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will acquit General Butler. The only difference is that there has been no pure and upright and manly eloquence in this prosecution, to immortalize General Butler, as in the case of Warren Hastings."

He thus speaks of John Brown: “He also talks about John Brown. The gentleman well knows that that class of people to whom he referred were very few in the United States. None of the Republican party belonged to that class. But, sir, I will state the difference between John Brown and the gentleman from New York. While I have not a word to say in extenuation of the conduct of John Brown, nor anything to say against his sentence, yet, sir, there are times in the history of men when there are such great evils that the motives of some men who attempt, although in an irregular manner, to eradicate those evils, will overshadow all the irregularities in the eye of posterity, although we here at the moment cannot forget or forgive them. There are times, sir, when posterity will look beyond the immediate step to see where a man proposed to land, what were his intentions and his motives, and they will judge according to the yterior design. Now, sir, the motive of John Brown - honest, upright, but mistaken in his means - no man who loves freedom can help applauding, although none of us would justify the means. But upon the principle which I have mentioned, when the gentleman from New York and myself will be moldering in the dust and forgotten, or only unpleasantly remembered, the memory of John Brown, I will venture to predict, will grow brighter and brighter through coming ages; and the State of Virginia itself, by its own freemen and its own freedmen, will, within the lives of some 'now present, raise a monument to his memory upon the very place where his gallows stood.”

Nothing could be more complete and conclusive than this vindication of General Butler, so far as regards the transaction in question. The charge has never since been repeated.

The Thirty-eighth Congress drew towards its close. It had done its duty. Differing with the Executive on points of administration, as many of its members did, yet it had faithfully sustained him in carrying on the war. It had placed in his hands, with perfect confidence, the vast resources of the country. It had voted increased taxes to maintain the National credit. It had amended the Enrollment Law to give it more efficiency. It had obliterated ever from the National Statute Book the barbarous slave code. More than all, and above all, it had passed the constitutional amendment, prohibiting and abolishing slavery forever. The records of this Congress, and those of the Thirtyseventh, are full of the wisest statesmanship and eloquent expressions of the noblest sentiments of patriotism and humanity. These records will long be consulted, for the story of the forensic conflict between liberty and slavery. That conflict is there recorded in the speeches, votes, and legislation, during this, the most eventful period of American history. Ile who in the future would fully comprehend that history, must study it in these eloquent discussions. The Thirty-eighth Congress ended, and passed into history, with the following valedictory of Schuyler Colfax, Speaker of the House :*


“Gentlemen of the House of Representatives, the parting honr has come; and yonder clock, which takes no note of time but from its loss,' will soon announce that the Congress of which we are members has passed into history. Honored by your votes with this responsible position, I have faithfully striven to perform its always complex and often perplexing duties without partisan bias and with the sincerest impartiality. Whether I have realized the true ideal of a just presiding otticer, aiding, on the one hand, the advance of the public business, with the responsibility of which the majority is charged, and, on the other hand, allowing no trespass on the parliamentary rights of the minority, must be left for others to de. cide. But looking back now over the entire Congress, I cannot remember a single word addressed to you which 'dying I would wish to blot.'

“On this day, which by spontaneous consent is being observed wherever our flag floats as a day of national rejoicing, with the roar of cannon greeting the rising sun on the rock-bound coast of Maine, echoed and re-echoed by answering volleys from city to city, and from mountain peak to mountain peak, till from the Golden Gate it dies away far out on the calm Pacific, we mingle our congratulations with those of the freemen we represent over the victories for the Union that have made the winter just closing so warm with joy and hope. With them we rejoice that the national standard, which our revolutionary fathers unfurled over the land, but which rebellion sought to strike down and destroy, waves as undisputed at this glad hour over the cradle of secession at Charleston as over the cradle of liberty at Faneuil Hill, and that the whole firmament is aflame with the brilliant glow of triumphs for that cause so dear to every patriot heart. We have but recently commemorated the birthday of the Father of his Country, and renewed our pledge to each other that the nation he founded should not be sundered by the sword of treason. And the good news that assures the salvation of the Republic is doubly joyous, because it tells us that the prayers of the past four years have not been unanswered, and that the priceless blood of our brave defenders, so freely offered and so profusely spilt, has not been shed in vain. We turn, too, to-day, with a prouder joy than ever before to that banner, brilliant with stars from the heavens and radiant with glories from the earth, which from Bunker Hill to Yorktown, from Lundy's Lane to New Orleans, and from the darker hours of the rebellion in the past, to Savannah, and Fort Sumter, and Charleston, and Columbia, and Fort Fisher, and Wilmington in the present, has ever symbolized our unity and our national life, as we see inscribed on it ineffaceably that now doubly noble inscription, ‘Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable.'

“But, in this hour of gladness I cannot forget the obligations, paramount and undying, we owe to our heroic defenders on every battle-field upon the land, and every wave-rocked monitor and frigate upon the sea. Inspired by the sublimest spirit of self-sacrifice, they have realized a million-fold the historie fable of Curtius as they have offered to close up, with their own bodies, if need be, the yawning chasm that imperiled the Republic. For you and me, and for their country, they have turned their backs on the delights of home, and severed the tenderest of ties to brave death in a thousand forms; to confront with unblanched check the tempest of shot, and shell, and flame; to storm frowning batteries and bristling intrenchments; to bleed, to suffer, and to die. As we look from this Capitol Hill over the nation there are crushed and broken hearts in every hamlet; there are wounded soldiers, mangled with rebel bullets, in every hospital; there are patriot graves in every church yard; there are bleaching bones on every battle-field. It is the lofty and unfaltering heroism of the honored living, and the even more honored dead, that has taken us from every valley of disaster and defeat and

Congressional Globe, Second Session, Thirty-eighth Congress, pp. 1423-4.

placed our feet on the sun-crowned heights of victory. The granite shaft may commemorate their deeds. Our American Valhalla may be crowded with the statues of our heroes. But our debt of gratitude to them can never be paid while time shall last and the history of a rescued nation shall endure.

" If my voice, from this Representative Hall, could be heard throughout the land, I would adjure all who love the Republic to preserve this obligation ever fresh in grateful hearts. The dead, who have fallen in these struggles to prevent an alien flag from waving over the ashes of Washington, or over the graves where sleep the great and patriotic rivals of the last generation, the hero of New Orleans and the illustrious Commoner of Kentucky, cannot return to us. On Shiloh's plain and Carolina's sandy shores, before Richmond, and above the clouds at Lookout Mountain, the patriot martyrs of constitutional liberty sleep in their bloody shrouds till the morning of resurrection. But the living are left behind. And if the Sacred Record appropriately commends the poor, who are ever with us, to our benefactions and regards, may I not remind you that the widow and the fatherless, the maimed and the wounded, the diseased and the suffering, whose anguish springs from this great contest, have claims on all of us, heightened immeasurably by the sacred cause for which they have given so much? Thus, and thus alone, by pouring the oil of consolation into the wounds that wicked treason has made, can we prove our devotion to our fatherland and our affectionate gratitude toward its defenders.

“And, rejoicing over the bow of promise we already see arching the storm-cloud of war, giving assurance that no deluge of secession shall again overwhelm or endanger our nation, we can join, with heart and soul, sincerely and trustingly, in the poet's prayer:

Now, Father, lay thy healing hand
In mercy on our stricken land;
Lead all its wanderers to the fold,
And be their Shepherd, as of old.

"So shall our nation's song ascend
To thee, our Ruler, Father, Friend;
While heaven's wide arch resounds again

With • Peace on earth, good will to men.'' “We go hence with our official labors ended, to the Senate Chamber and the portico of the Capitol, there, with the statue of the Goddess of Liberty looking down for the first time from her lofty pedestal on such a scene, to witness and participate in the inauguration of the Elect of the American people.

“And now, thanking you most truly for the approbation of my official conduct which you have recorded on your Journals, I declare the House of Representatives of the Thirty-eighth Congress of the United States adjourned sine die.

Note.-The following incident is so characteristic of Speaker Colfax, and so well illustrates that goodness of heart, and sweetness of disposition, for which he is distinguished, that, although perhaps out of place here, I cannot omit it. The last days of this session were, as such days always are, full of cares and perplexities, everything and everybody hurried, and impatient, yet through all, Colfax retained his amiability. On the last night of the Session, when going into .the Speaker's Room, I saw a basket of most beautiful flowers, marked : “Mrs. G., with the kind regards of Mr. Colfax." This lady was the wife of an officer of the House, who was very ill. This kind consideration, that did not forget the wife of a subordinate even in that last hurried night of the Session, shows an unselfish heart somewhat too rare among politicians.









THE armies of the Republic were not idle during the winter

of . , some of had South as to make the winter the most favorable period for a campaign. At Christmas, as has been stated, Sherman, with his confident, victorious army, was at Savannah. The remnants of Hood's discomfited and broken columns had been driven towards the Gulf by the well-organized, and triumphant army of Thomas. Grant, with the Grand Army of the Potomac, was tightening his grasp around Petersburg and Richmond, holding Lee with all his force, and ready to take advantage of any diminution of troops in his front.

The military operations of 1865 began with an expedition by a land and naval force combined, to reduce Fort Fisher, situated near the mouth of Cape Fear River, and which commanded the approach to Wilmington, North Carolina. This port had been a principal place of blockade running, and foreign trade, by the rebels during the war. After the

fall of Savannah, it became the principal gate through which supplies from abroad could be passed to the Confederates. The almost invulnerable works of the fort, were strongly garrisoned, for the enemy appreciated the importance of holding this position ; nevertheless, General Grant determined to reduce it. On the 13th of December a force of about 6,500 men, under General Butler, started from Fortress Monroe, to operate in conjunction with the naval force under Admiral Porter against Fort Fisher.

On the 24th of December, Admiral Porter attacked the fort, without waiting for the arrival of the land forces; but, after a bombardment of five hours duration, the Admiral withdrew his fleet. During the following night, General Butler's forces arrived, and on the 25th about 2,200 of the men were landed. The attack by the naval force was renewed. General Weitzel, who had the immediate command of the force on shore, captured two batteries, and some prisoners; but, after a careful examination of the ground and defences, he reported against the expediency of attempting to carry the place by assault. In the evening General Butler ordered the trooops to reëmbark, and notified Admiral Porter that he should sail for Ilampton Roads. General Grant, the administration, and the public, were greatly disappointed at the result of this expedition. But there was not a hearty coöperation between the land and naval force.

It was not usual for Grant to abandon an object deemed important, until it was accomplished. Learning that the fleet was still off Fort Fisher, he advised Admiral Porter to hold on, and that he would make another attempt to take the place. IIe selected General A. H. Terry to command the expedition, and about 1,500 men were added to those who made the former attempt. The expedition reached its destination on the evening of the 12th. The troops disembarked on the 13th of January; on the 16th the fort was assaulted, and after several hours' desperate fighting was captured with its garrison and armament. The Union force soon acquired entire control of Cape Fear River. For this gallant exploit, General Terry was made a Major General.

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