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More treachery of Lincoln

--Manifesto of Gen. S. B. Buckner.

The following manifesto of Gen. S. B. Buckner, of Kentucky, exposes with a calm and stead, but firm hand, the deliberate treachery and falsehood of that more deceitful and perfidious tyrant than Tiberius, Abraham Lincoln, in his dealings with Kentucky. It also exhibits the dishonesty of the policy of neutrality as practiced by the Lincoln politicians of Kentucky. We give it entire, fully assured that our readers will be repaid in its personal.

To the public.

Since my return from Washington, in July last, I have repeatedly stated that it was my belief, if the central position of, Kentucky, should not be observed, or respected by the President, it would be in consequence of the action of ambitions members of the Union men there, and upon assurances of the President in regard to his policy, toward the State My statements to individuals in reference to that policy, have been so frequently given, that I deem it proper to make this explanation to the public.

The agreement into which I entered into in June last, with Gen. McClellan, has never been repudiated by the Administration; and although a published dispatch from that officer to all officer of the Navy, intimated a disagreement in regard to the terms of the arrangement between as, Gen. McClellan has not, as far as I know, intimated any such difference to me, or to the State authorities, although I have since received from him verbal communications on other subjects. His official dispatch to Governor Magoffin a few days after our interview, recognizes the official character of the understanding; and the following statements of gentlemen well known in Kentucky, will show that my view of the arrangement with Gen. McClellan is the correct one:

Louisville, July 25, 1861.
Gen. S. B. Buckner--Dear Sir:
--With a view to disabuse the public mind of any false impression in regard to the understanding between you and General McClellan, at the house of the latter, in Cincinnati, about June 6th, 1861, I make the following statement of my recollection of what occurred at the interview:

Upon your request that I should accompany you to Cincinnati, to have an interview with Gen. McClellan, which I understood from you was desired by him, I on my way from Louisville to Lexington telegraphed Gen. McClellan that we thought it important that a meeting should be had, and requested him to suggest a time and place for such purpose. He responded by sending a messenger to Louisville, who invited you to come to Cincinnati and meet him at the house of Gen. McClellan.

I received from you in Lexington, a telegram to meet you in Cincinnati. I did so, and went with you to the residence of Gen. McClellan at the appointed time. We soon entered into a free and unreserved expression of opinion in regard to many matters connected with the present political difficulties.

In the course of conversation you expressed to Gen. McClellan what your views were as to the position of Kentucky, from-which both Gen. McClellan and myself dissented, but at your suggestion, the discussion of the right of the State of Kentucky to take a position as defined by you, was not entered into the object to be arrived at was to ascertain if such a course could not be pursued as would prevent any disturbance of the peace of the State. I suggested to Gen. McClellan that in my opinion the sending of Government troops to or through Kentucky at that time, would result in a conflict in which the large majority of the people of the State would become enlisted against the Government, whilst great numbers would actively assist it. Gen. McClellan-spoke as if a very different impression-had been made upon his mind. He remarked that then he could not rely upon Kentucky. I suggested, however differently he may have thought the action of Kentucky would be in such an event, that in my opinion a conflict would arise which would operate very prejudicially, if not disastrously, to the cause of the Government in Kentucky, and hoped that nothing but an urgent military necessity would force him to send troops into or through Kentucky.

After further, conversation upon irrelevant subjects, you and Gen, McClellan finally agreed as to the course which each should pursue. You were to use the forces of the State to drive from the soil of Kentucky any troops of Tennessee or of the Confederate States who might trespass thereon, and in the even of your inability to do so, you were to call upon Gen. McClellan for assistance.--Upon your giving this assurance, Gen. McClellan replied that he would give you any aid you might require and that as soon as the object should be accomplished of driving them from Kentucky soil, he would withdraw all the Government forces Gen. McClellan further stated that should he, in making reconnaissances along the shore near Columbus and other points, fined it occupied by hostile forces, that he would notify you that their removal might be effected by you.

The general purposes and objects of the Government in carrying on the war were quite freely discussed. Your views of them differed very widely from those held by both General McClellan and myself, It was clearly understood that the substance of what had been agreed upon should be made known, but no way in which it should be done was finally agreed upon, and simply, I think, because our attention having been diverted therefrom, was not again called to the matter.

After leaving the residence of Gen. McClellan you and I talked over the subject as to how it should be made known. I agreed to see the editors of the Louisville Journal, and did inform them of what had taken place. I told many other gentlemen of the Union party in Kentucky, every one of whom, I think, expressed great gratification at the result of the meeting.

It may be well to state that you and I and Gen. McClellan were on very friendly terms, all having served at West Point and in the army at the same time, and that you and I, and General McClellan and yourself were on terms of intimacy. The whole interview was one of unreserved freedom, with the utmost confidence of each one, in the perfect candor and good faith of the other.

very truly yours,
Sam. Gill.

On the 13th June, 1861, I accompanied Gen. Buckner, Judge Bigger and Col. Bullock to Cairo, Illinois. It was the day after a Confederate flag had been taken down in Columbus, Kentucky, by some Federal troops. After being presented to General McClellan, Gen. Buckner remarked to Gen. McC. that he would like for him to state to us the under standing or agreement between them, or something to that purport. General McClellan then told us that he was not to place troops upon Kentucky soil, that the expedition the day before was not made with the view of visiting Columbus, but to reconnoitre some Tennessee troops, who they had learned had quartered on one of the islands of the Mississippi, and that they had positive orders not to land any where on the Kentucky shore. That in the event that Tennessee troops came into Kentucky, he would inform Gen. Buckner, and would give him ample time to dislodge them, and that only in the event that General Buckner was unable to do so, would he send troops to aid him, and that when they were dislodged, his troops should then be withdrawn. Gen. McClellan remarked that the troops under his command were volunteers, and that when he was not with them they might disobey his commands, as was the case the day before. That in excitable times like these, we must bear and forbear, and not too quickly judge that either was not striving to act in good faith — that we, as Kentuckians, must try that nothing be done to excite the troops — that if they were regulars he could control them, but that volunteers were not so easily managed. He said that this would be the course he would pursue towards Kentucky, unless ordered differently by the Government.

When we were about to leave, Gen. McClellan again repeated in substance, the above, and said he could give up better assurance, that he would do what he said, than the word of Gen. Buckner, who had known him long and well.Geo. Barrett.

Paducah, Ky., July 2, 1861,
S. B. Buckner, inspector General, Louisville, Ky.--My Dear Sir.
--I have been requested by Col. B. H. Helm to give you my recollection of what occurred at the interview between yourself and Major Gen. G. B. McClellan, at Cairo, III, on the 13th ultimo. In reply, I state that I was present at the time alluded to, and heard all the conversation that took place. My recollection is that after an introduction passed with those present and some slight conversation, you requested Major Gen. McClellan to state to the persons present the understanding entered into between yourself as the commander of the Kentucky State forces and Major Gen. McClellan, commander of the United States forces, relative to the neutral position assumed by the State of Kentucky, to which Major Gen. McClellan very promptly replied that he had agreed with subject the neutral position that Kentucky had assumed, unless the Confederate forces should first come upon her soil. In which case Maj. Gen. McClellan was to notify you — you were to have a reasonable time to dislodge them and upon your failure to do so, you agreed to notify him, and invite him to dislodge said forces. He further said that the property of the United States in the State of Kentucky was to be protected by Kentucky. And in the event his Government should adopt a different course of policy towards Kentucky, then you were to be notified of that fact, and should Kentucky assume a different position, then you were to give him notice of it. Major General McClellan said that he had no doubt but that Kentucky, was and would remain loyal to the United States, and that since he had had command of the United States troops upon her border she had been repeatedly urged to put forces upon the border of Kentucky but being desirous of avoiding all cause of an irritating nation, he has invariably declined to do so, and had removed troops from her border that had been put there before he took command, instancing the city of Evansville, Indiana.

In the above conversation, Major General McClellan impressed me with his open, frank and clear manner. In this interview, it is due to Major General McClellan to say, that I did not understand him to pledge his Government to this line of policy, but to state his own line of policy as the commander of the United States forces, it left untrammeled by instructions from his Government.

It is also due to General Buckner that I should say he ruled implicitly upon the word of Major General McClellan for he remarked to me after the interview was over, in private conversation, that the agreement would be religiously observed on the part of General McClellan. He also said in reply to questions propounded by myself, that he had no intention of sending forces to Peducan or Columbus to blockade these ports, but would leave it with the civil authorities, and that the collectors could carry out the instructions of the Secretary of the Treasury or not as they had the power at said places, and that he would return all fugitive slaves that night escape from Kentucky and come to either of his encampments. There was some other conversation, but this embraces according to my recollection, what was said upon — the profited eluded to. Before this interview I understood from General Buckner that General McClellan had agreed on the 10th ultimo, at Cincinnati, Ohio, to respect the neutrality of Kentucky.

I am very respectfully,
Your obedient servant,
J. M. Bigger.

On the 13th day of June, 1861, we, the undersigned, were in company with General Buckner in the private room of General McClellan, in Cairo, Illinois. We had gone to Cairo in consequence of a fonding made at Columbus, Kentucky, by some of the Federal troops from Cairo on the previous day. In a conversation between General McClellan and ourselves, which was marked by unreserved frankness and great courtesy on his part, he did distinctly state that he and General, Buckner, a few days previous, had agreed upon terms for the mother governance of each in respect of the neutral position of Kentucky. He did say that he had agreed that not a soldier should touch Kentucky soil; that he had no expressly issued his orders to General Prentice. He did say that Kentucky was to be left to take charge of her own citizens, and positively stated to us, that if any application was made to him for assistance from any of the citizens of Kentucky he would extend no aid himself — and he did say that the agreement was that while the Federal force was by him to be kept out of Kentucky he would not himself attempt, or claim the right to expel any Confederate force; but that if any such force did enter the State, that General Buckner was to be looked to to expel them, and that the army under his (General McClellan's) command was to come to the assistance of General Buckner, only when called for and to be withdrawn as soon as they had accomplished their purpose.

Gen. McClellan desired us to have this agreement impressed upon the people of Kentucky, and remarked that he had no better guarantee, to offer as for the faithful discharge of his portion of the agreement than Gen. Buckner, who had known him so long.

F. J. Bullock.

Given at Columbus, June 29, 1861.

I learned, when in Washington, from some of the friends of the President, that he was exceedingly tender-footed on the meaning of certain terms. He was not willing to "respect in the neutral position of Kentucky, for that would be to acknowledge her right to assumes it; but he was entirely willing to ‘"observe"’ it. To me the discovery was of interest, for it had not previously occurred to me that I would find such a nice discrimination of terms in an official who had not apparently discovered the lines which divide a constitutional republic from an absolute military despotism, and who classes a party platform above the Constitution which he is sworn to support.

I had a very friendly interview with the President. I justified the attitude of Kentucky on the ground that the President had himself confessedly violated the Constitution and, therefore, had no right to call upon Kentucky to aid him in this violation; and that even if his acts were justified, as he claimed, by necessity, the same cause, when it was a question of internal peace in Kentucky would justify the attitude she had assumed.

The President succeeded in impressing upon me the belief that as long as there were roads around Kentucky to reach the rebellion, it was his purpose to leave her unmolested, not yielding her right to the position she occupied, but observing it as a matter of policy, So fully was I impressed with this purpose on his part that I suggested that if he would make to me a definite statement of his policy, I would take pleasure in announcing it to the public, assuring him that, in my opinion, it would tend greatly to allay public excitement and to preserve the peace of the State.

On my return by appointment, two days afterwards, the President wrote in the presence of Hop. J. F. Crittenden and myself, and handed me the following paper. It bears all the marks of the characteristic indirectness of President Lincoln's mind. He accounted for the absence of his signature by saying that he did not intend to write a proclamation," but to give me a paper on which I could base my statements of his policy, and which would be my evidence hereafter, if any difference should arise relative to that policy; and he appealed to Mr. Crittenden, who was present, to identify the paper in any way that he thought proper. This was done by the latter gentleman subjoining his initials.

The following is the paper referred to:

‘"It is my duty; as I conceive, to suppress an insurrection existing within the United States I wish to do this with the least possible disturbance or annoyance to well disposed people anywhere. So far I have not sent an armed force into Kentucky; nor have I any present purpose to do so. I sincerely desire that no necessity for it may be presented, but I mean to say nothing which shall hereafter embarrass me in the performance of what may seem to be my duty."’

July 10, 1861. (Signed) J. J. C.

This memorandum was handed to me by President A. Lincoln, in the Executive Chamber, Washington, on the 10th July, 1861, in the presence of Hon. J. J. Crittenden, who at the instance of the President, witnessed it by marking it with his initials.

S. B. Buckner.

Though the paper is not generally characterized with directions, there is in it a positive statement that no purpose existed in his mind to send troops to Kentucky. On this assertion, which I was bound to believe was candid, I have until recently, not hesitated to state that I believed the President would continue to ‘"observe"’ the neutrality of Kentucky, unless compelled to take a different course, by a few Union men who would be entirely willing to make every hearth-stone desolate, if it would subserve their ambitions purposes.

But there is every reason to believe that at the very time the President gave me, the paper, he meditated deception; for on either the same day or the previous day, an officer entirely in his confidence on the subject, left his presence, and has ever since been engaged in organizing troops in Kentucky, under the authority of the President, and with his subsequent approval.

This, of course, is a clear violation of neutrality as if troops had been ordered from another State, and I could not conceive that the President, would be guilty of such disingenuousness as to endeavor to make any distinction, between ordering troops from another State and organizing, without the desire of the Governor or the Legislature, a revolutionary force in the State, thus interposing between the Government of Kentucky and its people. Under his authority the State has also been invaded by an organized Union regiment from East Tennessee.

The development of these facts renders it necessary that I should now make public the paper which was given me to justify the statement I have made. That paper and the other assurances of the President, induced me to believe he was sincere and determined me while I would not give my active support to a Government that was acting so absurdly and so wickedly wrong in other respects at least to refrain from opposing it as long as their was enough of justice left in its administration to respect the attitude assumed by my own State.

Since then, as before, my efforts within the limited sphere of my influence, have been directed towards preserving peace among at the people of Kentucky. If war should be the result of the violation of neutrality my conscience is clear of offence.

S. B. Blucknee

Russellville, Ky. Sept. 12, 1861.

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