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Regiment, dispatched by wise forethought, arrived at Fortress Monroe (soon after reinforced by the First Vermont, under Col. Phelps), and secured a permanent occupation of that strong position in the Old Dominion, which had now become (without waiting for the consummation of the farce of a popular vote under duress) the eighth State of the Rebel Confederacy
During this brief period—at the close of a week of unprecedented excitement at Washington and of loyal enthusiasm throughout the country-carnest appcals were made to the President by prominent Marylanders to stop all attempts to transport troops through that State to the National Capital. His prompt reply set all such petitions at rest. The usual thoroughfares, meanwhile, had been obstructed. Treason hoped the work was already accomplished, and relief cut off. Timorous or hesitating men feared that the effort would be useless. But the purpose of Mr. Lincoln was not for an instant shaken. The route by Annapolis was opened by Gen. Butler and his Massachusetts force, and on the 25th of April troops from the North began to pour into Washington, relieving all immediate anxiety. The people had nobly responded. The "great uprising was an assured event.
Toward the veteran Lieutenant-General of the Army all eyes were turned as the fit organizer and leader of the Government forces. His counsels were potent, necessarily, in the formation of plans suited to the juncture. Compelled to resort to force by armed aggressive rebellion, the foremost purpose was strictly a defensive one. To protect the capital first of allfor in the flush of triumph over the reduction of Fort Sumter, the determination to take Washington, a city surrounded by territory claimed as destined to form part of the Confederacy, was boldly avowed, alike by the Rebel Secretary of War and by the organs of public opinion every-where in the insurrectionary States--was the object aimed at by the President, and energetically undertaken by Gen. Scott. Secondary to this, and a labor for the future, was the reoccupation and re-possession of Federal forts and Federal property already seized by the Rebels, and the retention of such as were threatened, as
distinctly promised by the President in his inaugural address forcibly now, since the peaceable alternative was no longer possible. The blockade by sea, and a defensive campaign by land, were the immediate steps recommended by the General-inChief and adopted by the Administration.
On the 27th of April the following announcement of new Military Departments and Commanders was made by Adj.Gen. Thomas : 1. The Department of Washington, including the District of Columbia, according to its original boundary, Fort Washington and the adjacent country, and the State of Maryland as far as Bladensburgh, inclusive; under the command of Gen. Joseph K. F. Mansfield-headquarters at Washington. 2. The Department of Annapolis, including the country for twenty miles on each side of the railroad from Annapolis to the city of Washington, as far as Bladensburgh ; under the command of Gen. B. F. Butler-headquarters at Annapolis. 3. The Department of Pennsylvania, including that State, the State of Delaware, and all of the State of Maryland not embraced within the Departments first named; under command of Gen. Robert Patterson - headquarters at Philadelphia, "or any other point he may temporarily occupy." This organization of Departments indicates the field of contemplated military operations in the East. The Department of Washington extended no further southward than the old limits of the District of Columbia, an extension into Virginia only for the obvious purpose of including Alexandria and Arlington Heights, as essential to the defenses of the capital.
To these Departments were added a fourth, on the 10th day of May, including the States of Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, under the command of Gen. George B. McClellan-headquarters at Cincinnati. This Department was also manifestly organized with a view to the maintenance of a defensive line, on the Ohio river, from Wheeling to Cairo. During the first week succeeding the fall of Fort Sumter, indications were apparent which led the people along this extended line-and particularly at Cincinnati and Cairo, deemed especially vulnerable points—to desire some efficient preparation to repel any Rebel advance. The debatable ground of Kentucky was early cov.
eted as a field for military occupancy by the confident insurgents. The Governor of that State was in open sympathy with the rebellion, and, under the guise of neutrality which even the most loyal of her citizens seemed for a time to acquiesce in as the wisest expedient, was believed to be preparing to subject the State to Rebel domination. Across this middle territory, by the Covington and Lexington Railroad, on the one hand, and by the Mississippi river, from Columbus and Paducah, on the other, an invasion of Ohio or Illinois was reasonably apprehended. That sympathizers and complotters with the Montgomery leaders were eagerly designing and ready to aid such invasion, in both sections of Kentucky, was well understood.
It was from the wish for prompt and decisive action in securing this defensive Mne, which involved the occupation of all necessary points on the Kentucky side of the river commanding the north bank of the Ohio, just as the possession of the hights south of the Potomac, near Washington, was essential to the defense of that city, that the appointment of Gen. McClellan by Gov. Dennison, of Ohio, as Commander of the Volunteer Militia of that State, was made. This was earnestly desired, especially by influential citizens of Cincinnati, where McClellan had been quietly residing during the previous year or two, charged with responsible duties in the management of an important railroad. It was known that he had a military education and that he was an experienced engineer, which latter quality specially commended him to the favor of those who were anxious for the protection of the city. To render this appointment efficient, by giving him authority to pass the limits of Ohio and to occupy the hights on the Kentucky side of the river, his appointment, by the Federal Government, to a position in the regular army was strenuously urged, and ere long secured. In assigning him so large an area as his Department, its contemplated reorganization at an early day was distinctly announced.
It was also on the 10th day of May that the Rebel Secretary of War issued his order, at Montgomery, directing Gen. Robert E. Lee to assume command of the “ forces of the Con. federate States in Virginia.”
Of the eight Slave States which had stood aloof from the Montgomery Confederacy at the outset, Virginia had nominally entered into an alliance with that pretended Government, as already seen, and practically joined the insurrection, in advance of the promised popular vote. Tennessee and Arkansas followed this example on the 6th of May, and North Carolina (her rulers being previously in practical alliance), on the 20th. Maryland, Missouri and Kentucky, as the event proved, were saved from this suicidal conduct, not without the aid of Federal arms. Delaware remained true.
On the 29th of April the blockade was extended, in accordance with a proclamation of the President, so as to embrace the ports of Virginia and North Carolina, owing to rebellious acts in those States, antecedent to their pretended secession, yet clearly pointing to such an event as practically determined. Jefferson Davis, on the same day, having hastily convened his “ Confederate Congress to make provision for more effective hostilities, submitted his message to that body, containing an elaborate attempt to justify the war that had been precipitated upon the country, appealing to slaveholding interest and prejudice, and instigating a united and zealous prosecution of the
He recognized, solely, the issue of slavery as the one cause which had led to the outbreak. As to the mode of action pursued by the Rebel leaders, he distinctly claimed that the Constitutional right of secession had been steadily maintained by “ the Democratic party of the United States," and urged its pledges "that it would faithfully abide by and uphold ” those principles, as they were “laid down in the Kentucky and Vir: ginia Legislatures of 1799," and its adoption of "those principles as constituting one of the main foundations of its political creed." (How vain this appeal, let the prompt and cordial action of such Democrats as Douglas, Andrew Johnson, B. F. Butler, Daniel S. Dickinson, Lewis Cass, and hundreds of other faithful leaders in the ranks of their party testify.
The reorganized party, assuming the Democratic name, at a later day, under the auspices of Vallandigham, Richardson, Wood, Cox and their compeers, may perhaps as heartily, though not ag openly, indorse this exposition of the Democratic" faith, as
it directly sustains the allegation of Davis that Northern aggressions are the cause of the war.)
The Rebel champion further asserts that these “principles were maintained by overwhelming majorities of the people of all the States of the Union at different elections, especially in the election of Mr. Jefferson, in 1805, Mr. Madison, in 1809, and Mr. Pierce in 1852.” Equally veracious are his narratives of the impudent efforts of Crawford and his associates to make an appearance of negotiating for peaceable separation, and of the events immediately preceding the attack on Fort Sumter, with a view to rid himself of the terrible responsibility of inaugurating a war that must consign his name to lasting infamy. He boasts of his attempt to organize piracy on the high seas, by assuming the power of issuing letters of marque and reprisal, without a shadow of right under international laws, even conceding his claim of a national existence for his pseudo-Confederacy. He expresses his entire confidence " that, ere you [the 'Confederate Congress '] shall have been many weeks in session, the whole of the Slaveholding States of the late Union will respond to the call of honor and affection, and by uniting their fortune with ours, pr ote our common interests and secure our common safety." He speaks of “the rapid development of the purpose of the President of the United States to invade our soil, capture our forts, blockade our ports, and wage war against us,” and refers to the report of the “Confederate" Secretary of War “for a full history of the occurrences in Charleston harbor, prior to and including the bombardment and reduction of Fort Sumter, and of the measures subsequently taken for common defense, on receiving the intelligence of the declaration of war” (so this scrupulous personage
chooses to say) “ against us by the President of the United States." He gives the number of his troops “now in the field at Charleston, Pensacola, Forts Morgan, Jackson, St. Philip, and Pulaski,” as 19,000 men, with 16,000 more “now en route for Virginia." He adds: “It is proposed to organize and hold in readiness for instant action, in view of the present exigences of the country, an army of 100,000 men;" and declares that volunteers
are constantly tendering their services far in excess