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less flame of renewed and never-ending fight. That sentence never came The people were left to themselves."

The Confederate President offered but little of counsel or encouragement to his distressed countrymen. He declared that the magnified proportions of the war had occasioned serious disasters, and that the effort was impossible to protect the whole of the territory of the Confederate States, sea-board and inland. To the popular complaint of inefficiency in the departments of the Government, he replied that they had done all which human power and foresight enabled them to accomplish. He lifted up, in conclusion, a piteous, beautiful, appropriate prayer for the favour of Divine providence.

But it is not to be supposed that the people of the Confederacy, although so little cheered or sustained by their rulers, despaired of the war. There were causes, which were rekindling the fiercest flames of war apart from official inspiration at Richmond. The successes of the enemy had but made him more hateful, and strengthened the South in the determination to have done with him forever. They found new causes of animosity; the war had been brought home to their bosoms; they had obtained practical lessons of the enemy's atrocity and his insolent design; and they came to the aid of their Government with new power and a generosity that was quite willing to forget all its short-comings in the past.

One great cause of animated resolution on the part of the Confederate States was the development at Washington of the design upon slavery, now advanced to a point where there could no longer be a doubt of the revengeful and radical nature of the war. The steps by which the Federal Government had reached this point were in a crooked path, and attended by marks of perfidy. It had indeed given to the world on this subject an astounding record of bad faith, calculated to overwhelm the moral sense of the reader as he compares its different parts and approaches its grand conclusion of self-contradiction the most defiant, and deception the most shameless.

Never had there been such an emphatic protest of a political design as that given by Mr. Lincoln on taking the reins of government, declaring that there was no possible intention, no imaginable occasion, no actual desire to interfere with the subject of negro slavery in the States. Mr. Seward, who had been constituted Secretary of State, and who had been Mr. Lincoln's mouth-piece in Congress before the inauguration, had declared there: "Experience in public affairs has confirmed my opinion that domestic slavery existing in any State is wisely left by the Constitution of the United States, exclusively to the care, management, and disposition of that State; and if it were in my power I would not alter the Constitution in that respect.” Words could scarcely be more distinct and emphatic; but Mr. Lincoln, in his inauguration address, had seen fit to add to them,



and, quoting from a former speech, announced to the country: "I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so."

This assurance was again repeated after the commencement of hostilities, as if there was the most anxious purpose to obtain the ear of the Southern people on the subject, and to impress the world with the just and moderate designs of the war. In his letter of April, 1861, to the Federal minister at Paris, intended as a diplomatic circular for the courts of Europe, and an authoritative exposition of the objects and spirit of the war on the Northern side, Mr. Seward, by direction of the President, wrote: “The condition of slavery in the several States will remain just the same, whether it succeeds or fails. The rights of the States, and the condition of every human being in them, will remain subject to exactly the same laws and form of administration, whether the revolution shall succeed or whether it shall fail. Their constitutions and laws and customs, habits and institutions in either case will remain the same. It is hardly necessary to add to this incontestable statement the further fact that the new President, as well as the citizens through whose suffrages he has come into the administration, has always repudiated all designs whatever, and wherever imputed to him and them, of disturbing the system of slavery as it is existing under the Constitution and laws. The case, however, would not be fully presented were I to omit to say that any such effort on his part would be unconstitutional, and all his acts in that direction would be prevented by the judicial authority, even though they were assented to by Congress and the people."

The first acts of the Federal authority in the active prosecution of the war, touching the institution of slavery, were busily conformed to these assurances. They even afforded an extravagant testimony of their sincerity. Fugitive slaves were not only arrested within the Federal military lines and returned to slavery, but were taken in the streets of Washington and returned, by judicial process, to their masters. On the 26th of May, 1861, Gen. McClellan issued an address to the people of Western Virginia, assuring them that not only would the Federal troops abstain from all interference with their slaves, but that they would crush any attempt at servile insurrection. Gen. McDowell issued an order forbidding fugitive slaves from coming into, or being harboured within his lines. When on the 31st of August, 1861, Gen. Fremont, in Missouri, issued an order declaring the negro slaves within his military department to be free men, it was instantly repudiated and nullified at Washington. At a later period, Gen. Hunter, commanding the Department of the South, issued an order putting the States of Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida under martial law, and declaring that, as slavery and martial law were incompatible, the

slaves in those States were forever free. Mr. Lincoln set aside this decla ration, and made it an occasion of rebuke to the pragmatical commander, who had thus attempted to extend to political objects the police regulations of armies and camps.

It is remarkable how this affectation of non-interference with slavery was laid aside by successive measures of the Federal Government, until at last it discovered its real purpose of the entire excision of slavery, and Mr. Lincoln fell into the arms of the extreme Abolition party, and adopted the doctrine that the opportunity was to be taken in the prosecution of hostilities to crush out slavery as the main cause of difference, and thus assure the fruit of a permanent peace. The first official display of antislavery sentiment in the war was in the extra session of Congress in July, 1861. Mr. Lovejoy, of Illinois, proposed a resolution, which was adopted, declaring that it was no part of the duty of Federal soldiers to capture and return fugitive slaves. This measure was apparently reasonable; but it was significant of a badly-disguised sentiment, the consequences of which were soon to be developed. Next to Lovejoy's resolution was that part of the Confiscation Act, which specially provided that any owner of a slave, or any person having a legal claim to his services, who should require or permit such slave to take up arms against, or be in any way employed in military or naval service against the United States, should thereby forfeit all claim to him, any law of a State or of the United States to the contrary notwithstanding.

The advance of the anti-slavery sentiment was now to be rapid and decisive. In the Thirty-seventh Federal Congress, which met at Washington in December, 1861, it accomplished three measures, which put the Government of Mr. Lincoln on the verge of committal to the entire doctrine of Abolitionists, and plainly informed the Southern people of the real animus of the war.

Naval and military officers were prohibited, by an additional article of war, under penalty of dismissal from the service, from employing the forces under their command for the purpose of returning fugitive slaves.

In accordance with the recommendation of the President, a joint resolution was passed, declaring that the United States ought to co-operate with any State which may adopt the gradual abolition of slavery, by giving pecuniary aid to such State.

The third step was the forcible abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia. By this act all persons held to service or labour within the District, by reason of African descent, were freed from all claim for such service or labour; and no involuntary servitude, except for crime, and after due conviction, should hereafter exist in the District.

It is not within the design of this chapter or within the period of time which it traverses, to follow further the record of the Washington Govern

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ment on the subject of slavery. The crowning act of deception was reserved for another time. But the record had already progressed far enough to assure the people of the South that the only safety for their domestic institutions was in a separate and independent political existence; that Northern faith was only a thing of convenience; that in the war the Con federates contended for no mere abstractions, but had at stake all their substantial rights and nearly every element of individual happiness.

There was a good deal of curious commentary in Southern newspapers how, step by step, the war of the North had changed its objects. But in a broad historical sense the explanation is obvious. History has shown that in all great civil commotions it is the most violent party, the party whose aim is most clearly defined, that gradually obtains the upper hand. It was thus that the Abolition party in the North gradually ascended, through four years of commotion and contest, and finally obtained the entire control of the war, and dictated its consequences.

We have referred to that public sentiment in the Southern Confederacy which about the time of the foundation of its Permanent Government came forward with fresh support of the war, and a new resolution for its prosecution. Happily, although this sentiment found but little encouragement on the part of President Davis, and was neither directed nor employed by him, it secured a medium of forcible expression and a channel of effective action through the new Confederate Congress summoned at Richmond. The measures of this Congress constitute the most critical and interesting pages of the Confederate annals. It is perhaps not saying too much to declare that the vigour of this body saved the Confederacy, rallied the strength of the country, and put on a hopeful footing a war which was languishing and almost in the last stages of neglect.

The Congress which preceded it--what is known as the Provisional Congress was perhaps the weakest body that had ever been summoned in a historical crisis. It was the creature of State conventions; it was elected at a time when most of the ambition and virtue of the country were seeking the honours of the tented field; it was composed of thirdrate professional politicians, who had no resources beyond the emoluments of office, who were in a constant intrigue for patronage, and who had no higher legislative training than that of a back-door communication with the Executive. The measures of this Congress must ever remain a stock for ridicule, or the theme of severer criticism. All its legislative ingenuity appears to have been to make feeble echoes to the Federal Congress at Washington. The latter authorized an army of half a million of men. The Provisional Congress at Richmond replied by increasing its army on paper to four hundred thousand men, but doing nothing whatever to collect such a force, and still relying on the wretched shift of twelve months' volunteers and raw militia. The Congress at Washington passed a sweeping

confiscation law. That at Richmond replied by a "sequestration" act, which, by corrupt amendments allowing the Confederate "heirs " of alien enemies to rescue and protect the property, was converted into a broad farce. It was announced with flourishes; it was said that it would sweep into the Confederate treasury three hundred millions of dollars. Two years after the passage of this law its actual results were summed up by the Treasurer of the Confederate States as less than two millions of dollars!

A short while before the expiration of its official life the Provisional Congress passed a law, the effect of which was almost to disband our armies in the field, and put the Confederacy at the mercy of the enemy. Never was there such a silly and visionary measure of demagogueism applied to the stern exigencies and severe demands of a state of war. The purpose was to persuade the twelve months' volunteers to re-enlist; and to do this Congress passed a law granting to those who pledged themselves to re-enlist for the term of the war a sixty days' furlough. This extraordinary measure was inspired by the military genius of President Davis, and was directly recommended by him. It depleted our armies in the face of the enemy; it filled our military commanders with consternation; it carried alarm, confusion, and demoralization everywhere. Our army near the line of the Potomac, under the effect of this ill-timed and ill-judged law, was melting like snow. The streets of Richmond were almost daily filled with long processions of furloughed soldiers moving from the railroad depots on their way home. Gen. Beauregard had taken the alarm before he left the Army of the Potomac, and had exhorted the men to stand by their colours. Gen. Johnston had published a general order on the subject, and said as much as he could say on this subject of the exodus without discovering to the enemy the fearful decrease of his numbers, and inviting an attack upon the thin military line that now formed the only defence of Richmond.

Such was the condition of affairs when the Congress of 1862 took up the thread of Confederate legislation. It at once broke it, and commenced a series of measures of startling vigour. Its most important act was the Conscription law of the 16th of April, 1862, from which properly dates the military system of the Confederacy. Previous to this the Confederacy had had nothing that deserved the title of a military system, and had relied on mere popular enthusiasm to conduct the war. When the suggestion was first made in the newspapers of Richmond of the harsh and unpopular measure of conscription, other journals, notoriously in the interest of the Administration, denounced it on the singular demagogical plea that it conveyed a reflection upon the patriotism of the country. Even in his inaugural address in February, President Davis had avoided the unpopu larity of a conscription law, and had passed over the difficult question with the general phrase that troops must be enlisted for long terms, instead

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