Henry J. (Henry Jarvis) Raymond.

History of the administration of President Lincoln : including his speeches, letters, addresses, proclamations, and messages. With a preliminary sketch of his life online

. (page 26 of 46)
Online LibraryHenry J. (Henry Jarvis) RaymondHistory of the administration of President Lincoln : including his speeches, letters, addresses, proclamations, and messages. With a preliminary sketch of his life → online text (page 26 of 46)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

and those who would disparage the Secretary of War talk of those at
present fit for duty. General McClellan has sometimes asked for things
that the Secretary of War did not give him. General McCleUan is not to
blame for asking what he wanted and needed, and the Secretary of War
is not to blame for not giving when he had none to give. And I say
here, as far as I know, the Secretary of War has withheld no one thing
at any time in my power to give him. I have no accusation against
him. I believe he is a brave and able man, and I stand here, as justice
requires me to do, to take upon myself what has been charged on the
Secretary of War, as withholding from him.

I have talked longer than I expected to do, and now I avail myself
of my privilege of saying no more.




IN every other section of the country, except in Eastern
Virginia, the military operations of the year 1862 were marked
by promptitude and vigor, and attended by success to the
National arms. Early in February a lodgment had been
effected by the expedition under General Burnside on the
coast of North Carolina, and on the 19th of January the
victory of Mill Springs had released Western Kentucky from
rebel rule, and opened a path for the armies of the Union into
East Tennessee. The President s order of January 27th, for
an advance of all the forces of the Government on the 22d of
February, had been promptly followed by the capture of Forts
Henry and Donelson on the Cumberland River, which led to
the evacuation of Bowling Green, the surrender of Nashville,
and the fall of Columbus, the rebel stronghold on the Missis
sippi. Fort Pulaski, which guarded the entrance to Savannah,
was taken, after eighteen hours bombardment, on the 12th of
April, and the whole west coast of Florida had been occupied
by our forces. By the skilful strategy of General Ilalleck,
commanding the Western Department, seconded by the vigor
ous activity of General Curtis, the rebel commander in Mis
souri, General Price, had been forced to retreat, leaving the
whole of that State in our hands ; and he was badly beaten in
a subsequent engagement at Sugar Creek in Arkansas. On the
1 1th, Island No. 10, commanding the passage of the Missis-


sippi, was taken by General Pope, and on the 4th of June Forts
Pillow and Randolph, still lower down, were occupied by our
forces. On the 6th the city of Memphis was surrendered by
the rebels. Soon after the fail of Nashville a formidable
expedition had ascended the Tennessee River, and being joined
by all the available Union forces in that vicinity, the whole
under command of General Ilalleck, prepared to give battle
to the rebel army which, swelled by large re-enforcements
from every quarter, was posted in the vicinity of Corinth,
ninety miles east of Memphis, intending by a sudden attack to
break the force of the Union army, which was sweeping
steadily down upon them from the field of its recent con
quests. The rebels opened the attack with great fury and
effect, on the morning of the 6th of April, at Pittsburg Land
ing, three miles in advance of Corinth. The fight lasted
nearly all day, the rebels having decidedly the advantage;
but in their final onset they were driven back, and the next
day our army, strengthened by the opportune arrival of
General Buell, completed what proved to be a signal and most
important victory. Wh .-n news of it reached Washington
President LINCOLN issued the following proclamation :

It has pleased Almighty God to vouchsafe signal victories to the
land and naval forces engaged in suppressing an internal rebellion, and
at the same time to avert from our country the dangers of foreign
intervention and invasion.

It is therefore recommended to the people of the United States, that
at their next weekly assemblages in their accustomed places of public
worship, which shall occur after the notice of this Proclamation shall
have been received, they especially acknowledge and render thanks to
our Heavenly Father for these inestimable blessings ; that they then and
there implore spiritual consolation in behalf of all those who have been
brought into affliction by the casualties and calamities of sedition and
civil war ; and that they reverently invoke the Divine guidance for our
national counsels, to the end that they may speedily result in the
restoration of peace, harmony, and unity throughout our borders, and


hasten the establishment of fraternal relations among all the countries
of the earth.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal
of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this tenth day of April, in the year of
[L. s.] our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, and of
the independence of the United States the eighty-sixth.

By the President :

WM.-H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

On the 28th of May the rebels evacuated Corinth, and were
pushed southward by our pursuing forces for some twenty-five
or thirty miles. General Mitchell, by a daring and most
gallant enterprise in the latter part of April, took possession
of Huntsville in Alabama. In February a formidable naval
expedition had been fitted out under Commodore Farragut
for the capture of New Orleans ; and on the 18th of April the
attack commenced upon Forts Jackson and St. Philip, by
which the passage of the Mississippi below the city is guarded.
After six days bombardment the whole fleet passed the forts
$>n the night of the 23d, under a terrible fire from both; and
on the 25th the rebel General Lovell, who had command of the
military defences of the city, withdrew, and Commodore Farra
gut took possession of the town, which he retained until the
arrival of General Butler on the 1st of May, who thereupon
entered upon the discharge of his duties as commander of that

During the summer a powerful rebel army, under General
Bragg, invaded Kentucky for the double purpose of obtaining
supplies and affording a rallying point for what they believed
to be the secession sentiment of the State. In the accom
plishment of the former object they were successful, but not in
the latter. They lost more while in the State from desertions
than they gained by recruits ; and after a battle at Perryville
on the 7th of October they began their retreat. On the 5th


of October a severe battle was fought at Corinth, from which
a powerful rebel army attempted to drive our troops under
General Rosecrans, but they were repulsed with very heavy loss
es, and the campaign in Kentucky and Tennessee was virtually
at an end. A final effort of the enemy in that region led to a
severe engagement at Murfreesborough on the 31st of Decem
ber, which resulted in the defeat of the rebel forces, and in
relieving Tennessee from the presence of the rebel armies.

In all the military operations of this year especial care had
been taken by the Generals in command of the several De
partments, acting under the general direction of the Govern
ment, to cause it to be distinctly understood that the object of
the war was the preservation of the Union and the restoration
of the authority of the Constitution. The rebel authorities,
both civil and military, lost no opportunity of exciting the
fears and resentments of the people of the Southern States, by
ascribing to the National Government designs of the most
ruthless and implacable hostility to their institutions and their
persons. It was strenuously represented that the object of
the war was to rob the Southern people of their rights and
their property, and especially to set free their slaves. The
Government did every thing in its power to allay the appre
hensions and hostilities which these statements were calculated
to produce. General Garfield, while in Kentucky, just before
the victory of Mill Springs, issued on the 16th of January an
address to the citizens of that section of the State, exhorting
them to return to their allegiance to the Federal Government,
which had never made itself injuriously felt by any one among
them, and promising them full protection for their persons and
their property, and full reparation for any wrongs they might
have sustained. After the battle of Mill Springs the Secretary
of War, under the direction of the President, issued an order
of thanks to the soldiers engaged in it, in which he again
announced that the " purpose of the war was to attack, pursue


and destroy a rebellious enemy, and to deliver the country
from danger menaced by traitors." On the 20th of November,
1861, General Halleck, commanding the Department of the
Missouri, on the eve of the advance into Tennessee, issued an
order enjoining upon the troops the necessity of discipline
and of order, and calling on them to prove by their acts that
they came * k to restore, not to violate the Constitution and the
law?," and that the people of the South, under the flag of the
Union, should " enjoy the same protection of life and property
as in former days." " It does not belong to the military,"
said this order, " to decide upon the relation of master and
slave. Such questions must be settled by the civil courts. No
fugitive slave will, therefore, be admitted within our lines or
camps except when specially ordered by the General command
ing."* So also General Burnside, when about to land on the
soil of North Carolina, issued an order, February 3d, 1262,
calling upon the soldiers of his army to remember that they
were there "to support the Constitution and the laws, to put
down rebellion, and to protect the persons and property of the
loyal and peaceable citizens of the State." And on the 18th of

* In regard to this order, which was afterwards severely criticised
in Congress, General Halleck wrote the following letter of explanation:

ST. Louis, December 8, 1861. j

MY DEAR COLONEL: Yours of the 4th instant is just received. Or
der No. 3 was, in my mind, clearly a military necessity. Unauthorized
persons, black or white, free or slaves, must be kept out of our camps,
unless we are willing to publish to the enemy every thing we do, or in
tend to do. It was a military, and not a political order.

I am ready to carry out any lawful instructions in regard to fugitive
slaves, which my superiors may give me, and to enforce any law which
Congress may pass. But 1 cannot make law, and will not violate it.
You know my private opinion on the policy of confiscating tho slave
property of the rebels in arms. If Congress shall pass it, you may be
certain that I shall enforce it. Perhaps my policy as to the treatment
of rebels and their property is as well set out in Order No. 13, issued
the day your letter was written, as I could now describe it.

Hon. F. F. BLAIR, Washington.


the same month, after Fort Henry and Roanoke Island had
fallen into our hands, Commodore Goldsborough and General
Burnside issued a joint proclamation, denouncing as false and
slanderous the attempt of the rebel leaders to impose on the
credulity of the Southern people by telling them of "our desire
to destroy their freedom, demolish their property, and liberate
their slaves," and declaring that the Government asked only
that its authority might be recognized, and that " in no way
or manner did it desire to interfere with their laws, consti
tutionally established, their institutions of any kind whatever,
their property of .any sort, or their usages in any respect."
And on the 1st of March General Curtis in Arkansas had
addressed a proclamation to the people of that State, de
nouncing as false and calumnious the statements widely cir
culated of the designs and sentiments of the Union armies,
and declaring that they sought only " to put down rebellion
by making war against those in arms, their aiders and
abettors" and that they came to "vindicate the Constitution,
and to preserve and perpetuate civil and religious liberty
under a flag that was embalmed in the blood of our revolu
tionary fathers." In all this the Government adhered, with
just and rigorous fidelity, to the principles it had adopted for
its conduct at the outset of the war ; and in its anxiety to
avoid all cause of complaint and all appearance of justification
for those who were in arms against its authority, it incurred
the distrust and even the denunciation of the more zealous and
vehement among its own friends and supporters in the North
ern States.

On the 22d of July, in order to secure unity of action
among the commanders of the several military departments,
upon the general use to be made of rebel property, the Presi
dent directed the issue of the following order :



First. Ordered that military commanders within the States of Vir
ginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana,
Texas, and Arkansas, in an orderly manner seize and use any property,
real or personal, which may be necessary or convenient for their several
commands, for supplies, or for other military purposes ; and that while
property may be destroyed for proper military objects, none shall bo
destroyed in wantonness or malice.

Second. That military and naval commanders shall employ as laborers,
within and from said States, so many persons of African descent as can
be advantageously used for military or naval purposes, giving them
reasonable wages for their labor.

Third. That, as to both property, and persons of African descent,
accounts shall be kept sufficiently accurate and in detail to show
quantities and amounts, and from whom both property and such persons
shall- have come, as a basis upon which compensation can be made in
proper cases; and the several departments of this Government shall
attend to and perform their appropriate parts towards the execution of
these orders.
By order of the President :

EDWIN M. STANTON Secretary of War.

And on the 25th of July he issued the following proclama
tion, warning the people of the Southern States against per-
Bisting in their rebellion, under the penalties prescribed by the
confiscation act passed by Congress at its preceding session:

By Order of the President of the United States.


In pursuance of the sixth section of the Act of Congress, entitled " An
Act to suppress insurrection, to punish treason and rebellion, to seize
and confiscate the property of rebels, and for other purposes," approved
July 17th, 1862, and which Act, and the joint resolution explanatory
thereof, are herewith published, I, ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President of the
United States, do hereby proclaim to and warn all persons within the
contemplation of said sixth section to ceaso participating in, aiding,
countenancing, or abetting the existing rebellion, or any rebellion,
against the Government of the United States, and to return to their
proper allegiance to the United States, on pain of the forfeiture and
seizures as within and by said sixth section provided.


In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the
seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this twenty-fifth day of July, in the
year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two,
[L. s.] and of the independence of the United States the eighty-

By the President :

. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

Our relations with foreign nations during the year 1862
continued to be in the main satisfactory. The President held
throughout, in all his intercourse with European powers, the
same firm and decided language in regard to the rebellion
which had characterized the correspondence of the previous
year. Our Minister in London, with vigilance and ability,
pressed upon the British Government the duty of preventing
the rebel authorities from building and fitting out vessels of
war in English ports to prey upon the commerce of the United
States ; but in every instance these remonstrances were with
out practical effect. The Government could never be con
vinced that the evidence in any specific case was sufficient to
warrant its interference, and thus one vessel after another was
allowed to leave British ports, go to some other equally
neutral locality and take on board munitions of war, and enter
upon its career of piracy in the rebel service. As early as the
18th of February, 1862, Mr. Adams had called the attention of
Earl Russell to the fact that a steam gunboat, afterwards
called the Oreto, was being built in a Liverpool ship-yard,
under the supervision of well-known agents of the rebel Gov
ernment, and evidently intended for the rebel service. The
Foreign Secretary replied that the vessel was intended for the
use of parties in Palermo, Sicily, and that there was no reason
to suppose she was intended for any service hostile to the
United States. Mr. Adams sent evidence to show that the
claim of being designed for service in Sicily was a mere


pretext ; but he failed, by this dispatch, as in a subsequent
personal conference with Earl Russell on the 15th of April, to
induce him to take any steps for her detention. She sailed
soon after, and was next heard of at the British "neutral" port
of Nassau, where she was seized by the authorities at the
instance of the American consul, but released by the same
authorities 6n the arrival of Captain Semmes to take command
of her as a Confederate privateer. In October an intercepted
letter was sent to Earl Russell by Mr. Adams, written by the
.Secretary of the Navy of the Confederate Government, to a
person in England, complaining that he had not followed the
Oreto on her departure from England and taken command of
her, in accordance with his original appointment. In Juno
Mr. Adams called Earl Russell s attention to another powerful
war-steamer, then in progress of construction in the ship-yard
of a member of the House of Commons, evidently intended
for the rebel service. This complaint went through the usual
formalities, was referred to the " Lords Commissioners of her
Majesty s Treasury," who reported in due time that they could
discover no evidence sufficient to warrant the detention of the
vessel. Soon afterwards, however, evidence was produced
which was sufficient to warrant the collector of the port of
Liverpool in ordering her detention ; but before the necessary
formalities could be gone through with, and through delays
caused, as Earl Russell afterwards explained, by the " sudden
development of a malady of the Queen s advocate, totally in
capacitating him for the transaction of business," the vessel,
whose managers were duly advertised of every thing that was
going on, slipped out of port, took on board an armament in
the Azores, and entered the rebel service as a privateer. Our
Government subsequently notified the British Government
that it would be held responsible for all the damage which
this vessel, known first as " 290," and afterwards as the Ala
bama, might inflict on American commerce.


Discussions were had upon the refusal of the British
authorities to permit American vessels of war to take in coal
at Nassau, upon the systematic attempts of British merchants
to violate our blockade of Southern ports, and upon the re
capture, by the crew, of the Emily St. Pierre, which had been
seized in attempting to run the blockade at Charleston, and
was on her way as a prize to the port of New York. The
British Government vindicated her rescue as sanctioned by
the principles of international law.

The only incident of special importance which occurred
during the year in our foreign relations, grew out of an attempt
on the part of the Emperor of the French to secure a joint
effort at mediation between the Government of the United
States and the rebel authorities, on the part of Great Britain
and Russia in connection with his own Government. Rumors
of such an intention on the part of the Emperor led Mr.
Dayton to seek an interview with the Minister for Foreign
Affairs on the 6th of November, at which indications of such
a purpose were apparent. The attempt failed, as both the
other powers consulted declined to join in any such action.
The French Government thereupon determined to take action
alone, and on the 9th of January, 1863, the Foreign Secretary
wrote to the French Minister at Washington a dispatch,
declaring the readiness of the French Emperor to do any
thing in his power which might tend towards the termination
of the war, and suggesting that " nothing would hinder the
Government of the United States, without renouncing the
advantages which it believes it can attain by a continuation of
the war, from entering upon informal conferences with the
Confederates of the South, in case they should show them
selves disposed thereto." The specific advantages of such a
conference, and the mode in which it was to be brought about,
were thus set forth in this dispatch :


Representatives or commissioners of the two parties could assemble
at such point as it should be deemed proper to designate, and which
could, for this purpose, be declared neutral. Reciprocal complaints
would be examined into at this meeting. In place of the accusations
which North and South mutually cast upon each other at this time,
would be substituted an argumentative discussion of the interests which
divide them. They would seek out by means of well-ordered and pro
found deliberations whether these interests are definitively irreconcila
ble whether separation is an extreme which can no longer be avoided,
or whether the memories of a common existence, whether the ties of
any kind which have made of the North and of the South one sole and
whole Federative State, and have borne them on to so high a degree of
prosperity, are not more powerful than the causes which have placed
arms in the hands of the two populations. A negotiation, the object of
which would be thus determinate, would not involve any of the. objec
tions raised against the diplomatic interventions of Europe, and, without
giving birth to the same hopes as the immediate conclusion of an armis
tice, would exercise a happy influence on the march of events.

"Why, therefore, should not a combination which respects all the relations
of the United States obtain the approbation of the Federal Government ?
Persuaded on our part that it is in conformity with their true interests,
we do not hesitate to recommend it to their attention ; and, not having
sought in the project of a mediation of the maritime powers of Europe
any vain display of influence, we would applaud, with entire freedom
from all susceptibility of self-esteem, the opening of a negotiation which
would invite the two populations to discuss, without the co-operation of
Europe, the solution of their difference.

The reply which the President directed to be made to this
proposition embraces so many points of permanent interest
and importance in connection with his Administration, that
we give it in full. It was as follows :

Sm: The intimation given in your dispatch of January 15th, that I
might expect a special visit from M. Mercier, has been realized. He
called on the 3d instant, and gave me a copy of a dispatch which he
had just then received from M. Drouyn de 1 IIuys under the date of the
9th of January.


I have taken the President s instructions, and I now proceed to give
you his views upon the subject in question.

It has been considered with seriousness, resulting from the reflection
that the people of France are known to be faultless sharers with the
American nation in the misfortunes and calamities of our unhappy
civil war; nor do we on this, any more than on other occasions, forget
the traditional friendship of the two countries, which we unhesitatingly
believe has inspired the counsels that M. Drouyn de 1 Huys has im

He says, " the Federal Government does not despair, we know, of
giving more active impulse to hostilities;" and again he remarks, "the
protraction of the struggle, in a word, has not shaken the confidence (of
the Federal Government) in the definitive success of its efforts."

(These passages seem to me to do unintentional injustice to the lan

Online LibraryHenry J. (Henry Jarvis) RaymondHistory of the administration of President Lincoln : including his speeches, letters, addresses, proclamations, and messages. With a preliminary sketch of his life → online text (page 26 of 46)