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na nad broken out between the United States and Mexico, and volunteers from all parts of the South were flocking to the defince of their country's flag. Mr. Jefferson Davis, of Mississn,pi, bred a soldier, who, like Mr. Price, was serving his first term in Congress, resigned his seat about the same time, and was soon marching at the head of a Mississippi regiment to the field, from which he was destined to return loaded with many honors. So, too, did a brave Missouri regiment call to its head her own son, who had just doffed his civil robes to enter & new and untried field of duty and honor. The regiment to which Col. Price was attached was detailed for duty in what is now the Territory of New Mexico. It was by his own arns that that province was subdued, though not with. out several brilliant engagements, in which he displayed the same gallantry that has so distinguished himn in the present contest.
Soon after the close of the Mexican war, a violent political excitement broke out in Missouri. The slavery agitation had received a powerful impetus by the introduction into Congress of the Wilmot Proviso and other sectional measures, whose avowed object was to exclude the South from any portion of the territory which had been acquired principally by the blood of Southern soldiers. The people of the South became
. justly alarmed at the spread of Abolitionism at the North, and no people were more jealous of any encroachment upon the rights of the South than the citizens of Missouri, a majority of whose leading statesmen were as sound on the slavery question as those of Virginia or South Carolina. In order to cause Col. Benton, who had become obnoxious to a large portion of the Democratic party by his course on the Texas question, the Wilmot Proviso, and other measures of public policy, to resign his seat, and for the purpose of casting the weight of the State against the surging waves of Abolitionism, a series of resolutions, commonly known as the “ Jackson resolutions," was introduced into the Senate at the session of 1848-9, by Claiborne F. Jackson, the present governor of Missouri, which passed both houses of the General Assembly. These resolutions were substantially the same as those introduced the year before, by Mr. Calhoun, into the Senate of the United States. From the Legislature Col. Benton appealed to the people, and
made a vigorous canvass against the Jackson resolutions through out the whole State, marked by extraordinary ability and bit terness towards their author and principal supporters. The sixth resolution, which pledged Missouri to “co-operate with her sister States in any measures they might adopt,” to defend their rights against the encroachments of the North, was the object of his special denunciation and his most determined opposition. He denounced it as the essence of nullification, and ransacked the vocabulary of billingsgate for coarse and vulgar epithets to apply to its author and advocates. But his herculean efforts to procure the repeal of the resolutions proved abortive. Colonel Benton was defeated for the Senate the next year by a combination of Democrats and State Rights Whigs; and the Jackson resolutions remain on the statute book unrepealed to this day. Their author is governor of the State; their principal supporters are fighting to drive myrmidons of Abolitionism from the soil of Missouri ; and how nobly the State has redeemed her pledge to “co-operate with her sister States," the glorious deeds of her hardy sons, who have fought her battles almost single-handed, who have struggled on through neglect and hardship and suffering without ever dreaming of defeat, afford the most incontestible evidence.
In the canvass of 1852, the Anti-Benton Democrats put forward Gen. Sterling Price as their choice for the office of
governor, and the Bentonites supported Gen. Thomas L. Price, at that time lieutenant-governor, and now a member of Lincoln's Congress and a brigadier-general in Lincoln's army. The Anti-Bentonites triumphed, and the nomination fell on Gen. Sterling Price, who, receiving the vote of the whole Democratic party, was elected by a large majority over an eloquent and popular whig, Colonel Winston, a grandson of Patrick Henry.
The administration of Gov. Price was distinguished for an earnest devotion to the material interests of Missouri. At the expiration of his term of office, he received a large vote in the Democratic caucus for the nomination for United States senator, but the choice fell on Mr. James Green.
In the Presidential election of 1860, in common with Major Tackson, who was the Democratic candidate for governor, and a number of other leading men of his party, Ex-Governos
Price supported Mr. Douglas for the Presidency, on the ground that he was the regular nominee of the Democratic party. He moreover considered Mr. Douglas true to the institutions of the South, and believed him to be the only one of the candidates who could prevent the election of the Black Republican candidate. The influence of these men carried Missouri for Douglas.
Upon the election of Abraham Lincoln, the Border States were unwilling to rush into dissolution until every hope of a peaceful settlement of the question had vanished. This was the position of Missouri, to whose Convention not a single Secessionist was elected. Governor Price was elected from his district as a Union man, without opposition, and, on the assembling of the Convention, was chosen its President. The Convention had not been in session many weeks before the radi. calism of the Black Republican administration, and its hostility to the institutions of the South, became manifest to every unprejudiced mind. The perfidy and brutality of its officers in Missouri were particularly observable, and soon opened the eyes of the people to the true objects of the Black Republican party. The State authorities decided upon resistance to the Federal government; the Governor issued his proclamation for volunteers; and of the forces raised under this call, who were denominated the Missouri State Guard, Governor Price was appointed major-general, and took the field.
The period of history has scarcely yet arrived for a full appreciation of the heroic virtues of the campaign in Missouri, especially as illustrated in the character of the chieftain whom no personal jealousies could distract or unmerited slights turn from the single course of duty and devotion to his country. He had given the government at Richmond a valuable, but distasteful lesson in the conduct of the war. He did not settie down complacently into one kind of policy, refusing to advance because he was on the defensive, but he sought the enemy wherever he could find him, fought him when ready, and retreated out of his way when not prepared. His policy was both offensive and defensive, and he used the one which might be demanded by the exigencies of his situation. He was some thing better than a pupil of West Point-he was a general by nature, a beloved commander, a man who illustrated the Ro
man simplicity of character in the nineteenth century. His troops not only loved him, they were wildly and enthusiastic ally devoted to him. His figure in the battle-field, clothed in
. a common brown linen coat, with his white hair streaming in the wind, was the signal for wild and passionate cheers, and there was not one of his soldiers, it was said, but who was willing to die, if he could only fall within sight of his commander.
It is not improbable that had General Price been supported after the battle of Lexington, he would have wrung the State of Missouri from the possession of the enemy. He was forced by untoward circumstances, already referred to, to turn back in a career just as it approached the zenith of success, and he could have given no higher proof of his magnanimity than that he did so without an expression of bitterness or a word of recrimination. He bore the cold neglect of the government at Richmond and the insulting proposition which President Davis was compelled by popular indignation to abandon, to place over him, as major-general in his department, a pupil of West Point his inferior in rank, with philosophic patience and without any subtraction from his zeal for his country. When his officers expressed resentment for the injustice done him by the government, he invariably checked them: stating that there should be no controversies of this kind while the war lasted, and that he was confident that posterity would do him justice. He was more than right; for the great majority of his living countrymen did him justice, despite the detractions of jealousy in Richmond.
The Campaign in Western Virginia.—General Wise's Command.-Politica Influences in Western Virginia.—The Affair of Scary Creek.-General Wise's Retreat ic Lewisbnrg.-General Floyd's Brigade.-The Affair at Cross Lanes.—Movements on the Ganley.--The Affair of Carnifax Ferry.--Disagreement between Generals Floyd and Wase.-The Tyrees.-A Patriotic Woman.--Movements in Northwestern Virginia.-General Lee.- The Enemy intrenched on Cheat Mountain.---General Rosecrans.-Failure of General Lee's Plan of Attack.--He removes to the Kanawha Region.-The Opportunity of a Decisive Battle lost.--Retreat of Rosecrans.--General H. R. Jackson's Affair on the Greenbrier.--The Approach of Winter. --The Campaign in Western Virginia abandoned.—The Affair on the Alleghany.-General Floyd at Cotton Hill.--His masterly Retreat.-Review of the Campaign in Western Virginia. Some of its Incidents.-Its Failure and unfortunate Results.--Other Movements in Virginia. - The Potomac Line.-The Battle OF LEESBURG.–Overweening Confidence of the Soutu.
We must return here to the narrative of the campaign in Virginia. The campaign in the western portion of the State was scarcely more than a series of local adventures, compared with other events of the war. It was a failure from the beginning-uwing to the improvidence of the government, the want of troops, the hostile character of the country itself, and a singular military policy, to which we shall have occasion hereafter to refer.
General Wise, of Virginia, was appointed a brigadier-general without an army. He rallied around him at Richmond a number of devoted friends, and explained to them his views and pu-poses. Cordially favoring his plans, they went into the country, and called upon the people to rally to the standard of General Wise, and enable him to prevent the approach of the enemy into the Kanawha Valley.
About the first of June, General Wise left Richmond for the western portion of the State, accompanied by a portion of his staff. At Lewisburg, he was joined by several companies raised and organized in that region. From this point, he proceeded to Charleston, in the Kanawha Valley, where he undertook, with his rare and characteristic enthusiasm, to rally the people to the support of the State. A number of them joined his command; but the masses continued apathetic, owing to a