« PreviousContinue »
The conquest of the rebel fleet was followed by the immediate surrender of Forts Gaines and Powell. Fort Morgan still held out, but was immediately invested by General Granger. On the 22d an assault of the fort was commenced, and on the 23d, after a bombardment of twelve hours, in which about three thousand shells were thrown into it, this last of the rebel defences of the harbor of Mobile was surrendered unconditionally to our forces.
Nor was this the only success. General Sherman had been drawing his lines more closely around Atlanta, and Hood having made the mistake of sending off all his cav. alry upon a fruitless effort to destroy the communications between our army and Chattanooga, General Sherman took advantage of it to make a movement on the west of Atlanta towards the rear of Hood's army. Leaving one corps to defend our intrenched lines in front of the city, he threw the rest of his army upon the railroad to Macon, near West Point, upon the 30th of August, and thus cut Hood's army in two and defeated one portion of it at Jonesboro. Hood, finding that he was in danger of being cut off, blew up his magazines in Atlanta on the night of the 1st of September and retreated to the southeast, and on the 2d the Twentieth Corps, which had been left in our intrenchments, marched into the city and took possession, and General Sherman sent the message to Washington-“ Atlanta is ours and fairly won.”
Before receiving General Sherman's official report, the War Department had received news of the fall of Atlanta, and on the 2d, at eight P. M., Mr. Stanton telegraphed to General Dix, at New York, as follows:-
This department has received intelligence this evening that General Sherman's advance entered Atlanta about noon to-day. The particulars have not yet been received, but telegraphic communication during the night with Atlanta direct is expected.
It is ascertained with reasonable certainty that the naval and other credits required by the act of Congress will amount to about two hundred thousand, including New York, which has not yet been reported to this departnient; so that the President's call of July 10 is practically reduced to three hundred thousand men, to meet and take the place of
First-The new enlistments in the navy;
Third— The hundred-days troops and all others going out by expiration of service this fall.
One hundred thousand new troops promptly furnished are all that General Grant asks for the capture of Richmond and to give a finishing blow to the rebel arinies yet in the field. The residue of the call would be adequate for garrisons in forts and to guard all the lines of communication and supply, free the country from guerrillas, give security to trade, protect commerce and travel, and re-establish peace, order, and tranquillity in every State.
Edwin M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.
This close of General Sherman's campaign was greeted with the greatest exultation by all the people, and they heartily responded to the recommendations of the Thanksgiving Proclamation, which the President at once issued, and joined heartily in the thanks which he gave in the name of the nation to officers and men, and rejoiced in the salutes of one hundred guns which he ordered to be fired everywhere.
This proclamation and the orders issued were as fol. lows:
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON CITY, September 8, 1864. The signal success that Divine Providence has recently vouchsafed to the operations of the United States fleet and army in the harbor of Mobile, and the reduction of Fort Powell, Fort Gaines, and Fort Morgan, and the glorious achievements of the army under Major-General Sherman, in the State of Georgia, resulting in the capture of the city of Atlanta, call for devout acknowledgment to the Supreme Being in whose hands are the destinies of nations. It is therefore requested that on next Sunday, in all places of worship in the United States, thanksgivings be offered to Him for His mercy in preserving our national existence against the insurgent rebels who have been waging a cruel war against the Government of the United States for its overthrow, and also that prayer be made for Divine protection to our brave soldiers and their leaders in the field who have 80 often and so gallantly perilled their lives in battling with the enemy, and for blessings and comfort from the Father of mercies to the sick, wounded, and prisoners, and to the orphans and widows of those who have fallen in the service of their country, and that He will continue to aphold the Government of the United States against all the efforts of pablic enemies and secret foes.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, Septomber 8, 1864. The national thanks are tendered by the President to Admiral Farragut and Major-General Canby, for the skill and harmony with which the recent operations in Mobile Harbor and against Fort Powell, Fort Gaines, and Fort Morgan were planned and carried into execution. Also to Admiral Farragut and Major-General Granger, under whose immediate command they were conducted, and to the gallant commanders on sea and land, and to the sailors and soldiers engaged in the operations, for their energy and courage, which, under the blessing of Providence, have been crowned with brilliant success, and have won for them the applause and thanks of the nation.
EXECUTIVE Manston, September 3, 1864. The national thanks are tendered by the President to Major-General William T. Sherman and the gallant officers and soldiers of his command before Atlanta, for the distinguished ability, courage, and perseverance displayed in the campaign in Georgia, which under Divine power resulted in the capture of the city of Atlanta. The marches, battles, sieges, and other military operations that have signalized this campaign must render it fainous in the annals of war, and have entitled those who have participated therein to the applause and thanks of the nation.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, September 8, 1864. Ordered.--First.—That on Monday, the 5th day of September, commencing at the hour of twelve o'clock noon, there shall be given a salute of one hundred guns at the arsenal and navy-yard at Washington, and on Tnesday, the 6th of September, or on the day after the receipt of this order, at each arsenal and navy-yard in the United States, for the recent brilliant achievements of the fleet and land forces of the United States in the harbor of Mobile, and the reduction of Fort Powell, Fort Gaines, and Fort Morgan. The Secretary of War and the Secretary of the Navy will issue the necessary directions in their respective departments for the execution of this order.
Second.—That on Wednesday, the 7th day of September, commencing at the hour of twelve o'clock noon, there shall be fired a salute of one hundred guns
the arsenal at Washington, and at New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Pittsburg, Newport, Ky., and at St. Louis, and at New Orleans, Mobile, Pensacola, Hilton Head, and Newbern, the day after the receipt of this order, for the brilliant achievements of the army finder command of Major-General Sherman, in the State of Georgia, and the capture of Atlanta. The Secretary of War will give directions for the execution of this order.
THE POLITICAL CAMPAIGN OF 1864.
The PresidENTIAL ELECTION.—THE CLEVELAND CONVENTION.—The Con
VENTION AT BALTIMORE, MR. LINCOLN'S RENOMINATION AND ACCEPT-
THE American people were approaching another test of their capacity for self-government, in some respects more trying than any they had yet encountered. As the spring of 1864 was passing away, the official term of President Lincoln drew towards its close, and the people were required to choose his successor. At all times and under the most favorable circumstances, the election of a President is attended with a degree of excitement, which some of the wisest theorists have pronounced inconsistent with the permanent harmony and safety of a republican form of government. But that such an election should become necessary in the midst of a civil war, which wrapped the whole country in its flames and aroused such intense and deadly passions in the public heart, was felt to be foremost among the calamities which had menaced the land. The two great rebel armies still held the field. The power of their government was still unbroken. All our attempts to capture their capital had proved abortive. The public debt was steadily and rapidly increasing. Under the resistless pressure of military necessity, the Government, availing itself of the permissions of the Constitution, had suspended the great safeguard of civil freedom, and dealt with individuals whom it deemed dangerous to the public safety with as absolute and relentless severity as the most absolute monarchies of Europe had ever shown. Taxes were increasing ; new drafts of men
to fill the ranks of new armies were impending ; the Democratic party, from the very beginning hostile to the war and largely imbued with devotion to the principle of State Sovereignty on which the rebellion rested, and with toleration for slavery out of which it grew, was watching eagerly for every means of arousing popular hatred against the Government, that they might secure its transfer to their own hands; and the losses, the agonies, the desolations of the war were beginning, apparently, to make themselves felt injuriously upon the spirit, the endurance, the hopeful resolution of the people throughout the loyal States.
That under these circumstances and amidst these ele. ments of popular discontent and hostile passion, the nation should be compelled to plunge into the whirlpool of a political contest, was felt to be one of the terrible necessities which might involve the nation's ruin. That the nation went through it, with a majestic calmness up to that time unknown, and came out from it stronger, more resolute, and more thoroughly united than ever before, is among the marvels which confound all theory, and demonstrate to the world the capacity of an intelligent people to provide for every conceivable emergency in the conduct of their own affairs.
Preparations for the nomination of candidates had be gun to be made, as usual, early in the spring of 1864. Some who saw most clearly the necessities of the future, had for some months before expressed themselves strongly in favor of the renomination of President Lincoln. But this step was contested with great warmth and activity by prominent members of the political party by which he had been nominated and elected four years before. Nearly all the original Abolitionists and many of the more decidedly anti-slavery members of the Republican party were dissatisfied, that Mr. Lincoln had not more rapidly and more sweepingly enforced their extreme opinions. Many distinguished public men resented his rejection of their advice, and many more had been alienated by his inability to recognize their claims to office. The most