« PreviousContinue »
have given us our most important victories, believe the emanci. pation policy and the aid of colored troops constitute the heaviest blows yet dealt to the rebellion, and that at least one of those important successes could not have been achieved when it was but for the aid of black soldiers. Among the commanders holding these views are some who have never had any affinity with what is called abolitionism or with 'republican party politics.' —But who hold them purely as military opinions. I submit their opinions as being entitled to some weight against the objections often urged that emancipation and arming the blacks are unwise as military measures, and were not adopted as such in good faith. You say that you will not fight to free negroes. Some of them seem to be willing to fight for you, but no matter. Fight you, then, exclusively to save the Union. I issued the proclamation on purpose to aid you in saving the Union. Whenever you shall have conquered all resistance to the Union, if I shall urge you to continue fighting, it will be an apt time then for you to declare that you will not fight to free negroes. I thought that in your struggle for the Union, to whatever extent the negroes should cease helping the enemy, to that extent it weakened the enemy in his resistance to you. Do you think differently? I thought that whatever negroes can be got to do as soldiers, leaves just so much less for white soldiers to do in saving the Union. Does it appear otherwise to you? But negroes, like other people, act upon motives. Why should they do any thing for us if we will do nothing for them? If they stake their lives for us they must be prompted by the strongest motive, even the promise of freedom. And the promise, being made, must be kept. The signs look better. The Father of Waters again goes unvexed to the sea. Thanks to the great North-west for it. Not yet wholly to them. Three hundred miles up they met New England, Empire, Keystone and Jersey, hewing their way right and left. The Sunny South, too, in more colors than one, also lent a hand. On the spot their part of the history was jotted down in black and white. The job was a great national one, and let none be banned who boro an honorable part in it; and, while those who have cleared the great river may well be proud, even that is not all. It is hard to say that any thing has been more bravely and better done than at Antietam, Murfreesboro, Gettysburg, and on many fields of less note. Nor must Uncle Sam's webileet be forgotten. At all the waters' margins they have been present:-not only on the deep sea, the broad bay and the rapid river, but also up the narrow, muddy bayou ; and wherever the ground was a little damp they have been and made their tracks. Thanks to all. For the great republic—for the principles by which it lives and keeps alive-for man's vast future—thanks to all. Peace does not appear so far distant as it did. I hope it will come soon, and come to stay: and so come as to be worth the keeping in all future time. It will then have been proved that among freemen there can be no successful appeal from the ballot to the bullet, and that they who take such appeal are sure to lose their case and pay the cost. And then there will be some black men who can remember that, with silent tongue, and clenched teeth, and steady eye, and weil poised bayonet, they have helped mankind on to this great consummation; while I fear that there will be some white men unable to forget that with malignant heart and deceitful speech they have striven to hinder it. Still let us not be over sanguine of a speedy final triumph. Let us be quite sober. Let us diligently apply the means, never doubting that a just God, in his own good time, will give us the rightful result. Yours very truly,
“ A. LINCOLN." During September and October, 1863, the following proclamations were published:
SUSPENSION OF THE WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS IN CERTAIN CASES.
“WASHINGron, Sept. 15th, 1863. “ Whereas, the Constitution of the United States has ordained that the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it;' and
“Whereas, a rebellion was existing on the third day of March, 1863, which rebellion is still existing ; and
Whereas, by a statute which was approved on that day, it was enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States in Congress assembled, that during the present insurrection the President of the United States, whenever in his judgment the public safety may require, is authorized to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in any case throughout the United States, or any part thereof; and
Whereas, in the judgment of the President the public safety does require that the privilege of the said writ shall now be suspended throughout the United States in cases where, by the authority of the President of the United States, military, naval and civil officers of the United States, or any of them, hold persons under their command or in their custody, either as prisoners of war, spies, or aiders or abettors of the enemy, or officers, sol. diers, or seamen enrolled, drafted or mustered or enlisted in or belonging to the land or naval forces of the United States, or as deserters therefrom, or otherwise amenable to military law, or to the Rules and Articles of War, or to the rules and regulations prescribed for the military or naval service by the authority of the President of the United States, or for resisting a draft, or for any other offence against the military or naval service :
“Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United Btates, do hereby proclaim and make known to all whom it may concern, that the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is suspended throughout the United States in the several cases before mentioned, and that the suspension will continue throughout the duration of the said rebellion; or until this proclamation shall by a subsequent one, to be issued by the President of the United States, be modified and revoked. And I do hereby require all magistrates, attorneys and other civil officers within the United States, and all officers and others in the military and naval services of the United States, to take distinct notice of this suspension, and give it full effect; and all citizens of the United, States to conduct and govern themselves accordingly and in conformity with the Constitution of the United States and the laws of Congress in such cases made and provided.
“In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed, this fifteenth day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the eighty-eighth.
“ ABRAHAM LINCOLN. “By the President:
“ WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.”
NATIONAL THANKSGIVING PROCLAMATION.
“ The year that is drawing towards its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they can fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.
“ In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to invite and provoke the aggression of foreign States, peace has been preserved with all pations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.
“The needful diversions of wealth and strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship. The axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, note withstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the cou
sequences of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to ex. pect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.
“No human counsel hath devised, nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our bios, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.
" It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people; I do, therefore, invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign .lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a Day of Thanksgiving and Prayer to our beneficent Father, who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that, while offering up the ascriptions justly due to him for such singular deliverances and blessings; they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity, and union.
“In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
“Done at the city of Washington this third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixtythree, and of the Independence of the United States the eightyeighth.
“ ABRAHAM LINCOLN. By the President:
“William H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.”
We have shown, in the first pages of this volume, that the early instruction of Abraham Lincoln was of that religious character which could not fail to have a proper effect upon his after life, and it is not therefore surprising that during his Presidential career he has embraced every opportunity to publicly acknowledge the source from whence have come all the blessings the people of the Union have received during the progress of the civil war; and the unanimity with which his numerous requests for a general Thanksgiving have been acquiesced in, can but he gratifying to their author.
THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND MORE MEN
CALLED FOR. “ Whereas, The term of service of part of the volunteer forces of the United States will expire during the coming year; and whereas, in addition to the men raised by the present draft, it is deemed expedient to call out three hundred thousand volunteers, to serve for three years or the war-not, however, exceeding
“ Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States and Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy thereof, and of the militia of the several States when called into actual service, do issue this my proclamation, calling upon tho Governors of the different States to raise and have enlisted into the United States service, for the various companies and regiments in the field from their respective States, their quotas of three hundred thousand men.
“I further proclaim that all the volunteers thus called out and duly enlisted shall receive advance pay, premium and bouuty, as heretofore communicated to the Governors of States by the War Department, through the Provost Marshal General's office, by special letters.
“Î further proclaim that all volunteers received under this call, as well as all others not heretofore credited, shall be duly credited and deducted from the quotas established for the next draft.
“I further proclaim that, if any State shall fail to raise the quota assigned to it by the War Department under this call; then a draft for the deficiency in said quota shall be made in said State, or on the districts of said State, for their due proportion of said quota, and the said draft shall commence on the fifth day of January, 1864.
“And I further proclaim that nothing in this proclamation shall interfere with existing orders, or with those which may be issued for the present draft in the States where it is now in progress or where it has not yet been commenced.
“The quotas of the States and districts will be assigned by the War Department, through the Provost Marshal General's office, due regard being had for the men heretofore furnished, whether by volunteering or drafting, and the recruiting will be conducted in accordance with such instructions as have been or may be issued by that department.
"In issuing this proclamation I address myself not only to the Governors of the several States, but also to the good and loyal people thereof, invoking them to lend their cheerful, willing and effective aid to the measures thus adopted, with a view to reinforce our victorious armies now in the field and bring our needful military operations to a prosperous end, thus closing forever the fountains of sedition and civil war.