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of return, particularly as Cox's command would have rendered the
direction of Cumberland, full of mountain gorges, particularly haz-
ardous. The route selected was through an open country. Of
course I left nothing undone to prevent the inhabitants from detect-
ing my real route and object. I started directly tovi^ards Gettysburg,
but having passed the Blue Ridge, turned back towards Hagerstown
for six or eight miles, and then crossed to Maryland by Emmetts-
burg, where, as we passed, vi^e were hailed by the inhabitants with
the most enthusiastic demonstrations of joy. A scouting party of one
hundred and fifty lancers had just passed towards Gettysburg, and
I regret exceedingly that my march did not admit of the delay neces-
sary to catch them. Taking the road towards Frederick we inter-
cepted dispatches from Colonel Rush (lancers) to the commander of
the scout, which satisfied me that our whereabouts was still a problem
to the enemy.

Before reaching Frederick, I crossed the Monocacy ; continued
the march through the night, via Liberty, New Market, Monrovia,
on the Baltimore and Ohio railroad, where we cut the telegraph wires
and obstructed the railroad. We reached, at daylight, Hyattstown,
on McClellan's line of wagon communication with Washington, but
we found only a few wagons to capture, and pushed on to Barnsville,
which we found just vacated by a company of the enemy's cavalry.
We had here corroborated what we had heard before — that Stone-
man had between four and five thousand troops about Poolesville,
and guarding the river fords. I started directly for Poolesville, but
instead of marching upon that point, avoided it by a march through
the woods, leaving it two or three miles to my left, and getting into
the road from Poolesville to the mouth of the Monocacy. Guarding
well my flanks and rear, I pushed boldly forward, meeting the head
of the enemy's column going towards Poolesville. I ordered the
charge, which was responded to in handsome style by the advance
squadron firving's) of Lee's brigade, which drove back the enemy's
cavalry upon the column of infantry advancing to occupy the crest
from which the cavalry were driven. Quick as thought Lee's
sharpshooters sprang to the ground, and, engaging the infantry skir-
mishers, held them in check till the artillery in advance came up,
which, under the gallant Pelham, drove back the enemy's force to

General Stuart's Expedition into Pennsylvania. 483

his batteries beyond the Monocacy, between which and our soHtary
gun quite a spirited fire continued for some time. This answered, in
connection with the high crest occupied by our piece, to screen
entirely my real movement quickly to the left, making a bold and
rapid strike for White's lord, to make my way across before the
enemy at Poolesville and Monocacy could be aware of my design.
Although delayed somewhat by about two hundred infantry, strongly
posted in the cliffs over the ford, yet they yielded to the moral effect
of a few shells before engaging our sharpshooters, and the crossing
of the canal (now dry) and river was effected with all the precision
of passing a defile on drill. A section of artillery being sent with
the advance and placed in position on the Loudoun side, another
piece on the Maryland height, while Pelham continued to occupy the
attention of the enemy with the other, withdrawing from position to
position until his piece was ordered to cross. The enemy was march-
ing from Poolesville in the meantime, but came up in line of battle
on the Maryland bank only to receive a thundering salutation, with
evident effect, from our guns on this side,

1 lost not a man killed on the expedition, and only a few slight
wounds. The enemy's loss is not known, but Pelham's one gun
compelled the enemy's battery to change its position three times.

The remainder of the march was destitute of interest. The con-
duct of the command and their behavior towards the inhabitants is
worthy of the highest praise ; a few individual cases only were ex-
ceptions in this particular.

Brigadier General Hampton and Colonels Lee, Jones, Wickham
and Butler, and the officers and men under their command, are en-
titled to my lasting gratitude for their coolness in danger and cheer-
ful obedience to orders. Unoffending persons were treated with
civility, and the inhabitants were generous in proffers of provisions
on the march. We seized and brought over a large number of horses,
the property of citizens of the United States.

The valuable information obtained in this reconnoissance as to the
distribution of the enemy's force was communicated orally to the
Commanding General, and need not here be repeated. A number
of public functionaries and prominent citizens were taken captives
and brought over as hostages for our own unoffending citizens whom
the enemy have torn from their homes and confined in dungeons in
the North. One or two of my men lost their way and are probably
in the hands of the enemy.

The results of this expedition in a moral and political point of view

484 Southern Historical Society Papers.

can hardly be estimated, and the consternation among property
holders in Pennsylvania beggars description

I am especially indebted to Captain B S. White, South Carolina

cavalry, and to Mr. , and Mr. , whose skillful guidance was

of immense service to me. My staff are entitled to my thanks for
untiring energy in the discharge of their duties.

I enclose a map of the expedition drawn by Captain W. W. Black-
ford, to accompany this report. Also, a copy of orders enforced
during the march.

Believing that the hand of God was clearly manifested in the sig-
nal deliverance of my command from danger, and the crowning
success attending it, I ascribe to Him the praise, the honor, and
the glory.

I have the honor to be, most respectfully, your obedient servant,

(Signed) J. E. B. Stuart,

Major General Commanding Cavalry.

Address of Honorable B. H. Hill before the Georgia Branch of the Southern
Historical Society at Atlanta, February i8th, 1874.

[The following address should have been published in our Papers
at the time of its delivery, but for the fact that we did not begin our
publication until two years later, and it was "crowded out" from
time to time by the pressure upon our pages. We are quite sure
that our readers will thank us for giving them now this superb ad-
dress of the great orator :]

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen :

The object of this meeting is to organize in Georgia an aux-
iliary branch of " The Southern Historical Society." The object of
this Society is to collect and preserve authentic materials for a full
and correct history of the Confederate States. I have accepted the
flattering invitation to address you on this occasion, and now pro-
ceed to perform the part allotted me as both a duly and a pleasure.
When the war between secession and coercion ended, the South-
ern States were under every obligation which defeat could imply, or
surrender impose, to abandon secession as a remedy for every griev-
ance, real or supposed. Whatever might have been their convictions

Address of Hon. B. H. Hill. 485

touching the abstract right of secession, or the sufficiency of the
causes which provoked its exercise, surrender was a confession of
inability to maintain it by the sword, and honor and fair dealing
demanded that the sword should be sheathed. But defeat in a phy-
sical contest does not prove that the defeated party was in the wrong.
It is certainly no evidence of criminal motive. It is a confession of
weakness, not of crime. Were it otherwise, the robber is a law-
abiding citizen and his victim a thief Socrates was a felon, and the
mob that sentenced him to death were patriots. In a wicked world
innocence and right are not at all incompatible with failure, sorrow
and humiliation, else the man who fell among thieves on his way
from Jerusalem to Jericho was a criminal, and his plunderers were
entitled to the plaudits — the oil and the wine of all good Samaritans.
Nay, the Saviour himself was a malefactor, and his crucifiers were
Christian gentlemen. Failure to dissolve the Union, and nothing
more, was the confession of surrender, and the obligation to remain
in the Union and discharge all its duties under the Constitution neces-
sarily resulted.

So, on the other hand, the Northern States- the asserters of the
right of coercion — were equally under every obligation to accept sur-
render, as meaning this and only this. They proclaimed no other
purpose in making the war of coercion, but to defeat secession and
preserve the Union. They had no right, political, moral or honor
able, to enlarge the issue after the contest had ended, and the issue
made by the contest was exhausted and determined.

The Southern States and people accepted, in a frank and liberal
spirit, all the just consequences of their defeat. They abandoned
secession, and the doctrine of secession, as a practical remedy for all
grievances, past or future, and for all time. They did more. Pro-
perty in slaves was not the cause of the war. It was not the great
fundamental right for which the Southern States went into secession.
It was only an incident to that right. The right of the States to
regulate their own internal affairs, by the exercise of the powers of
government which they had never delegated, and the conviction that
independence was necessary to preserve that right of self govern-
ment, was the great, moving inspiring cause of the seceding States.
There was not a day of the struggle when the Southern people would
not have surrendered slavery to secure independence. But slavery
was the particular property which, it was believed, was endangered
without independence, and which, therefore, made the assertion of
secession necessary. The disciples of coercion denied this, and as-


486 Southern Historical Society Papers.

serted they had no intention of interfering with slavery in the States
True, a war-proclamation ot emancipation was issued finally, and a
movement was made to amend the Federal Constitution, as if to make
this emancipation effectual. But this was avowedly done as a threat,
to induce a surrender to avoid such a result. Yet, promptly after sur-
render, the Southern people waived the discussion of all technicali-
ties on this question, and relieved their late enemies of all necessity
to enter upon such discussion, and, in conventions assembled, each
State for itself most solemnly abolished slavery in their borders. To
protect the negro in his freedom was more than a corollary to this
emancipation. It was a duty which the preservation of society made
necessarv in each State, and by each State for itself.

But the Northern Stales and people were not satisfied with these
prompt and manly concessions by our people ot every legal, neces-
sary, reasonable, and even incidental result of defeat in the war. The
war b^ing over, our arms surrendered, our government scattered, and
our people helpless, they now determined not only to enlarge the
issues made by the war, and during the war, but they also deter-
mined to change those issues, and make demands which had not
before been made, which, indeed, had been utterly disclaimed in every
possible form by every State of the North, and every department of
the Federal government — legislative, executive and judicial. Nay,
they now made demands, which they had in every form declared they
could have no power or right to make without violating the Consti-
tution they had sworn to support, and destroying the Union they
had waged the war itself to preserve. Over and over, during the
war, they proclaimed in every authoritative form to us and to foreign
governments that secession was a nullity, that our States were still in
the Union, and that we had only to lay down our arms and retain all
our rights and powers as equal States in the Union. We laid down
our arms, and immediately they insisted our States had lost all their
rights and powers in the Union, and while compelled to remain under
the contrd of the Union, we could only do so with such rights and
powers as they might accord, and on such terms and conditions as
they might impose.

Over and over again, during the war, they, in like authoritative
forms, proclaimed that our people had taken up arms in defence of
secession under misapprehension of their purposes toward us, and that
we had only to lay down our arms and continue to enjoy in the Union
every right and privilege as before the mistaken act of secession.
We laid down our arms, and they declared we were all criminals and

Address of Hon. B. H. Hill. 48 T

traitors, who had forfeited every rig;ht and privileg-e, and were enti-
tled to neither property, liberty or life, except through their clem.ency !

Over and over again, during the war, they, in like authoritative
forms, proclaimed that the seats of our members in Congress were
vacant, and we had only to return and occupy them, as it was both
our right and duty to do. Our people laid down their arms and
sent on their members, and they were met with the startling propo-
sition that we had neither the right to participate in the administra-
tion of the Union, nor even to make law or government for our own
States !

Addressing this Society in Virginia, during the last summer, Mr.
Davis said: " We were more cheated than conquered into surren-
der." The Northern press denounced this as a slander, and some of
our Southern press deprecated the expression as indiscreet ! I aver
to-night what history will affirm, that the English language does not
contain, and could not form, a sentence of equal size, which expressed
more truth. We were cheated not only by our enemies, but the
profuse proclamations of our enemies, before referred to, were taken
up and repeated by malcontents in our midst — many of them, too.
who had done all in their power to hurry our people into secession.
They coupled these professions and promises of our enemies with
•brazen assertions that the laws of the Confederate government enacted
to carry on the war were unconstitutional and void. They scattered
these documents of twin falsehood and treachery atnong our people,
to prove to them that they had a right to refuse supplies to the sol-
diers. They scattered them through the army to convince soldiers
it was no crime to desert. And they scattered them among our ene-
mies, to prove to them that our people were dividing, that our armies
were weakening, and that they had only to take courage and keep
up the struggle, and surrender was inevitable ! Oh, my friends, we
were fearfully, sadly, treacherously, altogether cheated into surren-
der ! If the demands made after the war was over had been frankly
avowed while the war was in progress, there would have been no pre-
texts for our treacherous malcontents; there would have been no
division or wearying among our people* there would have been no
desertions from our armies, and there would have been no surrender
of arms, nor loss of our cause ! Never ! Never ! !

But the Northern States and people having made these demands
as results of the war, when we could join no issue on them in battle,
there were only legal and political forums left in which to test their
justice and truth. Had sovereign States committed treason ? Were

4 88 Southern Historical Society Papers.

eight millions of people traitors ? Were leaders who had only obeyed
their States and served their people criminals worthy of death ?

These were the great questions, and the most usual forums to deter-
mine such issues were the courts of law. There was certainly no
hindrance to such a test. Our great chief was a prisoner — in a dun-
geon — in chains ! He was not only ready and willing to be tried,
but demanded a trial. By himself he was most anxious to vindicate
the innocence of his people ; or, in himself, expiate their guilt by an
ignominious death ! Our enemies had the appointment of the judges,
the formation of the court, the selection of the jury, the entire con-
trol and direction of the proceedings. Why did they hesitate? why
did they finally decline to try ? Was it because of mercy, or a spirit
of magnanimity ? Ah ! we shall see directly. No, they were gnash-
ing thtrir teeth with rage. They knew that such a trial had no paral-
lel in human history — they knew the whole world, and posterity for
ail time, would review it. There was the written law, a?id they knew
it had not been violated J Eight millions of people, struggling as one
man for liberty, were not traitors, only because power and treachery
combined to defeat and enslave them. To try and convict, was to
commit perjuries which would redden human nature with an eternal
blush of shame — to try and acquit, was a judgment under oath by
their own courts, that the war of coercion was itself but a gigantic
crime against humanity, and a wicked violation of their own form and
principles of government.

Here was the teirible dilemma which confronted our accusers,
and it was so palpable that all the insolence of recent triumph could
not hide it, and they were left rro resource but to pretend a mercy,
wh(jse necessity they despised, and turn the prisoner loose, after a
Icmg and most cowardly delay.

The next forum in which our people had a right to be heard was
the Congress — the National Councils. By every protest and profes-
sion ol our enemies, before and during the war, the Union was pre-
served, and by the plain terms of the Constitution each State was
entitled to representation in both branches of Congress. The refusal
to test the crime of sece.ssi»n before the courts increased, if possible,
the obligation to recognize this clear right of representation. This
was a rare opportunity for vindication. The forms of government
had afforded it to lew defeated parties in history, and to none on such
terms of fairness and equality. There was never a time when the
intellect of a people was so needed for their vindication, and no peo-
ple ever possessed grander intellects for the work. We had trained

Address of Hon. B. H. Hill. 489

statesmen, constitutional lawyers, skilled debaters, who were perfectly-
familiar with every fact, and learned in every principle involved.
And, the very ablest and best of these, there was no reason to doubt
every Southern State would at once, and with unanimity, return to
Congress. If this had been done, not only would the South have
been vindicated, but the present horrible sectional acrimony, with all
the black record of reconstruction, would have been avoided. The
reunion would have been made cordial, with secession abandoned
and slavery abolished. The Southern States would already have
been far advanced in the work of material recovery, of social order
and political contentment, and all the States — co-equals in a com-
mon Union — would be rejoicing in a manifest new lease of constitu-
tional government and Republican liberty.

But the very reasons which made the return of our ablest men to
Congress a glorious opportunity for us, made it a dreaded one for
our adversaries. Victors as they were in a physical contest, they
were not willing to meet the vanquished in intellectual gladiatorship.
To protect themselves from this collision of mind they determined to
add yet further crimes to their cowardice. And now we approach
the analysis of the most stupendous series of crimes ever perpetrated
in human history by individuals or States, civilized or savage. Un-
willing to risk their own judges and juries, to pass legally upon the
treason charged, our adversaries determined to punish without con-
viction — unwilling to hazard the power of equal debate upon the
minds and consciences of their own people, they determined to con-
demn without a hearing. And why not ? Their victims were un-
armed and helpless, and the luxury of vengeance could have easy,
safe, and unrestrained gratification.

The first act was for Congress, composed chiefly of men who had
been borne into their seats on the bloody tide of sectional hate and
strife, to seize all legislative powers into their own hands, and exclude
the Southern States not only from actual representation, but from the
right of representatives.

To justify this enormous usurpation, they declared the Southern
States needed reconstruction. As this idea was wholly unknown to
the Constitution, they boldly put themselves outside of the Constitu-
tion they had sworn to observe. To make the work of reconstruc-
tion effective, they resolved that it belonged exclusively to Con-
gress — the legislative department — and that the Executive depart-
ment could not, and should not, participate, except to furnish the
military to aid in holding the victims siill while the punishment was

490 Southern Historical Society Fapers.

being inflicted. To prevent any embarrassing review of their meas-
ures, they further resolved that all questions arising under recon-
struction were political and not judicial, and that therefore the courts
could not, and should not, pass upon their constitutionality. Thus
fortified in their usurpations, and goaded by rancorous, blind, long-
nurtured hate, they commenced the work of dissolving governments,
destroying States, robbing, insulting and oppressing already im-
poverished and helpless people, and humiliating the white race!
They entered each Southern State, and declared all existing govern-
ments to be illegal. They outlawed and set aside all existing con-
stituencies, the constituencies which originated State governments,
and participated in forming the Federal government. They created
new constituencies, composed chiefly of ignorant negroes. They
offered to include in these nevv constituencies such of the resident
whites as would consent that the usurpations were legal, and these
punishments were just; and it must ever be a sad recital for all time,
that some of our people were willing to barter their section, State, race
and blood, for the privilege of aiding in this work of. destruction,
degradation, and infamy. The future historian will weep bitter tears
when he finds himself compelled to record this darkest exhibition of
human treachery and depravity, and he will close up the chapter as,
■with nervous energy, he shall write the withering judgment of all
decent humanity for all future ages. Cursed thrice, cursed forever, be
the memories of such unnatural monsters among men !

These motley constituencies of ignorance and vice, having no con-
ception but in hate, no birth but in strife, no nursing but in usurpa-
tion, and no strength but in crime and treachery, were placed in each
State under the appropriate lead of adventurous vagabonds — bank-
rupt in fortunes, and hungry for the spoil of their victims -paupers
from birth in every sentiment of honor, and enjoying with keen relish
the humiliation of their superiors ! And these formed the govern-
ment under which we have been dying. Ignorant negroes have been
made masters — proud, educated masters made slaves — robbers have
been made rulers — thieves have been made detectives, all protected
by Federal power, while humble submission to the remorseless de-
mands of this insatiate wickedness has been made the only tes'
of loyally and devotion to that Union which our fathers helped to
form in order to secure the blessings of liberty to them and their
posterity !

Many of the effects of this policy of reconstruction the future his-
torian will have no difificulty in discovering.

Address of Hon. B. H. Hill. 491

The millions of taxes we have had to pay to feed these vamj^ires
upon our substances, and sickening eye-sores to our pride and
honor — the milhons of debt piled up for our posterity to pay in
bonds issued by these hcensed gamblers upon the property, life
and hope of the people of these States — the miscegenating orgies
of loyal legislators, and reckless plundering of carpet-bag gover-
nors — the readiness with which criminals were turned loose, and
the equal readiness with which good citizens were arrested with-
out warrant, tried without law, convicted without evidence, and
hurried off to foreign prisons without mercy, only because they
were suspected of having too much manhood to bear their wrongs
with unmurmuring submission — how our lands were depreciated,
our society demoralized, and all our most intelligent and virtuous
citizens were denied all right to provide remedies. These, and
manv more of like character, the future historian will easily see,
and must see, though every glance, create nausea. But there are
other facts and incidents, not so patent to the world, and not on

Online LibrarySouthern Historical Society. cnSouthern Historical Society papers (Volume 14) → online text (page 51 of 61)