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THE LIBRARY

OF

THE UNIVERSITY
OF CALIFORNIA

LOS ANGELES



BATTLE ECHOES,



OB,



LESSONS FROM THE WAR,



GEORGE B. IDE, D.D.



1 God is great; His name is mighty I

He is victor in the strife I
For He bringeth Good from Evil,
And from Death commandeth Life."

WHITTIER.



BOSTON:

GrOTJLD .A. :ST D L I IN" C O 1C 1ST



NEW YORK: SHELDON AND COMPANY.

CINCINNATI: GEO. s. BLANCHARD AND co.

18G6.



Entered according to Act at Congress, In the year 1866, by

GOULD AND LINCOLN,
In the Clerk'i office of the District Court for the District of Massachu



TELL AJTD ROLLiws, Printer*,
122 Washington Street, Bo.ton.



PREFACE.



)URING the dread struggle through which the na-
tion has passed, no conviction was stronger or
more universal, than that of God's interference in
human affairs. So clear were the revealings of
His hand, that even the undevout were compelled to bow
before them with awe and reverence. There is ground
for the fear, that this impression is becoming weaker
with the return of Peace ; and that unbelief and indiffer-
ence are creeping back to their old seats in the public
conscience. Sad, indeed, will it be, if the great teach-
ings, which the Almighty has inscribed, in letters of
blood and fire, on the most pregnant page of our history,
shall fade away, and leave us as unwise and as unregard-
ful as in the former days. In the hope of contributing,

5

550224



v i PREFACE.

however slightly, to the prevention of such a result, the
writer has been induced to send forth the present vol-
ume. The thoughts which it contains were pondered,
and, for the most part, written out, while the startling
events of the war were still in progress ; or while every
heart was yet thrilling with the wonders of its end.
Change of circumstances may have lessened their inter-
est, but not their importance ; for the truths to which
they relate, are eternal, and, therefore, never inoppor-
tune. And, perhaps, at this calmer hour, the momen-
tous questions which the conflict has decided, may be
more intelligently and effectively considered, than when
that conflict was at its height. To Him, who has so sig-
nally come forth for the vindication of His own honor,
this feeble attempt to trace the way of His outgoing is
humbly committed.



CONTENTS.



CHAPTER I.

THE WAR FOR THE UNION A RIGHTEOUS WAR . . 9

CHAPTER II.

REASONS FOR GRATEFUL CONFIDENCE .... 35

CHAPTER in.

GREAT ERAS MARKED BY GREAT JUDGMENTS ... 60

CHAPTER IV.

PIOUS MEN THE NATION'S HOPE 104

CHAPTER V.

THE MOVING PILLAR . 135



vi y CONTENTS.

CHAPTER VI.

THE FREEDMEN OF THE WAK .



CHAPTER VII.

THE LAND CARING FOR ITS DEFENDERS 182

CHAPTER VIII.

THE DEEP PLEADING FOR ITS HEROES .... 203

CHAPTER IX.

MEMORIES AND LESSONS . . .224

CHAPTER X.

GOD'S METHOD OF RECONSTRUCTION 254

CHAPTER XI.

OUR DAY AND ITS WORK . . 282



BATTLE ECHOES.

CHAPTER I.
THE WAR FOR THE UNION A RIGHTEOUS WAR.

"AND THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL WENT UP AND WEPT BEFORE
THE LORD UNTIL EVEN, AND ASKED COUNSEL OF THE LORD, SAYING,

SHALL I GO UP AGAIN TO BATTLE AGAINST THE CHILDREN OF BEN-
JAMIN JIY BROTHER? AND THE LORD SAID, GO UP AGAINST HIM."
Judges xx. 23.

geologist, in exploring the earth's crust,
finds numerous petrified remains of animals
and plants, which are supposed to have lived
and perished ages before the creation of
man, or of any of the present forms of or-
ganized life. These fossilized bodies, though be-
longing to races long since extinct, have yet so
many points of analogy with races now existing on
the earth, as to furnish abundant evidence that they
were produced by the same Divine Hand, and are
included in the same general system. Hence they
have for the student of natural science a living in-
terest, and shed an important light on the field of
his inquiries.




j0 BATTLE ECHOES.

Very similar is the relation which the narratives
of the Bible sustain to the facts of to-day. The
men and the events to. which they referred have
passed away ; but the great principles which they
embodied still remain, and are as fresh, as full of
meaning, as fruitful in instruction, at the present
hour, as hi the periods when they were first un-
folded to the world.

From the historic treasures of the Old Testament
we have extracted a very interesting fragment, re-
lating to an ancient civil war which occurred among
the tribes of Israel, soon after their establishment
in the inheritance of Canaan. The particular occa-
sion out of which it grew, is to us of little practical
moment. Nevertheless, the general features of the
transaction are marked with characteristics in which
we have a vital concern. The motives which gov-
erned it, the spirit hi which it was conducted, the
recognition of Jehovah's agency, the feeling of de-
pendence upon him, by which every movement was
pervaded and inspired, are fraught with lessons ever
timely, ever emphatic ; and which reaching down,
in their deathless significance, through all the cen-
turies, are as pertinent to our own circumstances as
to those of the hosts of Israel, three thousand years
ago.

The inhabitants of Gibeah, one of the principal
cities of Benjamin, had committed a fearful crime.



THE WAR FOR THE UNION A RIGHTEOUS WAR. 11

A Levite, journeying with his wife from Bethlehem
to his home in Mount Ephraim, was compelled to
sojourn among them for a night. A band of ruf-
fians assaulted the house in which he lodged, subject-
ed the man to gross abuse, and murdered the wo-
man under circumstances of most revolting atrocity.
Intelligence of this shocking act was sent by the
husband to all the tribes, accompanied by an ap-
peal for help and vengeance. From city to city,
from hamlet to hamlet, from the wooded slopes of
Lebanon to the burning plains of Kadesh, from the
fountains of the Jordan to w the way of the sea,"
sped the summons, telling of the outrage which had
polluted the land, and calling for its punishment.
The whole nation was stirred by the tidings as by
an electric shock. All sprung to arms. The crime
was so utterly without provocation; it struck so
vitally at the foundations of public order and of
public safety, that every heart felt that it must be
wiped out in blood, and every hand grasped its
weapon to aid in the work of retribution. The con-
viction was universal, that thus only could the na-
tional character be vindicated, and even the national
existence maintained.

With this view, the forces of Israel assembled at
Mizpeh, four hundred thousand footmen that drew
sword all binding themselves, by a solemn vow,
that they would not look upon their homes again



12 BATTLE ECHOES.

until they had meted out to the offenders the just
penalty of their wickedness. That the innocent,
however, might not be involved in the same doom
with the guilty, they despatched messengers to all
the towns of Benjamin, rehearsing the iniquity
which had been committed, and demanding the sur-
render of the criminals. Instead of complying with
this reasonable requirement, the entire people of
the tribe arrayed themselves on the side of the
murderers, and determined to resist the collected
might of the land. Thus, by indorsing the infamy,
they made it their own, and inaugurated rebellion
in its defence.

In this terrible emergency, the army of Israel
presented itself before the Lord, and, with many
prayers and bitter weeping, asked counsel from Him,
saying, Shall I go up to battle against the children
of Benjamin my brother?" This it was in the im-
pending conflict that made them pause the fact
that it was to be waged, not against a foreign ene-
my, but against one of the Chosen Tribes, against
men of the same blood with themselves, united in
the same national bond, and sharers in the same her-
itage of Divine care and bounty. And well might
they pause, and seek guidance from a Wisdom high-
er than their own ; for civil war is in itself a calam-
ity so dreadful; there is something so unnatural
and shocking in the deadly strife of brother with



THE WAR FOR THE UNION A RIGHTEOUS WAR. 13

brother, that nothing short of God's command, either
communicated by express revelation, or clearly in-
ferred from His providence, could justify its incep-
tion. So they felt and therefore supplicated the
Almighty One, who had led them in the difficul-
ties and perils of former years, to make known to
them His will in the new and doubtful crisis that
was now upon them. The answer to their petition
came back from the Throne of Infinite Power, in the
brief but decisive words, "Go up against him."
Deplorable as was the shedding of kindred blood ;
frightful as would be the struggle between warring
legions of the same race ; it were better than that
crimes subversive of all law and government should
pass unrebuked ; better, aye, a thousand fold bet-
ter, intestine war with all its horrors, than that prof-
ligacy and treason should trample down decency and
purity and justice, and render the very name of
Israel an abomination in the earth.

The striking similarity between the position occu-
pied by the men of Israel, and that in which the
loyal States of America are now placed, must bo
apparent to all. They stood on the bloody edge of
battle with their brethren and fellow-countrymen ;
and so do we. They were summoned to disregard
fraternal ties in the upholding of constituted author-
ity ; and so are we. A portion of the common-
wealths composing this great Confederacy, have



14 BATTLE ECHOES.

cast off their allegiance to the General Government ;
have risen up in rebellion against it ; and are plot-
ting the overthrow of everything which, as a nation,
we hold dear and sacred. The loyal States are send-
ing forth their thousands and hundreds of thousands
of brave, patriotic men, to put down this rebellion,
and defend from the attack of traitors the glorious
institutions which our fathers founded in suffering
and blood. Those whom I now address are among
the number. 1 You have relinquished the joys of
home, and the peaceful pursuits of civil life, that you
may go to the rescue of your country in this the hour
of its sternest need. You go to meet, not the in-
vading legions of a foreign power, but your kindred
and late compatriots, transformed by treason into
ruthless and implacable foes. It is an awful mission
an exigency in its greatness and in its solemnity
unparalleled in the annals of the world. Every
just-minded and God-fearing man amongst you can-
not but ask, "Is it right? Is it in harmony 'with
the holy purposes of Him who is sovereign over all?"
This thought is, doubtless, agitating many a heart
now present ; and from many a lip the question is
ready to break forth, " Shall I go up against the
children of Benjamin my brother ? "

To this inquiry we cannot expect an answer as di-
rect as that which was given to the men of Israel.
1 10th Regiment, Mass. Vols.



THE WAR FOR THE UNION A RIGHTEOUS WAR. 15

They lived in the days when Heaven held miracu-
lous converse with earth. To those that feared and
sought Him, God then spoke, in audible accents, as a
man with his friend. He made known His will to
His ancient people in distinct announcements suited
to each separate occasion. Such announcements
were given, sometimes in voice-like responses, some-
times in dreams and visions, but more commonly by
the symbolic utterances of the Urim and Thummim.
This consisted of the twelve precious stones set in
the breastplate of the high priest ; and the ordi-
nance of Jehovah was, that when in momentous
emergencies His will was consulted, an affirmative
reply should be known by the increased brilliancy
of the jewels, and a negative by their fading into
dimness. It was probably by this method that the
answer of God was received in the instance be-
fore us.

No such supernatural medium of ascertaining the
Divine pleasure is intrusted to our hands. But we
are in possession of other means, by which the same
end may be secured in a manner not less convinc-
ing. Our Urim and Thummim is the Providence
of God. His will is declared to us by the out-flash-
ing of events on the bosom of Time, which is God's
priest. If, then, we would be assured that, in go-
ing forth to battle against our rebellious brethren,
we go in accordance with God's designs, and at



jg BATTLE ECHOES.

God's bidding, we must look on the breast of the
stupendous movement which is passing before us,
note the features that are prominent in it, and study
well their indications. In these we shall find the
clearest proofs of the righteousness of our cause,
and ample grounds for confidence in the Divine ap-
proval.

One feature which stands out conspicuously in
this Kebellion, is its utter want of any just pretext.
We deny not the right of a people, hi certain cir-
cumstances, to sever the bonds of constituted rule,
and modify or change their political relations.
Though governments are ordained by God, and as
such are entitled to obedience, yet when, through
corruption or tyranny, they become dangerous to the
welfare of the subject, they no longer fulfil the end
of their appointment, and may lawfully be sub-
verted. But no such justification can be set up on
the part of the States which have seceded from the
Union , and are now levelling war against it. The Fed-
eral Government has never oppressed them. It has
never favored other sections to their disadvantage.
It has not robbed them of a single immunity, or
imposed on them, in one solitary instance, unequal
burdens. It has fulfilled to them faithfully, and
even jealously, all the provisions and compromises
of the Constitution. And not only have they en-
joyed every guaranty secured to them by the na-



THE WAR FOR THE UNION A RIGHTEOUS WAR. 17

tional compact, but they have been, from the very
beginning of the Government, the object of its
special patronage and protection. In the revolu-
tionary period, the chains of colonial vassalage were
riven from the older of these States by Northern
troops. A majority of their people were tories
then, as their descendants are traitors now ; and left
to their own resources, not one of them, with the
exception perhaps of Virginia, would ever have
achieved independence. The territory occupied by
the newer of these States was purchased from for-
eign powers by the General Government, and do-
nated to them. Then 1 very homes were the gift of
the Union. In their feebleness and infancy, they
were fostered by its care, and defended by its ar-
mies ; and in the case of some of them, it has expend-
ed for their benefit an amount exceeding a million
of dollars for each white inhabitant they now con-
tain. During three fourths of the period since the
Government was organized, the administration of
public affairs has been in the hands of the South.
Her's have been the chief commands in the army
and navy ; her's the richest posts in the civil ser-
vice ; her's the most potential voice in the Senate
and on the Bench. To her interests, whether real
or imagined, all other interests have been compelled
to bow. Though more and more in a minority at
each decade, she has managed by insolence and



18 BATTLE ECHOES.

threats always to dominate, and to have her own
way in everything. No, no ! the Government has
not wronged the South. At no point, and in no
relation, has she suffered damage from its control.
On the contrary, the Union has been to its Southern
members the source of all their social and political
blessings. It has given them respectability abroad,
peace and security at home. Instead of assailing,
it has upheld even their " peculiar institution," ab-
horrent as it is to the heart and conscience of the
free North, guarding them from the dangers with
which it teems, and interposing the shield of a great
nation's influence between them and the moral exe-
cration of the world. Thus has the Union been to
its rebel children a fond and indulgent mother, leni-
ent to their faults, yielding to their caprices, watch-
ful for their happiness, doing them good good in
their infancy, good in their manhood, good ever
nothing but good.

Why, then, do these children rise up against their
mother, trample her authority under their feet, and
plot to expel her from the estate which she has super-
intended so well aye, to wound her to the death?
Why? Because, and only because, their Northern
brethren, believing slavery to be a sin and a curse,
will say so, and will not consent to its extension
over the whole domain. Because, and only because,
these same Northern brethren, living in the atrnos-



THE WAR FOR THE UNION A RIGHTEOUS WAR. 19

phere of freedom, work, delve the soil, ply manu-
factures, foster commerce, build cities, grow rich
and powerful ; while the Southern branches of the
family, nurtured by slavery in idleness and pride,
are constantly sinking into greater relative inferiority.
This, the consequence of their own vicious system
of labor, they ascribe to the Union, and on that
account seek its destruction. Insane with envy and
ambition, they have conspired to overturn the
Government, because they see that the days of theii
ascendency in it are passing away.

Suppose that on the green bank of some crystal
lake a community of beavers have established them-
selves, and on a barren crag near by a colony oi
rattlesnakes. The sunshine falls alike upon both,
without partiality, and without regard to their differ-
ent natures and habits. The beavers, intelligent,
industrious, construct houses, provide food, lay up
stores for future needs, rejoice in warm furs, and are
happy. The snakes, coiled up in their den, or bask-
ing lazily at its mouth, filling their poison bags,
and sharpening their poison teeth, live in holes,
go naked, and eat dirt. Suppose, further, that the
snakes, becoming conscious that the beavers were
outstripping them in enterprise, and wealth, and com-
fort, should attribute the fact to the sun, and accuse
it of pouring its beams more profusely on their
rivals than on themselves ; and, for that reason,



20 BATTLE ECHOES.

should make war on the blessed luminary, and
attempt to tear it from the sky? Would you not
say that the wisdom of the serpent had forsaken
them?

So false, so fatuous, are the charges of the dis-
affected States against the justice and good faith of
the Union. The annals of human wickedness can
show no instance of crime more black, more unpro-
voked, more utterly without the shadow of excuse,
than this attempt of the Southern oligarchs to destroy
the freest and most beneficent government which the
world ever saw. And see we not in this fact a man-
ifest token that God is with us in the struggle?
"When, in lowly prostration before his throne, we
ask, Shall we go up to battle against the conspira-
tors, do we not read, in the very atrociousness of
their purpose, the clear and emphatic answer, M Go
up against them"? To believe otherwise, would
involve the monstrous supposition that the All-Holy
could be indifferent to the Eight, and sanction and
sustain the Wrong.

Another feature of this conflict, giving forth the
same reply, may be seen in the great results which
it involves. It is not a war based on any of the
ordinary questions which disturb the peace of
nations not a war for increase of territory, for
political supremacy, for carrying out some diplomatic
punctilio not a war of ambition or of aggrandize-



THE WAR FOR THE UNION A RIGHTEOUS WAR. 21

ment. It is strictly, on the part of the North, a
war of self-defence a grapple for existence. All
the momentous interests of Nationality, Freedom,
Christianity, and human progress are committed to
it. We must roll back these swelling waves of
treason, or see the grand old ship of the Govern-
ment, which heroes launched and sages have piloted,
go down, with all its precious freight, into the depths
forever.

It has often been asked, Why not recognize the
independence of the revolted States, and allow them
to try their experiment of a Slave-Confederacy ? To
this it is a sufficient answer to say, that, were the
lawfulness of secession once acknowledged, the
pillars of the Constitution would be undermined,
and the whole fabric of the Government must, sooner
or later, topple to the ground. With such a right
expressly conceded, or constructively established by
precedent, the Constitution would not be worth the
parchment on which it is written. The claim that a
State may withdraw from the Union at pleasure
involves a solecism so monstrous, that only a brain
drunk with the maddening cup of slavery, could
have given birth to it. It was not by the States
that the Union was formed, but by the people them-
selves, acting in their sovereign capacity. And they
made, not a Confederation, but a Union not a
League of Independent Sovereignties, but a Nation.



22 BATTLE ECHOES.

The General Government, as they established it, was
not merely the organ of the States, but the central
and controlling Power, invested with eminent
domain, and crowned with paramount authority.
And not only is this supremacy of the Union provided
for in the Constitution it arises necessarily from
the very nature of representative government. With-
out it, such a government would be impossible. On
any other basis, we might have an Alliance of States,
but no national Oneness, no recognized Sovereignty,
that could insure us stability and repose at home, or
command the respect of the world.

In the contest, therefore, to which we are sum-
moned, our very life as a nation is at stake. The
continuance of whatever is valuable to us of every-
thing that has made us what we are 4 e P en( ls on
the preservation of the Union, and the vindication
of its sacredness. Our civil institutions, our politi-
cal importance, our material prosperity, our religious
privileges, the glorious memories of the past, the
more glorious hopes of the future all, all are
embarked in the issue. Let the champions of seces-
sion succeed in their destructive project, and our
coming history will present the spectacle of a once
mighty people arrested in its noble career, disinte-
grated, and split into separate communities, each
pursuing its dark way alone, or all rushing and clasl>
ing together in wild anarchy, like those nebulous



THE WAR FOR THE UNION A RIGHTEOUS WAR. 23

bodies that roam aimlessly over the sky, and which
astronomers suppose to be the fragments of shivered
planets. Or we shall exhibit the yet sadder specta-
cle of a universal Slave-Despotism its throne a
cotton bale, its ensigns whips and chains, its trophies
a muzzled press, a dumb pulpit, and the groans of
chattelized humanity. Where now shines, high up
in mid-heaven, the broad, bright sun of American
Nationality, the light and the joy of the world,
countless meteors will shoot, and glare, and go out
in darkness ; or a vast, bloody comet, sweeping
them all from the firmament, will blaze along its
baleful track, scattering astonishment and affright
among the constellations, and dropping mildew over
the earth. Woe ! woe ! to the day in which that sun
shall set ! Woe ! woe ! to us and to our children
woe ! to Civilization woe ! woe ! to the fettered
and struggling nations if sacrilegious hands shall
tear down the pillar of our greatness, put out its
beacon-fires, and trail its banner in the dust. When
Babylon and Kome fell, the world shook with the
concussion. Yet its face retains now no scar to mark
where they struck. They were despotisms ; and
their overthrow could inflict no permanent evil on
mankind. But if the American Union falls, the last
hope of self-government for our race will fall with
it. The grave of this Republic will be the grave of
Freedom for the world.



24 BATTLE ECHOES.

When such issues are depending, can we doubt
on which side the help of the Omnipotent stands
pledged ? Can we fear that He will permit this noble
country, the favored child of His Providence, whose
planting was superintended by His agency, whose
onward course has been directed by His hand, and
with whose future weal the highest interests of His
Kingdom are identified, to be rent in pieces by rebel-
lion, and trodden under foot by the most foul and
ruthless oligarchy that ever cursed the earth an
oligarchy whose Gospel is human bondage, and
whose mission is to spread barbarism and chains
over the fairest regions of the globe ? It were blas-
phemy to think so. There is not an attribute of
God that can ally itself with the propagandists of
slavery, or rejoice in their success '. And here
again, in the stupendous consequences involved,
we read the answer, "Go up against them."


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