Josiah Perham.

Gen. Perham's platform. The most feasible plan yet offered for suppressing the rebellion .. (Volume 1) online

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''(Sob glcss S^huljcim fiucolit."



^0 ibc ^i^oplc of tbc Wimkii States jof ^.mcrka :

Soon after the Presidential election in 1860, I was in Wasli-
inuton and remained there until after the inauguration of
President Lincoln, and saw the disaffection and disloyalty of
Southern Senators and Representatives, — I heard their speeches
on their retirement from Congress to return home to tlieir
people, to join them in mutiny and open rebellion. They
declared, in the n.ost strong and positive terms, that they had
severed their connection with the United States forever — that
they would never come back, that we could not conquer them
in any other way than to exterminate them.

I watcned anxiously the loyal Senators and Representatives,
to see what action they would take. I urged upon them the
propriet}" of arresting those traitor Senators and Represen-
tatives, and hanging them before they left AVashington ; when
the traitor Commissioners from South Carolina came to Wash-
ington to treat with the Government, I urged President
Buchanan through members of Congress, to seize and hang
them at once, as Gen. Jackson would if he had been at the
helm of the ship of State, and the people would have sus.
taincd him in the act.

Mr. Buchanan would not do his duty; neither would the loyal
Senators and Representatives do anything to stop the progress
of the rebellion, which convinced me that they were not
aware of the extent of disloyal disaffection, nor of its increasing
power — tlicy said the threats of the disloyal members of Con"
gross were to frighten them to give such legislation as they

asked — that the true way was to take no notice of their move-
ment, and that they would all come back in three months,
except South Carolina which they wished to remain out longer.

As time went on, matters grew worse and worse. State
after State left the Union. President Buchanan seemed to be
wholly under the control of traitors. Repeated threats of the
southern rebellious leaders, Senators and officials were made at
Washington that Mr. Lincoln, President elect, should not be
inaugurated. I immediately made a communication to all the
loyal State Legislatures that convened at their respective
Capitals in January 1861, stating the alarming situation of
public affairs, and requesting them to offer forthwith the whole
military force of their respective States to the Government, to
hold and protect the public property and to cause the laws to
be enforced, and I urged upon them to request the President to
hang every traitor.

I also commenced making timely arrangements with the
railroads throughout the country to transport to Washington at
excursion prices for tickets, one hundred thousand people,
privately armed, that their presence might overawe the riotous
and rebellious, and permit the inauguration of our chosen chief
to take place.

But the Government was informed by some traitor what I
was doing with the railroads, and put a veto upon my plans.
But by the loyalty of Gen, Scott's military arrangements,
the inauguration took place. And let me say here that if the
gentlemen having charge of the conveyance of Mr. Lincoln
from Illinois to Washington, made him believe that it was
necessary for him, if he wished to save his own life, to go from
Harrisburg to Washington by way of Philadelphia in disguise,
in the night, why could they not convince him when he was
inaugurated, that if he wished to save the life of the Union, he
should put forth the most prompt and vigorous effort to suppress
the rebellion. But we did not see but little done until the

capture of Fort Sumter — the President then called for 75,000
men for three months, to put down the rebellion, and the call
was responded to by a grand shout from the loyal people of
the North.

But it was evident to my mind that the President and Cabinet
saw not the thick darkness of the cloud that was lowering
around us ; that they were not aware of the rebellious power
at work, and I immettiately wrote to Secretary Cameron that
75,000 men were insufficient, and that a million of men should
be raised for the duration of the war (and not for three
months,) and marched south to protect the Capital, take and
hold the Forts and other public property; quell the disturb-
ance and crush out the unlioly rebellion. I advised that they
be called at once ; and if it was not strictly lawful, that it
was expedient and necessary, and Congress at its next session
would approve the call and legalize the action of the Executive.
The attack on the 6th Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers
by the rebels on the 19th of April, at Baltimore, roused the
patriotic lire of the people, and then had the million been called
by the President they would have overcome and forever
silenced the rebellion.

The whole people of the North, East and West, were united
to sustain the President, and men and money were ready, and
it needed only a call from the President to place one million, or
even two millions, volunteers in the field.

I urged Secretary Cameron to adopt my views, and to let
him know that I was in earnest, I proposed to raise one hun-
dred thousand men and take the command of them and march
South. I told Mr. Cameron that I had the energy and ability
to do this, but if he did not sec fit to give a civilian such a
position then to authorize me to raise the troops and appoint
some military man to their command.

Mr. Cameron replied that all volunteers must be raised
through the State authorities. I then urged again that the


States be immediately called upon for at least one million men
for the war.

But the power, the resources and hostile energy of the South
were not appreciated ; there was faith in the Union men of the
South, which, with a mistaken idea of the abilit}" of the leading
rebels, induced the Administration to put forth only a weak
hand to quell the rebellion, and as the war progressed one call
after another was made for troops. The promise to quell the
rebellion in three months was not fulfilled.

An extra session of Congress was called in July, 1861, and
the whole action of that session showed weakness and a great
want of appreciation of the true situation of affairs.

Congressmen and editors were all " On for Richmond ; " they
thought fifty or sixty thousand men could make their way there
without serious opposition.

The Senate of the United States allowed Mr. Breckinridge
to hold his scat in that body and talk treason every day.

Tlic defeat of the Union forces at Bull Bun on the 21st of
July caused intense alarm throughout the North for the safety
of the Capital. Gen. Scott, like a true man, took the blame of
that disaster upon himself for allowing the advance to be made
contrary to his own judgment, at the demand of politicians and
before the army was properly disciplined and ofiicercd.

The war has progressed up to this time. We have had vic-
tories and defeats one after another, and to-day the rebellion is
more formidable, and the great work of restoring the Union
and a lasting peace looks further from accomplishment than it
did twelve months ago.

The lives and treasure of the people have been freely given
to the country, and the acceptance of more men and greater
meaiio have been constantly urged upon the Administration; yet
they were not accepted, and the desired success of our cause is

Tiie party that elevated Mr. Lincoln, although having a large

majority in both houses of Congress has failed througli the fal-
tering policy and iinappreciative views of its leaders to render
that support to the Administration and that service to the coun-
try -wliich a loyal and enlightened people had the right to expect.
Had the leading Congressmen appreciated the vital f^ct that
they were the representatives of a united people, who were
prosecuting war with a single purpose, and had given an honest,
energetic and unqualified support to the President, if the rebel-
lion had not already been successfully quelled (as I think it
might have been), we should not, at this time, witness the alarm-
ing and disgraceful spectacle of party strife in the loyal States.
Unfortunately they did not comprehend the necessity of rising
from partisans to patriots, and their course has seemed to be a
struggle to sec who should press the most imbecile war policy,
whose favorite general should have this or that important com-
mand, and whose political friend should have the largest con-
tract. As a direct and damaging consequence the people are
losing confidence, and becoming dissatisfied and discouraged at
the conduct of the war.

The rebel sympathisers and agents in the North are then at
last furnished with the opportunity they have so long hoped for
and predicted, viz, the division of the sentiment of the North,
and they are exerting an earnestness and vigor — known in this
country alone to rebels — in creating dissensions and new par-
tics, with opinions at utter variance in regard to the manner of
prosecutiug the war.

It may be truly said that the rebels have succeeded in caus-
ing a division of sentiment in the North ; and it may be as
truly said that those whose business it was to prevent such a
calamity unpatriotically failed. ^

A divided North, at the outset, was the expectation of the
rebels ; it failed then, to their great surprise and disgust.
Divided now, they feel certain of securing their independence.
They dream not of compromise ; yet their sympathizers here

talk compromise. It can never be. There can be no compro-
mise made with them — thej said so at first ; they will say so
now ; they would not, and will not, accept anything short of
their unconditional independence. They meant wliat they
said, they mean it now, and whoever says a compromise can be
made with them to return to the Union, now or ever, is either
a traitor at heart, or is strangely ignorant of the Southern

It is time for us to determine tJiat the rebellion must and shall
he put down, and the Union rc-esfahlished.

It is time for us to determine and re-determine that we will
unitedly support the President of the United States, in all his
efforts to suppress the rebellion, whether he is right or wrong.

It is time for us to re-determine that the President ought to
u-e every effort, every power and every faculty that God has
given him, to crush the rebellion in tlie quickest and most vig-
orous manner; and when the war is ended, and the Union re-
established, if it is found that the Constitution is injured, then
will be time enough to repair and make it good.

The rebellion must be put down, or it will put the Govern-
ment and whole North down ; — the rebellion must be put down
by force, even if the work shall demand and accomplish the
destruction of the entire rebellious States.

Our array is already large, and well officered, and yet the
work lingers, and human life and the nation's treasure is con-
tantly sacrificed.

It is time to strike the effectual blow, which has been delayed
too long, and the quicker it is done the fewer homes will be
left desolate, bereft of fathers, brothers, husbands and sons.

In addition to this vast army, in order to re-unite the loyal
people of the North in the most vigorous efforts to encourage
and support the President, and to bring the war to a successful
termination, in the shortest possible time, I suggest an addi-
tional force.

I propose that the President call for one million and
a half more volunteers, making the entire army to number
two and a half millions strong, of able-bodied men between
the ages of 18 and 70 years; to be enlisted for the
duration of the war, unless sooner discharged, to be armed,
equipped, furnished with all needed supplies, and transported
to the disloyal districts or States, to be called the army or
armies of occupation of the rebel States. That they go to
conquer and occupy tlie land to be possessed.

I propose that as they succeed iu conquering thu rebels, the
lands and property of whatever name or description taken or
captured shall be considered lawfully the lands and properties
of the United States, to be held or sold with the exception of
the slaves of rebels, who are to be free, and the proceeds of the
lands and properties, thereof to be divided among the soldiers
and officers, in the same ratio that the proceeds of sales of
vessels captured by our navy, are divided among the sailors and
officers, and that the soldiers and officers of the army of occu-
pation are to receive no other pay or bounties.

The officers and soldiers of the present army may join in
the army of capture and occupation and share in the benefits
to be obtained, on the same terms, that is, without the regular
pay as soldiers ; and the slaves of the rebels captured and free
colored people who shall flock to the Union standard and fight
and work under its banners, shall be paid from the proceeds
such sum as Congress shall direct. The intention being to
seize and appropriate the whole disloyal territory.

The Union men in the disloyal territory shall be protected in
their property, and if the slaves are taken from them they shall
receive from Government a fair renumeration. In addition to
holding their own property they may enlist in the Union array
of occupation and help to exterminate the rebels and seize the
rebel property, and share iu the proceeds thereof.

The soldiers in the Confederate army who have been forced


to fight the Union forces contrary to tlieir wishes, may enlist in
the Union army of occupation on the same terms with the
otliers, that the rebel territory, and property except that held
by Union men, may be settled and improved by loyal men,
who will sustain the American flag, and maintain and defend
the Government under which we have prospered since our
fathers gave it to us in charge.

The rebellion having been crushed and peace restored, I pro-
pose that extensive arrangements be made for emigration from
all the North, East and West, and that the industry of the Old
World be permitted to come and purchase and enjoy the land :
and in three years time the emigrants who would be settled
there, together with the soldiers who remain, would comprise a
loyal people, greatly outnumbering the present disloyal popula-
tion of those States.

That would open those fertile regions to the industry of the
world, the mechanic arts would be cultivated, the church, the
school house would rise in every town, and there would be
peace, progress and enjoyment where now is oppression and
privation, rebellion and the evils it produces.

In this way the rebellion can be destroyed, and the union of
the States be cemented in bonds never more to be shaken, and
there shall be peace over all the land,

A just and equitable provision shall be made for colonizing
the colored population in the rebel territory, and for emigra-
tion of the free colored people of the North to the South. Let
certain of the Cotton States be set apart for a home for the
people of color forever.

A just and equitable provision shall also be made for the
women and children of those rebels who have been hung or
banished from the country.

The rebels themselves have forfeited all right and claim to
the protection of the constitution and laws, except to one end of
a rope; but I would recommend Government to be merciful


to such rebels as report of their evil deeds, and strive to become
honest and loyal citizens.

It will be impossible in this short address to enter into all
the details necessary to carry out so vast an enterprise j the
outlines are merely given ; but I would recommend that the
lands be divided among the soldiers of the army of occupation
so that every soldier can have a farm, and everj^ poor southerner
that joins our army can become a land owner, and if the Govern-
ment and people will honestly and earuestlj adopt this plan, the
details can be arranged, and a bill drawn up covering the whole
ground, and passed by Congress during the first ten days of the
session in December. The men can be put into the field, and
the rebellion be wound up in twelve months. Can the people
be aroused, and waked up to adopt this, the only feasible plan
now offered for conquering a peace with the rebels ? Is not
our glorious Union worth a united effort from all its people to
save it from destruction ? Then unitedly call upon the Presi-
dent and Congress to adopt and carry out this plan. Offer the
President anew your services, and all you have, to aid him in
conquering the most gigantic rebellion that ever existed. The
President needs your sympathy, and your prayers to God to
give him wisdom and power to direct aright the affairs of the

I pledge myself to do all that one man can do to aid the
President. I will arrange with the railroads for tickets at
excursion prices for all who emigrate to settle in the conquered
territory, I will bring to my aid the commercial fleet of our
own country to transport passengers and supplies, — the com-
mercial fleets of the Old World will also be put in requisition,
and emigration and gold will flow to us in unprecedented num-
bers and quantities ^ instead of being poor as we shall be if we
allow the country to be destroyed, in five years we shall be the
richest country on the globe, and every man that belonged to
the Army of Occupation of the rebel States will become rich.




012 028 241 4'

I ^k the loyal press of the United States to lay this project
before the people and urge its adoption. I reasonably ask the
loyal press and all the loyal people to urge the President to
the most powerful and vigorous efforts to bring this war to a
successful termination. Say to him that you have full faith in
his honesty and ability, and that you will support him in his
efforts to save the country, whether he is in all things right or

Our country united forever ! God bless Abraham Lincoln 1
God bless ihe uncondit'^nal hipporters of Abraham Lincoln!


Boston, Massachusetts, October, 30th, 1862,



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Online LibraryJosiah PerhamGen. Perham's platform. The most feasible plan yet offered for suppressing the rebellion .. (Volume 1) → online text (page 1 of 1)