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two commanders--one old and honored, the other young and inexperienced. The President called in person upon the venerable commander. He addressed a kind and conciliatory letter to McClellan, who replied, desiring to withdraw the letter he had written reflecting upon Scott. General Scott received a second letter from McClellan, which he regarded as offensive.
General McClellan was subordinate to General Scott, but he made no report of his proceedings. He consulted with members of the Cabinet, and not with his superior commander. “He is,” wrote Scott to the Secretary of War, “in frequent conversation with portions of the Cabinet on matters pertaining to me.
That freedom of access and consultation have, very naturally, deluded the junior into a feeling of indifference towards his senior. With such supports on his part, it would
be as idle for me as it would be against the dignity of my years to be filing daily complaints against an ambitious junior."
The request of General Scott to be placed upon the retired list was granted. The President and Cabinet waited upon him in a body at his residence to pay their respects to one who had rendered great service to his country. With his retirement General McClellan became commander of the great army assembling at Washington.
A fleet under Commodore Stringham sailed from Fortress Monroe southward to Hatteras Inlet and rained shells upon the Confederate
fortifications at that point, compelling their surrender. General
Butler, with a body of troops, took possession, thus closing the passage to vessels from England, which had been furnishing the Confederates with supplies, and it enabled the Union fleets to gain access to Pamlico and Albermarle sounds.
General Butler received a letter from the President, who desired to
“You are out of a job, general,” said Mr. Lincoln. “Now, if we only had the troops, I would like to send an expedition either against Mobile, New Orleans, or Galveston. But the regiments are filling up slowly.”
“Mr. President, you have given me leave to tell you wherein I differ from the Administration," said Butler. “In one thing you are making this too much a party war. That, perhaps, is not the fault of the Administration, but the result of political conditions. All Northern Governors are Republicans, and they, of course, appoint only their Republican friends as officers of regiments, who, of course, only recruit Republicans. Now this war cannot go on as a party war; you must get Democrats into it, and there are thousands of patriotic Democrats who would go into it if they could see any opportunity to do so on equal terms with the Republicans. Besides, it is not good politics. An election is coming on for Congressmen next year, and if you get all the Republicans sent out as soldiers, and the Democrats not interested, I do not see but you will be beaten."
“ There is meat in that, general. What is your suggestion ?”
“Empower me to raise volunteers and select the officers, and I will go to New England and raise a division of six thousand men in sixty days. If you will give me the power to select the officers, I shall choose all Democrats."
“Draw such an order as you want, but don't get me into a scrape with the Governors about the appointment of the officers if you can help it.("")
The order was drawn and signed. One month later an expedition under General Butler was on its way to New Orleans to take possession of that city.
The Union men of Maryland informed the Government that the secession members of the Legislature intended to vote the State out of the Union at an adjourned session. Attorney - general Bates had given an elaborate opinion as to the power of the President to make arbitrary arrests of persons contemplating treason, and also to suspend the writ of habeas corpus. It was the duty of the President to prevent
the contemplated action. General McClellan was directed to arrest the members.
“When they meet,” read McClellan's order to General Banks,“ you will please have everything prepared to arrest the whole party, and be sure that none escape."
The order was enforced, the members arrested, their plans overturned. “I believe," said Governor Hicks, " that it saved the State from destruction."
NOTES TO CHAPTER XIV.
(1) James Murray Mason was born in Fairfax County, Va., 1798. He was educated at the University of Pennsylvania. Studied law; was member of Congress, 1837-39 ; elected United States Senator, 1847. He remained in the Senate till 1861. When Virginia seceded he did not resign, but used his position to aid the Confederates, for which he was expelled the following July. He was appointed diplomatic agent of the Confederacy to England. Sailed with Mr. Slidell from Charleston to Nassau ; took passage on the steamer Trent, from which he was taken by Commodore Wilkes, commanding the San Jacinto, and confined in Fort Warren, in Boston Harbor. He was released by President Lincoln, and delivered to an English vessel. He presented his credentials to Lord John Russell, Secretary of English Foreign Affairs, but could only be recognized as a private gentleman. After the war he returned to the United States, and died at Alexandria, Va., 1874.- Author.
(?) Reverdy Johuson was born at Annapolis, Md., 1796. He studied law, and was admitted to the bar of Maryland at the age of 19. He served in the Senate of the United States 1845–49. He was a Wbig in politics, and upon the accession of Zachary Taylor to the Presidency was appointed Attorney-general. Mr. Johnson was regarded as one of the foremost lawyers of the country. He was Senator during President Lincoln's term in Congress. They were opposing counsel in the celebrated McCormick reaper case, in which Mr. Lincoln expected to take conspicuous part, but from which he was excluded by Edwin M. Stanton. Mr. Johnson was delegate to the Peace Conference. He was again in the Senate from 1863 to 1868.--Author.
(3) Thomas Holliday Hicks, born 1798, in Dorchester County, Md., was a farmer. He served many terms in the Legislature, and was Governor of the State from 1858 to 1862, and served in the United States Senate froin 1862 to 1867. He was loyal to the Union, but had a difficult part to perform. By his prudence the Secessionists were thwarted, and the State saved to the Union.-Author,
(*) Lieutenant William T. Nelson was born in Maysville, Ky., 1825. Entered the pavy 1840, was at the siege of Vera Cruz during the war with Mexico. His outspoken loyalty led the President to appoint him a brigadier-general in the army. He commanded a division under General Buell. He reached the battle-field of Sbiloh at a critical hour and rendered efficient service. In an unfortunate quarrel with General Jefferson C. Davis he received a wound from which he died, September 29, 1862.—Author.
(5) Joshua F. Speed was born near Lonisville. He emigrated to Springfield, Ill., and opened a store. He early became a friend to Abraham Lincoln. He was successful in business, and returned to Louisville and became a prominent citizen. His great friendship for Mr. Lincoln and his intense patriotism made bim a central figure among the Union men of Kentucky. Several years after the death of the President he gave a
lecture which is replete with information relative to the early manhood of Mr. Lincoln. -Author.
() Edward Bates, Attorney-general, was born in Virginia, 1793. He was of Quaker descent. He was educated at Charlotte Hall, Md. In 1814 he emigrated to Missouri, and began the practice of law in St. Louis. He was elected Attorney-general of the State, 1820. He became member of Congress, 1826 — serving one term. President Fillmore appointed him Attorney - general of the United States, 1850, but the appointment was respectfully declined. He was outspoken in his denunciation of the attempt to force slavery upon Kansas. The Republicans of Missouri presented his name as a candidate for the Presidency at the Chicago Convention.-Author.
(*) Francis P. Blair, second son of Francis Blair, was one of the founders of the Republican Party in Missouri. He comprehended the plans of the Secessionists, and took radical and energetic measures to thwart them. He was appointed major-general by the President, and was selected by General Sherman to command an army corps in the March to the Sea. He was elected to Congress; although serving in that body, he retained bis commission in the military service, which subjected him to much criticism. He was patriotic and brave, and efficiently aided the cause of the Union.—Author.
(8) L. E. Chittenden, “ Recollections of Abraham Lincolu,” p. 213.