Page images
PDF
EPUB

fidelity nor gratitude to his country, or bis Chief; no humanity, nor good fellowship towards his comrades, to induce him to interfere to prevent their extermination by fearful cruelties while prisoners of war. He must go down to posterity as a deserter and a traitor.

There were Southern loyalists true and faithful, scorning all temptations addressed to their fidelity. Among others, in civil life, were Andrew Johnson, and Andrew J. Hamilton; in war, the glorious names of Generals Scott, George H. Thomas, Geo. G. Meade, and Admiral David G. Farragut. How do the names of Lee and Davis grow black in contrast with that of the hero of Lundy's Lane, of Gettysburg, and of Nashville, and the blunt, but honest sailor, who so nobly and gloriously triumphed over traitors at New Orleans and Mobile.

Shall we so teach our children? Shall we thus make up the record ? or are all moral distinctions to cease? Is treason odious ? Shall truth, fidelity, and patriotism continue to be honored, and falsehood, perjury, and treachery scorned? Or is there no distinction between Andrew Johnson and Jefferson Davis; between General Scott and General Twiggs; between George H. Thomas and Robert E. Lee; between David G. Farragut and Raphael Semmes ?

The former were faithful, the latter faithless; the former kept their oaths, the latter broke them; the former shed their blood in heroic defense of their flag, and the latter deserted, and then made war upon it.

Somebody will be held responsible for the suffering of this terrible war.

Unrepentant rebels and traitors are consistent in holding the Federal Government responsible. Loyal men cannot be consistent, in honoring Scott, Thomas, and Farragut, without condemning Twiggs, Lee, and Davis.

Of the officers who remained, a few were only half loyal. How would such men -- the Government seeking to hold the slave States of Kentucky, Maryland and Missouri — treat

the negroes?

The solution of this question was practically made, and the difficulties surrounding it, cut away by the clear, bold, and direct mind of General Benjamin F. Butler, of Massachusetts. He had been a pro-slavery Breckinridge democrat. When his political friends at the South drew the sword, he, without hesitation, drew his for his country, and against them; and he was the first to lead a brigade to the defense of Washington.

In May, General Butler found himself in command at Fortress Monroe. One evening three negroes came into his camp, saying, “ they had fled from their master, Colonel Mallory, who was about to set them to work on rebel fortifications!" If they had been Colonel Mallory's horses or mules, there could be no question as to what should be done with them. But so strangely deluded were the army officers, that up to that time, they had returned fugitive slaves to rebel masters, to work and fight for the rebel cause ! Would Butler continue the folly?

He uttered the words, These men are contraband of war!This sentence, expressing an obvious truth, was more important than a battle gained. It was a victory in the direction of emancipation, upon which the success of the Union cause was ultimately to depend. He, of course, refused to surrender them, but set them at work on his own defenses. Up to this time, the South had fought to maintain slavery, and the Government, for fear of offending Kentucky, and other border States, would not touch it. Strange as it may seem, a rebel officer had the presumption, under a flag of truce, to demand the return of these negroes, under the alleged Constitutional obligation to return fugitive slaves. General Butler, of course, refused, saying, “I shall retain the negroes as contraband of war! You are using them upon your batteries; it is merely a question whether they shall be used for or against us." Other Generals of the Union army, were very slow in recognizing this obvious truth. General McClellan, on the 26th of May, issued an address to the people of his military district, in which he said, “ Not only will we abstain from all interference with your slaves, but we will, on the contrary, with an iron hand, crush any attempt at insurrection on their part."

Early in June, the administration and the country, sustained a great loss in the death of Douglas. He died at Chicago, on the 3d; his death, hastened by the zeal and energy he exerted to aid and strengthen the Government to meet the dangers surrounding it.

Mr. Lincoln was deeply grieved by the death of his great rival, who had become one of his most valued advisers. Douglas had caused the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, and thereby precipitated the conflict between freedom and slavery; but for this repeal, probably the resort to arms might have been delayed for a generation; possibly by the influence of moral and peaceful agencies prevented; but as has been stated, he did all in his power to redeem the past, by giving all his influence to the Government when the conflict came. The moment the flag of the insurgents was raised, he tried to hush the voice of party strife, and rallied his friends to the support of his country. He died at a moment when he had the opportunity and the disposition to have rendered the greatest service to his country. Had he lived, his energetic, determined, positive character would have continued him a leader, and there would have been no voice louder, more emphatic than his, demanding prompt, vigorous, and decisive measures. The Nation will not forget him, and Illinois will cherish his memory, and as the early opponent, and later, the friend of Lincoln, his name will live as long as Lake Michigan shall roll her blue waves upon the shore where rest his remains.

COAPTER X.

EXTRA SESSION OF CONGRESS - CIVIL POLICY AND MILITARY

EVENTS TO THE CLOSE OF 1861.

CONGRESS -PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE — ACTION OF CONGRESS-BA.

KER'S REPLY TO BRECKENRIDGE — ANDREW JOHNSON—DENOUNCES DAVIS — THE REBEL LEADERS — PROMINENT SENATORS, AND MEMBERS —SUMNER, BAKER, FESSENDEN AND OTHERS-STEPHENS, COLFAX, LOVEJOY AND OTHERS — BILL TO CONFISCATE THE PROPERTY AND FREE THE SLAVES OF REBELS—THE ARMY NOT TO RETURN FUGITIVE SLAVES—CRITTENDEN'S RESOLUTION

BULL Run- McCLELLAN IN COMMAND-FREEMONT-His EMANCIPATION ORDER — LETTER OF HOLT- PRESIDENT MODIFIES THE ORDER — His REASONS - CAMERON'S INSTRUCTION TO SHERMAN IN S. C. — MILITARY MOVEMENTS IN THE FALL OF 1861 - DEATH OF LYON-BALL'S BLUFF — DEATH OF BAKER — BELMONT-THE TRENT AFFAIR — ARREST

MARYLAND LEGISLATURE.

OF

THE

THE special session of the 37th Congress met at the Capital

НЕ

on the Fourth of July, agreeably to the call of the President. Hannibal Hamlin, Vice President, presided over the Senate, Galusha A. Grow of Pennsylvania was

elected Speaker of the House, and Emerson Etheridge of Tennessee, Clerk.

In the Senate, twenty-three States, and in the House twenty-two States were represented. There were forty Senators, and one hundred and fifty-four Representatives, on the first day of the session. No Representatives appeared from Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, or Arkansas. Andrew Johnson, “ faithful among the faithless," represented Tennessee in the Senate, and Horace Maynard and Andrew

J. Clements appeared and took their seats at the second session, in the House. Among the more prominent Senators of New England, who had already secured a National reputation, were Fessenden and Morrill of Maine, Hale and Clark of New Hampshire, Sumner and Wilson of Massachusetts, Collamer and Foote of Vermont, and Anthony of Rhode Island. New York was represented by Preston King and Ira J. Harris.

Mr. Hale, from New Hampshire, had been the leader of the old Liberty party. “Solitary and alone" in the United States Senate, by his wit and humor, his readiness and ability, he had maintained his position against the whole Senatorial delegation of the Slave States, and their numerous allies from the Free States. From Vermont, the dignified, urbane, and somewhat formal, Solomon Foote ; his colleague was Jacob Collamer, a gentleman of the old school who had been a member of Cabinets, and was one of the wisest jurists and Statesmen of our Country. Preston King had been the friend and confidant of Silas Wright and Thomas II. Benton, and a leader at the Buffalo Convention; genial, true and devoted to the principles of democracy as enunciated in the Declaration of Independence. From Pennsylvania, was David Wilmot, who, while a member of the House, introduced the “ Wilmot Proviso," which connects forever his name, with the Anti-Slavery contest.

From Ohio, John Sherman, a brother of General Sherman, and late a distinguished Speaker of the House of Representatives and Chairman of the Committee on Finance; and Benjamin Wade, staunch, rude, earnest and true.

From Illinois, Lyman Trumbull and 0. H. Browning, both distinguished lawyers, and competitors at the bar with Douglas and Lincoln. From Iowa, Senators Grimes and Harlan; from Wisconsin, Doolittle and Ilowe; from Michigan, Bingham and Chandler; from Indiana, Jessie D. Bright and Henry S. Lane; the latter of whom had presided over the Philadelphia Convention of 1856.

But many vacant chairs in these council chambers, impressed the spectator with the magnitude of the impending struggle. The old Chiefs of slavery were absent; some at

« PreviousContinue »