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to show a great increase of our relative strength that our General-in-chief should feel able to confront and hold in check every active force of the enemy, and yet to detach a well-appointed, large army to move on such an expedition. The result not being yet known, conjecture in regard to it is not here indulged.
Important movements have also occurred during the year to the effect of moulding society for durability in the Union. Although short of complete success, it is much in the right direction that twelve thousand citizens in each of the States of Arkansas and Louisiana have organized loyal State governments with free Constitutions, and are earnestly struggling to maintain and administer them. The movements in the same direction, more extensive, though less definite, in Missouri, Kentucky and Tennessee, should not be overlooked. But Maryland presents the example of complete success. Maryland is secure to liberty and union for all the future. The genius of rebellion will no more claim Maryland. Like another foul spirit, being driven out, it may seek to tear her, but it will woo her no more.
At the last session of Congress a proposed amendment of the Constitution abolishing slavery throughout the United States passed the Senate, but failed, for lack of the requisite two-thirds vote in the House of Representatives. Although the present is the same Congress, and nearly the same members, and without questioning the patriotism of those who stood in opposition, I venture to recommend the consideration and passage of the measure at the present session. : It is not claimed that the election has imposed a duty on members to change their views or their votes any further than as an additional element to be considered. Their judgment may be affected by it. It is the voice of the people now for the first time heard upon the question. .. Judging by the recent canvass and its result, the purpose of the people, within the loyal States, to maintain the integrity of the Union was never more firm, nor more nearly unanimous than now.
The extraordinary calmness and good order with which the millions of voters met and mingled at the polls give strong assurance of this. ... There have been much impugning of motives, and much heated controversy as to the proper means and best mode of advancing the Union
cause; but on the distinct issue of Union or no Union the politicians have shown their instinctive knowledge that there is no diversity among the people. . . . On careful consideration of all the evidence accessible, it seems to me that no attempt at negotiation with the insurgent leader could result in any good. He would accept nothing short of severance of the Union - precisely what we will not and cannot give. His declarations to this effect are explicit and oft-repeated. He does not attempt to deceive us. He affords us no excuse to deceive ourselves. What is true, however, of him who heads the insurgent cause, is not necessarily true of those who follow. Although he cannot re-accept the Union, they can. Some of them, we know, already desire peace and reunion. The number of such may increase. They can at any moment have peace simply by laying down their arms and submitting to the national authority under the Constitution. I repeat the declaration made a year ago,
that while I remain in my present position, I shall not attempt to retract or modify the Emancipation Proclamation, nor shall I return to slavery any person who is free by the terms of that proclamation, or by any of the acts of Congress.” If the people should, by whatever mode or means, make it an executive duty to re-enslave such persons, another, and not I, must be their instrument to perform it. In stating a single condition of peace, I mean simply to say that the war will cease on the part of the Government whenever it shall have ceased on the part of those who began it.
Soon after the assembling of Congress, the President sent to the Senate (in his own handwriting) the nomination of Salmon P. Chase for Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, in place of Roger B. Taney, who died in October.* The ex-Secretary took the oath of office on the 15th of December.
Judge Bates resigned the office of Attorney-General
* Chief Justice Taney died October 12 (1864)—the day on which Maryland ratified the new anti-slavery constitution.
soon after the Presidential election, retiring early in December. He was succeeded by James Speed, of Kentucky, whose nomination to the Attorney-Generalship was confirmed on the 12th of that month. Secretary Fessenden, having been again elected to the Senate, retired from the Treasury Department on the 4th of March (1865), and Hugh McCulloch, of Indiana, then Comptroller of the Currency, was appointed Secretary of the Treasury.
The postponed joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, prohibiting slavery, came up in the House on the 6th of January (1865); was earnestly discussed for many days; and came to a direct vote on the 31st. Most impressive was the close and silent attention, the evident though restrained emotion, both on the floor of the House and in the crowded galleries, during the call of the roll. Uncertainty gave intensity to anxious suspense almost to the end. The voice of Delaware, now represented by a Republican, was given for emancipation. Maryland cast four votes for and one against the measure. West Virginia's three votes were in the affirmative; Kentucky gave four ayes and five noes; of Missouri's nine votes, all but two were for the amendment. Seven Democratic members from New York, three from Pennsylvania, one from Ohio, one from Michigan, and one from Wisconsin, voted aye. So did every Republican member. It has been tersely said that “war legislates.” Certain it is, war educates. The final vote on the thirteenth amendment in the House of Representatives stood: Ayes, 119; noes, 56 — more than two-thirds in its favor. On this announcement, the hitherto suppressed emotion of members and spectators broke forth in grand and joyous applause. With gladness and gratitude the President approved the work. Ratification by the required majority of the States was sure to come.
* The Legislatures of seventeen States, Illinois taking the lead on the ist of February, ratified the amendment before the close of that month. Other States followed until the vote of reconstructed South Carolina on the 13th of November completed the full number of twenty-seven required. Other States ratified later, making the whole number thirty-five. Official proclamation of the adoption of the amendment was made on the 18th of December, 1865.
'From Atlanta to the Sea - Thomas Defeats Hood in Tennessee Sherman at Savannah Capture of Fort
Fisher — Hampton Roads Parley.
Sherman remained at Atlanta until the end of September. Hood, whose main force was intrenched at Jonesboro, soon began operating against the long line of Sherman's communications and his depots of supplies between Atlanta and Chattanooga and thence to Nashville. General George H. Thomas, sent from Atlanta with Morgan's division, arrived on the 3d of October at Nashville. Hood, having swept around to the west of Atlanta, crossed the Chattahoochie, and on the 5th his advance reached Allatoona, where Sherman had one of his main depots, which had been guarded by only three much depleted regiments. Corse's brigade, ordered to the threatened post, had by rapid marching reached the place before its expected assailants. Sherman, leaving one corps to hold Atlanta, moved northward, signaling to Corse that reinforcements were coming, and ordering him to hold the fort. “He will do it,” said Sherman; “I know the man." And so it proved. Corse was himself severely wounded, and more than a third of his men killed or disabled.