previous next


Progress of the War.

the Saw Commander of the army of the Potomac--Opinions of the Yankee Press — his Opening address.



[from the New York Herald.]

It is with no ordinary feelings of gratification that we announce to our readers this morning the retirement of Gen. Hooker and the appointment of Major General George G Meade, late of the 5th army corps, to the command of the Army of the Potomac.

With regard to the qualification of this officer for this supremely important position at this crisis, the reader will be amply satisfied from the simple facts of his military history which will be found in the sketch given elsewhere in this paper.

Distinguished for his good and gallant conduct in the Mexican war, Gen. Meade, in the Peninsula, and Maryland campaigns of Gen. McClellan, and in the late eventful Rappahannock campaigns of Gen. Burnside and Gen. Hooker, has still added to his high reputation as a brave, skillful, and capable military leader. His merits are approved by the officers of the Army of the Potomac, and we are assured that this appointment as their Commander-in-Chief on the field will be hailed with unqualified satisfaction by the soldiers of every State and of every regiment of the army. As we understand this appointment in another sense, it is a compromise which will be satisfactory not only to the old soldiers of McClellan, but to his friends outside of the army; for, according to our information, Gen. Meade has not been mixed up and is not the creation of any political faction, but the independent, professional soldier, who has won his claims to distinction and his present promotion by his sword.


[from the New York word]

But it would be trilling with the highest interests to conceal the simple fact that the Army of the Potomac knows Gen. Meade only as a subordinate officer who has done nothing to prove himself equal to such an emergency as that in which the army now finds itself deserted by a General of whom it knows that he would never have resigned the position he trampled upon so many sacred things to reach, had he believed that victory was so much as possible to be won. Had the baton of command been passed to a General tried and trusted by the army, there would still have been danger in the execution of the modifications which must have followed in the plans and movements of the campaign. But to the execution of these modifications the army would in that case have proceeded with an alacrity and confidence which it were now altogether insane to expect of them.


[from the New York Times.]

Gen. Meade, his successor, is already pretty well known to the country as a corps commander in the Army of the Potomac. He has not figured quite as prominently as some others, though his corps, (the Fifth army corps.) is second in discipline and condition to none in the army, and wherever it has been on duty, has been handled with a skill second to none. It did not actively participate in the late battle of Chancellorsville--the First and Fifth corps having been held as reserves. The confidence of all the corps commanders and of all the officers in the army in Gen. Meade is very high; and we may now state that after the late battle of Chancellorsville his appointment to supercede Gen. Hooker was urged by every corps commander, with, perhaps, one exception.--There is no doubt he will be loyally and warmly supported by the officers of the army, as he was certainly the one whom they generally designated as their first choice. The next officer in rank to Gen. Hooker was himself desirous that Gen. Meade should be his chief. His intellectual characteristics are sagacity, decision, and firmness, with, of course, all the other soldierly qualifications, and he has also education and experience.

The following is Gen. Meade's address to the army:

Headqr's army of Potomac
June 23, 1863.

General Order, No. 66.

By direction of the President of the United States, I hereby assume command of the Army of the Potomac. As a soldier, in obeying this order, an order totally unexpected and unsolicited, I have no promises or pledges to make. The country looks to this army to relieve it from the devastation and disgrace of a hostile invasion. Whatever fatigues and sacrifices we may be called upon to undergo, let us have in view constantly the magnitude of the interests involved, and let each man determine to do his duty, leaving to an all controlling Providence the decision of the contest. It is with just diffidence that I relieve in the command of this army an eminent and accomplished soldier, whose name must ever appear conspicuous in the history of its achievements; but I rely upon the hearty support of my companions in arms to assist me in the discharge of the duties of the important trust which has been confided to me.

George G. Meade,
Major General Commanding.
S. F. Barstow, Assistant Adj't Gen.

American topics — M. D. Conway Vs. J. M. Mason.

The following correspondence has been referred to briefly. It appeared originally in the London Times, to which Mr. Mason sent it for publication:

Aurrey House Notting Hill.

London. W., June 10, 1863.
Sir:
I have authority to make the following proposition on behalf of the leading antislavery men of America, who have sent me to this country:

If the States calling themselves "The Confederate States of America" will consent to emancipate the negro slaves in those States, such emancipation to be guaranteed by a liberal European commission, the emancipation to be inaugurated at once, and such time to be allowed for its completion as the commission shall adjudge to be necessary and just, and such emancipation once made to be irrevocable, then the Abolitionists and anti-slavery leaders of the Northern States shall immediately oppose the prosecution of the war on the part of the United States Government, and, since they hold the balance of power, will certainly cause the war to cease by the immediate withdrawal of every kind of support from it.

I know that the ultimate decision upon so grave a proposition may require some time; but meanwhile I beg to be informed at your early convenience whether you will personally lend your influence in favor of a restoration of peace and the independence of the South upon the simple basis of the emancipation of the slaves.

Any guarantee of my own responsibility and my right to make this offer shall be forthcoming.

I am, sir, yours &c.,

Moncure D. Conway.
J. M. Mason, Esq.

No. 24 Upper Seymour street,

Portman Square, June 11, 1863.
Sir:
I have your note of yesterday. The proposition it contains is certainly worthy of the gravest consideration, provided it is made under a proper responsibility. Yet, you must be aware, that, while you know fully the representative position I occupy, I have not the like assurance as regards yourself.

If you think proper, therefore, to communicate to me who those are on whose behalf and authority you make the proposition referred to, with the evidence of your "right to make this offer,"I will at once give you my reply, the character of which, however, must depend on what I may learn of your authority in the premises.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

J. M. Mason.
Moncure D. Conway, Esq.

Aubrey House, Notting Hill, W.,

June 16, 1863.
Sir:
Your note of the 11th has been received.

I could easily give you the evidence that I represent the views of the leading Abolitionists of America, but with regard to the special offer which I have made I have concluded that it was best to write out to America, and obtain the evidence of my right to make it in a form which will preclude any doubt as to its sufficiency.

I shall then address you again on the subject.

No. 24. Upper Seymour street,

Portman Square, June 17, 1863.
Sir:
I have received your note of yesterday.

You need not write to America to "obtain the evidence." of your right to treat on the matter it imports. Our correspondence closes with this reply. It was your pleasure to commence it — it is mine to terminate it.

I desired to know who they were who were

responsible for your mission to England, as you present it; and who were to confirm the treaty you proposed to make for arresting the war in America, on the basic of a separation of the States, with or without the sanction of their Government. But such information is of the less value now, as I find from an advertisement in the journals of the day that you have brought to England as sufficient credit from those who sent you to invite a public meeting in London, under the sanction of a member of Parliament, who was to provide, to hear an address from you on the subject of your mission, with the promise of a like address from him.

This correspondence shall go to the public and will find its way to the country a class of the citizens of which you claim to represent. It will, perhaps, interest the Government and the disant"loyal men" there to know, under the sanction of your name, that the "leading anti slavery men in America" are prepared to negotiate with the authorities of the Confederate States for a "restoration of peace and the independence of the South, on a pledge that the Abolitionists and anti slavery leaders of the Northern States shall immediately oppose the further prosecution of the war on the part of the United States Government, and since they hold the balance of power will certainly cause the war to cease by the immediate withdrawal of every kind of support from it."

As some reward, however, for this interesting disclosure, your inquiry whether the Confederate States will consent to emancipation on the terms stated shall not go wholly unanswered. You may be assured, then, and perhaps it may be of value to your constituents to assure them, that the Northern States will never be in relation to put this question to the South, nor will the Southern States ever be in a position requiring them to give an answer.

I am, sir, your ob't serv't,

J. M. Mason.
Moncure D. Conway, Esq.

A Real Yankee Dodge.

The following official order to troops out to fight Lee; speaks for itself:

War Departm't, Adj't Genl's Office.,

Washington, June 29, 1863.
General Order No. 195:
The Adjutant General will provide an appropriate medal of honor for the troops who, after the expiration of their terms, have offered their services to the Government in the present emergency, and also for the volunteer troops from the States that have volunteered their temporary services in the States of Maryland and Pennsylvania. By order of the Secretary of War.

E. D. Townsend,
Assistant Adjutant General.

The future terms of peace between the United States and Confederate States.

The New York Catholic Record has a very long article on the present aspect of the war It thinks it requires no prophetic vision to foresee the result of the present conflict.--"That it will," says the Record, "terminate in the complete independence of the Southern Confederacy, there can, we think, be no doubt in the mind of any rational man." The old story of the ever whelming resources of the North, in men and money, is dissected by the Record. Those ever whelming resources have been brought into play. An army of 1,500,000 men has been thrown against 700,000 men, and yet has not ever whelmed them. In money, millions have been spent by the North where only thousands have been incurred by the South. This is, so far, the result of the ever whelming resources, and that result will not be altered by this war. The Record, thus hopeless of subjugation, turns its attention to the terms of peace, and gives the following conditions:

  1. I. A convention of the Northern States must be held, to take into consideration the new condition in which they are now placed, and to devise means for their reorganization or reconsideration under the new Constitution. This convention, if held, will be composed of delegates from each State, whose basis of representation will be fixed, not by States, but by the proportion of population.--Each State, however, being sovereign, will have the power to ratify or reject the Constitution proposed and adopted in the convention. In this respect their action will not differ from that of the States that adopted the old Constitution and formed the Union which has been overthrown by the Abolition Administration. In the convention we have, no doubt the sovereignty of the States will be guarded with the same jealous care that marked their action in the convention to which the present Constitution owes its origin.
  2. II. The vast debt which has been accumulated by the present made fanatical and suicidal war, will, as a matter of imperative necessity, be repudiated. In stating this fact we do not seek to justify the principle of repudiation, which is alike dishonorable in a nation or an individual. We speak of such a policy now as among the inevitable consequences of the lamentable condition in which the North finds itself after an Abolition crusade of over, two years. The debt of the North may now be estimated at about two thousand five hundred millions of dollars, and the interest on this at 7 per cent. would be about one hundred and eighty millions, which is larger than the interest on the national debt of England. When it is remembered that the English national debt was the growth of centuries, while ours has been created by a two years war, the restiveness and impatience of the American people, under such a load, will be fully understood and appreciated. We do not believe they will stand it, and we entertain no doubt whatever that they will seek relief in repudiation.
  3. III. The people having had, through the policy of the present Administration, a pretty fair experience of a military despotism, will instruct their delegates to the aforesaid Convention to insist upon the inviolability of State-rights, the sovereignty of the States, the liberty of the press, the freedom of speech, habeas corpus, and all the rights guaranteed by the present Constitution. Upon these important points they will be so explicit and so direct as to leave no possible grounds for apprehension in the future.
  4. IV. Admitting the existence of two Confederacies within the limits of the old Union, the Government established under the new Constitution will have to-deal with the important question of boundaries, customs, river navigation, and the general relations that may spring up between the two Confederacies. It is essential that these relations should not be complicated; that they should, in fact, be so simple and so easily understood as to avoid the possibility of future collisions. We trust that there will be entire free trade between the two republics, so as to render border custom houses entirely unnecessary. The navigation of the Mississippi will, and must be free to the Gulf of Mexico; any other arrangement will be inevitably productive of future wars.
  5. V. As friendly relations between the two Confederacies are essential to the welfare and the future prosperity of both, it should be the policy of the Northern, as we trust, it will be of the Southern, to discourage and frown down every attempt to create hostile and bitter feelings between their respective Governments and peoples. As for the North, its commercial and profit seeking people will be among the first to obliterate the past, and to sink its unpleasant memories in the gulf of oblivion. I must be acknowledged that the Northern people are, to a great extent, like the English, "a nation of shopkeepers," and that the present war has been waged as much to retain the custom of the South as to maintain the Union.--Now, we venture to say that none will be more anxious or more earnest to exhibit their friendly feelings toward the South than the very people who have been, and are still, so rampant for a vigorous prosecution of the war — nay, we not only believe this, but we believe also that they will be the greatest toadies of the South; that they will be profess in their professions of good will and friendly feeling; that they will fete and toast "our Southern brethren" at the future banquets that will be given to them in Northern cities; that they will never tire of speaking or writing of a common origin, a common ancestry, a common language, and all those other things which we have been accustomed to hear at convivial assemblies of Americans and Englishmen. All this we shall, most probably, see within a very few years, in this our own day and generation.
  6. VI. We have referred to the convention of the Northern States as among the inevitable consequences of this war, and the condition to which the North has been reduced. It is possible, but we do not regard it as probable, that the North shall witness another Presidential election before that convention shall have taken place. This is a melancholy reflection, but we are considering one present position, and dealing with the hard substantial facts that have been forced upon our consideration. If we could blot out the memories, the sad, bitter recollections of the past two years and a half, oh! how willingly would we do so. It is not we, or such as we, who have destroyed this Union. The murderers of this nation, the assassins of the republic, are to be found in Washington in the members of the present Administration, who, with their co-conspirators the Abolitionist, have overthrown the Union, and are now seeking to bury in the same grave with it the vestiges of American freedom. Taking it for granted that the Administration has not only destroyed the republic, but that by its manner of prosecuting the war, its confiscation and emancipation measures, its vandalism in the destruction of Southern cities and Southern homes, its war upon the freemen of the North, upon State sovereignty as well as its nullification of all the guarantees of the Constitution — taking it for granted that the Administration has by such instrumentalities not only destroyed the Republic, but is now seeking to permanently fasten a military des upon the North, the free States will be compelled, in their own defence, and for the pre of their independence, to the propose of reconstruction and re-formation. The men who have not been committed to the Abolition policy of the Government must be selected for the performance of this work. Abolitionism must be abolished if we would preserve friendly relations with the South, with the view to an offensive and defensive alliance of the two great Republics of America against the intrigues and machinations of foreign powers.
  7. VII. It is possible that the memories of wrongs and outrages committed during a ruthless invasion of the South may render such an alliance a work of difficulty for many years; but the statesmen of the South will, we believe, be the first to perceive the necessity for, and the benefits derivable from such relationship between the two Republics. It would be as much their interest as ours to establish and preserve these relations between the North and South. Such an arrangement would do away with the necessity of large standing armies and extensive navies. If we mistake not there is a treaty between the United States and Great Britain in regard to the great lakes, by which the maintenance of a large naval force in those waters is rendered unnecessary. As for the settlement of Abolitionism, there will, we think, be less trouble than when the South was in the Union. We may not have a fugitive slave law, and we may; but, whether we shall or shall not have one, we think the great majority of the people of the North have sufficiently shown that they are not desirous of a further increase in the negro population of these States. They are excluded from Illinois by legislative enactment, and in other States such demonstrations have been made against the introduction of contrabands as ought to satisfy any rational mind that they are not considered desirable additions to the population. In fact, Mr. Lincoln himself may be quoted in proof of the reliability and truth of these statements. His interview with the colored delegation that visited him about a year ago, in which he told them that they could not live as freemen in the same country with the whites without injury to the latter, is pretty satisfactory on this point, as is also his effort to colonize them in Central America, whether that effort shall prove a failure or a success
  8. VIII. One of the most difficult questions to settle will be that of the Territories, which, if not settled definitely and conclusively by a convention between the two Confederacies, may lead to endless disputes, and perhaps hostilities. It may be that the old Missouri compromise line will be adopted, but, whatever line may be adopted as the limit of the Northern and Southern Territories, that line must be clearly and distinctly drawn. Whatever disputes may arise about these Territories, they certainly cannot originate in any fear that either Confederacy will not have sufficient land to meet the demands of their population for two or three centuries to come. In fact, the growth of population on this continent, although unprecedentedly rapid, will not be adequate for generations to the settlement and the cultivation of the almost illimitable domain that stretches west of the Mississippi away to the Rocky mountains.
  9. IX. At the close of the war a new question will come up for the consideration of that portion that still remains of the old Union. This is no less a question than the future position of the border slave States. If the principle of universal suffrage is to prevail with regard to the election of their choice between the North and the South, then that question must be left to their own decision by a general election in each State; and with regard to the selection we believe that if left entirely untrammeled by governmental or bayonet interference, they will decide by large majorities of their populations to go with the Southern Confederacy. There is one substantial reason for arriving at this conclusion. These States are bound together by common sympathies, by common interests; and by the institution of slavery, which is common to all. These are like so many links of steal; but, independent of these considerations, the fact that all of them, with one exception, have been made the theatre of war, and have been subjected to the full force of the Washington tyranny and its military satraps, affords, of itself, grounds for the belief that they will go with the South. It is absurd to urge, in refutation of this position, that if they conclude to remain with the Northern States their slaves will not be interfered with. What power on earth can guarantee this in view of the rampant despotic. Abolitionism that has taken possession even of the Government itself? What guarantee have they even that in the event of interference with the peculiar institution they will be compensated by Government for the emancipation of their slaves? In this connection let us ask what his become of the offer to purchase the freedom of the slaves in Kentucky and Missouri? Do we not all know that the proposed , so far as Missouri and Kentucky are concerned, has turned out to be a miserable failure? Of the whole two thousand five hundred millions of dollars expended during the war, we doubt if one million was appropriated to purchase the freedom of slaves. Such is the result of a sentiment that has convulsed the country throughout its entire extent; that has led to the sacrifice of some six or seven hundred thousand lives; that has made the land to resound with the walls of the widows and the orphans, and that has overthrown the mightiest Republic the world has ever seen. Who believes that, with the knowledge of all these facts, the border slave States would be willing to remain with the North if they are afforded an opportunity of linking their destiny with that of the South?
The Record thus concludes the article:

Is any one mad enough to imagine that such a force is equal to the overthrow of the armies commanded by Lee and Johnston and Bragg and Beauregard, and the other great Generals of the South! Is any man so insane as to believe that McClellan, even had be the genius of Napoleon himself, would be equal to such a task? What a delusion then, to flatter ourselves with the hope that a people who know their strength, and who have tested it through the ordeal of a two years war, the most the most disastrous, the most expensive on record, will be inclined to give up that independence for which they have fought to long, struggled so valigutly, and sacrificed so much. Let us accept the "logic of accomplished facts, " and manfully and courageously resolve that although the Union has been destroyed, our liberties shall be preserved, and Democratic freedom saved from the wreck of our once proud, free and happy republic. Let us perform the task that remains to us, and leave to time the work of reuniting in the bonds of a powerful alliance the new severed sections of a once grand Confederacy.

Creative Commons License
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.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
George G. Meade (9)
J. M. Mason (6)
Moncure D. Conway (5)
Hooker (4)
McClellan (3)
Lee (2)
E. D. Townsend (1)
Napoleon (1)
Lincoln (1)
J. E. Johnston (1)
George (1)
Genl (1)
Yankee Dodge (1)
Burnside (1)
Bragg (1)
Beauregard (1)
S. F. Barstow (1)
Americans (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: