Chapter 15:

  • Review of 1861
  • -- summary of hostile acts of United States government -- Fuller details of some of them -- third session of provisional Congress -- message -- subjugation of the Southern States intended -- obstinacy of the enemy insensibility of the North as to the crisis -- vast preparation of the enemy -- embargo and blockade -- indiscriminate war waged -- action of Confederate Congress -- confiscation act of United States Congress -- declared object of the war -- powers of United States government -- forfeitures inflicted -- due process of law, how interpreted -- ‘who pleads the Constitution?’ -- wanton destruction of private property unlawful -- Adams on terms of the Treaty of Ghent -- sectional Hatred -- order of President Lincoln to army officers in regard to slaves -- ‘Educating the people’ -- Fremont's proclamation -- proclamation of General W. T. Sherman -- proclamation of General Halleck and others -- letters of marque -- our privateers -- officers tried for piracy -- retaliatory orders -- discussion in the British House of Lords -- recognition of the Confederacy as a belligerent -- exchange of prisoners -- theory of the United States -- views of McClellan -- revolutionary conduct of United States government -- extent of the war at the close of 1861 -- victories of the year -- New branches of manufactures -- election of Confederate States President -- posterity May ask the cause of such hostile actions -- answer.

The inauguration of the permanent government, amid the struggles of war, was welcomed by our people as a sign of the independence for which all their sacrifices had been made, and the increased efforts of the enemy for our subjugation were met by corresponding determination on our part to maintain the rights our fathers left us at whatever cost. We now enter upon those terrible scenes of wrong and blood in which the government of the United States, driven to desperation by our successful resistance, broke through every restraint of the Constitution, of national law, of justice, and of humanity. But before commencing this fearful [2] narration, let us sum up the hostile acts and usurpations committed during the first year.

Our people had been declared to be combinations of insurrectionists, and more than one hundred fifty thousand men had been called to arms to invade our territory; our ports were blockaded for the destruction of our regular commerce, and we had been threatened with denunciation as pirates if we molested a vessel of the United States, and some of our citizens had been confined in cells to await the punishment of piracy; one of our states was rent asunder and a new state constructed out of the fragment; every proposition for a peaceful solution of pending issues had been spurned. An indiscriminate warfare had been waged upon our peaceful citizens, their dwellings burned and their crops destroyed; a law had been passed imposing a penalty of forfeiture on the owner of any faithful slave who gave military or naval service to the Confederacy, and forbidding military commanders to interfere for the restoration of fugitives; the United States government had refused to agree to an exchange of prisoners, and suffered those we had captured to languish in captivity; it had falsely represented us in every court of Europe, to defeat our efforts to obtain a recognition from foreign powers; it had seized a portion of the members of the legislature of one state and confined them in a distant military prison, because they were thought merely to sympathize with us, though they had not committed an overt act; it had refused all the propositions of another state for a peaceful neutrality, invaded her and seized important positions, where not even a disturbance of the peace had occurred, and perpetrated the most despotic outrages on her people; it rejected the most conciliatory terms offered for the sake of peace by the governor of another state, claimed for itself an unrestricted right to move and station its troops whenever and wherever its officers might think it to be desirable, and persisted in its aggressions until the people were involved in conflicts and a provisional government became necessary for their protection. Within the Northern states, which professed to be struggling to maintain the Union, the Constitution, its only bond, and the laws made in pursuance of it, were in peaceful, undisputed existence; yet even there the government ruled with the tyrant's hand, and the provisions for the freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and the personal liberty of the citizen were daily violated, and these sacred rights of man suppressed by military force.

But some of these hostile actions require here a more specific consideration. They were the antecedents of oppressive measures which the enemy strove to enforce upon us during the entire war. [3]

The third session of the provisional Congress commenced at Richmond on July 20, 1861, and ended on August 31st. At the previous session a resolution had been passed authorizing the President to cause the several executive departments, with the archives thereof, to be removed to Richmond at such time as he might determine prior to July 20th. In my message to the Congress of that date, the cause of removal was stated to be that the aggressive movements of the enemy required prompt, energetic action; that the accumulation of his forces on the Potomac sufficiently demonstrated that his first efforts were to be directed against Virginia, and from no point could necessary measures for her defense and protection be so effectively provided as from her own capital. My remarks to Congress at this session were confined to such important facts as had occurred during the recess, and to the matters connected with the public defense. ‘The odious features of the policy and purposes of the Government of the United States stood revealed; the recent grant of a half million of men and four hundred millions of dollars by their Congress, was a confession that their intention was a subjugation of the Southern States.’

The fact thus briefly presented in the message was established by the course pursued since the first advent to power of those who had come into possession of the sword and the purse of the Union. Not only by the legislation cited was the intent to make war for the purpose of subjugating the Southern states revealed, but also, and yet more significantly, was the purpose manifested in the evasion and final rejection of every proposition of the Southern states for a peaceful solution of the issues arising from secession.

Such extreme obstinacy was unnatural, unreasonable, and contrary to the general precedents of history, except those which resulted in civil war. This unfavorable indication was also observable in the original party of abolition. Its intolerance had a violence which neither truth nor justice nor religion could restrain, and it was transferred undiluted to their successors. The resistance to the demands of the states and persistence in aggressions upon them were the occasion of constant apprehensions and futile warnings of their suicidal tendency on the part of the statesmen of the period. For thirty years had patriotism and wisdom pointed to dissolution by this perverse uncharitableness. Had the North been contending for a principle only, there would have been a satisfactory settlement, not indeed by compromising the principle, but by adjusting the manner of its operation so that only good results should ensue. But when the contest is for supremacy on one side and self-defense [4] on the other—when the aim of the aggressor is ‘power, plunder, and extended rule’—there will be no concessions by him, no compromises, no adjustment of results. The alternative is subjugation by the sword, or peace by absolute submission. The latter condition could not be accepted by us. The former was, therefore, to be resisted as best we might.

An amazing insensibility seemed to possess a portion of the Northern people as to the crisis before them. They would not realize that their purpose of supremacy would be so resolutely resisted; that, if persisted in, it must be carried to the extent of bloodshed in sectional war. With them the lust of dominion was stronger than the sense of justice or of the fraternity and the equal rights of the states, which the Union was formed to secure, and so they were blind to palpable results. Otherwise they must have seen, when the remnants of the old Whig party joined hands with abolitionism, that it was like a league with the spirit of evil, in which the conditions of the bond were bestowal of power on one side, and the commission of deeds meet for disunion on the other. The honest masses should have remembered that when scheming leaders abandon principle, and adopt the ideas of dreamers and fanatics, the ladder on which they would mount to power is one on which they cannot return, and up which it would be a fatal delusion to follow.

The reality of armed resistance on our part the North was slow to comprehend. The division of sentiment at the South on the question of the expediency of immediate secession, was mistaken for the existence of a submission party, whereas the division was confined to expediency, and wholly disappeared when our territory was invaded. Then was revealed to them the necessity of defending their homes and liberties against the ruthless assault on both, and then extraordinary unanimity prevailed. Then, as Hamilton and Madison had stated, war against the states had effected the depreciated dissolution of the Union.

Adjustment by negotiation the United States government had rejected, and had chosen to attempt our subjugation. This course, adopted without provocation, was pursued with a ferocity that disregarded all the laws of civilized warfare, and must permanently remain a stain upon the escutcheon of a government once bright among the nations. The vast provision made by the United States in the material of war, the money appropriated, and the men enrolled, furnished a sufficient refutation to the pretense that they were engaged only in dispersing rioters, and suppressing unlawful combinations too strong for the usual course of judicial proceedings.

Further, they virtually recognized the separate existence of the [5] Confederate States by an interdictive embargo, and blockade of all commerce between them and the United States, not only by sea but by land; not only with those who bore arms, but with the entire population of the Confederate States. They waged an indiscriminate war upon all: private houses in isolated retreats were bombarded and burned; grain crops in the field were consumed by the torch; when the torch was not applied, careful labor was bestowed to render complete the destruction of every article of use or ornament remaining in private dwellings after their female inhabitants had fled from the insults of brutal soldiers; a petty war was made on the sick, including women and children, by carefully devised measures to prevent them from obtaining the necessary medicines. Were these the appropriate means by which to execute the laws, and in suppressing rioters to secure tranquillity and preserve a voluntary union? Was this a government resting on the consent of the governed?

At this session of the Confederate Congress additional forces were provided to repel invasion, by authorizing the President to accept the services of any number of volunteers not exceeding four hundred thousand men. Authority was also given for suitable financial measures hereafter stated, and the levy of a tax. An act of sequestration was also adopted as a countervailing measure against the operations of the confiscation law enacted by the Congress of the United States on August 6, 1861.

This act of the United States Congress, with its complement passed in the ensuing year, will be considered further on in these pages. One of the most indicative of the sections, however, provided that whenever any person claimed to be held to labor or service, under the laws of any State, shall be permitted, by the person to whom such labor or service is claimed to be due, to take up arms against the United States, or to work, or to be employed in or upon any fort, entrenchment, etc., or in any military or naval service whatever against the government of the United States, the person to whom such labor is claimed to be due shall forfeit his claim, and to any attempt to enforce it a statement of the facts shall be a sufficient answer. The President of the United States, in his message of December 3, 1861, stated that numbers of persons held to service had been liberated and were dependent on the United States, and must be provided for in some way. He recommended that steps be taken for colonizing them at some places in a climate congenial to them.

As the President and the Congress of the United States had declared this to be a war for the preservation of the Constitution, it may not be [6] out of place to see what course they now undertook to pursue under the pretext of preserving the Constitution of the United States. It had been conceded in all time that the Congress of the United States had no power to legislate on slavery in the states, and that this was a subject for state legislation. It was one of the powers not granted in the Constitution, but ‘reserved to the States respectively.’1 All the powers of the federal government were delegated to it by the states, and all which were reserved were withheld from the federal government, as well in time of war as in peace. The conditions of peace or war made no change in the powers granted in the Constitution. The attempt by Congress to exercise a power of confiscation, one not granted to it, was therefore a mere usurpation. The argument of forfeiture for treason does not reach the case, because there could be no forfeiture until after conviction, and the Constitution says, ‘No attainder of treason shall work corruption of blood or forfeiture except during the life of the person attainted.’2 The confiscation act of 1861 undertook to convict and sentence without a trial, and entirely to deprive the owner of slaves of his property by giving final freedom to the slaves. Still further to show how regardless the United States government was of the limitations imposed upon it by the compact of Union, the reader is referred to the fifth article of the first amendment, being one of those cases in which the people of the several states, in an abundance of caution, threw additional protection around rights which the framers of the Constitution thought already sufficiently guarded. The last two clauses of the article read thus: No person ‘shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.’

Here was a political indictment and conviction by the Congress and President, with total forfeitures inflicted in palpable violation of each and of all the cited clauses of the Constitution.

One can scarcely anticipate such effrontery as would argue that ‘due process of law’ meant an act of Congress, that judicial power could thus be conferred upon the President, and private property be confiscated for party success, without violating the Constitution which the actors had sworn to support.

The unconstitutionality of the measure was so palpable that when the bill was under consideration Thaddeus Stevens, a member of Congress from Pennsylvania, said: ‘I thought the time had come when the [7] laws of war were to govern our action; when constitutions, if they stood in the way of the laws of war in dealing with the enemy, had no right to intervene. Who pleads the Constitution against our proposed action?’3 This subject is further considered in subsequent chapters on the measures of emancipation adopted by the United States government.

It is to be remembered in this connection that pillage and the wanton destruction of private property are not permitted by the laws of war among civilized nations. When prosecuting the war with Mexico, we respected private property of the enemy; when in 1781 Great Britain, attempting to reduce her revolted American colonies, took possession of the country around and about Point Comfort (Fortress Monroe), the homes quietly occupied by the rebellious people were spared by the armies of the self-asserting ruler of the land. At a later date, war existed between Great Britain and the independent states of the Union, during which Great Britain got possession of various points within the states. At the Treaty of Ghent, 1815, by which peace was restored to the two countries, it was stipulated in the first article that all captured places should be restored ‘without causing any destruction, or carrying away any of the artillery or other public property originally captured in the said forts or places, and which shall remain therein upon the exchange of the ratifications of this treaty; or any slaves or other private property.’ Persistent efforts were made to avoid the return of deported slaves, and it was attempted to put them in the category of artillery which had been removed before the exchange of ratification. John Quincy Adams, first as United States minister to England, and subsequently as United States Secretary of State, conducted with great vigor and earnestness a long correspondence to maintain the true construction of the treaty as recognizing and guarding the right of private property in slaves. In his letter to Viscount Castlereagh, the British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, after explaining the distinction between ‘artillery or other public property’ and ‘slaves or other private property,’ as used in the treaty and why it might be impracticable, if they had been removed, to return the former, but that the reasons did not apply to the latter, for, he proceeds to say, ‘Private property, not having been subject to legitimate capture with the places, was not liable to the reason of limitation.’ In the same letter Adams writes: ‘Merchant-vessels and effects captured on the high-seas are, by the laws of war between civilized nations, lawful prize, and by the capture become the property of the captors. . . . But, as by the same usage of civilized nations, private property is not the subject of [8] lawful capture in war upon the land, it is perfectly clear that, in every stipulation, private property shall be respected; or that, upon the restoration of places taken during the war, it shall not be carried away.’4 Sectional hostility and party zeal had not then so far undermined the feeling of fraternity which generated the Union as to make a public officer construe the Constitution as it might favor or injure one section or another, and Great Britain was, from a sense of right, compelled to recognize the wrong done in deporting slaves, the private property of American citizens.

On December 4, 1861, the President of the United States issued an order to the commander in chief relative to slaves as above mentioned, in which he said, ‘Their arrest as fugitives from service or labor should be immediately followed by the military arrest of the parties making the seizure.’ Had Congress and the President made new laws of war?

Although the government of the United States did not boldly proclaim the immediate emancipation of all slaves, the tendency of all its actions was directly to that end. To use a favorite expression of its leaders, the Northern people were not at that time ‘educated up to the point.’ A revolt from too sudden a revelation of its entire policy was apprehended. Even as late as July 7, 1862, General McClellan wrote to the authorities at Washington from the vicinity of Richmond, ‘A declaration of radical views, especially upon slavery, will rapidly disintegrate our armies.’ Nevertheless, when policy indicated it, the declaration came, as will be seen hereafter. Meantime, General Fremont, in command in Missouri, issued a proclamation on August 31, 1861, declaring the property, real and personal, of all persons in arms against the United States, or taking an active part with their enemies, to be confiscated, and their slaves to be free men. This was subsequently modified to conform to the terms of the above-mentioned confiscation act. General Thomas W. Sherman, commanding at Port Royal in South Carolina, was instructed on October 14, 1861 to receive all persons, whether slaves or not, and give them employment, ‘assuring all loyal masters that Congress will provide just compensation to them for the loss of the services of the persons so employed.’ To others no relief was to be given. This was, by confiscation, to punish a class of citizens, in the emancipation of every slave whose owner rendered support to the Confederate States. Finally General Halleck, who succeeded Fremont, and General Dix, commanding near Fortress Monroe, issued orders not to permit slaves to come within their lines. They were speedily condemned for this action because [9] it put a stop to the current of emancipation, which will be hereafter narrated.

Reference has been made to our want of a navy, and the efforts made to supply the deficiency. The usual resort under such circumstances to privateers was, in our case, without the ordinary incentive of gain, as all foreign ports were closed against our prizes, and, our own ports being soon blockaded, our vessels, public or private, had but the alternative of burning or bonding their captures. To those who, nevertheless, desired them, letters of marque were granted by us, and there was soon a small fleet of vessels composed of those which had taken out these letters, and others which had been purchased and fitted out by the Navy Department. They hovered on the coasts of the Northern states, capturing and destroying their vessels, and filling the enemy with consternation. The President of the United States had already declared in his proclamation of April 19th, as above stated, that ‘any person, who, under the pretended authority of the said (Confederate) States, should molest a vessel of the United States, or the persons or cargo on board,’ should be held amenable to the laws of the United States for the prevention of piracy. This was another violation of international law, another instance of arrogant disregard for universal opinion. The threat, if meant for intimidation, and to deprive the Confederacy of one of the usual weapons of war, was unbecoming the head of a government. To have executed it upon a helpless prisoner would have been a crime intensified by its cowardice. Happily for the United States, the threat was not executed, but the failure to carry out the declared purpose was coupled with humiliation, because it was the result of a notice to retaliate as fully as might need be to stop such a barbarous practice. To yield to the notice thus served was a practical admission by the United States government that the Confederacy had become a power among the nations.

On June 3, 1861, the little schooner Savannah, previously a pilot boat in Charleston harbor and sailing under a commission issued by authority of the Confederate States, was captured by the United States brig Perry. The crew was placed in irons and sent to New York. It appeared, from statements made without contradiction, that they were not treated as prisoners of war, whereupon a letter was addressed by me to President Lincoln, dated July 6th, stating explicitly that, ‘painful as will be the necessity, this Government will deal out to the prisoners held by it the same treatment and the same fate as shall be experienced by those captured on the Savannah; and, if driven to the terrible necessity of retaliation by your execution of any of the officers or crew of the Savannah, [10] that retaliation will be extended so far as shall be requisite to secure the abandonment of a practice unknown to the warfare of civilized man, and so barbarous as to disgrace the nation which shall be guilty of inaugurating it.’ A reply was promised to this letter, but none came. Still later in the year the privateer Jefferson Davis was captured, the captain and crew brought into Philadelphia, and the captain tried and found guilty of piracy and threatened with death. Immediately I instructed General Winder, at Richmond, to select one prisoner of the highest rank, to be confined in a cell appropriated to convicted felons, and treated in all respects as if convicted, and to be held for execution in the same manner as might be adopted for the execution of the prisoner of war in Philadelphia. He was further instructed to select thirteen other prisoners of the highest rank, to be held in the same manner as hostages for the thirteen prisoners held in New York for trial as pirates. By this course the infamous attempt made by the United States government to commit judicial murder on prisoners of war was arrested.

The attention of the British House of Lords was also attracted to the proclamation of President Lincoln, threatening the officers and crew of privateers with the punishment of piracy. It led to a discussion in which the Earl of Derby said: ‘He apprehended that, if one thing was clearer than another, it was that privateering was not piracy; and that no law could make that piracy, as regarded the subjects of one nation which was not piracy by the law of nations. Consequently, the United States must not be allowed to entertain this doctrine, and to call upon her Majesty's Government not to interfere.’ The Lord Chancellor said: ‘There was no doubt that, if an Englishman engaged in the service of the Southern States, he violated the laws of his country and rendered himself liable to punishment, and that he had no right to trust to the protection of his native country to shield him from the consequences of his act. But, though that individual would be guilty of a breach of the law of his own country, he could not be treated as a pirate, and those who treated him as a pirate would be guilty of murder.’

The appearance of this little fleet on the ocean made it necessary for the powers of Europe immediately to define their position relative to the contending powers. Great Britain, adopting a position of neutrality, and recognizing both as belligerents, interdicted the armed ships and privateers of both from carrying prizes into the waters of the United Kingdom or its colonies. All the other powers recognized the Confederate States to be belligerents, but closed their ports against the admission of prizes captured by either belligerent. [11]

It is worthy of notice that the United States government (though it had previously declined) at this time notified the English and French governments that it was now willing to adhere to all the conditions of the Paris Congress of 1856, provided the clause abolishing privateers might apply to the Confederate States. The offer, with the proviso, was honorably declined by both France and England.

In the matter of the exchange of prisoners, which became important in consequence of these retaliatory measures, and the number taken by our troops at Manassas, the people of the Northern states were the victims of incessant mortification and distress through the vacillating and cruel conduct of their government. It based all its immense military movements on the theory that ‘the laws of the United States have been for some time past and now are opposed and the execution thereof obstructed, . . . by combinations too powerful to be suppressed’ by the ordinary methods. Under this theory the United States are assumed to be one nation, and the distinctions among them of states are as little recognized as if they did not exist. This theory, was false, and thereby led its originators into constant blunders. When the leaders of a government aspire to the acquisition of absolute, unlimited power, and the sword is drawn to hew the way, it would be more logical and respectable to declare the laws silent than to attempt to justify unlawful acts by unwarranted legislation. If their theory had been true, then their prisoners of war were insurrectionists and rebels, and guilty of treason, and hanging would have been the legitimate punishment. Why were they not hanged? Not through pity, but because the facts contradicted the theory. The ‘combinations’ spoken of were great and powerful states, and the danger was that the North would be the greater sufferer by our retaliation. There was no humane course but to exchange prisoners according to the laws of war. With this the government of the United States refused to comply, lest it might be construed into an acknowledgment of belligerent rights on our part, which would explode their theory of insurrectionary combinations, tend to restore more correct views of the rights and powers of the states, and expose in its true light their efforts to establish the supreme and unlimited sovereignty of the general government. The reader may observe the tenacity with which the authorities at Washington and, behind them, the Northern states, clung to this theory. Upon its strict maintenance depended the success of their bloody revolution to secure absolute supremacy over the states. Upon its failure the dissolution of the Union would have been established, constitutional liberty would have been vindicated, the hopes of mankind in the modern [12] institutions of federation fulfilled, and a new Union might have been formed and held together with a bond of fraternity and not by the sword, as under the above revolutionary theory.

By the exchange of prisoners, nothing was conceded except what was evident to the world that actual war existed, and that a Christian people should at least conduct it according to the usages of civilized nations. But sectional hate and the vain conceit of newly acquired power led to the idle prophecy of our speedy subjection, and hence the government of the United States refused to act as required by humanity and the usages of civilized warfare. At length, moved by the clamors of the relatives and friends of the prisoners we held, and by fears of retaliation, it covertly submitted to abandon its declared purpose, and to shut its eyes while the exchanges were made by various commanders under flags of truce. Thus some were exchanged in New York, Washington, Cairo, and Columbus, Kentucky, and by General McClellan in western Virginia and elsewhere. On the whole, the partial exchanges were inconsiderable and inconclusive as to the main question. The condition at the close of the year 1861, summarily stated, was that soldiers captured in battle were not protected by the usage of ‘exchange,’ and citizens were arrested without due process of law, deported to distant states, and incarcerated without assigned cause. All this by persons acting under authority of the United States government, but in disregard of the United States Constitution, which provides that ‘no person shall be held to answer for a capital or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or an indictment of a grand jury, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.’5 ‘The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated.’6 These provisions were of no avail to protect the citizens from the outrages, because those who derived their authority from the Constitution used that authority to violate its guarantees. It has been stated that the rule upon which the United States government was conducting affairs was entirely revolutionary. Its efforts to clothe the government of the Union with absolute power involved the destruction of the rights of the states and the subversion of the Constitution. Hence on every occasion the provisions of the Constitution afforded no protection to the citizens: their rights were spurned; their persons were seized and imprisoned beyond the reach of friends; their houses were sacked and burned. If they pleaded the Constitution, the government of the Constitution was deaf to them, unsheathed its sword, [13] and said the Union was at stake; the Constitution, which was the compact of union, must stand aside. This was indeed a revolution. A constistutional government of limited powers derived from the people was transformed into a military despotism. The Northern people were docile as sheep under the change, reminding one of the words of the psalmist: ‘All we, like sheep, have gone astray.’

Posterity may ask with amazement, What cause could there have been for such acts by a government that was ordained ‘to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity?’ Posterity may further ask, Where could a government of limited powers, constructed only for certain general purposes—and on the principle that all power proceeds from the people, and that ‘the powers not delegated by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people’—find a grant of power, or an authority to perpetrate such injuries upon the states and the people? As to the first question, it may be said: There was no external cause for such acts. All foreign nations were at peace with the United States. No hostile fleets were hovering on her coasts, nor immense foreign armies threatening to invade her territory. The cause, if any plausible one existed, was entirely internal. It lay between it and its citizens. If it had treated them with injustice and oppression, and threatened so to continue, it had departed from the objects of its creation, and they had the resulting right to dissolve it.

Who was to be the umpire in such a case? Not the United States government, for its was the creature of the states; it possessed no inherent, original sovereignty. The Constitution says, ‘The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.’7 The umpireship is, therefore, expressly on the side of the states, or the people. When the state of South Carolina, through a sovereign convention, withdrew from the Union, she exercised the umpireship which rightly belonged to her, and which no other could exercise for her. This involved the dissolution of the Union, and the extinction of the government of the United States so far as she was concerned; but the officers of that government, instead of justly acquiescing in that which was constitutionally and legally inevitable, drew the sword, and resolved to maintain by might that which had no longer existence by right. A usurpation thus commenced in wrong was the mother of all the usurpations and wrongs which followed. The unhallowed attempt to establish the [14] absolute sovereignty of the government of the United States, by the subjugation of states and their people, brought forth its natural fruit. Well might the victim of the guillotine exclaim, ‘O Liberty, what crimes are committed in thy name!’

As to the other question—Where could a government of limited powers find authority to perpetrate such injuries upon its own constituents? —an answer will be given in succeeding pages.

Up to the close of the year the war enlarged its proportions so as to include new fields, until it then extended from the shores of the Chesapeake to the confines of Missouri and Arizona. Sudden calls from the remotest points for military aid were met with promptness enough not only to avert disaster in the face of superior numbers, but also to roll back the tide of invasion on the border.

At the commencement of the war the enemy was possessed of certain strategic points and strong places within the Confederate States. They greatly exceeded us in numbers, in available resources, and in the supplies necessary for war. Military establishments had been long organized, and were complete; the navy and the army, once common to both, were in their possession. To meet all this we had to create not only an army in the face of war itself, but also military establishments necessary to equip and place it in the field. The spirit of the volunteers and the patriotism of the people enabled us, under Providence, to grapple successfully with these difficulties. A succession of glorious victories at Bethel, Manassas, Springfield, Lexington, Leesburg, and Belmont, checked the invasion of our soil. After seven months of war the enemy had not only failed to extend their occupancy of the soil, but new states and territories had been added to our confederacy. Instead of their threatened march of unchecked conquest, the enemy was driven at more than one point to assume the defensive; and, upon a fair comparison between the two belligerents, as to men, military means, and financial condition, the Confederate States were relatively much stronger at the end of the year than when the struggle commenced.

The necessities of the times called into existence new branches of manufactures, and gave a fresh impulse to the activity of those previously in operation, and we were gradually becoming independent of the rest of the world for the supply of such military stores and munitions as were indispensable for war.

At an election on November 6, 1861, the chief executive officers of the provisional government were unanimously chosen to similar positions in the permanent government, to be inaugurated on the ensuing February 22, 1862.

1 Constitution of the United States, Article X.

2 Ibid., Article III, section 3.

3 Congress of the United States, July, 1861.

4 American State Papers, Vol. IV, pp. 122, 123.

5 Constitution of the United States, Article V.

6 Ibid., Article IV.

7 Constitution of the United States, Article X.

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