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UNLIKE anything heretofore presented to the reader of history is the arrangement and plan of this memorial volume. It has not been the aim of the author to follow the beaten track pursued by other writers; but rather to present a work which would be found especially adapted to the wants and tastes of the age in which we live.
To describe the shifting conflicts of party, international complications, or the profound problems of public policy which have agitated the country since its very foundation, has not been attempted, except in those special features which admit of attractive narrative and the embodying of genial anecdote and pleasing memory. It is designed rather, to preserve and perpetuate those special events in the first century of our nation's existence, which have had a controlling influence in shaping the destiny and moulding the present greatness and grandeur of the American Republic-those events that have called forth the most intense interest, curiosity, admiration or terror on the part of the people; and also to illustrate and bring into striking relief, the prevailing spirit or excitement of the period marked by their occurrence. The character of the work is, in the fullest sense, romantic, stimulating and instructive-adapted in the highest degree to enlist the wrapt emotions and attention of the American citizen so long as the Republic shall endure.
That the reader of these pages may be assured of the fidelity and accuracy of the narrative in each of the scenes portrayed, we will say that eleven years have been industriously devoted to the preparation and completion of the volume. The teeming libraries of the country, both public and private, have been diligently searched-incidents and data have been taken from individuals who have been foremost participants in the scenes depicted; and authors, statesmen, military and other officials have given a hearty co-operation, and without which many items of interest could not have been obtained. In fact, the whole storehouse of history in every department has been
industriously explored, and its contents. carefully examined and summarized, and has been made tributary to these pages. While there have been many pens to carry on the continued story of our country's history, it has been left to the author of this work to glean from the massive volumes of the past, and from other available and reliable sources, the momentous events around which the history of the United States as a nation centers, and to present them in descriptive portraiture, that each event in all its reality may be photographed, as it were, on the mind, and thus be individually impressed in the memory of the reader.
To the American citizen there can hardly be a more inviting and instructive topic in the whole field of historical research than the study of the Great Events which have been the key to that unexampled success which has made the American name the synonym for tireless energy and matchless industry, and which stand out like landmarks in the first century of our national existence.
For those advanced in years, and who may have been identified with many of the scenes here portrayed, this memoriam will be invaluable. It will bring freshly to their minds, those occurrences with which they were familiar in their younger days, and give them a pleasant reality which it is pleasant to enjoy.
For those who are just coming into the active duties of life it will be a reminder of the past,-graphically painting in words. the deeds and heroic acts of men whose lives were most prominent in the building up of this Western Empire, and whose examples stand as a perpetual encouragement and incentive to morality, patriotism and industry.
To those whose means or time is limited, this book will indeed be valuable, as it is a library in itself, comprising every feature in the development of our country's history, each having its proper place, -Political, Military, Mechanical, Social, Scientific and Commercial. Here are skillfully grouped the triumphs of peace.
and of war, the triumphs of legislation and oratory; of invention and discovery; of justice and industry; of science and of religion. It will show what has been done, what has been suffered, what has been seen, and what has been felt in this youngest and most vigorous of the nations of the earth. It, in fact, records the most wonderful events of the most wonderful century.
While it is true that many of the subjects selected for this work are mentioned. in one or other of the histories of the country, still from necessity they must be but brief and unsatisfactory sketches, as no single volume written after the usual form could be expected to give more than a passing glance, if mentioned at all, of a large portion of the subiects found in the present collection.
The Author has borne in mind the varied tastes of all classes and ages, and has labored to present a work which shall have an honored place in every family circle. The business man, with but a few minutes to spend, may find the subject that most interests him, and in that short time read and finish it. The professional man and public speaker will also find in it the best features of a History and Cyclopedia combined. To those who have but little taste for reading it will be specially beneficial; for while it carries the reader along with the fascination of a novel, it is still the very truth of history. Not being filled with dry discussions, or documentary array, it is not tedious, but restful and refreshing. To make it still more valuable, the Publishers have expended many thousands of dollars in illustrating the subjects, presenting views and portraits of each event. and their chief actors, by the best artists in the land, such as Granville Perkins, W. L. Sheppard, Thomas Moran and others, whose names stand at the head of their profession, thus giving specimens of those different schools of art. Numerous copies have also been taken from the masterpieces of Trumbull, Copley and Healy.
BIRTH OF THE NATION.-The Grandest Modern Event.-The Gauntlet of Defiance thrown 1776
at the Feet of the British Realm by Her Youngest Colonies.-The whole World looks on Aston-
ished.-Patrick Henry's Burning Eloquence.-Excitement of the King and Court.-Lord Chatham's
Scorching Speech.-Struck Dead while Speaking.-Seven Years' Struggle.-England Gives Up the
APPOINTMENT OF OUR FIRST MINISTER TO ENGLAND.-John Adams, the Foremost 1785
Enemy of British Tyranny, Fills this High Office.-What His Mission Involved.-All Europe
Watches the Event.-Interview between Him and King George, His Late Sovereign.-Their Ad-
dresses, Temper, Personal Bearing, and Humorous Conversation.-Results of this Embassy..
FORMATION AND ADOPTION OF THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION.-Plan of Govern- 1787
ment to be Framed.-Statesmen and Sages in Council.-Dignity, Learning, and Eloquence of the
Delegates. Various Schemes Discussed.-Angry Debates, Sectional Threats.-Franklin's Impress-
ive Appeal.-Patriotism Rules all Hearts.-Sublime Scene on Signing the Instrument.-The United
FIRST ELECTION AND INAUGURATION OF A PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED 1789
STATES.-Washington, the Nation's Spontaneous, Unanimous Choice.-His Farewell Visit to His
Mother. His Triumphal Progress from Home, and Solemn Induction into Office.-Order of Cere-
monies.-Elegant Appearance and Dignity when Taking the Oath.-Reverentially Kisses the Bible.
-Distinguished Celebrities Present. Jubilee throughout the Republic, over the August Event. 84
FOUNDING AND ESTABLISHMENT OF THE NATIONAL CAPITAL.-Named in Honor 1799
of Washington.-Bitter Sectional Contest in Deciding the Location.-First "Compromise" in Con-
gress between the North and the South.-Final Removal of the Government and its Archives to
Washington.-Official Observance of the Event.-Magnificent Site and Plan of the City.-Splendor
PASSAGE OF BENTON'S FAMOUS "EXPUNGING RESOLUTION," IN THE UNITED 1837
PROCLAMATION OF EMANCIPATION, AS A WAR MEASURE, BY PRESIDENT 1863
BATTLES, SIEGES, AND BRILLIANT NAVAL ENGAGEMENTS.
CORNWALLIS SURRENDERS HIS SPLENDID ARMY TO GENERAL WASHINGTON. 1781
-Final Catastrophe to British Arms in America.—Consternation and Despair in the Cabinet of
King George.-Eloquence of Burke, Fox, and Pitt.-They Demand that the War Cease.—The
Voice of Parliament.-Last Act in the Military Drama.-Washington's Countrymen Everywhere
ADIEU TO THE ARMY BY WASHINGTON.-Record of His Generalship.-Scheme to make 1783
Him King. Indignantly Rebukes the Proposal.-Last Review of His Troops.-Affecting Interview
and Parting Words between the Great Chieftain and His Comrades-in-Arms.-Solemn Farewell
Audience with Congress.-He Voluntarily Divests Himself of His Supreme Authority, Returns His
Victorious Sword, and Becomes a Private Citizen.-Rare Event in Human History.
DECISIVE BATTLES WITH THE INDIANS.-Headlong Flight and Destruction of St. 1791
Clair's Army, in 1791, Before the Trained Warriors of "Little Turtle."-This Mortifying Disaster
Retrieved by Wayne's Overwhelming Triumph, in 1794.-Final and Crushing Blow Dealt by Jack-
son, in 1814.-The Question of Power Between the Two Races Forever Settled in Favor of the
THE FAMOUS WHISKEY INSURRECTION IN PENNSYLVANIA.-Violent Resistance 1794
to the United States Excise Laws.-Monster Meetings and Inflammatory Appeals.—Officials and
Loyal Citizens Whipped, Branded, Tarred, and Feathered.-Intense Excitement in all the States.-
Washington Declares that the Union is in Peril and Heads an Army to Meet the Crisis.-Precipi-
GENERAL JACKSON'S TERRIBLE ROUT AND SLAUGHTER OF THE BRITISH 1815
ARMY, AT NEW ORLEANS.-British Invasion of Louisiana.-Jackson Hastens to New Orleans.
-His Consummate Generalship in the Order and Conduct of this Campaign -The War with England
Terminated by a Sudden and Splendid Victory to the American Arms -Jackson is Hailed as One
of the Greatest of Modern Warriors, and as the Deliverer and Second Savior of His Country.-
National Military Prestige Gained by this Decisive Battle.
GENERAL SCOTT IN THE HALLS OF THE MONTEZUMAS, AS THE CONQUEROR 1847
OF MEXICO.-Irritation between the United States and Mexico.-Points of Boundary.-Mexico
Refuses to Yield.—Declaration of War by Congress -Scott's Order, "On to Mexico!"-Doniphan's
March of Five Thousand Miles.-General Taylor's Unbroken Series of Victorious Battles, from Palo
Alto to Buena Vista-Flight of Santa Anna in the Dead of Midnight -The Stars and Stripes Float
Triumphantly from the Towers of the National Palace -First Foreign Capital Ever Occupied by the
BOMBARDMENT AND REDUCTION OF FORT SUMTER.-Inauguration of Civil War in 1861
the United States.—First Military Act in the Long and Bloody Struggle to Dismember the Union.
-Organization of the Southern Confederacy.-President Lincoln's Proclamation for 75,000 Volun-
teers.-Spontaneous Uprising of the Loyal People.-Calling the Battle-Roll of the Republic.—Su-
preme Crisis in the Fate of the Nation.-Northern and Southern Variances -Slavery the Cause of
Contention.-Culmination of the Antagonism.-Disunion Banner of the South.-Secession of Sev-
eral States.-War Wager Boldly Staked.—Vain Efforts at Reconciliation.-Federal Property Seized
at the South.-Batteries Erected at Charleston.-Fort Sumter Closely Besieged.-Beauregard De-
mands its Surrender.-Major Anderson's Flat Refusal-Weakness of his Garrison.-Attempts to
Re-enforce It.-Prevented by Confederate Batteries.-All Eyes Riveted on the Fort.-Opening of
the Attack, April Fourteenth.-Incessant and Tremendous Fire.-Terms of Evacuation Accepted.—
Southern Rejoicings.—The Great Military Outlook —Washington the National Key.
BATTLE AT BULL RUN, VA., BETWEEN THE FEDERAL ARMY AND THAT OF 1861
THE SOUTHERN CONFEDERACY.-Three Months Since Sumter Fell.-"On to Richmond!"
the Union War-Cry.-Severe Fighting for Many Hours.-March of McDowell's Army, and Plan of
the Movement -Re-enforcements for the Confederates-Davis's Arrival on the Ground.-He Ex-
claims, "Onward, My Brave Comrades!"-Their Wild Enthusiasm -Most Disastrous Defeat of the
Federal Troops.-Their Uncontrollable Panic and Headlong Flight.-First Important Engagement
BATTLE OF ANTIETAM, MARYLAND.-Bloodiest Day That America Ever Saw.-Nearly 1862
One Hundred Thousand Men on Each Side.-General McClellan Declares on the Field that it is
"the Battle of the War."-Four Miles and Fourteen Hours of Fighting and Slaughter.-The Shock
and "Glory" of War on a Colossal Scale.-Obstinate Bravery of the Contending Foes.-Some of the
Regiments Almost Annihilated.-The Union Troops Hold the Disputed Ground and Drive the En-
CAMPAIGN AGAINST VICKSBURG, "THE GIBRALTAR OF THE MISSISSIPPI," 1863
BY THE UNION FORCES.-The Genius, Valor, and Resources of Both Armies Tasked to Their
Utmost-Final Capitulation of the City by General Pemberton, After a Prolonged and Brilliant
Siege -Heaviest Blow Yet Dealt the Secession Cause.-General McPherson Receives the Formal
Surrender.-37,000 Prisoners, Fifteen Generals, Arms and Munitions for 60,000 Men, the Trophies.
-Geographical Importance of Vicksburg.—Its Commanding Fortifications.-Farragut's Naval Siege
Powerless. Sherman's Attack Repulsed.-Grant Assumes Active Command.-Vigorous Operations
Undertaken.-His Series of Victorious Battles.-Futile Attempt to Storm Vicksburg.-Hours of
Terrific Cannonading.-A Systematic Siege Begun.-Thorough Investment at all Points.-Federal
Sapping and Mining -They Mine and Blow up Fort Hill.-Awful Spectacle of Blood and Ruin.—
Deadly Struggle for a Foothold.—Success of the Forty-fifth Illinois.-Their Colors Surmount the
Work.-Pemberton Sends a Flag of Truce-His Interview with Grant.-Grant's Terms: "Uncon-
ditional Surrender."-The Victors Enter the City, July Fourth.-Curious Reminiscences. . . 554
THREE DAYS' BATTLE BETWEEN THE CONCENTRATED ARMIES OF GENER- 1863
ALS MEADE AND LEE, AT GETTYSBURG, PA.-Overwhelming Invasion of Pennsylvania
by the Confederate Forces.-The Union Army Drives Them with Great Slaughter Across the Poto-
mac.-Unsuccessful Attempt to Transfer the Seat of War from Virginia to Northern Soil-One of
the Most Decisive and Important Federal Victories in the Great American Civil Conflict.-Lee's
Army Impatient to go North.-Order of March at Last.-Consternation in the Border States.-Call
for One Hundred Thousand More Men.-Advance of Meade's Army.-Face to Face with the Foe.—
Engagement between the Vanguards.-Terrific Artillery Contests -Movements and Counter Move-
ments.-Severe Reverses on Both Sides.-Carnage at Cemetery Hill.-Longstreet's Furious Onset.
-Most Destructive Cannonade.-Gettysburg a Vast Hospital.—Crawford's Grand Charge.—Stand-
ing by the Batteries!-Hand-to-Hand Conflict.-Following the Battle-Flag.-Deadly and Impetuous
Fighting. Forty-one Confederate Standards Taken.-Unbounded Joy of the Victors.-President
GRAND MARCH OF THE UNION ARMY, UNDER GENERAL SHERMAN, THROUGH 1864