Henry J. (Henry Jarvis) Raymond.

Lincoln, his life and time : being the life and public services of Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth president of the United States, together with his state papers, including his speeches, addresses, messages and proclamations and closing scenes connected with his life and death (Volume 2) online

. (page 1 of 42)
Online LibraryHenry J. (Henry Jarvis) RaymondLincoln, his life and time : being the life and public services of Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth president of the United States, together with his state papers, including his speeches, addresses, messages and proclamations and closing scenes connected with his life and death (Volume 2) → online text (page 1 of 42)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook






ItllUl UWTf


His Life and Times.





















: : :VJ / ,.:V . I/, 2_.





THE military events of 1863, though of very great im
portance, are much less closely connected with the direct
action of the President than those which occurred in
1862 ; we shall not attempt, therefore, to narrate them as
much in detail. When General Burnside succeeded Gen
eral McClellaii in command of the Army of the Potomac,
on the 7th of November, 1862, that army was at Warren-
ton, the rebel forces falling back before it towards Rich
m ond. Deeming it impossible to force the enemy to a
decisive battle, and unsafe to follow him to Richmond on
a line which must make it very difficult to keep up his
communications, General Burnside, on the 15th, turned
his army towards Fredericksburg marching on the north
bank of the Rappahannock, intending to cross the river,
take possession of Fredericksburg, and march upon Rich-
iiK/iid from that point. The advance division, under Gen
eral Sumner, arrived opposite Fredericksburg on th<-
19th ; but a pontoon train, which had been ordered and
was expected to be there at the same time, had not come
so that crossing at the moment was impossible. The
delay that thus became unavoidable enabled General Lee
to bring up a strong force from the rebel army, and possess
himself of the heights of Fredericksburg. On the night
of the 10th of December, General Burnside threw a bridge
of pontoons across the river, and the next day constructed
four bridges, under cover of a terrific bombardment of
the town. On tLu llth and 12th liis army was crossed
over, and on the 13th attacked the enemy General Sum*


ner commanding. in front,; ^djGeneral Franklin haying
command of a- ^trivwiftl f>aaking movement against the

rebel right.*. ^bc^>*y^T ttV ^" ;Were to 6troil ^ 1 >" P ost "
ed to be xiM6%e<l * OiTffoiV.ea" suffered severely, and
wore unable to advance. On the night of the ir>th, they
wore therefore withdrawn to the opposite ba-ik of the
river. Our losses in this engagement, were one thousand
one hundred and thirty-eight killed, nine thousand oi:e
hundred and five wounded, two thousand and seventy -
eight missing ; total, twelve thousand three hundred and

The army remained quiet until the 20th of January,
when General Burnside again issued orders for an ad
vance, intending to cross the river some six or eight miles
above Frederick sburg, and make a flank attack upon the
ieit wing of thr robe! army. The whole army was moved
to the place of crossing early in the morning, but a heavy
storm on the preceding night had so damaged the roads
as to make it impossible to bring up artillery and pontoons
with the promptness essential to success*. On the 24th,
General Burnside was relieved from command of the
Army of the Potomac, and General Hooker appointed in
his place. Three months were passed in inaction, the
season forbidding any movement ; but on the 27th of
April, General Hooker pushed three divisions of his army
to Kelley s Ford, twenty-five miles above Fredericksburg,
and by the 30th had crossed the river, and turning south, \
had reached Chancellors ville five or six miles southwest
of that town. A strong cavalry force, under General
Stoneman, had been sent to cut the railroad in the rear of
the rebel army, so as to prevent their receiving re-enforce
ments from Richmond General Hooker s design being
to attack the enemy in flank and rear The oilier divi
sions of his army had crossed and joined his main force
at Chaneellorsville, General Sedgwiek, with one division
only, being left opposite Fredericksburg. On the 2d of
May, the left wing of the rebel army, under General Jack
son, attacked our right, and gained a decided advantage
of position, which was recovered, however, before the


day closed. The action was renewed next day, arid tli-v
advantage remained with the enemy. General Sedgwi-k,
meantime, had crossed the river and occupied the heights
of Fredericksburg, but was driven from them and con.
pelled to retreat on the night of the 4th. On the morning
of the 5 tli a heavy rain-storm set in, and in the night o.f
that day General Hooker withdrew his army to the nortl 1
bank of the Rappahannock, having lost not far froir
eighteen thousand men in the movement.

Both armies remained inactive until the 9th of June
when it was discovered that the rebel forces under Lee were
leaving their position near Fredericksburg and moving
northwest, through the valley of the Shenandoah. On
the 13th the rebel General Ewell, with a heavy force, at
tacked our advance post of seven thousand men at Win
Chester under General Miiroy, and not only compelled
him to retreat, but pursued him so closely as to convert
his retreat into a rout ; and on the 14th of June the rebel
army began to cross the Potomac and advanced upon
Hagerstown, Maryland, with the evident purpose of in
vading Pennsylvania. The movement created the most
intense excitement throughout the country. President
Lincoln issued a proclamation calling for one hundred
thousand militia from the States most directly menaced,
to serve for six months, and New York was summoned
to send twenty thousand also. On the 27th the main body
of the rebel army crossed the Potomac at William sport,
and General Lee took up his head-quarters at Hagerstown.

Meantime, as soon as the movement of the rebel forces
Iron) Fredericksburg was discovered, our army had broken
up its encampment and marched northward, on a lino
nearly parallel with that of the enemy, and c n the 27th,
the same day that the rebels reached Hagerstown, the
head-quarters of our army were at Frederick City our
whole force being thus interposed between the rebels and
both Baltimore and Washington, and prepared to follow
them into Pennsylvania. On that day General Hooker
was relieved from command of the army, which was con
ferred upon General Meade, who at once ordered an ad-


vaisoe into Pennsylvania in the general direction of liar-
risburg towards which the enemy was rapidly advancing
in force. On the 1st of July our advanced corps, the
First and Eleventh, under Generals Reynolds and Howard,
came in contact with the enemy, strongly posted near the
town of Gettysburg, and, attacking at once, fought an in
decisive battle ; the enemy being so far superior in num
bers as to compel General Howard, who was in command
at the time, to Hill back to Cemetery Hill and wait for
re-enforcements. During the night all the corps of our
army were concentrated and the next day posted around
that* point. The Eleventh Corps retained its position on
the Cemetery ridge : the First Corps was on the right of
the Eleventh, on a knoll, connecting with the ridge ex
tending to the south and east, on which the Second Corps
was placed. The right of the Twelfth Corps rested on a
small stream. The Second and Third Corps were posted
on the left of the Eleventh, on the prolongation of Ceme
tery ridge. The Fifth was held in reserve until the arrival
of the Sixth, at 2 r. M. on the 2d, after a march of thirty-
two miles in seventeen hours, when the Fifth was ordered
to the extreme left and the Sixth placed in reserve.

At about 3 o clock the battle was opened by a tremen
dous onset of the enemy, whose troops were massed
along a ridge a mile or so in our front, upon the Third
Corps, which formed our extreme left, and which met the
shock with heroic firmness, until it was supported by the
Third and Fifth. General Sickles, who commanded the
Third Corps, was severely wounded early in the action,
and General Birnej 7 , who succeeded to tiie coinman
though urged to fall back, was enabled, by the help of th
First and Sixth Corps, to hold his ground, and at about
sunset the enemy retired in confusion. Another assault
was made on our left during the evening, which was also
repulsed. On the morning of the 3d, a spirited assail] t w&s
made upon the right of our line, but vrithout success ,
and at one p. M. tiie enemy opened an artillery fire upon
our centre and left from one hundred arid twenty -five
guns, which continued for over two hours, vdthout reply


from our side, when it was followed "by a heavy assault
of infantry, directed mainly against the Second Corps,
and repelled with firmness and success by that corps,
supported by Standard s Brigade of the First Corps.
This repulse of the centre terminated the "battle. On
the morning of the 4th, a reconnoissance showed that the
enemy had withdrawn his left Hank, maintaining his posi
tion in front of our left, with the apparent purpose of form
ing a new line of attack ; but the next morning it was
ascertained that he was in full retreat. The Sixth Corps,
tvith all disposable cavalry, were at once sent in pursuit ;
but ascertaining that the enemy had availed himself of
very strong passes which could be held by a small force,
G-eneraJ Meade determined to pursue by a flank move
ment, and after burying the dead and succoring the
wounded, the whole army was put in motion for the
Potomac. On the 12th it arrived in front of the enemy,
jstrongly posted on the heights in advance of Williams-
port. The next day was devoted to an examination of
the position ; but on advancing for an attack on the 14th,
it was discovered that the enemy had succeeded in cross
ing by the bridge - at Falling Waters and the ford at
Williamsport. The pursuit was continued still further,
but the enemy, though greatly harassed arid subjected to
severe losses, succeeded in gaining the line of the Hapi-
<lan, and our forces again occupied their old position on
\ > Kappahannock.

On the morning of the 4th of July, the day celebrated
hroughout the country as the anniversary of the Dec
oration of Independence, the President issued the fol
lowing :

WAsmxoTON, July 4, 10.80 A. M.

The President announces to the country that news from the Army of
the Potomac, up to 10 p. M. of the 3d, is such, as to cover that army with
the highest honor; to prom we a great success to the cause of the Union,
and to claim the condolence of all for the many gallant fallen; and that
for tins he especially desires that on this day, He, whose will, not ours,
clould ever he done, be everywhere remembered and reverenced with
profoundest gratitude. A. LINCOLN.

The result of this battle one of the severest and most


sanguinary of the war was of tlie utmost importance.
It drove the rebels back from their intended invasion of
Pennsylvania and Maryland, and compelled them to
evacuate the upper part of the Valley of the Slienan-
doali, leaving in our hands nearly fourteen thousand pris-
oner;-, and twenty-five thousand small arms collected on
the h:tile-neld. Our own losses were very severe, amount
ing to two thousand eight hundred and thirty -four killed
thirteen thousand seven hundred and nine wounded, ana
six thousand six hundred and forty-three missing -in all
twenty-three thousand one hundred and eightv-six.

During the ensuing season, a piece of ground, seventeen
and a half acres in extent, adjoining the town cemetery,
and forming an important part of the "battle-field, was
purchased by the State of Pennsylvania,, to be used as a
national burying-ground for the loyal soldiers who fell
in that great engagement. It was dedicated, with solemn
and impressive ceremonies, on the 19th of November,
1863, the President and members of his Cabinet being in
attendance, and a very large and imposing military dis
play adding grace and dignity to the occasion. Hon.
Edward Everett delivered the formal address, and Presi
dent Lincoln made the following remarks :

Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth upon this
continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the prop
osition that all men are created equal. So\\ r we are engaged in a great,
civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived an-.!
dedicated, can long endure. We are rnet on a great battle-Held of tii..
war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-
place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It
ia altogether fittu.g and proper that we should do this. But in a larger
sense we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this
ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have con
secrated it far above our power to add or detract. The world will little
note, nor long remember, what we say here, but it can never forget what
they did here. It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the
unfinished work which they who fought here have thus fur so nobly ad
vanced. It is rather for us to bo here dedicated to the great task remain
ing before us, that from these honored dead we take increased devotion
to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion; that
we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain ; that


tfcia nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and th
ernraent of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall nol
from the earth.

The other great military achievement of the yea
the capture of Port Hudson and Vicksburg, an
opening of the Mississippi River throughout its
length to the commerce of the United States. Gene]
P. Banks, who succeeded General Butler in comma
the military department of Louisiana, readied Ne~
leans, sustained by a formidable expedition from
York, and assumed command on the 15th of Decen
1862, and at once took possession of Baton Rouge
the 21st, an expedition under General W. T. She
started from Memphis, passed down the Mississij
the mouth of the Yazoo, some ten miles above Vicks
and on the 26th ascended that river, landed, and
nienced an attack upon the town from the rear. S
fighting continued for three days, during which tim
army pushed within two miles of the city ; but o
30th they were repulsed with heavy loss. On the
January, General McCIernand arrived and took
mand, and- the attack upon Yieksburg was for the
abandoned as hopeless. The capture of Arkansas
however, relieved the failure in some degree. On
ruary 2d, General Grant having been put in comr
the attack upon Yieksburg was renewed. Various
were undertaken, now to get in the rear of the place tin
bayous, and now to cut a canal across a bend of the
sissippi, and thus command the river above and b
All these failing, vessels were boldly run by the
batteries ; and, on the 30th of April, General (
crossed the river at Bruinsburg, sixty-five miles I
Yieksburg, and immediately advanced upon Port
son, where he was opposed by the rebel General
en, who was defeated, witli a loss in killed, woui
and prisoners, of one thousand five hundred men,
Grand Gulf, ten miles above Bruinsburg, the enemj
begun to erect strong fortifications. These had
fired upon by our gunboats a few days before, i

.^.f T0/-l


now gained the rear of this strong post, Admiral Porter,
two days after the light at Port Gibson, returned to
Grand Gulf and found it abandoned. Grant s army
then marched upward towards Vieksburg, and on the
12th of May encountered the enemy again at Raymond,
not for from Jackson, the capital of the State of Missis-
ppi. and again defeated them with a loss of eight hun
dred. 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 De
partment 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 Vicks
burg. General Pemberton, the commander at that point,
advanced with the hope of checking him, but was de
feated, on the 16th, at Bakers Creek, losing four thou
sand men, and twenty-nine pieces of artilleiy. On the
next day the same force was encountered and defeated at
Big B]ack Elver Bridge, ten miles from Vicksburg, with
a loss of two thousand si: hundred men, and seventeen
pieces of artillery. On the 18th, 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 regular siege
was at once laid to the city by the land forces, the gun
boats in the river co-operating. Our approaches were
pushed forward with vigorous pel-severance ; our works,
in spite of the most strenuous opposition of the garrison
under General Pemberton, drawing nearer every day,
and the gunboats in the river keeping up an almost con
stant bombardment. The enemy, it was known, were
greatly straitened by want of supplies and amnauni-
tion, and their only hope of relief was that General
Johnston would be able to collect an army sufficient to
raise the siege by attacking Grant in his rear. This had
been so strongly defended that a force of fifty thousand
men would have been required to make the attempt with

Si ATK P.Al KKS 01- AlJSiAilAM LiNC /LM. 410

with any hope of success, and Jolniston w;ts not able to
concentrate half of that nnn-inr. <.Yn i rc;i Peinberton.
Iherefore, proposed to surrender Yirksburg on the morn
ing of the 4th of July, 011 condition that his troops should
be permitted to march out. Grant refused, demanding an
absolute surrender of the garrison as prisoners of war.
Upon consultation with his oiikfrs, Pemberton acceded
to these terms. By this surrender about thirty-one thou
sand prisoners, two hundred and twenty cannon, an\
seventy thousand stand of small arms fell into our hand:
The prisoners 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
forty thousand ; ours was not far from seven thousand.

The capture of Yicksburg was immediately followed
by that of Port Hudson, which was surrendered on the
8th of July to General Banks, together with about seven
thousand prisoners, fifty cannon, and a considerable num
ber 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 expressed the joy of the people,
and testiiied their unflinching purpose to prosecute th /
uar until the rebellion should be extinguished. A Ian.
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 acknowl
edged in the following remarks :

FELLOW-CITIZENS: I am very ghid indeed to see you to-night, and yet
I will not say I thank you, for this cull; hut I do moat sincerely thank
Almighty God for the occasion on which you have called. How long
ago is it? eighty odd yours since, on the Fourth of July, for the first


time, iij the history of the -.\ori.J, a nation, by it* r.pres-jnUtive* as,-er:>-
bled and declared as a self-evident truth, "that all men are created
equal." That was the birthday of the United States of America. Slnoo
then the Fourth of July h;is iia .l several very peculiar re. ognitio ia The
two men most distinguished in the framing and support of the Declara
tion were Thomas Jefferson and Joi.ui Adams the one having penned
it, and tlie other sustained it the most forcibly in debate the only two
of the fifty-live who signed it, and were elected Presidents of ha united
States. Precisely fifty years after they put their hands to tbe paper, H
pleased Almighty Cod to take boih from this stage of action. This was
indeed an extraordinary and remarkable event in our history. Another
President, rive years alter, was called from this stage of existence on
the same day and month uf the year; and now on this last Fourtli of
July, just passed, when we have a gigantic rebellion, at the bottom of
which is an effort to overthrow the principle that all meii were created
equal, we have the surrender of a must powerful position and army on
that very day. And not only .so, 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 baitie, on the first, second, and third of the
month of July; and on the fourth the cohorts of those who opposed
the Declaration that all men are created equal, u turned tail" and run,
[Long-continued cheers.] Gentlemen, this is a glorious theme, and the
occasion for a speech, but I urn not prepared 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 iought in the cause of the Union and liber
ties 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 oiiicer, lest I might do wrong to those 1
might forget. Kecent events bring up glorious names, and particularly
prominent ones; but these I will not mention. Having said this much, J
will now take the music.

The Present, a few days afterwards, wrote to General
Gfrant the following lettv-r :

Major-Greneral GRANT:

MY DKAK GENERAL:- -I do not remember that you and I ever met per
soually. J write tnis now as a grateful acknowledgment for the almost
inestimable service you have done the country. 1 write to say a word
further. When you first reached the vicinity of Vicksburg, I thought you
should d-) what you finally didmarch the troops across the neck, run
the batteries with the transports, and thus go below; and I never had
any faith, except a general h,,pe that yo,; knew better than I, that the
Yazoo Pass expedition, and the like, could succeed. When you got below,
and took Port Gibson, Grand lnl and vicinity, 1 thought you should go


down the river and join General Ranks, and when you turned north vftrd,
east of the 15ig Black. I feared it; was a mis!. -ike. I now wish to nv.-ke the
personal acknowledgment, that yon were right and I was wrong.

YOUTH, truly,


These victories, together with others, both numerous
and important, whi; h were achieved in other sections of
the country, gave such strong- grounds of encouragement
and hope for the speedy overthrow of the rebellion, that,
on the 15tli 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 hind and on the sea, victories so signal
and so effective as to furnish reasonable grounds for augmented confi
dence that the Union of these States will be maintained, their Constitu
tion preserved, and their peace and prosperity permanently secured; hut
these victories have been accorded, not without sacrifice of life, limb,
and liberty, incurred by brave, patriotic, and loyal citizens. Domestic

Online LibraryHenry J. (Henry Jarvis) RaymondLincoln, his life and time : being the life and public services of Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth president of the United States, together with his state papers, including his speeches, addresses, messages and proclamations and closing scenes connected with his life and death (Volume 2) → online text (page 1 of 42)