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Joseph Warren Keifer.

Slavery and four years of war; a political history of slavery in the United States, together with a narrative of the campaigns and battles of the Civil War in which the author took part: 1861-1865 online

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SLAVERY AND
FOUR YEARS OF WAR

A POLITICAL HISTORY OF SLAVERY
IN THE UNITED STATES

TOGETHER WITH A NARRATIVE OF THE CAMPAIGNS

AND BATTLES OF THE CIVIL WAR IN WHICH

THE AUTHOR TOOK PART: 1861-1865



BY

JOSEPH WARREN KEIFER

BREVET MAJOR-GENERAL OF VOLUNTEERS ; EX-SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF
REPRESENTATIVES, U.S.A.; AND MAJOR-GENERAL OF
VOLUNTEERS, SPANISH WAR



ILLUSTRATED

Volume I.
1861-1863



G. P. Putnam's Sons

New York and London

JLbe IRnicherbocfter press

1900



', \









Copyright, igoo

BY

JOSEPH WARREN KEIFER



t£be IKnfcfeecboclier ipcess, nevp Jfiocii



To THE

memory of the dead and as a tribute of esteem to

the living officers and soldiers who served

immediately with and under the author

in battles and campaigns of the

great american rebellion

This Book is Dedicated



PREFACE

THE writer of this book was a volunteer officer in the Union
army throughout the war of the Great RebeUion, and
his service was in the field.

The book, having been written while the author was engaged
in a somewhat active professional life, lacks that literary finish
which results from much pruning and painstaking. He, how-
ever, offers no excuse for writing it, nor for its composition;
he has presumed to nothing but the privilege of telling his own
story in his own way. He has been at no time forgetful of
the fact that he was a subordinate in a great conflict, and that
other soldiers discharged their duties as faithfully as himself;
and while no special favors are asked, he nevertheless hopes
that what he has written may be accepted as the testimony of
one who entertains a justifiable pride in having been connected
with large armies and a participant in important campaigns and
great battles.

He flatters himself that his summary of the political history
of slavery in the United States, and of the important political
events occurring upon the firing on Fort Sumter, and the ac-
count he has given of the several attempts to negotiate a peace
before the final overthrow of the Confederate armies, will be
of special interest to students of American history.

Slavery bred the doctrine of State-rights, which led, inevita-
bly, to secession and rebellion. The story of slavery and its
abolition in the United States is the most tragic one in the
world's annals. The " Confederate States of America " is the
only government ever attempted to be formed, avowedly to



VI



Preface



perpetuate human slavery. A history of the Rebellion without
that of slavery is but a recital of brave deeds without reference
to the motive which prompted their performance.

The chapter on slavery narrates its history in the United
States from the earliest times ; its status prior to the war ; its
effect on political parties and statesmen ; its aggressions, and
attempts at universal domination if not extension over the
whole Republic ; its inexorable demands on the friends of free-
dom, and its plan of perpetually establishing itself through
secession and the formation of a slave nation. It includes a
history of the secession of eleven Southern States, and the
formation of "The Confederate States of America"; also
what the North did to try to avert the Rebellion. It was
written to show why and how the Civil War came, what the
conquered lost, and what the victors won.

In other chapters the author has taken the liberty, for the
sake of continuity, of going beyond the conventional limits of
a personal memoir, but in doing this he has touched on no
topic not connected with the war.

The war campaigns cover the first one in Western Virginia,
1861 ; others in Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Ala-
bama, 1862; in West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, and Penn-
sylvania, 1863; and in Virginia, 1864; ending with the capture
of Richmond and Petersburg, the battles of Five Forks and
Sailor's Creek, and the surrender of Lee to Grant at Appomat-
tox, 1865. A chapter on the New York riots in 1863, also one
on the " Peace Negotiations," will be found, each in its proper
place.

Personal mention and descriptions of many officers known
to the writer are given ; also war incidents deemed to be of
interest to the reader.

But few generalizations are indulged in either as to events,
principles, or the character of men; instead, facts are given
from which generalizations may be formed.

The author is indebted to his friend, General George D.
Ruggles (General Meade's Assistant Adjutant-General, Army
of the Potomac, late Adjutant-General, U.S.A.), for important



Preface



Vll



data furnished from the War Department, and to his particular
friends, both in peace and war, General John Beatty and
Colonel Wm. S. Furay of Columbus, Ohio, for valuable sug-
gestions.

J. W. K.
December, 1899.




CONTENTS



CHAPTER I



PACK



Slavery : Its Political History in the United States, i

(I.) Introductory — (II.) Introduction of Slavery into the Colonies — (III.)
Declaration of Independence — (IV.) Continental Congress : Articles of
Confederation — (V.) Ordinance of 1787 — (VI.) Constitution of the
United States— (VII.) Causes of Growth of Slavery— (VIII.) Fugitive-
Slave Law, 1793 — (IX.) Slave Trade Abolished — (X.) Louisiana Purchase
—(XI.) Florida— (XII.) Missouri Compromise— (XIII.) Nullification—
(XIV.) Texas — (XV.) Mexican War, Acquisition of California and
New Mexico — (XVI.) Compromise Measures, 1850 — (XVII.) Nebraska
Act— (XVIII.) Kansas Struggle for Freedom— (XIX.) Dred Scott Case
—(XX.) John Brown Raid— (XXI.) Presidential Elections, 1856-1860
— (XXII.) Dissolution of the Union — (XXIII.) Secession of States —
(XXIV.) Action of Religious Denominations — (XXV.) Proposed Con-
cessions to Slavery— (XXVI.) Peace Conference— (XXVII.) District of
Columbia — (XXVIII.) Slavery Prohibited in Territories— (XXIX.)
Benton's Summary — (XXX.) Prophecy as to Slavery and Disunion.

CHAPTER II

Sumter Fired on — Seizure by Confederates of Arms,
Arsenals, and Forts — Disloyalty of Army and Navy
Officers — Proclamation of Lincoln for 75,000 Mil-
itia, and Preparation for War on Both Sides . 158

CHAPTER III

Personal Mention — Occupancy of Western Virginia un-
der McClellan (1861) — Campaign and Battle of Rich
Mountain, and Incidents . . . . . .186



X Contents

CHAPTER IV

PAGE

Repulse of General Lee and Affairs of Cheat Mountain
AND IN Tygart's Valley (September, i86i) — Killing
of John A. Washington, and Incidents — and Forma-
tion OF State of West Virginia ..... 205

CHAPTER V

Union Occupancy of Kentucky — Affair at Green River
— Defeat of Humphrey Marshall — Battles of Mill
Springs, Forts Henry and Donelson — Capture of
Bowling Green and Nashville, and Other Matters, 229

CHAPTER VI

Battle of Shiloh — Capture of Island No. 10 — Halleck's
Advance on Corinth, and Other Events . . 247

CHAPTER VII

Mitchel's Campaign to Northern Alabama — Andrews'
Raid into Georgia, and Capture of a Locomotive —
Affair at Bridgeport — Sacking of Athens, Alabama,
AND Court-Martial of Colonel Turchin — Burning of
Paint Rock by Colonel Beatty — Other Incidents
AND Personal Mention — Mitchel Relieved . . 264

CHAPTER VIII

Confederate Invasion of Kentucky (1862) — Cincinnati
Threatened, and "Squirrel Hunters" Called Out
— Battles of Iuka, Corinth, and Hatchie Bridge —
Movements of Confederate Armies of Bragg and
KiRBY Smith — Retirement of Buell's Army to Louis-
ville — Battle of Perryville, with Personal and
Other Incidents ........ 284

chapter ix

Commissioned Colonel of iioth Ohio Volunteers — Cam-
paigns IN West Virginia under General Milroy, 1862-
1863 — Emancipation of Slaves in the Shenandoah
Valley, and Incidents . ..... 309



ILLUSTRATIONS



J. WARREN KEiFER Frontispiece

ANDREW H. REEDER, FIRST GOVERNOR OF KANSAS TERRITORY.
FLIGHT IN DISGUISE, 1 855

[From a painting in Coates' House, Kansas City, Missouri.]
ABRAHAM LINCOLN .......

MAP OF THE UNITED STATES, i860 ....

[Showing free and slave States and Territories.]
GENERAL ULYSSES S. GRANT, U.S. A

[From a photograph taken 1865.]
CONFEDERATE SILVER HALF-DOLLAR ....

JOHN BEATTY, BRIGADIER-GENERAL OF VOLUNTEERS

[From a photograph taken 1863.]
RICH MOUNTAIN AND CHEAT MOUNTAIN COUNTRY, W. VA.
GENERAL WILLIAM T. SHERMAN, U.S.A.

[From a photograph taken 1881.]
MAJOR-GENERAL O. M. MITCHEL

[From a photograph taken 1862.]
BREVET BRIGADIER-GENERAL WM. H. BALL .

[From a photograph taken 1864.]
REV. WILLIAM T. MELOY, D.D., LIEUTENANT 122D OHIO VOLUN
TEERS .........

[From a photograph taken 1896.]
MAJOR-GENERAL ROBERT H. MILROY ....

[From a photograph taken 1863.]



94

120
124

158

160
188

214
232

264

308

312
.316



Xll



Illustrations



LIEUTENANT JAMES A. FOX, IIOTH OHIO VOLUNTEERS

[From a photograph taken 1863.]
MAP OF SHENANDOAH VALLEY ......

[From Major W. F. Tiemann's History of the isgth New York.]
REV. MILTON J. MILLER, CHAPLAIN IIOTH OHIO VOLUNTEERS .

[From a photograph taken 1865. J
REV. CHARLES C. McCABE, D.D., BISHOP M. E. CHURCH, CHAP-
LAIN I22D OHIO VOLUNTEERS .....

[From a photograph taken 1868.]



PAGE

316

318

322
322




SLAVERY AND FOUR YEARS OF WAR



SLAVERY AND FOUR YEARS
OF WAR



CHAPTER I
SLAVERY: ITS POLITICAL HISTORY IN THE UNITED STATES

(I.) Introductory — (II.) Introduction of Slavery into the Colonies — (III.) Declara-
tion of Independence — (IV.) Continental Congress : Articles of Confederation
— (V.) Ordinance of 1787— (VI.) Constitution of the United States— (VII.)
Causes of Growth of Slavery — (VIII.) Fugitive-Slave Law, 1793— (IX.) Slave
Trade Abolished — (X.) Louisiana Purchase — (XI.) Florida — (XII.) Missouri
Compromise— (XIII.) Nullification— (XIV.) Texas— (XV.) Mexican War,
Acquisition of California and New Mexico — (XVI.) Compromise Measures,
1850— (XVII.) Nebraska Act— (XVIII.) Kansas Struggle for Freedom— (XIX.)
Dred Scott Case— (XX.) John Brown Raid— (XXI.) PrRsidential Elections,
1856-1860— (XXII.) Dissolution of the Union— (XXIII.) Secession of States
— (XXIV.) Action of Religious Denominations — (XXV.) Proposed Conces-
sions to Slavery — (XXVI.) Peace Conference — (XXVII.) District of Columbia
—(XXVIII.) Slavery Prohibited in Territories— (XXIX.) Benton's Sum-
mary — (XXX.) Prophecy as to Slavery and Disunion.



INTRODUCTORY

SLAVERY is older than tradition — older than authentic
history, and doubtless antedates any organized form of
human government. It had its origin in barbaric times.
Uncivilized man never voluntarily performed labor even for
his own comfort ; he only struggled to gain a bare subsistence.
He did not till the soil, but killed wild animals for food and

VOL. I. — I.



2 Political History of Slavery

to secure a scant covering for his body ; and cannibalism was
common. Tribes were formed for defence, and thus wars
came, all, however, to maintain mere savage existence.
Through primitive wars captives were taken, and such as were
not slain were compelled to labor for their captors. In time
these slaves were used to domesticate useful animals and,
later, were forced to cultivate the soil and build rude structures
for the comfort and protection of their masters. Thus it was
that mankind was first forced to toil and ultimately came to
enjoy labor and its incident fruits, and thus human slavery
became a first step from barbarism towards the ultimate civili-
zation of mankind.

White slavery existed in the English-American colonies
antecedent to black or African slavery, though at first only
intended to be conditional and not to extend to offspring.
English, Scotch, and Irish alike, regardless of ancestry or re-
ligious faith, were, for political offences, sold and transported
to the dependent American colonies. They were such persons
as had participated in insurrections against the Crown ; many
of them being prisoners taken on the battle-field, as were the
Scots taken on the field of Dunbar, the royalist prisoners from
the field of Worcester; likewise the great leaders of the Pen-
ruddoc rebellion, and many who were taken in the insurrection
of Monmouth.

Of these, many were first sold in England to be afterwards
re-sold on shipboard to the colonies, as men sell horses, to the
highest bidder.

There was also, in some of the colonies, a conditional servi-
tude, under indentures, for servants, debtors, convicts, and
perhaps others. These forms of slavery made the introduction
of negro and perpetual slavery easy.

Australasia alone, of all inhabited parts of the globe, has the
honor, so far as history records, of never having a slave popu-
lation.

Egyptian history tells us of human bondage ; the patriarch
Abraham, the founder of the Hebrew nation, owned and dealt
in slaves. That the law delivered to Moses from Mt. Sinai



Introductory 3

justified and tolerated human slavery was the boast of modern
slaveholders.

Moses, from " Nebo's heights," saw the " land of promise,"
where flowed " milk and honey " in abundance, and where
slavery existed. The Hebrew people, but forty years them-
selves out of bondage, possessed this land and maintained
slavery therein.

The advocates of slavery and the slave trade exultingly
quoted :

' ' And I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hands of
the children of Judah, and they shall sell them to the Sabeans, to a
people far off; for the Lord hath spoken it." — Joel iii., 8.

They likewise claimed that St. Paul, while he preached the
gospel to slaveholders and slaves alike in Rome, yet used his
calling to enable him to return to slavery an escaped human
being — Onesimus. '

The advocates of domestic slavery justified it as of scriptural
and divine origin.

From the Old Testament they quoted other texts, not only
to justify the holding of slaves in perpetual bondage, but the
continuance of the slave trade with all its cruelties.

" And he said, I am Abraham's servant." — Gen. xxiv., 34.

' ' And there was of the house of Saul a servant whose name was
Ziba. And when they had called him unto David, the King said
unto him, Art thou Ziba ? And he said. Thy servant is he. . . .

" Then the King called to Ziba, Saul's servant, and said unto him,
I have given unto thy master's son-all that pertained to Saul, and
to all his house.

" Thou, therefore, and thy sons, and thy servants shall till the
land for him, and thou shalt bring in the fruits, that thy master's
son may have food to eat," etc. "Now Ziba had fifteen sons and
twenty servants." — 2 Samuel ix., 2, 9-10.

" I got me servants and maidens and had servants born in my
house; also I had great possessions of great and small cattle above
all that were in Jerusalem before me." — Eccles. ii., 7.

' Epistle to Philemon.



4 Political History of Slavery

" And he said, Hagar, Sarai's maid, whence comest thou ? and
she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai.

" And the angel of the Lord said unto her. Return to thy mistress,
and submit thyself to her hands." — Gen. xvi., 8, 9.

" A servant will not be corrected by words; for though he under-
stand, he will not answer." — Prov. xxix., 19.

And from the New Testament they triumphantly quoted :

' ' Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.
Art thou called being a servant ? care not for it ; but if thou mayest
be made free, use it rather." — i Cor. vii., 20-22.

" Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according
to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart,
as unto Christ," etc.

' ' And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing
threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither
is there respect of persons with him." — Eph. vi., 5—9.

" Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh;
not with eye service, as men pleasers; but in singleness of heart,
fearing God." — Col. iii., 22.

" Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal:
knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven." — Col. iv., i.

" Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own
masters worthy of all honor, that the name of God and his doctrines
be not blasphemed," etc. — i Tim. vi., 1, 2.

" Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to
please them well in all things: not answering again; not purloining,
but showing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of
God our Saviour in all things." — Titus ii., 9, 10.

" Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to
the good and gentle, but also to the froward." — i Pet. ii., 18.

The advocates of slavery maintained that Christ approved
the calling as a slaveholder as well as the faith of the Roman
centurion, whose servant, " sick of a palsy," Christ miracu-
lously healed, by saying: " I have not found so great faith, no,
not in Israel." — Matt, viii., 10.

They also cited Dr. Adam Clark, the great Bible commenta-
tor; Dr. Neander's work, entitled Planting and Training the



Introductory 5

Church, and Dr. Mosheim's Church History, as evidence that
the Bible not only sanctioned slavery but authorized its per-
petuation through all time.' In other words, pro-slavery
advocates in effect affirmed that these great writers :

" Torture the hallowed pages of the Bible,
To sanction crime, and robbery, and blood,
And, in oppression's hateful service, libel
Both man and God."

While the teachings of neither the Old nor the New Testa-
ment, nor of the Master, were to overthrow or to establish
political conditions as established by the temporal powers of
the then age, yet it must be admitted that large numbers of
people, of much learning and a high civilization, believed
human slavery was sanctioned by divine authority.

The deductions made from the texts quoted were unwar-
ranted. The principles of justice and mercy, on which the
Christian religion is founded, cannot be torture4 into even a
toleration (as, possibly, could the law of Moses) of the existence
of the unnatural and barbaric institution of slavery, or the
slave trade.

Slavery was wrong/^r se ; wholly unjustifiable on the plainest
principles of humanity and justice; and the consciences of all
unprejudiced, enlightened, civilized people led them in time
to believe that it had no warrant from God and ought to have
no warrant from man to exist on the face of the earth.

The friends of freedom and those who believed slavery sinful
never for a moment assented to the claim that it was sanctioned
by Holy Writ, or that it was justified by early and long-con-
tinued existence through barbaric or semi-barbaric times.

' The references to the Bible are taken from the most learned advocates of the
divinity of slavery, in its last years. Ought American Slavery to be Perpetuated?
(Brownlow and Pryne debate), p. 78, etc. Slavery Ordained of God (Ross), 146,
etc., 176, etc.

Rev. Frederick A. Ross, D.D. (the author), a celebrated Presbyterian minister,
was arrested in 1862 at Huntsville, Alabama, while it was occupied by the Union
forces, for praying from the pulpit for the success of secession.

Parson Brownlow was a Union man in 1861, was much persecuted at his home
in Knoxville, Tenn., later advocated emancipation.



6 Political History of Slavery

They denied that it could thus even be sanctified into a
moral right ; that time ever converted cruelty into a blessing,
or a wrong into a right; that any human law could give it
legal existence, or rightfully perpetuate it against natural
justice; they maintained that a Higher Law, written in God's
immutable decrees of mercy, was paramount to all human law
or practice, however long continuing; that the lessons taught
by Christ in the Sermon on the Mount and in all his life and
teachings were a condemnation of it ; and that an enlightened,
progressive civilization demanded its final overthrow.

In America: Slavery is dead. We return to its history.

Greece had her slaves before tradition blended into history,
though, four centuries before Christ, Alcidamas proclaimed:
"God has sent forth all men free : nature has made no man slave."

Alexander, the mighty Macedonian (fourth century B.C.),
sold captives taken at Tyre and Gaza, the most accomplished
people of that time, into slavery.'

Rome had her slaves; and her slave-marts were open at her
principal ports for traffic in men and women of all nationalities,
especially Christians and captives taken in war.

The German nations on the shores of the Baltic carried on
the desolating traffic. Russia recognized slavery and carried
on a slave trade through her merchantmen.

The Turks forbade the enslaving of Mussulmans, but sold
Christian and other captives into slavery. Christian and Moor,
for seven hundred years in the doubtful struggle in Western
Europe, respectively, doomed their captives to slavery.

Contemporary with the discovery of America, the Moors
were driven from Granada, their last stronghold in Spain, to
the north of Africa; there they became corsairs, privateers,
and holders of Christian slaves. Their freebooter life and
cruelty furnished the pretext, not only to enslave the people
of the Moorish dominion, but of all Africa. The oldest

' It is interesting to note that more than fifteen hundred years (twelfth century)
after Alexander's conquests, Saladin, the great Sultan, and other Mohammedan
rulers, and Richard Cceur de Leon and other crusade leaders in Syria, respec-
tively, doomed their captives to slavery, regardless of nationality or color. — Saladin
(Heroes of Nations, Putnams), 229-232, 338.



Introductory 7

accounts of Africa bear testimony to the existence of domestic
slavery — of negro enslaving negro, and of caravans of dealers
in negro slaves.

Columbus, whose glory as the discoverer of this continent
we proclaim, on a return voyage (1494) carried five hundred
native Americans to Spain, a present to Queen Isabella, and
American Indians were sold into foreign bondage, as " spoils
of war, ' ' for two centuries.

The Saxon carried slavery in its most odious form into Eng-
land, where, at one time, not half the inhabitants were abso-
lutely free, and where the price of a man was but four'times
the price of an ox.

He sold his own kindred into slavery. English slaves were
held in Ireland till the reign of Henry II.

In time, however, the spirit of Christianity, pleading the
cause of humanity, stayed slavery's progress, and checked the
slave traffic by appeals to conscience.

Alexander III., Pope of Rome in the twelfth century, pro-
claimed against it, by writing : ' ' Nature having made no slaves,
all men have an equal right to liberty. ' '

Efficacious as the Christian religion has been to destroy or
mitigate evil, it has failed to render the so-called Christian
slaveholder better than the pagan, or to improve the condition
of the bondsmen.

It may be observed that when slavery seemed to be firmly
planted in the Republic of the United States of America,
Egypt, as one of the powers of the earth, had passed away ;
her slavery, too, was gone — only her Pyramids, Sphinx, and
Monoliths have been spared by time and a just judgment.
Greece, too, had perished, only her philosophy and letters
survive; Israel's people, though the chosen of God, had, as
a nation, been bodily carried into oriental Babylonian captiv-
ity, and in due time had, in fulfilment of divine judgment,
been dispersed through all lands. God in his mighty wrath
also thundered on Babylon's iniquity, and it, too, passed away
forever, and the prophet gives as a reason for this, that Baby-
lon dealt in ' ' slaves and the souls of men.



8 Political History of Slavery

Rome, once the mistress of the world, ceased as a nation to
live ; her greatness and her glory, her slave markets and her
slaves, all gone together and forever.

Germany, France, Spain, and other slave nations renounced
slavery barely in time to escape the general national doom.

Russia, though her mighty Czars possessed absolute power
to rule, trembled before the mighty insurrections of peasant-



Online LibraryJoseph Warren KeiferSlavery and four years of war; a political history of slavery in the United States, together with a narrative of the campaigns and battles of the Civil War in which the author took part: 1861-1865 → online text (page 1 of 29)