« PreviousContinue »
make the people loth to part with one who, in the hour of trial, has proved himself equal to the emergency.
As an evidence of the sentiment to which we have referred, we publish the following resolutions, unanimously adopted by the Union League of Philadelphia, on the eleventh of January, 1864:
“Whereas, The skill, courage, fidelity and integrity with which, in a period of unparalleled trial, ABRAHAM LINCOLN has conducted the administration of the National Government, have won for him the highest esteem and the most affectionate regard of his grateful countrymen ;
“And whereas, The confidence which all loyal men repose in his honesty, his wisdom and his patriotism, should be proclaimed on every suitable occasion, in order that his hands may be strengthened for the important work he has yet to perform ;
“And whereas, The Union League of Philadelphia, composed as it is, of those who, having formerly belonged to various parties, in this juncture recognize no party but their country; and representing, as it does, all the industrial, mechanical, manufacturing, commercial, financial, and professional interests of the city, is especially qualified to give, in this behalf, an unbiased and authentic utterance to the public sentiment; therefore,
"Resolved, That to the prudence, sagacity, comprehension and perseverance of Mr. Lincoln, under the guidance of a benign Providence, the nation is more indebted for the grand results of the war, which southern rebels have wickedly waged against liberty and the Union, than to any other single instrumentality; and that he is justly entitled to whatever reward it is in the power of the nation to bestow.
“Resolved, That we cordially approve of the policy which Mr. Lincoln has adopted and pursued, as well the principles he has announced as the acts he has performed, and that we shall continue to give an earnest and energetic support to the doctrines and measures by which his administration has thus far been directed and illustrated.
“Resolved, That as Mr. Lincoln bas had to endure the largest share of the labor required to suppress the rebellion, now rapidly verging to its close, be should also enjoy the largest share of the honors which await those who have contended for the right; and as, in all respects, he has shown pre-eminent ability in fulfilling the requirements of his great office, we recognize with pleasure the unmistakable indications of the popular will in all the loyal States, and heartily join with our fellowcitizens, without any distinction of party, here and elsewhere, in presenting him as the People's candidate for the Presidency at the approaching election.
"Resolved, That a Committee of Seventy-six be appointed, whose duty it shall be to promote the object now proposed, by correspondence with other loyal organizations, by stimulating the expression of public opinion, and by whatever additional modes shall, in their judgment, seem best adapted to the end; and that this Committee have power to supply vacancies in their own body and to increase their numbers at their own discretion.
“Resolved, That a copy of these proceedings, properly engrossed and attested, be forwarded to President Lincoln; and that they also be published in the loyal newspapers.” GENERAL GRANT MADE A LIEUTENANT
GENERAL. On the 2d of March, 1864, President Lincoln approved a bill passed by Congress on the 26th of February, revi. ving the grade of Lieutenant-General, and the same day he nominated for that high office Major-General Grant, the hero of Vicksburg, and on the same day the Senate unanimously confirmed the nomination. On the 9th of March, General Grant, being upon official business at Washington, was invited to the White House, where the President, handing him his commission, addressed him as follows:
“ GENERAL GRANT :— The expression of the nation's approbation of what you have already done, and its reliance on you for what remains to do in the existing great struggle, is now presented with this commission, constituting you Lieutenant-Ĝeneral of the Army of the United States.
“With this high honor devolves on you an additional responsibility. As the country herein trusts you, so, under God, it will sustain you. I scarcely need add, that with what I here speak for the country, goes my own hearty personal concurrence.”
General Grant accepted the commission with character. istic modesty, responding briefly and appropriately to the remarks of the President.
A, VIGOROUS PROSECUTION OF THE WAR.
In May, 1864, the President had approved the plans of Lieutenant-General Grant; and the grand combinations of the latter, looking to the breaking up of the Confederate power, and the fall of Richmond, were put in motion, Shermar was at work in the South-west, and after taking and destroying Atlanta, he designed marching directly through the heart of Georgia, making Savannah his first objective point; and then, striking northward, he was to compel the evacuation of Columbia, Charleston, and Wilmington, and co-operate with General Grant in the conquest of the rebel capital. Thomas was left in the South-west to check, and if possible, destroy Hood and Johuston; while Grant, aided by the splendid genius and fighting qualities of Meade, Sheridan, and Hancock, were operating in the immediate vicinity of Richmond. The plans were finally all carried out almost to the letter, and General Grant telegraphed to the President, in May, that he “proposed to fight it out on this line if it took all summer." These vast military operations, and the confidence of the great mass of the people in the fidelity of the President, and in the skill of his generals, promoted a great degree of confidence in the speedy ending of the war, with an unconditional restoration of the authority of the Union.
MR. LINCOLN IS RE-NOMINATED FOR THE
On the 7th of June, 1864, the National Union Conven. tion met at Baltimore. The re-nomination of Mr. Lincoln for President of the United States was clearly foreshadowed, and the formal naming of him as the choice of the people for a second term in his high office, was looked for as a matter of course. He was re-nominated by acclamation, and Andrew Johnson of Tennessee, who, like himself, was a self-made man, was nominated for the VicePresidency. The platform of principles adopted by the convention was brief and pithy. We transfer some pertinent extracts to our pages.
"Resolved, That it is the highest duty of every American citizen to maintain against all their enemies the integrity of the Union and the paramount authority of the Constitution and laws of the United States; and that, laying aside all differences of political opinion, we pledge ourselves as Union men, animated by a common sentiment, and aiming at a common object, to do every thing in our power to aid the Government in quelling by force of arms the rebellion now raging against its authority, and in bringing to the punishment due to their crimes, the rebels and traitors arrayed against it.
“Resolved, that we approve the determination of the Gorernment of the United States not to compromise with rebels, nor to offer any terms of peace except such as may be based upon an “unconditional surrender of their hostility and a re. turn to their just allegiance to the Constitution and laws of the United States, and that we call upon the Government to maintain this position and to prosecute the war with the utmost possible vigor to the complete suppression of the Rebellion, in full reliance upon the self-sacrifice, the patriotism, the heroic valor, and the undying devotion of the American people to their country and its free institutions.
“Resolved, That, as Slavery was the cause, and now constitutes the strength, of this rebellion, and as it must be always and everywhere hostile to the principles of republican government, justice and the national safety demand its utter and complete extirpation from the soil of the republic; and that we uphold and maintain the acts and proclamations by which the Government, in its own defence, has aimed a death-blow at this gigantic evil. We are in favor, furthermore, of such an amendment to the Constitution, to be made by the people in conformity with its provisions, as shall terminate and forever prohibit the existence of Slavery within the limits of the jurisdiction of the United Siates.
“Resolved, That we approve and applaud the practical wisdom, the unselfish patriotism, and unswerving fidelity to the Constitution and the principles of American liberty, with which Abraham Lincoln has discharged, under circumstances of unparalleled difficulty, the great duties and responsibilities of the presidential office; that we approve and indorse, as demanded by the emergency, and essential to the preservation of the nation, and as within the Constitution, the measures and acts which he has adopted to defend the nation against its open and secret foes; that we approve especially the Proclamation of Emancipation, and the employment as Union soldiers of men heretofore held in Slavery; and that we have full confidence in his determination to carry these and all other constitutional measures essential to the salvation of the country into full and complete effect.”
On the 29th of August of the same year, the Democratic Convention met at Chicago, and nominated George B. McClellan and George H. Pendleton as its banner bearers. General McClellan being named for the Presidency ang Mr. Pendleton for the Vice-presidency. The platform of the party, as laid down by this convention, set forth, ainong other things, the following:
“Resolved, That this Convention does explicitly declare, as the sense of the American people, that after four years of fail. ure to restore the Union by the experiment of war, duriug which, under the pretence of a military necessity of a war power higher than the Constitution, the Constitution itself has been disregarded in every part, and public liberty and private right alike trodden down, and the material prosperity of the country essentially impaired; justice, humanity, liberty, and the public welfare, demand that immediate tfforts be made for a cessation of hostilities, with a view to an ultimate Convention of all the States, or other peaceable means to the end that at the earliest practicable moment peace may be restored on the basis of the Federal Union of the States."
General McClellan, in his letter of acceptance to the committee anpointed by the Convention to notify him of his nomination, virtually ignored the portion of the platform given above, and he urged a vigorous prosecution of the war.
Much dissatisfaction in the Democratic party grew out of the differences between the sentiments expressed by the platform and those of the principal candidate placed upon it, and for a time it seemed as though the party would be wrecked in advance upon the rock of these differences. Some of the leading peace men of the party refused to support General McClellan, while the War democracy denounced the platform in unmeasured terms.
To use an expression of General McClellan's, the campaign was “sbort, sharp, and decisive," and the candidates of both parties came in for a liberal share of abuse and ridicule.