conquered or occupied district.
I ask the Senator
again respectfully, is that unconstitutional; or, if in the nature of war it must exist, even if there be no law passed by us to allow it, is it unconstitutional to regulate it That is the question, to which I do not think he will make a clear and distinct reply.
Now, sir, I have shown him two sections of the bill, which I do not think he will repeat earnestly are unconstitutional.
I do not think that he will seriously deny that it is perfectly constitutional to limit, to regulate, to control, at the same time to confer and restrain authority in the hands of military commanders.
I think it is wise and judicious to regulate it by virtue of powers to be placed in the hands of the President
by law. Now, a few words, and a few only, as to the Senator
stands up here in a manly way in opposition to what he sees is the overwhelming sentiment of the Senate, and utters reproof, malediction, and prediction combined.
Well, sir, it is not every prediction that is prophecy.
It is the easiest thing in the world to do; there is nothing easier, except to be mistaken when we have predicted.
I confess, Mr. President
, that I would not have predicted three weeks ago the disasters which have overtaken our arms; and I do not think (if I were to predict now) that six months hence the Senator
will indulge in the same tone of prediction which is his favorite key now. I would ask him, what would you have us do now — a Confederate army within twenty miles of us, advancing or threatening to advance to overwhelm your Government; to shake the pillars of the Union
; to bring it around your head, if you stay here, in rains?
Are we to stop and talk about an uprising sentiment in the North
against the war?
Are we to predict evil, and retire from what we predict?
Is not the manly part to go on as we have begun, to raise money, and levy armies, to organize them, to prepare to advance; when we do advance, to regulate that advance by all the laws and regulations that civilization and humanity will allow in time of battle?
Can we do any thing more?
To talk to us about stopping is idle; we will never stop.
Will the Senator
yield to rebellion?
Will he shrink from armed insurrection?
Will his State justify it?
Will its better public opinion allow it?
Shall we send a flag of truce?
What would he have?
Or would he conduct this war so feebly, that the whole world would smile at us in derision?
What would he have?
These speeches of his, sown broadcast over the land — what clear, distinct meaning have they?
Are they not intended for disorganization in our very midst?
Are they not intended to dull our weapons?
Are they not intended to destroy our zeal?
Are they not intended to animate our enemies?
Sir, are they not words of brilliant, polished treason, even in the very Capitol
of the Confederacy
[Manifestations of applause in the galleries.]
The Presiding Officer (Mr. Anthony
in the chair)--Order!
--What would have been thought if, in another Capitol
, in another Republic, in a yet more martial age, a Senator as grave, not more eloquent or dignified than the Senator
, yet with the Roman
purple flying over his shoulders, had risen in his place, surrounded by all the illustrations of Roman glory, and declared that advancing Hannibal
was just, and that Carthage
ought to be dealt with in terms of peace?
What would have been thought if, after the battle of Cannae
, a Senator there had risen in his place and denounced every levy of the Roman
people, every expenditure of its treasury, and every appeal to the old recollections and the old glories?
Sir, a Senator, himself learned far more than myself in such lore, tells me, in a voice that I am glad is audible, that he would have been hurled from the Tarpeian rock
It is a grand commentary upon the American Constitution
that we permit these words to be uttered.
I ask the Senator
to recollect, too, what, save to send aid and comfort to the enemy, do these predictions of his amount to?
Every word thus uttered falls as a note of inspiration upon every Confederate ear. Every sound thus uttered is a word (and, falling from his lips, a mighty word) of kindling and triumph to a foe that determines to advance.
For me, I have no such word as a Senator to utter.
For me, amid temporary defeat, disaster, disgrace, it seems that, my duty calls me to utter another word, and that word is, bold, sudden, forward, determined war, according to the laws of war, by armies, by military commanders clothed with full power, advancing with all the past glories of the Republic
urging them on to conquest.
I do not stop to consider whether it is subjugation or not. It is compulsory obedience — not to my will; not to yours, sir; not to the will of any one man; not to the will of any one State; but compulsory obedience to the Constitution
of the whole country.
chose the other day again and again to animadvert on a single expression in a little speech which I delivered before the Senate, in which I took occasion to say that if the people of the rebellious States would not govern themselves as States, they ought to be governed as Territories.
knew full well then, for I explained it twice — he knows full well now — that on this side of the Chamber
; nay, in this whole Chamber; nay, in this whole North and West; nay, in all the loyal States in all their breadth, there is not a man among us all who dreams of causing any man in the South
to submit to any rule, either as to life, liberty, or property, that we ourselves do not willingly agree to yield to. Did he ever think of that?
Subjugation for what?
When we subjugate South Carolina
, what shall we do?
We shall compel its obedience to the Constitution of the United States
; that is all. Why play upon words?
We do not mean, we have