those countries have answered, that from the first they agreed in opinion that the efforts of the Government to maintain the Union, and preserve the integrity of the Republic, could not be successful. With a view to correct this prejudgment of so vital a question, I addressed a circular letter to the representatives of the United States in foreign countries on the fourteenth day of April, 1862, in which I reviewed the operations of the war on sea and, land, and presented the results which had attended it down to that period. The prejudice, which I then attempted to remove, still remains, and it constitutes the basis of all that is designedly or undesignedly injurious to this country in the policy of foreign nations. The insurgents have been enabled to protract their resistance by means of sympathy and aid they have received from abroad, and the expectation of further and more effective foreign assistance is now their chief resource. A new effort, therefore, to correct that prejudice is demanded equally by a prudent concern for our foreign relations, and by the paramount interests of peace and humanity at home. In the battles of August, 1862, the Union forces suffered some severe and appalling reverses. But they resulted in the reunion of the army which had been called in from the Peninsula, below Richmond, with the army which had its position between that strongly fortified seat of the insurrection and this capital. The wisdom of this reunion was soon to be vindicated. The insurgent army, flushed with its recent successes, and expecting that a sympathetic interest of slavery would produce an uprising of the people of Maryland in its favor, for the first time crossed the Potomac River. Harper's Ferry, with many prisoners, fell into its hands, rather through accidents in preparing its defence, than because it was indefensible. Nevertheless, the expectation of recruits signally failed. General McClellan, commanding the now consolidated forces of the Army of the Potomac, was reenforced by fresh levies from Pennsylvania, and by detachments called in from neighboring forts. He drove the insurgents from their positions at South-Mountain and Crampton's Gap. About the middle of September the two opposing armies confronted each other at Sharpsburgh, and a pitched battle was fought on the banks of the Antietam and Potomac. It was well sustained on both sides. Men of one race and training directed the armies whose rank and file were substantially of one blood, and even nearly equal in numbers. The arrogant assumption of superior valor and heroism which the insurgents had brought into the contest, and had cherished throughout its early stages, perished on that sanguinary field. The insurgent army, shattered in the conflict, abandoned the invasion of Maryland, and sought refuge and opportunity to recover its wasted strength in Virginia, behind its accustomed barrier — the Potomac. While Lee was thus attempting Maryland, the equally bold and alarming enterprise of carrying the war through Kentucky into Ohio, was assigned to Bragg, who was in command of the insurgent army on the southern border of Tennessee. He, with great rapidity, moved from Chattanooga, turning the left flank of General Buell, and, appealing for reenforcements to the slaveryinspired sentiments which existed in Kentucky and Tennessee, directed his forces against Louisville and Cincinnati. An uprising of the farmers of Ohio confronted and turned away the devastation from the latter city. General Buell followed the main column of invasion, outmarched it on the way to Louisville, and obliged it to take a direction eastward. The two insurgent columns being united at Perryville, were attacked by General Buell. The battle, like all of our contests, was obstinate and bloody. Bragg, after severe losses, retreated through a comparatively barren region, and Buell was obliged to abandon the pursuit, by the complete exhaustion of all sources of supply. The insurgent commander crossed the Cumberland Mountains, and then, marching westward, took up a position at Murfreesboro, fortified them, and proceeded to recruit his wasted forces. Van Dorn and Price were at the same period in command of very considerable forces in Mississippi and Alabama, and to them was assigned the third part in the grand invasion of the loyal States, which the cabal at Richmond had decreed. This was an attempt, as they called it, to deliver, but in fact to subjugate Western Tennessee and Kentucky. General Rosecrans received the assault of those portions of the insurgent forces at Corinth, defeated them with great slaughter, and drove them backward, so that they neither reached nor approached the region which they were appointed to invade. General Rosecrans, called to succeed General Buell in command of the army of the Cumberland, then entered Nashville, which the insurgents had before invested, in carrying out their general scheme of invasion. He raised the siege, and prepared for offensive action. In the last days of the year he issued from Nashville and delivered a sanguinary battle at Stone River, which gave him possession of Murfreesboro. Bragg retreated to Shelbyville and Tullahoma, and there again rested and intrenched. A long period of needed rest was now employed by the respective parties in increasing the strength and efficiency of their armies; but this repose was broken by frequent skirmishes, and by cavalry expeditions, which penetrated hostile regions, sometimes hundreds of miles, and effected breaches of military connections and a destruction of military stores upon an extensive scale, while they kept up the spirit of the troops, and hardened them for more general and severe con. flicts. Vicksburgh then remained in the hands of the insurgents, the principal key to the navigation of the Mississippi River, a navigation which was confessed on all sides to be absolutely essential to the United States, and, when reopened by them, fatal to the insurrection. The duty of wresting that key from the insurgents had been devolved on the navy, with the aid of a considerable
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.