages of military drill and discipline. With them were mixed a few of the regular infantry, some companies of United States cavalry, and several light batteries of the United States artillery. The general staff and field officers included a number of the most meritori ous officers of the regular army; the company officers, being mostly taken from civil life, were of course less experienced, and much less able to discharge the duties imposed upon them. The Grand Army, as it was called, began its march from Washington, on the 16th of July. Gen. Tyler's column took the advance, and spent the night at Vienna, a few miles from Fairfax Court House. General Hunter marched with the central column, on the direct road; and Gen. Miles advanced on the extreme left. General McDowell, who was with the centre, arrived at noon, the next day, at Fairfax Court House, the enemy retiring and evidently avoiding a conflict.* On the 18th,

Our troops were guilty of some excesses here, such
VOL. IV.-8

as breaking into empty houses, pillaging, and commitwas immediately repressed and steps were taken to prevent any recurrence of similar outbreaks. Gen. McDowell's stringent order on this subject manifests the

ting other offensive acts; but this disgraceful conduct

spirit and determination of the commanding officers of our army. Compare with this the vile insinuations and falsehoods of Beauregard's proclamation, quoted

on p. 34.

* Beauregard, who, as he says, was "opportunely informed," i. e., by the numerous spies and traitors in and about Washington, of McDowell's purpose to advance upon Manassas, claims it as a stroke of policy that his men retreated and thereby deceived McDowell as to his ulterior designs at Bull Run. Major Barnard,

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chief-engineer of the Army of the Potomac, has criticis

ed this costly reconnaissance by Gen. Tyler in severe terms, and pronounces that the affair had a bad effect

upon the morale of our raw forces. Swinton terms it 'silly ambition " on the part of Tyler to do as he did -' Army of the Potomac," p. 47.


to the movement of troops. It was accordingly resolved, by a flank movement, to turn the enemy's position on their left with a sufficient force, which should co-operate with a direct attack on their position at Stone Bridge, and thus open the turnpike road from Centreville, and cut off the railroad communication of Manassas with the army of Johnston in and about Winchester. McDowell intended to make the attack on Saturday, July 20th, but was hindered by delays in receiving proper supplies, which did not reach him till Friday night, at Centreville, about seven miles to the north-east of Manassas. Rations were distributed and issued; and in order as far as possible to avoid marching in the heat before the fight, orders were given to move at half-past two o'clock, on Sunday morning, the 21st, expecting to open the battle at all points at six, A.M. Delays occurred, owing to the inexperience of the officers and men, so that it was some three hours later, in one of the hot July mornings in Virginia, that the troops crossed at Sudley Spring, and soon after were engaged in battle.* Full details are beyond our limits; and we must content ourselves with an extract or two from Gen McDowell's report, which will suffice to render the

* Gen. McDowell, speaking of his reasons for fight ing when he did, declared that he could not push on faster, nor could he delay. The best part of his troops

were three months volunteers, whose term of service

was just expiring. They refused to stay an hour be

yond their time. McDowell and the secretary of war pleaded with them (volunteers from Pennsylvania and New York), but in vain. They insisted on their discharge that Saturday night. It was granted of course; " and the next morning, when the army moved forward

into battle, these troops moved to the rear, to the sound of the enemy's cannon."

general course of procedure and the re sult sufficiently clear to our readers. As events turned out, McDowell termed it "a great misfortune" that delays occurred, as noted above. The wood road from the Warrenton Turnpike was longer than was expected, and the upper ford was not reached as speedily as was desired. General Tyler, in front of Stone Bridge, commenced with his artillery, at half-past six, A.M., but the enemy made no reply, rendering it doubtful as to his plans. Other brig ades moved forward, and Tyler was directed to advance, as large bodies of the enemy were passing in front of him to attack the division which had crossed over under Burnside.

"The ground between the stream and the road leading from Sudley Spring south, and over which Burnside's brig ade marched, was for about a mile from the ford thickly wooded, whilst on the right of the road for about the same distance, the country was divided be tween fields and woods. About a mile from the road the country on both sides of the road is open, and for nearly a mile further large rolling fields extend down to the Warrenton turnpike, which crosses what became the field of battle, through the valley of a small watercourse, a tributary of Bull Run." The enemy opened fire upon our troops, who stood the shock well, and on being reinforced drove the enemy out of the Wood and across the road up the slopes on the other side.

"While this was going on, Heintzelman's division was moving down the field to the stream, and up the road beyond. Beyond the Warrenton road,

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