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The convention paused in its business; the Rev. Dr. Elliott, a distinguished follower of Dr. Channing, was called forward, and, amidst a stillness and awe which ever accompanies the highest example of the moral sublime, the whole convention and the crowded audience rising, with grateful and reverent hearts, he offered, in aocents broken by emotion, the following prayer to Almighty God:
“ Most merciful God, before whom we are all equal, we look up to Thee who hast declared Thyself our Father, and our helper, and our strong defense, to thank Thee that Thou art no respecter of persons; to thank Thee that Thou didst send Jesus Christ into the world to redeem the world from sin, and that He was the friend to the poor; that He came to break the manacles of the slaves, that the oppressed might go free. We thank Thee that this day the people of this State have had grace given them to do as they would be done by. We pray that Thy blessings may rest upon the proceedings of this convention; that no evil may come to this State from the wrong position of those who do not agree with the action of to-day; but that we, all of us, may be united to sustain this which is the law of the land. We pray ( God, but our hearts are too full to express our thanksgiving. Thanks be to God for this day; that light has now come out from darkness; that all things are now promising a future of peace and quietness to our distracted State. Grant that this voice may go over the whole land until the Ordinance of Emancipation is made perfect throughout the States. We ask it through the name of our dear Lord and Redeemer. Amen."
The intelligence of the passage of this ordinance created the wildest enthusiasm throughout the State. When the news reached the Capital at Jefferson City, the Legislature being in session, such was the joy that all business was immediately suspended; the State House and city were illuminated — speeches were made, patriotic songs were sung-not omitting “ John Brown.” Thus, amidst prayer, thanksgirging, praise, bonfires, illuminations and music, slavery died, and liberty reigned through the great central State of the Mississippi valley.
Maryland, and Missouri, by their own act, through the voice and votes of their own citizens, became regenerated and disenthralled, and ready to enter the lists in generous emulation with the brotherhood of free States. All felt that the action of these States was decisive of the fate of slavery, and of the rebellion.
When to them were added, the States of Tennessee, Arkansas, and Louisiana, each by its own citizens, abolishing slavery, and preparing to become members of that higher, nobler National unity, based on liberty to all, the President saw, the dawn of that brighter day, when peace and harmony, unity and liberty should prevail throughout the Republic. Kentucky yet withstood the advancing tide of Christian civilization. Like a dark rock in the ocean, with freedom to the North of her, freedom to the South of her, and freedom to the West of her, she yet clung to slavery.
GRANT'S CAMPAIGN OF 1864.
GRANT APPOINTED LIEUTENANT-GENERAL—His Plans—THE MIL
ITARY SITUATION-BANK'S EXPEDITION TO RED RIVER—MasSACRE AT FORT Pillow-CONFEDERATE WEAKNESS—THE ARMIES OF GRANT AND LEE-BATTLES OF WILDERNESSSPOTTSYLVANIA-COLD HARBOR, &c—BUTLER’s MOVEMENT ON JAMES RIVER—GRANT CROSSES THE JAMES--MOVEMENTS IN THE VALLEY OF THE SHENANDOAH-HUNTER'S CAMPAIGN-PETERSBURG INVESTED—THE MINE EXPLOSION_SHERIDAN IN SHENANDOAH—His RIDE—His VICTORIES.
T 18 necessary again to return to the fields of war. March
es, battles, carnages, suffering, desolation and death were again to be encountered in their utmost horror before the end of the drama. But the grard result was no longer doubtful. The intelligent observer felt that slavery was doomed, and the unity of the Republic, upon the basis of freedom, was now only a question of time. We have seen that the campaign of 1863 had been crowned with the fall of Vicksburg and Port Hudson, and the victory of Gettysburg. Still Lee was permitted to recover from his defeat, and re-occupy his former lines.
Immediately on the opening of the 1st session of the 38th Congress, the ever-faithful Washburne, desirous that the great military mind which had crushed the enemy in the center should take the commanding position at the head of all the armies of the Republic, introduced and carried through the bill, creating the office of Lieutenant General. The President on the 22d of February cordially approved the act, and sent the nomination of U. S. Grant as Lieutenant General to the Senate for confirmation. On the 3d of March the nomination was confirmed. General Grant was at the time in command in the Valley of the Mississippi. The President immediately requested his presence at Washington. Up to this time, during the war, General Grant had not visited the Capital. He was personally unknown to the President, the Secretary of War, and most of the members of Congress. The appointment found him at his post of duty, and with a modesty in regard to himself, and a generosity towards his most trusted Lieutenant, General Sherman, beautiful as rare, he expressed the opinion that Sherman was more entitled to the position than himself. He arrived at Washington on the 8th of March, and in the evening attended a levee at the White House, which he entered unannounced, and almost a stranger. He was instantly recognized by the President, and the Western Soldier never received a more cordial welcome. As soon as it was known that Grant was present, the pressure of the crowd was difficult to withstand By the aid of Secretary Seward, he sheltered himself behind a sofa, but the crowd was so eager to see the hero of Vicksburg, that by the persuasion of the Secretary he was induced to mount the sofa, that the irrepressible desire to see him might be gratified. He remarked to the President when parting,
this has been rather the warmest campaign I bave witnessed during the war.” On the following day the President in person presented him his commission, and said to him :
“ GENERAL GRANT: The Nation's appreciation of what you have done, and its reliance upon you for what remains to be done in the existing great struggle, are now presented with this commission, constituting you Lieutenant General in the Army of the United States. With this high honor, devolves upon you also, a corresponding responsibility. As the country herein trusts you, so, under God, it will sustain you. I scarcely need to add, that with what I here speak for the nation, goes my own hearty personal concurrence.
To which General Grant made this reply:
“ Mr. PRESIDENT: I accept the commission with gratitude for the high honor conferred. With the aid of the noble armies that have fought on so many fields for our common country, it will be
earnest endeavor not to disappoint your expectations. I feel the full weight of the responsibilities now devolving on me, and I know that if they are met, it will be due to those armies, and above all to the favor of that Providence which leads both Nations and men.”
After visiting the army of the Potomac he returned to Washington, and after an interview with the President and Secretary of War in regard to his plans, prepared to leave for the West. Mrs. Lincoln sharing in the universal gratitude and admiration felt for him, and desirous of showing him some attention, invited him to meet a brilliant party of citizens and military, at dinner that evening. He received the invitation at the close of this important interview with the President. The General said, “Mrs. Lincoln must ex
I must be in Tennessee at a given time.” “ But we can't excuse you,” said the President. “Mrs. Lincolu's dinner without you, would be Hamlet with Hamlet left out.” “ I appreciate the honor Mrs. Lincoln would do me,” said the General, “but time is very important now,—and really -Mr. Lincoln, I have had enough of this show business. This was a remark Mr. Lincoln could well appreciate and with which he could fully sympathise. General Grant went to the West without waiting for the dinner.
General Sherman, on the recommendation of General Grant, was assigned to the command of the military division of Mississippi, composed of the departments of the Ohio, the Cumberland, the Tennessee, and the Arkansas. General J. B. McPherson was assigned to the command of the department and Army of the Tennessee.
General Grant on the 17th of March assumed command of the armies of the United States, and announced that his headquarters would be in the field, and until further orders, with the Army of the Potomac. From this time there was unity of purpose,-each army coöperating and acting under one far-seeng executive head. From this time on, there was energy in attack, rapidity in pursuit, and everywhere a tit man, in the fittest place for him. Grant had the very great advantage of having subordinates who enjoyed his most perfect confidence, and who reposed the most perfect faith in him. Henceforth rivalries and jealousies were, to a great