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CHAP. LXIII.] SUCCESS OF THE NAVAL OPERATIONS.
immense foreign commerce which was the very life of the industry and opulence of the vast region which it borders has practically ceased to exist."
Southern commerce no longer exists.
The secretary then reports that the navy has been organized into, (1), the North Atlantic squadron; (2), the South Atlantic squadron; (3), the Eastern Gulf squadron; (4), the Western Gulf squadron. These great squadrons were on the maritime frontier. Besides them, there were on the interior waters, (5), the Mississippi flotilla; (6), the Potomac flotilla.
A succinct account is then given of the expeditions undertaken and operations executed by these squadrons, the remark being premised that these were undertaken in addition to the unrelaxing labors of the blockade; the The Mississippi general result being that the Mississippi, the nearly opened. main artery of the great central valley of the Union, with its principal tributaries, embracing many thousand miles of inland navigation, which had been interrupted, was brought under control, except at Vicksburg. Nearly the entire sea-board of the board nearly seized. insurgent region, on its main points of commercial and strategic importance, from Norfolk and the outlet of the Chesapeake, through Roanoke, Newbern, and Beaufort, N. C., Port Royal, Tybee, Fernandina, Key West, Pensacola, to New Orleans and Galveston, is practically in our hands, held fast and irrecoverably under the guns of our navy, or else garrisoned and governed by military force.
The Atlantic sea
Referring then to the naval operations of the enemy, Naval operations the secretary says: "The rebel armed steamof the enemy. er Sumter, which, after committing depredations, was, at the date of my last report, fleeing to escape our cruisers, crossed the Atlantic. She was tracked to Gibraltar, where she has since remained, one of our cruisers
vigilantly guarding her from Algeziras. With this exception, no other armed vessel had plundered our commerce or inflicted injury on our countrymen until within a recent period, when a steamer known as 290, or Alabama, built and fitted out in England, her crew composed almost exclusively of British subjects, went forth to prey on our shipping. She has no register, no record, no regular ship's papers, no` evidence of transfer. Built in England, she was permitted by the authorities of that country to sail from one of their ports, though informed by the recognized official agents of this government of her character and purposes. As regards the development of the naval force of the Rapid development Republic, the secretary says: "When I entered upon the discharge of my public duties in March, 1861, there were but 42 vessels in commission, and but 76 then attached to the navy have been made available. Most of those in commission were abroad; and of the 7600 seamen in pay of the government, there were, on the 10th of March, 1861, but 207 men in all the ports and receiving-ships on the Atlantic coast to man our ships and protect the navy yards and dépôts, and to aid in suppressing the rising insurrection.
of the navy.
The Alabama, or 290.
DEVELOPMENT OF THE NAVY.
"Neither the expiring administration nor Congress, which had been in session until the 4th of March, had taken measures to increase or strengthen our naval power, notwithstanding the lowering aspect of our public affairs, so that when, a few weeks after the inauguration, I desired Its deficiencies at troops for the protection of the public property at Norfolk and Annapolis, or sailors to man and remove the vessels, neither soldiers nor sailors could be procured. There were no men to man our ships, nor were the few ships at our yards in a condition to be put into immediate service.
"The proclamation of April, placing our entire coast,
CHAP. LXIII.] CONDITION OF THE NAVY IN 1862.
taken to ren
from the mouth of the Chesapeake to the Rio Grande, under blockade, found us with a naval force, even were every vessel on our coast, inadequate to the work required. I have, in former reports, made full exposition of the steps which were promptly taken to recall our foreign squadrons, and the progress which had been made in augmenting our navy by repairing and der the navy for fitting, as expeditiously as possible, every available vessel owned by the government; by purchasing such others as could be made speedily useful in guarding our shallow and peculiar coast; and by rapidly constructing as many steamers as could be built at our navy yards, and employing, to the extent that we could procure materials, engines, and machinery, the resources of the country in adding others from private ship-yards. The result is that we have at this time afloat, or progressing to rapid completion, a naval force Condition of the consisting of 427 vessels, there having been navy at this time. added to those of the old navy, exclusive of those that were lost, 353 vessels, armed in the aggregate with 1577 guns, and of the capacity of 240,028 tons. The annals of the world do not show so great an increase in so brief a period to the naval power of any country.
"The appropriations made by Congress for the navy for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1862, were sions for it. upward of forty-three and a half millions of dollars; for the year ending June 30th, 1863, nearly fiftythree millions; and for the following year, June 30th, 1864, upward of sixty-eight millions."
PROGRESS OF THE ANTI-SLAVERY MOVEMENT.
The Republican party, attaining to power, was constrained by its position, and induced by its political sentiments, to adopt many anti-slavery measures, such as the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia, and its prohibition in the Territories.
President Lincoln, at his accession, considered it his chief duty to save the Union
without reference to slavery. Finding, however, that the slave question could not be avoided, he proposed plans of colonization and compensated emancipation. Military events by degrees rendering the abolition of slavery an unavoidable necessity, he at length issued a Proclamation of Emancipation.
THE anti-slavery measures of the government may be Classification of an- conveniently grouped under two heads: 1st. ti-slavery measures. Those originating in Congress; 2d. Those originating with the President.
On the retirement of the Southern members from ConAttitude of the Re- gress, the Republican party occupied a posi publican party. tion of irresistible influence in that body. In accordance with the principles laid down at its first Convention in Philadelphia (June, 1856), and reaffirmed at its second Convention in Chicago (May, 1860), it was not possible for it, in view of the assaults that the slave power was now making, to do otherwise than enter on a course of legislation aiming at the destruction of its antagonist.
With President Lincoln it was different. Though he Attitude of the was always true to the principles of the party which had placed him in his eminent position, he was compelled, from that very position, to regard things from a point of view of his own. With him the restoration of the Union, the integrity of the republic, was the primary, the great object.
CHAP. LXIV.] ANTI-SLAVERY MEASURES OF CONGRESS.
But, though thus the dominant power in Congress on the one hand, and the President on the other, had each a special intention, there was no conflict, nor even any misunderstanding between them. Each appreciated and strengthened the other.
1st. THE ANTI-SLAVERY MEASURES OF CONGRESS.
Among the measures taken by Congress, there are six Congressional anti- to which attention may be particularly di slavery measures. rected. They are: (1), the liberation of slaves used for insurrectionary purposes; (2), the prohi bition of persons in the army returning fugitive slaves; (3), the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia; (4), the prohibition of slavery in the Territories; (5), the employment of colored soldiers; (6), the Confiscation Act.
Mr. Henry Wilson, one of the senators from Massachusetts, who took a very prominent part in promoting the adoption of these measures, has given a record of them under the title of "History of the Anti-slavery Measures of the Thirty-seventh and Thirty-eighth United States Congresses." To that work I may refer the reader for details.
(1.) The liberation of slaves used for insurrectionary
Slaves used in the
From the commencement of hostilities the Confederates had employed their slaves in aid of military insurrection made purposes. The batteries which reduced Fort Sumter were constructed by negro hands; the labor of slaves lightened the toils of the rebel soldiers and augmented the power of rebel armies.
On the 6th of August, 1861, a bill was approved by the President making forever free all slaves so used. This was the only anti-slavery act passed at the extra session of Congress.
(2.) The prohibition of persons in the army returning fugitive slaves.