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1874, May 7. Fist of Hm. T. Fifer, of Cambridge. (36.26.1874)
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1865,
BY L. STEBBINS,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the
In the following pages it has been attempted to give a succinct and authentic narrative of the war against the American Union, which, commencing practically with the secession of South Carolina in the autumn of 1860, in consequence of the election of Mr. Lincoln, terminated a few weeks after the second inauguration of the same chief magistrate. Although the period embraced within these limits comprises less than four and a half years, yet so prolific were these years of great events and great ideas, so radical were the social and political changes which they involved, so numerous the civil and military chiefs they brought into public notice, that a single volume may appear inadequate to describe the History of the Great Rebellion. Undoubtedly to another age and to another generation of writers belongs the elaborate treatment of special episodes of the struggle. Passion must also become cool, prejudices be softened, and the light of truth illumine many passages, at present obscure, before effects can be traced to their proper causes, and such a history be written as will bear the unmistakable imprint of accuracy and impartiality; and few, probably, who read these pages, will live to see that time. Our materials at present are like the direct evidence educed at a trial-the cross-examination has not yet been had. Meanwhile, however, a work which shall refresh and re-enforce the memory, bewildered by the rapid march of events, and give a clear outline of what these
wonderful four years and a half have brought forth, to be filled out by materials which the future alone can furnish. may not be undesirable. Such the present volume assumes to be; and it is confidently believed that no important civil or military event will be found to have been omitted from its pages. To the writer of contemporaneous history little opportunity is presented for philosophic generalization, and the author has gladly avoided speculations, which, from the necessity of the case, could only be crude and premature, contenting himself for the most part with recording facts. and leaving the reader to draw his own inferences. That his narrative has been written from a Union point of view will be sufficiently apparent, and for that circumstance he neither desires to apologize nor expects that an apology will be required. The sources of his information have been, wherever obtainable, official documents, and particularly the reports of generals who have conducted active operations in the field, or whose position has enabled them to describe such operations with accuracy. Where materials of this nature were not to be obtained, free use has been made of the voluminous and often graphic narratives of the army correspondents of the daily press-a branch of literature to which the war has given a surprising development, and which must be largely referred to by future historians.
Secession determined upon by Southern Leaders.-Treachery of Cabinet Officers.-Division of
the Democratic Party.-Election of Mr. Lincoln.-The John Brown Raid. "The Impending
Crisis" and the Compendium."-Movements for Secession in the Cotton States...........
South Carolina Convention.-Ordinance of Secession and Declaration of Causes.-Resolutions for
Convention of Seceded States-Mississippi Convention.-Alabaina Convention.-Florida Ordi-
nance.-Seizure of Forts.-Georgia's Resolution in response to New York.-Ordinance of Seces-
sion.-Louisiana Convention.-Texas Convention.-Vote of the People.-General Houston.-
Virginia Resolutions.-Ordinance of Secession.-Convention with the Confederacy.-Arkansas.
-Secession defeated.-North Carolina Ordinance passed.-Tennessee Act of Independence.-
Military League.-Maryland Resolutions.-Confederate Congress.-Constitution.-Jefferson
Meeting of Congress-President's Message.-Resignation of Secretaries Cobb, Cass. Floyd, and
Thompson-Defalcations.-Special Message of the President-Committee of Thirty-three.-
Crittenden Resolutions.-Border States' Plan.-Virginia Resolutions.-Peace Convention.--
Close of Congress.-New Territories.-Finance.-Constitutional Amendment.-Mr. Lincoln's
Arrival at Washington.-Inaugural; its Effects.-Southern Commissioners.-Supplies to Fort
Sumter.-Policy of the Governinent.-Charleston Harbor.-Events at the South.-Bombard-
ment and Surrender of Fort Sumter.-Fort Pickens Re-enforced..........
Effect of the Fall of Sumter.-Call for Seventy-five Thousand Troops, and Replies of States-Con-
gress Convened.-Destruction of Property at Norfolk.-Effect of the Proclamation at the North.
-Baltimore Riot.-March of Troops to Washington.-The Position of Maryland.-Proceedings
Confederate Congress.-Davis's Message.-Virginia-Beauregard's Proclamation.-Border States'
Troops concentrated at Washington.-Popular Impatience.-Occupation of Alexandria.-Opera-
Occupation of Fortress Monroe.-Engagement at Big Bethel.-Increase of Army.-Army Organi-
zation. - Want of Arms.-Advance to Centreville.-Bull Run......................
Missouri.-Capture of State Troops.-Booneville.-Carthage.-Shenandoah Valley.-Patterson
Crosses the Potomac.-Bunker Hill.-Campaign in Western Virginia-Philippi.-Laurel Hill.
-Rich Mountain.-Beverly.-Western Virginia cleared of Rebels.-McClellan transferred to
Effect of the Battle of Bull Run.-Confederate Congress.-Davis's Message.-Privateering.-Affairs
in Missouri.-Commissioners to Europe.-Southern Armies and Finances......
Meeting of Congress.-President's Message.-Naval and Military Affairs.-Estimates for Year.-
Senators expelled.-Acts passed.-Confiscation.-Operations of the Treasury.-The Different
Loans Authorized.-Difficulties of the Government.-Habeas Corpus.-The Press-Newspapers
Kentucky.-Vote of the State.-Meeting of Legislature.-Message of Governor.-Kentucky for the
Union.-Breckinridge's Proclamation. -Military Movements.-Cairo.-Columbus, its Position
and Strength.-Paducah-Concentration of Troops.-Mill Spring.-Defeat and Death of Zolli-
coffer.-Construction of Gunboats.-Capture of Fort Henry.-Bowling Green Evacuated.-Fort
Donelson.-Escape of Pillow and Floyd.-Fall of Nashville.-Columbus Evacuated.-Missouri
Strength of the Navy.-Blockade.-Captures by the Navy.-Large Increase of Ships of War.-Right
of Blockade.-Propositions of the American Government.-Action of England and France.-
Privateers.-The Sumter.-The Nashville.-Trial of Privateers.-Laws of Piracy.-Retaliation
Modern Art of War.-Great Wars of Europe.-New Principles.-"Strategy."-"Tactics."-Forma-
tion of Soldiers.-Education of Officers.-Scientific Aspect of the Present War.-McClellan's
Order. Restoration of Discipline.-Army Organization.-Inactivity of the Enemy.-His Pro-
jects.-Hatteras Occupied.-General Fremont in Missouri.-Battle of Dug Springs.-Battle of
Wilson's Creek.-Death of Lyon.-Retreat of the Army under Sigel-Martial Law.-Position
of Forces-Colonel Blair's Charges.-Fremont's Proclamation.-Manumission.-Capture of
Lexington.-Advance of Fremont.-Retreat of Price.-Major Zagonyi.-Fremont Relieved.... 13
Affairs in Western Virginia-General Rosecrans-Oppression by General Wise.-Population of
Western Virginia-The Confederate Troops.-Gauley Bridge.-Kanawha Expedition.-Rose-
erans's Command.-Proclamation.-General Lee.-Elk River.-Cheat Mountain.-General Rey-
nolds-His Command.-Carnifex Ferry.-The Battle.-General Benham.-Retreat of the
Enemy.-Dogwood Gap.-Big Sewall.-General Floyd.-General Keynolds.-Green River.-
Improved Efficiency of the Navy.-Expeditions.-Port Royal-The Fleet.-The Assault-Troops
Landed.-Proclamation.-Stone Fleet.-Ship Island.-General Butler.-Proclamation of Gen-
eral Phelps.-Burnside's Expedition.-Fort Pickens.-Galveston.-Combat on the Mississippi.
Army of the Potomac.-Volunteers-Union Advance.-Lewinsville.-Ball's Bluff.-General Scott
Retires-McClellan in Command.-Dranesville.-Programme of Movement.-President's