15.-the resignation of Gen. Sigel.
German Mass meeting at the Cooper Institute, New-York, on Thursday, 16th January, 1862.
The great meeting in favor of Gen. Franz Sigel
, which took place at the Cooper Institute, was attended by more than ten thousand of the most respectable and solid adopted citizens of German birth, and was characterized by most enthusiastic speeches and resolutions.
The object was, to give expression to the feelings of the Germans of this city and its environs, on the resignation of Gen. Sigel
, and to take measures for bringing his claims prominently to the notice of the Government
The meeting was called to order at half-past 7 o'clock, and R. A. Witthaus
unanimously called to the chair.
On opening the proceedings, Mr. Witthaus
spoke as follows:
fellow — citizens : Permit me to express my deep appreciation of the honor conferred upon me of presiding over this mass meeting of patriots, congregated here to-day in order to support one of their countrymen, who, immediately at the commencement of this unholy rebellion, offered his life and property, promptly and fervently, to the Administration, for the maintenance of the Constitution
and the just cause of the Union
We are not here as Democrats or Republicans, but as men who love liberty, justice and the Union
We desire to retain in the service of our adopted fatherland, the eminent talents of a General who, by his energetic perseverance since May, 1861, probably prevented the secession of one of the brightest stars from the Northern
General Francis Sigel
--crowned with the twin laurels of the Old
and the New World, Baden
--is a name which fills with irresistible power each patriotic heart, whether native or adopted, with the fullest confidence and most ardent enthusiasm.
In July, 1861, he covered the flag of our Union with ineffable glory at Carthage
; there history wrote his New World certificate of the most eminent generalship, while the rebel banner was biting the dust.
acted the traitors to their country, we find Franz Sigel
forming German regiments, and educating them defenders of this beloved land of our adoption.
In reading General Sigel
's report of the battle of Carthage
, to General Sweeney
, dated 11th July, 1861, we cannot help esteeming his modesty, for not his, but the heroic deeds of his officers, are portrayed with justice and impartiality.
we do not admire Franz Sigel
as the commander only, nay, he shines especially as a man; for, with the greatest self-sacrifice, he there cared for the wives and children of those Union men who were absent and in the ranks of the Federal
Gentlemen, to sustain Franz Sigel
in his patriotic work; to procure for him from that Administration for whom he labored to this day with such unflinching patriotism, due attention and a well-merited support, and to obtain this for him in an honorable, respectful and reliable manner, is the purpose of this mass meeting.
To understand the resolutions, prepared by a Committee, and in order to be enabled to vote on them knowingly, I will permit myself to mention a few facts from creditable authority.
When Gen. Hunter
took command in Missouri
, it was resolved, in a council of war, to advance upon the enemy.
was placed in command of the advance division, with the order “to attack the enemy wherever he found him, and to engage him until the arrival of the principal or general army.”
In the mean time, however, the general army retreated, of which Sigel
received information by the merest accident, and this accident only saved him and his division.
immediately fell back upon Springfield
, and, as before mentioned, he found there a great number of women and children, whose husbands and fathers were absent serving in the Federal
Helpless and unprotected, they were exposed to the savage fury of the pursuing enemy.
In the same position he found thousands of loyal men who, confiding in the strength of the Federal
army, had freely expressed their Union sentiment.
Nothing had been done to protect all of these.
The retreat of the general army was ordered without any necessity, against all rules of warfare, and to the destruction of thousands of confiding citizens.
At that period Gen. Sigel
intended to resign, for he considered it dishonorable to serve under a command which could betray in so shameful a manner such a prosperous country, and thousands of confiding citizens; but the report of the removal of Gen. Hunter
from that command, and the hope of yet being useful to Missouri
, made him reconsider that intention.
After Gen. Halleck
had entered upon the command, the persecutions toward Gen. Sigel
He was chicaned, ignored and neglected; his division was never completed.
Officers, under the influence of Sigel
's name, formed regiment after regiment, but when completed they were detailed to other commanders.
The complaints of Gen. Sigel
have never met with a reply.
His troops suffered for want of the most necessary supplies, and his requisitions for them remained unattended to and unexecuted, and every opportunity to aid Missouri
has been designedly denied him. At last the inhabitants of Southwestern Missouri
petitioned the President
to grant them military protection, and designated Gen. Sigel
as the person in whom they had the most confidence.
, President Lincoln
, referred that petition to General Halleck
, and recommended Gen. Sigel
especially to him. Upon this, on the 24th of December, Gen. Sigel
was placed in command of the troops in and about Rolla
, comprising from fifteen thousand to twenty thousand men; but four days after, on the 28th of December, by order of Gen. Halleck
, Gen. Sigel
was superseded by Gen. Curtis
, whose commission bears the same date as that of Gen. Sigel
This left him no alternative but to tender his resignation, which he did on the 31st of December, 1861.
Whatever may be your