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all others, shall re-establish a State Government which shall be republican, and in nowise contravening said oath, such shall be recognized as the true Government of the State, and the State shall receive thereunder the benefits of the Constitutional provision which declares that the United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a republican form of government, and shall protect each of them against invasion, and, on application of the Legislature, or the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened), against domestic violence.'
And I do further proclaim, declare, and make known that any provision which
may be adopted by such State Government in relation to the freed people of such State, which shall recognize and declare their permanent freedom, provide for their education, and which may yet be consistent, as a temporary arrangement, with their present condition as a laboring, landless and homeless class, will not be objected to by the National Executive. And it is suggested as not improper, that, in constructing a loyal State Governa ment in any State, the name of the State, the boundary, the subdivisions, the Constitution, and the general code of laws, as before the rebellion, be maintained, subject only to the modifications made necessary by the conditions heretofore stated, and such others, if any, not contravening said conditions, and which may be deemed expedient by those framing the new State Government.
To avoid misunderstanding, it may be proper to say that this proclamation, so far as it relates to State Governments, has no reference to States wherein loyal State Governments have all the while been maintained. And, for the same reason,
be proper to further say, that whether members sent to Congress from any State shall be admitted to seats, constitutionally rests exclusively with the respective Houses, and not to any extent with the Executive. And still further, that this proclamation is intended to present the people of the States wherein the National anthority has been suspended, and loyal State Governments have been subverted, a mode in and by which the National and loyal State Governments may be re-established within said States, or in any of them; and, while the mode presented is the best the Executive can suggest, with his present impressions, it must not be understood that no other possible mode would be acceptable.
Given under my hand, at the City of Washington, the eigàth day of Decanber, A. D. one thousand eight hundred and saty-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the eighty-eighth.
All during the Autumn, political matters agitated the public mind almost as much as
as events in the field. Schenck's military orders with regard to elections in MaryLand and Delaware, were denounced as an attempt to control the polis with the bayonet; and all felt that the fierce party strife that was to be waged the coming year, would test the stability of our Government more than anything that had yet transpired—and trembled to contemplate it.
The Army of the Potomac, as we have noticed, went into winter quarters near Washington, confronted by the rebel army under Lee; and Grant's army did the same at Chattanooga, in front of Bragg. The calls, from time to time, for volunteers, had amounted to a prodigious number, and still the war seemed as far from being over as ever, and it became very evident that a radical change must be made in the mode of carrying it on. Scott's original plan was, to have two great armies move simultaneously—one down the Valley of the Mississippi, and another along the Eastern coast-and driving the enemy before them, finally crush him somewhere in the Southern States. McClellan's plan was the same; and the movements West commenced almost simultaneously with his. The recall of the army from before Richmond, broke up
this plan, and ever since, in the East, the Government had been occupied in defending its own Capital. This course, it was plain, must be brought to a close, or the war never would be ended. Halleck was evidently unequal to the task of grasping and carrying out a great plan; and the Secretary of War was no better. Congress, had oniy made maiters worse, by its interference, and resolved, at last, to abandon it, and compel the Cabinet to do the same, and so passed an Act creating the office of Lieutenant-General-evidently for the purpose of giving General Grant that rank. The President at once nominated him, and his confirmation took a heavy ioad from the public heart. A military man, with the power to grasp and the energy to carry out a great plan, and enabrace the vast field of operations, was at last at the head of the national forces, and it was plain that the day of “quidnuncs" at Washington was over. The mighty power of the North, which had been hurled hither and thither with such blind energy, was to be held calmly in hand, and made to move like the steady, resistless tide of the ocean, on the rebel forces.
Previous, however, to the commencement of this new order of things, and as if designed by Providence as a preparation, a movement was made by Sherman into Central Mississippi. Placing a cavalry force of nearly eight thousand under General W. F. Smith, with orders to start on the 1st of February from Memphis, and to move toward Meridian, he himself, on the 3rd of February, with a force of about twenty thousand infantry and twelve hundred cavalry, and provisions for twenty days, took his departure from Vicksburg. His march was easterly, across the Big Black River, by way of Champion Hills, Clinton and Jackson. Moving rapidly eastward-scattering the astonished enemy as he advanced-by the middle of the month, he was at Meridian, the center of a network of railroads. Here he halted, and waited for Smith's cavalry, but it did not come. This officer did not start till the 11th, and had advanced only a little beyond Okalona, when he was met by the enemy. Ordering a retreat, he was attacked and defeated badly, and finally succeeded in reaching Memphis with his command completely disorganized. Sherman intended to cut off Mobile from Johnston, who had succeeded Bragg in the command of the Confederate army; confuse and cut up, as much as possible, Polk's army, that was confronting him; destroy military depots, supplies, &c.; and, if everything should work favorably, swoop down on Mobile, on which Farragut was pounding. But Smith's defeat put a stop to his quovements. He did not dare to advance further without that cavalry force, and so he leisurely retraced his steps to Vicksburg, followed at a respectful distance by his cautious adversary.
This expedition was designed to be an important one, and the public expected great results from it; but the failure of the cavalry force to co-operate with it, converted it into A raid. Yet, in moving across the whole State of Missis
sippi, for a hundred and thirty miles, he had not merely caused great destruction, and terror among the inhabitants, but had tested practically the capacity of the country to feed an army, and doubtless obtained that knowledge which afterward made him attempt the bold and daring march across the State of Georgia.