Chapter 1: effect of the battle of Bull's Run.--reorganization of the Army of the Potomac.--Congress, and the council of the conspirators.--East Tennessee.
- Effect of the battle of Bull's Run, page 17.
-- the story in both sections
-- scenes in Richmond and in Washington
-- a sad picture, 18.
-- the story in Europe
-- hopes and predictions of the ruling classes there
-- relative position of the combatants, 19.
-- another uprising of the people
-- the exultation of the Confederates
-- the “United South,” how formed, 20.
-- sufferings of Southern Unionists
-- the Confederate
-- Army immovable
-- Jefferson Davis a Marplot, 21.
-- why the Confederate Army was immovable
-- alarm of the conspirators, 22.
-- General McClellan at the head of the Army of the Potomac
-- reorganization of that Army, 23.
-- the defenses of Washington, 24.
-- purchase of arms for the Government
-- domestic Manufactures of arms, 25.
-- prisoners taken at Bull's Run, in Richmond
-- tobacco Warehouse prison and commissary Winder, 26.--“Richmond prison Association”
-- kind women in Richmond, 27.
-- object of the War declared by Congress
-- measures for crushing the rebellion opposed, 28
-- Thaddeus Stevens's warnings
-- peace proposition, 29.
-- a National Loan authorized, 30.
-- appeal of the Secretary of the Treasury, and the response
-- the Provisional Congress of the conspirators, 31.
-- Jefferson Davis's Misstatements, 32.
-- determination of Davis and his fellow
-- conspirators to wage War vigorously
-- confiscations, 33.
-- protection of pirates
-- Davis's so-called “Departments,” and their heads, 34.
-- persecution of Union men, 35.
-- outrages in East Tennessee, 36.
-- Brownlow and other Loyalists hunted
-- Hounds, 37.
-- Unionists in prison
-- brutal order of Judah P. Benjamin, 38.
-- Brownlow's defiance
-- his release, 39.
-- writs of garnishment
-- denunciations by Pettigru, 40.
-- Pettigru's Actions reviewed, 41.
The Battle of Bull's Run
, so disastrous to the National Arms
, and yet so little profitable, as a military event, to the Confederates
, was in it immediate effects a profound enigma to the people of the whole country.
They could not understand it. The Confederates held the field, yet. they did not seek profit from the panic and flight of their opponents, by a pursuit.
were beaten and dispersed; yet, after the first paralysis of defeat, they instantly recovered their faith and elasticity.
There had been marches, and bivouacs, and skirmishes, and a fierce battle, within the space of a week; and at the end of twenty-four hours, after the close of the conflict, the respective parties in the contest were occupying almost the same geographical position which they did before the stout encounter.
The people at home, in both sections, were excited by the wildest tales of overwhelming defeat and disgrace on one side, and the most complete and advantageous victory on the other.
It was said, and believed, that fifteen thousand Confederates had easily and utterly routed and dispersed thirty-five thousand National troops,1
and smitten, beyond hope of recovery,
the Army of the Potomac charged with the duty of seizing the Capital
of the insurgents, driving them from Virginia
, and relieving the City of Washington
from all danger of capture.
Whilst one section of the Republic
was resonant with shouts of exultation, the other was silent because of the inaction of despondency.
Whilst the Confederates
were elated beyond measure by the seeming evidence given by the battle, of their own superior skill and valor and the cowardice of their opponents, and thousands flocked to the standard of revolt from all parts of the Southern States
, the Loyalists were stunned by the great disaster, and the seventy-five thousand three-months men, whose terms of service were about expiring, were, for the moment, made eager to leave the field and retire to their homes.
Whilst in Richmond
, now become the Capital
of the Confederation, the bells were ringing out merry peals of joy, and “the city seemed lifted up, and every one seemed to walk on air,” and “the men in place felt that now they held their offices for life ;” 2
where Jefferson Davis
said to the multitude, when referring to the vanquished Nationals
, with bitter scorn, “Never be haughty to the humble ;” where all believed that Walker
's prediction would that day be fulfilled, and the banner of Rebellion be unfurled from the dome of the Capitol
and that the “tide of war would roll from that day northward into the enemy's country” 4
--the fertile fields and rich cities of the Free-labor States--there was terror and anguish, and the most gloomy visions of a ruined Republic at the seat of the National Government
, and men in place there were not certain of filling their offices for an hour.
Whilst the streets of Richmond
were populous with prisoners from the vanquished army, and eager volunteers pressing on toward the camp of the victors at Manassas
, the streets of Washington
were crowded with discomfited and disheartened soldiery, without leaders, and without organization — the personification of the crushed hopes of the loyal people.
Such was the sad picture of the situation of the Republic
and of the relative character of the contending parties, much exaggerated, which was presented to Europe
in the month of August.
The first account of the battle, the panic that seized some of the National
troops, and the confused flight of soldiers and civilians back to Washington
, was given to the Elder World
through the London Times
, the assumed and accredited exponent of the political and social opinions of the ruling class in England
, by the pen of Dr. Russell
who did not see the conflict, and who was one of the most speedy and persevering of the civilians in
their eager flight from the suspected dangers of an imaginary pursuit of Confederate cavalry.
His was, in a great degree, a tale of the imagination, “founded on fact,” and well served the conspirators for a brief season.6
It excited among the ruling classes in Europe
a derision of the loyal people and the Government
of the United States
, and the desires of the enemies of republicanism and the sovereignty of the people were gratified.
The ruin of the Great Republic of the West
seemed to them almost as certain as a fact accomplished.
English statesmen and journalists dogmatically asserted it, and deplored the folly and wickedness of the President
and Congress, in “waging war upon Sovereign States,” in vindication of an idea and a principle, and attempting to hold in union, by force, a people who had the right and the desire to withdraw from a hated fellowship.
It was declared that “the bubble of Democracy had burst.”
There was joyful wailing over “the late United States
;” and one of England
's poets was constrained to write--
Alas for America's glory!
And all the magnificent story
Told as a dream of the night!
Alas for the Heroes and Sages,
Saddened, in Hades, to know
That what they had built for all ages,
Melts like a palace of snow!
This relative condition of the parties was temporary.
The loyal people instantly recovered from the stunning blow,7
and in that recovery awakened from the delusive dream that their armies were invincible, that the Confederates
were only passionate and not strong, and that the rebellion could be crushed in ninety days, as the hopeful Secretary of State
had predicted, and continued to predict.
It was evident that the battle just fought was only the beginning of a desperate struggle with the enemies of the Republic
, who had made thorough preparation for the conflict, and had resolved to win the prize at all hazards.
With this conviction of danger added to the sting of mortified national pride, the patriotism of the Loyalists was intensely exercised.
The Government, which had been lulled into feelings of security by the song of its own egotism, and had hesitated when urged to engage more troops, “for three years or the war,” was now also aroused to a painful sense of danger and the penalties of misjudgment; and the Secretary of War
, who had refused to sanction a call for a larger body of Pennsylvania volunteers
than its prescribed quota, stating that “it was more important to reduce than to enlarge the number,” 8
was now glad to receive all that might be offered from every quarter.
Then it was that the Pennsylvania Reserves, called into existence by Governor Curtin
, were so speedily transferred from Harrisburg
and gave security to the National Capital
Everywhere the people flew to arms with a feeling of devotion to their country, deeper, because born of serious contemplation, than when Fort Sumter
There was another grand uprising; and within a fortnight after the Battle of Bull's Run
, when the terms of service of the seventy-five thousand three-months men had expired, more than an equal number were in camps or in the field, engaged “for three years or the war.”
Among them were a large portion of the three-months men, who had re-enlisted.
Nine-tenths of the non-combatants shared in the fervor and the faith of those who took up arms, and the people of the Free-labor States presented to the world a sublime spectacle difficult to comprehend.
That terrible crisis in the life of the nation was promptly met, and the salvation of the Republic
In the mean time, the Confederates
, flushed with victory, and satisfied that their so-called attorney-general (Benjamin
) had predicted wisely, that pacification through recognition by France
, or both, would occur “in ninety days,” and their independence be secured, were wasting golden moments in celebrating their own valor.10
Yet, in the manner of that unthriftiness of time and opportunity, there was a potential force that gave amazing strength to the Confederacy
There was a prestige in that battle, and the celebration of the triumph, which almost silenced opposition to the war; for multitudes, who had loved the Union
supremely, and had no faith in the success of the conspirators, now thought they saw a great revolution nearly accomplished, and themselves made part of a new nation carved suddenly by the sword out of the Republic
, with whose fortunes it was their duty and their interest to link themselves.
They had already suffered much from the despotism established by the conspirators; and now, by an act of the “Congress,”
threatened with banishment and confiscation, they were utterly helpless, and sought peace and reconciliation by a display of zeal in what was dignified by the name of a war for independence.11
That “united South” which the conspirators had falsely
declared months before, now became a fact, and the terrible strife instantly assumed the proportions and the vigor of a civil war of unparalleled magnitude.
Almost the entire resources of the inhabitants of the States in which rebellion existed were devoted to the cause, and with wonderful energy on both sides, the great conflict went on. During that conflict, while weaker men were in practical sympathy with the conspirators, there were thousands of the best men of the South
, imbued with the martyr-spirit which reverences principle, who could not be made to yield to the terrible pressure, but maintained their integrity throughout.
These unconditional Unionists
suffered intensely in person and property, and large numbers perished.
But the survivors were many, and offered to the nation, at the close of the war, the proper instrumentalities for co-operation with the Government
in the reorganization of the disordered Union on a basis of justice, which should secure for the Republic
, for all time, tranquillity and prosperity.
When the shouts of triumph had died away, and the smoke of battle was dissipated, and the people of the Confederacy
saw their victorious army immovable at Manassas
and indisposed to follow up their victory, they were uneasy, and many a lip queried why “President
, the chief of the army, returned so quickly to Richmond
, and spent time in public boastings of the achievements of the present and in predictions of the future, instead of directing Johnston
to press on after the fugitives and capture Washington City
, the great and coveted prize?
The immobility of their army was an enigma.
It was an incubus on the spirits of the people.
While their tongues were jubilant, their hearts were misgiving.
desired to press on, but the wisdom and the prudence of the first-named officer restrained his own impatience and the folly and rashness of the Creole
; and the perilous movement was delayed until it was too late to hope for success.
knew that it would be Madness to follow the retreating Nationals
, and hurl his wearied troops against the strong defenses of Washington, behind which they were resting, supported by fresh soldiers.
But he was anxious to carry out his original plan of crossing the Potomac
above the National Capital
, cut off that city's communications with the North
, and capture it by a vigorous movement in the rear.
But for a pursuit, or this grand flank movement, there were two essential requisites lacking-namely, a sufficient cavalry force, and means of subsistence, for which lack Confederate experts hold Davis
It is agreed that he always seemed to take a delight in thwarting the wishes of others; and with a most mischievous obstinacy he followed the dictates of his own will, passions, and caprice, rather than the counsels of judicious advisers.
This disposition was conspicuous in his appointment to important offices of his incapable personal and political friends; and the best of the Confederate army officers declare that, by his interference in details, he was a
marplot in the way of military affairs throughout the war. At the beginning he appointed an incompetent and vicious companion-in-arms at a former period, named Northrop
, to the vitally important post of Chief of Subsistence
This was done in the face of earnest protests; and now, at the first momentous trial, this Chief Commissary
's incapacity was fatally conspicuous.
Under the sanction, if not at the command of Davis
, he refused to allow his subordinates to purchase supplies for the army at Manassas
in the fertile country adjacent, but sent others to gather them in the rear of the army, and forward them in daily doles, at heavy expense, by the Orange and Alexandria Railway, exposed to the vicissitudes of war. He allowed no deposits of supplies to be established near the army; and on the day of the battle, Beauregard
had only a single day's rations for his troops.12
For weeks afterward this state of things continued, and it was impossible for the army to move forward with safety, under such circumstances.13
There it lay at Manassas
for many weeks, its officers chafing with impatience, whilst an immense National army was gathering and organizing, and drilling in front of Washington City
made his Headquarters at Grigsby's house in Centreville
He was compelled to content himself with Rending out scouting and foraging parties,
and guerrilla bands, who sometimes approached within cannon shot of the National
defenses on Arlington Heights
The physical disabilities of the Confederates
alluded to, were, probably,, not the only reasons for the immobility of their army after the battle.
and his associates at Richmond
well knew the strength of the lion of the North
, which their wickedness had aroused.
They had promised their dupes “peaceable secession,” because they thought that strength would not be put forth.
They found themselves mistaken, and their cause in great peril; and they well knew, that if they should push on to the extremity of seizing Washington
at that time, it would so consolidate and invoke to terrible action the power of the North
, that the conspirators would not hold the National Capital
ten days, nor prevent the utter extermination of the insurgent armies, and the desolation of their territories by an exasperated people.
This moral effect they dreaded; so they were content to have the vanity of their followers gratified by the accident of a victory at Bull's Run
, and hoped to, accomplish, by negotiation and compromise, what they could not expect to win by arms.
The National Government now acted with decision and energy.
, who, with able subordinates and brave troops, had made a brilliant and successful campaign in Western Virginia
, was summoned to Washington
on the day after the Battle of Bull's Run
and, with the approbation of the people, who were loudly sounding his praises, he was placed in command of the shattered army at and near the seat of Government.
, like a true soldier, gracefully withdrew, and on the 25th of July, the Adjutant-General
announced the creation of a Geographical Division, formed of the Departments of Washington
and of Northeastern Virginia
, under the young chieftain, with headquarters at Washington City
Other changes had already been determined upon.
On the 19th,
an order was issued from the War Department for the honorable discharge from the service of Major-General Robert Patterson
, on the 27th, when his term of duty would expire; and General N. P. Banks
, then in command at Baltimore
, was directed to take his place in charge of the Department of the Shenandoah
, he being relieved by General John A. Dix
There was a new arrangement of Military Departments,15
and Lieutenant-General Scott
, who was the General-in-Chief
of the armies, greatly disabled by increasing infirmities, was, at his own suggestion, relieved from active duties.
turned over the command of the army in Western Virginia
to Brigadier-General Rosecrans
, and entered with zeal and vigor upon the arduous task of reorganizing the army, of which he took charge on the 27th of July.
He brought to the service, youth, a spotless moral character, robust health, a sound theoretical military education with some practical experience, untiring industry, the prestige of recent.success in the field, and the unlimited confidence of the loyal people.
He found at his disposal about fifty thousand infantry, less than one thousand cavalry, six hundred and fifty artillerymen, and thirty pieces of cannon.16
He found, in the men, excellent materials out of which to fashion a fine army, but in a disorganized and comparatively crude condition.. Is first care was to effect a moral improvement by thorough discipline; and then, under the sanction of a recent Act of Congress, to winnow the officers of all the volunteer regiments, and dismiss all incompetents.
By this process no less than three hundred officers were compelled to leave the service in the course of a few months.
Having laid the moral foundations for an efficient army organization, McClellan
proceeded with skill and vigor to mold his materials into perfect symmetry.
He made the regiment a unit.
Four regiments composed a brigade, and three brigades a division.
Each division had four batteries: three served by volunteers and one by regulars; the captain of the latter commanding the entire artillery of the division.
With the assistance of Majors William F. Barry
and J. G. Barnard
, he organized artillery and engineering establishments; and the dragoons, mounted riflemen, and cavalry
were all reorganized under the general name of cavalry.
To Major Barry
were intrusted the details of the artillery establishment; and Major Barnard
was directed to construct a system of defenses for Washington City
, on both sides of the Potomac
In the course of a few months every considerable
Map showing the defenses of Washington.|
eminence in the vicinity of the National Capital
was crowned with a fort or redoubt well mounted.
Early in the following year the number of these works was fifty-two, whose names and locations are indicated on the accompanying map.17
This system of works was so complete, that at no time afterward, duing the war did the Confederates
ever seriously attempt to assail them.
At no time was the Capital
in danger from external foes.
The work of organization was performed with such energy, that in the place of a raw and disorganized army of about fifty thousand men, in and around Washington City
, at the close of July
there was, at the end of fifty dayso, a force of at least one hundred thousand men, well organized and offered, equipped and disciplined.
Of these, full seventy-five thousand were then in a condition to be placed in column for active operations.
The entire force under McClellan
's command, at that time, including those under Dix
, at Baltimore
, was one hundred and fifty-two thousand
men, of whom between eight and nine thousand were sick or absent.
This number was continually increased, until, on the first of March, 1862, when the army was put in motion, its grand total was two hundred and twenty-two thousand, of whom about thirty thousand were sick or absent.18
Such was the force with which General McClellan
was furnished for the first campaign in Virginia
after the Battle of Bull's Run
It was known as the Grand
Army of the Potomac, whose existence was a wonder.19
One of the most serious difficulties encountered by the Government
, at the beginning of the war, was a lack of arms.
We have seen how Secretary Floyd
stripped the arsenals and armories in the Free-labor States, and filled those of the Slave-labor States, when preparations were making for rebellion.20
The armories at Harper's Ferry
were the principal ones on which the Government
could rely for the manufacture of small arms.
The former was destroyed in April, and the latter could not supply a tithe of the ,demand.
It was necessary to send to Europe
for arms; and Colonel George L. Schuyler
was appointed an agent for the purpose,
with specific instructions from the Secretary of War
He purchased 116,000 rifles, 10,000 revolvers, 10,000 cavalry carbines, and 21,000 sabers, at an aggregate cost of $2,044,931.21
It was not long before the private and National armories of the United States
were able to meet all demands.
The loss of over two thousand cannon at the Gosport Navy Yard22
was a serious one; but the foundries of the country soon supplied the Government
with all that were required.
Of the “absent” soldiers alluded to, more than two thousand were, at the time in question, in the loathsome prisons of the Confederates
, and suffering intensely from cruel treatment and privations of every kind.
A large portion of these prisoners were captured at the Battle of Bull's Run
These were taken by railway to Richmond
on the 23d and 24th of July.
Among the first who arrived there was Alfred Ely
, member of Congress from the State of New York
and Calvin Huson
, his rival candidate
for the same office, accompanied by Colonel Michael Corcoran
and forty other officers, and a large number of private soldiers.
It was at about ten o'clock, on a moonlit evening, when they reached the city, where an immense crowd had assembled.
Amid the scoffs and sometimes curses of the populace, they were marched three-fourths of a mile to Harwood
's large tobacco factory, on Main Street, near Twenty-fifth Street. It was a brick building, hastily prepared for the
Tobacco Warehouse prison.|
Into it officers and men were thrust, to the numb er of more than six hundred;24
and they were so closely huddled that it was difficult for any one to lie down.
No doubt this was the best arrangementerathat could be made immediately for the unexpected captives.
On the following morning the officers were waited upon by John H. Winder
, a stout, gray-haired man, from Maryland
, and lately a lieutenant-colonel, by brevet, in the National Army
He was now a Confederate brigadier-general
, in command of the post at Richmond
, and appeared for the first time on the theater of the Rebellion
of prisoners, in which capacity he acted throughout the war, and gained for himself the most unenviable notoriety.
He promised the prisoners better quarters, and on that day the officers were removed to an adjoining building, where they had a little more room, light, and air; but neither chair nor bench to sit upon, nor bed to lie upon.
For a short time they entertained hopes of a speedy release;25
and a considerable number of men, somewhat
distinguished in the political world, visited Mr. Ely
, and made abundant promises of aid, which they never fulfilled.26
Yet there were a few persons
who did not only promise, but afforded all the aid in their power to the Union
prisoners, at this time and ever afterwards.27
The prisoners in Richmond
were soon convinced that the tobacco warehouse would be their home for some time.
As the days wore wearily away, their sufferings increased, for their treatment became less humane.
Yet they did not yield to melancholy.
There were some irrepressibly buoyant spirits among them, and every thing possible to be done to render their situation endurable, was employed.
They formed a club called The Richmond Prison. Association
, of which Mr. Ely
was made President
and at their first meeting, held on the day of organization, they were enlivened by speeches, songs, and toasts.28
This was the more agreeable beginning of that terrible prison-life to which tens of thousands of the National
troops were exposed during the war, of which more will be recorded hereafter.
The Thirty-seventh Congress had been in session more than a fortnight when the battle of Bull's Run
was fought, and they had already made several enactments preparatory to the vigorous prosecution of the war.29
Yet they were not unmindful of their obligations to humanity, to endeavor to secure peace by any just and honorable means.
As we have observed,30
a resolution was introduced into the House of Representatives,
by Mr. Crittenden
, declaring the sole object of the Government
in waging war to be the preservation of the Union
and the vindication of the National
It was “laid over until Monday,” the 22d, and in the mean time the battle at Bull's Run
Notwithstanding the National Capital
was filled with fugitives from a shattered army, and it
was believed by many that the seat of Government was at the mercy o. its enemies, Congress, on Monday, deliberated as calmly as if assured of perfect safety.
's resolution was adopted by a vote of 117 to 2; and two days afterwards,
one identical with it passed the Senate by a vote almost as decisive.31
It was such a solemn declaration of the Government
that the conspirators were speaking falsely when charging that Government with waging war for the subjugation of the Southern States
, the emancipation of the slaves, and the confiscation of property, that it was not allowed to be published within the bounds of the Confederacy
The writer was so informed by Southern men of intelligence, and that they never heard of the resolution until the war had ceased; also that, had its declarations been known, multitudes would have paused in their rebellious career, and the terrible desolation of the South
might have been prevented.
This was what the conspirators, who had resolved on rule or ruin, justly feared.
On the same day
the House of Representatives, by an almost unanimous vote, anticipated the wishes of the loyal people by declaring that “the maintenance of the Constitution
, the preservation of the Union
, and the enforcement of the laws are sacred trusts which must be executed; that no disaster shall discourage us from the most ample performance of this high duty; and that we pledge to the country and the world the employment of every resource, national and individual, for the suppression, overthrow, and punishment of Rebels in arms.”
On the same sad day a bill, reported by the Judiciary Committee on the 20th, providing for the confiscation of property used for insurrectionary purposes, was considered in the Senate, to which Mr. Trumbull
, of Illinois
, the chairman of that committee, offered an amendment, providing that the master of any slave who should employ him for such purpose should forfeit all right to his service or labor thereafter.
It was adopted by a vote of 33 against 6.
When this bill reached the Lower House
, on the 2d of August, it met with strenuous opposition, especially Trumbull
's amendment, from Crittenden
, of Kentucky
, and Cox
, of Ohio
, and Diven
, of New York, chiefly on the ground that it would confirm the belief of the slaveholders that the war was waged for the emancipation of their slaves, and, as a consequence, would produce great exasperation, and increase the rigors of war without increasing the means for the success of the army.
was opposed to the passage of any penal laws.
“Shall we send forward to the field,” he asked, “a whole catalogue of penal laws to fight this battle with?
Arms more impotent were never resorted to. They are beneath the dignity of our great cause.
They are outside of the policy which ought to control this Government, and lead us on to success in the war we are now fighting.
If you hold up before your enemies this cloud of penal laws, they will say, ‘War is better than peace: war is comparative repose.’
They will say when they are subdued, or if they choose now to submit, ‘What next?
Have we peace, or is this new army
of penal laws then to come into action?
Are these penal laws to inflict upon, us a long agony of prosecution and forfeiture?’
No, gentlemen, it is not by such means that we are to achieve the great object of establishing our Union and reuniting the country.
Sir, these laws will have no efficacy in war. Their only effect will be to stimulate your adversaries to still more desperate measures.
That will be the effect of this army of penal laws.”
, of Pennsylvania
, strenuously advocated the bill, and especially Mr. Trumbull
's amendment concerning the freedom of slaves employed for insurrectionary purposes; and, in reply to the assertions that the insurgents would never submit, that they could not be conquered, that they would “suffer themselves to be slaughtered and their whole country to be laid waste,” he said, “Sir, war is a grievous thing at best, and civil war more than any other; but if they hold this language, and the means which they have suggested must be resorted to, if their whole country must be laid waste and made a desert in order to save this Union from destruction, so let it be. I would rather, sir, reduce them to a condition where their whole country is to be peopled by a band of freemen than to see them perpetrate the destruction of this people through our agency. . . . . I warn Southern gentlemen that if this war is to continue, there will be a time when my friend from New York [Mr. Diven
] will see it declared by this free nation that every bondsman in the South-belonging to a rebel, recollect; I confine it to them-shall be called upon to aid us in war against their masters, and to restore this Union.”
The bill was recommitted to the Committee
on the Judiciary, and on the following day
it was reported back with Trumbull
's amendment so modified as to include only those slaves whose labor for insurrectionary purposes was employed in “any military or naval service against the Government
and authority of the United States
With the amendment so modified, the bill was passed by a vote of 60 against 48.
When it was returned to the Senate, it was concurred in,, on motion of Mr. Trumbull
, and was passed
by a vote of 24 against 11.
The President's signature to it made it law on the same day. This was the first act of Congress, after the beginning of the war, concerning the emancipation of slaves and the confiscation of property.
We have already observed the peace propositions of Vallandigham
, of Ohio
, and Wood
, of New York.33
These were followed, later in the session, after Clarke
, of New Hampshire
, had asked and obtained leave of the Senate to offer a joint resolution declaratory of the determination of Congress to maintain the supremacy of the Government
and integrity of the Union
, by propositions for securing peace and reconciliation by friendly measures.
One of these, offered in the House of Representatives by S. S. Cox
, of Ohio
, proposed the appointment of a committee, composed of one member of Congress from each State, who should report to the House
, at the next session, such amendments to the National Constitution
as should “assuage all grievances and bring about a reconstruction of the national unity;” also the appointment of a committee for the purpose of preparing such adjustment, and a conference
requisite for that purpose, composed of seven citizens, whom he named,34
who should request the appointment of a similar committee “from the so-called Confederate States
,” the two commissions to meet at Louisville, Kentucky
, on the first Monday in September following.
This was followed by a proposition from W. P. Johnson
, of Missouri
, to recommend the Governors
of the several States to convene the respective legislatures for the purpose of calling an election to select two delegates from each Congressional district, to meet in convention at Louisville
on the same day, “to devise measures for the restoration of peace to our country.”
These, and all other propositions of like nature, Congress refused to entertain, for they were satisfied that the conspirators, who had appealed to the arbitrament of the sword, would not listen to the voice of patriotism.
The judgment of the majority was in consonance with a resolution which Mr. Diven
, of New York, proposed to offer, namely: “That, at a time when an armed rebellion is threatening the integrity of the Union
and the overthrow of the Government
, any and all resolutions or recommendations designed to make terms with armed rebels are either cowardly or treasonable.”
They recognized war as existing in all its hideousness in the bosom of the nation, and legislated accordingly.
Acting upon the recommendation of the Secretary of the Treasury
), Congress authorized a loan of $250,000,000, for which bonds and Treasurynotes were to be issued.
The bonds were to be irredeemable for twenty years, and to bear interest not exceeding seven per cent. per annum; while the Treasury notes of fifty dollars and upwards were to be payable three years after date, with annual interest at the rate of seven and three-tenths per cent. per annum.
For greater convenience in the disbursements of the Government
, and the payment of revenue, Treasury notes were authorized
Seal of the Treasury Department.|
in denominations not less than five dollars, and to the extent of fifty millions of dollars.
The Government was allowed to deposit its funds with solvent banks, instead of confining these deposits to the National
This measure, together with the issue of the bills receivable for specie, relieved the financial pressure at a time when it threatened serious embarrassments.
To provide for the payment of the interest on this debt, and to meet other demands, an act35
for the increase of revenues from imports, by which new duties were imposed upon foreign articles of luxury and necessity.
By a provision of the same act, a direct tax of twenty millions of dollars was to be laid upon the real estate
of the country, in which the amount to be raised in each State was specified, not excepting those in which rebellion existed.
Provision was also made for levying a tax on the excess of all incomes above eight hundred dollars; but
's suggestion concerning excise duties, and other taxes on special articles of personal property, legacies, &c., were not adopted at that time.
Indeed, this system of taxation was not put in operation until after it was modified at the next session of Congress; for the President
, who was invested with power to appoint officers to carry it out, was not allowed by the act to exercise it until the following February.36
In the month of September, Mr. Chase
sent forth a patriotic appeal to the people, in behalf of the subscription to the authorized loan.37
He called for purchasers at par of one hundred and fifty millions of Treasury notes, bearing seven and three-tenths per cent. interest, and met with a cordial response from individuals and banking institutions.
The obvious advantages of the loan caused the first and second issues, of fifty millions each, to be generally absorbed for investment; and this mark of confidence in the Government
and the financial system of the Secretary
filled the hearts of the loyal people with gladness.
We shall, as occasion offers, hereafter notice the working of the Treasury Department under the management of Mr. Chase
When Congress had finished the business for which they were called together, they adjourned on the 6th of August, after a session of thirty-three days. They had worked earnestly and industriously, and the product of their labors consisted of the passage of sixty-one public and seven private acts, and five joint resolutions.
They had made ample provisions for sustaining the contest against the enemies of the Republic
; and, on the day before the adjournment, in a joint resolution, they requested the President
to “recommend a day of public humiliaiton, prayer, and fasting, to be observed by the people of the United States
with religious solemnity, and the offering of fervent supplications to Almighty God for the safety and welfare of these States, his blessings on their arms, and a speedy restoration of peace.”
Whilst the National Congress was in session at Washington
, and armies were contending along the borders of Bull's Run
, the Third Session of the so-called Provisional Congress of the conspirators (who, as we have seen, had left the Senate-Chamber
of the Capitol
, at Montgomery
wherein their Confederacy was formed) was commenced in the Capitol
, at Richmond
, on the 20th of July.39
There was a full attendance.
The members assembled at noon, and were called to order by Howell Cobb
, when the Rev. S. K. Tallmadge
, of Georgia
, made a prayer.
At half-past 12 o'clock, Col. Josselyn
, the private secretary
of Jefferson Davis
, appeared, and delivered to “Congress” a communication
cation from that chief leader of the Rebellion
In that “message,” Davis
congratulated his confederates on the accession of States to their league.
He assured them that the National Government
had now revealed its intentions to subjugate them by a war “whose folly” was “equaled by its wickedness,” and whose “dire calamities would fall with double severity” on the loyal people themselves.
He charged the President
with “a violation of an armistice” concerning Fort Sumter
and declared the assertion that the insurgents commenced hostilities, to be “an unfounded pretense.”
He argued that the Confederacy
was “a great and powerful nation,” because the Government
had made such extensive preparations for its overthrow; also that the nationality of the leagued insurgents had been recognized by the Government
, by its establishment of “blockades by sea and land;” also that the idea that the inhabitants of the “Confederate States
” were citizens of the, United States
was repudiated by the Government
, in making war upon them “with a savage ferocity unknown to modern civilization.”
With the same disregard of candor which characterized Beauregard
's proclamation at Manassas
, in June, and with the same evident intention to “fire the Southern
heart,” 42 Davis
said of the warfare of the Nationals: “Rapine is the rule; private residences, in peaceful rural districts, are bombarded and burnt,” and pains taken to have “a brutal soldiery completely destroy every article of use or ornament in private houses.”
“Mankind will shudder,” he continued, “to hear the tales of outrages committed on defenseless females, by soldiers of the United States
now invading our homes.”
charged the Government
with making “special war” on the South
, including the women and the children, “by carefully devised measures to prevent their obtaining medicines necessary for their cure,” with “cool and deliberate malignity, under pretext of suppressing an insurrection.”
He spoke of “other savage practices which have been resorted to by the Government
of the United States
,” and cited the case of the prisoners taken with the pirate-ship Savannah
, already referred to in this work.43
After speaking of the annunciation at the seat of Government, that the States were subordinate to the National
authority and had no right to secede, and that the President
was authorized to suspend the privilege of the writ of Habeas Corpus
, “when,” as the Constitution
says, “in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it,” he said: “We may well rejoice that we have severed all connection with a Government which thus tramples on all the principles of constitutional liberty, and with a people in whose presence such avowals could be hazarded.”
He then spoke of the enthusiasm of the Southern
people, their abundant offers of aid to the Confederacy
, and the “almost unquestioning confidence which they display in their government during the impending struggle;” and he concluded his communication by saying: “To speak of subjugating such a people, so united and determined, is to speak in language incomprehensible to them.
To resist attacks on their rights or their liberties, is with them an instinct.
Whether this war shall last one, or three, or five years, is a problem they leave to be solved by the enemy alone; it will last till the enemy shall have withdrawn from their borders-till their political rights, their altars, and their homes, are freed from invasion.
Then, and then only, will they rest from this struggle, to enjoy in peace the blessings which, with the favor of Providence
, they have secured by the aid of their own strong hearts and sturdy arms.”
With a determination such as Davis
expressed, the “Congress” made provision for the contest, and for creating that “United South” which had been proclaimed to the world.
For the latter purpose it passed an act
which authorized the banishment from the limits of the “Confederate States
” of every masculine citizen of the United States
(with some exceptions named44
) over fourteen years of age, who adhered to his Government and acknowledged its authority.
The act prescribed as the duty of all courts of justice to cause the arrest of all Union men who did not proclaim their allegiance to the conspirators or leave the Confederacy
within forty days, and to treat them as “alien enemies.”
authorized the confiscation of every species of Aug
property within the limits of the Confederacy
belonging to such “alien enemies” or absent citizens of the United States
, with the exceptions mentioned.
Various measures were adopted for the increase and efficiency of the army and navy, and for carrying on the immense financial operations of the so-called government.45
It was officially reported that there were two hundred
thousand soldiers in the field; and Davis
was authorized to increase this force by an addition of four hundred thousand volunteers, to serve for not less than twelve months or more than three years. He was authorized to send additional commissioners to Europe
; and on the last day of the session
an act was passed giving him authority to inflict retaliation upon the persons of prisoners of war. This measure had special reference to the captives of the pirate-ship Savannah
, concerning whom, as we have observed,46 Davis
had already sent a threatening letter to the President
, to which no reply was given.47
Under the provisions of that act, Colonel Corcoran
and other officers were closely confined as hostages, and treated worse than the pirates were.48
The latter, as we have observed, were, for the sake of humanity, treated as prisoners of war, and in due time the hostages were exchanged.
On the establishment of the so-called government at Richmond
's committee of advisers, whom he dignified with the title of “Cabinet,” was reorganized.
R. M. T. Hunter
, of Virginia
, had become his “Secretary of State
Judah P. Benjamin
, his law officer, was made “Secretary of War
,” and was succeeded in his office by ex-Governor Thomas Bragg
, of North Carolina
The other members of the “Cabinet” were the same as those first appointed.49
In every phase of its organization, the “new government” ? was modeled after the rejected one; and in form, and numbers, and operations, the Confederacy
presented to the world the outward aspect of a respectable nation.
Seals were devised for the use of the several “Departments ;” and on that made for the “Department of State,” which, more than others, might be seen abroad, was the significant legend, in indifferent Latin, Nulla Patria AMICTAe Fidei, meaning, No country, no fatherland, that does not keep faith, or where faith is covered up — that is to say, We reject the National Government
because it is faithless.50
With this feeling they set about the establishment of a new empire, with wonderful energy, and called forth all of the industrial resources of the region under their control, with results the most
The blockade becoming more and more stringent every day, they perceived the necessity of relying upon their own ingenuity and industry for the materials of war; and forges, and foundries, and powder manufactories soon appeared in various parts of the Confederacy
, while those already established were taxed to their utmost capacity in responding to orders.
Of these the great Tredegar Iron Works, at Richmond
(see page 36), was the most extensive of its kind within the limits of the Slave-labor States, and some of the most effective heavy ordnance used by the Confederate Army, and projectiles of various kinds, were made there, directly under the eye of the so-called government.
Confederate State Department seal.51 |
The labors of this establishment in the cause of the rebellion made its name and deeds familiar to every American.
was quick to act upon the authority of the decree of the Confederate Congress concerning the banishment of Union men. He issued a proclamation on the 14th of August, in accordance with the intent of that decree; and then commenced those terrible persecutions of loyal inhabitants within the limits of the “Confederate States
,” under the sanction of law, which .made that reign of terror in those regions tenfold more dreadful than before.
This, and the Confiscation Act
, put the seal of silence upon the lips of nearly all Union men. Few could leave, for obstacles were cast in their way. To remain was to acquiesce in the new order of things, or suffer
Then, for the same reason that gave truth to the proclamation of the despot--“Order reigns in Warsaw
” --there was a “United South” in
favor of the conspirators.
Under their subordinate officers, civil and military, almost unbounded license was exercised, and no man's life, liberty, and property were secure from violence.
In districts of the Confederacy
, such as East Tennessee
, where the blight of slavery was but little known, where a greater portion of the inhabitants were loyal to their Government, and where the Confederates
held sway, the keenest cruelties were exercised.
Those who, in East Tennessee
, had voted for the Union
at the election of which Governor Harris
made fraudulent returns,53
were continually persecuted.
Good and peaceable citizens were taken before magistrates without cause, and imprisoned without mercy.
They were arrested by the authority of processes issued by J. Crozier Ramsey
, the Confederate district attorney
, who was assisted in the work of crushing the Unionists in that region by R. B. Reynolds
, a Confederate commissioner, and W. B. Wood
, a Methodist clergyman from Alabama
, who bore the commission of a Confederate colonel.
Under the direction and assistance of these men, loyalists were hunted, arrested, taken to camps and prisons, and insulted and abused by mobs.
Confederate cavalry, as well as infantry, scoured the country, offering every indignity to men and women, destroying the crops of the rich and poor alike, turning their horses to feed into fields of growing corn, burning barns and stacks of hay, and plundering the people of provisions.
The jails were soon filled with loyalists, and an extensive disarming of the people was accomplished.
So thoroughly were they under the control of the Confederates
, that in November Colonel Wood
was able to write to Benjamin
, at Richmond
, “The rebellion [resistance to Confederate outrages] in East Tennessee
has been put down in some of the counties, and will be effectually suppressed in less than two weeks in all the counties.
Their camps in Sevier
and Hamilton Counties
,” he continued, “have been broken up, and a large number of them have been made prisoners. . . . .It is a mere farce to arrest them and turn them
over to the courts . . . . They really deserve the gallows, and, if consistent with the laws, ought speedily to receive their deserts.”
With the spirit of this Alabama
clergyman, the Loyalists were everywhere illtreated, and no measures seemed to be considered too cruel to be employed in crushing them.54
Among the most prominent of the East Tennessee
Loyalists, who suffered persecution, were Andrew Johnson
and Horace Maynard
, members of Congress, and Rev. W. G. Brownlow, D. D.
, a Methodist preacher, and editor of the Knoxville Whig
's fearless spirit, caustic pen, social position, and public relations through the press and the pulpit, made him intensely hated by the conspirators and their friends, and much feared.
They thirsted for his life, and finally the false charge was made, that he was accessory to the burning of several railway-bridges in East Tennessee
to cut off communication between that region and Virginia
His life had been daily threatened by Confederate soldiers; and, at the urgent solicitations of his family, he left his home in the autumn, and went into another district of his State.
While he was absent, several railway-bridges were burned.
was accused of being in complicity with their destroyers, and Colonel Wood
sent out cavalry in search of him, with instructions, publicly given in the street, at Knoxville
, not to take him prisoner, but to shoot him at once.57
was informed of his peril, and, with other loyal men, he secreted himself in the Smoky Mountains
, on the borders of North Carolina
, where they were fed by Loyalists.
It was finally resolved by the Confederates
to rid themselves of so dangerous an enemy, by giving Brownlow
a pass to go into Kentucky
, under a military escort.
The “Secretary of War
” at Richmond
) was asked for one.
He would not give it himself.
He said he greatly preferred seeing Brownlow
“on the other side of the lines, as an avowed enemy;” 58
and instructed General Crittenden
, then in command at Knoxville
, to give him a pass.
sent for Brownlow
to come to Knoxville
to receive it. He did so, and was on the point of departure for the Union
lines, when he was arrested
for treason, on the authority of a warrant issued by “Commissioner
, on the affidavit of Attorney Ramsey
He was refused
a hearing or bail, but was cast into the county prison at Knoxville
, from which appeals to the honor and good faith of Crittenden
and his superiors were made in vain.
There, in a room so crowded that not all could lie down, and not a chair bench, stool, table, or other article of furniture, excepting a wooden bucket and tin cup, was to be seen, he and his associates, some of were kept a long time, subjected to the, vile ribaldry of soldiers and guards, and threats of being hung.
Nor were these threats idle; for, from time to time, prisoners' were taken out and hung — men as innocent of crime as
The County jail at Knoxwile59 |
These were citizens, charged with burning the railway-bridges.
The alleged crimes of these men and other
Loyalists were set forth by Colonel Wood
in a letter to Benjamin
in which he declared that the sentiment of the inhabitants in East Tennessee
was “hostile to the Confederate government,” and that the people were slaves to Andrew Johnson
and Horace Maynard
“To release the prisoners,” he said, “is ruinous.
To convict them before a court is next to an impossibility.
The bridge-burners and spies ought to be tried at once.”
This letter excited the brutal instincts of Benjamin
, and he wrote back instantly
, saying, “All such as can be identified in having been engaged in bridge-burning, are to be tried summarily by drum-head court-martial, and, if found guilty, executed on the spot by hanging.
It would be well to leave their bodies hanging in the vicinity of the burned bridges
He ordered the seizure of all arms that were “concentrated by these traitors,” and said, “In no case is one of the men, known to have been up in arms against the government, to be released on any pledge or oath of allegiance.
The time for such measures is past.
They are all to be held as prisoners of war, and held in jail to the end of the war.”
Acting upon these suggestions, some of those who were charged
with bridge-burning, but not found guilty, were hung under circumstances of great cruelty.
In compliance with Benjamin
's savage instructions, they were left hanging in public places, to receive the indignities of a brutal mob. Such was the case with the bodies of two victims (Hensie and Fry
), who were hanged together upon the limb of an oak tree.
near the railway-station, at Greenville, Tennessee
, by the hands of Colonel Leadbetter
, already mentioned.60
He ordered their bodies to hang there four days and nights; and when the trains upon the road passed by, they were detained long enough to allow the passengers to go up and offer insults to the lifeless remains.
This was done, especially by Confederate soldiers on their way to Virginia
, in view of many of the loyal inhabitants of Greenville
In the midst of these fiery trials, the intrepid Brownlow
remained firm, and exercised the greatest boldness of speech.
They dared not hang him without legal conviction, and they well knew that he had done nothing worthy of death.
He was not only bold, but defiant.
They offered him life and liberty if he would take the oath of allegiance to the Confederacy
He scorned the proposition, saying: “Rather than stultify myself, and disgrace my family by such an oath, I agree to die. I never could sanction this government, and I trust no child of mine will ever do it.”
Whilst suffering in the Knoxville jail, and almost daily menaced with death, he wrote to Benjamin
a characteristic letter,
in which he said, “You are reported to have said to a gentleman in Richmond
, that I am a bad man, and dangerous to the Confederacy
, and that you ports, and I will do for your Confederacy more than the devil has ever done — I will quit the country!”
The Gallows-tree.61 |
This letter, and a visit from General Crittenden
(who felt sensitive on this point), brought one from Benjamin
to the a t Knoxville
, indicating his wish that Brownlow
should be sent out of the Confederacy
, and regretting the circumstances of his arrest and imprisonment; “only,” as he said, because “color is given to the suspicion that he has been entrapped.”
He was finally released and sent to Nashville
(then in possession of National troops) early in March. Dr. Brownlow
was a type of the Loyalists of the mountain regions of that State, who suffered terribly during a great portion of the war. A minute record of the faithful and fearless patriotism of the people of East Tennessee
during the struggle, and the cruel wrongs and sufferings which they endured a greater portion of that time, would make one of the most glorious and yet revolting chapters in the history of the late fierce conflict.
Incidents of that patriotism and suffering will be observed, as we proceed in our narrative.
Let us return a moment to the consideration of the other measure of the Confederate Congress, designed to force loyal men into a support of the rebellion, namely, the Confiscation Act
From the “Department of justice,” at the head of which was Judah P. Benjamin
, went out instructions that all
or Europeans, having a domicile in the “Confederate States
, and carrying on business or traffic within the States at war with the Confederacy
,” were alien enemies; that the property, of every kind, of these persons should be seized and held, and that the receivers of the same should apply to the clerk of courts for writs of garnishment,63
commanding persons suspected of holding in trust the property of an alien enemy to appear and answer such questions, under oath, touching such custody, as might be propounded.
The authorized persons making the seizures were furnished with a formula of questions for the garnishees, which implied the establishment of a court of inquisition of the most despotic kind.
The citizen was asked, first, whether he held in trust any property belonging to an alien enemy; secondly, what was the character of such property, and what disposition had been made of any profit, interest, or rent accruing from the use thereof; thirdly, whether the citizen so questioned had, since the 21st day of May, 1861, been indebted to such alien enemy or enemies, and if so to what amount, and to what extent the debts had been discharged, and also to give the names of the creditors; fourthly, whether he knew of any property or interest belonging to such alien enemies, and if so to tell where it might be found.
The citizen was warned that it was his duty, according to the law, to answer all of these questions, under penalty of indictment for a high misdemeanor, punishable by heavy fines and imprisonment.
Under this searching sequestration act a vast amount of property belonging to owners in the loyal States was seized, swelling the entire loss to the inhabitants of those States by the repudiation of, or inability to pay, honest debts by the business men of the South
, to about three hundred millions of dollars.
It was one of the strong arms of the despotism established by the conspirators, and few men had the boldness to oppose its operations.
Yet the constitutionality of the act was questioned in the Confederate
courts; and in that of the district of Charleston, over which Judge Magrath64
presided, it was opposed in open court by that stanch loyalist J. L. Pettigru
, who, from the beginning of the rebellion until his death, defied the conspirators and their instruments.
He was served with a writ of garnishment, and refused to obey it telling the court plainly that such proceedings were no better than those which made the English Star Chamber
and the Spanish Inquisition
odious to every lover of liberty.
“Was there ever a law like this endured, practiced, or heard of?”
“It certainly is not found among the people from whom we derive
the common law. No English monarch or Parliament has ever sanctioned
or undertaken such a thing.
It is no more a part of the law of war than it is a part of the law of peace.”
The inquisitors quailed in the presence of the honest old patriot, and his example and his words blunted the keen edge of the law.65
Its enforcement gradually declined, and it became almost a dead letter during the later period of the war.
At the close of August, Congress and the chief council of the conspirators at Richmond
had each finished its session, and both parties to the contest were preparing to put forth their utmost strength.
Let us leave the consideration of these preparations, and whilst General McClellan
is preparing the grand Army of the Potomac for a campaign, let us return to the observation of the performances on the theater of war westward of the Alleghany Mountains
Tail-piece — sword and Scales.|