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All summer and fall the ring of hammer and anvil told of the toil of thousands of skilled mechanics and sturdy laborers in the great work of preparation and armament. The best talents of the country were employed in the work of construction, organization, and equipment, and in training and fighting the iron-clad fleet that was to pierce the barriers of the Western rivers. Most of the details in regard to these naval operations are from Hoppin's Life of Admiral Foote. As early as May 16, 1861, Commander John Rodgers had been sent West by the United States Government to provide an armed flotilla, to serve on the Western rivers. He bought steamboats, which were fitted, armored, and armed as gunboats. On the 30th of August Captain Andrew H. Foote, of the United States Navy, was ordered to take command of the naval operations upon the Western waters. When Foote took command there were three wooden vessels in commission, and nine iron-clad gunboats and thirty-eight mortar-boats
Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War: The Opening Battles. Volume 1., Responsibilities of the first Bull Run. (search)
per, and the ninth sheet (to quote from the original) sums up the matter in these words: My commission is made to bear such a date that my once inferiors in the service of the United States and of the Confederate States shall be above me. But it must not be dated as of the 21st of July nor be suggestive of the victory of Manassas. I return to my first position. I repeat that my right to my rank as General is established by the Acts of Congress of the 14th of March, 1861, and the 16th of May, 1861, and not by the nomination and confirmation of the 31st of August, 1861. To deprive me of that rank it was necessary for Congress to repeal those laws. That could be done by express legislative act alone. It was not done, it could not be done, by a mere vote in secret session upon a list of nominations. If the action against which I have protested be legal, it is not for me to question the expediency of degrading one who has served laboriously from the commencement of the war on thi
Fitzhugh Lee, General Lee, Chapter 4: War. (search)
y pending over the country my own sorrows sink into insignificance. On the 2d of the same month he told her: I have just received Custis's letter of the 30th, inclosing the acceptance of my resignation. It is stated it will take effect on the 25th of April. I resigned on the 20th, and wished it to take effect on that day. I can not consent to its running on further, and he must receive no pay if they tender it beyond that day, but return the whole if need be. And again, in a letter May 16, 1861, he writes: I witnessed the opening of the convention yesterday, and heard the good bishop's sermon for the fiftieth anniversary of his ministry. It was most impressive, and more than once I felt the tears coursing down my cheeks. It was from the text: And Pharaoh said unto Jacob, How old art thou? It was full of humility and self-reproach. Mr. Jefferson Davis, the provisional President of the new Government, reached Richmond on the 29th of May. Virginia's capital then became the c
ee the bosom of our own Potomac covered with the sails of vessels employed by the enemies of our peace. I often wish myself far away, that I, at least, might not see these things. The newspapers are filled with the boastings of the North, and yet I cannot feel alarmed. My woman's heart does not quail, even though they come, as they so loudly threaten, as an avalanche to overwhelm us. Such is my abiding faith in the justice of our cause, that I have no shadow of doubt of our success. May 16, 1861. To-day I am alone. Mr. ---has gone to Richmond to the Convention, and so have the Bishop and Dr. S. I have promised to spend my nights with Mrs. J. All is quiet around us. Federal troops quartered in Baltimore. Poor Maryland! The North has its heel upon her, and how it grinds her I pray that we may have peaceful secession. May 17th, 1861. Still quiet. Mrs. J., Mrs. B., and myself, sat at the Malvern windows yesterday, spying the enemy as they sailed up and down the river.
faith of the Government of the Confederate States, the General first in rank in their armies. By that act and that of May 16, 1861, the rank would stand thus: J. E. Johnston, S. Cooper, A. S. Johnston, R. E. Lee, G. T. Beauregard. In a letter froGeneral Johnston's acknowledgments for the service. I held, and claim to hold, my rank as General under the act of May 16, 1861. I was a General thenceforth or never. I had the full authority of the constitutional Government of the Confederate to my first position. I repeat that my rank as General is established by the acts of Congress of March 14, 1861, and May 16, 1861. To deprive me of that rank it was necessary for Congress to repeal these laws. That could be done by express legislhere the roster of the Generals of the Confederate army in 1861-62. They were as follows: Samuel Cooper, to rank May 16, 1861. Albert Sidney Johnston, to rank May 30, 1861. Robert E. Lee, to rank June 14, 1861. J. E. Johnston, to ra
nate Generals McClellan and Fremont, and gave Gen. Butler an inferior date, placing him in what was then, and has always been, considered a distinct and separate branch of the military service. The Senate confirmed these nominations accordingly, and by their act constituted Generals McClellan and Fremont Major-Generals of the regular army to rank as such from the fourteenth day of May, 1861, and General Butler a Major-General in the United States volunteer forces, to rank from the sixteenth day of May, 1861. The act of the Senate fixes the time at which the rank shall begin, and the usage of the War Department has been in conformity to it from the foundation of the Government to the present day. Our respective commissions were conferred upon us by that authority which the Constitution makes alone competent to give them, and no inferior tribunal can, by any possibility, alter or modify the direct meaning and effect of the terms in which those commissions are given. I am, therefore,
Benson J. Lossing, Pictorial Field Book of the Civil War. Volume 1., Chapter 16: Secession of Virginia and North Carolina declared.--seizure of Harper's Ferry and Gosport Navy Yard.--the first troops in Washington for its defense. (search)
of the Republic, in violation of the sacred pledge made to the Confederate States, in the treaty or Military league of the 25th of April. He then said:--If it be asked, What are those to do who, in their conscience, cannot vote to separate Virginia from the United States? the answer is simple and plain. Honor and duty alike require that they should not vote on the question; and if they retain such opinions, they must leave the State. Letter to the Editor of the Winchester Virginian, May 16, 1861. The answer was, indeed, simple and plain, and in exact accordance with the true spirit of the conspirators, expressed by their chosen leader:--All who oppose us shall smell Southern powder and feel Southern steel. Submission or banishment was the alternative offered by Mason, in the name of traitors in power, to Virginians who were true to the principles of the Father of his Country, whose remains were resting within the bosom of their State, and to the old flag under which the independ
Benson J. Lossing, Pictorial Field Book of the Civil War. Volume 1., Chapter 20: commencement of civil War. (search)
redericksburg, and Potomac Railway, where the insurgents had erected batteries to command the River: one at the landing, and two others, with a line of intrenchments, on the hights in the rear. The guns of these batteries had been opened upon several vessels during the few days that the National troops had occupied the Virginia shore, when they were responded to by Captain J. H. Ward, a veteran officer of the Navy, who had been in the service almost forty years. at the middle of May, May 16, 1861. Ward had been placed in command of the Potomac flotilla, which he had organized, composed of four armed propellers, of which the Thomas Freeborn was his flag-ship, and carried 32-pounders. He was sent to Hampton Roads to report to Commodore Stringham. Before reaching that Commander he had an opportunity for trying his guns. The insurgents who held possession of Norfolk and the Navy Yard had been constructing batteries on Craney Island and the main, for the protection of those posts, b
Benson J. Lossing, Pictorial Field Book of the Civil War. Volume 1., Chapter 23: the War in Missouri.-doings of the Confederate Congress. --Affairs in Baltimore.--Piracies. (search)
asury, so-called, discretionary power to issue in lieu of such bonds twenty millions of dollars in treasury notes, not bearing interest, in denominations of not less than five dollars, and to be receivable in payment of all debts or taxes due to the Confederate States, except the export duty on cotton, or in exchange for the bonds herein authorized to be issued. The said notes, said the Act, shall be payable at the end of two years from the date of their issue, in specie. Act approved May 16, 1861. See Acts and Resolutions of the Confederate Congress: Second Session, pages 82 to 84. A fac-simile of one of these treasury notes, issued at Richmond after that city became the seat of the Confederate Government. is given on page 545. After this issue, the terms of redemption were changed. A note before me, dated Richmond, September 2d, 1861, reads as follows:--Six months after the ratification of a Treaty of Peace between the Confederate States and the United States, the Confederate
, cannot vote to separate Virginia from the United States? --the answer is simple and plain: Honor and duty alike require that they should not vote on the question; if they retain such opinions, they must leave the State. None can doubt or question the truth of what I have written; and none can vote against the Ordinance of Secession, who do not thereby (whether ignorantly or otherwise) vote to place himself and his State in the position I have indicated. J. M. Mason. Winchester, Va., May 16, 1861. Under the influence of such inculcations, backed by corresponding action, the more conspicuous Unionists being hunted out, and the greater number silenced and paralyzed, the election was a perfect farce, The Louisville Journal of June 1st, said: The vote of Virginia last week on the question of Secession was a perfect mockery. The State was full of troops from other States of the Confederacy; while all the Virginia Secessionists, banded in military companies, were scattered i
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