« PreviousContinue »
EXCULPATION OF GENERAL MCDOWELL.
itary administration from August, 1861, August his conduct was pronounced enwhen he entered on the command of ergetic, and free from any imputation of a division under General McClellan, an unworthy motive. In regard to “the through the period of his separation from charge of disloyalty made by an officer that officer, and his independent com- of the rank of colonel, after being fatally mand of the Department of the Rappa- wounded in battle : It was made in genhannock, to the last scenes of his cam- eral terms, without defining any specific paign with General Pope. His corres- act. The accuser is dead, and the court pondence with the enemy, and conduct does not feel at liberty to say more of it towards the inhabitants of the country than that it is utterly destitute of any occupied by his forces, were duly inves- foundation in fact ; that it is fully distigated and found irreproachable. His proved by all the evidence bearing on loyalty and sound discipline being thus the point, and that the dying officer who established, an old charge of drunkenness made it must have been the subject of was, in like manner, but more summarily, deplorable misapprehension, like many disposed of. Indeed, nothing could be others who have formed opinions from more ridiculous than this last instance of calumnious rumors and presumptions." popular misrepresentation, the General, a Indeed, the exculpation of General Mcman of singularly fine physique, and Dowell was thorough and complete.* sound healthi, habitually carrying temperance to abstemiousness. In the mili- * Findings and Opinions of the Court of Inquiry in the tary movements of the last days of 14, 1863
case of General McDowell. Washington, D. O., February
GEN. BUTLER'S DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF. NAVAL AND MILITARY EVENTS ON THE
MISSISSIPPI, AT VICKSBURG, BATON ROUGE AND ELSEWHERE. MAY-OCTOBER, 1862.
The military administration of Gen- ants, and their real welfare. The city eral Butler in New Orleans, narrated had long been the scene of mob violence, with all its appropriate details, would and this insulting action of the authorifurnish one of the most curious and ties, seeking to connect the rebellion with instructive lessons of the character, a sentiment of honor, was well calculated " the natural history" of the rebellion, to encourage the prevalent spirit of lawand its cost to the insurgents in the lessness. The army which had been exnecessities imposed upon the officers pelled had taken refuge in the neighborof the government for its suppression. ing country, and was ready, at any moThe attitude taken by the mayor and ment; on the first sign of weakness common council at the time of Com- within, to attempt the recapture of the modore Farragut's capture of the city, city. The situation required a military acknowledging their inability to defend, ruler of sagacity and determination ; a and yet refusing to surrender, and thus man of expedients, who would meet, on maintaining a contemptuous spirit of in- the instant, novel circumstances; one dependence, was most unfriendly to the who could and would contest faction, and pacific overtures made to the inhabit-suppress revolt in the bud ; whose personal energy and resources would sup- not to be “disturbed in person or propplement the small numbers of the limited erty, except so far under orders of the army left for the occupation of the con- commanding general as exigencies of the quered region. Such a man was found public service may render necessary”. in General Butler.
à condition which held them in a measure. His proclamation on entering upon the as hostages for the good behavior of administration, dated the 1st of May, an- others whom they might naturally be nounced the objects of the occupation— supposed to have the power or influence " to restore order, maintain public tran- to control. In view of the angry threats quillity, enforce peace and quiet under the which prevailed, it was declared that laws and Constitution of the United | "the killing of an American soldier by States." For this purpose, at the outset, any disorderly persons or mob, is simply the city was declared under martial law. assassination and murder, and not war." "Thrice before,” was the language of the The owner of the house where such murproclamation, “has the city of New Or- der shall be committed was to be held leans been rescued from the hands of a responsible, and the house to be liable to foreign government and still more calam-destruction. Civil causes were to be reitous domestic insurrection, by the money ferred to the ordinary tribunals ; all and arms of the United States. It has, others, in any way affecting the forces of late, been under the military control or laws of the United States, were to be of the rebel forces, and at each time, in submitted to the military court. By a the judgment of the commanders of the special provision Confederate bank notes military forces holding it, it has been were to be allowed for a time in circulafound necessary to preserve order and tion, the reason being given that their maintain quiet by an administration of suppression would cause great distress martial law. Even during the interim among the poorer classes who had no from its evacuation by the rebel soldiers other substitute for money; "such cirand its actual possession by the soldiers culation will be permitted so long as any of the United States, the civil authorities one will be inconsiderate enough to rehave found it necessary to call for the ceive them, until further orders.” This intervention of an armed body known as permission was formally withdrawn at the the 'European Legion,' to preserve the end of the month. No publication was public tranquillity. The commanding to be allowed of a seditious influence ; general, therefore, will cause the city to a censorship of the press was established be governed, until the restoration of the for the examination of all war articles United States authority and his further and correspondence. Local regulations orders, by martial law.” All persons in for the preservation of the peace of the arms were required to surrender them- city were prescribed in detail. The selves with their equipments ; all flags or proclamation, in fact, was an exceedingly devices in conflict with the authority of business-like document, of a direct practhe United States were suppressed: the tical character, with few or no generaliAmerican ensign, it was especially en- ties. The closing sentence intimated, joined, “must be treated with the utmost however, the writer's view of the situarespect by all persons under pain of se- tion : “While it is the desire of these vere punishment. A liberal amnesty was authorities to exercise this government offered to former adherents to the Con-mildly, and after the usages of the past, federate government, or who had been in it must not be supposed that it will not its service : on laying down their arms be vigorously and firmly administered as and separating themselves from the en- the occasion calls.” emies of the United States they were Before the proclamation could be pub
GENERAL BUTLER'S POLICY IN NEW ORLEANS.
lished one of its provisions was required as the banks, the property of the good to be enforced—that regulating the press. people of New Orleans, thus leaving them The newspapers of the city refused to to ruin and starvation.
to ruin and starvation. Fugitives from print it, when a guard was sent to the justice, many of them, and others, their office of the True Delta, with a band associates, staying, because too puerile of printers from the New England regi- and insignificant to be objects of punishments, who speedily put the document in ment by the clement government of the type for the next morning's issue of that United States. They have betrayed their journal.
country, they have been false to every One of the earliest duties of General trust. They have shown themselves inButler, was making provision for the capable of defending the State they have wants of the mechanics and working seized upon, although they have forced classes of the city who had been deprived every poor man's child into their service of employment by the rebellion. Their as soldiers for that purpose, while they necessities had to be supplied, and the made their sons and nephews officers. General, while looking round for the They cannot protect those whom they means of meeting them, hailed the oppor- have ruined, but have left them to the tune capture of a large quantity of stores mercies and assassinations of a chronic intended for the rebels in the field. This mob. They will not feed those whom he promptly ordered to be distributed to. they are starving. Mostly without propthe suffering classes, availing himself of erty themselves, they have plundered, the occasion to brand with scorching in- stolen, and destroyed the means of those vective the authors of the destitution, in who had property, leaving children pentheir work of disorganization of the na- niless and old age hopeless. Men of tional industry. “This hunger," said he, Louisiana, workingmen, property-holdin a general order on the 9th of May, ers, merchants, and citizens of the United "does not pinch the wealthy and influen- States, of whatever nation you may have tial, the leaders of the rebellion, who had birth, how long will you uphold have gotten up this war, and are now these flagrant wrongs, and, by inaction, endeavoring to prosecute it, without re- suffer yourselves to be made the serfs of gard to the starving poor, the working these leaders? The United States have man, his wife and child. Unmindful of sent land and naval forces here to fight their suffering fellow-citizens at home, and subdue rebellious armies in array they have caused or suffered provisions against her authority. We find, substanto be carried out of the city for the Con- tially, only fugitive masses, runaway federate service since the occupation by property owners, a whiskey-drinking the United States forces. Lafayette mob, and starving citizens, with their square, their home of affluence, was made wives and children. It is our duty to the depot of stores and munitions of war call back the first, to punish the second, for the rebel armies, and not of provi- root out the third, feed and protect the sions for their poor neighbors Striking last.
Striking last. Ready only for what we had not hands with the vile, the gambler, the prepared ourselves, to feed the hungry, idler, and the ruffian, they have de- and relieve the distressed with provistroyed the sugar and cotton which sions. But to the extent possible within might have been exchanged for food for the power of the commanding general it the industrious and good, and regrated shall be done." the price of that which is left, by discred- It was the policy of General Butler, iting the very currency they had furnish- as he said on his return to the North, " to ed, while they eloped with the specie ; as deal kindly with the workingmen;" and well that stolen from the United States, he found a return in their support. Within the first month of his administra- and all be respected.” This act of Gention, 14,000 of “those who compose the eral Butler became a subject of much inbone and sinew of New Orleans,” took terest in diplomatic correspondence. The the oath of allegiance. One thousand Honorable Reverdy Johnson, of Baltiwere employed every day in the im- more, was sent to New Orleans as a provement of the condition of the city, special commissioner, to examine in €) to the great benefit of its sanitary condi- the matter, and, on his report, the money tion, and the health of its inhabitants, was restored to its foreign claimants. which was preserved in an extraordinary To the consuls of Spain, France, Beldegree. No less than 34,000 persons gium, Greece, Italy, and Switzerland, on were daily fed at the government ex- a subsequent occasion protesting against pense. This large number was composed the order requiring the oath of allegiance of about 10,000 families, some 1,200 of from all persons desiring protection of whom were Americans, 4,000 British sub- their property, General Butler having and the rest French, Spanish, German, concluded his legal argument on the subItalian, etc. The fund for this outlay was ject, wrote : “Now, if any citizen or provided by assessments and confiscation foreigner, means to 'conceal rebellious of rebel property, which was diligently or traitorous acts against the United ferreted out to meet this and other re- States, in the sense above given, it will quirements of the public service. Cer- .be much more for his personal comfort tain wealthy cotton factors, who had ad- that he gets out of this department at vised the planters not to bring in their once. Indeed, gentlemen, if any subject cotton, “for the purpose of forcing for- of a foreign state does not like our laws, eign intervention,” were fined $350,000 or the administration of them, he has an for the relief fund, and 25 per cent was immediate, effectual, and appropriate assessed on "another set of men” who remedy in his own hands, alike pleasant had subscribed a million and a quarter of to him and to us; and that is, not to andollars for the defence of the city. A noy his consul with complaints of those large amount of specie, $800,000, was laws, or the administration of them, or seized on the 10th of May by order of his consul wearying the authorities with General Butler, at the office of the Con- verbose protests, but simply to go home sulate of the Netherlands. The money, - stay not on the order of his going, it was alleged, wrongfully held by the but go at once. Such a person came here Confederates for the purposes of the re- without our invitation ; he will be parted bellion, was placed there to protect it with without our regrets. But he must from the operation of the laws of the not have committed crimes against our United States. The person of the Con- laws, and then expect to be allowed to sul was subjected to some indignity in go home to escape the punishment of taking possession. This act brought out those crimes. I must beg, gentlemen, a protest from the consuls of France and that no more argumentative protests other European powers in the city, as a against my orders be sent to me by you violation of treaty rights, to which Gen- as a body. If any consul has anything eral Butler replied: "No person can ex- to offer for my consideration, he will ceed me in the respect I shall pay to the easily learn the proper mode of presentflags of all nations, and to the consulate ing it. It is no part of your duties or authority, even while I do not recognize your rights.' many claims made under them ; but I Another order of General Butler, iswish it most distinctly understood, that, sued on the 15th, a few days after the in order to be respected, the consul, his entrance of the Dutch consul's premises, office, and the use of his flag, must each | was productive of still greater animad
ORDER CONCERNING THE WOMEN OF NEW ORLEANS.
version. In the peculiar state of feeling He accordingly issued from headquarcausing and engendered by the rebellion, ters the following order No. 28: "As it had been the habit with a portion of officers and soldiers of the United States the female population of the South to ex- have been subject to repeated insults press their contempt for the United from women calling themselves ladies States officers who, in the course of the of New Orleans, in return for the most discharge of their public duties, visited scrupulous non-interference and courtesy their cities and towns. Many actions of on our part, it is ordered, hereafter, when this kind, in the nature of insults, were any female shall, by mere gesture or reported, from the very beginning of the movement, insult, or show contempt for war, at Baltimore, in Virginia, in Tennes- any officers or soldiers of the United see, and wherever the national troops States, she shall be regarded, and held penetrated at the South. Instances of liable to be treated, as a woman about rudeness, and positive insult, were con- town, plying her vocation.” The penal. stantly occurring. Of course, no lady ty to which such a “woman” was liable with a proper feeling of self-respect under the municipal regulations of the would seek to attract the attention of a city, was imprisonment in the calaboose ; stranger by any act of approval or cen- but it was with no design of inflicting sure, but there were many pursuing a punishment of this nature that the order contrary course, who had no hesitation in was issued. It was simply a species of going far beyond the bounds of delicacy, reductio ad absurdum, exposing the coninflamed by spite, or mortification, or a duct of the women in the strongest light, false sense of the service they were ren- and making it impossible, by making it dering their beloved rebellion. As a thoroughly disreputable. It was on the social grievance, the conduct of the sex same principle with the edict of a sovetowards the officers became, in many in- reign of Spain, who, finding his sumptustances, insupportable. They could not ary laws of no avail in checking the exappear in public without encountering travagance of the ladies of his kingdom, some unseemly word or gesture of con- decreed that a certain luxury of dress tempt. It was even carried to the ex- should be appropriated to courtezans. It tent of “deliberately spitting in the faces was a delicate remedy but it proved of the Union soldiers, and upon their uni- effectual.
Gen. Butler, who had given his Few persons, however, at the South, pledge in his proclamation that the nation in their unfriendly state of mind, were al flag should be respected "by all per- disposed to recognize the severe practical sons,” was not disposed to see his army--a humor of the order of General Butler. living embodiment of the flag--habitually They chose to take it up in the worst treated with insult. It was not politic, construction of which its somewhat unnor had he any inclination, to wage a guarded language was susceptible. Foreceaseless war with women ; but, the oc- most among these was Mayor Munroe, casion, he thought, demanded something who, since his extraordinary correspondto be done, and with characteristic bold- ence at the surrender of the city, had nesss and sagacity, he resolved to touch still continued to exercise the mutilated their pride by branding, in the most em- functions of his office. Immediately on phatic manner, their discreditable conduct. the publication of the obnoxious docuNamque, etsi nullum memorabile nomen,
ment, he addressed the following letter Feminca in pena est nec habet victoria laudem, to General Butler : “Sir-Your general Exstinxisse nefas tamen et sumsisse merentes Laudabor pænas.
order No. 28, is of a character so extra* New Orleans Correspondence of the New York Eren ordinary and astonishing that I cannot, ing Post, June 26, 1862.
holding the office of chief magistrate of