Henry J. (Henry Jarvis) Raymond.

Lincoln, his life and times : 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, letters, and proclamations, and the closing scenes connected with his life and death (Volume 2) online

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Online LibraryHenry J. (Henry Jarvis) RaymondLincoln, his life and times : 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, letters, and proclamations, and the closing scenes connected with his life and death (Volume 2) → online text (page 2 of 41)
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mented confidence that the Union of these States will be maintained,
their Constitution preserved, and their peace and prosperity per-
manently secured; but these victories have been accorded, not with-
out 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-,

Now. therefore, be it known, that I do set apart Thursday, the
r 'xth 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 assemble 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 counsels 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 vicissitudes 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
(l. s.) of the independence of the United States of America the
eighty-eighth. Abraham Lincoln.

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 impor-
tance which deserve mention, though their relation to the
special object of this work is not such as to require them to
be described in detail.

After the retreat of the rebel General Lee to the south
side of the Rapidan, a considerable portion of his army was
detached and sent to re-enforce Bragg, threatened by Rose-
crans, at Chattanooga; but, with his numbers thus dimin-
ished, Lee assumed a threatening attitude against Meade,
and turning his left flank, forced him to fall back to the line
of Bull Run. Several sharp skirmishes occurred during
these operations, in which both sides sustained considerable
losses, but no substantial advantage was gained by the reb-
els, and by the 1st of November they had resumed theirj
original position on the south side of the Rapidan.

After the battle of Murfreesboro', and the occupation of
that place bv 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 to completely deliver East
Tennessee from the rebel armies. He was told that General
Burnside would move from Kentucky in aid of this move-
ment. General Rosecrans, however, deemed his forces un-
equal to such an enterprise; but, receiving re-enforcements,
he commenced 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 movement upon his left flank, Rosecrans threw the
main body of his army upon the enemy's right, which he
turned so completely that Bragg abandoned his position,
and fell back rapidly, and in confusion, to Bridgeport, Ala-
bama, being pursued as far as practicable by our forces.
General Burnside had been ordered to connect himself with
Rosecrans, but had failed- to do so. Bragg continued his
retreat across the Cumberland Mountain and the Tennessee
River, and took post at Chattanooga, whither he was pur-
sued by Rosecrans, who reached the Tennessee on the 20th
of August, and on the 21st commenced shelling Chattanooga
and making preparation for throwing his army across the
river. A reconnoissance, made by General Crittenden on
the 9th of September, disclosed the fact that the rebels had
abandoned the position, which was immediately occupied by
our forces, who pushed forward towards the South. Indica-
tions that the rebel General was receiving heavy re-enforce-
ments and manoeuvring to turn the right of our army, led
to a concentration of all our available forces ; but, notwith-
standing all this, on the 19th of September, General Rose-
crans 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 gain the road to Chattanooga.
The attack was renewed the next morning, and with tem-
porary success — Longstreet's Corps, which had been brought
down from the Army of Virginia, 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 Gen-
eral 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 sixteen hundred and forty-f out-
killed, nine thousand two hundred and sixty-two wounded,
and four thousand eight hundred and forty-five missing-— a
total swelled by the estimated losses of our cavalry to about
sixteen thousand three hundred and fifty-One. The rebel
General immediately sent Longstreet against Bufnside, who
was at Knoxville, while he established his main force again
in the neighborhood of Chattanooga. In October, General
Rosecrans was superseded by General Grant. On Novem-
ber 23d, having J)een re-enforced by General Sherman from
Vicksburg, General Grant moved his army to the attack,
and on the 25th the whole of the range of heights known as
Missionary 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 esti-
mated at about four thousand. Generals Thomas and
Hooker pushed the rebel forces back into Georgia, and
Granger and Sherman were sent into East Tennessee to re-
lieve 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 : —

Executive Mansion, Washington, December 7, 1863.

Reliable information being received that the insurgent force is re-
treating 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 recommend 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 advance-
ment of the national cause. A. Lincoln.

On the 3d of October, the President had issued the fol r
lowing 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 has 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 whence 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 Almighty God. In the midst of a civil
war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes
seemed to invite and provoke the aggressions of foreign States,
peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been main-
tained, 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,
has 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 in 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 continu-
ance of years, with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised, nor hath any mortal hand worked
out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High
God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath neverthe-
less 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 thanks-
giving 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 per-
verseness and disobedience, commend 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 con-
sistent with the divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, har-
mony, 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
year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-
(l. s.) three, and of the independence of the United States the
eighty-eighth. Abraham Lincoln.

By the President:

William H. Seward, Secretary of State,




General Fremont in Missouri. — The President's Letter to General
Hunter. — Emancipation in Missouri. — Appointment of General
Schofield. — The President and the Missouri Radicals. — The Presi-
dent to the Missouri Committee. — The President and General
Schofield. — The President and the Churches. — Letter to Illinois. —
The Elections of 1863.

The condition of affairs in Missouri had been somewhat
peculiar, from the very outbreak of the rebellion. At the
outset 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
domestic 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 reason of the treasonable conduct of the incum-
bents, and appointed a Provisional Government, of which
the Hon. H. R. Gamble was at the head. He at once took
measures to maintain 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 : —

Washington, August 8, 1861.

To His Excellency, Gov. Gamble, Governor of Missouri :

In replv toyour 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 peace-
able and loyal men, this Government will cause the promise to be
respected. Simon Cameron, Secretary of War.

Two days after this, Governor Jackson, returning from
Richmond, declared the State to be no longer one of the
United States; nd 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 author-
ity was thus divided — two persons claiming to wield the Ex-
ecutive authority, and two bodies, also, claiming to represent
the popular will — one adhering to the Union, and the other
to the Confederacy 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 neigh-
borhood 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 proc-
lamation, declaring that circumstances, in his judgment, of
sufficient urgency, rendered it necessary that "the Com-
manding General of the Department should assume the ad-
ministrative power of the State," thus superseding entirely
the ^authority of the civil rulers. He also proclaimed the
whole State to be under martial law, declared that all per-
sons 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 confiscated the property and
emancipated the slaves of "all persons who should be found
to have taken an active part with the enemies of the United
States." This latter clause, transcending the act conferred
by the Confiscation Act of Congress, was subsequently modi-
fied by order of the President of the United States.*

On the 14th of October, after a personal inspection of
affairs *in that Department by the Secretary of War, an order

* See page 191.


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 con-
tracts and disbursements to be made by the proper officers
of the army; directing the discontinuance of the extensive
fieldworks 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 President. On the 1st of November, General Fremont
entered into an agreement with General Sterling Price, com-
manding 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 26. of November, General Fremont was relieved
from his command in the Western Department, in conse-
quence 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 let-

Washington, October 24, 1861.

Sir: — The command of the Department of the West having de-
volved upon you, I propose to offer you a few suggestions, knowing
how hazardous it is to bind down a distant commander in the field
to specific lines of operation, as so much always depends on the
knowledge of localities and passing events. It is intended, therefore,
to leave considerable margin for the exercise of your judgment and

The main rebel army (Price's) west of the Mississippi is believed
to have passed Dade County in full retreat upon Northwestern
Arkansas, leaving Missouri almost free from the enemy, excepting
in the southeast part of the State. Assuming this basis of fact, it
seems desirable — as you are not likely to overtake Price, and are
in danger of making too long a line from your own base of sup-
plies and re-enforcements — that you should give up the pursuit, halt
your main army, divide it into two corps of observation, one occupy-
ing Sedalia and the other Rolla, the present termini of railroads,
then recruit the condition of both corps by re-establishing and im-
proving their discipline and instruction, perfecting their clothing
and equipments, and providing less uncomfortable quarters. Of


course, both railroads must be guarded and kept open, judiciously
employing just so much force as is necessary for this. From these
two points, Sedalia and Rolla, and especially in judicious co-opera-
tion with Lane on the Kansas border, it would be very easy to con-
centrate, and repel any army of the enemy returning on Missouri
on the southwest. As it is not probable any such attempt to return
will be made before or during the approaching cold weather, before
spring the people of Missouri will be in no favorable mood for re-
newing for next year the troubles which have so much afflicted and
impoverished them during this.

If you take this line of policy, and if, as I anticipate, you will see
no enemy in great force approaching, you will have a surplus force
which you can withdraw from those points, and direct to others, as
may be needed — the railroads furnishing ready means of re-enforcing
those main points, if occasion requires.

Doubtless local uprisings for a time will continue to occur, but
those can be met by detachments of local forces of our own, and
will ere long tire out of themselves.

While, as stated at the beginning of this letter, a large discretion
must be and is left with yourself, I feel sure that an indefinite pur-
suit of Price, or an attempt by this long and circuitous route to
reach Memphis, will be exhaustive beyond endurance, and will end
in the loss of the whole force engaged in it. Your obedient servant,

A. Lincoln.
The Commander of the Department of the West.

General Hunter's first act was to repudiate the agreement
of General Fremont with General Price, and, on the 18th of
November, General Halleck arrived as his successor.

The action of General Fremont had given rise to very
serious complaints on the part of the people of Missouri;
and these, in turn, had led to strong demonstrations on his
behalf. His removal was made the occasion for public mani-
festations of sympathy for him, and of censure for the Gov-
ernment. An address was presented to him, signed by large
numbers of the citizens of St. Louis, those of German birth
largely predominating, in which his removal was ascribed to
jealousy of his popularity, and to the fact that his policy in
regard to emancipation was in advance of the Government at
Washington. "You have risen," said this address, "too fast
in popular favor. The policy announced in your proclama-
tion, although hailed as a political and military necessity,
furnished your ambitious rivals and enemies with a cruel
weapon for your intended destruction. The harbingers of
truth will ever be crucified by the Pharisees. We cannot be
deceived by shallow and flimsy pretexts, by unfounded and
slanderous reports. We entertain no doubt of your ability


to speedily confound and silence your traducers. The day of
reckoning- is not far distant, and the people will take care
that the schemes of your opponents shall, in the end, be
signally defeated." The General accepted these tributes to
his merits, and these denunciations of the Government, with
grateful acknowledgments, saying that the kind and affec-
tionate demonstrations which greeted him, cheered and
strengthened his confidence — "my confidence," he said, "al-
ready somewhat wavering, in our republican institutions."

The sharp personal discussions to which this incident gave
rise, were made still more bitter, by denunciations of Gen-
eral Halleck's course in excluding, for military reasons,
which have been already noticed,* fugitive slaves from our
lines, and by the contest that soon came up in the State
Convention, on the general subject of emancipation. On the
7th of June, 1862, a bill was introduced into the convention
by Judge Breckinridge, of St. Louis, for gradual emancipa-
tion, framed in accordance with the recommendation of the
President's Message. By the combined votes of those who
were opposed to emancipation in anv form, and those who
were opposed to the President's plan of gradual emancipa-
tion, this bill was summarily laid on the table. But on the
13th, the subject was again brought up by a message from
Governor Gamble, calling attention to the fact that Congress
had passed a resolution, in accordance with the President's
recommendation, declaring that "the United States ought
to co-operate with any State which might adopt a gradual
emancipation of slavery, giving to such State, at its discre-
tion, compensation for the inconvenience, public and private,
caused by such a change of system." This message was
referred to a special committee", which reported resolutions
recognizing the generous spirit of this proposal, but declin-
ing to take any action upon it. These resolutions were
adopted, and on the 16th a Mass Convention of Emancipa-
tionists, consisting of one hundred and ninety-five delegates
from twenty-five counties, met at Jefferson City, and passed
resolutions, declaring it to be the duty of the next General
Assembly to pass laws giving effect to a gradual system of
emancipation on the basis proposed.

* See page 302,


At the State election, in the following November, the ques-
tion of emancipation was the leading theme of controversy.
Throughout the State the canvass turned upon this issue,
and resulted in the choice of a decided majority of the As-
sembly favorable to emancipation. But the division in the
ranks of this party still continued, and gave rise to very
heated and bitter contests, especially in St. Louis. During the
summer, the main rebel army having been driven from the
State, and the Union army being of necessity in the main
withdrawn to other fields, the State was overrun by reckless
bands of rebel guerrillas, who robbed and plundered Union
citizens, and created very great alarm among the people.
In consequence of these outrages, Governor Gamble ordered
the organization of the entire militia of the State, and author-
ized General Schofield to call into active service such por-
tions of it as might be needed to put down marauders, and
defend peaceable and loyal citizens. The organization was
effected with great promptness, and the State militia became
a powerful auxiliary of the National forces, and cleared all
sections of the State of the lawless bands which had inflicted
so much injury and committed so many outrages.

On the 19th of September, the States "of Missouri, Kansas,
and Arkansas were formed into a military district, of which
the command was assigned to General Curtis, who was

Online LibraryHenry J. (Henry Jarvis) RaymondLincoln, his life and times : 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, letters, and proclamations, and the closing scenes connected with his life and death (Volume 2) → online text (page 2 of 41)