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 35 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 35 of 46)
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and prisoners, of 1,500 men. At Grand Gulf, ten miles above
Bruinsburg, the enemy had begun to erect strong fortifications.
These had been fired upon by our gunboats a few days be
fore, under cover of which the fleet had run past. Grant hav
ing now gained the rear of this strong post, Admiral Porter,
two days after the fight at Port Gibson, returned to Grand
Gulf and found it abandoned. Grant s Army then marched
upward toward Vicksburg, and on the 12th of May encounter
ed the enemy again at Raymond, not far from Jackson, the
capital of the State of Mississippi, and again defeated them with
a loss of 800. Two days after, May 14, they were opposed
by a corps of the enemy under General Joseph E. Johnston,
formerly the Commander-in-chief of the Confederate army,
who had been assigned to the command of the Department
of the Mississippi. Johnston was defeated, and the city of
Jackson fell into our hands, with seventeen pieces of artillery
and large stores of supplies. Grant then turned to the west,
directly upon the rear of Vicksburg. General Pemberton, the
commander at that point, advanced with the hope of checking
him, but was defeated, on the 16th, at Baker s Creek, losing
4,000 men and twenty-nine pieces of artillery. On the next
day the same force was encountered and defeated at Big Black
River Bridge, ten miles from Vicksburg, with a loss of 2, COO
men, and seventeen pieces of artillery. On the 1 8th, Vicksburg
was closely invested, and the enemy were shut up within their
works, which were found to be very strong. An attempt to carry
them by storm was unsuccessful, and re<nil;>r sie^e was at once


laid to the city by the land forces, the gunboats in the river co
operating. Our approaches were pushed forward with vigorous
perseverance ; our works, in spite of the most strenuous op
position of the garrison under General Pemberton, drawing
nearer every day, and the gunboats in the river keeping up an
almost constant bombardment. The enemy, it was known,
were greatly straitened by want of supplies and ammunition,
and their only hope of relief was that General Johnston would
be able to collect an army sufficient to raise the siege by at
tacking Grant in his rear. This had been so strongly defended
that a force of 50,000 men would have been required to make
the attempt with any hope of success, and Johnston was not
able to concentrate half of that number. On the morning of
the 4th of July, therefore, General Pemberton proposed to
surrender Vicksburg, on condition that his troops should be
permitted to march out. Grant refused, demanding an abso
lute surrender of the garrison as prisoners of war. Upon con
sultation with his officers, Pemberton acceded to these terms.
By this surrender about 31,000 prisoners, 220 cannon, and
70,000 stand of small arms fell into our hands. The pris
oners were at once released on parole. The entire loss of the
enemy during the campaign which was thus closed by the
surrender of Vicksburg, was nearly 40,000 ; ours was not far
from 7,000.

The capture of Vicksburg was immediately followed by
that of Port Hudson, which was surrendered on the 8th of
July to General Banks, together with about 7,000 prisoners,
fifty cannon, and a considerable number of small arms. The
whole course of the Mississippi, from its source to its mouth,
was thus opened, and the Confederacy virtually separated into
two parts, neither capable of rendering any effective assistance
to the other.

The great victories, by which the Fourth of July had been
so signally, and so gloriously commemorated, called forth the


most enthusiastic rejoicings in every section of the country.
Public meetings were held in nearly all the cities and principal
towns, at which eloquent speeches and earnest resolutions ex
pressed the joy of the people, and testified their unflinching
purpose to prosecute the war until the rebellion should be extin
guished. A large concourse of the citizens of Washington
preceded by a band of music, visited the residence of the
President, and the members of his cabinet giving them, in
succession, the honors of a serenade which the President
acknowledged, in the following remarks :

FELLOW-CITIZENS : I am very glad indeed to see you to-night, and
yet I will not say I thank you, for this call ; but I do most sincerely
thank Almighty God for the occasion on which you have called. How
long ago is it, eighty odd years since on the Fourth of July, for tho
first time, in the history of the world, a nation, by its representatives,
assembled and declared as a self-evident truth, " that all men are cre
ated equal." That was the birthday of the United States of America.
Since then the Fourth of July has had several very peculiar recognitions.
The two men most distinguished in the framing and support of the Decla
ration were THOMAS JEFFERSON and JOHN ADAMS the one having pen
ned it, and the other sustained it the most forcibly in debate the only two
of the fifty-five who signed it, and were elected Presidents of the United
States. Precisely fifty years after they put their hands to the paper, it
pleased Almighty God to take both from this stage of action. This was
indeed an extraordinary and remarkable event in our history. Another
President, five years after, was called from this stage of existence on
the same day and month of the year ; and now on this last Fourth of
July, just passed, when we haye a gigantic rebellion, at the bottom of
which is an effort to overthrow the principle that all men were created
equal, we have the surrender of a most powerful position and army on
that very day. And not only BO, but in a succession of battles in Penn
sylvania, near to us, through three days, so rapidly fought that they
might be called one great battle, on the first, second, and third of tho
month of July ; and on the fourth the cohorts of those who opposed
the Declaration that all men are created equal, "turned tail 1 and run.
[Long continued cheers.] Gentlemen, this is a glorious theme, and the
occasion for a speech, but I am not pro-pared to make one worthy of the

occasion. I would like to speak in terms of praise due to the many bravo
officers and soldiers who have fought in the cause of the Union and
liberties of their country from the beginning of the war. These are
trying occasions, not only in success, but for the want of success. I
dislike to mention the name of one single officer, lest I might do wrong
to those I might forget. Recent events bring up glorious names, and
particularly prominent ones ; but these I will not mention. Having
said this much, I will now take the music.

The President, a few days afterwards, wrote to General
Grant the following letter :

Major-General GRANT:

MY DEAR GENERAL : I do not remember that you and I ever met
personally. I write this now as a grateful acknowledgment for the al
most inestimable service you have done the country. I write to say a
word further. When you first reached the vicinity of Vicksburg, I
thought you should do what you finally did march the troops across
the neck, run the batteries with the transports, and thus go below ; and
I never had any faith, except a general hope that you knew better than
T, that the Yazoo Pass expedition, and the like, could succeed. When
you got below, and took Port Gibson, Grand Gulf, and vicinity, I
thought you should go down the river, and join General Banks, and
when you turned northward, east of the Big Black, I feared it was a
mistake. I now wish to make the personal acknowledgment, that you
were right and I was wrong. Yours, truly,


These victories, together with others, both numerous and
important, which were achieved in other sections of the coun
try, gave such strong grounds of encouragement and hope
for the speedy overthrow of the rebellion, that, on the 15th
of July, the President issued the following proclamation for a
day of National Thanksgiving :

By the President of the United States of America.

It has pleased Almighty God to hearken to the supplications and
prayers of an afflicted people, and to vouchsafe to the Army and the Navy
of the United States, on the land and 011 the sea, victories so signal and


so effective as to furnish reasonable grounds for augmented confidence
that the Union of these States will be maintained, their Constitution
preserved, and their peace and prosperity permanently secured ; but
these victories have been accorded, not without sacrifice of life, limb,
and liberty, incurred by brave, patriotic, and loyal citizens. Domestic
affliction, in every part of the country, follows in the train of these
fearful bereavements. It is meet and right to recognize and confess the
presence of the Almighty Father, and the power of His hand equally
in these triumphs and these sorrows.

Now, therefore, be it known, that I do set apart Thursday, the sixth
day of August next, to be observed as a day for National Thanksgiving,
praise, and prayer ; and I invite the people of the United States to as
semble on that occasion in their customary places of worship, and in the
form approved by their own conscience, render the homage due to the
Divine Majesty, for the wonderful things He has done in the Nation s
behalf, and invoke the influence of His Holy Spirit, to subdue the
anger which has produced, and so long sustained a needless and cruel
rebellion ; to change the hearts of the insurgents ; to guide the coun
sels of the Government with wisdom adequate to so great a National
emergency, and to visit with tender care, and consolation, throughout
the length and breadth of our land, all those who, through the vicissi
tudes of marches, voyages, battles, and sieges, have been brought to
suffer in mind, body, or estate, and finally, to lead the whole nation
through paths of repentance and submission to the Divine will, back to
the perfect enjoyment of union and fraternal peace.

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 15th day of July, in the year of
our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of

[L. s.] the independence of the United States of America the eighty-

By the President :

WM. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

In other portions of the field of war, our arms, during the
year 1863, had achieved other victories of marked importance
which deserve mention, though their relation to the special
object of this work is not such as to require them to be de
scribed in detail.


After the retreat of the rebel General Lee to the south side
of the Rapid an, a considerable portion of his army was
detached and sent to re-enforce Bragg, threatened by Rose-
crans, at Chattanooga ; but, \vith his numbers thus diminished,
Lee assumed a threatening attitude against Meade, and turn
ing his left flank forced him to fall back to the line of Bull
Run. Several sharp skirmishes occurred during these opera
tions, in which both sides sustained considerable losses, but
no substantial advantage was gained by the rebels, and by the
1st of November they had resumed their original position on
the south side of the Rapidan.

After the battle of Murfreesboro, and the occupation of
that place by our troops, on the 5th of January, 1863, the
enemy took position at Shelbyville and Tullahoma, and the
winter and spring were passed in raids and unimportant
skirmishes. In June, while General Grant was besieging
Vicksburg, information reached the government which led
to the belief that a portion of Bragg s army had been sent to
the relief of that place ; and General Rosecrans was urged to
take advantage of this division of the rebel forces and drive
them back into Georgia, so as completely to deliver East Ten
nessee from the rebel armies. He was told that General Burn-
side would move from Kentucky in aid of this movement.
General Rosecrans, however, deemed his forces unequal to
such an enterprise ; but, receiving re-enforcements, he com
menced on the 25th of June a forward movement upon the
enemy, strongly intrenched at Tullahoma, with his main force
near Shelbyville. Deceiving the rebel General by a move
ment upon his left flank, Rosecrans threw the main body of
his army upon the enemy s right, which he turned so com
pletely that Bragg abandoned his position, and fell back
rapidly, and in confusion, to Bridgeport, Alabama, being pur
sued as far as practicable by our forces. General Burnside
had been ordered to connect himself with Rosecrans, but had


failed to do so. Bra*- continued his retreat across the Cum-


bcrland Mountain and the Tennessee River, and took post at
Chattanooga, whither he was pursued by Rosecrans, who
reached the Tennessee on the 20th of August, and on the
21st commenced shelling Chattanooga and making prepara
tion for throwing his army across the river. A reconnoisance,
made by General Crittenden on the 9th of September, dis
closed the fact, that the rebels had abandoned the position,
which was immediately occupied by our forces, who pushed
forward towards the South. Indications that the rebel Gen
eral was receiving heavy re-enforcements and manoeuvring to
turn the right of our army, led to a concentration of all our
available forces, and, subsequently, to the appointment of
General Grant to command the whole army thus brought to
gether. On the 19th of September, General Rosecrans was
attacked by the rebel forces their main force being directed
against his left wing under General Thomas, endeavoring to
turn it so as to gaiu the road to Chattanooga. The attack
was renewed the next morning, and with temporary success
Longstreet s Corps having reached the field and poured its
massive columns through a gap left in the centre of our line
by an unfortunate misapprehension of an order; but the
opportune arrival and swift energy of General Granger checked
his advance, and the desperate valor of Thomas and his troops
repulsed every subsequent attempt of the enemy to carry the
position. Our losses, in this series of engagements, were 1,644
killed, 9,262 wounded, and 4,845 missing a total swelled by
the .estimated losses of our cavalry to about 16,351. The
rebel General immediately sent Longstreet against Burnside,
who was at Knoxville, while he established his main force
again in the neighborhood of Chattanooga. On the 23d of
November, General Grant moved his army to attack him, and
on the 25th the whole of the range of heights known as Mis
sionary Ridge, held by Bragg, was carried by our troops after


a desperate struggle, and the enemy completely routed. This
was a very severe engagement, and our loss was estimated at
about 4,000. Generals Thomas and Hooker pushed the rebel
forces back into Georgia, and Granger and Sherman were sent
into East Tennessee to relieve Burnside and raise the siege of
Knoxville, which was pressed by Longstreet, who, failing in
this attempt, soon after retreated towards Virginia.

Upon receiving intelligence of these movements the Presi
dent issued the following recommendation :

Reliable information being received that the insurgent force is retreat
ing from East Tennessee, under circumstances rendering it probable that
the Union forces cannot hereafter be dislodged from that important
position ; and esteeming this to be of high national consequence, I re
commend that all loyal people do, on receipt of this information, assemble
at their places of worship, and render special homage and gratitude to
Almighty God for this great advancement of the National cause.


On the 3d of October, the President had issued the follow
ing proclamation, recommending the observance of the last
Thursday of November as a day of Thanksgiving :


By the President of the United States of America.

The year that is drawing towards its close lias been filled with the
blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which
are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from
which they come, others have been added which are of so extraordinary
a nature that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart
which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Al
mighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and
severity, which has sometimes seemed to invite and provoke the aggres
sions of foreign States, peace has been preserved with all nations, order
has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and
harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military
conflict, while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing
armies and navies of the Union. The needful diversion of wealth and


strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence,
have not arrested the plough, the shuttle, or the ship. The axe
has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well
of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more
abundantly than heretofore. Population has .steadily increased, not
withstanding the waste that has been made hi the camp, the siege, and
the battle-field ; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of
augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect a continuance
of years, with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised, nor hath any mortal hand worked
cut these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High
God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless
remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly,
reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and voice,
by the whole American people. I do. therefore, invite my fellow-citizens
in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea, and
those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe
the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and
prayer to our beneficent Father, who dwelleth in the heavens. And I
recommend to them that, while offering up the ascriptions justly due
to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with
humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, com
mend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans,
mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are
unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the
Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation, and to restore it, as
soon as may be consistent with the divine purposes, to the full enjoy
ment of peace, harmony, tranquillity, and union.

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 third day of October, in the
[L. s.] year of our Lord 1863, and of the independence of the
United States the eighty-eighth.


By the President :

WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.



OF 1863.

THE condition of affairs in Missouri has been somewhat
peculiar, from the very outbreak of the rebellion. At the out
set the Executive Department of the State government was in
the hands of men in full sympathy with the secession cause,
who,^ under pretence of protecting the State from domes
tic violence, were organizing its forces for active co-operation
with the rebel movement. On the 30th of July, 1861, the
State Convention, originally called by Governor Jackson , for
the purpose of taking Missouri out of the Union, but to
which the people had elected a large majority of Union men,
declared all the Executive offices of the State vacant, by rea
son of the treasonable conduct of the incumbents, and ap
pointed a Provisional Government, of which the Hon. H. R.
Gamble was at the head. He at once took measures to main
tain the National authority within the State. He ordered the
troops belonging to the rebel confederacy to withdraw from it,
and called upon all the citizens of the State to organize for its
defence, and for the preservation of peace within its borders.
He also issued a proclamation, framed in accordance with the
following suggestions from Washington :

WASIIIXGTON, August 3, 1861.
To His "Excellency Gov. GAMBLE, Governor of Missouri :

In reply to your Message, addressed to the President, I am directed
to say, that if, by a Proclamation, you promise security to citizens in
arms, who voluntarily return to their allegiance, and behave as peaceable
and loyal men, this Government will cause the promise to be respected.

SIMON CAMERON, Secretary of War.


T\vo days after this, Governor Jackson, returning from
Richmond, declared the State to be no longer one of the
United States ; and on the 2d of November, the Legislature,
summoned by him as Governor, ratified a compact, by which
certain commissioners, on both sides, had agreed that Mis
souri should join the rebel confederacy. The State authority
was thus divided two persons claiming to wield the Executive
authority, and two bodies, also, claiming to represent the popu
lar will, one adhering to the Union, and the other to the Con
federacy in organized rebellion against it. This state of things
naturally led to wide-spread disorder, and carried all the evils
of civil war into every section and neighborhood of the State.

To these evils were gradually added others, growing out of
a division of sentiment, which afterwards ripened into sharp
hostility, among the friends of the Union within the State.
One of the earliest causes of this dissension was the action
and removal of General Fremont, who arrived at St. Louis, to
take command of the Western Department, on the 26th of
July, 1861. On the 31st of August he issued a Proclamation,
declaring that circumstances, in his judgment, of sufficient
urgency, rendered it necessary that " the commanding general
of the Department should assume the administrative power
of the State" thus superseding entirely the authority of the
civi[ rulers. He also proclaimed the whole State to be under
martial law, declared that all persons taken with arms in their
hands, within the designated lines of the Department, should
be tried by court-martial, and if found guilty, shot ; and con
fiscating the property and emancipating the slaves of " all per
sons who should be proved to have taken an active part with
the enemies of the United States." This latter clause, trans
cending the authority conferred by the confiscation act of
Congress, was subsequently modified by order of the Presi
dent of the United States.*

* See page 161.



On the 14th of October, after a personal inspection of af
fairs in that department by the Secretary of War, an order
was issued from the War Department, in effect censuring
General Fremont for having expended very large sums of the
public money, through agents of his own appointment, and
not responsible to the government ; requiring all contracts
and disbursements to be made by the proper officers of the
army ; directing the discontinuance of the extensive field-
works, which the General was erecting around St. Louis and
Jefferson City ; and also the barracks in construction around
his head-quarters, and also notifying him that the officers, to
whom he had issued commissions, would not be paid until
those commissions should have been approved by the Presi
dent. On the 1st of November, General Fremont entered
into an agreement with General Sterling Price, commanding
the rebel forces in Missouri, by which each party stipulated
that no further arrests of citizens should be made on either
side for the expression of political opinions, and releasing all
who were then in custody on such charges.

On the 2d of November, General Fremont was relieved
from his command in the Western Department, in consequence
of his action in the matters above referred to, his command
devolving on General Hunter, to whom, as soon as a change
in the command of the Department had been decided on, the
President had addressed the following letter :

WASHINGTON, October 24, 1861.

SIB: The command of the Department of the "West having devolved

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 35 of 46)