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Title: Abraham Lincoln, Volume II
Author: Morse, John T. (John Torrey), 1840-1937
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "Abraham Lincoln, Volume II" ***

[Illustration: Stephen A. Douglas]

American Statesmen


[Illustration: _The Home of Abraham Lincoln_]

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From a photograph by Brady in the Library of the State Department at

Autograph from the Chamberlain collection, Boston Public Library.

The vignette of Mr. Lincoln's home, corner Eighth and Jackson streets,
Springfield, Ill., is from a photograph.


From a photograph by Mr. Le Rue Lemer, Harrisburg, Pa.

Autograph from the Chamberlain collection, Boston Public Library.


From the painting by Carpenter in the Capitol at Washington.


From a photograph by Brady in the Library of the State Department at

Autograph from one furnished by his daughter, Mrs. Mary A. Scudder,
Chicago, Ill.


From a photograph by Brady in the Library of the State Department at

Autograph from the Chamberlain collection, Boston Public Library.

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During the spring and summer of 1861 the people of the North presented
the appearance of a great political unit. All alleged emphatically that
the question was simply of the Union, and upon this issue no Northerner
could safely differ from his neighbors. Only a few of the more
cross-grained ones among the Abolitionists were contemptuously allowed
to publish the selfishness of their morality, and to declare that they
were content to see the establishment of a great slave empire, provided
they themselves were free from the taint of connection with it. If any
others let Southern proclivities lurk in the obscure recesses of their
hearts they were too prudent to permit these perilous sentiments to
appear except in the masquerade of dismal presagings. So in appearance
the Northern men were united, and in fact were very nearly so--for a
short time.

This was a fortunate condition, which the President and all shrewd
patriots took great pains to maintain. It filled the armies and the
Treasury, and postponed many jeopardies. But too close to the surface to
be long suppressed lay the demand that those who declared the Union to
be the sole issue should explain how it came about that the Union was
put in issue at all, why there was any dissatisfaction with it, and why
any desire anywhere to be rid of it. All knew the answer to that
question; all knew that if the war was due to disunion, disunion in turn
was due to slavery. Unless some makeshift peace should be quickly
patched up, this basic cause was absolutely sure to force recognition
for itself; a long and stern contest must inevitably wear its way down
to the bottom question. It was practical wisdom for Mr. Lincoln in his
inaugural not to probe deeper than secession; and it was well for
multitudes to take arms and contribute money with the earnest
asseveration that they were fighting and paying only for the integrity
of the country. It was the truth, or rather it was _a_ truth; but there
was also another and a deeper truth: that he who fought for the
integrity of the country, also, by a necessity inherent in the case and
far beyond the influence of his volition, fought for the destruction of
slavery. Just as soon as this second truth came up and took distinct
shape beside the other, angry political divisions sundered the
Unionists. Abolition of slavery never displaced Union as a purpose of
the war; but the two became mingled, in a duality which could not
afterward be resolved into its component parts so that one could be
taken and the other could be left. The union of the two issues meant the
disunion of the people of the Middle and even of the Northern States.

In the Border States a considerable proportion of the people was both
pro-slavery and pro-Union. These men wished to retain their servile
laborers under their feet and the shelter of the Union over their heads.
At first they did not see that they might as well hope to serve both God
and Mammon. Yet for the moment they seemed to hold the balance of power
between the contestants; for had all the pro-slavery men in the Border
States gone over in a mass to the South early in the war, they might
have settled the matter against the North in short order. The task of
holding and conciliating this important body, with all its Northern
sympathizers, became a controlling purpose of the President, and caused
the development of his famous "border-state policy," for which he
deserved the highest praise and received unlimited abuse.

The very fact that these men needed, for their comfort, reiterated
assurances of a policy not hostile to slavery indicated the jeopardy of
their situation. The distinct language of the President alleviated their
anxiety so far as the Executive was concerned, but they desired to
commit the legislative branch to the same doctrine. Among all those who
might have been Secessionists, but were not, no other could vie in
respect and affection with the venerable and patriotic John J.
Crittenden of Kentucky. This distinguished statesman now became the
spokesman for the large body of loyal citizens who felt deeply that the
war ought not to impinge in the least upon the great institution of the
South. In the extra session of Congress, convened in July, 1861, he
offered a resolution pledging Congress to hold in mind: "That this war
is not waged upon our part in any spirit of oppression, nor for any
purpose of conquest or subjugation, nor with any purpose of overthrowing
or interfering with the rights or established institutions of those [the
revolted] States; but to defend and maintain the supremacy of the
Constitution, and to preserve the Union with all the dignity, equality,
and rights of the several States unimpaired." After the example of the
Constitution, this resolution was carefully saved from the contamination
of a certain offensive word; but every one knew its meaning and its
purpose; and with this knowledge all the votes save two in the House of
Representatives, and all save five in the Senate, were given for it.[1]
"It was," says Mr. Blaine, "a fair reflection of the popular sentiment
throughout the North." So Mr. Lincoln's inaugural was ratified.

But events control. The Northern armies ran against slavery immediately.
Almost in the very hours when the resolution of Mr. Crittenden was
gliding so easily through the House, thousands of slaves at Manassas
were doing the work of laborers and servants, and rendering all the
whites of the Southern army available for fighting. The handicap was so
severe and obvious that it immediately provoked the introduction of a
bill freeing slaves belonging to rebels and used for carrying on the
war. The Democrats and the men of the Border States generally opposed
the measure, with very strong feeling. No matter how plausible the
reason, they did not wish slavery to be touched at all. They could not
say that this especial bill was wrong, but they felt that it was
dangerous. Their protests against it, however, were of no avail, and it
became law on August 6. The extreme anti-slavery men somewhat
sophistically twisted it into an assistance to the South.

The principle of this legislation had already been published to the
country in a very fortunate way by General Butler. In May, 1861, being
in command at Fortress Monroe, he had refused, under instructions from
Cameron, to return three fugitive slaves to their rebel owner, and he
had ingeniously put his refusal on the ground that they were "contraband
of war." The phrase instantly became popular. General Butler says that,
"as a lawyer, [he] was never very proud of it;" but technical inaccuracy
does not hurt the force of an epigram which expresses a sound principle.
"Contraband" underlay the Emancipation Proclamation.

Thus the slaves themselves were forcing the issue, regardless of
polities and diplomacy. With a perfectly correct instinctive insight
into the true meaning of the war, they felt that a Union camp ought to
be a place of refuge, and they sought it eagerly and in considerable
numbers. Then, however, their logical owners came and reclaimed them,
and other commanders were not so apt at retort as General Butler was.
Thus it came to pass that each general, being without instructions,
carried out his own ideas, and confusion ensued. Democratic commanders
returned slaves; Abolitionist commanders refused to do so; many were
sadly puzzled what to do. All alike created embarrassing situations for
the administration.

General Fremont led off. On August 30, being then in command of the
Western Department, he issued an order, in which he declared that he
would "assume the administrative powers of the State." Then, on the
basis of this bold assumption, he established martial law, and
pronounced the slaves of militant or active rebels to be "free men." The
mischief of this ill-advised proceeding was aggravated by the "fires of
popular enthusiasm which it kindled." The President wrote to Fremont,
expressing his fear that the general's action would "alarm our Southern
Union friends, and turn them against us; perhaps ruin our rather fair
prospect in Kentucky." Very considerately he said: "Allow me, therefore,
to ask that you will, as of your own motion, modify that paragraph so as
to conform to" the Act of August 6. Fremont replied, in substance, that
the President might do this, but that he himself would not! Thereupon
Mr. Lincoln, instead of removing the insubordinate and insolent general,
behaved in his usual passionless way, and merely issued an order that
Fremont's proclamation should be so modified and construed as "to
conform with and not to transcend" the law. By this treatment, which
should have made Fremont grateful and penitent, he was in fact rendered
angry and indignant; for he had a genuine belief in the old proverb
about laws being silent in time of war, and he really thought that
documents signed in tents by gentlemen wearing shoulder-straps were
deserving of more respect, even by the President, than were mere Acts of
Congress. This was a mistaken notion, but Fremont never could see that
he had been in error, and from this time forth he became a vengeful
thorn in the side of Mr. Lincoln.

Several months later, on May 9, 1862, General Hunter proclaimed martial
law in Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina, and said: "Slavery and
martial law in a free country are altogether incompatible. The persons
in these States, heretofore held as slaves, are therefore declared
forever free." At once, though not without reluctance, Mr. Lincoln
revoked this order, as unauthorized. He further said that, if he had
power to "declare the slaves of any State or States free," the propriety
of exercising that power was a question which he reserved exclusively to
himself. These words he fully made good. The whole country, wild with
excitement and teeming with opinions almost co-numerous with its
citizens, threatened to bury him beneath an avalanche of advice. But
while all talked and wrote madly and endlessly, he quietly held his
peace, did what he chose when he chose, and never delegated any portion
of his authority over this most important business to any one. He took
emancipation for his own special and personal affair; it was a matter
about which he had been doing much thinking very earnestly for a long
while, and he had no notion of forming now any partnership for managing

The trend, however, was not all in one direction. While Butler, Fremont,
and Hunter were thus befriending the poor runaways, Buell and Hooker
were allowing slave-owners to reclaim fugitives from within their lines;
Halleck was ordering that no fugitive slave should be admitted within
his lines or camp, and that those already there should be put out; and
McClellan was promising to crush "with an iron hand" any attempt at
slave insurrection. Amid such confusion, some rule of universal
application was sorely needed. But what should it be?

Secretary Cameron twice nearly placed the administration in an
embarrassing position by taking very advanced ground upon the negro
question. In October, 1861, he issued an order to General Sherman, then
at Port Royal, authorizing him to employ negroes in any capacity which
he might "deem most beneficial to the service." Mr. Lincoln prudently
interlined the words: "This, however, not to mean a general arming of
them for military service." A few weeks later, in the Report which the
secretary prepared to be sent with the President's message to Congress,
he said: "As the labor and service of their slaves constitute the chief
property of the rebels, they should share the common fate of war.... It
is as clearly a right of the government to arm slaves, when it becomes
necessary, as it is to use gunpowder taken from the enemy. Whether it is
expedient to do so is purely a military question." He added more to the
same purport. He then had his report printed, and sent copies, by mail,
to many newspapers throughout the country, with permission to publish it
so soon as the telegraph should report the reading before Congress. At
the eleventh hour a copy was handed to Mr. Lincoln, to accompany his
message; and then, for the first time, he saw these radical passages.
Instantly he directed that all the postmasters, to whose offices the
printed copies had been sent on their way to the newspaper editors,
should be ordered at once to return these copies to the secretary. He
then ordered the secretary to make a change, equivalent to an omission,
of this inflammatory paragraph. After this emasculation the paragraph
only stated that "slaves who were abandoned by their owners on the
advance of our troops" should not be returned to the enemy.

When the Thirty-seventh Congress came together for the regular session,
December 2, 1861, anti-slavery sentiment had made a visible advance.
President Lincoln, in his message, advised recognizing the independence
of the negro states of Hayti and Liberia. He declared that he had been
anxious that the "inevitable conflict should not degenerate into a
violent and remorseless revolutionary struggle," and that he had,
therefore, "thought it proper to keep the integrity of the Union
prominent as the primary object of the contest on our part." Referring
to his enforcement of the law of August 6, he said: "The Union must be
preserved, and hence all indispensable means must be employed." The
shadow which pro-slavery men saw cast by these words was very slightly,
if at all, lightened by an admission which accompanied it,--that "we
should not be in haste to determine that radical and extreme measures,
which may reach the loyal as well as the disloyal, are indispensable."
Further he said that already, by the operation of the Act of August 6,
numbers of persons had been liberated, had become dependent on the
United States, and must be provided for. He anticipated that some of the
States might pass similar laws for their own benefit; in which case he
recommended Congress to "provide for accepting such persons from such
States, according to some mode of valuation, in lieu, _pro tanto_, of
direct taxes, or upon some other plan to be agreed on." He desired that
these negroes, being "at once deemed free," should be colonized in some
"climate congenial to them," and he wished an appropriation for
acquiring territory for this purpose. Thus he indicated with sufficient
clearness the three cardinal points of his own theory for emancipation:
voluntary action of the individual slave States by the exercise of their
own sovereign power; compensation of owners; and colonization. Congress
soon showed that it meant to strike a pace much more rapid than that set
by the President; and the friends of slavery perceived an atmosphere
which made them so uneasy that they thought it would be well to have the
Crittenden resolution substantially reaffirmed. They made the effort,
and they failed, the vote standing 65 yeas to 71 nays. All which this
symptom indicated as to the temper of members was borne out during the
session by positive and aggressive legislation. Only a fortnight had
passed, when Henry Wilson, senator from Massachusetts, introduced a bill
to emancipate the slaves in the District of Columbia, and to pay a
moderate compensation to owners. The measure, rightly construed as the
entering point of the anti-slavery wedge, gave rise to bitter debates in
both houses. The senators and representatives from the slave States
manifested intense feeling, and were aided with much spirit by the
Democrats of the free States. But resistance was useless; the bill
passed the Senate by a vote of 29 to 14, and the House by 92 to 38. On
April 16 the President signed it, and returned it with a message, in
which he said: "If there be matters within and about this Act which
might have taken a course or shape more satisfactory to my judgment, I
do not attempt to specify them. I am gratified that the two principles
of compensation and colonization are both recognized and practically
applied in the Act." It was one of the coincidences of history that by
his signature he now made law that proposition which, as a member of the
House of Representatives in 1849, he had embodied in a bill which then
hardly excited passing notice as it went on its quick way to oblivion.

The confused condition concerning the harboring and rendition of
fugitive slaves by military commanders, already mentioned, was also
promptly taken in hand. Various bills and amendments offered in the
Senate and in the House were substantially identical in the main purpose
of making the recovery of a slave from within the Union lines
practically little better than impossible. The shape which the measure
ultimately took was the enactment of an additional article of war,
whereby all officers in the military service of the United States were
"prohibited from using any portion of the forces under their respective
commands for the purpose of returning fugitives from service or labor;"
any officer who should violate the article was to be dismissed from the
service. Again the men from the Border States, rallying their few
Democratic allies from the North to their assistance, made vehement
opposition, and again they were overwhelmed beneath an irresistible
majority: 83 to 42 in the House, 29 to 9 in the Senate. The President
signed the bill on March 13, 1862, and thereafter "nigger hunting" was a
dangerous sport in the Union camps.

On March 24, Mr. Arnold[2] of Illinois introduced a bill ambitiously
purporting "to render freedom national and slavery sectional." It
prohibited slavery wherever Congress could do so, that is to say, in all
Territories, present and future, in all forts, arsenals, dockyards,
etc., in all vessels on the high seas and on all national highways
beyond the territory and jurisdiction of the several States. Both by its
title and by its substance it went to the uttermost edge of the
Constitution and, in the matter of Territories, perhaps beyond that
edge. Mr. Arnold himself supported it with the bold avowal that slavery
was in deadly hostility to the national government, and therefore must
be destroyed. Upon a measure so significant and so defended, debate
waxed hot, so that one gentleman proposed that the bill should be sent
back to the committee with instructions not to report it back "until the
cold weather." The irritation and alarm of the Border States rendered
modification necessary unless tact and caution were to be wholly thrown
to the winds. Ultimately, therefore, the offensive title was exchanged
for the simple one of "An Act to secure freedom to all persons within
the Territories of the United States," and the bill, curtailed to accord
with this expression, became law by approval of the President on June

A measure likely in its operation to affect a much greater number of
persons than any other of those laws which have been mentioned was
introduced by Senator Trumbull of Illinois. This was "for the
confiscation of the property of rebels, and giving freedom to the
persons they hold in slavery." It made the slaves of all who had taken
up arms against the United States "forever thereafter free." It came up
for debate on February 25, and its mover defended it as "destroying to a
great extent the source and origin of the rebellion, and the only thing
which had ever seriously threatened the peace of the Union." The men of
the Border States, appalled at so general a manumission, declared that
it would produce intolerable conditions in their States, leading either
to reënslavement or extermination. So strenuous an anti-slavery man as
Senator Hale also suggested that the measure was unconstitutional.
Similar discussion upon similar propositions went forward
contemporaneously in the House. For once, in both bodies, the Democrats
won in many skirmishes. Ultimately, as the outcome of many amendments,
substitutes, recommitments, and conferences, a bill was patched up,
which passed by 27 to 12 in the Senate and 82 to 42 in the House, and
was approved by the President July 17. It was a very comprehensive
measure; so much so, that Mr. Blaine has said of it: "Even if the war
had ended without a formal and effective system of emancipation, it is
believed that this statute would have so operated as to render the slave
system practically valueless."

The possibility of enlisting negroes as soldiers received early
consideration. Black troops had fought in the Revolution; why, then,
should not black men now fight in a war of which they themselves were
the ultimate provocation? The idea pleased the utilitarian side of the
Northern mind and shocked no Northern prejudice. In fact, as early as
the spring of 1862 General Hunter, in the Department of the South,
organized a negro regiment. In July, 1862, pending consideration of a
bill concerning calling forth the militia, reported by the Senate
Committee on Military Affairs, amendments were moved declaring that
"there should be no exemption from military service on account of
color," permitting the enlistment of "persons of African descent," and
making "forever thereafter free" each person so enlisted, his mother,
his wife, and his children. No other measure so aroused the indignation
of the border-state men. Loyalty to the Union could not change their
opinion of the negro. To put arms into the hands of slaves, or
ex-slaves, was a terrible proposition to men who had too often vividly
conceived the dread picture of slave insurrection. To set black men
about the business of killing white men, to engage the inferior race to
destroy the superior race, seemed a blasphemy against Nature. A few
also of the Northerners warmly sympathized with this feeling. Black men
shooting down white men was a spectacle which some who were friends of
the black men could not contemplate without a certain shudder. Also many
persons believed that the white soldiers of the North would feel
degraded by having regiments of ex-slaves placed beside them in camp and
in battle. Doubts were expressed as to whether negroes would fight,
whether they would not be a useless charge, and even a source of peril
to those who should depend upon them. Language could go no farther in
vehemence of protest and denunciation than the words of some of the
slave-state men in the House and Senate. Besides this, Garrett Davis of
Kentucky made a very effective argument when he said: "There is not a
rebel in all Secessia whose heart will not leap when he hears that the
Senate of the United States is originating such a policy. It will
strengthen his hopes of success by an ultimate union of all the slave
States to fight such a policy to the death." It was, however, entirely
evident that, in the present temper of that part of the country which
was represented in Congress, there was not much use in opposing any
anti-slavery measure by any kind of argument whatever; even though the
special proposition might be distasteful to many Republicans, yet at
last, when pressed to the issue, they all faithfully voted Yea. In this
case the measure, finally so far modified as to relate only to slaves
of rebel owners, was passed and was signed by the President on July 17.
Nevertheless, although it thus became law, the certainty that, by taking
action under it, he would alienate great numbers of loyalists in the
Border States induced him to go very slowly. At first actual authority
to enlist negroes was only extorted from the administration with much
effort. On August 25 obstinate importunity elicited an order permitting
General Saxton, at Hilton Head, to raise 5,000 black troops; but this
was somewhat strangely accompanied, according to Mr. Wilson, with the
suggestive remark, that it "must never see daylight, because it was so
much in advance of public sentiment." After the process had been on
trial for a year, however, Mr. Lincoln said that there was apparent "no
loss by it in our foreign relations, none in our home popular sentiment,
none in our white military force,--no loss by it anyhow or anywhere." On
the other hand, it had brought a reinforcement of 130,000 soldiers,
seamen, and laborers. "And now," he said, "let any Union man who
complains of this measure test himself by writing down in one line that
he is for subduing the rebellion by force of arms, and in the next that
he is for taking these 130,000 men from the Union side, and placing them
where they would be best for the measure he condemns." Yet so
ineradicable was the race prejudice that it was not until the spring of
1864, after all efforts for action by Congress had failed, that the
attorney-general declared black soldiers to be entitled to the same pay
as white soldiers. Regarding a soldier merely as a marketable commodity,
doubtless the white was worth more money; yet life was about the same to
each, and it was hard to see why one should be expected to sell his life
for fewer dollars than satisfied the other.

Besides these measures, Congress gave evidence of its sentiments by
passing an act for appointing diplomatic representatives to Hayti and
Liberia; also further evidence by passing certain legislation against
the slave trade.

The recital of all these doings of the legislators sufficiently
indicates the hostility of Congress towards slavery. In fact, a large
majority both in the Senate and in the House had moved out against it
upon nearly every practicable line to the extremity of the
constitutional tether. Neither arguments, nor the entreaties of the
border-state men, nor any considerations of policy, had exercised the
slightest restraining influence. It is observable that this legislation
did not embody that policy which Mr. Lincoln had suggested, and to which
he had become strongly attached. On the contrary, Congress had done
everything to irritate, where the President wished to do everything to
conciliate; Congress made that compulsory which the President hoped to
make voluntary. Mr. Lincoln remained in 1862, as he had been in 1858,
tolerant towards the Southern men who by inheritance, tradition, and
the necessity of the situation, constituted a slaveholding community. To
treat slave-ownership as a crime, punishable by confiscation and ruin,
seemed to him unreasonable and merciless. Neither does he seem ever to
have accepted the opinion of many Abolitionists, that the negro was the
equal of the white man in natural endowment. There is no reason to
suppose that he did not still hold, as he had done in the days of the
Douglas debates, that it was undesirable, if not impossible, that the
two races should endeavor to abide together in freedom as a unified
community. In the inevitable hostility and competition he clearly saw
that the black man was likely to fare badly. It was by such feelings
that he was led straight to the plan of compensation of owners and
colonization of freedmen, and to the hope that a system of gradual
emancipation, embodying these principles, might be voluntarily
undertaken by the Border States under the present stress. If the
executive and the legislative departments should combine upon the policy
of encouraging and aiding such steps as any Border State could be
induced to take in this direction, the President believed that he could
much more easily extend loyalty and allegiance among the people of those
States,--a matter which he valued far more highly than other persons
were inclined to do. Such were his views and such his wishes. To discuss
their practicability and soundness would only be to wander in the
unprofitable vagueness of hypothesis, for in spite of all his efforts
they were never tested by trial. It must be admitted that general
opinion, both at that day and ever since, has regarded them as
visionary; compensation seemed too costly, colonization probably was
really impossible.

After the President had suggested his views in his message he waited
patiently to see what action Congress would take concerning them. Three
months elapsed and Congress took no such action. On the contrary,
Congress practically repudiated them. Not only this, it was
industriously putting into the shape of laws many other ideas, which
were likely to prove so many embarrassments and obstructions to that
policy which the President had very thoughtfully and with deep
conviction marked out for himself. He determined, therefore, to present
it once more, before it should be rendered forever hopeless. On March 6,
1862, he sent to Congress a special message, recommending the adoption
of a joint resolution: "That the United States ought to cooperate with
any State which may adopt gradual abolishment of slavery, giving to such
State pecuniary aid, to be used by such State in its discretion, to
compensate for the inconvenience, both public and private, produced by
such change of system." The first paragraph in the message stated
briefly the inducements to the North: "The Federal government would find
its highest interest in such a measure, as one of the most efficient
means of self-preservation. The leaders of the existing insurrection
entertain the hope that this government will ultimately be forced to
acknowledge the independence of some part of the disaffected region, and
that all the slave States north of such part will then say: 'The Union
for which we have struggled being already gone, we now choose to go with
the Southern section.' To deprive them of this hope substantially ends
the rebellion; and the initiation of Emancipation completely deprives
them of it as to all the States initiating it. The point is that ... the
more northern [States] shall, by such initiation, make it certain to the
more southern that in no event will the former ever join the latter in
their proposed Confederacy. I say 'initiation,' because in my judgment
gradual and not sudden emancipation is better for all. In the mere
financial or pecuniary view, any member of Congress, with the census
tables and Treasury reports before him, can readily see for himself how
very soon the current expenditures of this war would purchase, at fair
valuation, all the slaves in any named State."

The second paragraph hinted at that which it would have been poor tact
to state plainly,--the reasons which would press the Border States to
accept the opportunity extended to them. "If resistance continues, the
war must also continue; and it is impossible to foresee all the
incidents which may attend, and all the ruin which may follow it. Such
as may seem indispensable, or may obviously promise great efficiency
toward ending the struggle, must and will come. The proposition now
made, though an offer only, I hope it may be esteemed no offense to ask
whether the pecuniary consideration tendered would not be of more value
to the States and private persons concerned than are the institution and
property in it, in the present aspect of affairs." The suggestion,
between the lines, to the border slave-owners could not be
misunderstood: that they would do better to sell their slaves now than
to be deprived of them later. The President's proposition was not
cordially received. Pro-slavery men regarded it as an underhand movement
against the institution. Mr. Crittenden expressed confidence in the
President personally, but feared that the resolution "would stir up an
emancipation party" in the loyal slave States. Thus the truth was made
plain that emancipation, by any process, was not desired. In a debate
upon a cognate measure, another Kentuckian said that there was "no
division of sentiment on this question of emancipation, whether it is to
be brought about by force, by fraud, or by purchase of slaves out of the
public treasury." Democrats from Northern States, natural allies of the
border-state men, protested vehemently against taxing their constituents
to buy slave property in other States. Many Republicans also joined the
Democracy against Mr. Lincoln, and spoke even with anger and insult.
Thaddeus Stevens, the fierce and formidable leader of the Radicals, gave
his voice against "the most diluted milk-and-water gruel proposition
that had ever been given to the American nation." Hickman of
Pennsylvania, until 1860 a Democrat, but now a Republican, with the
characteristic vehemence of a proselyte said: "Neither the message nor
the resolution is manly and open. They are both covert and insidious.
They do not become the dignity of the President of the United States.
The message is not such a document as a full-grown, independent man
should publish to the nation at such a time as the present, when
positions should be freely and fully defined." In the Senate, Mr. Powell
of Kentucky translated the second paragraph into blunt words. He said
that it held a threat of ultimate coercion, if the cooperative plan
should fail; and he regarded "the whole thing" as "a pill of arsenic,

But, though so many insisted upon uttering their fleers in debate, yet,
when it came to voting, they could not well discredit their President by
voting down the resolution on the sole ground that it was foolish and
ineffectual. So, after it had been abused sufficiently, it was passed by
about the usual party majority: 89 to 34 in the House; 32 to 10 in the
Senate. Thus Congress somewhat sneeringly handed back to the President
his bantling, with free leave to do what he could with it.

Not discouraged by such grudging and unsympathetic permission, Mr.
Lincoln at once set about his experiment. He told Lovejoy and Arnold,
strenuous Abolitionists, but none the less his near friends, that they
would live to see the end of slavery, if only the Border States would
cooperate in his project. On March 10, 1862, he gathered some of the
border-state members and tried to win them over to his views. They
listened coldly; but he was not dismayed by their demeanor, and on July
12 he again convened them, and this time laid before them a written
statement. This paper betrays by its earnestness of argument and its
almost beseeching tone that he wrote it from his heart. The reasons
which he urged were as follows:--

"Believing that you of the Border States hold more power for good than
any other equal number of members, I felt it a duty which I cannot
justifiably waive to make this appeal to you.

"I intend no reproach or complaint when I assure you that, in my
opinion, if you all had voted for the resolution in the gradual
emancipation message of last March, the war would now be substantially

"And the plan therein proposed is yet one of the most potent and swift
means of ending it. Let the States which are in rebellion see definitely
and certainly that in no event will the States you represent ever join
their proposed Confederacy, and they cannot much longer maintain the
contest. But you cannot divest them of their hope to ultimately have you
with them as long as you show a determination to perpetuate the
institution within your own States; beat them at election as you have
overwhelmingly done, and, nothing daunted, they still claim you as
their own. You and I know what the lever of their power is. Break that
lever before their faces, and they can shake you no more forever. Most
of you have treated me with kindness and consideration; and I trust you
will not now think I improperly touch what is exclusively your own,
when, for the sake of the whole country, I ask: can you, for your
States, do better than to take the course I urge? Discarding punctilio
and maxims adapted to more manageable times, and looking only to the
unprecedentedly stern facts of our case, can you do better in any
possible event? You prefer that the constitutional relation of the
States to the nation shall be practically restored without disturbance
of the institution; and if this were done, my whole duty in this respect
under the Constitution and my oath of office would be performed. But it
is not done, and we are trying to accomplish it by war.

"The incidents of the war cannot be avoided. If the war continues long,
as it must if the object be not sooner attained, the institution in your
States will be extinguished by mere friction and abrasion,--by the mere
incidents of the war. It will be gone, and you will have nothing
valuable in lieu of it. Much of its value is gone already. How much
better for you and your people to take the step which at once shortens
the war, and secures substantial compensation for that which is sure to
be wholly lost in any other event. How much better to thus save the
money which else we sink forever in the war. How much better to do it
while we can, lest the war erelong render us pecuniarily unable to do
it. How much better for you, as seller, and the nation, as buyer, to
sell out and buy out that without which the war never could have been,
than to sink both the thing to be sold and the price of it in cutting
one another's throats. I do not speak of emancipation at once, but of a
decision at once to emancipate gradually."

He closed with an ardent appeal to his hearers, as "patriots and
statesmen," to consider his proposition, invoking them thereto as they
"would perpetuate popular government for the best people in the world."

Thirty gentlemen listened to this paper and took two days to consider
it. Then twenty of them signed a response which was, in substance, their
repudiation of the President's scheme. They told him that hitherto they
had been loyal "under the most discouraging circumstances and in face of
measures most distasteful to them and injurious to the interests they
represented, and in the hearing of doctrines, avowed by those who
claimed to be his friends, most abhorrent to themselves and their
constituents." They objected that the measure involved "interference
with what exclusively belonged to the States;" that perhaps it was
unconstitutional; that it would involve an "immense outlay," beyond what
the finances could bear; that it was "the annunciation of a sentiment"
rather than a "tangible proposition;" they added that the sole purpose
of the war must be "restoring the Constitution to its legitimate
authority." Seven others of the President's auditors said politely, but
very vaguely, that they would "ask the people of the Border States
calmly, deliberately, and fairly to consider his recommendations."
Maynard, of the House, and Henderson, of the Senate, alone expressed
their personal approval.

Even this did not drive all hope out of Mr. Lincoln's heart. His
proclamation, rescinding that order of General Hunter which purported to
free slaves in certain States, was issued on May 19. In it he said that
the resolution, which had been passed at his request, "now stands an
authentic, definite, and solemn proposal of the nation to the States and
people most interested in the subject-matter. To the people of these
States I now earnestly appeal. I do not argue; I beseech you to make the
arguments for yourselves. You cannot, if you would, be blind to the
signs of the times. I beg of you a calm and enlarged consideration of
them, ranging, if it may be, far above personal and partisan politics.
This proposal makes common cause for a common object, casting no
reproaches upon any. It acts not the Pharisee. The change it
contemplates would come gently as the dews from Heaven, not rending or
wrecking anything. Will you not embrace it? So much good has not been
done by one effort in all past time as in the providence of God it is
now your high privilege to do. May the vast future not have to lament
that you have neglected it!"

This eloquent and beautiful appeal sounds deeply moving in the ears of
those who read it in these days, so remote from the passions and
prejudices of a generation ago; but it stirred little responsive feeling
and no responsive action in 1862. In fact, the scheme was not

It may be--it probably must be--believed that compensated emancipation
and colonization could never have been carried out even if Northern
Republicans had been willing to pay the price and Southern slave-owners
had been willing to accept it, and if both had then cordially united in
the task of deporting the troublesome negro from the country. The vast
project was undoubtedly visionary; it was to be criticised, weighed, and
considered largely as a business enterprise, and as such it must be
condemned. But Mr. Lincoln, who had no capacity for business, was never
able to get at this point of view, and regarded his favorite plan
strictly in political and humanitarian lights. Yet even thus the general
opinion has been that the unfortunate negroes, finding themselves amid
the hard facts which must inevitably have attended colonization, would
have heartily regretted the lost condition of servitude. Historically
the merits of the experiment, which the Southern Unionists declined to
have put to the test of trial, are of no consequence; it is only as the
scheme throws light upon the magnanimity of Mr. Lincoln's temperament
and upon certain limitations of his intellect, that the subject is
interesting. That he should rid himself of personal vindictiveness and
should cherish an honest and intense desire to see the question, which
had severed the country, disposed of by a process which would make
possible a sincere and cordial reunion, may be only moderately
surprising; but it is most surprising to note the depth and earnestness
of his faith that this condition could really be reached, and that it
could be reached by the road which he had marked out. This confidence
indicated an opinion of human nature much higher than human nature has
yet appeared entitled to. It also anticipated on the part of the
Southerners an appreciation of the facts of the case which few among
them were sufficiently clear-minded to furnish. It is curious to observe
that Lincoln saw the present situation and foresaw the coming situation
with perfect clearness, at the same time that he was entirely unable to
see the uselessness of his panacea; whereas, on the other hand, those
who rejected his impracticable plan remained entirely blind to those
things which he saw. It seems an odd combination of traits that he
always recognized and accepted a fact, and yet was capable of being
wholly impractical.

In connection with these efforts in behalf of the slaveholders, which
show at least a singular goodness of heart towards persons who had done
everything to excite even a sense of personal hatred, it may not be
seriously out of place to quote a paragraph which does not, indeed,
bear upon slavery, but which does illustrate the remarkable temper which
Mr. Lincoln maintained towards the seceding communities. In December,
1861, in his annual message to this Congress, whose searching
anti-slavery measures have just been discussed, he said:--

"There are three vacancies on the bench of the Supreme Court.... I have
so far forborne making nominations to fill these vacancies for reasons
which I will now state. Two of the outgoing judges resided within the
States now overrun by revolt; so that if successors were appointed in
the same localities, they could not now serve upon their circuits; and
many of the most competent men there probably would not take the
personal hazard of accepting to serve, even here, upon the Supreme
Bench. I have been unwilling to throw all the appointments northward,
thus disabling myself from doing justice to the South on the return of
peace; although I may remark that to transfer to the North one which has
heretofore been in the South would not, with reference to territory and
population, be unjust."[3] To comment upon behavior and motives so
extraordinary is, perhaps, as needless as it is tempting.


[1] Also in the House Thaddeus Stevens and Lovejoy, and in the Senate
Sumner, did not vote.

[2] Lincoln's intimate personal and political friend, and afterward his

[3] Annual Message to Congress, December, 1861.



It is time now to return to the theatre of war in Virginia, where, it
will be remembered, we left the Confederate forces in the act of rapidly
withdrawing southward from the line of intrenchments which they had so
long held at Manassas. This unexpected backward movement upon their part
deprived the Urbana route, which McClellan had hitherto so strenuously
advocated, of its chief strategic advantages, and therefore reopened the
old question which had been discussed between him and Mr. Lincoln. To
the civilian mind a movement after the retreating enemy along the direct
line to Richmond, now more than ever before, seemed the natural scheme.
But to this McClellan still remained unalterably opposed. In the letter
of February 3 he had said: "The worst coming to the worst, we can take
Fort Monroe as a base and operate with complete security, although with
less celerity and brilliancy of results, up the Peninsula." This route,
low as he had then placed it in order of desirability, he now adopted as
the best resource, or rather as the only measure; and his judgment was
ratified upon March 13 by unanimous approval on the part of his four
corps commanders. They however made their approval dependent upon
conditions, among which were: that, before beginning the advance along
this line, the new rebel ram Merrimac (or Virginia), just finished at
Norfolk on the James River, should be neutralized, and that a naval
auxiliary force should silence, or be ready to aid in silencing, the
rebel batteries on the York River. In fact, and very unfortunately, the
former of these conditions was not fulfilled until the time of its
usefulness for this specific purpose was over, and the latter condition
was entirely neglected. It was also distinctly stipulated that "the
force to be left to cover Washington shall be such as to give an entire
feeling of security for its safety from menace." Keyes, Heintzelman and
McDowell conceived "that, with the forts on the right bank of the
Potomac fully garrisoned, and those on the left bank occupied, a
covering force, in front of the Virginia line, of 25,000 men would
suffice." Sumner said: "A total of 40,000 for the defense of the city
would suffice."[4] On the same day Stanton informed McClellan that the
President "made no objection" to this plan, but directed that a
sufficient force should be left to hold Manassas Junction and to make
Washington "entirely secure." The closing sentence was: "At all events,
move ... at once in pursuit of the enemy by some route." Thus at last
two important facts were established: that the route up the Peninsula
should be tried; and that the patience of the administration was

Though the enemy upon his retreat was burning bridges and destroying
railroads behind him, and making his possible return towards Washington
a slow, difficult process, which he obviously had no mind to undertake,
still this security of the capital rested as weightily as ever upon
Lincoln's mind. His reiteration and insistence concerning it made
perfectly plain that he was still nervous and disquieted about it,
though now certainly with much less reason than heretofore. But with or
against reason, it was easy to see that he was far from resting in the
tranquillity of conviction that Washington could never be so safe as
when the army of Virginia was far away upon the Peninsula. Nevertheless,
after the condition in its foregoing shape had been so strenuously
imposed by Mr. Lincoln and tacitly accepted by McClellan, the matter was
left as if definitely settled; and the President never demanded[5] from
the general any distinct statement concerning the numerical or specific
allotment of the available forces between the two purposes. The neglect
was disastrous in its consequences; and must also be pronounced both
blameworthy and inexplicable, for the necessity of a plain understanding
on the subject was obvious.

The facts seem to be briefly these: in his letter of February 3,
McClellan estimated the force necessary to be taken with him for his
campaign at 110,000 to 140,000 men, and said: "I hope to use the latter
number by bringing fresh troops into Washington." On April 1 he
reported[6] the forces left behind him as follows:--

  At Warrenton, there is to be            7,780 men
  At Manassas, there is to be            10,859 men
  In the Valley of the Shenandoah        35,467 men
  On the Lower Potomac                    1,350 men
  In all                                 55,456 men

He adds: "There will thus be left for the garrisons, and the front of
Washington, under General Wadsworth, 18,000 men, exclusive of the
batteries under instruction." New levies, nearly 4,000 strong, were also
expected. He considered all these men as properly available "for the
defense of the national capital and its approaches." The President, the
politicians, and some military men were of opinion that only the 18,000
ought to be considered available for the capital. It was a question
whether it was proper to count the corps of Banks in the Shenandoah
Valley. McClellan's theory was that the rebels, by the circumstances
attendant upon their present retreating movement, had conclusively
annulled any chance of their own return by way of Manassas. Banks
greatly outnumbered Stonewall Jackson, who had only about 15,000 men, or
less, in the Shenandoah Valley. Also Washington was now entirely
surrounded by satisfactory fortifications. McClellan, therefore, was
entirely confident that he left everything in good shape behind him. In
fact, it was put into even better shape than he had designed; for on
March 31 the President took from him Blenker's division of 10,000 men in
order to strengthen Fremont, who was in the mountain region westward of
the Shenandoah Valley. "I did so," wrote Mr. Lincoln, "with great
pain.... If you could know the full pressure of the case, I am confident
that you would justify it." It was unfortunate that the President could
not stand against this "pressure," which was not military, but
political. Fremont could do, and did, nothing at all, and to reinforce
him was sheer absurdity.[7] Against it McClellan protested almost
indignantly, but was "partially relieved by the President's positive and
emphatic assurance" that no more troops "should in any event be taken
from" him, or "in any way detached from [his] command."

Orders had been issued on February 27, to Mr. Tucker, assistant
secretary of war, to prepare means of transporting down the Potomac,
troops, munitions, artillery, horses, wagons, food, and all the vast
paraphernalia of a large army. He showed a masterly vigor in this
difficult task, and by March 17 the embarkation began. On April 2
McClellan arrived at Fortress Monroe. On the very next day he was
disturbed by the revocation of the orders which had left him in command
of that place and had allowed him to "draw from the troops under General
Wool a division of about 10,000 men, which was to be assigned to the
First Corps." Another and a serious disappointment also occurred at
once; he found that the navy could not be utilized for assisting in an
attack on Yorktown, or for running by it so as to land forces in rear of
it. He must therefore depend wholly upon his army to force a way up the
Peninsula. This he had stated to be an unsatisfactory alternative,
because it involved delay at Yorktown. Nevertheless, having no choice,
he began his advance on April 4. He had with him only 58,000 men; but
more were on the way, and McDowell's corps was to be brought forward to
join him as rapidly as transportation would permit. His total nominal
force was smaller than the minimum which, on February 3, he had named as
necessary; yet it was a fine body of troops, and he had lately said to
them: "The army of the Potomac is now a real army, magnificent in
material, admirable in discipline, excellently equipped and armed. Your
commanders are all that I could wish."

In two days he was before the fortifications which the rebels had
erected at Yorktown, and which stretched thence across the Peninsula to
the James River. He estimated the force behind these intrenchments,
commanded by General Magruder, at 15,000 to 20,000 men, easily to be
reinforced; in fact, it was much less. Thereupon, he set about elaborate
preparations for a siege of that city, according to the most thorough
and approved system of military science. He was afterward severely
blamed for not endeavoring to force his way through some point in the
rebel lines by a series of assaults.[8] This was what Mr. Lincoln wished
him to do, and very nearly ordered him to do; for on April 6 he sent
this telegram: "You now have over 100,000 troops with you.... I think
you better break the enemy's line from Yorktown to Warwick River at
once." An entry in McClellan's "Own Story," under date of April 8,
comments upon this message and illustrates the unfortunate feeling of
the writer towards his official superior: "I have raised an awful row
about McDowell's corps. The President very coolly telegraphed me
yesterday that he thought I had better break the enemy's lines at once!
I was much tempted to reply that he had better come and do it himself."
Thus is made evident the lamentable relationship between the President,
who could place no confidence in the enterprise and judgment of the
military commander, and the general, who had only sneers for the
President's incapacity to comprehend warfare. It so happened, however,
that the professional man's sarcasm was grossly out of place, and the
civilian's proposal was shrewdly right, as events soon plainly proved.
In fact what Mr. Lincoln urged was precisely what General Johnston
anticipated and feared would be done, because he knew well that if it
were done it would be of fatal effect against the Confederates. But, on
the other hand, even after the clear proof had gone against him,
McClellan was abundantly supplied with excuses, and the vexation of the
whole affair was made the greater by the fact that these excuses really
seemed to be good. His excuses always were both so numerous and so
satisfactory, that many reasonably minded persons knew not whether they
had a right to feel so angry towards him as they certainly could not
help doing. The present instance was directly in point. General Keyes
reported to him that no part of the enemy's line could "be taken by
assault without an enormous waste of life;" and General Barnard, chief
engineer of the army, thought it uncertain whether they could be carried
at all. Loss of life and uncertainty of result were two things so
abhorred by McClellan in warfare, that he now failed to give due weight
to the consideration that the design of the Confederates in interposing
an obstacle at this point was solely to delay him as much as possible,
whereas much of the merit of his own plan of campaign lay in rapid
execution at the outset. The result was, of course, that he did not
break any line, nor try to, but instead thereof "presented plausible
reasons" out of his inexhaustible reservoir of such commodities. It was
unfortunate that the naval coöperation, which McClellan had expected,[9]
could not be had at this juncture; for by it the Yorktown problem would
have been easily solved without either line-breaking or reason-giving.

Precisely at this point came into operation the fatal effect of the lack
of understanding between the President and the general as to the
division of the forces. In the plan of campaign, it had been designed to
throw the corps of McDowell into the rear of Yorktown by such route as
should seem expedient at the time of its arrival, probably landing it at
Gloucester and moving it round by West Point. This would have made
Magruder's position untenable at once, long before the natural end of
the siege. But at the very moment when McClellan's left, in its advance,
first came into actual collision with the enemy, he received news that
the President had ordered McDowell to retain his division before
Washington--"the most infamous thing that history has recorded," he
afterward wrote.[10] Yet the explanation of this surprising news was so
simple that surprise was unjustifiable. On April 2, immediately after
McClellan's departure, the President inquired as to what had been done
for the security of Washington. General Wadsworth, commanding the
defenses of the city, gave an alarming response: 19,000 or 20,000
entirely green troops, and a woeful insufficiency of artillery. He said
that while it was "very improbable" that the enemy would attack
Washington, nevertheless the "numerical strength and the character" of
his forces rendered them "entirely inadequate to and unfit for their
important duty." Generals Hitchcock and Thomas corroborated this by
reporting that the order to leave the city "entirely secure" had "not
been fully complied with." Mr. Lincoln was horror-struck. He had a right
to be indignant, for those who ought to know assured him that his
reiterated and most emphatic command had been disobeyed, and that what
he chiefly cared to make safe had not been made safe. He promptly
determined to retain McDowell, and the order was issued on April 4.
Thereby he seriously attenuated, if he did not quite annihilate, the
prospect of success for McClellan's campaign. It seems incredible and
unexplainable that amid this condition of things, on April 3, an order
was issued from the office of the secretary of war, to stop recruiting
throughout the country!

This series of diminutions, says McClellan, had "removed nearly 60,000
men from my command, and reduced my force by more than one third.... The
blow was most discouraging. It frustrated all my plans for impending
operations. It fell when I was too deeply committed to withdraw.... It
was a fatal error."

Error or not, it was precisely what McClellan ought to have foreseen as
likely to occur. He had not foreseen it, however, and nothing mitigated
the disappointment. Unquestionably the act was of supreme gravity. Was
Mr. Lincoln right or wrong in doing it? The question has been answered
many times both Yea and Nay, and each side has been maintained with
intense acrimony and perfect good faith. It is not likely that it will
ever be possible to say either that the Yeas have it, or that the Nays
have it.[11] For while it is certain that what actually _did_ happen
coincided very accurately with McClellan's expectations; on the other
hand, it can never be known what _might have_ happened if Lincoln had
not held McDowell, and if, therefore, facts had not been what they were.

So far as Mr. Lincoln is concerned, the question, what military judgment
was correct,--that is, whether the capital really was, or was not,
absolutely secure,--is of secondary consequence. The valuation which he
set on that safety was undeniably correct; it certainly was of more
importance than McClellan's success. If he had made a mistake in letting
McClellan go without a more distinct understanding, at least that
mistake was behind him. Before him was the issue whether he should rest
satisfied with the deliberate judgment given by McClellan, or whether,
at considerable cost to the cause, he should make the assurance greater
out of deference to other advice. He chose the latter course. In so
doing, if he was not vacillating, he was at least incurring the evils of
vacillation. It would have been well if he could have found some quarter
in which permanently to repose his implicit faith, so that one
consistent plan could have been carried out without interference. Either
he had placed too much confidence in McClellan in the past, or he was
placing too little in him now. If he could not accept McClellan's
opinion as to the safety of Washington, in preference to that of
Wadsworth, Thomas, and Hitchcock, then he should have removed McClellan,
and replaced him with some one in whom he had sufficient confidence to
make smooth coöperation a possibility. The present condition of things
was illogical and dangerous. Matters had been allowed to reach a very
advanced stage upon the theory that McClellan's judgment was
trustworthy; then suddenly the stress became more severe, and it seemed
that in the bottom of his mind the President did not thus implicitly
respect the general's wisdom. Yet he did not displace him, but only
opened his ears to other counsels; whereupon the buzz of contradictory,
excited, and alarming suggestions which came to him were more than
enough to unsettle any human judgment. General Webb speaks well and with
authority to this matter: "The dilemma lay here,--whose plans and advice
should he follow, where it was necessary for him to approve and
decide?... Should he lean implicitly on the general actually in command
of the armies, placed there by virtue of his presumed fitness for the
position, or upon other selected advisers? We are bold to say that it
was doubt and hesitation upon this point that occasioned many of the
blunders of the campaign. Instead of one mind, there were many minds
influencing the management of military affairs." A familiar culinary
proverb was receiving costly illustration.

But, setting the dispute aside, an important fact remains: shorn as he
was, McClellan was still strong enough to meet and to defeat his
opponents. If he had been one of the great generals of the world he
would have been in Richmond before May Day; but he was at his old trick
of exaggerating the hostile forces and the difficulties in his way. On
April 7 he thought that Johnston and the whole Confederate army were at
Yorktown; whereas Johnston's advance division arrived there on the 10th;
the other divisions came several days later, and Johnston himself
arrived only on the 14th.

On April 9 Mr. Lincoln presented his own view of the situation in this
letter to the general:--

"Your dispatches complaining that you are not properly sustained, while
they do not offend me, do pain me very much.

... "After you left I ascertained that less than 20,000 unorganized men,
without a single field battery, were all you designed to be left for the
defense of Washington and Manassas Junction, and part of this even was
to go to General Hooker's old position. General Banks's corps, once
designed for Manassas Junction, was diverted and tied up on the line of
Winchester and Strasburg, and could not leave it without again exposing
the upper Potomac and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. This presented,
or would present, when McDowell and Sumner should be gone, a great
temptation to the enemy to turn back from the Rappahannock and sack
Washington. My implicit order that Washington should, by the judgment of
all the commanders of army corps, be left entirely secure, had been
neglected. It was precisely this that drove me to detain McDowell.

"I do not forget that I was satisfied with your arrangement to leave
Banks at Manassas Junction; but when that arrangement was broken up, and
nothing was substituted for it, of course I was constrained to
substitute something for it myself. And allow me to ask, do you really
think I should permit the line from Richmond, via Manassas Junction, to
this city, to be entirely open, except what resistance could be
presented by less than 20,000 unorganized troops? This is a question
which the country will not allow me to evade.

"There is a curious mystery about the number of troops now with you.
When I telegraphed you on the 6th, saying you had over a hundred
thousand with you, I had just obtained from the secretary of war a
statement taken, as he said, from your own returns, making 108,000 then
with you and en route to you. You now say you will have but 85,000 when
all en route to you shall have reached you. How can the discrepancy of
23,000 be accounted for?

"As to General Wool's command,[12] I understand it is doing for you
precisely what a like number of your own would have to do if that
command was away.

"I suppose the whole force which has gone forward for you is with you by
this time. And if so, I think it is the precise time for you to strike a
blow. By delay the enemy will relatively gain upon you,--that is, he
will gain faster by fortifications and reinforcements than you can by
reinforcements alone. And once more let me tell you, it is indispensable
to you that you strike a blow. I am powerless to help this. You will do
me the justice to remember I always insisted that going down the bay in
search of a field, instead of fighting at or near Manassas, was only
shifting, and not surmounting, a difficulty; that we would find the same
enemy, and the same or equal intrenchments, at either place. The country
will not fail to note, is now noting, that the present hesitation to
move upon an intrenched enemy is but the story of Manassas repeated.

"I beg to assure you that I have never written you or spoken to you in
greater kindness of feeling than now, nor with a fuller purpose to
sustain you, so far as, in my most anxious judgment, I consistently can.
But you must act."

McClellan, in consternation and almost despair at the repeated pruning
of his force, now begged for at least a part of McDowell's corps, which,
he said on April 10, was "indispensable;" "the fate of our cause depends
upon it." Accordingly Franklin's division was sent to him; and then,
after all this palaver, he kept it a fortnight on shipboard, until
Yorktown was evacuated!

On May 1 the President, tortured by the political gadflies in
Washington, and suffering painfully from the weariness of hope so long
deferred, telegraphed: "Is anything to be done?" A pitiful time of it
Mr. Lincoln was having, and it called for a patient fortitude surpassing
imagination. Yet one little bit of fruit was at this moment ripe for the
plucking! After about four weeks of wearisome labor the general had
brought matters to that condition which was so grateful to his cautious
soul. At the beginning of May he had reduced success to a certainty, so
that he expected to open fire on May 5, and to make short work of the
rebel stronghold. But it so happened that another soldier also had at
the same time finished his task. General Magruder had delayed the Union
army to the latest possible hour, he had saved a whole valuable month;
and now, quite cheerfully and triumphantly, in the night betwixt May 3
and May 4, he quietly slipped away. As it had happened at Manassas, so
now again the Federals marched unopposed into deserted intrenchments;
and a second time the enemy had so managed it that their retreat seemed
rather to cast a slur upon Union strategy than to bring prestige to the
Union arms.

McClellan at once continued his advance, with more or less fighting, the
rebels steadily drawing back without offering battle on a large scale,
though there was a sharp engagement at Williamsburg. He had not even the
smaller number of men which he had originally named as his requirement,
and he continued pertinaciously to demand liberal reinforcements. The
President, grievously harassed by these importunate appeals, declared to
McClellan that he was forwarding every man that he could, while to
friends nearer at hand he complained that sending troops to McClellan
was like shoveling fleas across a barnyard; most of them didn't get
there! At last he made up his mind to send the remainder of McDowell's
corps; not because he had changed his mind about covering Washington,
but because the situation had become such that he expected to arrange
this matter by other resources.

The fight at Williamsburg took place on May 5. McClellan pushed after
the retiring enemy, too slowly, as his detractors said, yet by roads
which really were made almost impassable by heavy rains. Two days later,
May 7, Franklin's force disembarked and occupied West Point. This
advance up the Peninsula now produced one important result which had
been predicted by McClellan in his letter of February 3. On May 8 news
came that the Confederates were evacuating Norfolk, and two days later a
Union force marched into the place. The rebels lost many heavy guns,
besides all the advantages of the navy yard with its workshops and
stores; moreover, their awe-inspiring ram, the Merrimac, alias the
Virginia, was obliged to leave this comfortable nestling-place, whence
she had long watched and closed the entrance to the James River. Her
commander, Tatnall, would have taken her up that stream, but the pilots
declared it not possible to float her over the shoals. She was therefore
abandoned and set on fire; and early in the morning of May 11 she blew
up, leaving the southern water-way to Richmond open to the Union
fleet.[13] It was a point of immense possible advantage. Later McClellan
intimated that, if he had been left free to act upon his own judgment,
he would probably have availed himself of this route; and some writers,
with predilections in his favor, have assumed that he was prevented from
doing so by certain orders, soon to be mentioned, which directed him to
keep the northerly route for the purpose of effecting a junction with
McDowell. But this notion seems incorrect; for though he doubtless had
the James River route under consideration, yet dates are against the
theory that he wished to adopt it when at last it lay open. On the
contrary, he continued his advance precisely as before. On May 16 his
leading columns reached White House; headquarters were established
there, and steps were immediately taken to utilize it as a depot and
base of supplies. The York River route was thus made the definitive
choice. Also the advance divisions were immediately pushed out along
the York River and Richmond Railroad, which they repaired as they went.
On May 20 Casey's division actually crossed the Chickahominy at Bottom's
Bridge, and the next day a large part of the army was in position upon
the north bank of that stream. Obviously these operations, each and all,
ruled out the James River route, at least as a part of the present plan.
Yet it was not until they were well under way, viz., on May 18, that the
intelligence reached McClellan, on the strength of which he and others
afterward assumed that he had been deprived of the power to select the
James River route. What this intelligence was and how it came to pass
must now be narrated.

By this time, the advance along the Peninsula had so completely
"relieved the front of Washington from pressure," that Mr. Lincoln and
his advisers, reassured as to the safety of that city, now saw their way
clear to make McDowell's corps, strengthened to a force of 41,000 men,
contribute actively to McClellan's assistance. They could not, indeed,
bring themselves to move it by water, as McClellan desired; but the
President ordered McDowell to move down from Fredericksburg, where he
now lay, towards McClellan's right wing, which McClellan was ordered to
extend to the north of Richmond in order to meet him. But, in the words
of the Comte de Paris, "an absurd restriction revealed the old mistrusts
and fears." For McDowell was strictly ordered not to uncover the
capital; also, with a decisive emphasis indicative of an uneasy
suspicion, McClellan was forbidden to dispose of McDowell's force in
contravention of this still primary purpose. Whether McDowell was under
McClellan's control, or retained an independent command, was left
curiously vague, until McClellan forced a distinct understanding.

Although McClellan, writing to Lincoln, condemned rather sharply the
method selected for giving to him the aid so long implored, yet he felt
that, even as it came to him, he could make it serve his turn. Though he
grumbled at the President's unmilitary ways, he afterward admitted that
the "cheering news" made him "confident" of being "sufficiently strong
to overpower the large army confronting" him. There was no doubt of it.
He immediately extended his right wing; May 24, he drove the
Confederates out of Mechanicsville; May 26, General Porter took position
at Hanover Junction only fifteen miles from McDowell's head of column,
which had advanced eight miles out of Fredericksburg. The situation was
not unpromising; but unfortunately that little interval of fifteen miles
was never to be closed up.

May 24, Mr. Lincoln wrote to McClellan, and after suggesting sundry
advisable movements, he said: "McDowell and Shields[14] both say they
can, and positively will, move Monday morning." Monday was the 26th. In
point of fact, McDowell, feeling time to be of great value, urged the
President to let him move on the morning of Sunday, the 25th; but Mr.
Lincoln positively refused; the battle of Bull Run had been fought on a
Sunday, and he dreaded the omen.[15] This feeling which he had about
days was often illustrated, and probably the reader has observed that he
seemed to like dates already marked by prestige or good luck; thus he
had convened Congress for July 4, and had ordered the general advance of
the armies for February 22; it was an indication of the curious thread
of superstition which ran through his strange nature,--a remnant of his
youth and the mysterious influence of the wilderness. But worse than a
superstitious postponement arrived before nightfall on Saturday. A
dispatch from Lincoln to McClellan, dated at four o'clock that
afternoon, said: "In consequence of General Banks's critical position, I
have been compelled to suspend General McDowell's movements to join you.
The enemy are making a desperate push upon Harper's Ferry, and we are
trying to throw General Fremont's force and part of General McDowell's
in their rear." The brief words conveyed momentous intelligence. It is
necessary to admit that Mr. Lincoln was making his one grand blunder,
for which there is not even the scant salvation of possible doubt. All
that can be said in palliation is, that he was governed, or at least
strongly impelled, by the urgent advice of the secretary of war, whose
hasty telegrams to the governors of several States show that he was
terror-stricken and had lost his head. Mr. Blaine truly says that
McDowell, thus suddenly dispatched by Mr. Lincoln upon a "fruitless
chase," "was doing precisely what the President of the Confederate
States would have ordered, had he been able to issue the orders of the
President of the United States." There is no way to mitigate the painful
truth of this statement, made by a civilian, but amply sustained by the
military authorities on both sides.[16]

The condition was this. The retention of McDowell's corps before
Washington published the anxiety of the administration. The Confederate
advantage lay in keeping that anxiety alive and continuing to neutralize
that large body of troops. Strategists far less able than the Southern
generals could not have missed so obvious a point, neither could they
have missed the equally obvious means at their disposal for achieving
these purposes. At the upper end of the valley of the Shenandoah
Stonewall Jackson had an army, raised by recent accretions to nearly or
quite 15,000 men. The Northern generals erelong learned to prognosticate
Jackson's movements by the simple rule that at the time when he was
least expected, and at the place where he was least wanted, he was sure
to turn up.[17] The suddenness and speed with which he could move a body
of troops seemed marvelous to ordinary men. His business now was to make
a vigorous dashing foray down the valley. To the westward, Fremont lay
in the mountains, with an army which checked no enemy and for the
existence of which in that place no reasonable explanation could be
given. In front was Banks, with a force lately reduced to about 5,000
men. May 14, Banks prudently fell back and took position in
Strasburg.[18] Suddenly, on May 23, Jackson appeared at Front Royal; on
the next day he attacked Banks at Winchester, and of course defeated
him; on the 25th Banks made a rapid retreat to the Potomac, and Jackson
made an equally rapid pursuit to Halltown, within two miles of Harper's
Ferry. The news of this startling foray threw the civilians of
Washington into a genuine panic, by which Mr. Lincoln was, at least for
a few hours, not altogether unaffected.[19] Yet, though startled and
alarmed, he showed the excellent quality of promptitude in decision and
action; and truly it was hard fortune that his decision and his action
were both for the worst. He at once ordered McDowell to move 20,000
troops into the Shenandoah Valley, and instructed Fremont also to move
his force rapidly into the valley, with the design that the two should
thus catch Jackson in what Mr. Lincoln described as a "trap."[20]
McDowell was dismayed at such an order. He saw, what every man having
any military knowledge at once recognized with entire certainty, and
what every military writer has since corroborated, that the movement of
Jackson had no value except as a diversion, that it threatened no
serious danger, and that to call off McDowell's corps from marching to
join McClellan in order to send it against Jackson was to do exactly
that thing which the Confederates desired to have done, though they
could hardly have been sanguine enough to expect it. It was swallowing a
bait so plain that it might almost be said to be labeled. For a general
to come under the suspicion of not seeing through such a ruse was
humiliating. In vain McDowell explained, protested, and entreated with
the utmost vehemence and insistence. When Mr. Lincoln had made up his
mind, no man could change it, and here, as ill fortune would have it,
he had made it up. So, with a heavy heart, the reluctant McDowell set
forth on his foolish errand, and Fremont likewise came upon his,--though
it is true that he was better employed thus than in doing nothing,--and
Jackson, highly pleased, and calculating his time to a nicety, on May 31
slipped rapidly between the two Union generals,--the closing jaws of Mr.
Lincoln's "trap,"--and left them to close upon nothing.[21] Then he led
his pursuers a fruitless chase towards the head of the valley,
continuing to neutralize a force many times larger than his own, and
which could and ought to have been at this very time doing fatal work
against the Confederacy. Presumably he had saved Richmond, and therewith
also, not impossibly, the chief army of the South. The chagrin of the
Union commanders, who had in vain explained the situation with entire
accuracy, taxes the imagination.

There is no use in denying a truth which can be proved. The blunder of
Mr. Lincoln is not only undeniable, but it is inexcusable. Possibly for
a few hours he feared that Washington was threatened. He telegraphed to
McClellan May 25, at two o'clock P.M., that he thought the movement down
the valley a "general and concerted one," inconsistent with "the purpose
of a very desperate defense of Richmond;" and added, "I think the time
is near when you must either attack Richmond, or give up the job and
come to the defense of Washington." How reasonable this view was at the
moment is of little consequence, for within a few hours afterward the
character of Jackson's enterprise as a mere foray became too palpable to
be mistaken. Nevertheless, after the President was relieved from such
fear for the capital as he might excusably have felt for a very brief
period, his cool judgment seemed for once in his life, perhaps for the
only time, to be disturbed. The truth is that Mr. Lincoln was a sure and
safe, almost an infallible thinker, when he had time given him; but he
was not always a quick thinker, and on this occasion he was driven to
think quickly. In consequence he not only erred in repudiating the
opinions of the best military advisers, but even upon the basis of his
own views he made a mistake. The very fact that he was so energetic in
the endeavor to "trap" Jackson in retreat indicates his understanding of
the truth that Jackson had so small a force that his prompt retreat was
a necessity. This being so, he was in the distinct and simple position
of making a choice between two alternatives, viz.: either to endeavor to
catch Jackson, and for this object to withhold what was needed by and
had been promised to McClellan for his campaign against Richmond; or,
leaving Jackson to escape with impunity, to pursue with steadiness that
plan which it was Jackson's important and perfectly understood errand to
interrupt. It is almost incredible that he chose wrong. The statement of
the dilemma involved the decision. Yet he took the little purpose and
let the great one go. Nor even thus did he gain this lesser purpose. He
had been warned by McDowell that Jackson could not be caught, and he was
not. Yet even had this been otherwise, the Northerners would have got
little more than the shell while losing the kernel. Probably Richmond,
and possibly the Southern army, fell out of the President's hand while
he tried without success to close it upon Jackson and 15,000 men.

The result of this civilian strategy was that McClellan, with his
projects shattered, was left with his right wing and rear dangerously
exposed. Jackson remained for a while a mysterious _bête noire_, about
whose force, whereabouts, and intentions many disturbing rumors flew
abroad; at last, on June 26, he settled these doubts in his usual sharp
and conclusive way by assailing the exposed right wing and threatening
the rear of the Union army, thus achieving "the brilliant conclusion of
the operations which [he] had so successfully conducted in the Valley of

Simultaneously with the slipping of Jackson betwixt his two pursuers on
May 31, General Johnston made an attack upon the two corps[22] which lay
south of the Chickahominy, in position about Seven Pines and Fair Oaks.
Battle was waged during two days. Each side claimed a victory; the
Southerners because they had inflicted the heavier loss, the
Northerners because ultimately they held their original lines and foiled
Johnston's design of defeating and destroying the Northern army in
detail. The result of this battle ought to have proved to McClellan two
facts: that neither in discipline nor in any other respect were the
Southern troops more formidable than his own; also that the Southerners
were clearly not able to overwhelm him with such superior numbers as he
had supposed; for in two days they had not been able to overwhelm much
less than half of his army. These considerations should have encouraged
him to energetic measures. But no encouragement could counteract the
discouragement inflicted by the loss of McDowell's powerful corps and
the consequent wrecking of his latest plan. Nearly to the end of June he
lay immovable. "June 14, midnight. All quiet in every direction,"--thus
he telegraphed to Stanton in words intended to be reassuring, but in
fact infinitely vexatious. Was he, then, set at the head of this great
and costly host of the nation's best, to rest satisfied with preserving
an eternal quietude,--like a chief of police in a disorderly quarter?
Still he was indefatigable in declaring himself outnumbered, and in
demanding more troops; in return he got assurances, with only the slight
fulfillment of McCall's division. Every two or three days he cheeringly
announced to the administration that he was on the verge of advancing,
but he never passed over the verge. Throughout a season in which
blundering seemed to become epidemic, no blunder was greater than his
quiescence at this time.[23] As if to emphasize it, about the middle of
June General Stuart, with a body of Confederate cavalry, actually rode
all around the Union army, making the complete circuit and crossing its
line of communication with White House without interruption. The foray
achieved little, but it wore the aspect of a signal and unavenged

In Washington the only powerful backing upon which McClellan could still
rely was that of the President, and he was surely wearing away the
patience of his only friend by the irritating attrition of promises ever
reiterated and never redeemed. No man ever kept his own counsel more
closely than did Mr. Lincoln, and the indications of his innermost
sentiments concerning McClellan at this time are rare. But perhaps a
little ray is let in, as through a cranny, by a dispatch which he sent
to the general on June 2: "With these continuous rains I am very anxious
about the Chickahominy,--so close in your rear, and crossing your line
of communication. Please look to it." This curt prompting on so obvious
a point was a plain insinuation against McClellan's military competence,
and suggests that ceaseless harassment had at last got the better of
Lincoln's usually imperturbable self-possession; for it lacked little of
being an insult, and Mr. Lincoln, in all his life, never insulted any
man. As a spot upon a white cloth sets off the general whiteness, so
this dispatch illustrates Lincoln's unweariable patience and
long-suffering without parallel. McClellan, never trammeled by respect,
retorted sharply: "As the Chickahominy has been almost the only obstacle
in my way for several days, your excellency may rest assured that it has
not been overlooked." When finally the general became active, it was
under the spur of General Jackson, not of President Lincoln. Jackson
compelled him to decide and act; and the result was his famous southward
movement to the James River. Some, adopting his own nomenclature, have
called this a change of base; some, less euphemistically, speak of it as
a retreat. According to General Webb, it may be called either the one or
the other with equal propriety, for it partook of the features of
each.[24] It is no part of the biographer of Lincoln to narrate the
suffering and the gallantry of the troops through those seven days of
continuous fighting and marching, during which they made their painful
way, in the face of an attacking army, through the dismal swamps of an
unwholesome region, amid the fierce and humid heats of the Southern
summer. On July 1 they closed the dread experience by a brilliant
victory in the desperate, prolonged, and bloody battle of Malvern Hill.

In the course of this march a letter was sent by McClellan to Stanton
which has become famous. The vindictive lunge, visibly aimed at the
secretary, was really designed, piercing this lesser functionary, to
reach the President. Even though written amid the strain and stress of
the most critical and anxious moment of the terrible "Seven Days," the
words were unpardonable. The letter is too long to be given in full, but
the closing sentences were:--

"I know that a few thousand more men would have changed this battle[25]
from a defeat to a victory. As it is, the government must not and cannot
hold me responsible for the result. I feel too earnestly to-night. I
have seen too many dead and wounded comrades to feel otherwise than that
the government has not sustained this army. If you do not do so now, the
game is lost. If I save this army now, I tell you plainly that I owe no
thanks to you or to any other persons in Washington. You have done your
best to sacrifice this army."[26] It was safe to write thus to Mr.
Lincoln, whose marvelous magnanimity was never soiled by a single act
of revenge; but the man who addressed such language to Stanton secured a
merciless and unscrupulous enemy forever.

Though, at the close of this appalling week, the troops at last were
conquerors on the banks of the James, they were in a position not
permanently tenable, and before they could rest they had to fall back
another march to Harrison's Landing. The rear guard reached this haven
on the night of July 3, and the army, thus at last safely placed and in
direct communication with the fleet and the transports, was able to
recuperate,[27] while those in authority considered of the future.
Certain facts were established: first, concerning the army,--that before
it met the baptism of heavy fighting it had been brought into a splendid
condition of drill and efficiency, and that by that baptism, so severe
and so long continued, it had come as near as volunteers could come to
the excellence of veterans and regulars; also that it was at least a
match for its opponents; and, finally, strange to say, it was very
slightly demoralized, would soon again be in condition for an advance,
and felt full confidence and strong affection for its commander.
Brilliant and enthusiastic tributes have been paid to these men for
their endurance amid disease and wounds and battle; but not one word too
much has been said. It is only cruel to think of the hideous price
which they had paid, and by which they had bought only the capacity to
endure further perils and hardship. Second, concerning McClellan; it was
to be admitted that his predictions as to points of strategy had been
fulfilled; that he had managed his retreat, or "change of base," with
skill, and had shown some qualities of high generalship; but it was also
evident that he was of a temperament so unenterprising and apprehensive
as to make him entirely useless in an offensive campaign. Yet the burden
of conducting a successful offense lay upon the North. Must Mr. Lincoln,
then, finally accept the opinion of those who had long since concluded
that McClellan was not the man for the place?

A collateral question was: What should be done next? McClellan,
tenacious and stubborn, was for persisting in the movement against Lee's
army and Richmond. He admitted no other thought than that, having paused
to gather reinforcements and to refresh his army, he should assume the
offensive, approaching the city by the south and southwest from the
James River base. Holding this purpose, he was impolitic in sending very
dolorous dispatches on July 4 and 7, intimating doubts as to his power
to maintain successfully even the defensive. Two or three days later,
however, he assumed a better tone; and on July 11 and 12 he reported
"all in fine spirits," and urged that his army should be "promptly
reinforced and thrown again upon Richmond. If we have a little more
than half a chance, we can take it." He continued throughout the month
to press these views by arguments which, though overruled at the time,
have since been more favorably regarded. Whether or not they were
correct is an item in the long legacy of questions left by the war to be
disputed over by posterity; in time, one side or the other may desist
from the discussion in weariness, but, from the nature of the case,
neither can be vanquished.

Whether McClellan was right or wrong, his prestige, fresh as it still
remained with his devoted troops, was utterly gone at Washington, where
the political host was almost a unit against him. The Committee on the
Conduct of the War had long been bitterly denouncing him; and he had so
abused the secretary of war that even the duplicity of Mr. Stanton was
unequal to the strain of maintaining an appearance of good
understanding. New military influences also fell into the same scale.
General Pope, the latest "favorite," now enjoying his few weeks of
authority, endeavored to make it clear to Mr. Lincoln that to bring
McClellan back from the Peninsula was the only safe and intelligent
course. Further, on July 11, President Lincoln appointed General Halleck
general-in-chief. It may be said, in passing, that the appointment
turned out to be a very bad mistake; for Halleck was as dull a man as
ever made use of grand opportunities only to prove his own
incompetence. Now, however, he came well recommended before Lincoln,
and amid novel responsibilities the merit of any man could only be known
by trial. Halleck did not arrive in Washington till near the end of the
month, then he seemed for a while in doubt, or to be upon both sides of
the question as to whether the army should be advanced or withdrawn; but
ultimately, in the contemptuous language of Mr. Swinton, he "added his
strident voice in favor of the withdrawal of the army from the
Peninsula." This settled the matter; for the President had decided to
place himself under the guidance of his new military mentor; and,
moreover, his endurance was worn out.

In the way of loyalty the President certainly owed nothing further to
the general. All such obligations he had exhaustively discharged. In
spite of the covert malicious suggestions and the direct injurious
charges which tortured the air of the White House and vexed his
judgment, he had sustained McClellan with a constancy which deserved
warm gratitude. This the general never gave, because he could never
forgive Mr. Lincoln for refusing to subordinate his own views to those
of such a military expert as himself. This point, it is true, Lincoln
never reached; but subject only to this independence of opinion and
action, so long as he retained McClellan in command, he fulfilled toward
him every requirement of honor and generosity. The movement across the
Peninsula, whatever construction might possibly be put upon it, seemed
in Washington a retreat, and was for the President a disappointment
weighty enough to have broken the spirit of a smaller man. Yet Lincoln,
instead of sacrificing McClellan as a scapegoat, sent to him on July 1
and 2 telegrams bidding him do his best in the emergency and save his
army, in which case the people would rally and repair all losses; "we
still have strength enough in the country and will bring it out," he
said,--words full of cheering resolution unshaded by a suspicion of
reproach, words which should have come like wine to the weary. The next
day, July 3, he sent a dispatch which even McClellan, in his formal
report, described as "kind:" "I am satisfied that yourself, officers,
and men have done the best you could. All accounts say better fighting
was never done. Ten thousand thanks for it." But when it came to
judgment and action the President could not alleviate duty with
kindness. To get information uncolored by passage through the minds of
others, he went down to Harrison's Landing on July 7, observed all that
he could see, and talked matters over. Prior to this visit it is
supposed that he had leaned towards McClellan's views, and had inclined
to renew the advance. Nor is it clearly apparent that he learned
anything during this trip which induced him to change his mind. Rather
it seems probable that he maintained his original opinion until General
Halleck had declared against it, and that then he yielded to General
Halleck as he had before yielded to General McClellan, though certainly
with much less reluctance. At the same time the question was not
considered wholly by itself, but was almost necessarily complicated with
the question of deposing McClellan from the command. For the
inconsistency of discrediting McClellan's military judgment and
retaining him at the head of the army was obvious.

Thus at last it came about that McClellan's plan lost its only remaining
friend, and on August 3 came the definite order for the removal of the
army across the Peninsula to Acquia Creek. The campaign against Richmond
was abandoned. McClellan could not express his indignation at a policy
"almost fatal to our cause;" but his strenuous remonstrances had no
effect; his influence had passed forever. The movement of the army was
successfully completed, the rear guard arriving at Yorktown on August
20. Thus the first great Peninsula campaign came to its end in
disappointment and almost in disaster, amid heart-burnings and
criminations. It was, says General Webb, "a lamentable failure,--nothing
less." There was little hope for the future unless some master hand
could control the discordant officials who filled the land with the din
of their quarreling. The burden lay upon the President. Fortunately his
good sense, his even judgment, his unexcitable temperament had saved him
from the appearance or the reality of partisanship and from any
entangling or compromising personal commitments.

In many ways and for many reasons, this story of the Peninsula has been
both difficult and painful to write. To reach the truth and sound
conclusions in the many quarrels which it has provoked is never easy,
and upon some points seems impossible; and neither the truth nor the
conclusions are often agreeable. Opinion and sympathy have gradually but
surely tended in condemnation of McClellan and in favor of Lincoln. The
evidence is conclusive that McClellan was vain, disrespectful, and
hopelessly blind to those non-military but very serious considerations
which should have been allowed to modify the purely scientific strategy
of the campaign. Also, though his military training was excellent, it
was his misfortune to be placed amid exigencies for which neither his
moral nor his mental qualities were adapted. Lincoln, on the other hand,
displayed traits of character not only in themselves rare and admirable,
but so fitted to the requirements of the times that many persons have
been tempted to conceive him to have been divinely led. But against this
view, though without derogating from the merits which induce it, is to
be set the fact that he made mistakes hardly consistent with the theory
of inspiration by Omniscience. He interfered in military matters; and,
being absolutely ignorant of military science, while the problems before
him were many and extremely perplexing, he blundered, and on at least
one occasion blundered very badly. After he has been given the benefit
of all the doubt which can be suggested concerning the questions which
he disposed of, the preponderance of expert authority shows a residuum
of substantial certainty against him. It is true that many civilian
writers have given their judgments in favor of the President's strategy,
with a tranquil assurance at least equal to that shown by the military
critics. But it seems hardly reasonable to suppose that Mr. Lincoln
became by mere instinct, and instantly, a master in the complex science
of war, and it is also highly improbable that in the military criticism
of this especial campaign, the civilians are generally right and the
military men are generally wrong. On the whole it is pleasanter as well
as more intelligent to throw out this foolish notion of miraculous
knowledge suddenly illuminating Mr. Lincoln with a thorough mastery of
the art of war. It is better not to believe that he became at once
endowed with acquirements which he had never had an opportunity to
attain, and rather to be content with holding him as a simple human
being like the rest of us, and so to credit our common humanity with the
inspiring excellence of the moral qualities displayed by him in those
months of indescribable trial.

How much of expectation had been staked upon that army of the Potomac!
All the Northern people for nearly a year kept their eyes fastened with
aching intensity upon it; good fortunes which befell elsewhere hardly
interrupted for a moment the absorption in it. The feeling was well
illustrated by the committee of Congress, which said that in the
history of this army was to be found all that was necessary for framing
a report on the Conduct of the War; and truly added that this army had
been "the object of special care to every department of the government."
It occurred to many who heard this language, that matters would have
gone better with the army if the political and civil departments had
been less lavish of care and attention. None the less the fact remained
that the interest and anticipation of the whole loyal part of the nation
were concentrated in the Virginia campaign. Correspondingly cruel was
the disappointment at its ultimate miscarriage. Probably, as a single
trial, it was the most severe that Mr. Lincoln ever suffered. Hope then
went through the painful process of being pruned by failure, and it was
never tortured by another equal mutilation. Moreover, the vastness of
the task, the awful cost of success, were now, for the first time,
appreciated. The responsibility of a ruler under so appalling a destiny
now descended with a weight that could never become greater upon the
shoulders of that lonely man in the White House. A solitary man, indeed,
he was, in a solitude impressive and painful to contemplate. Having none
of those unofficial counselors, those favorites, those privy confidants
and friends, from whom men in chief authority are so apt to seek relief,
Mr. Lincoln secretively held his most important thoughts in his own
mind, wrought out his conclusions by the toil of his own brain, carried
his entire burden wholly upon his own shoulders, and in every part and
way met the full responsibility of his office in and by himself alone.
It does not appear that he ever sought to be sustained or comforted or
encouraged amid disaster, that he ever endeavored to shift upon others
even the most trifling fragment of the load which rested upon himself;
and certainly he never desired that any one should ever be a sharer in
any ill repute attendant upon a real or supposed mistake. Silent as to
matters of deep import, self-sustained, facing alone all grave duties,
solving alone all difficult problems, and enduring alone all
consequences, he appears a man so isolated from his fellow men amid such
tests and trials, that one is filled with a sense of awe, almost beyond
sympathy, in the contemplation.


[4] This language was too vague to make known to us now what Sumner's
demand was; for one of the questions bitterly in dispute soon became:
what forces were properly to be regarded as available "for the defense
of the city."

[5] McClellan says that he offered to General Hitchcock, "who at that
time held staff relations with his excellency, the President, and the
secretary of war," to submit a list of troops, to be left for the
defense of Washington, with their positions; but Hitchcock replied that
McClellan's judgment was sufficient in the matter. McClellan's _Report_,
683. VOL. II.

[6] By letter to the adjutant-general, wherein he requested the
transmission of the information to the secretary of war. _Report of
Comm. on Conduct of the War_, ii. pt. i. 13. The addition in the
_Report_ is erroneous, being given as 54,456 instead of 55,456.

[7] See Comte de Paris, _Civil War in America_, i. 626, 627.

[8] See discussion by Swinton, _Army of Potomac_, 108 _et seq._

[9] Perhaps he was not justified in counting upon it with such apparent
assurance as he had done. Webb, _The Peninsula_, 37-42.

[10] General Webb says that this question is "the leading point of
dispute in the campaign and may never be satisfactorily set at rest."
But he also says: "To allow the general to remain in command, and then
cut off the very arm with which he was about to strike, we hold to have
been inexcusable and unmilitary to the last degree." Swinton condemns
the withholding McDowell (_Army of the Potomac_, 104), adding, with fine
magnanimity, that it is not necessary to impute any "really unworthy
motive" to Mr. Lincoln!

[11] It seems to me that military opinion, so far as I can get at it,
inclines to hold that the government, having let McClellan go to the
Peninsula with the expectation of McDowell's corps, ought to have sent
it to him, and not to have repaired its own oversight at his cost. But
this does not fully meet the position that, oversight or no oversight,
Peninsula-success or Peninsula-defeat, blame here or blame there, when
the President had reason to doubt the safety of the capital, he was
resolved, and rightly resolved, to put that safety beyond _possibility
of question_, by any means or at any cost. The truth is that to the end
of time one man will think one way, and another man will think another
way, concerning this unendable dispute.

[12] General Wool was in command at Fortress Monroe. It had been
originally arranged that General McClellan should draw 10,000 men from
him. But this was afterward countermanded. The paragraph in the
President's letter has reference to this.

[13] A slight obstruction by a battery at Drury's Bluff must have been
abandoned instantly upon the approach of a land force.

[14] Whose command had been added to McDowell's.

[15] Colonel Franklin Haven, who was on General McDowell's staff at the
time, is my authority for this statement. He well remembers the reason
given by Mr. Lincoln, and the extreme annoyance which the general and
his officers felt at the delay.

[16] "The expediency of the junction of this [McD.'s] large corps with
the principal army was manifest," says General Johnston. _Narr. 131._

[17] Jackson used to say: "Mystery, mystery, is the secret of success."

[18] The Comte de Paris is very severe, even to sarcasm, in his comments
on the President's orders to Banks (_Civil War in America_, ii. 35, 36,
and see 44); and Swinton, referring to the disposition of the armies,
which was well known to have been made by Mr. Lincoln's personal orders,
says: "One hardly wishes to inquire by whose crude and fatuous
inspiration these things were done." _Army of Potomac_, 123. Later
critics have not repeated such strong language, but have not taken
different views of the facts.

[19] Observe the tone of his two dispatches of May 25 to McClellan.
McClellan's _Report_, 100, 101.

[20] The Comte de Paris prefers to call it a "chimerical project."
_Civil War in America_, ii. 45. Swinton speaks of "the skill of the
Confederates and the folly of those who controlled the operations of the
Union armies." _Army of Potomac_, 122.

[21] Yet, if Fremont had not blundered, the result might have been
different. Comte de Paris, _Civil War in America_, ii. 47.

[22] The Third, under Heintzelman, and the Fourth, under Keyes.

[23] Even his admirer, Swinton, says that any possible course would have
been better than inaction. _Army of Potomac_, 140, 141.

[24] _The Peninsula_, 188. Swinton seems to regard it in the same light.
_Army of Potomac_, 147.

[25] Gaines's Mill, contested with superb courage and constancy by the
Fifth Corps, under Porter, against very heavy odds.

[26] McClellan's _Report_, 131, 132. See, also, his own comments on this
extraordinary dispatch; _Own Story_, 452. He anticipated, not without
reason, that he would be promptly removed. The Comte de Paris says that
the two closing sentences were suppressed by the War Department, when
the documents had to be laid before the Committee on the Conduct of the
War. _Civil War in America_, ii. 112. Another dispatch, hardly less
disrespectful, was sent on June 25. See McClellan's _Report_, 121.

[27] For a vivid description of the condition to which heat, marching,
fighting, and the unwholesome climate had reduced the men, see statement
of Comte de Paris, an eye-witness. _Civil War in America,_ ii. 130.



As it seems probable that Mr. Lincoln did not conclusively determine
against the plan of McClellan for renewing the advance upon Richmond by
way of Petersburg, until after General Halleck had thus decided, so it
is certain that afterward he allowed to Halleck a control almost wholly
free from interference on his own part. Did he, perchance, feel that a
lesson had been taught him, and did he think that those critics had not
been wholly wrong who had said that he had intermeddled ignorantly and
hurtfully in military matters? Be this as it might, it was in accordance
with the national character to turn the back sharply upon failure and
disappointment, and to make a wholly fresh start; and it was in
accordance with Lincoln's character to fall in with the popular feeling.
Yet if a fresh start was intrinsically advisable, or if it was made
necessary by circumstances, it was made in unfortunate company. One does
not think without chagrin that Grant, Sherman, Sheridan lurked
undiscovered among the officers at the West, while Halleck and Pope were
pulled forth to the light and set in the high places. Halleck was
hopelessly incompetent, and Pope was fit only for subordinate command;
and by any valuation which could reasonably be put upon McClellan, it
was absurd to turn him out in order to bring either of these men in. But
it was the experimental period. No man's qualities could be known except
by testing them; and these two men came before Lincoln with records
sufficiently good to entitle them to trial. The successes at the West
had naturally produced good opinions of the officers who had achieved
them, and among these officers John Pope had been as conspicuous as any
other. For this reason he was now, towards the close of June, 1862,
selected to command the "Army of Virginia," formed by uniting the corps
of Fremont, McDowell, and Banks.[28] Fremont resigned, in a pet at
having an officer who was his junior in the service placed over his
head; but he was no loss, since his impetuous temperament did not fit
him for the duties of a corps commander. He was succeeded by General
Sigel. The fusing of these independent commands, whose separate
existence had been a wasteful and jeopardizing error, was an excellent

General Pope remained in Washington a few weeks, in constant
consultation with the administration. How he impressed Lincoln one would
gladly know, but cannot. He had unlimited self-confidence, and he gave
it to be understood at once that he was a fighting man; but it showed an
astounding lack of tact upon his part that, in notifying the troops of
this, his distinguishing characteristic, he also intimated that it would
behoove them to turn over a new leaf now that he had come all the way
from the West in order to teach Eastern men how to win victories! The
manifesto which he issued has become famous by its folly; it was
arrogant, bombastic, little short of insulting to the soldiers of his
command, and laid down principles contrary to the established rules of
war. Yet it had good qualities, too; for it was designed to be
stimulating; it certainly meant fighting; and fortunately, though Pope
was not a great general, he was by no means devoid of military knowledge
and instincts, and he would not really have committed quite such
blunders as he marked out for himself in his rhetorical enthusiasm. On
the whole, however, the manifesto did harm; neither officers nor
soldiers were inclined to receive kindly a man who came presumably on
trial with the purpose of replacing McClellan, whom they loved with deep
loyalty; therefore they ridiculed part of his address and took offense
at the rest of it. Mr. Lincoln could hardly have been encouraged; but he
gave no sign.

On July 29 Pope left Washington and joined his army, near Culpepper. He
had not quite 45,000 men, and was watched by Jackson, who lay near
Gordonsville with a scant half of that number. On August 9 Banks was
pushed forward to Cedar Mountain, where he encountered Jackson and
attacked him. In "a hard-fought battle, fierce, obstinate, sanguinary,"
the Federals were worsted; and such consolation as the people got from
the gallantry of the troops was more than offset by the fact, which
became obvious so soon as the whole story was known, that our generals
ought to have avoided the engagement and were outgeneraled both in the
bringing it on and in the conducting it.

Greatly as Jackson was outnumbered by Pope, he could hope for no
reinforcements from Lee so long as McClellan, at Harrison's Landing,
threatened Richmond. But when gratifying indications showed the purpose
to withdraw the Northern army from the Peninsula the Southern general
ventured, August 13, to dispatch General Longstreet northward with a
strong force. Soon afterward he himself followed and took command. Then
for two or three days ensued a sharp matching of wits betwixt the two
generals. By one of those audacious plans which Lee could dare to make
when he had such a lieutenant as Jackson to carry it out, Jackson was
sent upon a rapid march by the northward, around the army of Pope, to
cut its communications. He did it brilliantly; but in doing it he
necessarily offered to Pope such an opportunity for fighting the
Southern forces in detail as is rarely given by a good general to an
adversary whom he fears. Pope would fain have availed himself of the
chance, and in the effort to do so he hurried his troops hither and
thither, mingled wise moves with foolish ones, confused his
subordinates, fatigued his men, and finally accomplished nothing.
Jackson retired safely from his dangerous position, rejoined the rest of
the Southern army, and then the united force had as its immediate
purpose to fight Pope before he could receive reinforcements from
McClellan's army, now rapidly coming forward by way of Washington. _E
converso_, Pope's course should have been to retire a day's march across
Bull Run and await the additional troops who could at once join him
there. Unfortunately, however, he still felt the sting of the ridicule
which his ill-starred manifesto had called forth, and was further
irritated by the unsatisfactory record of the past few days, and
therefore was in no temper to fall back. So he did not, but stayed and
fought what is known as the second battle of Bull Run. In the conflict
his worn-out men showed such constancy that the slaughter on both sides
was great. Again, however, the bravery of the rank and file was the only
feature which the country could contemplate without indignation. The
army was beaten; and retired during the evening of August 30 to a safe
position at Centreville, whither it should have been taken without loss
two days earlier.[29] Thus was fulfilled, with only a trifling
inaccuracy in point of time, the prediction made by McClellan on August
10, that "Pope will be badly thrashed within ten days."[30]

In all this manoeuvring and fighting the commanding general had shown
some capacity, but very much less than was indispensable in a commander
who had to meet the generals of the South. Forthwith, also, there broke
out a series of demoralizing quarrels among the principal officers as to
what orders had been given and received, and whether or not they had
been understood or misunderstood, obeyed or disobeyed. Also the enemies
of General McClellan tried to lay upon him the whole responsibility for
the disaster, on the ground that he had been dilatory, first, in moving
his army from Harrison's Landing, and afterward, in sending his troops
forward to join Pope; whereas, they said, if he had acted promptly, the
Northern army would have been too strong to have been defeated,
regardless of any incompetence in the handling of it. Concerning the
former charge, it may be said that dispatches had flown to and fro
between Halleck and McClellan like bullets between implacable duelists;
Halleck ordered the army to be transported, and McClellan retorted that
he was given no transports; it is a dispute which cannot be discussed
here. Concerning the other charge, it was also true that the same two
generals had been for some days exchanging telegrams, but had been
entirely unable to understand each other. Whose fault it was cannot
easily be determined. The English language was giving our generals
almost as much trouble as were the Southerners at this time; so that in
a few short weeks material for endless discussion was furnished by the
orders, telegrams, and replies which were bandied between Pope and
Porter, McClellan and Halleck. A large part of the history of the period
consists of the critical analysis and construing of these documents.
What did each in fact mean? What did the writer intend it to mean? What
did the recipient understand it to 'mean? Did the writer make his
meaning sufficiently clear? Was the recipient justified in his
interpretation? Historians have discussed these problems as theologians
have discussed puzzling texts of the New Testament, with not less
acerbity and with no more conclusive results. Unquestionably the
capacity to write two or three dozen consecutive words so as to
constitute a plain, straightforward sentence would have been for the
moment a valuable adjunct to military learning.

The news of the defeat brought dismay, but not quite a panic, to the
authorities in Washington. In fact, there was no immediate danger for
the capital. The army from the Peninsula was by this time distributed at
various points in the immediate neighborhood; and a force could be
promptly brought together which would so outnumber the Confederate army
as to be invincible. Yet the situation demanded immediate and vigorous
action. Some hand must seize the helm at once, and Pope's hand would not
do; so much at least was entirely certain. He had been given his own
way, without interference on the part of President or secretary, and he
had been beaten; he was discredited before the country and the army;
nothing useful could now be done with him. Halleck was utterly
demoralized, and was actually reduced to telegraphing to McClellan: "I
beg of you to assist me, in this crisis, with your ability and
experience." It was the moment for a master to take control, and the
President met the occasion. There was only one thing to be done, and
circumstances were such that not only must that thing be done by him,
but also it must be done by him in direct opposition to the strenuous
insistence of all his official and most of his self-constituted
advisers. It was necessary to reinstate McClellan.

It was a little humiliating to be driven to this step. McClellan had
lately been kept at Alexandria with no duty save daily to disintegrate
his own army by sending off to Washington and to the camp of his own
probable successor division after division of the troops whom he had so
long commanded. Greatly mortified, he had begged at least to be
"permitted to go to the scene of battle." But he was ignored, as if he
were no longer of any consequence whatsoever. In plain truth it was made
perfectly obvious to him and to all the world that if General Pope could
win a victory the administration had done with General McClellan. Mr.
Lincoln described the process as a "snubbing." Naturally those who were
known to be the chief promoters of this "snubbing," and to have been
highly gratified by it, now looked ruefully on the evident necessity of
suddenly cutting it short, and requesting the snubbed individual to
assume the role of their rescuer. McClellan's more prominent enemies
could not and would not agree to this. Three members of the cabinet even
went so far as formally to put in writing their protest against
restoring him to the command of any army at all; while Stanton actually
tried to frighten the President by a petty threat of personal
consequences. But this was foolish. The crisis was of the kind which
induced Mr. Lincoln to exercise power, decisively. On this occasion his
impersonal, unimpassioned temperament left his judgment free to work
with evenness and clearness amid the whirl of momentous events and the
clash of angry tongues. No one could say that he had been a partisan
either for or against McClellan, and his wise reticence in the past gave
him in the present the privilege of untrammeled action. So he settled
the matter at once by ordering that McClellan should have command
within the defenses of Washington.

By this act the President gave extreme offense to the numerous and
strenuous band with whom hatred of the Democratic general had become a
sort of religion; and upon this occasion even Messrs. Nicolay and Hay
seem more inclined to apologize for their idol than to defend him. In
point of fact, nothing can be more misplaced than either apology or
defense, except criticism. Mr. Lincoln could have done no wiser thing.
He was simply setting in charge of the immediate business the man who
could do that especial business best. It was not a question of a battle
or a campaign, neither of which was for the moment imminent; but it was
a question of reorganizing masses of disorganized troops and getting
them into shape for battles and campaigns in the future. Only the
intensity of hatred could make any man blind to McClellan's capacity for
such work; and what he might be for other work was a matter of no
consequence just now. Lincoln simply applied to the instant need the
most effective help, without looking far afield to study remote
consequences. Two remarks, said to have been made by him at this time,
indicate his accurate appreciation of the occasion and the man: "There
is no one in the army who can man these fortifications and lick these
troops of ours into shape half so well as he can." "We must use the
tools we have; if he cannot fight himself, he excels in making others
ready to fight."

On September 1 Halleck verbally instructed McClellan to take command of
the defenses of Washington, defining this to mean strictly "the works
and their garrisons." McClellan says that later on the same day he had
an interview with the President, in which the President said that he had
"always been a friend" of the general, and asked as a favor that the
general would request his personal friends among the principal officers
of the army to give to General Pope a more sincere and hearty support
than they were supposed to be actually rendering.[31] On the morning of
September 2, McClellan says, "The President informed me that Colonel
Keelton had returned from the front; that our affairs were in a bad
condition; that the army was in full retreat upon the defenses of
Washington, the roads filled with stragglers, etc. He instructed me to
take steps at once to stop and collect the stragglers; place the works
in a proper state of defense, and go out to meet and take command of the
army, when it approached the vicinity of the works, then to place the
troops in the best position,--committing everything to my hands." By
this evidence, Mr. Lincoln intrusted the fate of the country and with it
his own reputation absolutely to the keeping of McClellan.

McClellan was in his element in fusing into unity the disjointed
fragments of armies which lay about in Virginia like scattered ruins.
His bitterest tractors have never denied him the gift of organization,
and admit that he did excellent service just now for a few days. But
circumstances soon extended his field of action, and gave detraction
fresh opportunities. General Lee, in a bold and enterprising mood,
perhaps attributable to the encouraging inefficiency of his Northern
opponents, moved up the banks of the Potomac and threatened an irruption
into Maryland and even Pennsylvania. It was absolutely necessary to
watch and, at the right moment, to fight him. For this purpose McClellan
was ordered to move along the north bank of the river, but under strict
injunctions at first to go slowly and cautiously and not to uncover
Washington. For General Halleck had not fully recovered his nerve, and
was still much disquieted, especially concerning the capital. Thus the
armies drew slowly near each other, McClellan creeping forward, as he
had been bidden, while Lee, with his usual energy, seemed able to do
with a thousand men more than any Northern general could do with thrice
as many, and ran with exasperating impunity those audacious risks which,
where they cannot be attributed to ignorance on the part of a commander,
indicate contempt for his opponent. This feeling, if he had it, must
have received agreeable corroboration from the clumsy way in which the
Federals just at this time lost Harper's Ferry, with General Miles's
garrison. The Southern troops, who had been detailed against it, rapidly
rejoined General Lee's army; and again the people saw that the South
had outmarched and outgeneraled the North.

With all his troops together, Lee was now ready to fight at the
convenience or the pleasure of McClellan, who seemed chivalrously to
have deferred his attack until his opponent should be prepared for it!
The armies were in presence of each other near where the Antietam
empties into the Potomac, and here, September 17, the bloody conflict
took place.

The battle of Antietam has usually been called a Northern victory. Both
the right and the left wings of the Northern army succeeded in seizing
advanced positions and in holding them at the end of the fight; and Lee
retreated to the southward, though it is true that before doing so he
lingered a day and gave to his enemy a chance, which was not used, to
renew the battle. His position was obviously untenable in the face of an
outnumbering host. But though upon the strength of these facts a victory
could be claimed with logical propriety, yet the President and the
country were, and had a right to be, indignant at the very
unsatisfactory proportion of the result to the means. Shortly before the
battle McClellan's troops, upon the return to them of the commander whom
they idolized, had given him a soul-stirring reception, proving the
spirit and confidence with which they would fight under his orders; and
they went into the fight in the best possible temper and condition. On
the day of the battle the Northern troops outnumbered the Southerners
by nearly two to one; in fact, the Southern generals, in their reports,
insisted that they had been simply overwhelmed by enormous odds against
which it was a marvel of gallantry for their men to stand at all. The
plain truth was that in the first place, by backwardness in bringing on
the battle, McClellan had left Lee to effect a concentration of forces
which ought never to have been permitted. Next, the battle itself had
not been especially well handled, though perhaps this was due rather to
the lack of his personal attention during its progress than to errors in
his plan. Finally, his failure, with so large an army, of which a part
at least was entirely fresh, to pursue and perhaps even to destroy the
reduced and worn-out Confederate force seemed inexplicable and was

The South could never be conquered in this way. It had happened, on
September 12, that President Lincoln heard news apparently indicating
the withdrawal of Lee across the Potomac. He had at once sent it forward
to McClellan, adding: "Do not let him get off without being hurt." Three
days later, he telegraphed: "Destroy the rebel army if possible." But
McClellan had been too self-restrained in his obedience. He had, indeed,
hurt Lee, but he had been very careful not to hurt him too much; and as
for destroying the rebel army, he seemed unwilling to enter so lightly
on so stupendous an enterprise. The administration and the country
expected, and perfectly fairly expected, to see a hot pursuit of
General Lee. They were disappointed; they saw no such thing, but only
saw McClellan holding his army as quiescent as if there was nothing more
to be done, and declaring that it was in no condition to move!

It was intolerably provoking, unintelligible, and ridiculous that a
ragged, ill-shod, overworked, under-fed, and beaten body of Southerners
should be able to retreat faster than a great, fresh, well-fed,
well-equipped, and victorious body of Northerners could follow. Jackson
said that the Northern armies were, kept in too good condition; and
declared that he could whip any army which marched with herds of cattle
behind it. But the North preferred, and justly, to attribute the
inefficiency of their troops to the unfortunate temperament of the
commander. Mr. Lincoln looked at the unsatisfactory spectacle and held
his hand as long as he could, dreading perhaps again to seem too forward
in assuming control of military affairs. Patience, however, could not
endure forever, nor common sense be always subservient to technical
science. Accordingly, on October 6, he ordered McClellan to cross the
Potomac, and either to "give battle to the enemy, or to drive him
south." McClellan paid no attention to the order. Four days later the
Confederate general, Stuart, with 2000 cavalry and a battery, crossed
into Maryland and made a tour around the Northern army, with the same
insolent success which had attended his like enterprise on the
Peninsula. On October 13 the President wrote to McClellan a letter, so
admirable both in temper and in the soundness of its suggestions that it
should be given entire:--

"MY DEAR SIR,--You remember my speaking to you of what I called your
over-cautiousness. Are you not over-cautious when you assume that you
cannot do what the enemy is constantly doing? Should you not claim to be
at least his equal in prowess, and act upon the claim?

"As I understand, you telegraphed General Halleck that you cannot
subsist your army at Winchester, unless the railroad from Harper's Ferry
to that point be put in working order. But the enemy does now subsist
his army at Winchester at a distance nearly twice as great from railroad
transportation as you would have to do without the railroad last named.
He now wagons from Culpepper Court House, which is just about twice as
far as you would have to do from Harper's Ferry. He is certainly not
more than half as well provided with wagons as you are. I certainly
should be pleased for you to have the advantage of the railroad from
Harper's Ferry to Winchester; but it wastes all the remainder of autumn
to give it to you, and, in fact, ignores the question of _time_, which
cannot and must not be ignored.

"Again, one of the standard maxims of war, as you know, is 'to operate
upon the enemy's communications as much as possible without exposing
your own.' You seem to act as if this applies _against_ you, but cannot
apply in your _favor_. Change positions with the enemy, and think you
not he would break your communication with Richmond within the next
twenty-four hours? You dread his going into Pennsylvania. But if he does
so in full force, he gives up his communication to you absolutely, and
you have nothing to do but to follow and ruin him; if he does so with
less than full force, fall upon and beat what is left behind, all the

"Exclusive of the water line, you are now nearer Richmond than the enemy
is, by the route that you _can_, and he _must_ take. Why can you not
reach there before him, unless you admit that he is more than your equal
on a march? His route is the arc of a circle, while yours is the chord.
The roads are as good on yours as on his.

"You know I desired, but did not order you, to cross the Potomac below,
instead of above, the Shenandoah and Blue Ridge. The idea was that this
would at once menace the enemy's communications, which I would seize, if
he would permit. If he should move northward, I would follow him
closely, holding his communications. If he should prevent our seizing
his communications, and move towards Richmond, I would press closely to
him, fight him if a favorable opportunity should present, and at least
try to beat him to Richmond on the inside track. I say, try; if we never
try, we shall never succeed. If he makes a stand at Winchester, moving
neither north nor south, I would fight him there, on the idea that if
we cannot beat him when he bears the wastage of coming to us, we never
can when we bear the wastage of going to him. This proposition is a
simple truth, and is too important to be lost sight of for a moment. In
coming to us, he tenders us an advantage which we should not waive. We
should not so operate as to merely drive him away. As we must beat him
somewhere, or fail finally, we can do it, if at all, easier near to us
than far away. If we cannot beat the enemy where he now is, we never
can, he again being within the intrenchments of Richmond.

"Recurring to the idea of going to Richmond on the inside track, the
facility for supplying from the side away from the enemy is remarkable,
as it were by the different spokes of a wheel extending from the hub
towards the rim; and this, whether you moved directly by the chord or on
the inside arc, hugging the Blue Ridge more closely. The chord line, as
you see, carries you by Aldie, Haymarket, and Fredericksburg, and you
see how turnpikes, railroads, and finally the Potomac, by Acquia Creek,
meet you at all points from Washington. The same, only the lines
lengthened a little, if you press closer to the Blue Ridge part of the
way. The Gaps through the Blue Ridge, I understand to be about the
following distances from Harper's Ferry, to wit: Vestala, five miles;
Gregory's, thirteen; Snicker's, eighteen; Ashby's, twenty-eight;
Manassas, thirty-eight; Chester, forty-five; and Thornton's,
fifty-three. I should think it preferable to take the route nearest the
enemy, disabling him to make an important move without your knowledge,
and compelling him to keep his forces together for dread of you. The
Gaps would enable you to attack if you should wish. For a great part of
the way you would be practically between the enemy and both Washington
and Richmond, enabling us to spare you the greatest number of troops
from here. When, at length, running for Richmond ahead of him enables
him to move this way, if he does so, turn and attack him in rear. But I
think he should be engaged long before such point is reached. It is all
easy if our troops march as well as the enemy, and it is unmanly to say
they cannot do it. This letter is in no sense an order."

A general who failed to respond to such a spur as this was not the man
for offensive warfare; and McClellan did not respond. Movement was as
odious to him now as it ever had been, and by talking about shoes and
overcoats, and by other dilatory pleas, he extended his delay until the
close of the month. It was actually the second day of November before
his army crossed the Potomac. Another winter of inaction seemed about to
begin. It was simply unendurable. Though it was true that he had
reorganized the army with splendid energy and skill, and had shown to
the Northern soldiers in Virginia the strange and cheerful spectacle of
the backs of General Lee's soldiers, yet it became a settled fact that
he must give place to some new man. He and Pope were to be succeeded by
a third experiment. Therefore, on November 5, 1862, the President
ordered General McClellan to turn over the command of the army to
General Burnside; and on November 7 this was done.

This action, taken just at this time, called forth a much more severe
criticism than would have attended it if the removal had been made
simultaneously with the withdrawal from the Peninsula. By what motive
was Mr. Lincoln influenced? Not very often is the most eager search
rewarded by the sure discovery of his opinions about persons. From what
we know that he did, we try to infer why he did it, and we gropingly
endeavor to apportion the several measures of influence between those
motives which we choose to put by our conjecture into his mind; and
after our toilful scrutiny is over we remain painfully conscious of the
greatness of the chance that we have scarcely even approached the truth.
Neither diary nor letters guide us; naught save reports of occasional
pithy, pointed, pregnant remarks, evidence the most dubious, liable to
be colored by the medium of the predilections of the hearer, and to be
reshaped and misshaped by time, and by attrition in passing through many
mouths. The President was often in a chatting mood, and then seemed not
remote from his companion. Yet while this was the visible manifestation
on the surface, he was the most reticent of men as to grave questions,
and no confidant often heard his inmost thoughts. Especially it would
be difficult to name an instance in which he told one man what he
thought of another; a trifling criticism concerning some single trait
was the utmost that he ever allowed to escape him; a full and careful
estimate, never.

Such reflections come with peculiar force at this period in his career.
What would not one give for his estimate of McClellan! It would be worth
the whole great collection of characters sketched by innumerable friends
and enemies for that much-discussed general. While others think that
they know accurately the measure of McClellan's real value and
usefulness, Lincoln really knew these things; but he never told his
knowledge. We only see that he sustained McClellan for a long while in
the face of vehement aspersions; yet that he never fully subjected his
own convictions to the educational lectures of the general, and that he
seemed at last willing to see him laid aside; then immediately in a
crisis restored him to authority in spite of all opposition; and shortly
afterward, as if utterly weary of him, definitively displaced him.
Still, all these facts do not show what Lincoln thought of McClellan.
Many motives besides his opinion of the man may have influenced him. The
pressure of political opinion and of public feeling was very great, and
might have turned him far aside from the course he would have pursued if
it could have been neglected. Also other considerations have been
suggested as likely to have weighed with him,--that McClellan could do
with the army what no other man could do, because of the intense
devotion of both officers and men to him; and that an indignity offered
to McClellan might swell the dissatisfaction of the Northern Democracy
to a point at which it would seriously embarrass the administration.
These things may have counteracted, or may have corroborated, Mr.
Lincoln's views concerning the man himself. He was an extraordinary
judge of men in their relationship to affairs; moreover, of all the men
of note of that time he alone was wholly dispassionate and non-partisan.
Opinions tinctured with prejudices are countless; it is disappointing
that the one opinion that was free from prejudice is unknown.[32]


[28] The consolidation, and the assignment of Pope to the command, bore
date June 26, 1862.

[29] This campaign of General Pope has been the topic of very bitter
controversy and crimination. In my brief account I have eschewed the
view of Messrs. Nicolay and Hay, who seem to me if I may say it, to have
written with the single-minded purpose of throwing everybody's blunders
into the scale against McClellan, and I have adopted the view of Mr.
John C. Ropes in his volume on _The Army under Pope_, in the Campaigns
of the Civil War Series. In his writing it is impossible to detect
personal prejudice, for or against any one; and his account is so clear
and convincing that it must be accepted, whether one likes his
conclusions or not.

[30] _Own Story_, 466.

[31] Pope retained for a few days command of the army in camp outside
the defenses.

[32] McClure says: "I saw Lincoln many times during the campaign of
1864, when McClellan was his competitor for the presidency. I never
heard him speak of McClellan in any other than terms of the highest
personal respect and kindness." _Lincoln and Men of War-Times_, 207.



The chapter which has been written on "Emancipation and Politics" shows
that while loyalty to the Union operated as a bond to hold together the
people of the North, slavery entered as a wedge to force them asunder.
It was not long before the wedge proved a more powerful force than the
bond, for the wedge was driven home by human nature; and it was
inevitable that the men of conservative temperament and the men of
progressive temperament should erelong be easily restored to their
instinctive antagonism. Of those who had been stigmatized as "Northern
men with Southern principles," many soon found their Southern
proclivities reviving. These men, christened "Copperheads," became more
odious to loyal Northerners than were the avowed Secessionists. In
return for their venomous nickname and the contempt and hatred with
which they were treated, they themselves grew steadily more rancorous,
more extreme in their feelings. They denounced and opposed every measure
of the government, harangued vehemently against the war and against all
that was done to prosecute it, reviled with scurrilous and passionate
abuse every prominent Republican, filled the air with disheartening
forecasts of defeat, ruin, and woe, and triumphed whenever the miserable
prophecies seemed in the way of fulfillment. General Grant truly
described them as auxiliaries to the Confederate army, and said that the
North would have been much better off with a hundred thousand of these
men in the Southern ranks, and the rest of their kind at home thoroughly
subdued, as the Unionists were at the South, than was the case as the
struggle was actually conducted. In time the administration found itself
forced, though reluctantly, to arrest and imprison many of the
ringleaders in this Northern disaffection. Yet all the while the
Copperheads resolutely maintained their affiliations with the Democratic
party, and though they brought upon it much discredit which it did not
deserve, yet they could not easily be ejected from it. Differences of
opinion shaded into each other so gradually that to establish a line of
division was difficult.

Impinging upon Copperheadism stood the much more numerous body of those
who persistently asserted their patriotism, but with equal persistence
criticised severely all the measures of the government. These men
belonged to that well-known class which is happily described as being
"for the law, but ag'in the enforcement of it." They were for the Union,
but against saving it. They kept up a disapproving headshaking over
pretty much everything that the President did. With much grandiloquent
argument, in the stately, old-school style, they bemoaned the breaches
which they charged him with making in the Constitution. They also hotly
assumed the role of champions of General McClellan, and bewailed the
imbecility of an administration which thwarted and deposed him.
Protesting the purest and highest patriotism, they were more evasive
than the outspoken Copperheads, and as their disaffection was less
conspicuous and offensive, so also it was more insidious and almost
equally hurtful. They constituted the true and proper body of Democracy.

In a fellowship, which really ought not to have existed, with these
obstructionists, was the powerful and respectable body of war Democrats.
These men maintained a stubborn loyalty to the old party, but prided
themselves upon being as hearty and thorough-going war-men as any among
the Republicans. A large proportion of the most distinguished generals,
of the best regimental officers, of the most faithful soldiers in the
field, were of this political faith. The only criticism that Republicans
could reasonably pass upon them was, that they did not, in a political
way, strengthen the hands of the government, that they would not uphold
its authority by swelling its majorities, nor aid its prestige by giving
it their good words.

Over against this Democracy, with its two very discordant wings, was
arrayed the Republican party, which also was disturbed by the ill-will
of those who should have been its allies; for while the moderate
Abolitionists generally sustained the President, though only imperfectly
satisfied with him, the extreme Abolitionists refused to be so
reasonable. They were a very provoking body of pure moralists. They
worried the President, condemned his policy, divided the counsels of the
government, and introduced injurious personal enmities and partisanship
with reckless disregard of probable consequences. To a considerable
extent they had the same practical effect as if they had been avowed
opponents of the Republican President. They wished immediately to place
the war upon the footing of a crusade for the abolition of slavery.
Among them were old-time Abolitionists, with whom this purpose was a
religion, men who had hoped to see Seward the Republican President, and
who said that Lincoln's friends in the nominating convention had
represented a "superficial and only half-hearted Republicanism." Beside
these men, though actuated by very different and much less honorable
motives, stood many recruits, some even from the Democracy, who were so
vindictive against the South that they desired to inflict abolition as a

All these critics and dissatisfied persons soon began to speak with
severity, and sometimes with contempt, against the President. He had
said that the war was for the Union; but they scornfully retorted that
this was to reduce it to "a mere sectional strife for ascendency;" that
"a Union, with slavery spared and reinstated, would not be worth the
cost of saving it." It was true that to save the Union, without also
removing the cause of disunion, might not be worth a very great price;
yet both Union and abolition were in serious danger of being thrown away
forever by these impetuous men who desired to pluck the fruit before it
was ripe, or rather declared it to be ripe because they so wanted to
pluck it.

It is not, here and now, a question of the merits and the usefulness of
these men; undoubtedly their uncompromising ardor could not have been
dispensed with in the great anti-slavery struggle; it was what the steam
is to the engine, and if the motive power had been absent no one can say
how long the United States might have lain dormant as a slave-country.
But the question is of their present attitude and of its influence and
effect in the immediate affairs of the government. Their demand was for
an instant and sweeping proclamation of emancipation; and they were
angry and denunciatory against the President because he would not give
it to them. Of course, by their ceaseless assaults they hampered him and
weakened his hands very seriously. It was as an exercise of the
President's war-power that they demanded the proclamation; and the
difficulty in the way of it was that Mr. Lincoln felt, and the great
majority of Northern men were positive in the opinion, that such a
proclamation at this time would not be an honest and genuine exercise of
the war-power, that it would be only falsely and colorably so called,
and that in real truth it would be a deliberate and arbitrary change of
the war from a contest for Union to a contest for abolition. Mr. Lincoln
could not _make_ it a war measure merely by _calling_ it so; it was no
mere matter of political christening, but distinctly a very grave and
substantial question of fact. It may be suspected that very many even of
the Abolitionists themselves, had they spoken the innermost conviction
of their minds, would have admitted that the character of the measure as
a wise military transaction, pure and simple, was very dubious. It was
certain that every one else in all the country which still was or ever
had been the United States would regard it as an informal and misnamed
but real change of base for the whole war. No preamble, no _Whereas_, in
Mr. Lincoln's proclamation, reciting as a fact and a motive that which
he would have known, and ninety-nine out of every hundred loyal men
would have believed, not to be the true fact and motive, could make the
rest of his proclamation lawful, or his act that of an honest ruler.
Accordingly no pressure could drive him to the step; he preferred to
endure, and long did endure, the abuse of the extreme Abolitionists, and
all the mischief which their hostility could inflict upon his
administration. Yet, in truth, there was not in the North an
Abolitionist who thought worse of the institution of slavery than did
the man who had repeatedly declared it to be "a moral, a social, and a
political evil." Referring to these times, and the behavior of the
Abolitionists, he afterward wrote:[33]--

"I am naturally anti-slavery. If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong.
I cannot remember when I did not so think and feel, and yet I have never
understood that the presidency conferred upon me an unrestricted right
to act officially upon this judgment and feeling. It was in the oath I
took that I would, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and
defend the Constitution of the United States. I could not take the
office without taking the oath. Nor was it my view that I might take an
oath to get power, and break the oath in using the power. I understood,
too, that in ordinary civil administration this oath even forbade me to
practically indulge my primary abstract judgment on the moral question
of slavery. I had publicly declared this many times, and in many ways.
And I aver that, to this day, I have done no official act in mere
deference to my abstract judgment and feeling on slavery. I did
understand, however, that my oath to preserve the Constitution to the
best of my ability imposed upon me the duty of preserving, by every
indispensable means, that government,--that nation, of which that
Constitution was the organic law. Was it possible to lose the nation and
yet preserve the Constitution? By general law, life and limb must be
protected, yet often a limb must be amputated to save a life; but a
life is never wisely given to save a limb. I felt that measures,
otherwise unconstitutional, might become lawful by becoming
indispensable to the preservation of the Constitution through the
preservation of the nation. Right or wrong, I assumed this ground, and
now avow it. I could not feel that, to the best of my ability, I had
even tried to preserve the Constitution, if, to save slavery or any
minor matter, I should permit the wreck of government, country, and
Constitution all together. When, early in the war, General Fremont
attempted military emancipation, I forbade it, because I did not then
think it an indispensable necessity. When, a little later, General
Cameron, then secretary of war, suggested the arming of the blacks, I
objected because I did not yet think it an indispensable necessity.
When, still later, General Hunter attempted military emancipation, I
again forbade it, because I did not yet think the indispensable
necessity had come."

None could deny that the North could abolish slavery in the South only
by beating the South in the pending war. Therefore, by his duty as
President of the Union and by his wishes as an anti-slavery man, Mr.
Lincoln was equally held to win this fight. Differing in opinion from
the Abolitionists, he believed that to turn it, at an early stage, into
a war for abolition rather than to leave it a war for the Union would be
to destroy all hope of winning. The step would alienate great numbers at
the North. The "American Society for promoting National Unity" had
lately declared that emancipation "would be rebellion against Providence
and destruction to the colored race in our land;" and it was certain
that this feeling was still widely prevalent in the loyal States. In
July, 1862, General McClellan said, warningly, that a declaration of
radical views on the slavery question would rapidly disintegrate and
destroy the Union armies. Finally, it seemed hardly doubtful that fatal
defections would take place in the Border States, even if they should
not formally go over to the Confederacy. No man saw the value of those
Border States as Mr. Lincoln did. To save or to lose them was probably
to save or lose the war; to lose them and the war was to establish a
powerful slave empire. Where did abolition come in among these events?
It was not there!

[Illustration: Simon Cameron]

Painfully, therefore, untiringly, with all the skill and tact in his
power, Mr. Lincoln struggled to hold those invaluable, crucial States.
His "border-state policy" soon came to be discussed as the most
interesting topic of which men could talk wherever they came together.
Savage were the maledictions which emancipationists uttered against it,
and the intensity of their feeling is indicated by the fact that, though
that policy was carried out, and though the nation, in due time,
gathered the ripe and perfect fruit of it both in the integrity of the
country and the abolition of slavery, yet even at the present day many
old opponents of President Lincoln, survivors of the Thirty-seventh
Congress, remain unshaken in the faith that his famous policy was "a
cruel and fatal mistake."

By the summer of 1862 the opinions and the action of Mr. Lincoln in all
these matters had brought him into poor standing in the estimation of
many Republicans. The great majority of the politicians of the party and
sundry newspaper editors, that is to say, those persons who chiefly make
the noise and the show before the world, were busily engaged in
condemning his policy. The headquarters of this disaffection were in
Washington. It had one convert even within the cabinet, where the
secretary of the treasury was thoroughly infected with the notion that
the President was fatally inefficient, laggard, and unequal to the
occasion. The feeling was also especially rife in congressional circles.
Mr. Julian, than whom there can be no better witness, says: "No one at a
distance could have formed any adequate conception of the hostility of
Republican members toward Mr. Lincoln at the final adjournment [the
middle of July], while it was the belief of many that our last session
of Congress had been held in Washington. Mr. Wade said the country was
going to hell, and that the scenes witnessed in the French Revolution
were nothing in comparison with what we should see here." If most of the
people at the North had not had heads more cool and sensible than was
the one which rested upon the shoulders of the ardent "Ben" Wade, the
alarming prediction of that lively spokesman might have been fulfilled.
Fortunately, however, as Mr. Julian admits, "the feeling in Congress was
far more intense than [it was] throughout the country." The experienced
denizens of the large Northern cities read in a critical temper the
tirades of journalist critics, who assumed to know everything. The
population of the small towns and the village neighborhoods, though a
little bewildered by the echoes of denunciation which reached them from
the national capital, yet by instinct, or by a divine guidance, held
fast to their faith in their President. Thus the rank and file of the
Republican party refused to follow the field officers in a revolt
against the general. No better fortune ever befell this very fortunate
nation. If the anti-slavery extremists had been able to reinforce their
own pressure by the ponderous impact of the popular will, and so had
pushed the President from his "border-state policy" and from his general
scheme of advancing only very cautiously along the anti-slavery line, it
is hardly conceivable either that the Union would have been saved or
that slavery would have been destroyed.

On August 19, 1862, the good, impulsive, impractical Horace Greeley
published in his newspaper, the New York "Tribune," an address to the
President, to which he gave an awe-inspiring title, "The Prayer of
20,000,000 of People." It was an extremely foolish paper, and its title,
like other parts of it, was false. Only those persons who were agitators
for immediate emancipation could say amen to this mad prayer, and they
were far from being even a large percentage of "20,000,000 of people."
Yet these men, being active missionaries and loud preachers in behalf of
a measure in which they had perfect faith, made a show and exerted an
influence disproportioned to their numbers. Therefore their prayer,[34]
though laden with blunders of fact and reasoning, fairly expressed
malcontent Republicanism. Moreover, multitudes who could not quite join
in the prayer would read it and would be moved by it. The influence of
the "Tribune" was enormous. Colonel McClure truly says that by means of
it Mr. Greeley "reached the very heart of the Republican party in every
State in the Union;" and perhaps he does not greatly exaggerate when he
adds that through this same line of connection the great Republican
editor "was in closer touch with the active loyal sentiment of the
people than [was] even the President himself." For these reasons it
seemed to Mr. Lincoln worth while to make a response to an assault
which, if left unanswered, must seriously embarrass the administration.
He therefore wrote:--

"DEAR SIR,--I have just read yours of the 19th instant, addressed to
myself through the New York 'Tribune.'

"If there be in it any statements or assumptions of fact which I may
know to be erroneous, I do not now and here controvert them.

"If there be any inferences which I believe to be falsely drawn, I do
not now and here argue against them.

"If there be perceptible in it an impatient and dictatorial tone, I
waive it in deference to an old friend, whose heart I have always
supposed to be right.

"As to the policy 'I seem to be pursuing,' as you say, I have not meant
to leave any one in doubt. I would save the Union. I would save it in
the shortest way under the Constitution.

"The sooner the national authority can be restored, the nearer the Union
will be,--the Union as it was.

"If there be those who would not save the Union, unless they could at
the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them.

"If there be those who would not save the Union, unless they could at
the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them.

"_My paramount object is to save the Union, and not either to save or
destroy slavery_.

"If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it.
And if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it. And if
I could save it by freeing some, and leaving others alone, I would also
do that.

"What I do about slavery and the colored race, I do because I believe it
helps to save the Union, and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not
believe it would help to save the Union.

"I shall do less whenever I believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and
shall do more whenever I believe doing more will help the cause.

"I shall try to correct errors when shown to be errors, and I shall
adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be true views.

"I have here stated my purpose, according to my view of official duty,
and I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish, that all
men everywhere could be free."

This reply, placing the Union before all else, did "more to steady the
loyal sentiment of the country in a very grave emergency than anything
that ever came from Lincoln's pen." It was, very naturally,
"particularly disrelished by anti-slavery men," whose views were not
modified by it, but whose temper was irritated in proportion to the
difficulty of meeting it. Mr. Greeley himself, enthusiastic and
woolly-witted, allowed this heavy roller to pass over him, and arose
behind it unaware that he had been crushed. He even published a retort,
which was discreditably abusive. A fair specimen of his rhetoric was his
demand to be informed whether Mr. Lincoln designed to save the Union "by
recognizing, obeying, and enforcing the laws, or by ignoring,
disregarding, and in fact defying them." Now the precise fact which so
incensed Mr. Greeley and all his comrades was that the President was
studiously and stubbornly insisting upon "recognizing, obeying, and
enforcing the laws;" and the very thing which they were crying for was a
step which, according to his way of thinking, would involve that he
should "ignore, disregard, and defy" them. They had not shrunk from
taking this position, when pushed toward it. They had contemned the
Constitution, and had declared that it should not be allowed to stand in
the way of doing those things which, in their opinion, ought to be done.
Their great warrior, the chieftain of their forces in the House of
Representatives, Thaddeus Stevens, was wont to say, in his defiant
iconoclastic style, that there was no longer any Constitution, and that
he was weary of hearing this "never-ending gabble about the sacredness
of the Constitution." Yet somewhat inconsistently these same men held as
an idol and a leader Secretary Chase; and he at the close of 1860 had
declared: "At all hazards and against all opposition, the laws of the
Union should be enforced.... The question of slavery should not be
permitted to influence my action, one way or the other." Later, perhaps
he and his allies had forgotten these words. Still many persons hold to
the opinion that the emancipationists did not give Mr. Lincoln fair

On September 13 a body of clergymen from Chicago waited upon Mr. Lincoln
to urge immediate and universal emancipation. The occasion was made
noteworthy by his remarks to them.

"I am approached with the most opposite opinions and advice, and that by
religious men, who are equally certain that they represent the Divine
will. I am sure that either the one or the other class is mistaken in
that belief, and perhaps, in some respect, both. I hope it will not be
irreverent for me to say that, if it is probable that God would reveal
his will to others on a point so connected with my duty, it might be
supposed He would reveal it directly to me; for, unless I am more
deceived in myself than I often am, it is my earnest desire to know the
will of Providence in this matter. And if I can learn what it is, I will
do it! These are not, however, the days of miracles, and I suppose it
will be granted that I am not to expect a direct revelation. I must
study the plain physical facts of the case, ascertain what is possible,
and learn what appears to be wise and right. The subject is difficult,
and good men do not agree.

... "What good would a proclamation of emancipation from me do,
especially as we are now situated? I do not want to issue a document
that the whole world will see must necessarily be inoperative, like the
Pope's bull against the comet! Would my word free the slaves, when I
cannot even enforce the Constitution in the rebel States? Is there a
single court, or magistrate, or individual that would be influenced by
it there? And what reason is there to think it would have any greater
effect upon the slaves than the late law of Congress, which I approved,
and which offers protection and freedom to the slaves of rebel masters
who come within our lines? Yet I cannot learn that that law has caused a
single slave to come over to us.

... "Now, then, tell me, if you please, what possible result of good
would follow the issuing of such a proclamation as you desire?
Understand, I raise no objections against it on legal or constitutional
grounds, for, as commander-in-chief of the army and navy, in time of
war, I suppose I have a right to take any measure which may best subdue
the enemy; nor do I urge objections of a moral nature, in view of
possible consequences of insurrection and massacre at the South. I view
this matter as a practical war measure, to be decided on according to
the advantages or disadvantages it may offer to the suppression of the

... "Do not misunderstand me because I have mentioned these objections.
They indicate the difficulties that have thus far prevented my action in
some such way as you desire. I have not decided against a proclamation
of liberty to the slaves, but hold the matter under advisement. And I
can assure you that the subject is on my mind, by day and night, more
than any other. Whatever shall appear to be God's will I will do. I
trust that in the freedom with which I have canvassed your views I have
not in any respect injured your feelings."

Whether or not the clerical advisers winced under the President's irony,
at least they must have appreciated the earnestness and sincerity with
which he considered the subject.

All this while that newspaper writers, religious teachers, members of
Congress, and political busy-bodies generally were tirelessly
enlightening Mr. Lincoln concerning what was right, what was wise, what
was the will of the people, even what was the will of God, he was again
quietly making good that shrewd Southerner's prophecy: he was "doing his
own thinking;" neither was he telling to anybody what this thinking was.
Throngs came and went, and each felt called upon to leave behind him
some of his own wisdom, a precept, advice, or suggestion, for the use of
the President; perhaps in return he took away with him a story which was
much more than full value for what he had given; but no one found out
the working of the President's mind, and no one could say that he had
influenced it. History is crowded with tales of despots, but it tells of
no despot who thought and decided with the tranquil, taciturn
independence which was now marking this President of the free American
Republic. It is a little amusing for us, to-day, to know that while the
emancipationists were angrily growling out their disgust at the ruler
who would not abolish slavery according to their advice, the rough draft
of the Emancipation Proclamation had already been written. It was
actually lying in his desk when he was writing to Greeley that letter
which caused so much indignation. It had been communicated to his
cabinet long before he talked to those Chicago clergymen, and showed
them that the matter was by no means so simple as they, in their
one-sided, unworldly way, believed it to be.

It is said to have been on July 8 that the President wrote this rough
draft, on board the steamboat which was bringing him back from his visit
to McClellan at Harrison's Landing. He then laid it away for the days
and events to bring ripeness. By his own statement he had for some time
felt convinced that, if compensated emancipation should fail,
emancipation as a war measure must ensue. Compensated emancipation had
now been offered, urged, and ill received; therefore the question in his
mind was no longer _whether_, but _when_ he should exercise his power.
This was more a military than a political question. His right to
emancipate slaves was strictly a war-power; he had the right to exercise
it strictly for the purpose of weakening the enemy or strengthening his
own generals; he had not the right to exercise it in the cause of
humanity, if it would not either weaken the enemy or strengthen his own
side. If by premature exercise he should alienate great numbers of
border-state men, while the sheet of paper with his name at its foot
would be ineffectual to give actual liberty of action to a single black
man in the Confederacy, he would aid the South and injure the
North,--that is to say, he would accomplish precisely the reverse of
that which alone could lawfully form the basis of his action. The
question of _When_, therefore, was a very serious one. At what stage of
the contest would a declaration of emancipation be hurtful to the
Southern and beneficial to the Northern cause?

Schuyler Colfax well said that Mr. Lincoln's judgment, when settled,
"was almost as immovable as the eternal hills." A good illustration of
this was given upon a day about the end of July or beginning of August,
1862, when Mr. Lincoln called a cabinet meeting. To his assembled
secretaries he then said, with his usual simple brevity, that he was
going to communicate to them something about which he did not desire
them to offer any advice, since his determination was taken; they might
make suggestions as to details, but nothing more. After this imperious
statement he read the preliminary proclamation of emancipation. The
ministers listened in silence; not one of them had been consulted; not
one of them, until this moment, knew the President's purpose; not even
now did he think it worth while to go through any idle form of asking
the opinion of any one of them.[36] He alone had settled the matter, and
simply notified them that he was about to do the most momentous thing
that had ever been done upon this continent since thirteen British
colonies had become a nation. Such a presentation of "one-man-power"
certainly stood out in startling relief upon the background of popular
government and the great free republican system of the world!

One or two trifling verbal alterations were made. The only important
suggestion came from Mr. Seward, who said that, in the "depression of
the public mind consequent upon our repeated adverses," he feared that
so important a step might "be viewed as the last measure of an exhausted
government, a cry for help; the government stretching forth its hands to
Ethiopia, instead of Ethiopia stretching forth her hands to the
government." He dreaded that "it would be considered our last shriek on
the retreat." Therefore he thought it would be well to postpone issuing
the proclamation till it could come before the country with the support
of some military success. Mr. Lincoln, who had not committed himself
upon the precise point of time, approved this idea. In fact, he had
already had in mind this same notion, that a victory would be an
excellent companion for the proclamation. In July Mr. Boutwell had said
to him that the North would not succeed until the slaves were
emancipated, and Mr. Lincoln had replied: "You would not have it done
now, would you? Had we not better wait for something like a victory?"
This point being accordingly settled to the satisfaction of all, the
meeting then dissolved, with the understanding that the secret was to be
closely kept for the present; and Mr. Lincoln again put away his paper
to await the coming of leaden-footed victory.

For the moment the prospects of this event were certainly sufficiently
gloomy. Less than three weeks, however, brought the battle of Antietam.
As a real "military success" this was, fairly speaking, unsatisfactory;
but it had to serve the turn; the events of the war did not permit the
North to be fastidious in using the word victory; if the President had
imprudently been more exacting, the Abolitionists would have had to wait
for Gettysburg. News of the battle reached Mr. Lincoln at the Soldiers'
Home. "Here," he says, "I finished writing the second draft. I came to
Washington on Saturday, called the cabinet together to hear it, and it
was published on the following Monday, the 22d of September, 1862."

The proclamation was preliminary or monitory only, and it did not
promise universal emancipation. It stated that, on January 1, 1863, "all
persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State,
the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United
States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free;" also, that "the
Executive will, on the first day of January aforesaid, by proclamation,
designate the States and parts of States, if any, in which the people
thereof respectively shall then be in rebellion against the United

The measure was entirely Mr. Lincoln's own. Secretary Chase reports that
at the cabinet meeting on September 22 he said: "I must do the best I
can, and bear the responsibility of taking the course which I feel I
ought to take." It has been said that he acted under a severe specific
pressure, emanating from the calling of the famous conference of
governors at Altoona. This, however, is not true. On September 14
Governor Curtin invited the governors of loyal States to meet on
September 24 to discuss the situation and especially the emergency
created by the northward advance of General Lee. But that this meeting
was more than a coincidence, or that the summons to it had any influence
in the matter of the proclamation, is disproved by all that is known
concerning it.[37] The connection with the battle is direct, avowed, and
reasonable; that with the gubernatorial congress is supposititious and
improbable. Governor Curtin says distinctly that the President, being
informed by himself and two others that such a conference was in
preparation, "did not attempt to conceal the fact that we were upon the
eve of an emancipation policy," in response to which statement he
received from his auditors the "assurance that the Altoona conference
would cordially indorse such a policy." As matter of fact, at the
meeting, most of the governors, in a sort of supplementary way, declared
their approval of the proclamation; but the governors of New Jersey,
Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri would not unite in this
action. If further evidence were needed upon this point, it is furnished
by the simple statement of President Lincoln himself. He said: "The
truth is, I never thought of the meeting of the governors at all. When
Lee came over the Potomac I made a resolve that, if McClellan drove him
back, I would send the proclamation after him. The battle of Antietam
was fought Wednesday, but I could not find out until Saturday whether we
had won a victory or lost a battle. It was then too late to issue it on
that day, and on Sunday I fixed it up a little, and on Monday I let them
have it." Secretary Chase, in his Diary, under date of September 22,
1862, gives an account in keeping with the foregoing sketch, but casts
about the proclamation a sort of superstitious complexion, as if it were
the fulfillment of a religious vow. He says that at the cabinet meeting
the President said: "When the rebel army was at Frederick, I determined,
as soon as it should be driven out of Maryland, to issue a proclamation
of emancipation, such as I thought most likely to be useful. I said
nothing to any one; but I made the promise to myself, and (hesitating a
little) to my Maker. The rebel army is now driven out, and I am going to
fulfill that promise." About an event so important and so picturesque
small legends will cluster and cling like little barnacles on the solid
rock; but the rock remains the same beneath these deposits, and in this
case the fact that the proclamation was determined upon and issued at
the sole will and discretion of the President is not shaken by any
testimony that is given about it. He regarded it as a most grave
measure, as plainly it was; to a Southerner, who had begged him not to
have recourse to it, he replied: "You must not expect me to give up this
government without playing my last card."[38] So now, on this momentous
twenty-second day of September, the President, using his own judgment in
playing the great game, cast what he conceived to be his ace of trumps
upon the table.

The measure took the country by surprise. The President's secret had
been well kept, and for once rumor had not forerun execution. Doubtless
the reader expects now to hear that one immediate effect was the
conciliation of all those who had been so long reproaching Mr. Lincoln
for his delay in taking this step. It would seem right and natural that
the emancipationists should have rallied with generous ardor to sustain
him. They did not. They remained just as dissatisfied and distrustful
towards him as ever. Some said that he had been _forced_ into this
policy, some that he had drifted with the tide of events, some that he
had waited for popular opinion at the North to give him the cue, instead
of himself guiding that opinion. To show that he was false to the
responsibility of a ruler, there were those who cited against him his
own modest words: "I claim not to have controlled events, but confess
plainly that events have controlled me." Others, however, put upon this
language the more kindly and more honest interpretation, that Mr.
Lincoln appreciated that both President and people were moved by the
drift of events, which in turn received their own impulse from an agency
higher than human and to which they must obediently yield. But whatever
ingenious excuses were devised by extremists for condemning the man who
had done the act, the Republican party faithfully supported the act
itself. In the middle of December the House passed a resolution
ratifying the President's policy as "well adapted to hasten the
restoration of peace," and "well chosen as a war measure."

The President himself afterward declared his "conviction" that, had the
proclamation been issued six months earlier, it would not have been
sustained by public opinion; and certainly it is true that
contemporaneous political occurrences now failed to corroborate the
soundness of those assertions by which the irreconcilable
emancipationist critics of Mr. Lincoln had been endeavoring to induce
him to adopt their policy earlier. They themselves, as Mr. Wilson
admits, "had never constituted more than an inconsiderable fraction" of
the whole people at the North. He further says: "At the other extreme,
larger numbers received it [the proclamation] with deadly and outspoken
opposition; while between these extremes the great body even of Union
men doubted, hesitated.... Its immediate practical effect did perhaps
more nearly answer the apprehensions of the President than the
expectations of those most clamorous for it. It did, as charged, very
much 'unite the South and divide the North.'"

In the autumn of 1862 there took place the elections for Representatives
to the Thirty-eighth Congress. The most ingenious sophist could hardly
maintain that strenuous anti-slavery voters, who had been angry with the
government for backwardness in the emancipation policy, ought now to
manifest their discontent by voting the Democratic ticket. If there
should be a Democratic reaction at the polls it could not possibly be
construed otherwise than as a reaction against anti-slavery; it would
undeniably indicate that Congress and the administration had been too
hostile rather than too friendly towards that cause of the strife, that
they had outstripped rather than fallen behind popular sympathy. It soon
became evident that a formidable reaction of this kind had taken place,
that dissatisfaction with the anti-slavery measures and discouragement
at the military failures, together, were even imperiling Republican
ascendency. Now all knew, though some might not be willing to say, that
the loss of Republican ascendency meant, in fact, the speedy settlement
of the war by compromise; and the South was undoubtedly in earnest in
declaring that there could be no compromise without disunion. Therefore,
in those elections of the autumn months in 1862 the whole question of
Union or Disunion had to be fought out at the polls in the loyal States,
and there was an appalling chance of its going against the Unionist
party. "The administration," says Mr. Blaine, "was now subjected to a
fight for its life;" and for a while the fortunes of that mortal combat
wore a most alarming aspect.

The Democracy made its fight on the ground that the anti-slavery
legislation of the Republican majority in the Thirty-seventh Congress
had substantially made abolition the ultimate purpose of the war. Here,
then, they said, was a change of base; were or were not the voters of
the loyal States willing to ratify it? Already this ground had been
taken in the platforms of the party in the most important Northern
States, before Mr. Lincoln issued his proclamation. Was it unreasonable
to fear that this latest and most advanced step would intensify that
hostility, stimulate the too obvious reaction, and aggravate the danger
which, against his judgment,[39] as it was understood, Congress had
created? Was it not probable that Mr. Blair was correct when he warned
the President that the proclamation would "cost the administration the
fall elections"? Naturally it will be asked: if this was a reasonable
expectation, why did the President seize this critical moment to ally
the administration with anti-slavery? Mr. Blaine furnishes a probable
explanation: "The anti-slavery policy of Congress had gone far enough to
arouse the bitter hostility of all Democrats, who were not thoroughly
committed to the war, and yet not far enough to deal an effective blow
against the institution." The administration stood at a point where
safety lay rather in defying than in evading the ill opinion of the
malcontents, where the best wisdom was to commit itself, the party, and
the nation decisively to the "bold, far-reaching, radical, and
aggressive policy," from which it would be impossible afterward to turn
back "without deliberately resolving to sacrifice our nationality."
Presumably the President wished to show the people that their only
choice now lay between slavery on the one hand and nationality on the
other, so that, of the two things, they might take that one which they
deemed the more worthy. The two together they could never again have.
This theory tallies with the well-known fact that Mr. Lincoln was always
willing to trust the people upon a question of right and wrong. He never
was afraid to stake his chance upon the faith that what was
intrinsically right would prove in the long run to be politically safe.
While he was a shrewd politician in matters of detail, he had the wisdom
always in a great question to get upon that side where the inherent
morality lay. Yet, unfortunately, it takes time--time which cannot
always be afforded--for right to destroy prejudice; the slow-grinding
mill of God grinds sometimes so slowly that man cannot help fearing that
for once the stint will not be worked out; and in this autumn of 1862
there was one of these crises of painful anxiety among patriots at the

Maine held her election early in September, and upon the vote for
governor a Republican majority, which usually ranged from 10,000 to
19,000, was this year cut down to a little over 4000; also, for the
first time in ten years, a Democrat secured a seat in the national House
of Representatives. Then came the "October States." In that dreary month
Ohio elected 14 Democrats and 5 Republicans; the Democrats casting, in
the total, about 7000 more votes than the Republicans. Indiana sent 8
Democrats, 3 Republicans. In Pennsylvania the congressional delegation
was divided, but the Democrats polled the larger vote by about 4000;
whereas Mr. Lincoln had had a majority in the State of 60,000! In New
York the famous Democratic leader, Horatio Seymour, was elected governor
by a majority of nearly 10,000. Illinois, the President's own State,
showed a Democratic majority of 17,000, and her congressional delegation
stood 11 Democrats to 3 Republicans. New Jersey turned from
Republicanism to Democracy. Michigan reduced a Republican majority from
20,000 to 6000. Wisconsin divided its delegation evenly.[40] When the
returns were all in, the Democrats, who had had only 44 votes in the
House in the Thirty-seventh Congress, found that in its successor they
would have 75. Even if the non-voting absentees in the army[41] had been
all Republicans, which they certainly were not, such a reaction would
have been appalling.

Fortunately some other Northern States--New England's six, and Iowa,
Kansas, Minnesota, California, and Oregon--held better to their
Republican faith. But it was actually the border slave States which, in
these dark and desperate days, came gallantly to the rescue of the
President's party. If the voters of these States had seen in him a
radical of the stripe of the anti-slavery agitators, it is not
imaginable that they would have helped him as they now did. Thus was his
much maligned "border-state policy" at last handsomely vindicated; and
thanks to it the frightened Republicans saw, with relief, that they
could command a majority of about twenty votes in the House. Mr. Lincoln
had saved the party whose leaders had turned against him.

Beneath the dismal shadow of these autumnal elections the
Thirty-seventh Congress came together for its final session, December 1,
1862. The political situation was peculiar and unfortunate. There was
the greatest possible need for sympathetic coöperation in the Republican
party; but sympathy was absent, and coöperation was imperfect and
reluctant. The majority of the Republican members of Congress
obstinately maintained their alienation from the Republican President;
an enormous popular defection from Republicanism had taken place in its
natural strongholds; and Republican domination had only been saved by
the aid of States in which Republican majorities had been attainable
actually because a large proportion of the population was so disaffected
as either to have enlisted in the Confederate service, or to have
refrained from voting at elections held under Union auspices. Therefore,
whether Mr. Lincoln looked forth upon the political or the military
situation, he beheld only gloomy prospects. But having made fast to what
he believed to be right, he would not, in panic, cast loose from it. In
the face of condemnation he was not seen to modify his course in order
to conciliate any portion of the people; but, on the contrary, in his
message he returned to his plan which had hitherto been so coldly
received, and again strenuously recommended appropriations for gradual,
compensated emancipation and colonization. The scheme had three especial
attractions for him: 1. It would be operative in those loyal States and
parts of States in which military emancipation would not take effect.
2. In its practical result it would do away with slavery by the year
1900, whereas military emancipation would now free a great number of
individuals, but would leave slavery, as an institution, untouched and
liable to be revived and reinvigorated later on. 3. It would make
emancipation come as a voluntary process, leaving a minimum of
resentment remaining in the minds of slaveholders, instead of being a
violent war measure never to be remembered without rebellious anger.
This last point was what chiefly moved him. He intensely desired to have
emancipation effected in such a way that good feeling between the two
sections might be a not distant condition; the humanity of his
temperament, his passion for reasonable dealing, his appreciation of the
mischief of sectional enmity in a republic, all conspired to establish
him unchangeably in favor of "compensated emancipation."

For the accomplishment of his purpose he now suggested three articles of
amendment to the Constitution. He spoke earnestly; for "in times like
the present," he said, "men should utter nothing for which they would
not willingly be responsible through time and eternity." Beneath the
solemnity of this obligation he made for his plan a very elaborate
argument. Among the closing sentences were the following:--

"The plan would, I am confident, secure peace more speedily, and
maintain it more permanently, than can be done by force alone; while
all it would cost, considering amounts, and manner of payment, and times
of payment, would be easier paid than will be the additional cost of the
war, if we rely solely upon force. It is much, very much, that it would
cost no blood at all.

... "Is it doubted, then, that the plan I propose, if adopted, would
shorten the war, and thus lessen its expenditure of money and of blood?
Is it doubted that it would restore the national authority and national
prosperity, and perpetuate both indefinitely? Is it doubted that we
here--Congress and Executive--can secure its adoption? Will not the good
people respond to a united and earnest appeal from us? Can we, can they,
by any other means so certainly or so speedily assure these vital
objects? We can succeed only by concert. It is not 'Can _any_ of us
_imagine_ better?' but; 'Can we _all do_ better?' Object whatsoever is
possible, still the question recurs, 'Can we do better?' The dogmas of
the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is
piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our
case is new, so we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall
ourselves, and then we shall save our country.

"Fellow citizens, _we_ cannot escape history. We, of this Congress and
this administration, will [shall] be remembered in spite of ourselves.
No personal significance, or insignificance, can spare one or another
of us. The fiery trial through which we pass will light us down, in
honor or dishonor, to the latest generation. We _say_ we are for the
Union. The world will not forget that we say this. We know how to save
the Union. The world knows we do know how to save it. We--even _we
here_--hold the power and bear the responsibility. In _giving_ freedom
to the _slave_ we _assure_ freedom to the _free_,--honorable alike in
what we give and what we preserve. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose,
the last, best hope of earth. Other means may succeed; this could not
fail. The way is plain, peaceful, generous, just,--a way which, if
followed, the world will forever applaud, and God must forever bless."

Beautiful and impressive as was this appeal, it persuaded few or none.
In fact, no effort on the President's part now, or at any time, could
win much approval for his plan. Not many were ever pleased by it; but
afterward, in the winter of 1863, many members of the Thirty-eighth
Congress were willing, without believing in it, to give him a chance to
try it in Missouri. Accordingly a bill then passed the House
appropriating $10,000,000 to compensate slave-owners in that State, if
abolition of slavery should be made part of its organic law. The Senate
made the sum $15,000,000 and returned the bill to the House for
concurrence. But the representatives from Missouri were tireless in
their hostility to the measure, and finally killed it by parliamentary
expedients of delay.

This was a great disappointment to Mr. Lincoln. While the measure was
pending he argued strenuously with leading Missourians to induce them to
put their State in the lead in what he hoped would then become a
procession of slave States. But these gentlemen seemed to fear that, if
they should take United States bonds in payment, they might awake some
morning in these troublous times to find their promiser a bankrupt or a
repudiationist. On the other hand, such was the force of habit that a
slave seemed to them very tangible property. Mr. Lincoln shrewdly
suggested that, amid present conditions, "_bonds_ were better than
_bondsmen_," and "two-legged property" was a very bad kind to hold. Time
proved him to be entirely right; but for the present his argument,
entreaty, and humor were all alike useless. Missouri would have nothing
to do with "compensated emancipation;" and since she was regarded as a
test case, the experiment was not tried elsewhere. So it came to pass
afterward that the slaveholders parted with their slaves for nothing
instead of exchanging them for the six per cent. bonds of the United

       *       *       *       *       *

The first day of January, 1863, arrived, and no event had occurred to
delay the issue of the promised proclamation. It came accordingly. By
virtue of his power as commander-in-chief, "in time of actual armed
rebellion,... and as a fit and necessary war measure for suppressing
said rebellion," the President ordered that all persons held as slaves
in certain States and parts of States, which he designated as being then
in rebellion, should be thenceforward free, and declared that the
Executive, with the army and navy, would "recognize and maintain the
freedom of said persons." The word "maintain" was inserted at Seward's
suggestion, and somewhat against Mr. Lincoln's wish. He said that he had
intentionally refrained from introducing it, because it was not his way
to promise what he was not entirely _sure_ that he could perform. The
sentence invoking the favor of God was contributed by Secretary Chase.
The paper was signed after the great public reception of New Year's Day.
Mr. Lincoln, as he took the pen, remarked to Mr. Seward that his
much-shaken hand was almost paralyzed, so that people who, in time to
come, should see that signature would be likely to say: "He hesitated,"
whereas, in fact, his whole soul was in it. The publication took place
late in the day, and the anti-slavery critics grumbled because it was
not sent out in the morning.

The people at large received this important step with some variety of
feeling and expression; but, upon the whole, approval seems to have far
outrun the dubious prognostications of the timid and conservative class.
For the three months which had given opportunity for thinking had
produced the result which Mr. Lincoln had hoped for. It turned out that
the mill of God had been grinding as exactly as always. Very many who
would not have advised the measure now heartily ratified it. Later,
after men's minds had had time to settle and the balance could be fairly
struck, it appeared undeniable that the final proclamation had been of
good effect; so Mr. Lincoln himself said.

It is worth noting that while many Englishmen spoke out in generous
praise, the rulers of England took the contrary position. Earl Russell
said that the measure was "of a very strange nature," "a very
questionable kind," an act of "vengeance on the slave-owner," and that
it did no more than "profess to emancipate slaves, where the United
States authorities cannot make emancipation a reality." But the English
people were strongly and genuinely anti-slavery, and the danger of
English recognition of the Confederacy was greatly diminished when the
proclamation established the policy of the administration.

The proclamation contained a statement that ex-slaves would be "received
into the armed service of the United States." Up to this time not much
had been done in the way of enlisting colored troops. The negroes
themselves had somewhat disappointed their friends by failing to take
the initiative, and it became evident that they must be stirred by
influences outside their own race. The President now took the matter in
hand, and endeavored to stimulate commanders of Southern departments to
show energy concerning it. By degrees successful results were obtained.
The Southerners formally declared that they would not regard either
negro troops or their officers as prisoners of war; but that they would
execute the officers as ordinary felons, and would hand over the negroes
to be dealt with by the state authorities as slaves in insurrection.
Painful and embarrassing questions of duty were presented by these
menaces. To Mr. Lincoln the obvious policy of retaliation seemed
abhorrent, and he held back from declaring that he would adopt it, in
the hope that events might never compel him to do so. But on July 30 he
felt compelled, in justice to the blacks and those who led them, to
issue an order that for every Union soldier killed in violation of the
laws of war a rebel soldier should be executed; and for every one
enslaved a rebel soldier should be placed at hard labor on the public
works. Happily, however, little or no action ever became necessary in
pursuance of this order. The Southerners either did not in fact wreak
their vengeance in fulfillment of their furious vows, or else covered
their doings so that they could not be proved. Only the shocking
incident of the massacre at Fort Pillow seemed to demand stern
retaliatory measures, and even this was, too mercifully, allowed
gradually to sink away into neglect.[42]

[Illustration: Lincoln Submitting the Emancipation Proclamation to His


[33] To A.G. Hodges, April 4, 1864, N. and H. vi. 430; and see Lincoln
to Chase, September 2, 1863; _ibid._ 434.

[34] "It was," says Mr. Arnold, "full of errors and mistaken inferences,
and written in ignorance of many facts which it was the duty of the
President to consider." _Life of Lincoln_, 254. But, _per contra_, Hon.
George W. Julian says: "It was one of the most powerful appeals ever
made in behalf of justice and the rights of man." _Polit. Recoil._ 220.
Arnold and Julian were both members of the House, and both
thorough-going Abolitionists. Their difference of opinion upon this
letter of Mr. Greeley illustrates well the discussions which, like the
internecine feuds of Christian sects, existed between men who ought to
have stood side by side against the heretics and unbelievers.

[35] For views contrary to mine, see Julian, _Polit. Recoil._ 221.

[36] The story that some members of the cabinet were opposed to the
measure was distinctly denied by the President. Carpenter, _Six Months
in the White House_, 88.

[37] For interesting statements about this Altoona conference see
McClure, _Lincoln and Men of War-Times_, 248-251.

[38] Blaine, i. 439.

[39] It was understood that he had not favored the principal
anti-slavery measures of the Thirty-seventh Congress, on the ground
measures of the Thirty-seventh Congress, on the ground that they were

[40] The foregoing-statistics have been taken from Mr. Elaine, _Twenty
Years of Congress_, i. 441-444.

[41] Later, legislation enabled the soldiers in the field to vote; but
at this time they could not do so.

[42] For account of these matters of retaliation and protection of
negroes, see N. and H. vol. vi. ch. xxi.



The clouds of gloom and discouragement, which shut so heavily about the
President in the autumn of 1862, did not disperse as winter advanced.
That dreary season, when nearly all doubted and many despaired, is
recognized now as an interlude between the two grand divisions of the
drama. Before it, the Northern people had been enthusiastic, united, and
hopeful; after it, they saw assurance of success within reach of a
reasonable persistence. But while the miserable days were passing, men
could not see into the mysterious future. Not only were armies beaten,
but the people themselves seemed to be deserting their principles. The
face and the form of the solitary man, whose position brought every part
of this sad prospect fully within the range of his contemplation, showed
the wear of the times. The eyes went deeper into their caverns, and
seemed to send their search farther than ever away into a receding
distance; the furrows sank far into the sallow face; a stoop bent the
shoulders, as if the burden of the soul had even a physical weight. Yet
still he sought neither counsel, nor strength, nor sympathy from any
one; neither leaned on any friend, nor gave his confidence to any
adviser; the problems were his and the duty was his, and he accepted
both wholly. "I need success more than I need sympathy," he said; for it
was the cause, not his own burden, which absorbed his thoughts. The
extremists, who seemed to have more than half forgotten to hate the
South in the intensity of their hatred of McClellan, had apparently
cherished a vague faith that, if this procrastinating spirit could be
exorcised, the war might then be trusted to take care of itself. But
after they had accomplished their purpose they were confronted by facts
which showed that in this matter, as in that of emancipation, the
President's deliberation was not the unpardonable misdoing which they
had conceived it to be. In spite of McClellan's insolent arrogance and
fault-finding, his unreasonable demands, and his tedious squandering of
invaluable time, Mr. Lincoln, being by nature a man who contemplated the
consequence of an action, did not desire to make a vacancy till he could
fill it with a better man. "I certainly have been dissatisfied," he
said, "with Buell and McClellan; but before I relieved them I had great
fears I should not find successors to them who would do better; and I am
sorry to add I have seen little since to relieve those fears." One
bloody and costly experiment had already failed at Manassas. Two others
were soon to result even more disastrously; and still another leader
was to be superseded, before the "man of destiny" came. McClellan had
thrown away superb opportunities; but to turn him out was not to fill
his place with an abler man.

On the evening of November 7, 1862, the dispatch came which relieved
McClellan and put Burnside in command. The moment was not well chosen.
McClellan seemed in an unusually energetic temper. He had Lee's army
divided, and was conceivably on the verge of fighting it in detail.[43]
On the other hand, Burnside assumed the charge with reluctance and
self-distrust. A handsome, popular gentleman, of pleasing manners and
with the prestige of some easily won successes, he had the misfortune to
be too highly esteemed.

The change of commanders brought a change of scheme, which was now to
advance upon Richmond by way of Fredericksburg. When this was submitted
to the President he said that it might succeed if the movement was
rapid, otherwise not. The half of this opinion which concerned success
was never tested; the other half was made painfully good. Instead of
rapidity there was great delay, with the result that the early days of
December found Lee intrenching strongly upon the heights behind
Fredericksburg on the south bank of the Rappahannock, having his army
now reunited and reinforced to the formidable strength of 78,288 men
"present for duty." Burnside lay upon the north bank, with 113,000 men,
but having exchanged the promising advantages which had existed when he
took command for very serious disadvantages. He had the burden of
attacking a position which he had allowed his enemy not only to select
but to fortify. Happily it is not our task to describe the cruel and
sanguinary thirteenth day of December, 1862, when he undertook this
desperate task. When that night fell at the close of a fearful combat,
which had been rather a series of blunders than an intelligent plan,
10,208 Federal soldiers were known to be lying killed or wounded, while
2145 more were "missing." Such was the awful price which the brave
Northern army had paid, and by which it had bought--nothing! Nothing,
save the knowledge that General Burnside's estimate of his capacity for
such high command was correct. Even the mere brutal comparison of
"killed and wounded" showed that among the Confederates the number of
men who had been hit was not quite half that of the Federal loss. The
familiar principle, that in war a general should so contrive as to do
the maximum of injury to his adversary with a minimum of injury to
himself, had been directly reversed; the unfortunate commander had done
the maximum of injury to himself with the minimum of injury to his foe.

The behavior of Burnside in so bitter a trial was such as to attract
sympathy. Yet his army had lost confidence in his leadership, and
therefore suffered dangerously in morale. Many officers whispered their
opinions in Washington, and, as usual, Congress gave symptoms of a
desire to talk. Influenced by these criticisms and menacings, on
December 30 the President ordered Burnside not to enter again upon
active operations without first informing him. Burnside, much surprised,
hastened to see Mr. Lincoln, and learned what derogatory strictures were
in circulation. After brief consideration he proposed to resign. But Mr.
Lincoln said: "I do not yet see how I could profit by changing the
command of the army of the Potomac; and, if I did, I should not wish to
do it by accepting the resignation of your commission." So Burnside
undertook further manoeuvres. These, however, did not turn out well, and
he conceived that a contributing cause lay in the half-heartedness of
some of his subordinates. Thereupon he designed against them a defensive
or retaliatory move in the shape of an order dismissing from the service
of the United States four generals, and relieving from command four
others, and one colonel. This wholesale decapitation was startling, yet
was, in fact, soundly conceived. In the situation, either the general,
or those who had lost faith in the general, must go. Which it should be
was conclusively settled by the length of the list of condemned. The
President declined to ratify this, and Burnside's resignation inevitably
followed. His successor was the general whose name led the list of those
malcontent critics whom he had desired to displace, and was also the
same who had once stigmatized McClellan as "a baby." Major-General
Joseph Hooker, a graduate of West Point, was now given the opportunity
to prove his own superiority.

The new commander was popularly known as "Fighting Joe." There was
inspiration in the nickname, and yet it was not quite thus that a great
commander, charged with weighty responsibility, should be appropriately
described. Upon making the appointment, January 26, 1863, the President
wrote a letter remarkable in many points of view:--

"GENERAL,--I have placed you at the head of the army of the Potomac. Of
course, I have done this upon what appears to me to be sufficient
reasons; and yet I think it best for you to know that there are some
things in regard to which I am not quite satisfied with you. I believe
you to be a brave and skillful soldier,--which, of course, I like. I
also believe you do not mix politics with your profession,--in which you
are right. You have confidence in yourself,--which is a valuable, if not
an indispensable quality. You are ambitious,--which, within reasonable
bounds, does good rather than harm; but I think that, during General
Burnside's command of the army, you have taken counsel of your ambition
and thwarted him as much as you could, in which you did a great wrong to
the country, and to a most meritorious and honorable brother officer. I
have heard, in such way as to believe it, of your recently saying that
both the army and the government needed a dictator. Of course, it was
not for this, but in spite of it, that I have given you the command.
Only those generals who gain successes can set up as dictators. What I
now ask of you is military success, and I will risk the dictatorship.
The government will support you to the utmost of its ability,--which is
neither more nor less than it has done and will do for all commanders. I
much fear that the spirit which you have aided to infuse into the army,
of criticising their commander and withholding confidence from him, will
now turn upon you. I shall assist you as far as I can to put it down.
Neither you nor Napoleon, if he were alive again, could get any good out
of an army while such a spirit prevails in it. And now, beware of
rashness. Beware of rashness, but, with energy and sleepless vigilance,
go forward and give us victories."

Hooker was of that class of generals who show such capacity as
lieutenants that they are supposed to be capable of becoming independent
chiefs, until their true measure is ascertained by actual trial. In two
months he had restored to good shape an army which he had found
demoralized and depleted by absenteeism, and at the end of April he had
under him about 124,500 men. He still lay on the north bank of the
Potomac, facing Lee's army in its intrenchments about Fredericksburg.
His plan of campaign, says General Doubleday, was "simple, efficacious,
and should have been successful." Diverting the attention of Lee, he
threw the chief part of his army across the Rappahannock several miles
above Fredericksburg; then, marching rapidly to Chancellorsville, he
threatened the left flank and rear of the Confederates. Pushing a short
distance out upon the three roads which led from Chancellorsville to
Fredericksburg, he came to the very edge and brink, as it were, of
beginning a great battle with good promise of success. But just at this
point his generals at the front were astounded by orders to draw back to
Chancellorsville. Was it that he suddenly lost nerve in the crisis of
his great responsibility?[44] Or was it possible that he did not
appreciate the opportunity which he was throwing away? No one can say.
Only the fact can be stated that he rejected the chance which offended
Fortune never offers a second time. Back came the advanced columns, and
took position at Chancellorsville, while Lee, who had not the Northern
habit of repudiating fair opportunity, pressed close upon them.

On May 1 manoeuvring for position and some fighting took place. On
Saturday, May 2, a brilliant flanking movement by "Stonewall" Jackson
wrecked the Federal right. But the dangerous Southerner, accidentally
shot by his own soldiers, was carried from the field a dying man. Upon
Sunday, May 3, there was a most sanguinary conflict. "The Federals
fought like devils at Chancellorsville," said Mahone. Still it was again
the sad and wearisome story of brave men so badly handled that their
gallantry meant only their own slaughter. The President had expressly
urged Hooker to be sure to get all his troops at work. Yet he actually
let 37,000 of them stand all day idle, not firing a shot, while their
comrades were fighting and falling and getting beaten. On May 4, Hooker,
whose previous "collapse" had been aggravated by a severe personal hurt,
"seemed disposed to be inactive;" and Lee seized the chance to turn upon
Sedgwick, who was coming up in the rear of the Confederates, and to
drive him across the river. General Hooker now made up his mind that he
had been beaten; and though a majority of his corps commanders were
otherwise minded and were for renewing the conflict, he returned to the
northern bank, leaving behind him his wounded soldiers, 14 guns, and
20,000 stand of arms. Another ghastly price had been paid to settle
another experiment and establish the value of another general. The North
lost in killed and wounded 12,197 men, with 5000 others "missing," and
found out that General Hooker was not the man to beat General Lee. The
Confederate loss was 10,266 killed and wounded, 2753 missing.

The days in which the news from Chancellorsville was spreading among the
cities and villages of the North were the darkest of the war. In those
countless households, by whose generous contributions the armies had
been recruited, the talk began to be that it was folly, and even
cruelty, to send brave and patriotic citizens to be slaughtered
uselessly, while one leader after another showed his helpless
incompetence. The disloyal Copperheads became more bodeful than ever
before; while men who would have hanged a Copperhead as gladly as they
would have shot a Secessionist felt their hearts sink before the
undeniable Southern prestige. But the truth was that Pope and Burnside
and Hooker, by their very defeats, became the cause of victory; for the
elated Southerners, beginning to believe that their armies were
invincible, now clamored for "invasion" and the capture of Washington.
Apparently General Lee, too, had drunk the poison of triumph, and
dreamed of occupying the national capital, Baltimore, and Philadelphia,
and dictating the terms of peace to a disheartened North. The
fascinating scheme--the irretrievable and fatal blunder--was determined

To carry out this plan Swell's corps was covertly moved early in June
into the Shenandoah Valley. Hooker, anticipating some such scheme, had
suggested to Mr. Lincoln that, if it were entered upon, he should like
to cross the river and attack the Southern rear corps in Fredericksburg.
The President suggested that the intrenched Southerners would be likely
to worst the assailants, while the main Southern army "would in some way
be getting an advantage northward." "In one word," he wrote, "I would
not take any risk of being entangled upon the river, like an ox jumped
half over a fence and liable to be torn by dogs front and rear, without
a fair chance to gore one way or kick the other." Yet, very soon, when
the attenuation of Lee's line became certain, Lincoln sent to Hooker one
of his famous dispatches: "If the head of Lee's army is at Martinsburg,
and the tail of it on the plank road between Fredericksburg and
Chancellorsville, the animal must be very slim somewhere. Could you not
break him?" But the "animal" was moving rapidly, and the breaking
process did not take place.

Hooker now conceived a plan seductive by its audacity and its possible
results. He proposed by a sudden movement to capture Richmond,
presumably garrisoned very scantily, and to get back before Lee could
make any serious impression at the North. It _might_ have been done,
and, if done, it would more than offset all the dreary past; yet the
risk was great, and Mr. Lincoln could not sanction it. He wrote: "I
think Lee's army, and not Richmond, is your sure objective point. If he
comes towards the Upper Potomac, follow on his flank and on his inside
track, shortening your lines while he lengthens his; fight him, too,
when opportunity offers. If he stays where he is, _fret him, and fret

This was good strategy and was adopted for the campaign. Ewell's corps
crossed the Upper Potomac, and on June 22 was in Pennsylvania. The
corps of Longstreet and Hill quickly followed, and Lee's triumphant
army, at least 70,000 strong, marched through the Cumberland Valley to
Chambersburg and Carlisle, gathering rich booty of herds and grain as
they went, with Harrisburg as an immediate objective, Philadelphia in no
remote distance, Baltimore and Washington in a painfully distinct
background. The farmers of western Pennsylvania, startled by the
spectacle of gray-coated cavalry riding northward towards their state
capital, cumbered the roads with their wagons. The President called from
the nearest States 120,000 militia. General Hooker, released from his
waiting attitude by the development of his adversary's plan, manoeuvred
well. He crossed the Potomac at Edwards' Ferry, June 25-26, and drew his
forces together at Frederick. It was then decided to move northward and
to keep Lee as well to the westward as possible, thereby reserving, for
the bearing of future events, the questions of cutting the Confederate
communications or bringing on a battle.

An unfortunate element in these critical days was that Halleck and
Hooker disliked each other, and that their ideas often clashed. Mr.
Lincoln was at last obliged to say to Hooker: "To remove all
misunderstanding, I now place you in the strict military relation to
General Halleck of a commander of one of the armies to the
general-in-chief of all the armies. I have not intended differently; but
as it seems to be differently understood, I shall direct him to give
you orders, and you to obey them." At the same time he wrote him a
"private" letter, endeavoring to allay the ill-feeling. He closed it
with words of kindness, of modesty, and with one of his noble appeals
for subjection of personal irritation and for union of effort on behalf
of the country:--

"I believe you are aware that, since you took command of the army, I
have not believed you had any chance to effect anything till now. As it
looks to me, Lee's now returning towards Harper's Ferry gives you back
the chance that I thought McClellan lost last fall. Quite possibly I was
wrong both then and now; but, in the great responsibility resting upon
me, I cannot be entirely silent. Now, all I ask is that you will be in
such mood that we can get into our action the best cordial judgment of
yourself and General Halleck, with my poor mite added, if, indeed, he
and you shall think it entitled to any consideration at all."

The breach, however, could not be closed. Hooker, finding his army
seriously weakened by the withdrawal of the two years' and the nine
months' troops, asked for the garrison of Harper's Ferry, which seemed
useless where it was. Halleck refused it, and, June 27, Hooker requested
to be relieved of the command. His request was instantly granted, and
Major-General George G. Meade was appointed in his place. Swinton says
that command was given to Meade "without any lets or hindrances, the
President expressly waiving all the powers of the executive and the
Constitution, so as to enable General Meade to make, untrammeled, the
best dispositions for the emergency." One would like to know the
authority upon which so extraordinary a statement is based; probably it
is a great exaggeration, and the simple fact would prove to be that,
since the situation was such that new developments were likely to occur
with much suddenness, the President wisely and even necessarily placed
the general in full control, free from requirements of communication and
consultation. But to represent that Mr. Lincoln abdicated his
constitutional functions is absurd! Be this as it may, the fact is that
the appointment brought no change of plan. For three days the armies
manoeuvred and drew slowly together. Finally it was betwixt chance and
choice that the place and hour of concussion were determined. The place
was the village of Gettysburg, and the time was the morning of July 1.

Then ensued a famous and most bloody fight! During three long, hot days
of midsummer those two great armies struggled in a desperate grapple,
and with not unequal valor, the Confederates fiercely assailing, the
Federals stubbornly holding, those historic ridges, and both alike,
whether attacking or defending, whether gaining or losing ground, always
falling in an awful carnage of dead and wounded. It was the most
determined fighting that had yet taken place at the East, and the names
of Cemetery Ridge, Little Round Top, and Culp's Hill are written deep
in blood in American memories. When the last magnificent charge of the
Southerners was hurled back in the afternoon of July 3, the victory was
decided. The next day Lee began to send away his trains, his wounded and
prisoners. It is indeed true that during the day he held his army in
position on Seminary Ridge, hoping that Meade would attack, and that,
with an exchange of their relative parts of assailants and defenders, a
change of result also might come about. But Meade made no advance, and
with the first hours of darkness on the evening of July 4 the Southern
host began its retreat.

The losses at Gettysburg were appalling. The estimate is 2834 killed,
13,709 wounded, 6643 missing, a total of 23,186 on the Federal side; the
figures were only a trifle less on the Confederate side. But if such
bloodshed carried grief into many a Northern household, at least there
was not the cruel thought that life and limb, health and usefulness, had
been sacrificed through incompetence and without advantage to the cause.
It was true that the Northern general ought to have won, for he
commanded more troops,[45] held a very strong defensive position, and
fought a strictly defensive battle. But such had been the history of the
war that when that which _ought_ to be done _was_ done, the people felt
that it was fair cause for rejoicing. Later there was fault-finding and
criticism; but that during so many days so many troops on unfamiliar
ground should be handled in such a manner that afterward no critic can
suggest that something might have been done better, hardly falls among
possibilities. The fact was sufficient that a most important and
significant victory had been won. On the battlefield a stone now
undertakes to mark the spot and to name the hour where and when the
flood tide of rebellion reached its highest point, and where and when it
began its slow and sure ebb. Substantially that stone tells the truth.
Nevertheless the immediately succeeding days brought keen, counteracting
disappointment. Expectation rose that the shattered army of Lee would
never cross the Potomac; and the expectation was entirely reasonable,
and ought to have been fulfilled. But Meade seemed to copy McClellan
after Antietam. Spurred on by repeated admonitions from the President
and General Halleck, he did, on July 10, catch up with the retreating
army, which was delayed at Williamsport on the north bank of the river
by the unusually high water. He camped close by it, and received
strenuous telegrams urging him to attack. But he did not,[46] and on
the night of July 13 the Southern general successfully placed the
Potomac between himself and his too tardy pursuer. Bitter then was the
resentment of every loyal man at the North. For once the President
became severe and sent a dispatch of such tenor that General Meade
replied by an offer to resign his command. This Mr. Lincoln did not
accept. Yet he was too sorely pained not to give vent to words which in
fact if not in form conveyed severe censure. He was also displeased
because Meade, in general orders, spoke of "driving the invaders from
our soil;" as if the whole country was not "_our soil_"! Under the
influence of so much provocation, he wrote to General Meade a letter
reproduced from the manuscript by Messrs. Nicolay and Hay. It is true
that on cooler reflection he refrained from sending this missive, but it
is in itself sufficiently interesting to deserve reading:--"I have just
seen your dispatch to General Halleck, asking to be relieved of your
command because of a supposed censure of mine. I am very grateful to you
for the magnificent success you gave the cause of the country at
Gettysburg; and I am sorry now to be the author of the slightest pain to
you. But I was in such deep distress myself that I could not restrain
some expression of it. I have been oppressed nearly ever since the
battle of Gettysburg by what appeared to be evidences that yourself and
General Couch and General Smith were not seeking a collision with the
enemy, but were trying to get him across the river without another
battle. What these evidences were, if you please, I hope to tell you at
some time when we shall both feel better. The case, summarily stated, is
this: You fought and beat the enemy at Gettysburg; and, of course, to
say the least, his loss was as great as yours. He retreated; and you did
not, as it seemed to me, pressingly pursue him; but a flood in the river
detained him till, by slow degrees, you were again upon him. You had at
least twenty thousand veteran troops directly with you, and as many more
raw ones within supporting distance, all in addition to those who fought
with you at Gettysburg, while it was not possible that he had received a
single recruit; and yet you stood and let the flood run down, bridges be
built, and the enemy move away at his leisure without attacking him. And
Couch and Smith,--the latter left Carlisle in time, upon all ordinary
calculation, to have aided you in the last battle at Gettysburg, but he
did not arrive. At the end of more than ten days, I believe twelve,
under constant urging, he reached Hagerstown from Carlisle, which is not
an inch over fifty-five miles, if so much; and Couch's movement was very
little different.

"Again, my dear general, I do not believe you appreciate the magnitude
of the misfortune involved in Lee's escape. He was within your easy
grasp, and to have closed upon him would, in connection with our other
late successes, have ended the war. As it is, the war will be prolonged
indefinitely. If you could not safely attack Lee last Monday, how can
you possibly do so south of the river, when you can take with you very
few more than two thirds of the force you then had in hand? It would be
unreasonable to expect, and I do not expect [that] you can now effect
much. Your golden opportunity is gone, and I am distressed immeasurably
because of it.

"I beg you will not consider this a prosecution or persecution of
yourself. As you had learned that I was dissatisfied, I have thought it
best to kindly tell you why."

       *       *       *       *       *

There was an odd coincidence during this momentous first week in July.
During the preceding winter Mr. Lincoln had been exceedingly bothered by
certain Democrats, notably that gentleman of unsavory repute, Fernando
Wood, who had urged upon him all sorts of foolish schemes for
"compromising" or "settling the difficulties,"--phrases which were
euphemisms of the peace Democracy to disguise a concession of success to
the South. The President endured these sterile suggestions with his
wonted patience. But toward the close of June, Alexander H. Stephens,
Vice-President of the Confederacy, was seized with the notion that, if
he should go to Washington on a personal mission to Mr. Lincoln,
purporting to be about prisoners of war, he might then "indirectly ...
turn attention to a general adjustment." Accordingly he set forth on his
way to Fortress Monroe; but very inopportunely for his purposes it fell
out that the days of his journey were the very days in which General
Lee was getting so roughly worsted at Gettysburg. So it happened that it
was precisely on the day of the Southern retreat, July 4, that he
notified the admiral in Hampton Roads that he was the "bearer of a
communication in writing from Jefferson Davis, commander-in-chief of the
land and naval forces of the Confederate States, to Abraham Lincoln,
commander-in-chief of the land and naval forces of the United States;"
and he asked for leave to proceed to Washington. But his ingenious
phraseology was of no avail. Mr. Lincoln said: "The request of A.H.
Stephens is inadmissible. The customary agents and channels are adequate
for all needful communication and conference between the United States
forces and the insurgents." Thus the shrewd instinct of the Northerner
brought to naught a scheme conceived in the spirit of the old-time
Southern politics, a scheme which was certainly clever, but which,
without undue severity, may also be called a little artful and
insidious; for Mr. Stephens himself afterward confessed that it had, for
its ulterior purpose, "not so much to act upon Mr. Lincoln and the then
ruling authorities at Washington as through them, when the
correspondence should be published, upon the great mass of the people in
the Northern States." The notion, disseminated among the people, that
Mr. Lincoln would not listen to proposals for peace, would greatly help
malcontents of the Fernando Wood school.

It is necessary now to turn from the Eastern field of operations to the
Middle and Western parts of the country, where, however, the control
exercised by Mr. Lincoln was far less constant than at the East. After
the series of successes which culminated at Corinth, the Federal good
fortune rested as if to recuperate for a while. A large part of the
powerful army there gathered was carried away by Buell, and was soon
given occupation by General Bragg. For Jefferson Davis had long chosen
to fancy that Kentucky was held in an unwilling subjection to the Union,
and from this thralldom he now designed to relieve her, and to make the
Ohio River the frontier of Secession. Accordingly cavalry raids in
considerable force were made, Cincinnati was threatened, and General
Bragg, with a powerful army, started northward from Gainesville. At the
same time the Federals left Murfreesboro', and the two armies raced for
Louisville. Bragg, with a handsome start, should have won, but on
September 29, 1862, Buell entered the city ahead. The winning of the
goal, however, was not the end. Two hostile armies, which had come so
far and got so close together, were bound to have a fight. This took
place at Perryville, October 8, with the result that on the next day
Bragg began a rapid retreat. He had brought 20,000 stand of arms for the
Kentuckians who were to flock to his camp; but they had not flocked, and
the theory of Kentuckian disloyalty was no longer tenable.

So soon as Bragg was out of Kentucky, Halleck, probably at the
instigation of the President, recurred to the project of a campaign in
Eastern Tennessee. Buell said that it was not feasible, and since by
this opinion he placed himself at odds with the authorities at
Washington, he asked to be relieved from his command. At the close of
October, Major-General William S. Rosecrans succeeded him. But the new
commander would not, any more than his predecessor, fall in with
Halleck's schemes, and what Cist contemptuously describes as "Halleck's
brilliant paper campaign into East Tennessee" did not take place.

General Rosecrans took command of the army at Bowling Green, November 2,
1862. Bragg fell back to Murfreesboro', in Tennessee, and the city of
Nashville, now in Federal possession, became the gage of battle. On
December 26 Rosecrans moved out from that city towards Murfreesboro',
and on January 2, 1863, the battle of Stone's River took place. It was
desperately contested, and the losses were heavy. At the close of the
day the advantage rested with the Confederates; but it was
inconsiderable, and both sides considered the battle only begun. On the
next day, however, Bragg found such dangerous demoralization among his
troops that he decided to withdraw. Although he always persisted in
describing himself as the victor in the engagement, yet he now left his
wounded in the hospitals, and fell back to Shelbyville. In these
positions, not far apart, the two armies lay for a long while watching
each other; there were a few raids and small encounters, but
substantially, during the first six months of 1863, quietude reigned in
the region which they dominated.

But quietude was not what the government wished, and Mr. Lincoln and
General Halleck soon fell into much the same relationship with Rosecrans
which they had previously occupied towards McClellan. Whenever Rosecrans
had taken the field he had shown himself a skillful strategist and an
able commander in battle; but his propensity seemed to be to remain in
quarters, and thence to present extravagant exactions, and to conduct
endless disputes with the President and the general-in-chief. He seemed
like a restive horse, the more he was whipped and spurred the more
immovably he retained his balking attitude. Mr. Lincoln was sorely tried
by this obstinacy, and probably had been pushed nearly to the limits of
his patience, when at last Rosecrans stirred. It was on June 24 that he
set his army in motion to settle with Bragg those conclusions which had
been left open for half a year. With this purpose he moved upon
Shelbyville, but when he arrived there he found that Bragg had gone back
to Tullahoma; and when he pushed on to Tullahoma, Bragg had left there
also. Thus it came to pass that on the same famous Fourth of July on
which Lee started to get out of Pennsylvania, Bragg in like manner was
getting over the southern boundary line of Tennessee and putting the
mountain range between himself and the pursuing Federal commander. The
converging lines of Federal good luck came together on this great day of
the nation, in a way that touches the superstitious chord; for still
farther west another and a momentous event was taking place.

General Grant, at Corinth, had been pondering a great scheme which he
meant to undertake so soon as his scanty army should be sufficiently
reinforced. If Richmond had an artificial value as a token of final
triumph, the Mississippi River had scarcely less value of a practical
character. Vicksburg and Port Hudson cut out a mid-section of about 200
miles of the great stream, which section still remained under
Confederate control. Vicksburg was General Grant's objective point. Even
to conceive the capture of this stronghold seemed in itself evidence of
genius; no mere pedant in warfare could have had the conception. Every
difficulty lay in the way of the assailant. The Confederates had spared
no skill, no labor, no expense in fortifying the town; yet after all had
been done that military science could do, human achievement counted for
little in comparison with the surpassing arrangements of Nature. If what
she intended could be inferred from what she had done, she clearly had
designed this town to be through all time a veritable "virgin fortress;"
she had made for its resting-place a great bluff, which jutted
insolently out into the channel of the Mississippi River, and upon the
summit of which the cluster of buildings resembled rather an eyrie of
eagles than a place of human habitation; the great stream, as if
confounded by the daring obstruction, before it could recover its
interrupted course spread itself far over the surrounding country in a
tangle of bayous and a vast expanse of unwholesome, impassable swamp;
the high ridges which lay inland around the place were intersected by
frequent long, deep, and precipitous ravines, so that by this side also
hostile approach had apparently been rendered impossible. Nevertheless,
that one of the Northern generals to whom nothing ever seemed
impossible, having cast the eye of desire upon this especial spot, now
advanced upon it, and began operations in his silent, enduring,
pertinacious way, which no men and no intrenchments could permanently
withstand. His lieutenant, Sherman, made one desperate assault,--not, as
it seemed, because there was a possibility of taking the place, but
rather to demonstrate that it could not be taken. Then slower and more
toilsome methods were tried. It was obvious that a siege must be
resorted to; yet it was not easy to get near enough even to establish a

General Grant had early decided that the city would remain impregnable
until by some means he could get below it on the river and approach it
from the landward side. Ingenious schemes of canals were tried, and
failed. Time passed; the month of April was closing, and all that had
been done seemed to amount to nothing better than an accumulation of
evidence that the Confederacy had one spot which the Federals could
never touch. At last ingenuity was laid aside for sheer daring. The
fleet, under Admiral Porter, transported the army down-stream, athwart
the hostile batteries, and set it ashore on the east bank, below the
fortifications. Yet this very success seemed only to add peril to
difficulty. The Confederates, straining every nerve to save the place,
were gathering a great force in the neighborhood to break up the
besieging army. With a base of supplies which was substantially useless,
in a hostile country, with a powerful army hovering near him, and an
unapproachable citadel as his objective, Grant could save himself from
destruction only by complete and prompt success. Desperate, indeed, was
the occasion, yet all its exorbitant requirements were met fully,
surely, and swiftly by the commander and the gallant troops under him.
In the task of getting a clear space, by driving the Confederates from
the neighborhood for a considerable distance around, the army penetrated
eastward as far as Jackson, fighting constantly and living off the
country. Then, returning westward, they began the siege, which, amid
hardship and peril and infinite difficulty, was pushed with the
relentless vigor of the most relentless and most vigorous leader of the
war. At last, on July 3, General Pemberton, commanding within the city,
opened negotiations for a surrender. He knew that an assault would be
made the next day, and he knew that it must succeed; he did not want to
illustrate the Fourth of July by so terrible a Confederate loss, so
magnificent a Federal gain. Yet he haggled over the terms, and by this
delay brought about a part of that which he had wished to avoid. It was
due to his fretfulness about details, that the day on which the Southern
army marched out and stacked their arms before the fortifications of
Vicksburg, and on which the Northern army, having generously watched the
operation without a cheer, then marched in and took possession of the
place, was that same Fourth of July on which two other defeated generals
were escaping from two other victorious Northern armies.

In a military point of view this campaign and siege have been pronounced
by many competent critics the greatest achievement of the war; but the
magnificent and interesting story must, with regret, be yielded to the
biographer of Grant; it does not belong to the biographer of Lincoln.
The whole enterprise was committed to Grant to be handled by him without
let or hindrance, and it was conducted by him from beginning to end
without interference, and almost even without suggestion. Yet this very
fact was greatly to the credit of the administration. In the outset the
President passed judgment upon the man; and it was a correct judgment.
Afterward he stood to it gallantly. In the middle of the business, when
the earlier expedients went wrong, a great outcry against Grant arose.
Editors and politicians, even the secretary of the treasury himself,
began to hound the President with importunate demands for the
displacement of a general whom they fervently alleged to be another of
the incompetents; in short, there was the beginning of just such a
crusade as that which had been made against McClellan. But by this time
the President had had opportunity to measure the military capacity of
editors and politicians, and he was not now so much disquieted by their
clamor as he once had been. He simply, in his quiet way, paid no
attention to them whatsoever. Only when one of them reiterated the
gossip about Grant being drunk at Shiloh, he made his famous reply, that
he should like to send to some other generals a barrel of the whiskey
which Grant drank. In a word, the detractors of the silent general made
little impression on the solitary President, who told them shortly and
decisively: "I can't spare this man; he fights." They wholly failed to
penetrate the protecting fence which the civilian threw around the
soldier, and within the shelter of which that soldier so admirably
performed the feat which more than any other illustrates the national
arms. Certainly the President comes in for his peculiar share of the
praise. When the news came to Mr. Lincoln he wrote to General Grant this

"July 16, 1863.

"My DEAR GENERAL,--I do not remember that you and I ever met personally.
I write this now as a grateful acknowledgment for the almost
inestimable services you have done the country.

"I wish to say a word further. When you reached the vicinity of
Vicksburg, I thought you should do what you finally did,--march the
troops across the neck, run the batteries with the transports, and thus
go below; and I never had any faith, except in a general hope that you
knew better than I, that the Yazoo Pass expedition and the like would

"When you got below and took Port Gibson, Grand Gulf, and vicinity, I
thought you should go down the river and join General Banks; and when
you turned northward, east of the Big Black, I feared it was a mistake.
I now wish to make a personal acknowledgment that you were right and I
was wrong."

Immediately after the ceremony of surrender was over Sherman marched
away with a strong force to find and fight Johnston's army. But that
general, shunning the conflict, moved so far southward into Mississippi
that pursuit was imprudent during the hot season.

While Grant was finishing the siege of Vicksburg, General Banks was
besieging Port Hudson, which lay at the southern end of the rebel
section of the river. The fall of the northern post rendered the
southern one untenable, and it was surrendered on July 9. Henceforth the
great river was a safe roadway for unarmed craft flying the stars and

It is time now to go back to Tennessee. By the close of the first week
in July, 1863, the Confederate force was established in Chattanooga, and
thus the hostile armies were "placed back in the relative positions
occupied by them prior to Bragg's advance into Kentucky, a little less
than one year previous." But though the Southern general had reached his
present position by a retreat at the end of a disappointing enterprise,
the issue of final success was still an open one between him and
Rosecrans, with many advantages on his side. He had a large army in the
heart of a mountainous region, with the opportunity to post it in
positions which ought to be impregnable. Moreover, he received fresh
troops under Johnston; and later the inaction of Meade in Virginia
encouraged Lee to send to him a considerable force under Longstreet,
himself no small reinforcement. These arrived just on the eve of the
impending battle.

Meantime Mr. Lincoln was sorely exercised at his inability to make his
generals carry out his plans. He desired that Burnside should move down
from the north and unite with Rosecrans, and that then the combined
force should attack Bragg promptly. But Rosecrans lay still for about
six weeks, to repair losses and fatigue, and again played the part of
the restive steed, responding to the President's spur only with
fractious kickings. It was August 16 when he moved, but then he showed
his usual ability in action. The march was difficult; yet, on September
6, he had his whole force across the Tennessee and in the mountains
south of Chattanooga. Burnside, meanwhile, had advanced to Knoxville,
but had stopped there, and was now, greatly to Mr. Lincoln's
bewilderment and annoyance, showing activity in every direction except
precisely that in which he was directed to move.

At last, after much fruitless manoeuvring, the collision took place, and
for two days there was fierce and stubborn fighting on the famous
battlefield of Chickamauga. On the second day, September 20, Longstreet,
commanding the Confederate left, thoroughly defeated the Federal right
and centre and sent them in precipitate flight to Chattanooga.
Rosecrans, overwhelmed amid the rush of fugitives, and thinking that all
was lost, also hastened thither to take charge of the fragments. In
truth all would have been lost, had it not been for Thomas. This able
and resolute commander won in this fight the rhetorical but well merited
name of "the Rock of Chickamauga." Under him the Federal left stood
immovable, though furiously assailed by odds, and tried by the rout of
their comrades. At nightfall these troops, still in position, covered
the withdrawal to Chattanooga.

Rosecrans, badly demoralized, gave the President to understand that
there had been a terrible disaster, and the President, according to his
custom in such trying moments, responded with words of encouragement and
an instant effort to restore morale. Mr. Lincoln always cheered his
generals in the hour of disaster, which he seemed to regard only as the
starting-point for a new advance, the incentive to a fresh exertion.
Yet, in fact, there had not been a disaster, but only a moderate
worsting of the Federal army, resulting in its retirement a trifling
distance to the place whence its opponents had just marched out. The
issue between the two generals was still as open after Rosecrans's
misfortune as it had been after the previous misfortunes of Bragg.
Already there was a new question, who would win that coming battle which
plainly was close at hand. The curtain had only gone down on an act; the
drama itself had not been played out.

Bragg advanced to besiege Chattanooga, and Rosecrans's communications
were so imperfect that his troops were put on short rations. On the
other hand, Mr. Lincoln bestirred himself vigorously. He promptly sent
Sherman from the West, and Hooker from the East, each with considerable
reinforcements, en route for the beleaguered town. Also he saw plainly
that, whether by fault or misfortune, the usefulness of Rosecrans was
over, and on October 16 he put Thomas in place of Rosecrans,[47] and
gave to General Grant the command of the Military Division of the
Mississippi, including the Departments of the Ohio, the Cumberland, and
the Tennessee. Grant at once telegraphed to Thomas to hold Chattanooga
at all hazards; to which Thomas replied: "We will hold the town till we
starve!" Grant well knew that they were already getting very hungry. He
showed his usual prompt energy in relieving them; and a little fighting
soon opened a route by which sufficient food came into the place.

It was now obvious that the decisive conflict between the two armies,
which had so long been striving for the advantage of strategic position,
and fighting in hostile competition, was at last to occur. Each had its
distinctive advantage. The Federals were led by Grant, with Sherman,
Thomas, Sheridan, and Hooker as his lieutenants,--a list which may
fairly recall Napoleon and his marshals. On the other hand, the
Southerners, lying secure in intrenched positions upon the precipitous
sides and lofty summits of Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge, seemed
invulnerably placed. It does not belong to this narrative to describe
the terrific contest in which these two combatants furiously locked
horns on November 24 and 25. It was Hooker's brave soldiers who
performed the conspicuous feat which was conclusive of victory. Having,
by command, stormed the first line of rifle-pits on the ascent, upon the
Confederate left, they suddenly took the control into their own hands;
without orders they dashed forward, clambered upward in a sudden and
resistless access of fighting fury, and in an hour, emerging above the
mists which shrouded the mid-mountain from the anxious view of General
Grant, they planted the stars and stripes on top of Lookout Mountain.
They had fought and won what was poetically christened "the battle above
the clouds." Sherman, with seven divisions, had meanwhile been making
desperate and bloody assaults upon Missionary Ridge, and had gained the
first hilltop; but the next one seemed impregnable. It was, however, not
necessary for him to renew the costly assault; for Hooker's victory,
which was quickly followed by a handsome advance by Sheridan, on
Sherman's right, so turned the Confederate position as to make it

The Northerners were exasperated to find, among the Confederate troops
who surrendered as captives in these two battles, prisoners of war taken
at Vicksburg and Port Hudson, who had been paroled and never exchanged.

On the eve of this battle Longstreet had started northward to cut off
and destroy Burnside in Knoxville, and no sooner was the actual fighting
over than Grant sent Sherman in all haste to Burnside's assistance.
Thereupon Longstreet fell back towards Virginia, and came to a
resting-place midway, where he afterward lay unharmed and unharming for
many months. Thus at last the long-deferred wish of the President was
fulfilled, and the chief part of East Tennessee was wrested from
Confederate occupation. Among the loyal inhabitants the great rejoicing
was in proportion to the sufferings which they had so long been

Meanwhile, since Gettysburg, no conspicuous event had attracted
attention in Virginia. The President had been disappointed that Meade
had not fought at Williamsport, but soon afterward he gave decisive
advice against forcing a fight at a worse place in order to cure the
blunder of having let go the chance to fight at the right place. About
the middle of September, however, when Lee had reduced his army by
leaves of absence and by dispatching Longstreet to reinforce Bragg, Mr.
Lincoln thought it a good time to attack him. Meade, on the other hand,
now said that he did not feel strong enough to assault, and this
although he had 90,000 men "between him and Washington," and by his
estimate the whole force of the enemy, "stretching as far as Richmond,"
was only 60,000. "For a battle, then," wrote Mr. Lincoln, "General Meade
has three men to General Lee's two. Yet, it having been determined that
choosing ground and standing on the defensive gives so great advantage
that the three cannot safely attack the two, the three are left simply
standing on the defensive also. If the enemy's 60,000 are sufficient to
keep our 90,000 away from Richmond, why, by the same rule, may not
40,000 of ours keep their 60,000 away from Washington, leaving us 50,000
to put to some other use?... I can perceive no fault in this statement,
unless we admit we are not the equal of the enemy man for man." But
when, a few days later, Stanton proposed to detach 30,000 men from Meade
to Rosecrans, Mr. Lincoln demurred, and would agree only to let go
13,000, whom Hooker took with him to Chattanooga. Probably he did not
wish to diminish the Federal strength in Virginia.

Late in October, Lee, overestimating the number of troops thus
withdrawn, endeavored to move northward; but Meade outmanoeuvred and
outmarched him, and he fell back behind the Rapidan. General Meade next
took his turn at the aggressive. Toward the close of November he crossed
the Rapidan with the design of flanking and attacking Lee. But an
untoward delay gave the Southerners time to intrench themselves so
strongly that an attack was imprudent, and Meade returned to the north
bank of the stream. The miscarriage hurt his reputation with the people,
though he was not to blame for it.

Now, as the severe season was about to begin, all the armies both of the
North and of the South, on both sides of the mountain ranges, turned
gladly into winter quarters. Each had equal need to rest and recuperate
after hard campaigns and bloody battles. For a while the war news was
infrequent and insignificant; and the cessation in the thunder of cannon
and the rattle of musketry gives opportunity again to hear the voices of
contending politicians. For a while we must leave the warriors and give
ear to the talkers.


[43] Palfrey, _The Antietam and Fredericksburg_, 132.

[44] Swinton says: "The moment he confronted his antagonist he seemed to
suffer a collapse of all his powers." _Army of Potomac_, 280.

[45] But, says Swinton, there was less disproportion than usual; for the
great army which Hooker had had before Chancellorsville had been greatly
reduced, both by casualties and by the expiration of terms of service.
On May 13 he reported that his "marching force of infantry" was "about
80,000 men." A little later the cavalry was reported at 4677. _Army of
Potomac_, 310.

[46] Swinton says that whether Meade should have attacked or not, "will
probably always remain one of those questions about which men will
differ." He inclines to think that Meade was right. _Army of Potomac_,
369, 370.

[47] Grant disliked Rosecrans, and is said to have asked for this



It has been pleasant to emerge from the dismal winter of 1862-63 into
the sun-gleam of the Fourth of July of the latter year. But it is
necessary to return for a while into that dusky gloom, for the career of
a "war president" is by no means wholly a series of campaigns. Domestic
politics, foreign relations, finance, make their several demands.

Concerning one of these topics, at least, there is little to be said.
One day, in a period of financial stress, Mr. Chase expressed a wish to
introduce to the President a delegation of bankers, who had come to
Washington to discuss the existing condition with regard to money.
"Money!" exclaimed Mr. Lincoln, "I don't know anything about 'money'! I
never had enough of my own to fret me, and I have no opinion about it
any way." Accordingly, throughout his administration he left the whole
subject in the hands of the secretary of the treasury. The tariffs and
internal revenue bills, the legal tender notes, the "five-twenties," the
"ten-forties," and the "seven-thirties," all the loans, the national
banking system, in short, all the financial schemes of the
administration were adopted by Mr. Lincoln upon the recommendation of
Mr. Chase, with little apparent study upon his own part. Satisfied of
the ability of his secretary, he gave to all the Treasury measures his
loyal support. In return, he expected the necessary funds to be
forthcoming; for he had implicit confidence in the willingness of the
people to pay the bills of the Union; and he expected the secretary to
arrange methods by which they could do so with reasonable convenience.
Mr. Chase was cast for the role of magician, familiar with those
incantations which could keep the Treasury ever full. It was well thus,
for in fact no word or incident in Mr. Lincoln's life indicates that he
had any capacity whatsoever in financiering. To live within his income
and pay his dues with a minute and careful punctuality made the limit of
his dealings and his interest in money matters.

       *       *       *       *       *

Foreign affairs, less technical, could not in like easy manner be
committed to others, and in these Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Seward labored
together. The blackest cloud was the Trent affair, yet after that had
passed the sky by no means became clear. In the spring of 1862 the Oreto
went out from Liverpool to become the rebel privateer Florida. Before
her departure Mr. Adams complained concerning her to the English
government, but was assured that the vessel was designed for the
Sicilian fruit trade! As it is not diplomatic to say that gentlemen in
office are telling lies, the American minister could push the matter no
farther. The Florida, therefore, escaped, not to conduct commerce with
Sicily, but to destroy the commerce of the United States. At the same
time that she was fitting out, a mysterious craft, oddly known only as
the "290," was also building in the Liverpool docks, and against her Mr.
Adams got such evidence that the queen's ministers could not help
deciding that she must be detained. Unfortunately, however, and by a
strange, if not a significant chance, they reached this decision on the
day after she had sailed! She became the notorious Alabama. Earl Russell
admitted that the affair was "a scandal," but this did not interfere
with the career of Captain Semmes. In these incidents there was both
cause and provocation for war, and hot-headed ones cried out for it,
while prudent men feared it. But the President and the secretary were
under the bonds of necessity to keep their official temper. Just at this
juncture England would have found it not only very easy, but also very
congenial to her real sympathies, to play for the South a part like that
which France had once played for certain thirteen revolted colonies, and
thereby to change a rebellion into a revolution. So Mr. Lincoln and Mr.
Seward, not willing to give the unfriendly power this opportunity, only
wrote down in the national ledger sundry charges against Great Britain,
which were afterward paid, not promptly, yet in full!

Another provoking thing was the placing of

Confederate loans in London. This could not be interfered with. The
only comfort was that the blockaded South had much difficulty in laying
hands upon the proceeds of the bonds which English friends of the Slave
Empire were induced to buy. Yet time, always the faithful auxiliary of
the North, took care of this matter also. When the news of Gettysburg
and Vicksburg came, the investors, who had scarcely finished writing the
cheques with which to pay their subscriptions, were obliged to face a
drop of thirty per cent, in the market price of their new securities.
For many years after the war was over British strong boxes wasted space
in accommodating these absurd documents, while the idea of their
worthlessness was slowly filtering through the minds of their owners.

Another thing, which did no harm at all, but was exceedingly vexatious,
was the constant suggestion of European mediation. For a couple of
years, at least, the air was full of this sort of talk. Once, in spite
of abundant discouragement, the French emperor actually committed the
folly of making the proposal. It came inopportunely on February 3, 1863,
after the defeat of Fredericksburg, like a carrion bird after a battle.
It was rejected very decisively, and if Napoleon III. appreciated Mr.
Seward's dispatch, he became aware that he had shown gross lack of
discernment. Yet he was not without some remarkable companions in this
incapacity to understand that which he was observing, as if from aloft,
with an air of superior wisdom. One would think that the condition of
feeling in the United States which had induced Governor Hicks, in the
early stage of the rebellion, to suggest a reference to Lord Lyons, as
arbitrator, had long since gone by. But it had not; and it is the
surprising truth that Horace Greeley had lately written to M. Mercier,
the French minister at Washington, suggesting precisely the step which
the emperor took; and there were other less conspicuous citizens who
manifested a similar lack of spirit and intelligence.

All this, however, was really of no serious consequence. Talk about
mediation coming from American citizens could do little actual injury,
and from foreigners it could do none. If the foreigners had only been
induced to offer it by reason of a friendly desire to help the country
in its hour of stress, the rejection might even have been accompanied
with sincere thanks. Unfortunately, however, it never came in this
guise; but, on the contrary, it always involved the offensive assumption
that the North could never restore the integrity of the Union by force.
Northern failure was established in advance, and was the unconcealed, if
not quite the avowed, basis of the whole transaction. Now though mere
unfriendliness, not overstepping the requirements of international law,
could inflict little substantial hurt, yet there was something very
discouraging in the unanimity and positiveness with which all these
experienced European statesmen assumed the success of the Confederacy
as the absolutely sure outcome; and in this time of extreme trial to
discourage was to injure. Furthermore, the undisguised pleasure with
which this prospect was contemplated was sorely trying to men oppressed
by the burdens of anxiety and trouble which rested on the President and
his ministers. The man who had begun life as a frontiersman had need of
much moral courage to sustain him in the face of the presagings, the
condemnations, and the hostility of nearly all the sage and well-trained
statesmen of Europe. In those days the United States had not yet fully
thrown off a certain thralldom of awe before European opinion.
Nevertheless, at whatever cost in the coin of self-reliance, the
President and the secretary maintained the courage of their opinions,
and never swerved or hesitated in the face of foreign antipathy or
contempt. The treatment inflicted upon them was only so much added to
the weight under which they had to stand up.

       *       *       *       *       *

Rebellion and foreign ill-will, even Copperheadism, presented
difficulties and opposition which were in a certain sense legitimate;
but that loyal Republicans should sow the path of the administration
thick with annoyances certainly did seem an unfair trial. Yet, on sundry
occasions, some of which have been mentioned, these men did this thing,
and they did it in the very uncompromising and exasperating manner which
is the natural emanation from conscientious purpose and intense
self-faith. An instance occurred in December, 1862. The blacker the
prospect became, the more bitter waxed the extremists. Such is the
fashion of fanatics, who are wont to grow more warm as their chances
seem to grow more desperate; and some of the leaders of the anti-slavery
wing of the Republican party were fanatics. These men by no means
confined their hostility to the Democratic McClellan; but extended it to
so old and tried a Republican as the secretary of state himself. It had
already come to this, that the new party was composed of, if not split
into, two sections of widely discordant views. The conservative body
found its notions expressed in the cabinet by Seward; the radical body
had a mouthpiece in Chase. The conservatives were not aggressive; but
the radicals waged a genuine political warfare, and denounced Seward,
not, indeed, with the vehemence which was considered to be appropriate
against McClellan, yet very strenuously. Finally this hostility reached
such a pass that, at a caucus of Republican senators, it was actually
voted to demand the dismission of this long-tried and distinguished
leader in the anti-slavery struggle. Later, in place of this blunt vote,
a more polite equivalent was substituted, in the shape of a request for
a reconstruction of the cabinet. Then a committee visited the President
and pressed him to have done with the secretary, whom they thought
lukewarm. Meanwhile, Seward had heard of what was going forward, and,
in order to free Mr. Lincoln from embarrassment, he had already tendered
his resignation before the committee arrived.

The crisis was serious. The recent elections indicated that even while,
as now, the government represented all the sections of Republicanism,
still the situation was none too good; but if it was to be controlled by
the extremist wing of a discordant party, the chance that it could
endure to the end the tremendous strain of civil war was reduced almost
to hopelessness. The visitors who brought this unwelcome suggestion to
the President received no immediate response or expression of opinion
from him, but were invited to come again in the evening; they did so,
and were then much surprised to meet all the members of the cabinet
except Mr. Seward. An outspoken discussion ensued, in which Mr. Chase
found his position embarrassing, if not equivocal. On the following
morning, he, with other members of the cabinet, came again for further
talk with the President; in his hand he held a written resignation of
his office. He "tendered" it, yet "did not advance to deliver it,"
whereupon the President stepped forward and took it "with alacrity."[48]

Having now in his hands the resignations of the chiefs of the two
principal factions of the party, the President had made the first step
towards relieving the situation of dangerous one-sidedness. At once he
took the next step by sending to each this note:--

December 20, 1862.


_Gentlemen_,--You have respectively tendered me your resignations as
secretary of state and secretary of the treasury of the United States. I
am apprised of the circumstances which render this course personally
desirable to each of you; but, after most anxious consideration, my
deliberate judgment is, that the public interest does not admit of it.

I therefore have to request that you will resume the duties of your
departments respectively.

Your obedient servant,


The next morning Mr. Seward wrote briefly: "I have cheerfully resumed
the functions of this department, in obedience to your command." Mr.
Chase seemed to hesitate. On December 20, in the afternoon, he had
written a letter, in which he had said that he thought it desirable that
his resignation should be accepted. He gave as his reason that recent
events had "too rudely jostled the unity" of the cabinet; and he
intimated that, with both himself and Seward out of it, an improved
condition might be reached. He had not, however, actually dispatched
this, when the President's note reached him. He then, though feeling
his convictions strengthened, decided to hold back the letter which he
had prepared and "to sleep on" the matter. Having slept, he wrote, on
the morning of December 22, a different letter, to the effect that,
though reflection had not much, if at all, changed his original opinion
as to the desirability of his resignation, yet he would conform to the
judgment and wishes of the President. If Mr. Chase was less gracious
than Mr. Seward in this business, it is to be remembered that he was
very much more dissatisfied with the President's course than was Mr.
Seward, who, indeed, for the most part was not dissatisfied at all.

Thus a dangerous crisis was escaped rather than overcome. For though
after the relief given by this plain speaking the situation did not
again become quite so strained as it had previously been, yet
disagreement between men naturally prudent and men naturally extremist
was inevitable. Nevertheless it was something that the two sections had
encountered each other, and that neither had won control of the
government. The President had restrained dissension within safe limits
and had saved himself from the real or apparent domination of a faction.
When it was all over, he said: "Now I can ride; I have got a pumpkin in
each end of my bag." Later on he repeated: "I do not see how it could
have been done better. I am sure it was right. If I had yielded to that
storm and dismissed Seward, the thing would all have slumped over one
way, and we should have been left with a scanty handful of supporters."
Undoubtedly he had managed very skillfully a very difficult affair, but
he ought never to have been compelled to arrange such quarrels in the
camp of his own party.

       *       *       *       *       *

Those counties of Virginia which lay west of the Alleghanies contained a
population which was, by an overwhelming majority, strenuously loyal.
There had long been more of antagonism than of friendship between them
and the rest of the State, and now, as has been already mentioned, the
secession of Virginia from the Union stimulated them, in turn, to secede
from Virginia. In the summer of 1861 they took measures to form
themselves into a separate State; and in April, 1862, they adopted a
state Constitution by a vote of 18,862 yeas against 514 nays. A bill for
the admission of "West Virginia" was passed by the Senate in July, and
by the House in December, and was laid before the President for
signature. There were nice questions of constitutional law about this,
and some doubt also as to whether the move was altogether well advised.
Mr. Lincoln asked the opinions of the cabinet as to whether he should
sign the bill. Three said Yea, and three Nay; and it was noteworthy that
the three who thought it expedient also thought it constitutional, and
that the three who thought it inexpedient also thought it
unconstitutional. Mr. Lincoln, not much assisted, then decided in the
affirmative, and signed the bill December 31, 1862. A statement of the
reasons[49] which led him to this decision concludes thus: "It is said
that the admission of West Virginia is secession, and tolerated only
because it is _our_ secession. Well, if we call it by that name, there
is still difference enough between secession against the Constitution
and secession in favor of the Constitution." Mr. Elaine says that the
creation of this State was sustained by "legal fictions;" and Thaddeus
Stevens declared that it was a measure entirely outside of any provision
of the Constitution, yet said that he should vote for it in accordance
with his general principle: that none of the States in rebellion were
entitled to the protection of the Constitution. The Republicans
themselves were divided in their views as to the lawfulness of the
measure. However the law may have stood, it is evident to us, looking
backward, that for practical purposes the wisdom of the President's
judgment cannot be impugned. The measure was the amputation of so much
territory from that which the Confederates, if they should succeed,
could claim as their own; and it produced no inconvenience at all when,
instead of succeeding, they failed.

       *       *       *       *       *

Many causes conspired to induce an obstreperous outbreak of
"Copperheadism" in the spring of 1863. The Democratic successes in the
elections of the preceding autumn were in part a premonition of this,
in part also a cause. Moreover, reaction was inevitable after the
intense outburst of patriotic enthusiasm which had occurred during the
earlier part of the war. But more than all this, Mr. Lincoln wrote, and
every one knew, that, "if the war fails, the administration fails," and
thus far the war had been a failure. So the grumblers, the malcontents,
and the Southern sympathizers argued that the administration also, at
least so far as it had gone, had been a failure; and they fondly
conceived that their day of triumph was dawning.

That which was due, punctually arrived. There now came into prominence
those secret societies which, under a shifting variety of names,
continued to scheme and to menace until the near and visible end of the
war effected their death by inanition. The Knights of the Golden Circle,
The Order of American Knights, the Order of the Star, The Sons of
Liberty, in turn enlisted recruits in an abundance which is now
remembered with surprise and humiliation,--sensations felt perhaps most
keenly by the sons of those who themselves belonged to the
organizations. Mr. Seward well said: "These persons will be trying to
forget, years hence, that they ever opposed this war." These societies
gave expression to a terrible blunder, for Copperheadism was even more
stupid than it was vicious. But the fact of their stupidity made them
harmless. Their very names labeled them. Men who like to enroll
themselves in Golden Circles and in Star galaxies seldom accomplish much
in exacting, especially in dangerous, practical affairs. Mr. Lincoln
took this sensible view of these associations. His secretaries, who
doubtless speak from personal knowledge, say that his attitude "was one
of good-humored contempt."

As a rule these "Knights" showed their valor in the way of mischief,
plotting bold things, but never doing them. They encouraged soldiers to
desert; occasionally they assassinated an enrolling officer; they
maintained communications with the Confederates, to whom they gave
information and occasionally also material aid; they were tireless in
caucus work and wire-pulling; in Indiana, in 1863, they got sufficient
control of the legislature to embarrass Governor Morton quite seriously;
they talked much about establishing a Northwestern Confederacy; a few of
them were perhaps willing to aid in those cowardly efforts at
incendiarism in the great Northern cities, also in the poisoning of
reservoirs, in the distribution of clothing infected with disease, and
in other like villainies which were arranged by Confederate emissaries
in Canada, and some of which were imperfectly carried out in New York
and elsewhere; they also made great plans for an uprising and for the
release of Confederate prisoners in Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana. But no
actual outbreak ever occurred; for when they had come close to the
danger line, these associates of mediaeval tastes and poetic
appellatives always stopped short.

The President was often urged to take decisive measures against these
devisers of ignoble treasons. Such men as Governor Morton and General
Rosecrans strove to alarm him. But he said that the "conspiracy merited
no special attention, being about an equal mixture of puerility and
malice." He had perfect information as to all the doings and plottings,
and as to the membership, of all the societies, and was able to measure
accurately their real power of hurtfulness; he never could be induced to
treat them with a severity which was abundantly deserved, but which
might not have been politic and would certainly have added to the labor,
the expense, and the complications of the government. "Nothing can make
me believe," he once charitably said, "that one hundred thousand Indiana
Democrats are disloyal!" His judgment was proved to be sound; for had
many of these men been in grim earnest in their disloyalty, they would
have achieved something. In fact these bodies were unquestionably
composed of a small infusion of genuine traitors, combined with a vastly
larger proportion of bombastic fellows who liked to talk, and foolish
people who were tickled in their shallow fancy by the element of secrecy
and the fineness of the titles.

The man whose name became unfortunately preeminent for disloyalty at
this time was Clement L. Vallandigham, a Democrat, of Ohio. General
Burnside was placed in command of the Department of the Ohio, March 25,
1863, and having for the moment no Confederates to deal with, he turned
his attention to the Copperheads, whom he regarded with even greater
animosity. His Order No. 38, issued on April 13, brought these hornets
about his ears in impetuous fury; for, having made a long schedule of
their favorite offenses, which he designed for the future severely to
proscribe, he closed it by saying that "the habit of declaring sympathy
for the enemy will not be allowed in this Department;" and he warned
persons with treasonable tongues that, unless they should keep that
little member in order, they might expect either to suffer death as
traitors, or to be sent southward within the lines of "their friends."
Now Mr. Vallandigham had been a member of Congress since 1856, and was
at present a prominent candidate for any office which the Democrats of
his State or of the United States might be able to fill; he was the
popular and rising leader of the Copperhead wing of the Democracy. Such
was his position that it would have been ignominious for him to allow
any Union general to put a military gag in his mouth. Nor did he. On the
contrary, he made speeches which at that time might well have made
Unionists mad with rage, and which still seem to have gone far beyond
the limit of disloyalty which any government could safely tolerate.
Therefore on May 4 he was arrested by a company of soldiers, brought to
Cincinnati, and thrown into jail. His friends gathered in anger, and a
riot was narrowly avoided. At once, by order of General Burnside, he was
tried by a military commission. He was charged with "publicly expressing
sympathy for those in arms against the government of the United States,
and declaring disloyal sentiments and opinions, with the object and
purpose of weakening the power of the government in its efforts to
suppress an unlawful rebellion." Specifications were drawn from a speech
delivered by him on or about May 1. The evidence conclusively sustained
the indictment, and the officers promptly pronounced him guilty,
whereupon he was sentenced by Burnside to confinement in Fort Warren. An
effort to obtain his release by a writ of habeas corpus was ineffectual.

The rapidity of these proceedings had taken every one by surprise. But
the Democrats throughout the North, rapidly surveying the situation,
seized the opportunity which perhaps had been too inconsiderately given
them. The country rang with plausible outcries and high-sounding oratory
concerning military usurpation, violation of the Constitution, and
stifling freedom of speech. It was painfully obvious that this
combination of rhetoric and argument troubled the minds of many
well-affected persons. If the President had been consulted in the
outset, it is thought by some that he would not have allowed matters to
proceed so far. Soon afterward, in his reply to the New York Democrats,
he said: "In my own discretion, I do not know whether I would have
ordered the arrest of Mr. Vallandigham." On the other hand, Mr. Blaine
states that Burnside "undoubtedly had confidential instructions in
regard to the mode of dealing with the rising tide of disloyalty which,
beginning in Ohio, was sweeping over the West."

In a very short time the violence of the fault-finding reached so
excessive a measure that Burnside offered his resignation; but Mr.
Lincoln declined to accept it, saying that, though all the cabinet
regretted the necessity for the arrest, "some perhaps doubting there was
a real necessity for it, yet, being done, all were for seeing you
through with it." This seems to have been his own position. In fact it
was clear that, whether what had been done was or was not a mistake, to
undo it would be a greater mistake. Accordingly Mr. Lincoln only showed
that he felt the pressure of the criticism and denunciation by commuting
the sentence, and directing that Vallandigham should be released from
confinement and sent within the Confederate lines,--which was, indeed, a
very shrewd and clever move, and much better than the imprisonment.
Accordingly the quasi rebel was tendered to and accepted by a
Confederate picket, on May 25. He protested vehemently, declared his
loyalty, and insisted that his character was that of a prisoner of war.
But the Confederates, who had no objection whatsoever to his peculiar
methods of demonstrating "loyalty" to their opponents, insisted upon
treating him as a friend, the victim of an enemy common to themselves
and him; and instead of exchanging him as a prisoner, they facilitated
his passage through the blockade on his way to Canada. There he arrived
in safety, and thence issued sundry manifestoes to the Democracy. On
June 11 the Democratic Convention of Ohio nominated him as their
candidate for governor, and it seems that for a while they really
expected to elect him.

In the condition of feeling during the months in which these events were
occurring, they undeniably subjected the government to a very severe
strain. They furnished the Democrats with ammunition far better than any
which they had yet found, and they certainly used it well. Since the
earliest days of the war there had never been quite an end of the
protestation against arbitrary military arrests and the suspension of
the sacred writ of habeas corpus, and now the querulous outcry was
revived with startling vehemence. Crowded meetings were held everywhere;
popular orators terrified or enraged their audiences with pictures of
the downfall of freedom, the jeopardy of every citizen; resolutions and
votes without number expressed the alarm and anger of the great
assemblages; learned lawyers lent their wisdom to corroborate the
rhetoricians, and even some Republican newspapers joined the croaking
procession of their Democratic rivals. Erelong the assaults appeared to
be producing effects so serious and widespread that the President was
obliged to enter into the controversy. On May 16 a monster meeting of
"the Democrats of New York" was told by Governor Seymour that the
question was: "whether this war is waged to put down rebellion at the
South, or to destroy free institutions at the North." Excited by such
instigation, the audience passed sundry damnatory resolutions and sent
them to the President.

Upon receiving these, Mr. Lincoln felt that he must come down into the
arena, without regard to official conventionality. On June 12 he replied
by a full presentation of the case, from his point of view. He had once
more to do the same thing in response to another address of like
character which was sent to him on June 11 by the Democratic State
Convention of Ohio. In both cases the documents prepared by the
remonstrants were characterized, to more than the usual degree, by that
dignified and _ore rotundo_ phraseology, that solemnity in the
presentation of imposing generalities, which are wont to be so dear to
committees charged with drafting resolutions. The replies of the
President were in striking contrast to this rhetorical method alike in
substance and in form; clear, concise, and close-knit, they were models
of good work in political controversy, and like most of his writing they
sorely tempt to liberal transcription, a temptation which must
unfortunately be resisted, save for a few sentences. The opening
paragraph in the earlier paper was cleverly put:--

"The resolutions are resolvable into two propositions,--first, the
expression of a purpose to sustain the cause of the Union, to secure
peace through victory, and to support the administration in every
constitutional and lawful measure to suppress the rebellion; and,
secondly, a declaration of censure upon the administration for supposed
unconstitutional action, such as the making of military arrests. And,
from the two propositions, a third is deduced, which is, that the
gentlemen composing the meeting are resolved on doing their part to
maintain our common government and country, despite the folly or
wickedness, as they may conceive, of any administration. This position
is eminently patriotic, and, as such, I thank the meeting, and
congratulate the nation for it. My own purpose is the same, so that the
meeting and myself have a common object, and can have no difference,
except in the choice of means or measures for effecting that object."

Later on followed some famous sentences:--

"Mr. Vallandigham avows his hostility to the war on the part of the
Union; and his arrest was made because he was laboring, with some
effect, to prevent the raising of troops, to encourage desertion from
the army, and to leave the rebellion without an adequate military force
to suppress it. He was not arrested because he was damaging the
political prospects of the administration or the personal interests of
the commanding general, but because he was damaging the army, upon the
existence and vigor of which the life of the Nation depends....

"I understand the meeting whose resolutions I am considering to be in
favor of suppressing the rebellion by military force, by armies. Long
experience has shown that armies cannot be maintained unless desertion
shall be punished by the severe penalty of death.

"The case requires, and the law and the Constitution sanction, this
punishment. Must I shoot a simple-minded soldier boy who deserts, while
I must not touch a hair of a wily agitator who induces him to desert?
This is none the less injurious when effected by getting a father, or
brother, or friend, into a public meeting, and there working upon his
feelings until he is persuaded to write the soldier boy that he is
fighting in a bad cause, for a wicked administration of a contemptible
government, too weak to arrest and punish him if he shall desert. I
think that, in such a case, to silence the agitator, and save the boy,
is not only constitutional, but withal a great mercy."

The Ohio Democrats found themselves confronted with this:--

"Your nominee for governor ... is known to you and to the world to
declare against the use of an army to suppress the rebellion. Your own
attitude therefore encourages desertion, resistance to the draft, and
the like, because it teaches those who incline to desert and to escape
the draft to believe it is your purpose to protect them, and to hope
that you will become strong enough to do so."

The arguments of the President called out retort rather than reply, for
in fact they really could not be answered, and they were too accurately
put to be twisted by sophistry; that they reached the minds of the
people was soon made evident. The Democratic managers had made a fatal
blunder in arraying the party in a position of extreme hostility to the
war. Though there were at the North hosts of grumblers who were
maliciously pleased at all embarrassments of the administration, and who
were willing to make the prosecution of the war very difficult, there
were not hosts who were ready to push difficulty to the point of
impossibility. On the other hand the fight was made very shrewdly by the
Union men of Ohio, who nominated John Brough, a "war Democrat," as their
candidate. Then the scales fell from the eyes of the people; they saw
that in real fact votes for Brough or for Vallandigham were,
respectively, votes for or against the Union. The campaign became a
direct trial of strength on this point. Freedom of speech, habeas
corpus, and the kindred incidents of the Vallandigham case were laid
aside as not being the genuine and fundamental questions. It was one of
those instances in which the common sense of the multitude suddenly
takes control, brushes away confusing details, and gets at the great and
true issue. The result was that Vallandigham was defeated by a majority
of over 100,000 votes; and thus a perilous crisis was well passed. This
incident had put the Republican ascendency in extreme peril, but when
the administration emerged from the trial with a success so brilliant,
it was thereafter much stronger than if the test had never been made.
The strain was one of that kind to which the war was subjecting the
whole nation, a strain which strengthens rather than weakens the body
which triumphantly encounters it. The credit for the result was
generally admitted to be chiefly due to Mr. Lincoln's effective
presentation of the Republican position.

       *       *       *       *       *

As the second year of the war drew towards its close, the administration
had to face a new and grave difficulty in the recruitment of the army.
Serious errors which had been made in calling and enlisting troops now
began to bear fruit. Under the influence of the first enthusiasm a large
proportion of the adult male population at the North would readily have
enlisted "for the war;" but unfortunately that opportunity had not been
seized by the government, and it soon passed, never to return. That the
President and his advisers had been blameworthy can hardly be said; but
whether they had been blameworthy or excusable became an immaterial
issue, when they found that the terms of enlistment were soon to expire,
and also that just when the war was at its hottest, the patriotism of
the people seemed at its coldest. Defeats in the field and Copperheadism
at home combined in their dispiriting and deadly work. Voluntary
enlistment almost ceased. Thereupon Congress passed an act "for
enrolling and calling out the national forces." All able-bodied
citizens between twenty and forty-five years of age were to "perform
military duty in the service of the United States, when called on by the
President for that purpose."[50] This was strenuous earnest, for it
portended a draft.

The situation certainly was not to be considered without solicitude
when, in a war which peculiarly appealed to patriotism, compulsion must
be used to bring involuntary recruits to maintain the contest. Yet the
relaxation of the patriotic temper was really not so great as this fact
might seem to indicate. Besides many partial and obvious explanations,
one which is less obvious should also be noted. During two years of war
the people, notoriously of a temperament readily to accept new facts and
to adapt themselves thereto, had become accustomed to a state of war,
and had learned to regard it as a _condition_, not normal and permanent,
yet of indefinite duration. Accordingly they were now of opinion that
the government must charge itself with the management of this condition,
that is to say, with the conduct of the war, as a strict matter of
business, to be carried on like all other public duties and functions.
In the first months of stress every man had felt called upon to
contribute, personally, his own moral, financial, and even physical
support; but that crisis had passed, and it was now conceived that the
administration might fairly be required to arrange for getting men and
money and supplies in the systematic and business-like fashion in which,
as history taught, all other governments had been accustomed to get
these necessaries in time of war.

At any rate, however it was to be explained or commented upon, the fact
confronted Mr. Lincoln that he must institute enrollment and drafting.
The machinery was arranged and the very disagreeable task was entered
upon early in the summer of 1863. If it was painful in the first
instance for the President to order this, the process was immediately
made as hateful as possible for him. Even loyal and hearty
"war-governors" seemed at once to accept as their chief object the
protection of the people of their respective States from the operation
of the odious law. The mercantile element was instantly and fully
accepted by them. The most patriotic did not hesitate to make every
effort to have the assigned quotas reduced; they drew jealous
comparisons to show inequalities; and they concocted all sorts of
schemes for obtaining credits. Not marshaling recruits in the field, but
filling quotas upon paper, seemed a legitimate purpose; for the matter
had become one of figures, of business, of competition, and all the
shrewdness of the Yankee mind was at once aroused to gain for one's
self, though at the expense of one's neighbors. Especially the
Democratic officials were viciously fertile in creating obstacles. The
fact that the Act of Congress was based on the precedent of an Act of
the Confederate Congress, passed a year before, did not seem in the
least to conciliate the Copperheads. Governor Seymour of New York
obtained a discreditable preeminence in thwarting the administration. He
gathered ingenious statistics, and upon them based charges of dishonest
apportionments and of fraudulent discrimination against Democratic
precincts. He also declared the statute unconstitutional, and asked the
President to stay all proceedings under it until it could be passed upon
by the Supreme Court of the United States,--an ingenuous proposition,
which he neglected to make practicable by arranging with General Lee to
remain conveniently quiescent while the learned judges should be
discussing the methods of reinforcing the Northern armies.

In a word, Mr. Lincoln was confronted by every difficulty that
Republican inventiveness and Democratic disaffection could devise. Yet
the draft must go on, or the war must stop. His reasonableness, his
patience, his capacity to endure unfair trials, received in this
business a demonstration more conspicuous than in any other during his
presidency. Whenever apportionments, dates, and credits were questioned,
he was liberal in making temporary, and sometimes permanent allowances,
preferring that any error in exactions should be in the way of
moderation. But in the main business he was inflexible; and at last it
came to a direct issue between himself and the malcontents, whether the
draft should go on or stop. In the middle of July the mob in New York
city tested the question. The drafting began there on Saturday morning,
July 11. On Monday morning, July 13, the famous riot broke out. It was
an appalling storm of rage on the part of the lower classes; during
three days terror and barbarism controlled the great city, and in its
streets countless bloody and hideous massacres were perpetrated. Negroes
especially were hanged and otherwise slain most cruelly. The governor
was so inefficient that he was charged, of course extravagantly, with
being secretly in league with the ringleaders. A thousand or more lives,
as it was roughly estimated, were lost in this mad and brutal fury,
before order was again restored. The government gave the populace a
short time to cool, and then sent 10,000 troops into the city and
proceeded with the business without further interruption. A smaller
outbreak took place in Boston, but was promptly suppressed. In other
places it was threatened, but did not occur. In spite of all, the
President continued to execute the law. Yet although by this means the
armies might be kept full, the new men were very inferior to those who
had responded voluntarily to the earlier calls. Every knave in the
country adopted the lucrative and tolerably safe occupation of
"bounty-jumping," and every worthless loafer was sent to the front,
whence he escaped at the first opportunity to sell himself anew and to
be counted again. The material of the army suffered great depreciation,
which was only imperfectly offset by the improvement of the military
machine, whereby a more effective discipline, resembling that of
European professionalism, was enforced.[51]


[48] N. and H. vi. 268; this account is derived from their twelfth

[49] N. and H. vi. 309, from MS.

[50] The act was signed by the President, March 3, 1863.

[51] Concerning the deterioration of the army, in certain particulars,
see an article, "The War as we see it now," by John C. Ropes,
_Scribner's Magazine_, June, 1891.



The winter of 1862-63 was for the Rebellion much what the winter of
Valley Forge was for the Revolution. It passed, however, and the nation
still clung fast to its purpose. The weak brethren who had become
dismayed were many, but the people as a whole was steadfast. This being
so, ultimate success became assured. Wise and cool-headed men, in a
frame of mind to contemplate the situation as it really was, saw that
the tide was about at its turning, and that the Union would not drift
away to destruction in this storm at any rate. They saw that the North
_could_ whip the South, if it chose; and it was now sufficiently evident
that it would choose,--that it would endure, and would finish its task.
It was only the superficial observers who were deceived by the Virginian
disasters, which rose so big in the foreground as partially to conceal
the real fact,--that the Confederacy was being at once strangled and
starved to death. The waters of the Atlantic Ocean and of the Gulf of
Mexico were being steadily made more and more inaccessible, as one
position after another along the coast gradually passed into Federal
hands. The Mississippi River, at last a Union stream from its source to
its mouth, now made a Chinese wall for the Confederacy on the west. Upon
the north the line of conflict had been pushed down to the northern
borders of Mississippi and Georgia, and the superincumbent weight of the
vast Northwest lay with a deadly pressure upon these two States.

It was, therefore, only in Virginia that the Confederates had held their
own, and here, with all their victories, they had done no more than just
hold their own. They had to recognize, also, that from such battlefields
as Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville they gathered no sustenance,
however much they might reap in the way of glory. Neither had they
gained even any ground, for the armies were still manoeuvring along the
same roads over which they had been tramping and swaying to and fro for
more than two years. By degrees the Southern resources in the way of
men, money, food, and supplies generally, were being depleted. The
Confederacy was like a lake, artificially inclosed, which was fed by no
influx from outside, while it was tapped and drained at many points.

On the other hand, within the North, affairs were coming into a more
satisfactory condition. It was true that all the military successes of
July had not discouraged the malcontents; and during the summer they had
been busily preparing for the various state elections of the autumn,
which they hoped would strongly corroborate their congressional triumphs
of 1862. But when the time came they were exceedingly disappointed. The
law now, fairly enough, permitted soldiers in the field to vote, and
this was, of course, a reinforcement for the Republican party; but even
among the voters at home the Democratic reaction of the preceding year
had spent its force. In October Pennsylvania gave Governor Curtin, the
Republican candidate for reëlection, a majority of 15,000. In the same
month, under the circumstances described in the preceding chapter, Ohio
buried Vallandigham under a hostile majority of more than 100,000. The
lead thus given by the "October States" was followed by the "November
States." In New York no governor was to be elected; but the Republican
state ticket showed a majority of 30,000, whereas the year before
Seymour had polled a majority of 10,000. The Northwest fell into the
procession, though after a hard fight. A noteworthy feature of the
struggle, which was fierce and for a time doubtful in Illinois, was a
letter from Mr. Lincoln. He was invited to attend a mass meeting at
Springfield, and with reluctance felt himself obliged to decline; but in
place of a speech, which might not have been preserved, the good fortune
of posterity caused him to write this letter:--

August 26, 1863.


_My dear Sir_,--Your letter inviting me to attend a mass meeting of
unconditional Union men, to be held at the capital of Illinois, on the
third day of September, has been received. It would be very agreeable
for me thus to meet my old friends at my own home, but I cannot just now
be absent from here as long as a visit there would require.

The meeting is to be of all those who maintain unconditional devotion to
the Union, and I am sure my old political friends will thank me for
tendering, as I do, the nation's gratitude to those other noble men whom
no partisan malice or partisan hope can make false to the nation's life.

There are those who are dissatisfied with me. To such I would say: you
desire peace, and you blame me that we do not have it. But how can we
attain it? There are but three conceivable ways: First, to suppress the
rebellion by force of arms. This I am trying to do. Are you for it? If
you are, so far we are agreed. If you are not for it, a second way is to
give up the Union. I am against this. Are you for it? If you are, you
should say so plainly. If you are not for _force_, nor yet for
_dissolution_, there only remains some imaginable _compromise_.

I do not believe that any compromise embracing the maintenance of the
Union is now possible. All that I learn leads to a directly opposite
belief. The strength of the rebellion is its military, its army. That
army dominates all the country and all the people within its range. Any
offer of terms made by any man or men within that range, in opposition
to that army, is simply nothing for the present; because such man or men
have no power whatever to enforce their side of a compromise, if one
were made with them.

To illustrate: suppose refugees from the South and peace men of the
North get together in convention, and frame and proclaim a compromise
embracing a restoration of the Union. In what way can that compromise be
used to keep Lee's army out of Pennsylvania? Meade's army can keep Lee's
army out of Pennsylvania, and, I think, can ultimately drive it out of
existence. But no paper compromise, to which the controllers of Lee's
army are not agreed, can at all affect that army. In an effort at such
compromise we would [should] waste time, which the enemy would improve
to our disadvantage, and that would be all.

A compromise, to be effective, must be made either with those who
control the rebel army, or with the people, first liberated from the
domination of that army by the success of our own army. Now, allow me to
assure you that no word or intimation from that rebel army, or from any
of the men controlling it, in relation to any peace compromise, has ever
come to my knowledge or belief. All charges and insinuations to the
contrary are deceptive and groundless. And I promise you that if any
such proposition shall hereafter come, it shall not be rejected and kept
a secret from you. I freely acknowledge myself to be the servant of the
people, according to the bond of service, the United States
Constitution; and that, as such, I am responsible to them. But to be
plain, you are dissatisfied with me about the negro. Quite likely there
is a difference of opinion between you and myself upon that subject. I
certainly wish that all men could be free, while you, I suppose, do not.
Yet I have neither adopted nor proposed any measure which is not
consistent with even your views, provided that you are for the Union. I
suggested compensated emancipation, to which you replied: you wished not
to be taxed to buy negroes. But I had not asked you to be taxed to buy
negroes, except in such a way as to save you from greater taxation to
save the Union exclusively by other means.

You dislike the emancipation proclamation, and perhaps would have it
retracted. You say it is unconstitutional. I think differently. I think
the Constitution invests its commander-in-chief with all the law of war
in time of war. The most that can be said, if so much, is, that slaves
are property. Is there, has there ever been, any question that by the
law of war, property, both of enemies and friends, may be taken when
needed? And is it not needed whenever it helps us and hurts the enemy?
Armies, the world over, destroy enemies' property when they cannot use
it, and even destroy their own to keep it from the enemy.

... But the proclamation, as law, either is valid or is not valid. If it
is not valid it needs no retraction. If it is valid, it cannot be
retracted, any more than the dead can be brought to life. Some of you
profess to think its retraction would operate favorably for the Union.
Why better after the retraction than before the issue? There was more
than a year and a half of trial to suppress the rebellion before the
proclamation was issued, the last one hundred days of which passed under
an explicit notice that it was coming, unless averted by those in revolt
returning to their allegiance. The war has certainly progressed as
favorably for us since the issue of the proclamation as before. I know,
as fully as one can know the opinion of others, that some of the
commanders of our armies in the field, who have given us our most
important victories, believe the emancipation policy and the use of
colored troops constitute the heaviest blows yet dealt to the rebellion,
and that at least one of those important successes could not have been
achieved, when it was, but for the aid of black soldiers.

Among the commanders who hold these views are some who have never had an
affinity with what is called "abolitionism," or with "Republican party
politics," but who hold them purely as military opinions. I submit their
opinions as entitled to some weight against the objections often urged
that emancipation and arming the blacks are unwise as military measures,
and were not adopted as such in good faith.

You say that you will not fight to free negroes. Some of them seem
willing to fight for you; but no matter. Fight you, then, exclusively to
save the Union. I issued the proclamation on purpose to aid you in
saving the Union. Whenever you shall have conquered all resistance to
the Union, if I shall urge you to continue fighting it will be an apt
time then for you to declare you will not fight to free negroes. I
thought that, in your struggle for the Union, to whatever extent the
negroes should cease helping the enemy, to that extent it weakened the
enemy in his resistance to you. Do you think differently?

I thought that whatever negroes can be got to do as soldiers, leaves
just so much less for white soldiers to do in saving the Union. Does it
appear otherwise to you? But negroes, like other people, act upon
motives. Why should they do anything for us, if we will do nothing for
them? If they stake their lives for us, they must be prompted by the
strongest motive, even the promise of freedom. And the promise, being
made, must be kept.

The signs look better. The Father of Waters again goes unvexed to the
sea. Thanks to the great Northwest for it; nor yet wholly to them. Three
hundred miles up they met New England, Empire, Keystone, and Jersey,
hewing their way right and left. The sunny South, too, in more colors
than one, also lent a helping hand. On the spot their part of the
history was jotted down in black and white. The job was a great national
one, and let none be slighted who bore an honorable part in it. And
while those who have cleared the great river may well be proud, even
that is not all. It is hard to say that anything has been more bravely
or well done than at Antietam, Murfreesboro', Gettysburg, and on many
fields of less note. Nor must Uncle Sam's web-feet be forgotten. At all
the watery margins they have been present, not only on the deep sea, the
broad bay, and the rapid river, but also up the narrow muddy bayou, and
wherever the ground was a little damp, they have been and made their
tracks. Thanks to all. For the great Republic,--for the principle it
lives by and keeps alive,--for man's vast future,--thanks to all.

Peace does not appear so distant as it did. I hope it will come soon,
and come to stay, and so come as to be worth the keeping in all future
time. It will then have been proved that among free men there can be no
successful appeal from the ballot to the bullet, and that they who take
such appeal are sure to lose their case and pay the cost. And there will
be some black men who can remember that with silent tongue, and clinched
teeth, and steady eye, and well-poised bayonet, they have helped mankind
on to this great consummation; while I fear there will be some white men
unable to forget that with malignant heart and deceitful speech they
have striven to hinder it.

Still, let us not be over-sanguine of a speedy final triumph. Let us be
quite sober. Let us diligently apply the means, never doubting that a
just God, in his own good time, will give us the rightful result.

Yours very truly,


This was a fair statement of past facts and of the present condition;
and thus the plain tokens of the time showed that the menace of
disaffection had been met and sufficiently conquered. The President had
let the nation see the strength of his will and the immutability of his
purpose. He had faced bullying Republican politicians, a Democratic
reaction, Copperheadism, and mob violence, and by none of these had he
been in the least degree shaken or diverted from his course. On the
contrary, from so many and so various struggles he had come out the
victor, a real ruler of the country. He had shown that whenever and by
whomsoever, and in whatever part of the land he was pushed to use power,
he would use it. Temporarily the great republic was under a "strong
government," and Mr. Lincoln was the strength. Though somewhat cloaked
by forms, there was for a while in the United States a condition of
"one-man power," and the people instinctively recognized it, though they
would on no account admit it in plain words. In fact every malcontent
knew that there was no more use in attempting to resist the American
President than in attempting to resist a French emperor or a Russian
czar; there was even less use, for while the President managed on one
plausible ground or another to have and to exercise all the power that
he needed, he was sustained by the good-will and confidence of a
majority of the people, which lay as a solid substratum beneath all the
disturbance on the surface. It was well that this was so, for a war
conducted by a cabinet or a congress could have ended only in disaster.
This peculiar character of the situation may not be readily admitted; it
is often convenient to deny and ignore facts in order to assert popular
theories; and that there was a real _master_ in the United States is a
proposition which many will consider it highly improper to make and very
patriotic to contradict. None the less, however, it is true, and by the
autumn of 1863 every intelligent man in the country _felt_ that it was
true. Moreover, it was because this was true, and because that master
was immovably persistent in the purpose to conquer the South, that the
conquest of the South could now be discerned as substantially a
certainty in the future.

Some other points should also be briefly made here. The war is to be
divided into two stages. The first two years were educational;
subsequently the fruits of that education were attained. The men who had
studied war as a profession, but had had no practical experience, found
much to learn in warfare as a reality after the struggle began. But
before the summer of 1863 there were in the service many generals, than
whom none better could be desired. "Public men" were somewhat slow in
discovering that their capacity to do pretty much everything did not
include the management of campaigns. But by the summer of 1863 these
"public" persons made less noise in the land than they had made in the
days of McClellan; and though political considerations could never be
wholly suppressed, the question of retaining or displacing a general no
longer divided parties, or superseded, and threatened to wreck, the
vital question of the war. Moreover, as has been remarked in another
connection, the nation began to appreciate that while war was a science
so far as the handling of armies in the field was concerned, it was
strictly a business in its other aspects. By, and in fact before, the
summer of 1863 this business had been learned and was being efficiently

Time and experience had done no less for the President than for others.
A careful daily student of the topography of disputed regions, of every
proposed military movement, of every manoeuvre, every failure, every
success, he was making himself a skillful judge in the questions of the
campaigns. He had also been studying military literature. Yet as his
knowledge and his judgment grew, his modesty and his abstention from
interference likewise grew. He was more and more chary of endeavoring to
control his generals. The days of such contention as had thwarted the
plans of McClellan without causing other plans to be heartily and fully
adopted had fortunately passed, never to return. Of course, however,
this was in part due to the fact that the war had now been going on long
enough to enable Mr. Lincoln to know pretty well what measure of
confidence he could place in the several generals. He had tried his
experiments and was now using his conclusions. Grant, Sherman,
Sheridan, Thomas, Hancock, and Meade were no longer undiscovered
generals; while Fremont, McClellan, Halleck--and perhaps two or three
more might be named--may be described in a counter-phrase as generals
who were now quite thoroughly discovered. The President and the country
were about to get the advantage of this acquired knowledge.

A consequence of these changed conditions, of the entrance upon this new
stage of the war, becomes very visible in the life of Mr. Lincoln. The
disputation, the hurly-burly, the tumultuous competition of men,
opinions, and questions, which made the first eighteen months of his
presidency confusing and exciting as a great tempest on the sea, have
gone by. For the future his occupation is rather to keep a broad,
general supervision, to put his controlling touch for the moment now
here, now there. He ceases to appear as an individual contestant; his
personality, though not less important, is less conspicuous; his
influence is exerted less visibly, though not less powerfully. In short,
the business-like aspect affects him and his functions as it does all
else that concerns the actual conduct of the war; he too feels, though
he may not formulate, the change whereby a crisis has passed into a
condition. This will be seen from the character of the remainder of this
narrative. There are no more controversies which call for other chapters
like those which told of the campaigns of McClellan. There are no more
fierce intestine dissensions like those which preceded the Proclamation
of Emancipation,--at least not until the matter of reconstruction comes
up, and reconstruction properly had not to do with the war, but with the
later period. In a word, the country had become like the steed who has
ceased fretfully to annoy the rider, while the rider, though exercising
an ever-watchful control, makes less apparent exertion.

       *       *       *       *       *

By one of the odd arrangements of our governmental machine, it was not
until December 7, 1863, that the members of the Thirty-eighth Congress
met for the first time to express those political sentiments which had
been in vogue more than a year before that time, that is to say during
the months of October and November, 1862, when these gentlemen had been
elected, at the close of the summer's campaign. It has been said and
shown that a very great change in popular feeling had taken place and
made considerable advance during this interval. The autumn of 1863 was
very different from the autumn of 1862! A Congress coming more newly
from the people would have been much more Republican in its complexion.
Still, even as it was, the Republicans had an ample working majority,
and moreover were disturbed by fewer and less serious dissensions among
themselves than had been the case occasionally in times past. McClellan
and the Emancipation Proclamation had not quite yet been succeeded by
any other questions of equal potency for alienating a large section of
the party from the President. Not that unanimity prevailed by any means;
that was impossible under the conditions of human nature. The extremists
still distrusted Mr. Lincoln, and regarded him as an obstruction to
sound policies. Senator Chandler of Michigan, a fine sample of the
radical Republican, instructed him that, by the elections, Conservatives
and traitors had been buried together, and begged him not to exhume
them, since they would "smell worse than Lazarus did after he had been
buried three days." Apparently he ranked Seward among these defunct and
decaying Conservatives; certainly he regarded the secretary as a
"millstone about the neck" of the President.[52] Still, in spite of such
denunciations, times were not in this respect so bad as they had been,
and the danger that the uncompromising Radicals would make wreck of the
war was no longer great.

       *       *       *       *       *

Another event, occurring in this autumn of 1863, was noteworthy because
through it the literature of our tongue received one of its most
distinguished acquisitions. On November 19 the national military
cemetery at Gettysburg was to be consecrated; Edward Everett was to
deliver the oration, and the President was of course invited as a guest.
Mr. Arnold says that it was actually while Mr. Lincoln was "in the cars
on his way from the White House to the battlefield" that he was told
that he also would be expected to say something on the occasion; that
thereupon he jotted down in pencil the brief address which he delivered
a few hours later.[53] But that the composition was quite so
extemporaneous seems doubtful, for Messrs. Nicolay and Hay transcribe
the note of invitation, written to the President on November 2 by the
master of the ceremonies, and in it occurs this sentence: "It is the
desire that, after the oration, you, as Chief Executive of the Nation,
formally set apart these grounds to their sacred use, by a few
appropriate remarks." Probably, therefore, some forethought went to the
preparation of this beautiful and famous "Gettysburg speech." When Mr.
Everett sat down, the President arose and spoke as follows:[54]--

"Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this
continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the
proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a
great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived
and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of
that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final
resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might
live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But in
a larger sense we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot
hallow, this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here
have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The
world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but it can
never forget what they did here. It is for us, the living, rather, to be
dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have
thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to
the great task remaining before us;--that from these honored dead, we
take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full
measure of devotion;--that we here highly resolve that these dead shall
not have died in vain, that this nation, under God, shall have a new
birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for
the people, shall not perish from the earth."


[52] N. and H. vii. 389.

[53] Arnold, _Lincoln_, 328. This writer gives a very vivid description
of the delivery of the speech, derived in part from Governor Dennison,
afterward the postmaster-general, who was present on the occasion.

[54] Mr. Arnold says that in an unconscious and absorbed manner, Mr.
Lincoln "adjusted his spectacles" and read his address.



In his inaugural address President Lincoln said: "The union of these
States is perpetual.... No State, upon its own mere motion, can lawfully
get out of the Union; resolves and ordinances to that effect are legally
void." In these words was imbedded a principle which later on he showed
his willingness to pursue to its logical conclusions concerning the
reconstruction of the body politic. If no State, by seceding, had got
itself out of the Union, there was difficulty in maintaining that those
citizens of a seceding State, who had not disqualified themselves by
acts of treason, were not still lawfully entitled to conduct the public
business and to hold the usual elections for national and state
officials, so soon as the removal of hostile force should render it
physically possible for them to do so. Upon the basis of this principle,
the resumption by such citizens of a right which had never been lost,
but only temporarily interfered with by lawless violence, could
reasonably be delayed by the national government only until the loyal
voters should be sufficient in number to relieve the elections from the
objection of being colorable and unreal. This philosophy of
"reconstruction" seemed to Mr. Lincoln to conform with law and good
sense, and he was forward in meeting, promoting, almost even in creating
opportunities to apply it. From the beginning of the war he had been of
opinion that the framework of a state government, though it might be
scarcely more than a skeleton, was worth preservation. It held at least
the seed of life. So after West Virginia was admitted into statehood,
the organization which had been previously established by the loyal
citizens of the original State was maintained in the rest of the State,
and Governor Pierpoint was recognized as the genuine governor of
Virginia, although few Virginians acknowledged allegiance to him, and
often there were not many square miles of the Old Dominion upon which
the dispossessed ruler could safely set his foot. For the present he
certainly was no despot, but in the future he might have usefulness. He
preserved continuity; by virtue of him, so to speak, there still was a
State of Virginia.

Somewhat early in the war large portions of Tennessee, Louisiana, and
Arkansas were recovered and kept by Union forces, and beneath such
protection a considerable Union sentiment found expression. The
President, loath to hold for a long time the rescued parts of these
States under the sole domination of army officers, appointed "military
governors."[55] The anomalous office found an obscure basis among those
"war powers" which, as a legal resting-place, resembled a quicksand, and
as a practical foundation were undeniably a rock; the functions and
authority of the officials were as uncertain as anything, even in law,
possibly could be. Legal fiction never reached a droller point than when
these military governorships were defended as being the fulfillment by
the national government "of its high constitutional obligation to
guarantee to every State in this Union _a republican form of
government_!"[56] Yet the same distinguished gentleman, who dared
gravely to announce this ingenious argument, drew a picture of facts
which was in itself a full justification of almost any scheme of
rehabilitation; he said: "The state government has disappeared. The
Executive has abdicated; the Legislature has dissolved; the Judiciary is
in abeyance." In this condition of chaos Mr. Lincoln was certainly bound
to prevent anarchy, without regard to any comicalities which might creep
into his technique. So these hermaphrodite officials, with civil duties
and military rank, were very sensibly and properly given a vague
authority in the several States, as from time to time these were in part
redeemed from rebellion by the Union armies. So soon as possible they
were bidden, in collaboration with the military commanders in their
respective districts, to make an enrollment of loyal citizens, with a
view to holding elections and organizing state governments in the
customary form. The President was earnest, not to say pertinacious, in
urging forward these movements. On September 11, 1863, immediately after
the battle of Chattanooga, he wrote to Andrew Johnson that it was "the
nick of time for reinaugurating a loyal state government" in Tennessee;
and he suggested that, as touching this same question of "time when," it
was worth while to "remember that it cannot be known who is next to
occupy the position I now hold, nor what he will do." He warned the
governor that reconstruction must not be so conducted "as to give
control of the State, and its representation in Congress, to the enemies
of the Union.... It must not be so. You must have it otherwise. Let the
reconstruction be the work of such men only as can be trusted for the
Union. Exclude all others; and trust that your government, so organized,
will be recognized here as being the one of republican form to be
guaranteed to the State."[57]

At the same time these expressions by no means indicated that the
President intended to have, or would connive at, any sham or colorable
process. Accordingly, when some one suggested a plan for setting up as
candidates in Louisiana certain Federal officers, who were not citizens
of that State, he decisively forbade it, sarcastically remarking to
Governor Shepley: "We do not particularly want members of Congress from
there to enable us to get along with legislation here. What we do want
is the conclusive evidence that respectable citizens of Louisiana are
willing to be members of Congress, and to swear support to the
Constitution, and that other respectable citizens there are willing to
vote for them and send them. To send a parcel of Northern men here as
representatives, elected, as would be understood (and perhaps really
so), at the point of the bayonet, would be disgraceful and outrageous."
Again he said that he wished the movement for the election of members of
Congress "to be a movement of the people of the district, and not a
movement of our military and quasi-military authorities there. I merely
wish our authorities to give the people a chance,--to protect them
against secession interference." These instructions were designed as
genuine rules of action, and were not to be construed away. Whatever
might be said against the theory which the President was endeavoring to
establish for state restoration, no opponent of that theory was to be
given the privilege of charging that the actual conduct of the
proceedings under it was not rigidly honest. In December, 1862, two
members of Congress were elected in Louisiana, and in February, 1863,
they were admitted to take seats in the House for the brief remnant of
its existence. This was not done without hesitation, but the fact that
it was done at all certainly was in direct line with the President's
plan. Subsequently, however, other candidates for seats, coming from
rehabilitated States, were not so fortunate.

As reorganizations were attempted the promoters generally desired that
the fresh start in state life should be made with new state
Constitutions. The conventions chosen to draw these instruments were
instructed from Washington that the validity of the Emancipation
Proclamation and of all the legislation of Congress concerning slavery
must be distinctly admitted, if their work was to receive recognition.
Apart from this, so strenuous were the hints conveyed to these bodies
that they would do well to arrange for the speedy abolition of slavery,
that no politician would have been so foolish as to offer a
constitution, or other form of reorganization, without some provision of
this sort. This practical necessity sorely troubled many, who still
hoped that some happy turn of events would occur, whereby they would be
able to get back into the Union with the pleasant and valuable group of
their slaves still about them, as in the good times of yore. Moreover,
in other matters there were clashings between the real military
commanders and the quasi-military civilian officials; and it was
unfortunately the case that, in spite of Mr. Lincoln's appeal to loyal
men to "eschew cliquism" and "work together," there were abundant
rivalries and jealousies and personal schemings. All these vexations
were dragged before the President to harass him with their pettiness
amid his more conspicuous duties; they gave him infinite trouble, and
devoured his time and strength. Likewise they were obstacles to the
advancement of the business itself, and, coming in addition to the
delays inevitable upon elections and deliberations, they ultimately kept
all efforts towards reconstruction dallying along until a late period in
the war. Thus it was February 22, 1864, when the state election was held
in Louisiana; and it was September 5 in the same year when the new
Constitution, with an emancipation clause, was adopted. It was not until
January, 1865, that, in Tennessee, a convention made a constitution, for
purposes of reconstruction, and therein abolished slavery.

Pending these doings and before practical reconstruction had made
noticeable progress, Mr. Lincoln sent in, on December 8, 1863, his third
annual message to Congress. To this message was appended something which
no one had anticipated,--a proclamation of amnesty. In this the
President recited his pardoning power and a recent act of Congress
specially confirmatory thereof, stated the wish of certain repentant
rebels to resume allegiance and to restore loyal state governments, and
then offered, to all who would take a prescribed oath, full pardon
together with "restoration of all rights and property, except as to
slaves, and ... where rights of third parties shall have intervened."
The oath was simply to "support, protect, and defend" the Constitution
and the Union, and to abide by and support all legislation and all
proclamations concerning slavery made during the existing rebellion.
There were, of course, sundry exceptions of persons from this amnesty;
but the list of those excepted was a moderate and reasonable one. He
also proclaimed that whenever in any seceded State "a number of persons
not less than one tenth in number of the votes cast in such State at the
presidential election of the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred
and sixty, each having taken the oath aforesaid and not having since
violated it, and being a qualified voter by the election law of the
State existing immediately before the so-called act of secession, and
excluding all others, shall reëstablish a state government which shall
be republican, and in no wise contravening said oath, such shall be
recognized as the true government of the State, and the State shall
receive thereunder the benefits of the constitutional provision which
declares that 'the United States shall guarantee to every State in this
Union a republican form of government, and shall protect each of them
against invasion; and, on application of the legislature, or the
executive (when the legislature cannot be convened), against domestic

Also further: "that any provision that may be adopted by such state
government, in relation to the freed people of such State, which shall
recognize and declare their permanent freedom, provide for their
education, and which may yet be consistent, as a temporary arrangement,
with their present condition as a laboring, landless, and homeless
class, will not be objected to by the national executive. And it is
suggested as not improper that, in constructing a loyal state government
in any State, the name of the State, the boundary, the subdivisions, the
constitution, and the general code of laws, as before the rebellion, be
maintained, subject only to the modifications made necessary by the
conditions hereinbefore stated, and such others, if any, not
contravening said conditions, and which may be deemed expedient by those
framing the new state government."

Concerning this proclamation, the message which communicated it noted:
that it did not transcend the Constitution; that no man was coerced to
take the oath; and that to make pardon conditional upon taking it was
strictly lawful; that a test of loyalty was necessary, because it would
be "simply absurd" to guarantee a republican form of government in a
State "constructed in whole, or in preponderating part, from the very
element against whose hostility and violence it is to be protected;"
that the pledge to maintain the laws and proclamations as to slavery was
a proper condition, because these had aided and would further aid the
Union cause; also because "to now abandon them would be not only to
relinquish a lever of power, but would also be a cruel and astounding
breach of faith."

He continued: "But why any proclamation, now, upon the subject? This
question is beset with the conflicting views that the step might be
delayed too long or be taken too soon. In some States the elements for
resumption seem ready for action, but remain inactive, apparently for
want of a rallying point,--a plan of action. Why shall A adopt the plan
of B rather than B that of A? And if A and B should agree, how can they
know but that the general government here will reject their plan? By the
proclamation a plan is presented which may be accepted by them as a
rallying point, and which they are assured in advance will not be
rejected here. This may bring them to act sooner than they otherwise

"The objection to a premature presentation of a plan by the national
executive consists in the danger of committals on points which could be
more safely left to further developments.

"Care has been taken to so shape the document as to avoid embarrassments
from this source. Saying that, on certain terms, certain classes will be
pardoned, with rights restored, it is not said that other classes or
other terms will never be included. Saying that reconstruction will be
accepted if presented in a specified way, it is not said it will never
be accepted in any other way.

"The movements, by state action, for emancipation in several of the
States, not included in the emancipation proclamation, are matters of
profound gratulation. And while I do not repeat in detail what I have
heretofore so earnestly urged upon this subject, my general views and
feelings remain unchanged; and I trust that Congress will omit no fair
opportunity of aiding these important steps to a great consummation.

"In the midst of other cares, however important, we must not lose sight
of the fact that the war power is still our main reliance. To that power
alone we can look yet for a time, to give confidence to the people in
the contested regions, that the insurgent power will not again overrun
them. Until that confidence shall be established, little can be done
anywhere for what is called reconstruction.

"Hence our chiefest care must be directed to the army and navy, who have
thus far borne their harder part so nobly and well. And it may be
esteemed fortunate that in giving the greatest efficiency to these
indispensable arms, we do also honorably recognize the gallant men, from
commander to sentinel, who compose them, and to whom, more than to
others, the world must stand indebted for the home of freedom
disenthralled, regenerated, enlarged, and perpetuated."

This step, this offer of amnesty and pardon, and invitation to state
reconstruction, took every one by surprise. As usual the President had
been "doing his own thinking," reaching his own conclusions and acting
upon them with little counsel asked from any among the multitudes of
wise men who were so ready to furnish it. For a moment his action
received a gratifying welcome of praise and approval. The first
impulsive sentiment was that of pleasure because the offer was in so
liberal, so conciliatory, so forgiving a spirit; moreover, people were
encouraged by the very fact that the President thought it worth while to
initiate reconstruction; also many of the more weak-kneed, who desired
to see the luring process tried, were gratified by a generous measure.
Then, too, not very much thought had yet been given, at least by the
people in general, to actual processes of reconstruction; for while many
doubted whether there would ever be a chance to reconstruct at all, very
few fancied the time for it to be nearly approaching. Therefore the
President occupied vacant ground in the minds of most persons.

But in a short time a very different temper was manifested among members
of Congress, and from them spread forth and found support among the
people. Two reasons promoted this. One, which was avowed with the
frankness of indignation, was a jealousy of seeing so important a
business preempted by the executive department. The other was a natural
feeling of mingled hostility and distrust towards rebels, who had caused
so much blood to be shed, so much cost to be incurred. In this point of
view, the liberality which at first had appeared admirable now began to
be condemned as extravagant, unreasonable, and perilous.

Concerning the first of these reasons, it must be admitted that it was
entirely natural that Congress should desire to take partial or, if
possible, even entire charge of reconstruction. Which department had the
better right to the duty, or how it should be distributed between the
legislative and executive departments, was uncertain, and could be
determined only by inference from the definite functions of each as
established by the Constitution. The executive unquestionably had the
power to pardon every rebel in the land; yet it was a power which might
conceivably be so misused as to justify impeachment. The Senate and the
House had the power to give or to refuse seats to persons claiming to
have been elected to them. Yet they could not dare to exercise this
power except for a cause which was at least colorable in each case.
Furthermore, the meaning of "recognition" was vague. Exactly what was
"recognition" of a state government, and by what specific process could
it be granted or withheld? The executive might recognize statehood in
some matters; Congress might refuse to recognize it in other matters.
Every one felt that disagreement between the two departments would be
most unfortunate and even dangerous; yet it was entirely possible; and
what an absurd and alarming condition might be created, if the
President, by a general amnesty, should reinstate the ex-rebels of a
State as citizens with all their rights of citizenship, and Congress
should refuse to seat the senators and representatives elected by these
constituents on the alleged ground of peril to the country by reason of
their supposed continuing disloyalty. Even worse still might be the
case; for the Senate and the House might disagree. There was nothing in
law or logic to make this consummation impossible.

People differed much in feeling as well as opinion upon this difficult
subject, this problem which was solved by no law. Treason is a crime and
must be made odious, said Andrew Johnson, sternly uttering the
sentiments of many earnest and strenuous men in Congress and in the
country. Others were able to eliminate revengefulness, but felt that it
was not safe in the present, nor wise for the future, to restore to
rebels all the rights of citizenship upon the moment when they should
consent to abandon rebellion, more especially when all knew and admitted
that the abandonment was made not in penitence but merely in despair of
success. It was open to extremists to argue that the whole seceded area
might logically, as conquered lands, be reduced to a territorial
condition, to be recarved into States at such times and upon such
conditions as should seem proper. But others, in agreement with the
President, insisted that if no State could lawfully secede, it followed
that no State could lawfully be deprived of statehood. These persons
reinforced their legal argument with the sentimental one that lenity was
the best policy. As General Grant afterward put it: "The people who had
been in rebellion must necessarily come back into the Union, and be
incorporated as an integral part of the nation. Naturally the nearer
they were placed to an equality with the people who had not rebelled,
the more reconciled they would feel with their old antagonists, and the
better citizens they would be from the beginning. They surely would not
make good citizens if they felt that they had a yoke around their
necks." The question, in what proportions mercy and justice should be,
or safely could be, mingled, was clearly one of discretion. In the wide
distance betwixt the holders of extreme opinions an infinite variety of
schemes and theories was in time broached and held. Very soon the
gravity of the problem was greatly enhanced by its becoming complicated
with proposals for giving the suffrage to negroes. Upon this Mr. Lincoln
expressed his opinion that the privilege might be wisely conferred upon
"the very intelligent, and especially those who have fought gallantly in
our ranks," though apparently he intended thus to describe no very large
percentage. Apparently his confidence in the civic capacity of the negro
never became very much greater than it had been in the days of the joint
debates with Douglas.

Congress took up the matter very promptly, and with much display of
feeling. Early in May, 1864, Henry Winter Davis, a vehement opponent of
the President, introduced a bill, of which the anti-rebel preamble was
truculent to the point of being amusing. His first fierce _Whereas_
declared that the Confederate States were waging a war so glaringly
unjust "that they have no right to claim the mitigation of the extreme
rights of war, which are accorded by modern usage to an enemy who has a
right to consider the war a just one." But Congress, though hotly
irritated, was not quite willing to say, in terms, that it would eschew
civilization and adopt barbarism, as its system for the conduct of the
war; and accordingly it rejected Mr. Davis's fierce exordium. The words
had very probably only been used by him as a sort of safety valve to
give vent to the fury of his wrath, so that he could afterward approach
the serious work of the bill in a milder spirit; for in fact the actual
effective legislation which he proposed was by no means unreasonable.
After military resistance should be suppressed in any rebellious State,
the white male citizens were to elect a convention for the purpose of
reëstablishing a state government. The new organization must
disfranchise prominent civil and military officers of the Confederacy,
establish the permanent abolition of slavery, and prohibit the payment
by the new State of any indebtedness incurred for Confederate purposes.
After Congress should have expressed its assent to the work of the
convention, the President was to recognize by proclamation the
reorganized State. This bill, of course, gave to the legislative
department the whole valuable control in the matter of recognition,
leaving to the President nothing more than the mere empty function of
issuing a proclamation, which he would have no right to hold back; but
in other respects its requirements were entirely fair and
unobjectionable, from any point of view, and it finally passed the House
by a vote of 74 to 59. The Senate amended it, but afterward receded from
the amendment, and thus the measure came before Mr. Lincoln on July 4,
1864. Congress was to adjourn at noon on that day, and he was at the
Capitol, signing bills, when this one was brought to him. He laid it
aside. Zachariah Chandler, senator from Michigan, a dictatorial
gentleman and somewhat of the busybody order, was watchfully standing
by, and upon observing this action, he asked Mr. Lincoln, with some show
of feeling, whether he was not going to sign that bill. Mr. Lincoln
replied that it was a "matter of too much importance to be swallowed in
that way." Mr. Chandler warned him that a veto would be very damaging at
the Northwest, and said: "The important point is that one prohibiting
slavery in the reconstructed States." "This is the point," said Mr.
Lincoln, "on which I doubt the authority of Congress to act." "It is no
more than you have done yourself," said the senator. "I conceive,"
replied Mr. Lincoln, "that I may in an emergency do things on military
grounds which cannot be done constitutionally by Congress." A few
moments later he remarked to the members of the cabinet: "I do not see
how any of us now can deny and contradict what we have always said: that
Congress has no constitutional power over slavery in the States.... This
bill and the position of these gentlemen seem to me, in asserting that
the insurrectionary States are no longer in the Union, to make the fatal
admission that States, whenever they please, may of their own motion
dissolve their connection with the Union. Now we cannot survive that
admission, I am convinced. If that be true, I am not President; these
gentlemen are not Congress. I have laboriously endeavored to avoid that
question ever since it first began to be mooted.... It was to obviate
this question that I earnestly favored the movement for an amendment to
the Constitution abolishing slavery.... I thought it much better, if it
were possible, to restore the Union without the necessity for a violent
quarrel among its friends as to whether certain States have been in or
out of the Union during the war,--a merely metaphysical question, and
one unnecessary to be forced into discussion."[58] So the bill remained
untouched at his side.

A few days after the adjournment, having then decided not to sign the
bill, he issued a proclamation in which he said concerning it, that he
was "unprepared by a formal approval of [it] to be inflexibly committed
to any single plan of restoration;" that he was also "unprepared to
declare that the free-state constitutions and governments, already
adopted and installed in Arkansas and Louisiana, [should] be set aside
and held for naught, thereby repelling and discouraging the loyal
citizens, who have set up the same, as to further effort;" also that he
was unprepared to "declare a constitutional competency in Congress to
abolish slavery in the States." Yet he also said that he was fully
satisfied that the system proposed in the bill was "_one_ very proper
plan" for the loyal people of any State to adopt, and that he should be
ready to aid in such adoption upon any opportunity. In a word, his
objection to the bill lay chiefly in the fact that it established one
single and exclusive process for reconstruction. The rigid exclusiveness
seemed to him a serious error. Upon his part, in putting forth his own
plan, he had taken much pains distinctly to keep out this
characteristic, and to have it clearly understood that his proposition
was not designed as "a procrustean bed, to which exact conformity was to
be indispensable;" it was not _the only_ method, but only _a_ method.

So soon as it was known that the President would not sign the bill, a
vehement cry of wrath broke from all its more ardent friends. H.W. Davis
and B.F. Wade, combative men, and leaders in their party, who expected
their opinion to be respected, published in the New York "Tribune" an
address "To the Supporters of the Government." In unbridled language
they charged "encroachments of the executive on the authority of
Congress." They even impugned the honesty of the President's purpose in
words of direct personal insult; for they said: "The President, by
preventing this bill from becoming a law, holds the electoral votes of
the rebel States at the dictation of his personal ambition.... If
electors for president be allowed to be chosen in either of those States
[Louisiana or Arkansas], a sinister light will be cast on [his]
motives." They alleged that "a more studied outrage on the legislative
authority of the people has never been perpetrated." They stigmatized
this "rash and fatal act" as "a blow at the friends of the
administration, at the rights of humanity, and at the principles of
republican government." They warned Mr. Lincoln that, if he wished the
support of Congress, he must "confine himself to his executive
duties,--to obey and execute, not make the laws; to suppress by arms
armed rebellion, and leave political reorganization to Congress." If
they really meant what they said, or any considerable part of it, they
would have been obliged to vote "Guilty" had the House of
Representatives seen fit to put these newspaper charges of theirs into
the formal shape of articles of impeachment against the President.

To whatever "friends" Mr. Lincoln might have dealt a "blow," it is
certain that these angry gentlemen, whether "friends" or otherwise, were
dealing him a very severe blow at a very critical time; and if its
hurtfulness was diminished by the very fury and extravagance of their
invective, they at least were entitled to no credit for the salvation
thus obtained. They were exerting all their powerful influence to
increase the chance, already alarmingly great, of making a Democrat the
next President of the United States. Nevertheless Mr. Lincoln, with his
wonted imperturbable fixedness when he had reached a conviction, did not
modify his position in the slightest degree.

Before long this especial explosion spent its force, and thereafter very
fortunately the question smouldered during the rest of Mr. Lincoln's
lifetime, and only burst forth into fierce flame immediately after his
death, when it became more practical and urgent as a problem of the
actually present time. The last words, however, which he spoke in
public, dealt with the matter. It was on the evening of April 11, and he
was addressing in Washington a great concourse of citizens who had
gathered to congratulate him upon the brilliant military successes, then
just achieved, which insured the immediate downfall of the Confederacy.
In language as noteworthy for moderation as that of his assailants had
been for extravagance, he then reviewed his course concerning
reconstruction and gave his reasons for still believing that he had
acted for the best. Admitting that much might justly be said against the
reorganized government of Louisiana, he explained why he thought that
nevertheless it should not be rejected. Concede, he said, that it is to
what it should be only what the egg is to the fowl, "we shall sooner
have the fowl by hatching the egg than by smashing it." He conceived
that the purpose of the people might be fairly stated to be the
restoration of the proper practical relations between the seceded
States and the Union, and he therefore argued that the question properly
took this shape: Whether Louisiana could "be brought into proper
practical relation with the Union _sooner_ by _sustaining_ or by
_discarding_ her new state government."[59]

By occurrences befalling almost immediately after Mr. Lincoln's death
his opinions were again drawn into debate, when unfortunately he could
neither explain nor develop them further than he had done. One of the
important events of the war was the conference held on March 28, 1865,
at Hampton Roads, between the President, General Grant, General Sherman,
and Admiral Porter, and at which no other person was present. It is
sufficiently agreed that the two generals then declared that one great
final battle must yet take place; and that thereupon Mr. Lincoln, in
view of the admitted fact that the collapse of the rebellion was
inevitably close at hand, expressed great aversion and pain at the
prospect of utterly useless bloodshed, and asked whether it could not by
some means be avoided. It is also tolerably certain that Mr. Lincoln
gave very plainly to be understood by his remarks, and also as usual by
a story, his desire that Jefferson Davis and a few other of the leading
rebels should not be captured, but rather should find it possible to
escape from the country. It is in other ways well known that he had
already made up his mind not to conclude the war with a series of
hangings after the historic European fashion of dealing with traitors.
He preferred, however, to evade rather than to encounter the problem of
disposing of such embarrassing captives, and a road for them out of the
country would be also a road for him out of a difficulty. What else was
said on this occasion, though it soon became the basis of important
action, is not known with accuracy; but it may be regarded as beyond a
doubt that, in a general way, Mr. Lincoln took a very liberal tone
concerning the terms and treatment to be accorded to the rebels in the
final arrangement of the surrendering, which all saw to be close at
hand. It is beyond doubt that he spoke, throughout the conference, in
the spirit of forgetting and forgiving immediately and almost entirely.

From this interview General Sherman went back to his army, and received
no further instructions afterward, until, on April 18, he established
with General Johnston the terms on which the remaining Confederate
forces should be disbanded. This "Memorandum or basis of agreement,"[60]
then entered into by him, stipulated for "the recognition by the
executive of the United States, of the several state governments, on
their officers and legislatures taking the oaths prescribed by the
Constitution of the United States;" also that the inhabitants of the
Southern States should "be guaranteed, so far as the executive can,
their political rights and franchises, as well as their rights of person
and property;" also that the government would not "disturb any of the
people by reason of the late war," if they should dwell quiet for the
future; and, in short, that there should be "a general amnesty," so far
as it was within the power of the executive of the United States to
grant it, upon the return of the South to a condition of peace.

No sooner were these engagements reported in Washington than they were
repudiated. However they might have accorded with, or might have
transcended, the sentiments of him who had been president only a few
days before, they by no means accorded with the views of Andrew Johnson,
who was president at that time, and still less with the views of the
secretary of war, who well represented the vengeful element of the
country. Accordingly Mr. Stanton at once annulled them by an order,
which he followed up by a bulletin containing ten reasons in support of
the order. This document was immediately published in the newspapers,
and was so vituperative and insulting towards Sherman[61] that the
general, who naturally did not feel himself a fitting object for
insolence at this season of his fresh military triumphs, soon afterward
showed his resentment; at the grand parade of his army, in Washington,
he conspicuously declined, in the presence of the President and the
notabilities of the land, to shake the hand which Secretary Stanton did
not hesitate then and there to extend to him,--for Stanton had that
peculiar and unusual form of meanness which endeavors to force a
civility after an insult. But however General Sherman might feel about
it, his capitulation had been revoked, and another conference became
necessary between the two generals, which was followed a little later by
still another between Generals Schofield and Johnston. At these meetings
the terms which had been established between Generals Grant and Lee were
substantially repeated, and by this "military convention" the war came
to a formal end on April 26, 1865.

By this course of events General Sherman was, of course, placed in a
very uncomfortable position, and he defended himself by alleging that
the terms which he had made were in accurate conformity with the
opinions, wishes, and programme expressed by Mr. Lincoln on March 28. He
reiterates this assertion strongly and distinctly in his "Memoirs," and
quotes in emphatic corroboration Admiral Porter's account of that
interview.[62] The only other witness who could be heard on this point
was General Grant; he never gave his recollection of the expressions of
President Lincoln concerning the matters in dispute; but on April 21 he
did write to General Sherman that, after having carefully read the terms
accorded to Johnston he felt satisfied that they "could not possibly be
approved."[63] He did not, however, say whether or not they seemed to
him to contravene the policy of the President, as he had heard or
understood that policy to be laid down in the famous interview. In the
obscurity which wraps this matter, individual opinions find ample room
to wander; it is easy to believe that what General Sherman undertook to
arrange was in reasonable accordance with the broad purposes of the
President; but it certainly is not easy to believe that the President
ever intended that so many, so momentous, and such complex affairs
should be conclusively disposed of, with all the honorable sacredness
attendant upon military capitulations, by a few hasty strokes of General
Sherman's pen. The comprehensiveness of this brief and sudden document
of surrender was appalling! Mr. Lincoln had never before shown any
inclination to depute to others so much of his own discretionary
authority; his habit was quite the other way.

It is not worth while to discuss much the merits or demerits of
President Lincoln's schemes for reconstruction. They had been only
roughly and imperfectly blocked out at the time of his death; and in
presenting them he repeatedly stated that he did not desire to rule out
other schemes which might be suggested; on the contrary, he distinctly
stated his approval of the scheme developed in the bill introduced by
Senator Davis and passed by Congress. Reconstruction, as it was actually
conducted later on, was wretchedly bungled, and was marked chiefly by
bitterness in disputation and by clumsiness in practical arrangements,
which culminated in that miserable disgrace known as the regime of the
"carpet-baggers." How far Lincoln would have succeeded in saving the
country from these humiliating processes, no one can say; but that he
would have strenuously disapproved much that was done is not open to
reasonable doubt. On the other hand, it is by no means certain that his
theories, at least so far as they had been developed up to the time of
his death, either could have been, or ought to have been carried out.
This seems to be generally agreed. Perhaps they were too liberal;
perhaps he confided too much in a sudden change of heart, an immediate
growth of loyalty, among persons of whom nearly all were still
embittered, still believed that it was in a righteous cause that they
had suffered a cruel defeat.

But if the feasibility of Mr. Lincoln's plan is matter of fruitless
disputation, having to do only with fancied probabilities, and having
never been put to the proof of trial, at least no one will deny that it
was creditable to his nature. A strange freak of destiny arranged that
one of the most obstinate, sanguinary wars of history should be
conducted by one of the most humane men who ever lived, and that blood
should run in rivers at the order of a ruler to whom bloodshed was
repugnant, and to whom the European idol of military glory seemed a
symbol of barbarism. During the war Lincoln's chief purpose was the
restoration of national unity, and his day-dream was that it should be
achieved as a sincere and hearty reunion in feeling as well as in fact.
As he dwelt with much earnest aspiration upon this consummation, he
perhaps came to imagine a possibility of its instant accomplishment,
which did not really exist. His longing for a genuinely reunited country
was not a pious form of expression, but an intense sentiment, and an end
which he definitely expected to bring to pass. Not improbably this frame
of mind induced him to advance too fast and too far, in order to meet
with welcoming hand persons who were by no means in such a condition of
feeling that they could grasp that hand in good faith, or could fulfill
at once the obligations which such a reconciliation would have imposed
upon them, as matter of honor, in all their civil and political
relations. The reaction involved in passing from a state of hostilities
to a state of peace, the deep gratification of seeing so mortal a
struggle determined in favor of the national life, may have carried him
somewhat beyond the limitations set by the hard facts of the case, and
by the human nature alike of the excited conquerors and the impenitent
conquered. On the other hand, however, it is dangerous to say that Mr.
Lincoln made a mistake in reading the popular feeling or in determining
a broad policy. If he did, he did so for the first time. Among those
suppositions in which posterity is free to indulge, it is possible to
fancy that if he, whom all now admit to have been the best friend of the
South living in April, 1865, had continued to live longer, he might have
alleviated, if he could not altogether have prevented, the writing of
some very painful chapters in the history of the United States.

NOTE.--In writing this chapter, I have run somewhat ahead of the
narrative in point of time; but I hope that the desirability of treating
the topic connectedly, as a whole, will be obvious to the reader.


[55] These appointments were as follows: Andrew Johnson, Tennessee,
February 23, 1862; Edward Stanley, North Carolina, May 19, 1862; Col.
G.F. Shepley, Louisiana, June 10, 1862.

[56] So said Andrew Johnson, military governor of Tennessee, March 18,

[57] In a contest in which emancipation was indirectly at stake, in
Maryland, he expressed his wish that "all loyal qualified voters" should
have the privilege of voting.

[58] N. and H. ix. 120-122, quoting from the diary of Mr. John Hay.

[59] He had used similar language in a letter to General Canby, December
12, 1864; N. and H. ix. 448; also in his letter to Trumbull concerning
the Louisiana senators, January 9, 1865; _ibid._ 454. Colonel McClure,
on the strength of conversations with Lincoln, says that his single
purpose was "the speedy and cordial restoration of the dissevered
States. He cherished no resentment against the South, and every theory
of reconstruction that he ever conceived or presented was eminently
peaceful and looking solely to reattaching the estranged people to the
government." _Lincoln and Men of War-Times_, 223.

[60] Sherman, _Memoirs_, ii. 356.

[61] Grant stigmatizes this as "cruel and harsh treatment ...
unnecessarily ... inflicted," _Mem._ ii. 534, and as "infamous," Badeau,
_Milit. Hist. of Grant_, iii. 636 n.

[62] Sherman, _Memoirs_, ii. 328. The admiral says that, if Lincoln had
lived, he "would have shouldered all the responsibility" for Sherman's
action, and Secretary Stanton would have "issued no false telegraphic
dispatches." See also Senator Sherman's corroborative statement;
McClure, _Lincoln and Men of War-Times_, 219 n.

[63] Sherman, _Memoirs_, ii. 360.



In a period of fervid political feeling it was natural that those
Republicans who were dissatisfied with President Lincoln should begin,
long before the close of his term of office, to seek consolation by
arrangements for replacing him by a successor more to their taste.
Expressions of this purpose became definite in the autumn of 1863. Mr.
Arnold says that the coming presidential election was expected to bring
grave danger, if not even anarchy and revolution.[64] Amid existing
circumstances, an opposition confined to the legitimate antagonism of
the Democracy would, of course, have brought something more than the
customary strain inherent in ordinary times in government by party; and
it was unfortunate that, besides this, an undue gravity was imported
into the crisis by the intestinal dissensions of the Republicans
themselves. It seemed by no means impossible that these disagreements
might give to the friends of peace by compromise a victory which they
really ought not to have. Republican hostility to Mr. Lincoln was
unquestionably very bitter in quality, whatever it might be in quantity.
It was based in part upon the discontent of the radicals and extremists,
in part upon personal irritation. In looking back upon those times there
is now a natural tendency to measure this opposition by the weakness
which it ultimately displayed when, later on, it was swept out of sight
by the overwhelming current of the popular will. But this weakness was
by no means so visible in the winter of 1863-64. On the contrary, the
cry for a change then seemed to come from every quarter, and to come
loudly; for it was echoed back and forth by the propagandists and
politicians, and as these persons naturally did most of the talking and
writing in the country, so they made a show delusively out of proportion
to their following among the people.

The dislike toward the President flourished chiefly in two places, and
with two distinct bodies of men. One of these places was Missouri, which
will be spoken of later on. The other was Washington, where the class of
"public men" was for the most part very ill-disposed towards him.[65]
Mr. Julian, himself a prominent malcontent, bears his valuable testimony
to the extent of the disaffection, saying that, of the "more earnest and
thorough-going Republicans in both Houses of Congress, probably not one
in ten really favored"[66] the renomination of Mr. Lincoln. In fact,
there were few of them whom the President had not offended. They had
brought to him their schemes and their policies, had made their
arguments and demands, and after all had found the President keeping his
counsel to himself and acting according to his own judgment. This seemed
exasperatingly unjustifiable in a country where anybody might happen to
be president without being a whit abler than any other one who had not
happened to fall into the office. In a word, the politicians had, and
hated, a master. Mr. Chase betrayed this when he complained that there
was no "administration, in the true sense of the word;" by which he
understood, "a president conferring with his cabinet and _taking their
united judgments_." The existence of that strange moat which seems to
isolate the capital and the political coteries therein gathered, and to
shut out all knowledge of the feelings of the constituent people, is
notorious, and certainly was never made more conspicuous than in this
business of selecting the Republican candidate for the campaign of 1864.
When Congress came together the political scheming received a strong
impetus. Everybody seemed to be opposed to Mr. Lincoln. Thaddeus
Stevens, the impetuous leader of the House of Representatives, declared
that, in that body, Arnold of Illinois was the only member who was a
political friend of the President; and the story goes that the President
himself sadly admitted the fact. Visitors at Washington, who got their
impressions from the talk there, concluded that Mr. Lincoln's chance of
a second term was small.

This opposition, which had the capital for its headquarters and the
politicians for its constituents, found a candidate ready for use.
Secretary Chase was a victim to the dread disease of presidential
ambition. With the usual conventional expressions of modesty he admitted
the fact. Thereupon general talk soon developed into political
organization; and in January, 1864, a "Committee of prominent Senators,
Representatives, and Citizens," having formally obtained his approval,
set about promoting his interests in business-like fashion.

The President soon knew what was going forward; but he gave no sign of
disquietude; on the contrary, he only remarked that he hoped the country
would never have a worse president than Mr. Chase would be. Not that he
was indifferent to renomination and reëlection. That would have been
against nature. His mind, his soul, all that there was of force and
feeling in him had been expended to the uttermost in the cause and the
war which were still pending. At the end of that desperate road, along
which he had dared stubbornly and against so much advice to lead the
nation, he seemed now to discern the goal. That he should be permitted
to guide to the end in that journey, and that his judgment and
leadership should receive the crown of success and approval, was a
reward, almost a right, which he must intensely desire and which he
could not lose without a disappointment that outruns expression. Yet he
was so self-contained that, if he had cared not at all about the issue,
his conduct would have been much the same that it was.

[Illustration: Isaac N. Arnold]

Besides his temperament, other causes promoted this tranquillity. What
Mr. Lincoln would have been had his career fallen in ordinary times,
amid commonplace political business, it is difficult to say. The world
never saw him as the advocate or assailant of a tariff, or other such
affair. From the beginning he had bound himself fast to a great moral
purpose, which later became united with the preservation of the national
life. Having thus deliberately exercised his judgment in a question of
this kind, he seemed ever after content to have intrusted his fortunes
to the movement, and always to be free from any misgiving as to its
happy conclusion. Besides this, it is probable that he accurately
measured the narrow limits of Mr. Chase's strength. No man ever more
shrewdly read the popular mind. A subtle line of communication seemed to
run between himself and the people. Nor did he know less well the
politicians. His less sagacious friends noted with surprise and anxiety
that he let the work of opposition go on unchecked. In due time,
however, the accuracy of his foresight was vindicated; for when the
secretary's friends achieved a sufficient impetus they tumbled over, in
manner following:--

Mr. Pomeroy, senator from Kansas, was vindictive because the President
had refused to take his side in certain quarrels between himself and his
colleague. Accordingly, early in 1864, he issued a circular, stating
that the efforts making for Mr. Lincoln's nomination required counter
action on the part of those unconditional friends of the Union who
disapproved the policy of the administration. He said that Mr. Lincoln's
reëlection was "practically impossible;" that it was also undesirable,
on account of the President's "manifest tendency towards compromises and
temporary expedients of policy," and for other reasons. Therefore, he
said, Mr. Chase's friends had established "connections in all the
States," and now invited "the hearty coöperation of all those in favor
of the speedy restoration of the Union upon the basis of universal
freedom." The document, designed to be secret, of course was quickly
printed in the newspapers.[67] This was awkward; and Mr. Chase at once
wrote to the President a letter, certainly entirely fair, in which he
expressed his willingness to resign. Mr. Lincoln replied kindly. He said
that he had heard of the Pomeroy circular, but had not read it, and did
not expect to do so. In fact, he said, "I have known just as little of
these things as my friends have allowed me to know." As to the proposed
resignation, that, he said, "is a question which I will not allow myself
to consider from any standpoint other than my judgment of the public
service, and in that view I do not perceive occasion for a change."
There was throughout a quiet undertone of indifference to the whole
business, which was significant enough to have puzzled the secretary,
had he noticed it; for it was absolutely impossible that Mr. Lincoln
should be really indifferent to dangerous competition. The truth was
that the facts of the situation lay with the President, and that the
enterprise, which was supposed by its friends to be only in its early
stage, was really on the verge of final disposition. Mr. Chase had said
decisively that he would not be a candidate unless his own State, Ohio,
should prefer him. To enlighten him on this point the Republican members
of the Ohio legislature, being in much closer touch with the people than
were the more dignified statesmen at Washington, met on February 25, and
in the name of the people and the soldiers of their State renominated
Mr. Lincoln. The nail was driven a stroke deeper into the coffin by
Rhode Island. Although Governor Sprague was Mr. Chase's son-in-law, the
legislature of that State also made haste to declare for Mr. Lincoln. So
the movement in behalf of Mr. Chase came suddenly and utterly to an end.
Early in May he wrote that he wished no further consideration to be
given to his name; and his wish was respected. After this collapse Mr.
Lincoln's renomination was much less opposed by the politicians of
Washington. Being naturally a facile class, and not so narrowly wedded
to their own convictions as to be unable to subordinate them to the
popular will or wisdom, they now for the most part gave their
superficial and uncordial adhesion to the President. They liked him no
better than before, but they respected a sagacity superior to their own,
bowed before a capacity which could control success, and, in presence of
the admitted fact of his overwhelming popularity, they played the part
which became wise men of their calling.

However sincerely Mr. Chase might resolve to behave with magnanimity
beneath his disappointment, the disappointment must rankle all the same.
It was certainly the case that, while he professed friendship towards
Mr. Lincoln personally, he was honestly unable to appreciate him as a
president. Mr. Chase's ideal of a statesman had outlines of imposing
dignity which Mr. Lincoln's simple demeanor did not fill out. It was now
inevitable that the relationship between the two men should soon be
severed. The first strain came because Mr. Lincoln would not avenge an
unjustifiable assault made by General Blair upon the secretary. Then Mr.
Chase grumbled at the free spending of the funds which he had succeeded
in providing with so much skill and labor. "It seems as if there were no
limit to expense.... The spigot in Uncle Abe's barrel is made twice as
big as the bung-hole," he complained. Then ensued sundry irritations
concerning appointments in the custom-houses, one of which led to an
offer of resignation by the secretary. On each occasion, however, the
President placated him by allowing him to have his own way. Finally, in
May and June, 1864, occurred the famous imbroglio concerning the choice
of a successor to Mr. Cisco, the assistant treasurer at New York. Though
Mr. Chase again managed to prevail, yet he was made so angry by the
circumstances of the case, that he again sent in his resignation, which
this time was accepted. For, as Mr. Lincoln said: "You and I have
reached a point of mutual embarrassment in our official relation, which
it seems cannot be overcome or longer sustained consistently with the
public service." This occurrence, taking place on June 29-30, at the
beginning of the difficult political campaign of that anxious summer,
alienated from the President's cause some friends in a crisis when all
the friends whom he could muster seemed hardly sufficient.

The place of Mr. Chase was not easy to fill. Mr. Lincoln first nominated
David Tod of Ohio. This was very ill received; but fortunately the
difficulty which might have been caused by it was escaped, because
Governor Tod promptly declined. The President then named William Pitt
Fessenden, senator from Maine, and actually forced the office upon him
against that gentleman's sincere wish to escape the honor. A better
choice could not have been made. Mr. Fessenden was chairman of the
Committee on Finance, and had filled the position with conspicuous
ability; every one esteemed him highly; the Senate instantly confirmed
him, and during his incumbency in office he fully justified these
flattering opinions.

There were other opponents of the President who were not so easily
diverted from their purpose as the politicians had been. In Missouri an
old feud was based upon his displacement of Fremont; the State had ever
since been rent by fierce factional quarrels, and amid them this
grievance had never been forgotten or forgiven. Emancipation by state
action had been chief among the causes which had divided the Union
citizens into Conservatives and Radicals. Their quarrel was bitter, and
in vain did Mr. Lincoln repeatedly endeavor to reconcile them. The
Radicals claimed his countenance as a matter of right, and Mr. Lincoln
often privately admitted that between him and them there was close
coincidence of feeling. Yet he found their specific demands
inadmissible; especially he could not consent to please them by removing
General Schofield. So they, being extremists, and therefore of the type
of men who will have every one against them who is not for them, turned
vindictively against him. They found sympathizers elsewhere in the
country, sporadic instances of disaffection rather than indications of
an epidemic; but in their frame of mind they easily gained faith in the
existence of a popular feeling which was, in fact, the phantasm of
their own heated fancy. As spring drew on they cast out lines of
affiliation. Their purpose was not only negatively against Lincoln, but
positively for Fremont. Therefore they made connection with the Central
Fremont Club, a small organization in New York, and issued a call for a
mass convention at Cleveland on May 31. They expressed their disgust for
the "imbecile and vacillating policy" of Mr. Lincoln, and desired the
"immediate extinction of slavery ... by congressional action,"
contemning the fact that Congress had no power under the Constitution to
extinguish slavery. Their call was reinforced by two or three others, of
which one came from a "People's Committee" of St. Louis, representing
Germans under the lead of B. Gratz Brown.

The movement also had the hearty approval of Wendell Phillips, who was
very bitter and sweeping in his denunciations of an administration which
he regarded "as a civil and military failure." Lincoln's reëlection, he
said, "I shall consider the end of the Union in my day, or its
reconstruction on terms worse than disunion." But Mr. Phillips's
friendship ought to have been regarded by the Fremonters as ominous, for
it was his custom always to act with a very small minority. Moreover he
had long since ceased to give voice to the intelligence of his party or
even fairly to represent it. How far it had ever been proper to call the
Abolitionists a party may be doubted; before the war they had been
compressed into some solidity by encompassing hostility; but they would
not have been Abolitionists at all had they not been men of exceptional
independence both in temper and in intellect. They had often dared to
differ from each other as well as from the mass of their fellow
citizens, and they had never submitted to the domination of leaders in
the ordinary political fashion. The career of Mr. Lincoln had of course
been watched by them keenly, very critically, and with intense and
various feeling. At times they had hopefully applauded him, and at times
they had vehemently condemned what had seemed to them his halting,
half-hearted, or timid action. As the individual members of the party
had often changed their own minds about him, so also they had sometimes
and freely disagreed with each other concerning his character, his
intentions, his policies. In the winter and spring of 1864, however, it
seemed that, by slow degrees, observation, their own good sense, and the
development of events had at last won the great majority of the party to
repose a considerable measure of confidence in him, both in respect of
his capacity and of his real anti-slavery purposes. Accordingly in the
present discussions such men as Owen Lovejoy,[68] William Lloyd
Garrison, and Oliver Johnson came out fairly for him,--not, indeed,
because he was altogether satisfactory to them, but because he was in
great part so; also because they easily saw that as matter of fact his
personal triumph would probably lead to abolition, that he was the only
candidate by whom the Democracy could be beaten, and that if the
Democracy should not be beaten, abolition would be postponed beyond
human vision. Lovejoy said that, to his personal knowledge, the
President had "been just as radical as any of his cabinet," and in view
of what the Abolitionists thought of Chase, this was a strong
indorsement. The old-time charge of being impractical could not properly
be renewed against these men, now that they saw that events which they
could help to bring about were likely to bring their purpose to the
point of real achievement in a near future. In this condition of things
they were found entirely willing to recognize and accept the best
practical means, and their belief was clear that the best practical
means lay in the renomination and reëlection of Abraham Lincoln. Their
adhesion brought to him a very useful assistance, and beyond this it
also gave him the gratification of knowing that he had at last won the
approval of men whose friendly sympathy he had always inwardly desired.
Sustained by the best men in the party, he could afford to disregard the
small body of irreconcilable and quarrelsome fault-finders, who went
over to Fremont, factious men, who were perhaps unconsciously controlled
more by mere contradictoriness of temperament than by the higher motives
which they proclaimed.

At Cleveland on the appointed day the "mass convention" assembled, only
the mass was wanting. It nominated Fremont for the presidency and
General John Cochrane for the vice-presidency; and thus again the
Constitution was ignored by these malcontents; for both these gentlemen
were citizens of New York, and therefore the important delegation from
that State could lawfully vote for only one of them. Really the best
result which the convention achieved was that it called forth a bit of
wit from the President. Some one remarked to him that, instead of the
expected thousands, only about four hundred persons had assembled. He
turned to the Bible which, say Nicolay and Hay, "commonly lay on his
desk,"[69] and read the verse: "And every one that was in distress, and
every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented,
gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and
there were with him about four hundred men."[70]

The Fremonters struck no responsive chord among the people. The
nomination was received by every one with the same tranquil
indifference, tinged with ridicule, which the President had shown. In
vain did Fremont seek to give to his candidacy a serious and dignified
character. Very few persons cared anything about it, except the
Democrats, and their clamorous approval was as unwelcome as it was
significant. Under this humiliation the unfortunate candidate at last
decided to withdraw, and so notified his committee about the middle of
September. He still stood by his principles, however, and asserted that
Mr. Lincoln's administration had been "politically, militarily, and
financially a failure;" that the President had paralyzed the generous
unanimity of the North; and that, by declaring that "slavery should be
protected," he had "built up for the South a strength which otherwise
they could have never attained." The nation received the statement
placidly and without alarm.

A feeble movement in New York to nominate General Grant deserves
mention, chiefly for the purpose of also mentioning the generous manner
in which the general decisively brushed it aside. Mr. Lincoln quietly
said that if Grant would take Richmond he might also have the
presidency. But it was, of course, plain to every one that for the
present it would be ridiculous folly to take Grant out of his tent in
order to put him into the White House.

During this same troubled period a few of the Republican malcontents
went so far as to fancy that they could put upon Mr. Lincoln a pressure
which would induce him to withdraw from the ticket. They never learned
the extreme absurdity of their design, for they never got enough
encouragement to induce them to push it beyond the stage of preliminary

All these movements had some support from newspapers in different parts
of the country. Many editors had the like grievance against Mr. Lincoln
which so many politicians had. For they had told him what to do, and too
often he had not done it. Horace Greeley, it is needless to say, was
conspicuous in his unlimited condemnation of the President.

The first indications of the revolt of the politicians and the radicals
against Mr. Lincoln were signals for instant counteracting activity
among the various bodies which more closely felt the popular impulse.
State conventions, caucuses, of all sizes and kinds, and gatherings of
the Republican members of state legislatures, overstepped their regular
functions to declare for the renomination of Mr. Lincoln. Clubs and
societies did the same. Simon Cameron, transmitting to the President a
circular of this purport, signed by every Unionist member of the
Pennsylvania legislature, said: "Providence has decreed your
reëlection;" and if it is true that the _vox populi_ is also the _vox
Dei_, this statement of the political affiliations of Providence was
entirely correct. Undoubtedly the number of the President's adherents
was swelled by some persons who would have been among the disaffected
had they not been influenced by the reflection that a change of
administration in the present condition of things must be disastrous.
This feeling was expressed in many metaphors, but in none other so
famous as that uttered by Mr. Lincoln himself: that it was not wise to
swap horses while crossing the stream. The process was especially
dangerous in a country where the change would involve a practical
interregum of one third of a year. The nation had learned this lesson,
and had paid dearly enough for the schooling, too, in the four months of
its waiting to get rid of Buchanan, after it had discredited him and all
his ways. In the present crisis it was easy to believe that to leave Mr.
Lincoln to carry on for four months an administration condemned by the
people, would inflict a mortal injury to the Union cause. Nevertheless,
though many persons not wholly satisfied with him supported him for this
reason, the great majority undeniably felt implicit faith and intense
loyalty towards him. He was the people's candidate, and they would not
have any other candidate; this present state of popular feeling, which
soon became plain as the sun in heaven, settled the matter.

Thereupon, however, the malcontents, unwilling to accept defeat,
broached a new scheme. The Republican nominating convention had been
summoned to meet on June 7, 1864; the opponents of Mr. Lincoln now
sought to have it postponed until September. William Cullen Bryant
favored this. Mr. Greeley also artfully said that a nomination made so
early would expose the Union party to a dangerous and possibly a
successful flank movement. But deception was impossible; all knew that
the postponement itself was a flank movement, and that it was desired
for the chance of some advantage turning up for those who now had
absolutely nothing to lose.

Mr. Lincoln all the while preserved the same attitude which he had held
from the beginning. He had too much honesty and good sense to commit the
vulgar folly of pretending not to want what every one knew perfectly
well that he did want very much. Yet no fair enemy could charge him with
doing any objectionable act to advance his own interests. He declined to
give General Schurz leave of absence to make speeches in his behalf.
"Speaking in the North," he said, "and fighting in the South at the same
time are not possible; nor could I be justified to detail any officer to
the political campaign during its continuance, and then return him to
the army." When the renomination came to him, he took it with clean
hands and a clear conscience; and it did come surely and promptly. The
postponers were quenched by general disapproval; and promptly on the
appointed day, June 7, the Republican Convention met at Baltimore. As
Mr. Forney well said: the body had not to originate, but simply to
republish, a policy; not to choose a candidate, but only to adopt the
previous choice of the people. Very wisely the "Radical-union," or
anti-Lincoln, delegation from Missouri was admitted, as against the
contesting pro-Lincoln delegates. The delegations from Tennessee,
Arkansas and Louisiana were also admitted. The President had desired
this. Perhaps, as some people charged, he thought that it would be a
useful precedent for counting the votes of these States in the election
itself, should the Republican party have need to do so. The platform,
besides many other things, declared against compromise with the rebels;
advocated a constitutional amendment to abolish slavery; and praised the
President and his policy. The first ballot showed 484 for Lincoln, 22
for Grant. The Missouri radicals had cast the vote for Grant; they rose
and transferred it to Lincoln, and thus upon the first ballot he was
nominated unanimously.

There was some conflict over the second place. A numerous body felt, and
very properly, that Mr. Hamlin deserved the approval of renomination.
But others said that policy required the selection of a war Democrat.
The President's advice was eagerly and persistently sought. Messrs.
Nicolay and Hay allege that he not only ostensibly refused any response,
but that he would give no private hint; and they say that therefore it
was "with minds absolutely untrammeled by even any knowledge of the
President's wishes, that the convention went about its work of selecting
his associate on the ticket." Others assert, and, as it seems to me,
strongly sustain their assertion, that the President had a distinct and
strong purpose in favor of Andrew Johnson,--not on personal, but on
political grounds,--and that it was due to his skillful but occult
interference that the choice ultimately fell upon the energetic and
aggressive war Democrat of Tennessee.[71] The first ballot showed for
Mr. Johnson 200, for Mr. Hamlin 150, and for Daniel S. Dickinson, a war
Democrat of New York, 108. The nomination of Mr. Johnson was at once
made unanimous.

To the committee who waited upon Mr. Lincoln to notify him formally of
his nomination, he replied briefly. His only noteworthy remark was made
concerning that clause in the platform which proposed the constitutional
abolition of slavery; of which he said, that it was "a fitting and
necessary conclusion to the final success of the Union cause."

During the ensuing summer of 1864 the strain to which the nation was
subjected was excessive. The political campaign produced intense
excitement, and the military situation caused profound anxiety. The
Democrats worked as men work when they anticipate glorious triumph; and
even the Republicans conceded that the chance of their opponents was
alarmingly good. The frightful conflict which had devoured men and money
without stint was entering upon its fourth year, and the weary people
had not that vision which enabled the leaders from their watch-tower to
see the end. Wherefore the Democrats, stigmatizing the war policy as a
failure, and crying for peace and a settlement, held out an alluring
purpose, although they certainly failed to explain distinctly their plan
for achieving this consummation without sacrificing the Union.
Skillfully devoting the summer to assaults on the Republicans, they
awaited the guidance of the latest phase of the political situation
before making their own choice. Then, at the end of August, their
convention nominated General George B. McClellan. At the time it seemed
probable that the nomination was also the gift of the office. So
unpromising was the outlook for the Republicans during these summer
months that many leaders, and even the President himself, felt that
their only chance of winning in November lay in the occurrence before
that time of some military success great enough to convince the people
that it was not yet time to despair of the war.

It was especially hard for the Republicans to make head against their
natural enemies, because they were so severely handicapped by the bad
feeling and division among themselves. Mr. Wade, Henry Winter Davis,
Thaddeus Stevens, and a host more, could not do otherwise than accept
the party nominee; yet with what zeal could they work for the candidate
when they felt that they, the leaders of the party, had been something
worse than ignored in the selection of him? And what was their influence
worth, when all who could be reached by it knew well their extreme
hostility and distrust towards Mr. Lincoln? Stevens grudgingly admitted
that Lincoln would not be quite so bad a choice as McClellan, yet let no
chance go by to assail the opinions, measures, and policy of the
Republican President. In this he was imitated by others, and their
reluctant adhesion in the mere matter of voting the party ticket was
much more than offset by this vehemence in condemning the man in whose
behalf they felt it necessary to go to the polls. In a word the
situation was, that the common soldiers of the party were to go into the
fight under officers who did not expect, and scarcely desired, to win.
Victory is rare under such circumstances.

The opposition of the Democratic party was open and legitimate; the
unfriendliness of the Republican politicians was more unfortunate than
unfair, because it was the mistake of sincere and earnest men. But in
the way of Mr. Lincoln's success there stood still other opponents whose
antagonism was mischievous, insidious, and unfair both in principle and
in detail. Chief in this band appeared Horace Greeley, with a following
and an influence fluctuating and difficult to estimate, but
considerable. His present political creed was a strange jumble of
Democratic and Republican doctrines. No Democrat abused the
administration or cried for "peace on almost any terms" louder than he
did; yet he still declaimed against slavery, and proposed to buy from
the South all its slaves for four hundred millions of dollars.
Unfortunately those of his notions which were of importance in the
pending campaign were the Democratic ones. If he had come out openly as
a free lance, which was his true character, he would have less seriously
injured the President's cause. This, however, he would not do, but
preferred to fight against the Republicans in their own camp and
wearing their own uniform, and in this guise to devote all his capacity
to embarrassing the man who was the chosen president and the candidate
of that party. Multitudes in the country had been wont to accept the
editorials of the "Tribune" as sound political gospels, and the present
disaffected attitude of the variable man who inspired those vehement
writings was a national disaster. He created and led the party of peace
Republicans. Peace Democracy was a legitimate political doctrine; but
peace Republicanism was an illogical monstrosity. It lay, with the
mortal threat of a cancer, in the political body of the party. It was
especially unfortunate just at this juncture that clear thinking was not
among Mr. Greeley's gifts. In single-minded pursuit of his purpose to
destroy Mr. Lincoln by any possible means, he had at first encouraged
the movement for Fremont, though it was based on views directly contrary
to his own. But soon losing interest in that, he thereafter gave himself
wholly to the business of crying aloud for immediate peace, which he
continued to do throughout the presidential campaign, always
unreasonably, sometimes disingenuously, but without rest, and with
injurious effect. The vivid picture which he loved to draw of "our
bleeding, bankrupt, and almost dying country," longing for peace and
shuddering at the "prospect of new rivers of human blood," scared many
an honest and anxious patriot.

In July and August Mr. Greeley was misled into lending himself to the
schemes of some Southerners at Niagara Falls, who threw out intimations
that they were emissaries from the Confederacy and authorized to treat
for peace. He believed these men, and urged that negotiations should be
prosecuted with them. By the publicity which he gave to the matter he
caused much embarrassment to Mr. Lincoln, who saw at once that the whole
business was certainly absurd and probably treacherous. The real purpose
of these envoys, he afterwards said, was undoubtedly "to assist in
selecting and arranging a candidate and a platform for the Chicago
Convention." Yet clearly as he understood this false and hollow scheme,
he could not altogether ignore Greeley's demands for attention to it
without giving too much color to those statements which the editor was
assiduously scattering abroad, to the effect that the administration did
not desire peace, and would not take it when proffered. So there were
reasons why this sham offer must be treated as if it were an honest one,
vexatious as the necessity appeared to the President. Perhaps he was
cheered by the faith which he had in the wisdom of proverbs, for now,
very fortunately, he permitted himself to be guided by a familiar one;
and he decided to give to his annoyer liberal rope. Accordingly he
authorized Mr. Greeley himself to visit in person these emissaries, to
confer with them, and even to bring them to Washington in case they
should prove really to have from Jefferson Davis any written
proposition "for peace, embracing the restoration of the Union and
abandonment of slavery." It was an exceedingly shrewd move, and it
seriously discomposed Mr. Greeley, who had not counted upon being so
frankly met, and whose disquietude was amusingly evident as he
reluctantly fluttered forth to Niagara upon his mission of peace, less
wise than a serpent and unfortunately much less harmless than a dove.

There is no room here to follow all the intricacies of the ensuing
"negotiations." The result was an utter fiasco, fully justifying the
President's opinion of the fatuity of the whole business. The so-called
Southern envoys had no credentials at all; they appeared to be mere
adventurers, and members of that Southern colony in Canada which became
even more infamous by what it desired to do than mischievous by what it
actually did during the war. If they had any distinct purpose on this
occasion, it was to injure the Republican party by discrediting its
candidate in precisely the way in which Mr. Greeley was aiding them to
do these things. But he never got his head sufficiently clear to
appreciate this, and he faithfully continued to play the part for which
he had been cast by them, but without understanding it. He persistently
charged the responsibility for his bootless return and ignominious
situation upon Mr. Lincoln; and though his errand proved conclusively
that the South was making no advances,[72] and though no man in the
country was more strictly affected with personal knowledge of this fact
than he was, yet he continued to tell the people, with all the weight of
his personal authority, that the President was obstinately set against
any and all proffers of peace. Mr. Lincoln, betwixt mercy and policy,
refrained from crushing his antagonist by an ungarbled publication of
all the facts and documents; and in return for his forbearance he long
continued to receive from Mr. Greeley vehement assurances that every
direful disaster awaited the Republican party. The cause suffered much
from these relentless diatribes of the "Tribune's" influential manager,
for nothing else could make the administration so unpopular as the
belief that it was backward in any possible exertion to secure an
honorable peace.

If by sound logic the Greeley faction should have voted with the
Democrats,--since in the chief point in issue, the prosecution of the
war, they agreed with the Democracy,--so the war Democrats, being in
accord with the Republicans, upon this same overshadowing issue should,
at the coming election at least, have voted with that party. Many of
them undoubtedly did finally prefer Lincoln, coupled with Andrew
Johnson, to McClellan. But they also had anxieties, newly stirred, and
entirely reasonable in men of their political faith. It was plain to
them that Mr. Lincoln had been finding his way to the distinct position
that the abolition of slavery was an essential condition of peace. Now
this was undeniably a very serious and alterative graft upon the
original doctrine that the war was solely for the restoration of the
Union. The editor of a war-Democratic newspaper in Wisconsin sought
information upon this point. In the course of Mr. Greeley's negotiatory
business Mr. Lincoln had offered to welcome "any proposition which
embraces the restoration of peace, the integrity of the whole Union, and
the abandonment of slavery." Now this, said the interrogating editor,
implies "that no steps can be taken towards peace ... unless accompanied
with an abandonment of slavery. This puts the whole war question on a
new basis and takes us war Democrats clear off our feet, leaving us no
ground to stand upon. If we sustain the war and war policy, does it not
demand the changing of our party politics?" Nicolay and Hay print the
draft of a reply by Mr. Lincoln which, they say, was "apparently
unfinished and probably never sent." In this he referred to his past
utterances as being still valid. But he said that no Southerner had
"intimated a willingness for a restoration of the Union in any event or
on any condition whatever.... If Jefferson Davis wishes for himself, or
for the benefit of his friends at the North, to know what I would do if
he were to offer peace and reunion, saying nothing about slavery, let
him try me." It must be admitted that this was not an answer, but was a
clear waiver of an answer. The President could not or would not reply
categorically to the queries of the editor. Perhaps the impossibility of
doing so both satisfactorily and honestly may explain why the paper was
left unfinished and unsent. It was not an easy letter to write; its
composition must have puzzled one who was always clear both in thought
and in expression. Probably Mr. Lincoln no longer expected that the end
of the war would leave slavery in existence, nor intended that it should
do so; and doubtless he anticipated that the course of events would
involve the destruction of that now rotten and undermined institution,
without serious difficulty at the opportune moment. The speeches made at
the Republican nominating convention had been very outspoken, to the
effect that slavery must be made to "cease forever," as a result of the
war. Yet a blunt statement that abolition would be a _sine qua non_ in
any arrangements for peace, emanating directly from the President, as a
declaration of his policy, would be very costly in the pending campaign,
and would imperil rather than advance the fortunes of him who had this
consummation at heart, and would thereby also diminish the chance for
the consummation itself. So at last he seems to have left the war
Democrats to puzzle over the conundrum, and decide as best they could.
Of course the doubt affected unfavorably the votes of some of them.

A measure of the mischief which was done by these suspicions and by
Greeley's assertions that the administration did not desire peace, may
be taken from a letter, written to Mr. Lincoln on August 22 by Mr. Henry
J. Raymond, chairman of the National Executive Committee of the
Republican party. From all sides, Mr. Raymond says, "I hear but one
report. The tide is setting strongly against us." Mr. Washburne, he
writes, despairs of Illinois, and Mr. Cameron of Pennsylvania, and he
himself is not hopeful of New York, and Governor Morton is doubtful of
Indiana; "and so of the rest." For this melancholy condition he assigns
two causes: the want of military successes, and the belief "that we are
not to have peace in any event under this administration until slavery
is abandoned. In some way or other the suspicion is widely diffused that
we can have peace with union, if we would." Then even this stanch
Republican leader suggests that it might be good policy to sound
Jefferson Davis on the feasibility of peace "on the sole condition of
acknowledging the supremacy of the Constitution,--all other questions to
be settled in a convention of the people of all the States." The
President might well have been thrown into inextricable confusion of
mind, betwixt the assaults of avowed enemies, the denunciations and
predictions of inimical friends, the foolish advice of genuine
supporters. It is now plain that all the counsel which was given to him
was bad, from whatsoever quarter it came. It shows the powerfulness of
his nature that he retained his cool and accurate judgment, although
the crisis was such that even he also had to admit that the danger of
defeat was imminent. To Mr. Raymond's panic-stricken suggestions he made
a very shrewd response by drafting some instructions for the purpose of
sending that gentleman himself on the mission to Mr. Davis. It was the
same tactics which he had pursued in dispatching Mr. Greeley to meet the
Southerners in Canada. The result was that the fruitlessness of the
suggestion was admitted by its author.

As if all hurtful influences were to be concentrated against the
President, it became necessary just at this inopportune time to make
good the terrible waste in the armies caused by expiration of terms of
service and by the bloody campaigns of Grant and Sherman. Volunteering
was substantially at an end, and a call for troops would have to be
enforced by a draft. Inevitably this would stir afresh the hostility of
those who dreaded that the conscription might sweep into military
service themselves or those dear to them. It was Mr. Lincoln's duty,
however, to make the demand, and to make it at once. He did so;
regardless of personal consequences, he called for 500,000 more men.

Thus in July and August the surface was covered with straws, and every
one of them indicated a current setting strongly against Mr. Lincoln.
Unexpectedly the Democratic Convention made a small counter-eddy; for
the peace Democrats, led by Vallandigham, were ill advised enough to
force a peace plank into the platform. This was at once repudiated by
McClellan in his letter of acceptance, and then again was reiterated by
Vallandigham as the true policy of the party. Thus war Democrats were
alarmed, and a split was opened. Yet it was by no means such a chasm as
that which, upon the opposite side, divided the radicals and politicians
from the mass of their Republican comrades. It might affect ratios, but
did not seem likely to change results. In a word, all political
observers now believed that military success was the only medicine which
could help the Republican prostration, and whether this medicine could
be procured was very doubtful.


[64] Arnold, _Lincoln_, 384, 385. Nicolay and Hay seem to me to go too
far in belittling the opposition to Mr. Lincoln within the Republican

[65] See Arnold, _Lincoln_, 385. But the fact is notorious among all who
remember those times.

[66] _Polit. Recoll. 243 et seq._ Mr. Julian here gives a vivid sketch
of the opposition to Mr. Lincoln.

[67] In the _National Intelligencer_, February 22, 1864.

[68] Lovejoy had generally stood faithfully by the President.

[69] N. and H. ix. 40.

[70] I Samuel xxii. 2.

[71] See, more especially, McClure, _Lincoln and Men of War-Times_,
chapter on "Lincoln and Hamlin," 104-118. This writer says (p. 196) that
Lincoln's first selection was General Butler.

[72] Further illustration of this unquestionable fact was furnished by
the volunteer mission of Colonel Jaquess and Mr. Gilmore to Richmond in
July. N. and H. vol. ix. ch. ix.



It is necessary now to return to military matters, and briefly to set
forth the situation. No especial fault was found with General Meade's
operations in Virginia; yet it was obvious that a system quite different
from that which had hitherto prevailed must be introduced there. To
fight a great battle, then await entire recuperation of losses, then
fight again and wait again, was a process of lingering exhaustion which
might be prolonged indefinitely. In February, 1864, Congress passed,
though with some reluctance, and the President much more readily signed,
a bill for the appointment of a lieutenant-general, "authorized, under
the direction and during the pleasure of the President, to command the
armies of the United States."[73] All understood that the place was made
for General Grant, and it was at once given to him by Mr. Lincoln. On
March 3 the appointment was confirmed by the Senate. By this Halleck was
substantially laid aside; his uselessness had long since become so
apparent, that though still holding his dignified position, he seemed
almost forgotten by every one.

Grant came to Washington,[74] arriving on March 8, and there was induced
by what he heard and saw to lay aside his own previous purpose and the
strenuous advice of Sherman, and to fall in with Mr. Lincoln's wishes;
that is to say, to take personal control of the campaign in Virginia. He
did this with his usual promptness, and set Sherman in command in the
middle of the country, the only other important theatre of operations.
It is said that Grant, before accepting the new rank and taking Virginia
as his special province, stipulated that he was to be absolutely free
from all interference, especially on the part of Stanton. Whether this
agreement was formulated or not, it was put into practical effect. No
man hereafter interfered with General Grant. Mr. Lincoln occasionally
made suggestions, but strictly and merely as suggestions. He distinctly
and pointedly said that he did not know, and did not wish to know, the
general's plans of campaign.[75] When the new commander had duly
considered the situation, he adopted precisely the same broad scheme
which had been previously devised by Mr. Lincoln and General McClellan;
that is to say, he arranged a simultaneous vigorous advance all along
the line. It was the way to make weight and numbers tell; and Grant had
great faith in weight and numbers; like Napoleon, he believed that
Providence has a shrewd way of siding with the heaviest battalions.

On April 30, all being ready for the advance, the President sent a note
of God-speed to the general. "I wish to express," he said, "my entire
satisfaction with what you have done up to this time, so far as I
understand it. The particulars of your plan I neither know, nor seek to
know.... If there is anything wanting which is within my power to give,
do not fail to let me know it." The general replied in a pleasant tone:
"I have been astonished at the readiness with which everything asked for
has been yielded, without even an explanation being asked. Should my
success be less than I desire and expect, the least I can say is, the
fault is not with you." When the President read these strange words his
astonishment must have far exceeded that expressed by the general. Never
before had he been thus addressed by any commander in Virginia!
Generally he had been told that a magnificent success was about to be
achieved, which he had done nothing to promote and perhaps much to
retard, but which would nevertheless be secured by the ability of a
general in spite of unfriendly neglect by a president.

On May 4 General Grant's army started upon its way, with 122,146 men
present for duty. Against them General Lee had 61,953. The odds seemed
excessive; but Lee had inside lines, the defensive, and intrenchments,
to equalize the disparity of numbers. At once began those bloody and
incessant campaigns by which General Grant intended to end, and finally
did end, the war. The North could afford to lose three men where the
South lost two, and would still have a balance left after the South had
spent all. The expenditure in this proportion would be disagreeable; but
if this was the inevitable and only price, Grant was willing to pay it,
justly regarding it as cheaper than a continuation of the process of
purchase by piecemeal. In a few hours the frightful struggle in the
Wilderness was in progress. All day on the 5th, all day on the 6th, the
terrible slaughter continued in those darksome woods and swamps. "More
desperate fighting has not been witnessed on this continent," said
Grant. The Union troops could not force their way through those tangled
forests. Thereupon, accepting the situation in his imperturbable way, he
arranged to move, on May 7, by the left flank southerly towards
Spottsylvania. Lee, disappointed and surprised that Grant was advancing
instead of falling back, could not do otherwise than move in the same
course; for, in fact, the combatants were locked together in a grappling
campaign. Then took place more bloody and determined fighting. The Union
losses were appalling, since the troops were attacking an army in
position. Yet Grant was sanguine; it was in a dispatch of May 11 that
he said that he had been getting the better in the struggle, and that he
proposed to fight it out on that line if it took all summer. The result
of the further slaughter at Spottsylvania was not a victory for either
leader, but was more hurtful to Lee because he could less well afford to
have his men killed and wounded. Grant, again finding that he could not
force Lee out of his position, also again moved by the left flank,
steadily approaching Richmond and dragging Lee with him. The Northern
loss had already reached the frightful total of 37,335 men; the
Confederate loss was less, but enormous. Amid the bloodshed, however,
Grant scented success. On May 26 he wrote: "Lee's army is really
whipped.... Our men feel that they have gained the morale over the
enemy.... I may be mistaken, but I feel that our success over Lee's army
is already assured." He even gratified the President by again
disregarding all precedent in Virginian campaigns, and saying that the
promptness with which reinforcements had been forwarded had contributed
largely to the promising situation! But almost immediately after this
the North shuddered at the enormous and profitless carnage at Cold
Harbor. Concurrently with all this bloodshed, there also took place the
famous and ill-starred movement of General Butler upon Richmond, which
ended in securely shutting up him and his forces at Bermuda Hundred, "as
in a bottle strongly corked."

Such was the Virginian situation early in June. By a series of most
bloody battles, no one of which had been a real victory, Grant had come
before the defenses of Richmond, nearly where McClellan had already
been. And now, like McClellan, he proposed to move around to the
southward and invest the city. It must be confessed that in all this
there was nothing visible to the inexperienced vision of the citizens at
home which made much brighter in their eyes the prestige of Mr.
Lincoln's war policy. Nor could they see, as that summer of the
presidential campaign came and went, that any really great change or
improvement was effected.

On the other hand, there took place in July what is sometimes lightly
called General Early's raid against Washington. In fact, it was a
genuine and very serious campaign, wherein that general was within a few
hours of capturing the city. Issuing out of that Shenandoah Valley
whence, as from a cave of horrors rather than one of the loveliest
valleys in the world, so much of terror and mischief had so often burst
out against the North, Early, with 17,000 veteran troops, moved straight
and fast upon the national capital. On the evening of July 10 Mr.
Lincoln rode out to his summer quarters at the Soldiers' Home. But the
Confederate troops were within a few miles, and Mr. Stanton insisted
that he should come back. The next day the Confederates advanced along
the Seventh Street road, in full expectation of marching into the city
with little opposition. There was brisk artillery firing, and Mr.
Lincoln, who had driven out to the scene of action, actually came under
fire; an officer was struck down within a few feet of him.

The anticipation of General Early was sanguine, yet by no means ill
founded. The veterans in Washington were a mere handful, and though the
green troops might have held the strong defenses for a little while, yet
the Southern veterans would have been pretty sure to make their way. It
was, in fact, a very close question of time. Grant had been at first
incredulous of the reports of Early's movements; but when he could no
longer doubt, he sent reinforcements with the utmost dispatch. They
arrived none too soon. It was while General Early was making his final
arrangements for an attack, which he meant should be irresistible, that
General Wright, with two divisions from the army of the Potomac, landed
at the river wharves and marched through the city to the threatened
points. With this the critical hours passed away. It had really been a
crisis of hours, and might have been one of minutes. Now Early saw that
the prize had slipped through his fingers actually as they closed upon
it, and so bitter was his disappointment that--since he was
disappointed--even a Northerner can almost afford him sympathy. So, his
chance being gone, he must go too, and that speedily; for it was he who
was in danger now. Moving rapidly, he saved himself, and returned up
the Shenandoah Valley. He had accomplished no real harm; but that the
war had been going on for three years, and that Washington was still
hardly a safe place for the President to live in, was another point
against the war policy.

       *       *       *       *       *

Sherman had moved out against Johnston, at Dalton, at the same time that
Grant had moved out against Lee, and during the summer he made a record
very similar to that of his chief. He pressed the enemy without rest,
fought constantly, suffered and inflicted terrible losses, won no signal
victory, yet constantly got farther to the southward. Fortunately,
however, he was nearer to a specific success than Grant was, and at last
he was able to administer the sorely needed tonic to the political
situation. Jefferson Davis, who hated Johnston, made the steady retreat
of that general before Sherman an excuse for removing him and putting
General Hood in his place. The army was then at Atlanta. Hood was a
fighting man, and immediately he brought on a great battle, which
happily proved to be also a great mistake; for the result was a
brilliant and decisive victory for Sherman and involved the fall of
Atlanta. This was one of the important achievements of the war; and
when, on September 3, Sherman telegraphed, "Atlanta is ours, and fairly
won," the news came to the President like wine to the weary. He hastened
to tender the "national thanks" to the general and his gallant soldiers,
with words of gratitude which must have come straight and warm from his
heart. There was a chance now for the Union cause in November.

About ten days before this event Farragut, in spite of forts and
batteries, iron-clads and torpedoes, had possessed himself of Mobile Bay
and closed that Gulf port which had been so useful a mouth to the hungry
stomach of the Confederacy. No efficient blockade of it had ever been
possible. Through it military, industrial, and domestic supplies had
been brought in, and invaluable cotton had gone out to pay for them.
Now, however, the sealing of the South was all but hermetical. As a
naval success the feat was entitled to high admiration, and as a
practical injury to the Confederacy it could not be overestimated.

Achievements equally brilliant, if not quite so important, were quickly
contributed by Sheridan. In spite of objections on the part of Stanton,
Grant had put this enterprising fighter in command of a strong force of
cavalry in the Shenandoah Valley, where Lee was keeping Early as a
constant menace upon Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Washington. Three
hard-fought battles followed, during September and October. In each the
Federals were thoroughly victorious. The last of the three was that
which was made famous by "Sheridan's ride." He had been to Washington
and was returning on horseback, when to his surprise he encountered
squads of his own troops hurrying back in disorderly flight from a
battle which, during his brief absence, had unexpectedly been delivered
by Early. Halting them and carrying them back with him, he was relieved,
as he came upon the field, to find a part of his army still standing
firm and even pressing the Confederates hard. He communicated his own
spirit to his troops, and turned partial defeat into brilliant victory.
By this gallant deed was shattered forever the Confederate Army of the
Valley; and from that time forth there issued out of that fair
concealment no more gray-uniformed troopers to foray Northern fields or
to threaten Northern towns. For these achievements Lincoln made Sheridan
a major-general, dictating the appointment in words of unusual

Late as the Democrats were in holding their nominating convention, they
would have done well to hold it a little later. They might then have
derived wisdom from these military and naval events, and not improbably
they would have been less audacious in staking their success upon the
issue that the war was a failure, and would have so modified that craven
proposition as to make it accord with the more patriotic sentiment of
their soldier candidate. But the fortunes alike of the real war and of
the political war were decidedly and happily against them. Even while
they were in session the details of Farragut's daring and victorious
battle in Mobile Bay were coming to hand. Scarcely had they adjourned
when the roar of thunderous salvos in every navy yard, fort, and
arsenal of the North hailed the triumph of Sherman at Atlanta. Before
these echoes had died away the people were electrified by the three
battles in Virginia which Sheridan fought and won in style so brilliant
as to seem almost theatrical. Thus from the South, from the West, and
from the East came simultaneously the fierce contradiction of this
insulting Copperhead notion, that the North had failed in the war. The
political blunder of the party was now much more patent than was any
alleged military failure on the part of its opponents. In fact the
Northerners were beholding the sudden turning over of a great page in
the book of the national history, and upon the newly exposed side of it,
amid the telegrams announcing triumphs of arms, they read in great plain
letters the reëlection of Mr. Lincoln. Before long most persons conceded
this. He himself had said, a few months earlier, that the probabilities
indicated that the presidential campaign would be a struggle between a
Union candidate and a Disunion candidate. McClellan had sought to give
to it a complexion safer for his party and more honorable for himself,
but the platform and events combined to defeat his wise purpose. In
addition to these difficulties the South also burdened him with an
untimely and compromising friendship. The Charleston "Courier," with
reckless frankness, declared that the armies of the Confederacy and the
peace-men at the North were working together for the procurement of
peace; and said: "Our success in battle insures the success of
McClellan. Our failure will inevitably lead to his defeat." No words
could have been more imprudent; the loud proclamation of such an
alliance was the madness of self-destruction. In the face of such talk
the Northerners could not but believe that the issue was truly made up
between war and Union on the one side, peace and disunion on the other.
If between the two, when distinctly formulated, there could under any
circumstances have been doubt, the successes by sea and land turned the
scale for the Republicans.

       *       *       *       *       *

During the spring and summer many prominent Republicans strenuously
urged Mr. Lincoln to remove the postmaster-general, Montgomery Blair,
from the cabinet. The political purpose was to placate the Radicals,
whose unnatural hostility within the party greatly disturbed the
President's friends. Many followers of Fremont might be conciliated by
the elimination of the bitter and triumphant opponent of their beloved
chieftain; and besides this leader, the portentous list of those with
whom the postmaster was on ill terms included many magnates,--Chase,
Seward, Stanton, Halleck, and abundance of politicians. Henry Wilson
wrote to the President: "Blair every one hates. Tens of thousands of men
will be lost to you, or will give a reluctant vote, on account of the
Blairs." Even the Republican National Convention had covertly assailed
him; for a plank in the platform, declaring it "essential to the
general welfare that harmony should prevail in the national councils,"
was known to mean that he should no longer remain in the cabinet. Yet to
force him out was most distasteful to the President, who was always slow
to turn against any man. Replying to a denunciatory letter from Halleck
he said: "I propose continuing to be myself the judge as to when a
member of the cabinet shall be dismissed." He made a like statement,
curtly and decisively, in a cabinet meeting. Messrs. Nicolay and Hay say
that he did not yield to the pressure until he was assured of his
reëlection, and that then he yielded only because he felt that he ought
not obstinately to retain an adviser in whom the party had lost
confidence. On September 23 he wrote to Mr. Blair a kindly note: "You
have generously said to me more than once that whenever your resignation
could be a relief to me, it was at my disposal. The time has come. You
very well know that this proceeds from no dissatisfaction of mine with
you, personally or officially. Your uniform kindness has been
unsurpassed by that of any friend." Mr. Blair immediately relieved the
President from the embarrassing situation, and he and his family behaved
afterward with honorable spirit, giving loyal support to Mr. Lincoln
during the rest of the campaign. Ex-Governor Dennison of Ohio was
appointed to the vacant office.

[Illustration: M. Blair]

Many and various were the other opportunities which the President was
urged to seize for helping both himself and other Republican
candidates. But he steadfastly declined to get into the mud of the
struggle. It was a jest of the campaign that Senator King was sent by
some New York men to ask whether Lincoln meant to support the Republican
ticket. He did: he openly admitted that he believed his reëlection to be
for the best interest of the country. As an honest man he could not
think otherwise. "I am for the regular nominee in all cases," he bluntly
said, in reply to a request for his interference concerning a member of
Congress; and the general principle covered, of course, his own case. To
the postmaster of Philadelphia, however, whose employees displayed
suspicious Republican unanimity, he administered a sharp and imperious
warning. He even would not extend to his close and valued friend, Mr.
Arnold, assistance which that gentleman too sorely needed. More
commendable still was his behavior as to the draft. On July 18, as has
been said, he issued a call for 500,000 men, though at that time he
might well have believed that by so doing he was burying beyond
resurrection all chance of reëlection. Later the Republican leaders
entreated him, with earnest eloquence and every melancholy presage, to
suspend the drafting under this call for a few weeks only. It seemed to
him, however, that the army could not wait a few weeks. "What is the
presidency worth to me, if I have no country?" he said; and the storm of
persuasion could not induce him to issue the postponing order.

Campaign slanders were rife as usual. One of them Mr. Lincoln cared to
contradict. Some remarks made by Mr. Seward in a speech at Auburn had
been absurdly construed by Democratic orators and editors to indicate
that Mr. Lincoln, if defeated at the polls, would use the remainder of
his term for doing what he could to ruin the government. This vile
charge, silly as it was, yet touched a very sensitive spot. On October
19, in a speech to some serenaders, and evidently having this in mind,
he said:--

"I am struggling to maintain the government, not to overthrow it. I am
struggling especially to prevent others from overthrowing it.... Whoever
shall be constitutionally elected in November shall be duly installed as
President on the fourth of March.... In the interval I shall do my
utmost that whoever is to hold the helm for the next voyage shall start
with the best possible chance to save the ship. This is due to the
people both on principle and under the Constitution.... If they should
deliberately resolve to have immediate peace, even at the loss of their
country and their liberty, I know [have?] not the power or the right to
resist them. It is their business, and they must do as they please with
their own."

In this connection it is worth while to recall an incident which
occurred on August 26, amid the dark days. Anticipating at that time
that he might soon be compelled to encounter the sore trial of
administering the government during four months in face of its near
transmission to a successor all whose views and purposes would be
diametrically opposite to his own, and desiring beforehand clearly to
mark out his duty in this stress, Mr. Lincoln one day wrote these

"This morning, as for some days past, it seems exceedingly probable that
this administration will not be reëlected. Then it will be my duty to so
cooperate with the President-elect as to save the Union between the
election and the inauguration, as he will have secured his election on
such ground that he cannot possibly save it afterwards."

He then closed the paper so that it could not be read, and requested
each member of the cabinet to sign his name on the reverse side.

In the end, honesty was vindicated as the best policy, and courage as
the soundest judgment. The preliminary elections in Vermont and Maine in
September, the important elections in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana in
October, showed that a Republican wave was sweeping across the North. It
swept on and gathered overwhelming volume in the brief succeeding
interval before November 8. On that momentous day, the voting in the
States showed 2,213,665 Republican votes, to which were added 116,887
votes of soldiers in the field, electing 212 presidential electors;
1,802,237 Democratic votes, to which were added 33,748 votes of soldiers
in the field, electing 21 presidential electors. Mr. Lincoln's plurality
was therefore 494,567; and it would have been swelled to over half a
million had not the votes of the soldiers of Vermont, Kansas, and
Minnesota arrived too late to be counted, and had not those of Wisconsin
been rejected for an informality. Thus were the dreary predictions of
the midsummer so handsomely confuted that men refused to believe that
they had ever been deceived by them.

On the evening of election day Mr. Lincoln went to the War Department,
and there stayed until two o'clock at night, noting the returns as they
came assuring his triumph and steadily swelling its magnitude. Amid the
good news his feelings took on no personal complexion. A crowd of
serenaders, meeting him on his return to the White House, demanded a
speech. He told them that he believed that the day's work would be the
lasting advantage, if not the very salvation, of the country, and that
he was grateful for the people's confidence; but, he said, "if I know my
heart, my gratitude is free from any taint of personal triumph. I do not
impugn the motives of any one opposed to me. It is no pleasure to me to
triumph over any one; but I give thanks to the Almighty for this
evidence of the people's resolution to stand by free government and the
rights of humanity." A hypocrite would, probably enough, have said much
the same thing; but when Mr. Lincoln spoke in this way, men who were
themselves honest never charged him with hypocrisy. On November 10 a
serenade by the Republican clubs of the District called forth this:--

"It has long been a grave question whether any government, not too
strong for the liberties of its people, can be strong enough to maintain
its own existence in great emergencies. On this point the present
rebellion brought our republic to a severe test, and a presidential
election occurring in regular course during the rebellion added not a
little to the strain. If the loyal people united were put to the utmost
of their strength by the rebellion, must they not fail when divided and
partially paralyzed by a political war among themselves? But the
election was a necessity. We cannot have free government without
elections; and if the rebellion could force us to forego or postpone a
national election, it might fairly claim to have already conquered and
ruined us. The strife of the election is but human nature practically
applied to the facts of the case. What has occurred in this case must
ever recur in similar cases. Human nature will not change. In any future
great national trial, compared with the men of this, we shall have as
weak and as strong, as silly and as wise, as bad and as good. Let us,
therefore, study the incidents of this, as philosophy to learn wisdom
from, and none of them as wrongs to be revenged. But the election, along
with its incidental and undesirable strife, has done good, too. It has
demonstrated that a people's government can sustain a national election
in the midst of a great civil war. Until now, it has not been known to
the world that this was a possibility. It shows, also, how sound and
how strong we still are. It shows that, even among candidates of the
same party, he who is most devoted to the Union and most opposed to
treason can receive most of the people's votes. It shows, also, to the
extent yet known, that we have more men now than we had when the war
began. Gold is good in its place; but living, brave, patriotic men are
better than gold.

"But the rebellion continues; and, now that the election is over, may
not all having a common interest reunite in a common effort to save our
common country? For my own part, I have striven and shall strive to
avoid placing any obstacle in the way. So long as I have been here, I
have not willingly planted a thorn in any man's bosom. While I am deeply
sensible to the high compliment of a reëlection, and duly grateful, as I
trust, to Almighty God for having directed my countrymen to a right
conclusion, as I think, for their own good, it adds nothing to my
satisfaction that any other man may be disappointed or pained by the

"May I ask those who have not differed with me to join with me in this
same spirit towards those who have? And now let me close by asking three
hearty cheers for our brave soldiers and seamen, and their gallant and
skillful commanders."

       *       *       *       *       *

The unfortunate disputes about reconstruction threatened to cause
trouble at the counting of the votes in Congress. Of the States which
had seceded, two, Arkansas and Tennessee, had endeavored to reconstruct
themselves as members of the Union; and their renewed statehood had
received some recognition from the President. He, however, firmly
refused to listen to demands, which were urgently pushed, to obtain his
interference in the arrangements made for choosing presidential
electors. To certain Tennesseeans, who sent him a protest against the
action of Governor Johnson, he replied that, "by the Constitution and
the laws, the President is charged with no duty in the conduct of a
presidential election in any State; nor do I in this case perceive any
military reason for his interference in the matter.... It is scarcely
necessary to add that if any election shall be held, and any votes shall
be cast, in the State of Tennessee, ... it will belong not to the
military agents, nor yet to the executive department, but exclusively to
another department of the government, to determine whether they are
entitled to be counted, in conformity with the Constitution and laws of
the United States." His prudent abstention from stretching his official
authority afterward saved him from much embarrassment in the turn which
this troublesome business soon took. In both Arkansas and Tennessee
Republican presidential electors were chosen, who voted, and sent on to
Washington the certificates of their votes to be counted in due course
with the rest. But Congress jealously guarded its position on
reconstruction against this possible flank movement, and in January,
1865, passed a joint resolution declaring that Virginia, North and South
Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas,
Arkansas, and Tennessee were in such a condition on November 8 that no
valid election of presidential electors was held in any of them, and
that therefore no electoral votes should be received or counted from any
of them. When this resolution came before Mr. Lincoln for his signature
it placed him in an embarrassing position, because his approval might
seem to be an implied contradiction of the position which he had taken
concerning the present status of Tennessee and Arkansas. It was not
until February 8, the very day of the count, that he conquered his
reluctance, and when at last he did so and decided to sign the
resolution, he at the same time carefully made his position plain by a
brief message. He said that he conceived that Congress had lawful power
to exclude from the count any votes which it deemed illegal, and that
therefore he could not properly veto a joint resolution upon the
subject; he disclaimed "all right of the executive to interfere in any
way in the matter of canvassing or counting electoral votes;" and he
also disclaimed that, by signing the resolution, he had "expressed any
opinion on the recitals of the preamble, or any judgment of his own upon
the subject of the resolution." That is to say, the especial matter
dealt with in this proceeding was _ultra vires_ of the executive, and
the formal signature of the President was affixed by him without
prejudice to his official authority in any other business which might
arise concerning the restored condition of statehood.

When the counting of the votes began, the members of the Senate and
House did not know whether Mr. Lincoln had signed the resolution or not;
and therefore, in the doubt as to what his action would be, the famous
twenty-second joint rule, regulating the counting of electoral votes,
was drawn in haste and passed with precipitation.[76] It was an instance
of angry partisan legislation, which threatened trouble afterward and
was useless at the time. No attempt was made to present or count the
votes of Arkansas and Tennessee, and the president of the Senate acted
under the joint resolution and not under the joint rule. Yet the vote of
West Virginia was counted, and it was not easy to show that her title
was not under a legal cloud fully as dark as that which shadowed
Arkansas and Tennessee.

       *       *       *       *       *

When Mr. Lincoln said concerning his reëlection, that the element of
personal triumph gave him no gratification, he spoke far within the
truth. He was not boasting of, but only in an unintentional way
displaying, his dispassionate and impersonal habit in all political
relationships,--a distinguishing trait, of which history is so chary of
parallels that perhaps no reader will recall even one. A striking
instance of it occurred in this same autumn. On October 12, 1864, the
venerable Chief Justice Taney died, and at once the friends of Mr. Chase
named him for the succession. There were few men whom Mr. Lincoln had
less reason to favor than this gentleman, who had only condescended to
mitigate severe condemnation of his capacity by mild praise of his
character, who had hoped to displace him from the presidency, and who,
in the effort to do so, had engaged in what might have been stigmatized
even as a cabal. Plenty of people were ready to tell him stories
innumerable of Chase's hostility to him, and contemptuous remarks about
him; but to all such communications he quietly refused to give ear. What
Mr. Chase thought or felt concerning him was not pertinent to the
question whether or no Chase would make a good chief justice. Yet it was
true that Montgomery Blair would have liked the place, and the President
had many personal reasons for wishing to do a favor to Blair. It was
also true that the opposition to Mr. Chase was so bitter and came from
so many quarters, and was based on so many alleged reasons, that had the
President chosen to prefer another to him, it would have been impossible
to attribute the preference to personal prejudice. In his own mind,
however, Mr. Lincoln really believed that, in spite of all the
objections which could be made, Mr. Chase was the best man for the
position; and his only anxiety was that one so restless and ambitious
might still scheme for the presidency to the inevitable prejudice of his
judicial duties. He had some thought of speaking frankly with Chase on
this subject, perhaps seeking something like a pledge from him; but he
was deterred from this by fear of misconstruction. Finally having, after
his usual fashion, reached his own conclusion, and communicated it to no
one, he sent the nomination to the Senate, and it received the honor of
immediate confirmation without reference to a committee.


[73] The rank had been held by Washington; also, but by brevet only, by

[74] For curious account of his interview with Mr. Lincoln, see N. and
H. viii. 340-342.

[75] In this connection, see story of General Richard Taylor, and
contradiction thereof, concerning choice of route to Richmond, N. and H.
viii. 343.

[76] This was the rule which provided that if, at the count, any
question should arise as to counting any vote offered, the Senate and
House should separate, and each should vote on the question of receiving
or not receiving the vote; and it should not be received and counted
except by concurrent assent.



When Congress came together in December, 1864, the doom of the
Confederacy was in plain view of all men, at the North and at the South.
If General Grant had sustained frightful losses without having won any
signal victory, yet the losses could be afforded; and the nature of the
man and his methods in warfare were now understood. It was seen that,
with or without victory, and at whatever cost, he had moved relentlessly
forward. His grim, irresistible persistence oppressed, as with a sense
of destiny, those who tried to confront it; every one felt that he was
going to "end the job." He was now beleaguering Petersburg, and few
Southerners doubted that he was sure of taking it and Richmond. In the
middle country Sherman, after taking Atlanta, had soon thereafter
marched cheerily forth on his imposing, theatrical, holiday excursion to
the sea, leaving General Thomas behind him to do the hard fighting with
General Hood. The grave doubt as to whether too severe a task had not
been placed upon Thomas was dispelled by the middle of the month, when
his brilliant victory at Nashville so shattered the Southern army that
it never again attained important proportions. In June preceding, the
notorious destroyer, the Alabama, had been sunk by the Kearsarge. In
November the Shenandoah, the last of the rebel privateers, came into
Liverpool, and was immediately handed over by the British authorities to
Federal officials; for the Englishmen had at last found out who was
going to win in the struggle. In October, the rebel ram Albemarle was
destroyed by the superb gallantry of Lieutenant Cushing. Thus the rebel
flag ceased to fly above any deck. Along the coast very few penetrable
crevices could still be found even by the most enterprising
blockade-runners; and already the arrangements were making which brought
about, a month later, the capture of Fort Fisher and Wilmington.

Under these circumstances the desire to precipitate the pace and to
reach the end with a rush possessed many persons of the nervous and
eager type. They could not spur General Grant, so they gave their
vexatious attention to the President, and endeavored to compel him to
open with the Confederate government negotiations for a settlement,
which they believed, or pretended to believe, might thus be attained.
But Mr. Lincoln was neither to be urged nor wheedled out of his simple
position. In his message to Congress he referred to the number of votes
cast at the recent election as indicating that, in spite of the drain of
war, the population of the North had actually increased during the
preceding four years. This fact shows, he said, "that we are not
exhausted nor in process of exhaustion; that we are _gaining_ strength,
and may, if need be, maintain the contest indefinitely. This as to men.
Material resources are now more complete and abundant than ever. The
natural resources, then, are unexhausted, and, as we believe,
inexhaustible. The public purpose to reëstablish and maintain the
national authority is unchanged, and, as we believe, unchangeable. The
manner of continuing the effort remains to choose. On careful
consideration of all the evidence accessible, it seems to me that no
attempt at negotiation with the insurgent leader could result in any
good. He would accept nothing short of severance of the
Union,--precisely what we will not and cannot give. His declarations to
this effect are explicit and oft-repeated. He does not attempt to
deceive us. He affords us no excuse to deceive ourselves. He cannot
voluntarily re-accept the Union; we cannot voluntarily yield it. Between
him and us the issue is distinct, simple, and inflexible. It is an issue
which can only be tried by war, and decided by victory. If we yield, we
are beaten; if the Southern people fail him, he is beaten. Either way,
it would be the victory and defeat following war.

"What is true, however, of him who heads the insurgent cause is not
necessarily true of those who follow. Although he cannot re-accept the
Union, they can; some of them, we know, already desire peace and
reunion. The number of such may increase. They can at any moment have
peace simply by laying down their arms and submitting to the national
authority under the Constitution.

"After so much, the government could not, if it would, maintain war
against them. The loyal people would not sustain or allow it. If
questions should remain, we would adjust them by the peaceful means of
legislation, conference, courts, and votes, operating only in
constitutional and lawful channels. Some certain, and other possible,
questions are, and would be, beyond the executive power to adjust,--as,
for instance, the admission of members into Congress, and whatever might
require the appropriation of money.

"The executive power itself would be greatly diminished by the cessation
of actual war. Pardons and remissions of forfeitures, however, would
still be within executive control. In what spirit and temper this
control would be exercised can be fairly judged of by the past."

If rebels wished to receive, or any Northerners wished to extend, a
kindlier invitation homeward than this, then such rebels and such
Northerners were unreasonable. Very soon the correctness of Mr.
Lincoln's opinion was made so distinct, and his view of the situation
was so thoroughly corroborated, that all men saw clearly that no
reluctance or unreasonable demands upon his part contributed to delay
peace. Mr. Francis P. Blair, senior, though in pursuit of a quite
different object, did the service of setting the President in the true
and satisfactory light before the people. This restless politician was
anxious for leave to seek a conference with Jefferson Davis, but could
not induce Mr. Lincoln to hear a word as to his project. On December 8,
however, by personal insistence, he extorted a simple permit "to pass
our lines, go South, and return." He immediately set out on his journey,
and on January 12 he had an interview with Mr. Davis at Richmond and
made to him a most extraordinary proposition, temptingly decorated with
abundant flowers of rhetoric. Without the rhetoric, the proposition was:
that the pending war should be dropped by both parties for the purpose
of an expedition to expel Maximilian from Mexico, of which tropical
crusade Mr. Davis should be in charge and reap the glory! So ardent and
so sanguine was Mr. Blair in his absurd project, that he fancied that he
had impressed Mr. Davis favorably. But in this undoubtedly he deceived
himself, for in point of fact he succeeded in bringing back nothing more
than a short letter, addressed to himself, in which Mr. Davis expressed
willingness to appoint and send, or to receive, agents "with a view to
secure peace to the two countries." The last two words lay in this rebel
communication like the twin venom fangs in the mouth of a serpent, and
made of it a proposition which could not safely be touched. It served
only as distinct proof that the President had correctly stated the
fixedness of Mr. Davis.

Of more consequence, however, than this useless letter was the news
which Mr. Blair brought: that other high officials in Richmond--"those
who follow," as Mr. Lincoln had hopefully said--were in a temper far
more despondent and yielding than was that of their chief. These men
might be reached. So on January 18, 1865, Mr. Lincoln wrote a few lines,
also addressed to Mr. Blair, saying that he was ready to receive any
Southern agent who should be informally sent to him, "with the view of
securing peace to the people of our one common country." The two
letters, by their closing words, locked horns. Yet Mr. Davis nominated
Alexander H. Stephens, R.M.T. Hunter, and John A. Campbell, as informal
commissioners, and directed them, "in conformity with the letter of Mr.
Lincoln," to go to Washington and informally confer "for the purpose of
securing peace to the two countries." This was disingenuous, and so
obviously so that it was also foolish; for no conference about "two
countries" was "in conformity" with the letter of Mr. Lincoln. By reason
of the difficulty created by this silly trick the commissioners were
delayed at General Grant's headquarters until they succeeded in
concocting a note, which eliminated the obstacle by the simple process
of omitting the objectionable words. Then, on January 31, the President
sent Mr. Seward to meet them, stating to him in writing "that three
things are indispensable, to wit: 1. The restoration of the national
authority throughout all the States. 2. No receding by the executive of
the United States on the slavery question from the position assumed
thereon in the late annual message to Congress, and in preceding
documents. 3. No cessation of hostilities short of an end of the war and
the disbanding of all forces hostile to the government. You will inform
them that all propositions of theirs, not inconsistent with the above,
will be considered and passed upon in a spirit of sincere liberality.
You will hear all they may choose to say, and report it to me. You will
not assume to definitely consummate anything."

The following day Mr. Lincoln seemed to become uneasy at being
represented by any other person whomsoever in so important a business;
for he decided to go himself and confer personally with the Southerners.
Then ensued, and continued during four hours, on board a steamer in
Hampton Roads, the famous conference between the President and his
secretary of state on the one side and the three Confederate
commissioners on the other. It came to absolutely nothing; nor was there
at any time pending its continuance any chance that it would come to
anything. Mr. Lincoln could neither be led forward nor cajoled sideways,
directly or indirectly, one step from the primal condition of the
restoration of the Union. On the other hand, this was the one
impossible thing for the Confederates. The occasion was historic, and
yet, in fact, it amounted to nothing more than cumulative evidence of a
familiar fact, and really its most interesting feature is that it gave
rise to one of the best of the "Lincoln stories." The President was
persisting that he could not enter into any agreement with "parties in
arms against the government;" Mr. Hunter tried to persuade him to the
contrary, and by way of doing so, cited precedents "of this character
between Charles I. of England and the people in arms against him." Mr.
Lincoln could not lose such an opportunity! "I do not profess," he said,
"to be posted in history. On all such matters I will turn you over to
Seward. All I distinctly recollect about the case of Charles I. is,
_that he lost his head_!" Then silence fell for a time upon Mr. Hunter.

Across the wide chasm of the main question the gentlemen discussed the
smaller topics: reconstruction, concerning which Mr. Lincoln expressed
his well-known, most generous sentiments; confiscation acts, as to which
also he desired to be, and believed that Congress would be, liberal; the
Emancipation Proclamation, and the Thirteenth Amendment, concerning
which he said, that the courts of law must construe the proclamation,
and that he personally should be in favor of appropriating even so much
as four hundred millions of dollars to extinguish slavery, and that he
believed such a measure might be carried through. West Virginia, in his
opinion, must continue to be a separate State. Yet there was little
practical use in discussing, and either agreeing or disagreeing, about
all these dependent parts; they were but limbs which it was useless to
set in shape while the body was lacking. Accordingly the party broke up,
not having found, nor having ever had any prospect of finding, any
common standing-ground. The case was simple; the North was fighting for
Union, the South for disunion, and neither side was yet ready to give up
the struggle. Nevertheless, it is not improbable that Mr. Lincoln, so
far as he personally was concerned, brought back from Hampton Roads all
that he had expected and precisely what he had hoped to bring. For in
the talk of those four hours he had recognized the note of despair, and
had seen that Mr. Davis, though posing still in an imperious and
monumental attitude, was, in fact, standing upon a disintegrated and
crumbling pedestal. It seemed not improbable that the disappointed
supporters of the rebel chief would gladly come back to the old Union if
they could be fairly received, although at this conference they had felt
compelled by the exigencies of an official situation and their
representative character to say that they would not. Accordingly Mr.
Lincoln, having no idea that a road to hearty national re-integration
either should or could be overshadowed by Caudine forks, endeavored to
make as easy as possible the return of discouraged rebels, whether
penitent or impenitent. If they were truly penitent, all was as it
should be. If they were impenitent, he was willing to trust to time to
effect a change of heart. Accordingly he worked out a scheme whereby
Congress should empower him to distribute between the slave States
$400,000,000, in proportion to their respective slave populations, on
condition that "all resistance to the national authority [should] be
abandoned and cease on or before the first day of April next;" one half
the sum to be paid when such resistance should so cease; the other half
whenever, on or before July 1 next, the Thirteenth Amendment should
become valid law. So soon as he should be clothed with authority, he
proposed to issue "a proclamation looking to peace and reunion," in
which he would declare that, upon the conditions stated, he would
exercise this power; that thereupon war should cease and armies be
reduced to a peace basis; that all political offenses should be
pardoned; that all property, except slaves, liable to confiscation or
forfeiture, should be released therefrom (except in cases of intervening
interests of third parties); and that liberality should be recommended
to Congress upon all points not lying within executive control. On the
evening of February 5 he submitted to his cabinet a draft covering these
points. His disappointment may be imagined when he found that not one of
his advisers agreed with him; that his proposition was "unanimously
disapproved." "There may be such a thing," remarked Secretary Welles,
"as so overdoing as to cause a distrust or adverse feeling." It was also
said that the measure probably could not pass Congress; that to attempt
to carry it, without success, would do harm; while if the offer should
really be made, it would be misconstrued by the rebels. In fact scarcely
any Republican was ready to meet the rebels with the free and ample
forgiveness which Lincoln desired to offer; and later opinion seems to
be that his schemes were impracticable.

The fourth of March was close at hand, when Mr. Lincoln was a second
time to address the people who had chosen him to be their ruler. That
black and appalling cloud, which four years ago hung oppressively over
the country, had poured forth its fury and was now passing away. His
anxiety then had been lest the South, making itself deaf to reason and
to right, should force upon the North a civil war; his anxiety now was
lest the North, hardening itself in a severe if not vindictive temper,
should deal so harshly with a conquered South as to perpetuate a
sectional antagonism. To those who had lately come, bearing to him the
formal notification of his election, he had remarked: "Having served
four years in the depths of a great and yet unended national peril, I
can view this call to a second term in no wise more flattering to myself
than as an expression of the public judgment that I may better finish a
difficult work, in which I have labored from the first, than could any
one less severely schooled to the task." Now, mere conquest was not, in
his opinion, a finishing of the difficult work of restoring a Union.

The second inaugural was delivered from the eastern portico of the
Capitol, as follows:--

"FELLOW COUNTRYMEN,--At this second appearing to take the oath of the
presidential office, there is less occasion for an extended address than
there was at the first. Then, a statement, somewhat in detail, of a
course to be pursued, seemed fitting and proper. Now, at the expiration
of four years, during which public declarations have been constantly
called forth on every point and phase of the great contest which still
absorbs the attention and engrosses the energies of the nation, little
that is new could be presented. The progress of our arms, upon which all
else chiefly depends, is as well known to the public as to myself; and
it is, I trust, reasonably satisfactory and encouraging to all. With
high hope for the future, no prediction in regard to it is ventured.

"On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago, all thoughts were
anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it,--all
sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from
this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war,
insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without
war--seeking to dissolve the Union, and divide effects, by negotiation.
Both parties deprecated war; but one of them would make war rather than
let the nation survive; and the other would accept war rather than let
it perish. And the war came.

"One eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed
generally over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it.
These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that
this interest was, somehow, the cause of the war. To strengthen,
perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the
insurgents would rend the Union, even by war; while the government
claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement
of it. Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration
which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the
conflict might cease with, or even before, the conflict itself should
cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental
and astounding. Both read the same Bible, and pray to the same God; and
each invokes his aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men
should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from
the sweat of other men's faces; but let us judge not, that we be not
judged. The prayers of both could not be answered,--that of neither has
been answered fully. The Almighty has his own purposes. 'Woe unto the
world because of offenses! for it must needs be that offenses come; but
woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.' If we shall suppose that
American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of
God, must needs come, but which, having continued through his appointed
time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South
this terrible war, as the woe due to those by whom the offense came,
shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes
which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we
hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily
pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled
by the bondman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be
sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by
another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so
still it must be said, 'The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous

"With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the
right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the
work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who
shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan,--to do
all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among
ourselves, and with all nations."

This speech has taken its place among the most famous of all the written
or spoken compositions in the English language. In parts it has often
been compared with the lofty portions of the Old Testament. Mr.
Lincoln's own contemporaneous criticism is interesting. "I expect it,"
he said, "to wear as well as, perhaps better than, anything I have
produced; but I believe it is not immediately popular. Men are not
flattered by being shown that there has been a difference of purpose
between the Almighty and them. To deny it, however, in this case is to
deny that there is a God governing the world. It is a truth which I
thought needed to be told; and as whatever of humiliation there is in it
falls most directly on myself, I thought others might afford for me to
tell it."



On January 1, 1863, when the President issued the Proclamation of
Emancipation, he stepped to the uttermost boundary of his authority in
the direction of the abolition of slavery. Indeed a large proportion of
the people believed that he had trespassed beyond that boundary; and
among the defenders of the measure there were many who felt bound to
maintain it as a legitimate exercise of the war power, while in their
inmost souls they thought that its real basis of justification lay in
its intrinsic righteousness. Perhaps the President himself was somewhat
of this way of thinking. He once said: "I felt that measure, otherwise
unconstitutional, might become lawful by becoming indispensable to the
preservation of the Constitution through the preservation of the
Union.... I was, in my best judgment, driven to the alternative of
either surrendering the Union, and with it the Constitution, or of
laying strong hand upon the colored element." Time, however, proved that
the act had in fact the character which Mr. Lincoln attributed to it as
properly a war measure. It attracted the enlistment of negroes, chiefly
Southern negroes, in the army; and though to the end of the war the
fighting value of negro troops was regarded as questionable, yet they
were certainly available for garrisons and for many duties which would
otherwise have absorbed great numbers of white soldiers. Thus, as the
President said, the question became calculable mathematically, like
horse-power in a mechanical problem. The force of able-bodied Southern
negroes soon reached 200,000, of whom most were in the regular military
service, and the rest were laborers with the armies. "We have the men,"
said Mr. Lincoln, "and we could not have had them without the measure."
Take these men from us, "and put them in the battlefield or cornfield
against us, and we should be compelled to abandon the war in three

But the proclamation was operative only upon certain individuals. The
President's emancipatory power covered only those persons (with,
perhaps, their families) whose freedom would be a military loss to the
South and a military gain to the North in the pending war. He had no
power to touch the _institution of slavery_. That survived, for the
future, and must survive in spite of anything that he alone, as
President, could do. Nevertheless, in designing movements for its
permanent destruction he was not less earnest than were the radicals and
extremists, though he was unable to share their contempt for legalities
and for public opinion. It has been shown how strong was his desire
that legislative action for abolition should be voluntarily initiated
among the border slave States themselves. This would save their pride,
and also would put a decisive end to all chance of their ever allying
themselves with the Confederacy. He was alert to promote this purpose
whenever and wherever he conceived that any opportunity offered for
giving the first impulse. In time rehabilitated governments of some
States managed with more or less show of regularity to accomplish the
reform. But it was rather a forced transaction, having behind it an
uncomfortably small proportion of the adult male population of the
several States; and by and by the work, thus done, might be undone; for
such action was lawfully revocable by subsequent legislatures or
conventions, which bodies would be just as potent at any future time to
reëstablish slavery as the present bodies were now potent to
disestablish it. It was entirely possible that reconstruction would
leave the right of suffrage in such shape that in some States
pro-slavery men might in time regain control.

In short, the only absolute eradicating cure was a constitutional
amendment;[77] and, therefore, it was towards securing this that the
President bent all his energies. He could use, of course, only personal
influence, not official authority; for the business, as such, lay with
Congress. In December, 1863, motions for such an amendment were
introduced in the House; and in January, 1864, like resolutions were
offered in the Senate. The debate in the Senate was short; it opened on
March 28, and the vote was taken April 8; it stood 38 ayes, 6 noes. This
was gratifying; but unfortunately the party of amendment had to face a
very different condition of feeling in the House. The President, says
Mr. Arnold, "very often, with the friends of the measure, canvassed the
House to see if the requisite number could be obtained, but we could
never count a two-thirds vote." The debate began on March 19; not until
June 15 was the vote taken, and then it showed 93 ayes, 65 noes, being a
discouraging deficiency of 27 beneath the requisite two thirds.
Thereupon Ashley of Ohio changed his vote to the negative, and then
moved a reconsideration, which left the question to come up again in the
next session. Practically, therefore, at the adjournment of Congress,
the amendment was left as an issue before the people in the political
campaign of the summer of 1864; and in that campaign it was second only
to the controlling question of peace or war.

Mr. Lincoln, taking care to omit no effort in this business, sent for
Senator Morgan, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, which
was to make the Republican nomination for the presidency and to frame
the Republican platform, and said to him: "I want you to mention in your
speech, when you call the convention to order, as its keynote, and to
put into the platform, as the keystone, the amendment of the
Constitution abolishing and prohibiting slavery forever." Accordingly
the third plank in that platform declared that slavery was the cause and
the strength of the rebellion, that it was "hostile to the principle of
republican government," and that the "national safety demanded its utter
and complete extirpation from the soil of the Republic," and that to
this end the Constitution ought to be so amended as to "terminate and
forever prohibit the existence of slavery within the limits or the
jurisdiction of the United States." Thus at the special request of the
President the issue was distinctly presented to the voters of the
country. The Copperheads, the conservatives, and reactionaries, and many
of the war Democrats, promptly opened their batteries against both the
man and the measure.

The Copperhead Democracy, as usual, went so far as to lose force; they
insisted that the Emancipation Proclamation should be rescinded, and all
ex-slaves restored to their former masters. This, in their opinion,
would touch, a conciliatory chord in Southern breasts, and might lead to
pacification. That even pro-slavery Northerners should urgently advocate
a proposition at once so cruel and so disgraceful is hardly credible.
Yet it was reiterated strenuously, and again and again Mr. Lincoln had
to repeat his decisive and indignant repudiation of it. In the message
to Congress, December, 1863, he said that to abandon the freedmen now
would be "a cruel and astounding breach of faith.... I shall not attempt
to retract or modify the Emancipation Proclamation, nor shall I return
to slavery any person who is free by the terms of that proclamation, or
by any of the acts of Congress." In May, 1864, he spurned the absurdity
of depending "upon coaxing, flattery, and concession to get them [the
Secessionists] back into the Union." He said: "There have been men base
enough to propose to me to return to slavery our black warriors of Port
Hudson and Olustee, and thus win the respect of the masters they fought.
Should I do so, I should deserve to be damned in time and eternity. Come
what will, I will keep my faith with friend and foe." He meant never to
be misunderstood on this point. Recurring to it after the election, in
his message to Congress in December, 1864, he quoted his language of the
year before and added: "If the people should, by whatever mode or means,
make it an executive duty to reinslave such persons, another, and not I,
must be their instrument to perform it." All this was plain and
spirited. But it is impossible to praise Mr. Lincoln for contemning a
course which it is surprising to find any person sufficiently ignoble to
recommend. It was, nevertheless, recommended by many, and thus we may
partly see what extremities of feeling were produced by this most
debasing question which has ever entered into the politics of a
civilized nation.

The anxieties of the war Democrats, who feared that Mr. Lincoln was
making abolition an essential purpose of the war, have already been set
forth. In truth he was not making it so, but by the drifting of events
and the ensnarlment of facts it had practically become so without his
responsibility. His many utterances which survive seem to indicate that,
having from the beginning hoped that the war would put an end to
slavery, he now knew that it must do so. He saw that this conclusion lay
at the end of the natural course of events, also that it was not a goal
which was set there by those to whom it was welcome, or which could be
taken away by those to whom it was unwelcome. It was there by the
absolute and uncontrollable logic of facts. His function was only to
take care that this natural course should not be obstructed, and this
established goal should not be maliciously removed away out of reach.
When he was asked why his expressions of willingness to negotiate with
the Confederate leaders stipulated not only for the restoration of the
Union but also for the enfranchisement of all slaves, he could only
reply by intimating that the yoking of the two requirements was
unobjectionable from any point of view, because he was entirely assured
that Mr. Davis would never agree to reunion, either with or without
slavery. Since, therefore, Union could not be had until after the South
had been whipped, it would be just as well to demand abolition also; for
the rebels would not then be in a position to refuse it, and we should
practically buy both in one transaction. To him it seemed an appalling
blunder to pay the price of this great war simply in order to cure this
especial outbreak of the great national malady, and still to leave
existing in the body politic that which had induced this dissension and
would inevitably afterward induce others like unto it. The excision of
the cause was the only intelligent action. Yet when pushed to the point
of declaring what he would do in the supposed case of an opportunity to
restore the Union, with slavery, he said: "My enemies pretend I am now
carrying on the war for the sole purpose of abolition. So long as I am
President, it shall be carried on for the sole purpose of restoring the
Union." The duty of his official oath compelled him to say this, but he
often and plainly acknowledged that he had no fear of ever being brought
face to face with the painful necessity of saving both the Union and

It is worth noticing that the persons who charged upon the President
that he would never assent to a peace which was not founded upon the
abolition of slavery as one of its conditions or stipulations, never
distinctly stated by what right he could insist upon such a condition or
stipulation, or by what process he could establish it or introduce it
into a settlement. Mr. Lincoln certainly never had any thought of
negotiating with the seceded States as an independent country, and
making with them a treaty which could embody an article establishing
emancipation and permanent abolition. He had not power to enter with
them into an agreement of an international character, nor, if they
should offer to return to the Union, retaining their slave institutions,
could he lawfully reject them. The endeavor would be an act of
usurpation, if it was true that no State could go out. The plain truth
was that, from any save a revolutionary point of view, the
constitutional amendment was the only method of effecting the
consummation permanently. When, in June, 1864, Mr. Lincoln said that
abolition of slavery was "a fitting and necessary condition to the final
success of the Union cause," he was obviously speaking of what was
logically "fitting and necessary," and in the same sentence he clearly
specified a constitutional amendment as the practical process. There is
no indication that he ever had any other scheme.

In effect, in electing members of Congress in the autumn of 1864, the
people passed upon the amendment. Votes for Republicans were votes for
the amendment, and the great Republican gain was fairly construed as an
expression of the popular favor towards the measure. But though the
elections thus made the permanent abolition of slavery a reasonably sure
event in the future, yet delay always has dangers. The new Congress
would not meet for over a year. In the interval the Confederacy might
collapse, and abolition become ensnarled with considerations of
reconciliation, of reconstruction, of politics generally. All friends
of the measure, therefore, agreed on the desirability of disposing of
the matter while the present Congress was in the way with it, if this
could possibly be compassed. That it could be carried only by the aid of
a contingent of Democratic votes did not so much discourage them as
stimulate their zeal; for such votes would prevent the mischief of a
partisan or sectional aspect. In his message to Congress, December 6,
1864, the President referred to the measure which, after its failure in
the preceding session, was now to come up again, by virtue of that
shrewd motion for reconsideration. Intelligibly, though not in terms, he
appealed for Democratic help. He said:--

"Although the present is the same Congress and nearly the same members,
and without questioning the wisdom or patriotism of those who stood in
opposition, I venture to recommend the reconsideration and passage of
the measure at the present session. Of course the abstract question is
not changed; but an intervening election shows, almost certainly, that
the next Congress will pass the measure if this does not. Hence there is
only a question of _time_ as to when the proposed amendment will go to
the States for their action; and as it is so to go, at all events, may
we not agree that the sooner the better. It is not claimed that the
election has imposed a duty on members to change their views or their
votes, any further than, as an additional element to be considered,
their judgment may be affected by it. It is the voice of the people now
for the first time heard upon the question. In a great national crisis
like ours unanimity of action among those seeking a common end is very
desirable,--almost indispensable. And yet no approach to such unanimity
is attainable unless some deference shall be paid to the will of the
majority. In this case the common end is the maintenance of the Union,
and among the means to secure that end, such will, through the election,
is more clearly declared in favor of such a constitutional amendment."

In the closing sentence the word "maintenance" is significant. So far as
the _restoration_ of Union went, the proclamation had done nearly all
that could be done. This amendment was to insure the future
_maintenance_ of the Union by cutting out the cause of disunion.

The President did not rest content with merely reiterating sentiments
which every man had long known that he held. Of such influence as he
could properly exert among members of the House he was not chary. The
debate began on January 6, 1865, and he followed it closely and eagerly.
On the 27th it was agreed that the voting should take place on the
following day. No one yet felt sure of the comparative strength of the
friends and opponents of the measure, and up to the actual taking of the
vote the result was uncertain. We knew, says Arnold, "we should get some
Democratic votes; but whether enough, none could tell." Ex-Governor
English of Connecticut, a Democrat, gave the first Aye from his party;
whereupon loud cheers burst forth; then ten others followed his example.
Eight more Democrats gave their indirect aid by being absent when their
names were called. Thus both the great parties united to establish the
freedom of all men in the United States. As the roll-call drew to the
end, those who had been anxiously keeping tally saw that the measure had
been carried. The speaker, Mr. Colfax, announced the result; ayes 119,
noes 56, and declared that "the joint resolution is passed." At once
there arose from the distinguished crowd an irrepressible outburst of
triumphant applause; there was no use in rapping to order, or trying to
turn to other business, and a motion to adjourn, "in honor of this
immortal and sublime event," was promptly made and carried. At the same
moment, on Capitol Hill, artillery roared loud salutation to the edict
of freedom.

The crowds poured to the White House, and Mr. Lincoln, in a few words,
of which the simplicity fitted well with the grandness of the occasion,
congratulated them, in homely phrase, that "the great job is ended."
Yet, though this was substantially true, he did not live to see the
strictly legal completion. Ratification by the States was still
necessary, and though this began at once, and proceeded in due course as
their legislatures came into session, yet the full three quarters of the
whole number had not passed the requisite resolutions at the time of
his death. This, however, was mere matter of form. The question was
really settled when Mr. Colfax announced the vote of the


[77] A constitutional amendment requires for its passage a two thirds
vote in the Senate and the House of Representatives, and ratification by
three fourths of the States.

[78] Thirteenth Amendment. _First_: Neither slavery nor involuntary
servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have
been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place
subject to their jurisdiction. _Second_: Congress shall have power to
enforce this article by appropriate legislation.



From the Capitol, where he had spoken his inaugural on March 4, 1865,
Mr. Lincoln came back to the White House with less than five weeks of
life before him; yet for those scant weeks most men would have gladly
exchanged their full lifetimes. To the nation they came fraught with all
the intoxicating triumph of victory; but upon the President they laid
the vast responsibility of rightly shaping and using success; and it was
far less easy to end the war wisely than it had been to conduct it
vigorously. Two populations, with numbers and resources amply enough for
two powerful nations, after four years of sanguinary, relentless
conflict, in which each side had been inspired and upheld by a faith
like that of the first crusaders, were now to be reunited as fellow
citizens, and to be fused into a homogeneous body politic based upon
universal suffrage. As if this did not verge closely enough on the
impossible, millions of people of a hitherto servile race were suddenly
established in the new status of freedom. It was very plain that the
problems which were advancing with approaching peace were more
perplexing than those which were disappearing with departing war. Much
would depend upon the spirit and terms of the closing of hostilities.

If the limits of the President's authority were vague, they might for
that very reason be all the more extensive; and, wherever they might be
set, he soon made it certain that he designed to part with no power
which he possessed. On the evening of March 3 he went up, as usual, to
the Capitol, to sign bills during the closing hours of the last session
of the Thirty-eighth Congress. To him thus engaged was handed a telegram
from General Grant, saying that General Lee had suggested an interview
between himself and Grant in the hope that, upon an interchange of
views, they might reach a satisfactory adjustment of the present unhappy
difficulties through a military convention. Immediately, exchanging no
word with any one, he wrote:--

"The President directs me to say that he wishes you to have no
conference with General Lee, unless it be for the capitulation of
General Lee's army, or on some minor or purely military matter. He
instructs me to say that you are not to decide, discuss, or confer upon
any political questions. Such questions the President holds in his own
hands, and will submit them to no military conferences or conventions.
Meanwhile, you are to press to the utmost your military advantages."

This reply he showed to Seward, then handed it to Stanton and ordered
him to sign and dispatch it at once.

About this same time General Lee notified Mr. Davis that Petersburg and
Richmond could not be held many more days. Indeed, they would probably
have been evacuated at once, had not the capital carried so costly a
freight of prestige as well as of pride. It was no surprising secret
which was thus communicated to the chief rebel; all the common soldiers
in the Confederate army had for a long while known it just as well as
the general-in-chief did; and they had been showing their appreciation
of the situation by deserting and coming within the Union lines in such
increasing numbers that soon General Grant estimated that the
Confederate forces were being depleted by the equivalent of nearly a
regiment every day. The civilian leaders had already suggested the last
expedients of despair,--the enrolling of boys of fourteen years and old
men of sixty-five, nay, even the enlistment of slaves. But there was no
cure for the mortal dwindling. The Confederacy was dying of anaemia.

Grant understood the situation precisely as his opponents did. That
Petersburg and Richmond were about to be his was settled. But he was
reaching out for more than only these strongholds, and that he could get
Lee's army also was by no means settled. As March opened he lay down
every night in the fear that, while he was sleeping, the evacuation
might be furtively, rapidly, in progress, and the garrison escaping. He
dreaded that, any morning, he might awake to find delusive picket lines,
guarding nothing, while Lee and his soldiers were already well in the
lead, marching for the South. For him, especially, it was a period of
extreme tension. Since the capture of Savannah and the evacuation of
Charleston several weeks ago, Sherman with his fine army had been moving
steadily northward. In front of Sherman was Johnston, with a
considerable force which had been got together from the remnants of
Hood's army and other sources. At Bentonsville a battle took place,
which resulted in Johnston's falling back, but left him still
formidable. General Grant had not yet been able to break the Richmond
and Danville Railroad, which ran out from Richmond in a southwesterly
direction; and the danger was that by this and the "South Side"
railroad, Lee might slip out, join Johnston, and overwhelm Sherman
before Grant could reach him. In time, this peril was removed by the
junction of Schofield's army, coming from Wilmington, with that of
Sherman at Goldsboro. Yet, even after this relief, there remained a
possibility that Lee, uniting with Johnston, and thus leading a still
powerful army of the more determined and constant veterans, might
prolong the war indefinitely.

Not without good reason was Grant harassed by this thought, for in fact
it was precisely this thing that the good soldier in Petersburg was
scheming to do. The closing days of the month brought the endeavor and
the crisis. To improve his chances Lee made a desperate effort to
demoralize, at least temporarily, the left or western wing of the Union
army, around which he must pass in order to get away, when he should
actually make his start. March 25, therefore, he made so fierce an
assault, that he succeeded in piercing the Union lines and capturing a
fort. But it was a transitory gleam of success; the Federals promptly
closed in upon the Confederates, and drove them back, capturing and
killing 4000 of them. In a few hours the affair was all over; the
Northern army showed the dint no more than a rubber ball; but the
Confederates had lost brave men whom they could not spare.

On March 22 Mr. Lincoln went to City Point; no one could say just how
soon important propositions might require prompt answering, and it was
his purpose to be ready to have any such business transacted as closely
as possible in accordance with his own ideas. On March 27 or 28, the
famous conference[79] was held on board the River Queen, on James River,
hard by Grant's headquarters, between the President, General Grant,
General Sherman, who had come up hastily from Goldsboro, and Admiral
Porter. Not far away Sheridan's fine body of 13,000 seasoned cavalrymen,
fresh from their triumphs in the Shenandoah Valley, was even now
crossing the James River, on their way into the neighborhood of
Dinwiddie Court House, which lies southwest of Richmond, and where they
could threaten that remaining railroad which was Lee's best chance of
escape. General Sherman reported that on April 10 he should be ready to
move to a junction with Grant. But Grant, though he did not then
proclaim it, did not mean to wait so long; in fact he had the secret
wish and purpose that the Eastern army, which had fought so long and so
bloodily in Virginia, should have all to itself the well-deserved glory
of capturing Richmond and conquering Lee, a purpose which Mr. Lincoln,
upon suggestion of it, accepted.[80] The President then returned to City
Point, there to stay for the present, awaiting developments.

On April 1 General Sheridan fought and won the important battle at Five
Forks. Throughout that night, to prevent a too vigorous return-assault
upon Sheridan, the Federal batteries thundered all along the line; and
at daybreak on the morning of April 2 the rebel intrenchments were
fiercely assaulted. After hard fighting the Confederates were forced
back upon their inner lines. Then General Grant sent a note to City
Point, saying: "I think the President might come out and pay us a visit
to morrow;" and then also General Lee, upon his part, sent word to
Jefferson Davis that the end had come, that Petersburg and Richmond must
be abandoned immediately.

The news had been expected at any moment by the Confederate leaders,
but none the less it produced intense excitement. Away went Mr. Davis,
in hot haste, also the members of his cabinet and of his congress, and
the officials of the rebel State of Virginia, and, in short, every one
who felt himself of consequence enough to make it worth his while to run
away. The night was theirs, and beneath its friendly shade they escaped,
with archives and documents which had suddenly become valuable chiefly
for historical purposes. Grant had ordered that on the morning of April
3 a bombardment should begin at five o'clock, which was to be followed
by an assault at six o'clock. But there was no occasion for either; even
at the earlier hour Petersburg was empty, and General Grant and General
Meade soon entered it undisturbed. A little later Mr. Lincoln joined
them, and they walked through streets in which neither man nor animal,
save only this little knot, was to be seen.[81]

At quarter after eight o'clock, that same morning, General Weitzel, with
a few attendants, rode into the streets of Richmond. That place,
however, was by no means deserted, but, on the contrary, it seemed
Pandemonium. The rebels had been blowing up and burning warships and
stores; they had also gathered great quantities of cotton and tobacco
into the public storehouses and had then set them on fire. More than 700
buildings were feeding a conflagration at once terrible and magnificent
to behold, and no one was endeavoring to stay its advance. The negroes
were intoxicated with joy, and the whites with whiskey; the convicts
from the penitentiary had broken loose; a mob was breaking into houses
and stores and was pillaging madly. Erelong the Fifth Massachusetts
Cavalry, a negro regiment under Colonel C.F. Adams, Jr., paraded
through the streets, and then the Southern whites hid themselves within
doors to shun the repulsive spectacle. It may be that armed and hostile
negroes brought to them the dread terror of retaliation and massacre in
the wild hour of triumph. But if so, their fear was groundless; the
errand of the Northern troops was, in fact, one of safety and charity;
they began at once to extinguish the fires, to suppress the riot, and to
feed the starving people.

On the following day President Lincoln started on his way up the river
from City Point, upon an excursion to the rebel capital. Obstructions
which had been placed in the stream stopped the progress of his steamer;
whereupon he got into a barge and was rowed to one of the city wharves.
He had not been expected, and with a guard of ten sailors, and with four
gentlemen as comrades, he walked through the streets, under the guidance
of a "contraband," to the quarters of General Weitzel. This has been
spoken of as an evidence of bravery; but, regarded in this light, it
was only superfluous evidence of a fact which no one ever doubted; it
really deserves better to be called foolhardiness, as Captain Penrose,
who was one of the party, frankly described it in his Diary. The walk
was a mile and a half long, and this gentleman says: "I never passed a
more anxious time than in this walk. In going up [the river] ... we ran
the risk of torpedoes and the obstructions; but I think the risk the
President ran in going through the streets of Richmond was even greater,
and shows him to have great courage. The streets of the city were filled
with drunken rebels, both officers and men, and all was confusion.... A
large portion of the city was still on fire." Probably enough the
impunity with which this great risk was run was due to the dazing and
bewildering effect of an occasion so confused and exciting. Meantime,
Lee, abandoning Petersburg, but by no means abandoning "the Cause,"
pushed his troops with the utmost expedition to gain that southwestern
route which was the slender thread whence all Confederate hope now
depended. His men traveled light and fast; for, poor fellows, they had
little enough to carry! But Grant was an eager pursuer. Until the sixth
day that desperate flight and chase continued. Lee soon saw that he
could not get to Danville, as he had hoped to do, and thereupon changed
his plan and struck nearly westward, for open country, via Appomattox
Court House. All the way, as he marched, Federal horsemen worried the
left flank of his columns, while the infantry came ever closer upon the
rear, and kept up a ceaseless skirmishing. It had become "a life and
death struggle with Lee to get south to his provisions;" and Grant was
struggling with not less stern zeal, along a southerly line, to get
ahead of him in this racing journey. The Federal troops, sanguine and
excited, did their part finely, even marching a whole day and night
without rations. On April 6 there was an engagement, in which about 7000
Southerners, with six general officers, surrendered; and perhaps the
captives were not deeply sorry for their fate. Sheridan telegraphed: "If
the thing is pressed, I think that Lee will surrender." Grant repeated
this to the President, who replied: "Let the thing be pressed,"--not
that there was any doubt about it! Yet, April 7, General Lee was cheered
by an evanescent success in an engagement. It was trifling, however, and
did not suffice to prevent many of his generals from uniting to advise
him to capitulate. Grant also sent to him a note saying that resistance
was useless, and that he desired to shift from himself the
responsibility of further bloodshed by asking for a surrender. Lee
denied the hopelessness, but asked what terms would be offered. At the
same time he continued his rapid retreat. On April 8, about sunset, near
Appomattox Station, his advance encountered Sheridan's cavalry directly
across the road. The corral was complete. Nevertheless, there ensued a
few critical hours; for Sheridan could by no means stand against Lee's
army. Fortunately, however, these hours of crisis were also the hours of
darkness, in which troops could march but could not fight, and at dawn,
on April 9, the Southerners saw before them a great force of Federal
soldiery abundantly able to hold them in check until Grant's whole army
could come up. "A sharp engagement ensued," says General Grant, "but Lee
quickly set up a white flag." He then notified Sheridan, in his front,
and Meade, in his rear, that he had sent a note to General Grant with a
view to surrender, and he asked a suspension of hostilities. These
commanders doubted a ruse, and reluctantly consented to hold their
troops back for two hours. That was just enough; pending the recess
Grant was reached by the bearer of the dispatch, and at once rode in
search of Lee.

The two met at the house of a villager and easily came to terms, for
Grant's offer transcended in liberality anything which Lee could fairly
have expected. General Grant hastily wrote it out in the form of a
letter to Lee: The Confederates, officers and men, were to be paroled,
"not to take up arms against the government of the United States until
properly exchanged;" arms, artillery, and public property were to be
turned over to the Federals except the side-arms of the officers, their
private horses, and baggage. "This done, each officer and man will be
allowed to return to their homes, not to be disturbed by United States
authority so long as they observe their parole and the laws in force
where they may reside." This closing sentence practically granted
amnesty to all persons then surrendering, not excluding even the rebel
general-in-chief. It was afterward severely criticised as trenching upon
the domain of the President, and perhaps, also, on that of Congress. For
it was practically an exercise of the pardoning power; and it was, or
might be, an element in reconstruction. Not improbably the full force of
the language was not appreciated when it was written; but whether this
was so or not, and whether authority had been unduly assumed or not, an
engagement of General Grant was sure to be respected, especially when it
was entirely in harmony with the spirit of the President's policy,
though it happened to be contrary to the letter of his order.

General Lee had no sooner surrendered than he asked for food for his
starving troops; and stated, by way of estimate, that about twenty-five
thousand rations would be needed. The paroles, as signed, showed a total
of 28,231. To so trifling a force had his once fine army been reduced by
the steady drain of battles and desertions.[82] The veterans had long
since understood that their lives were a price which could buy nothing,
and which therefore might as well be saved.

The fall of Richmond and the surrender of Lee were practically the end
of the war. Remnants of secession indeed remained, of which Mr. Lincoln
did not live to see the disposition. Johnston's army was still in the
field; but on learning that there really was no longer either a
Confederacy or a cause to fight for, it surrendered on April 26.
Jefferson Davis also arranged for himself[83] the most effectual of all
amnesties by making himself ridiculous; for though some persons had
designed a serious punishment for this dethroned ruler, they recognized
that this became impossible after he had put himself into petticoats. It
was hardly fair that Mr. Lincoln was robbed of the amusement which he
would have gathered from this exploit.

On April 11, in the evening, a multitude gathered before the White
House, bringing loud congratulations, and not to be satisfied without a
speech from the President. Accordingly he came out and spoke to the
cheering crowd, and by a few simple, generous words, turned over the
enthusiastic acclamation, which seemed to honor him, to those "whose
harder part" had given the cause of rejoicing. "Their honors," he said,
"must not be parceled out with others. I myself was near the front, and
had the high pleasure of transmitting much of the good news to you; but
no part of the honor, for plan or execution, is mine. To General Grant,
his skillful officers and brave men, all belongs. The gallant navy stood
ready, but was not in reach to take an active part." He then at once
turned to the subject of reconstruction, and the last words which he
addressed to the people were mingled of argument and appeal in behalf of
the humane and liberal policy which he had inaugurated in Louisiana,
which was still in the experimental stage, yet which had already excited
the bitter denunciations of the politicians.

       *       *       *       *       *

So soon as it was known in the autumn of 1860 that Abraham Lincoln was
to be the next president of the United States, he was at once beset by
two pests: the office-seekers, and the men who either warned him to fear
assassination or anonymously threatened him with it. Of the two, the
office-seekers annoyed him by far the more; they came like the plague of
locusts, and devoured his time and his patience. His contempt and
disgust towards them were unutterable; he said that the one purpose in
life with at least one half of the nation seemed to be that they should
live comfortably at the expense of the other half. But it was the
fashion of the people, and he was obliged to endure the affliction,
however it might stir his indignation and contempt. The matter of
assassination he was more free to treat as he chose. A curious incident,
strangely illustrating the superstitious element in his nature, was
narrated by him as follows:--

"It was just after my election in 1860, when the news had been coming in
thick and fast all day, and there had been a great 'hurrah boys!' so
that I was well tired out and went home to rest, throwing myself upon a
lounge in my chamber. Opposite to where I lay was a bureau with a
swinging glass upon it; and, in looking in that glass, I saw myself
reflected nearly at full length; but my face, I noticed, had two
separate and distinct images, the tip of the nose of one being about
three inches from the tip of the other. I was a little bothered, perhaps
startled, and got up and looked in the glass; but the illusion vanished.
On lying down again I saw it a second time, plainer, if possible, than
before; and then I noticed that one of the faces was a little paler--say
five shades--than the other. I got up and the thing melted away; and I
went off, and in the excitement of the hour forgot all about
it,--nearly, but not quite, for the thing would once in a while come up,
and give me a little pang, as though something uncomfortable had
happened. When I went home, I told my wife about it; and a few days
after I tried the experiment again, when, sure enough, the thing came
back again; but I never succeeded in bringing the ghost back after that,
though I once tried very industriously to show it to my wife, who was
worried about it somewhat. She thought it was 'a sign' that I was to be
elected to a second term of office, and that the paleness of one of the
faces was an omen that I should not see life through the last term."

From this time forth anonymous threats and friendly warnings came thick
and fast up to the fatal day when the real event befell. Some of these
he kept, and after his death they were found in his desk, labeled
"Assassination Letters." Before he left Springfield for his journey to
Washington, many ingenious fears were suggested to him; but, except for
his change of route toward the close of his journey, none of these
presagings visibly influenced him, and his change of purpose concerning
the passage through Baltimore was never afterward recalled by him
without vexation. From that time forth he resolutely ignored all danger
of this kind. During most of the time that he was in office any one
could easily call upon him, unguarded, at the White House; he moved
through the streets of Washington like any private citizen; and he drove
about the environs, and habitually in the warm season took the long
drive to and from the Soldiers' Home, with substantially no protection.
When, at last, a guard at the White House and an escort upon his drives
were fairly forced upon him by Mr. Stanton (who was declared by the
gossip of the unfriendly to be somewhat troubled with physical
timidity), he rebelled against these incumbrances upon his freedom, and
submitted, when he had to do so, with an ill grace. To those who
remonstrated with him upon his carelessness he made various replies.
Sometimes, half jocosely, he said that it was hardly likely that any
intelligent Southerner would care to get rid of him in order to set
either Vice-President Hamlin or, later, Vice-President Johnson, in his
place. At other times he said: "What is the use of setting up the _gap_,
when the fence is down all round?" or, "I do not see that I can make
myself secure except by shutting myself up in an iron box, and in that
condition I think I could hardly satisfactorily transact the business of
the presidency." Again he said: "If I am killed, I can die but once; but
to live in constant dread of it, is to die over and over again." This
was an obvious reflection, easy enough of suggestion for any one who was
not within the danger line; but to live every day in accordance with it,
when the danger was never absent, called for a singular tranquillity of
temperament, and a kind of courage in which brave men are notoriously
apt to be deficient.

On April 9 the President was coming up the Potomac in a steamer from
City Point; the Comte de Chambrun was of the party and relates that, as
they were nearing Washington, Mrs. Lincoln, who had been silently gazing
toward the town, said: "That city is filled with our enemies;" whereupon
Mr. Lincoln "somewhat impatiently retorted: 'Enemies! we must never
speak of that!'" For he was resolutely cherishing the impossible idea
that Northerners and Southerners were to be enemies no longer, but that
a pacification of the spirit was coming throughout the warring land
contemporaneously with the cessation of hostilities,--a dream romantic
and hopelessly incapable of realization, but humane and beautiful.
Since he did not live to endeavor to transform it into a fact, and
thereby perhaps to have his efforts cause even seriously injurious
results, it is open to us to forget the impracticability of the fancy
and to revere the nature which in such an hour could give birth to such
a purpose.

The fourteenth day of April was Friday,--Good Friday. Many religious
persons afterward ventured to say that if the President had not been at
the theatre upon that sacred day, the awful tragedy might never have
occurred at all. Others, however, not less religiously disposed, were
impressed by the coincidence that the fatal shot was fired upon that day
which the Christian world had agreed to adopt as the anniversary of the
crucifixion of the Saviour of mankind. General Grant and his wife were
in Washington on that day and the President invited them to go with him
to see the play at Ford's theatre in the evening, but personal
engagements called them northward. In the afternoon the President drove
out with his wife, and again the superstitious element comes in; for he
appeared in such good spirits, as he chatted cheerfully of the past and
the future, that she uneasily remarked to him: "I have seen you thus
only once before; it was just before our dear Willie died." Such a frame
of mind, however, under the circumstances at that time must be regarded
as entirely natural rather than as ominous.

About nine o'clock in the evening the President entered his box at the
theatre; with him were his wife, Major Rathbone, and a lady; the box
had been decorated with an American flag, of which the folds swept down
to the stage. Unfortunately it had also been tampered with, in
preparation for the plans of the conspirators. Between it and the
corridor was a small vestibule; and a stout stick of wood had been so
arranged that it could in an instant be made to fasten securely, on the
inside, the door which opened from the corridor into this vestibule.
Also in the door which led from the vestibule into the box itself a hole
had been cut, through which the situation of the different persons in
the box could be clearly seen. Soon after the party had entered, when
the cheering had subsided and the play was going forward, just after ten
o'clock, a man approached through the corridor, pushed his visiting card
into the hands of the attendant who sat there, hastily entered the
vestibule, and closed and fastened the door behind him. A moment later
the noise of a pistol shot astounded every one, and instantly a man was
seen at the front of the President's box; Major Rathbone sprang to
grapple with him, but was severely slashed in the arm and failed to
retard his progress; he vaulted over the rail to the stage, but caught
his spur in the folds of the flag, so that he did not alight fairly upon
his feet; but he instantly recovered himself, and with a visible limp in
his gait hastened across the stage; as he went, he turned towards the
audience, brandished the bloody dagger with which he had just struck
Rathbone, and cried "_Sic semper tyrannis!_" Some one recognized John
Wilkes Booth, an actor of melodramatic characters. The door at the back
of the theatre was held open for him by Edward Spangler, an employee,
and in the alley hard by a boy, also employed about the theatre, was
holding the assassin's horse, saddled and bridled. Booth kicked the boy
aside, with a curse, climbed into the saddle with difficulty,--for the
small bone of his leg between the knee and ankle had been broken in his
fall upon the stage,--and rode rapidly away into the night. Amid the
confusion, no efficient pursuit was made.

The President had been shot at the back of the head, on the left side;
the bullet passed through the brain, and stopped just short of the left
eye. Unconsciousness of course came instantaneously. He was carried to a
room in a house opposite the theatre, and there he continued to breathe
until twenty-two minutes after seven o'clock in the morning, at which
moment he died.

       *       *       *       *       *

The man Booth, who had done this deed of blood and madness, was an
unworthy member of the family of distinguished actors of that name. He
was young, handsome, given to hard drinking, of inordinate vanity, and
of small capacity in his profession; altogether, he was a disreputable
fellow, though fitted to seem a hero in the eyes of the ignorant and
dissipated classes. Betwixt the fumes of the brandy which he so freely
drank and the folly of the melodramatic parts which he was wont to act,
his brain became saturated with a passion for notoriety, which grew into
the very mania of egotism. His crime was as stupid as it was barbarous;
and even from his own point of view his achievement was actually worse
than a failure. As an act of revenge against a man whom he hated, he
accomplished nothing, for he did not inflict upon Mr. Lincoln so much as
one minute of mental distress or physical suffering. To the South he
brought no good, and at least ran the risk of inflicting upon it much
evil, since he aroused a vindictive temper among persons who had the
power to carry vindictiveness into effect; and he slew the only sincere
and powerful friend whom the Southerners had among their conquerors. He
passed a miserable existence for eleven days after the assassination,
moving from one hiding-place to another, crippled and suffering, finding
concealment difficult and escape impossible. Moreover, he had the
intense mortification to find himself regarded with execration rather
than admiration, loathed as a murderer instead of admired as a hero, and
charged with having wrought irreparable hurt to those whom he had
foolishly fancied that he was going to serve conspicuously. It was a
curious and significant fact that there was among the people of the
North a considerable body of persons who, though undoubtedly as shocked
as was every one else at the method by which the President had been
eliminated from the political situation, were yet well pleased to see
Andrew Johnson come into power;[84] and these persons were the very ones
who had been heretofore most extreme in their hostility to slavery, most
implacable towards the people of the Confederacy. There were no persons
living to whom Booth would have been less willing to minister
gratification than to these men. Their new President, it is true, soon
disappointed them bitterly, but for the moment his accession was
generally regarded as a gain for their party.

Late on April 25 a squad of cavalry traced Booth to a barn in Virginia;
they surrounded it, but he refused to come out; thereupon they set fire
to it, and then one of them, Boston Corbett, contrary to orders, thrust
his musket through a crevice and fired at Booth. Probably he hit his
mark, though some think that the hunted wretch at this last desperate
moment shot himself with his own revolver. Be this as it may, the
assassin was brought forth having a bullet in the base of his brain, and
with his body below the wound paralyzed. He died on the morning of April

While the result of Booth's shot secured for him that notoriety which he
loved, the enterprise was in fact by no means wholly his own. A
conspiracy involving many active members, and known also to others, had
been long in existence. For months plans had been laid and changed, and
opportunities had been awaited and lost. Had the plot not been thus
delayed, its success might have done more practical mischief. Now, in
addition to what the plotters lost by reason of this delay, only a part
of their whole great scheme was carried out. At the same time that the
tragedy was enacting at Ford's Theatre an assault was perpetrated upon
Mr. Seward, who was then confined to his bed by hurts lately received in
an accident. The assassin gained admission into the house under pretense
of bringing medicine; thus he reached the bedroom, and at once threw
himself upon the secretary, whom he stabbed about the face and neck;
then encountering in turn two sons of Mr. Seward and two men nurses, he
wounded them all more or less seriously, and escaped. But much as had
been done, as much or more was left undone; for there can be little
doubt that the plot also included the murder of the Vice-President,
General Grant, and Secretary Stanton; the idea being, so far as there
was any idea or any sense at all in the villainy, that the sudden
destruction of all these men would leave the government with no lawful
head, and that anarchy would ensue.

Not many days elapsed before the government had in custody seven men,
Herold, Spangler, Payne, O'Laughlin, Arnold, Atzerodt, and Mudd, and
one woman, Mary E. Surratt, all charged with being concerned in the
conspiracy. But though they had been so happily caught, there was much
difficulty in determining just how to deal with them. Such was the force
of secession feeling in the District of Columbia that no jury there
could be expected to find them guilty, unless the panel should be packed
in a manner which would be equally against honesty and good policy.
After some deliberation, therefore, the government decided to have
recourse to a military commission, provided this were possible under the
law, and the attorney-general, under guise of advising the
administration, understood distinctly that he must find that it was
possible. Accordingly he wrote a long, sophistical, absurd opinion, in
which he mixed up the law of nations and the "laws of war," and emerged
out of the fog very accurately at the precise point at which he was
expected to arrive. Not that fault should be found with him for
performing this feat; it was simply one of many instances, furnished by
the war, of the homage which necessity pays to law and which law repays
to necessity. That which must be done must also be stoutly and
ingeniously declared to be legal. It was intolerable that the men should
escape, yet their condemnation must be accomplished in a respectable
way. So the Military Commission was promptly convened, heard the
evidence which could be got together at such short notice, and found
all the accused guilty, as undoubtedly they were. The men were a
miserable parcel of fellows, belonging in that class of the community
called "roughs," except only Mudd, who was a country doctor. Mrs.
Surratt was a fit companion for such company. Herold, Atzerodt and Payne
were hanged on July 7; O'Laughlin, Spangler, Arnold, and Mudd were sent
to the Dry Tortugas, there to be kept at hard labor in the military
prison for life, save Spangler, whose term was six years. Mrs. Surratt
was also found guilty and condemned to be hanged. Five members of the
commission signed a petition to President Johnson to commute this
sentence, but he refused, and on July 7 she also met the fate which no
one could deny that she deserved. John H. Surratt escaped for the time,
but was apprehended and tried in the District of Columbia, in 1867; he
had then the advantage of process under the regular criminal law, and
the result was that on September 22, 1868, a _nolle prosequi_ was
entered, and he was set free, to swell the multitude of villains whose
impunity reflects no great credit upon our system of dealing with crime.

Besides those who have been named, the government also charged several
other persons with complicity in the plot. Among these were Jefferson
Davis and some members of that notorious colony of Confederates who, in
the wholesome and congenial safety of Canada, had been plotting mean
crimes during the war. Of course, since these men could not be captured
and actually placed upon trial, there was little object in seeking
evidence against them, and only so much was produced as came to the
possession of the government incidentally in the way of its endeavor to
convict those prisoners who were in its possession. Under these
circumstances there was not sufficient evidence to prove that any one of
them aided or abetted, or had a guilty knowledge of, the conspiracy; yet
certainly there was evidence enough to place them under such suspicion,
that, if they were really innocent, they deserve commiseration for their
unfortunate situation.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is startling to contemplate the responsibility so lightly taken by
the mad wretch who shortly and sharply severed the most important life
which any man was living on the fourteenth day of April, 1865. Very
rarely, in the course of the ages, have circumstances so converged upon
a single person and a special crisis as to invest them with the
importance which rested upon this great leader at this difficult time.
Yet, in the briefest instant that can be measured, an ignoble tippler
had dared to cut the life-thread from which depended no small portion of
the destinies of millions of people. How the history of this nation
might have been changed, had Mr. Lincoln survived to bear his
influential part in reconstructing and reuniting the shattered country,
no man can tell. Many have indulged in the idle speculation, though to
do so is but to waste time. The life which he had already lived gives
food enough for reflection and for study without trying to evolve out of
arbitrary fancy the further things which might have been attempted by
him, which might have been of wise or of visionary conception, might
have brilliantly succeeded or sadly failed.

It is only forty years since Abraham Lincoln became of much note in the
world, yet in that brief time he has been the subject of more varied
discussion than has been expended upon any other historical character,
save, perhaps, Napoleon; and the kind of discussion which has been
called forth by Lincoln is not really to be likened to that which has
taken place concerning Napoleon or concerning any other person
whomsoever. The great men of the various eras and nations are
comprehensible, at least upon broad lines. The traits to which each owes
his peculiar power can be pretty well agreed upon; the capacity of each
can be tolerably well expressed in a formula; each can be intelligibly
described in fairly distinct phrases; and whether this be in the spirit
of admiration or of condemnation will, in all cases which admit of
doubt, be largely a question of the personal sympathies of the observer.
But Lincoln stands apart in striking solitude,--an enigma to all men.
The world eagerly asks of each person who endeavors to write or speak of
him: What illumination have you for us? Have you solved the mystery? Can
you explain this man? The task has been essayed many times; it will be
essayed many times more; it never has been, and probably it never will
be entirely achieved. Each biographer, each writer or speaker, makes his
little contribution to the study, and must be content to regard it
merely as a contribution. For myself, having drawn the picture of the
man as I see him, though knowing well that I am far from seeing him all,
and still farther from seeing inwardly through him, yet I know that I
cannot help it by additional comments. Very much more than is the case
with other men, Lincoln means different things to different persons, and
the aspect which he presents depends to an unusual degree upon the moral
and mental individuality of the observer. Perhaps this is due to the
breadth and variety of his own nature. As a friend once said to me:
Lincoln was like Shakespeare, in that he seemed to run through the whole
gamut of human nature. It was true. From the superstition of the
ignorant backwoodsman to that profoundest faith which is the surest
measure of man's greatness, Lincoln passed along the whole distance. In
his early days he struck his roots deep down into the common soil of the
earth, and in his latest years his head towered and shone among the
stars. Yet his greatest, his most distinctive, and most abiding trait
was his humanness of nature; he was the expression of his people; at
some periods of his life and in some ways it may be that he expressed
them in their uglier forms, but generally he displayed them in their
noblest and most beautiful developments; yet, for worse or for better,
one is always conscious of being in close touch with him as a fellow
man. People often call him the greatest man who ever lived; but, in
fact, he was not properly to be compared with any other. One may set up
a pole and mark notches upon it, and label them with the names of Julius
Caesar, William of Orange, Cromwell, Napoleon, even Washington, and may
measure these men against each other, and dispute and discuss their
respective places. But Lincoln cannot be brought to this pole, he cannot
be entered in any such competition. This is not necessarily because he
was greater than any of these men; for, before this could be asserted,
the question would have to be settled: How is greatness to be estimated?
One can hardly conceive that in any age of the world or any combination
of circumstances a capacity and temperament like that of Caesar or
Napoleon would not force itself into prominence and control. On the
other hand, it is easy to suppose that, if precisely such a great moral
question and peculiar crisis as gave to Lincoln his opportunity had not
arisen contemporaneously with his years of vigor, he might never have
got farther away from obscurity than does the ordinary member of
Congress. Does this statement limit his greatness, by requiring a rare
condition to give it play? The question is of no serious consequence,
since the condition existed; and the discussion which calls it forth is
also of no great consequence. For what is gained by trying to award him
a number in a rank-list of heroes? It is enough to believe that probably
Lincoln alone among historical characters could have done that especial
task which he had to do. It was a task of supreme difficulty, and like
none which any other man ever had to undertake; and he who was charged
with it was even more distantly unlike any other man in both moral and
mental equipment. We cannot force lines to be parallel, for our own
convenience or curiosity, when in fact they are not parallel. Let us not
then try to compare and to measure him with others, and let us not
quarrel as to whether he was greater or less than Washington, as to
whether either of them, set to perform the other's task, would have
succeeded with it, or, perchance, would have failed. Not only is the
competition itself an ungracious one, but to make Lincoln a competitor
is foolish and useless. He was the most individual man who ever lived;
let us be content with this fact. Let us take him simply as Abraham
Lincoln, singular and solitary, as we all see that he was; let us be
thankful if we can make a niche big enough for him among the world's
heroes, without worrying ourselves about the proportion which it may
bear to other niches; and there let him remain forever, lonely, as in
his strange lifetime, impressive, mysterious, unmeasured, and unsolved.


[79] See _ante_, pp. 237-241 (chapter on Reconstruction).

[80] Grant, _Memoirs_, ii. 460.

[81] Grant, _Memoirs_, ii. 459. This differs from the statement of N.
and H. x. 216, that "amid the wildest enthusiasm, the President again
reviewed the victorious regiments of Grant, marching through Petersburg
in pursuit of Lee." Either picture is good; perhaps that of the silent,
deserted city is not the less effective.

[82] Between March 29 and the date of surrender, 19,132 Confederates had
been captured, a fate to which it was shrewdly suspected that many were
not averse.

[83] May 11, 1865.

[84] Hon. George W. Julian says: "I spent most of the afternoon in a
political caucus, held for the purpose of considering the necessity for
a new cabinet and a line of policy less conciliatory than that of Mr.
Lincoln; and while everybody was shocked at his murder, the feeling was
nearly universal that the accession of Johnson to the presidency would
prove a godsend to the country." _Polit. Recoll._ 255.


[**Transcriber's Note: The index covers volume I and volume II of the
work. For every term, the individual entries are arranged in order of
appearance in the two volumes. Index entries are therefore marked with
"see vol. i.", and "see vol. ii." accordingly. References that have no
mark refer to the same volume as the last entry with a mark.]

  denounced by Illinois legislature, see vol. i.;
  disapprove emancipation with compensation;
  wish to induce Lincoln to join them;
  unpopular at North;
  difference of Lincoln from;
  refuse to support Lincoln in 1860;
  urge peaceful secession in 1861;
  denounce Lincoln for not making war an anti-slavery crusade,
      see vol. ii.;
  demand a proclamation of emancipation;
  unwisdom of their course;
  unappeased, even after emancipation proclamation;
  their small numbers;
  their attitude toward Lincoln.

Adams, Charles Francis,
  letter of Seward to, on impossibility of war, see vol. i.;
  appointed minister to England;
  complains to England of privateers, see vol. ii.;
  complains of the Alabama.

Adams, Charles F., Jr.,
  enters Richmond with negro cavalry regiment, see vol. ii.

Adams, John Quincy,
  in Congress with Lincoln, see vol. i.

  not ready to secede, but opposed to coercion, see vol. i.;
  wishes Southern convention;

  Confederate privateer, see vol. ii.;
  sunk by Kearsarge.

Albert, Prince,
  revises Palmerston's dispatch on Trent affair, see vol. i.

Anderson, Robert,
  signs Lincoln's certificate of discharge in Black Hawk war, see vol. i.;
  commands at Fort Moultrie in 1860;
  moves forces to Sumter;
  asks instructions in vain;
  appeals to Lincoln;
  refuses to surrender Sumter.

Andrew, Governor John A.,
  prepares Massachusetts militia, see vol. i.;
  asks United States for muskets;
  sends on troops.

Anthony, Henry B.,
  in Senate in 1861, see vol. i.

  battle of, see vol. ii.

  refuses to furnish Lincoln troops, see vol. i.;
  at first Unionist, finally secedes;
  campaign of Curtis in;
  reconstructed, see vol. ii.;
  chooses electors.

Armstrong, Jack,
  his wrestling match with Lincoln, see vol. i.;
  his later friendship with Lincoln;
  aids him in politics.

Arnold, Isaac N.,
  in House in 1861, see vol. i.;
  describes drilling of Army of Potomac;
  on importance of Lincoln's action in Trent case;
  introduces bill abolishing slavery under federal jurisdiction,
      see vol. ii.;
  on composition of Gettysburg address;
  dreads danger in election of 1864;
  Lincoln's only supporter in Congress;
  refusal of Lincoln to help in campaign;
  on Lincoln's attempt to push thirteenth amendment through Congress;
  on second vote on thirteenth amendment.

Arnold, Samuel,
  accomplice of Booth, tried and condemned, see vol. ii.

Ashley, James M.,
  in House in 1861, see vol. i.;
  moves to reconsider thirteenth amendment, see vol. ii.

Ashmun, George,
  presides over Republican Convention of 1860, see vol. i.

Assassination of Lincoln,
  plot of 1861, see vol. i.;
  threats during term of office, see vol. ii.;
  successful plot of 1865;
  death of Booth;
  trial and punishment of other persons concerned.

  battle of, see vol. ii.

Atzerodt, Geo. A.,
  accomplice of Booth, tried and condemned, see vol. ii.

Baker, Edward D.,
 in Illinois campaign of 1838;
 at Illinois bar;
 candidate for Congress;
 his agreement with Lincoln and others;
 introduces Lincoln at inauguration;
 killed at Ball's Bluff;
 responsible for disaster.

Ball's Bluff,
  battle of, see vol. i.

Banks, Nathaniel P.,
  in Federal army, see vol. i.;
  his corps in 1862, see vol. ii.;
  defeated by Jackson;
  takes Port Hudson.

Barnard, General John G.,
  opposes McClellan's plan of campaign, see vol. i.;
  on impossibility of taking Yorktown, see vol. ii.

Bates, Edward,
  candidate for Republican nomination, see vol. i.;
  favored by Greeley;
  his chances as a moderate candidate;
  vote for;
  opposes reinforcing Sumter.

Bayard, James A.,
  in Senate in 1861, see vol. i.

Beauregard, General P.G.T.,
  commands at Charleston, see vol. i.;
  notified by Lincoln of purpose to reinforce Sumter;
  requests surrender of Sumter;
  commands bombardment;
  commands Confederate army at Manassas;
  at battle of Bull Run;
  at battle of Shiloh;
  evacuates Corinth.

Bell, John,
  candidate of Constitutional Union party, see vol. i.;
  vote for.

Benjamin, Judah P.,
  denounces Buchanan, see vol. i.;
  in Confederate cabinet.

   battle of, see vol. ii.

Berry, Wm. F.,
  his partnership with Lincoln, and failure, see vol. i.

Big Bethel,
  battle of, see vol. i.

Black, Jeremiah S.,
  in Buchanan's cabinet, see vol. i.;
  succeeds Cass in State Department;
  after vacillation turns toward coercion;
  forces Buchanan to alter reply to South Carolina commissioners.

Black Hawk war, see vol. i.

Blaine, James G.,
  on purpose of war, see vol. ii.;
  on Lincoln's order to McDowell to pursue Jackson;
  on crisis in congressional elections of 1862;
  on admission of West Virginia;
  on Vallandigham case.

Blair, F.P., Jr.,
  tries to keep Lee in Union army, see vol. i.;
  leads Unionist party in Missouri;
  in House in 1861;
  confers with Davis, see vol. ii.

Blair, Montgomery,
  in Lincoln's cabinet, see vol. i.;
  wishes to relieve Sumter;
  at council of war;
  favors McClellan's plan of war;
  visits Missouri to investigate Fremont;
  arrested by Fremont;
  warns Lincoln that emancipation proclamation will lose fall elections,
      see vol. ii.;
  hated by radicals;
  his dismissal urged;
  upheld by Lincoln;
  resigns at Lincoln's request;
  wishes chief-justiceship.

Blenker, General Louis,
  favors McClellan's plan of campaign, see vol. i.;
  sent to strengthen Fremont, see vol. ii.

Booth, John Wilkes,
  murders Lincoln, see vol. ii.;
  his character;
  his end.

Border States,
  necessity of retaining in Union, see vol. i.;
  dealings of Lincoln with, in 1861;
  their neutrality policy explained in annual message;
  both pro-slavery and Unionist, see vol. ii.;
  desire to conciliate controls Lincoln's policy;
  with their slave property guaranteed by North;
  oppose bill freeing slaves used in war;
  oppose other anti-slavery bills;
  irritated by congressional policy;
  urged by Lincoln to agree to emancipation;
  refuse to approve;
  Lincoln's policy toward, denounced by Abolitionists;
  their support in 1862 saves Lincoln.

Boutwell, George S.,
  urges emancipation upon Lincoln, see vol. ii.

Bragg, General Braxton,
  invades Kentucky, see vol. ii.;
  outmarched by Buell;
  at battle of Stone's River;
  at battle of Chickamauga;
  besieges Chattanooga;
  defeated by Grant.

Breckenridge, John C.,
  elected Vice-President, see vol. i.;
  nominated by South for President;
  carries Southern States;
  announces election of Lincoln;
  expelled from Senate.

Bright, Jesse D.,
  expelled from Senate, see vol. i.

Brooks, Preston S.,
  assaults Sumner, see vol. i.;
  praised at the South.

Brough, John,
  nominated for governor in Ohio and elected, see vol. ii.

Brown, Aaron V.,
  in Buchanan's cabinet, see vol. i.

Brown, B. Gratz,
  supports Fremont against Lincoln in 1864, see vol. ii.

Brown, Mayor Geo. W.,
  thinks Maryland will secede, see vol. i.;
  burns bridges and cuts wires north of Baltimore.

Browning, O.H.,
  at Illinois bar, see vol. i.

Bryant, William Cullen,
  introduces Lincoln in New York, see vol. i.;
  favors postponement of Republican convention in 1864, see vol. ii.

Buchanan, James,
  nominated by Democrats, see vol. i.;
  elected President, his character;
  refers to Dred Scott decision in inaugural address;
  his recognition of Lecompton Constitution in Kansas;
  despised by Douglas;
  accused by Lincoln of plotting to make slavery national;
  his hard situation in 1860;
  distracted in body and mind;
  receives secession commissioners of South Carolina;
  a Unionist in feeling;
  his message on secession;
  wishes to shirk responsibility;
  declares coercion unconstitutional;
  ridiculed by Republicans;
  excuse for his position;
  declines to receive Southern commissioners;
  virtually abdicates power to cabinet;
  denounced by South;
  forced to appoint Dix to Treasury Department;
  calls extra session of Senate to aid Lincoln;
  his futile policy towards Fort Sumter.

Buckner, General Simon B.,
  surrenders Fort Donelson, see vol. i.

Buell, General D.C.,
  his resemblance in character to McClellan, see vol. i.;
  refuses to seize East Tennessee;
  snubbed by McClellan;
  recommended by Halleck for promotion;
  takes Nashville;
  saves battle of Shiloh;
  allows slave-owners to reclaim fugitives, see vol. ii.;
  seizes Louisville before Bragg;
  opposes Halleck's plan to invade Tennessee;

Bull Run,
  first battle of, see vol. i.;
  second battle of, see vol. ii.

Burlingame, Anson D.,
  hopes that Douglas will join Republicans, see vol. i.

Burns, Anthony,
  seized as a slave in Boston, see vol. i.

Burnside, General Ambrose E.,
  commands in North Carolina, see vol. i.;
  given command of Army of Potomac, see vol. ii.;
  at Fredericksburg;
  loses confidence of army;
  ordered by Lincoln to do nothing without informing him;
  offers to resign;
  wishes to dismiss several generals;
  his campaign in East Tennessee;
  relieved by Sherman;
  alarmed at Copperheads;
  commands in Ohio;
  issues order threatening traitors;
  tries and condemns Vallandigham;
  comment of Lincoln on;
  offers resignation.

Butler, Benjamin F.,
  takes possession of hill commanding Baltimore, see vol. i.;
  commands at Fortress Monroe;
  commands at New Orleans;
  keeps slaves as "contraband of war", see vol. ii.;
  "bottled" at Bermuda Hundred.

Butterfield, Justin,
  at Illinois bar, see vol. i.

Cadwalader, General George,
  refuses to liberate Merryman on Taney's writ, see vol. i.

Calhoun, John,
  appoints Lincoln deputy surveyor, see vol. i.

Calhoun, John C.,
  his speech on Compromise of 1850, see vol. i.

  annexed, see vol. i.;
  gold fever in;
  asks admission as State;
  prohibits slavery;
  refusal of South to admit;

Cameron, Simon,
  candidate for Republican presidential nomination in 1860, see vol. i.;
  sells his vote for promise of a place in cabinet;
  willing to sacrifice anything to save Union;
  secretary of war;
  difficulty over his appointment;
  opposes relieving Fort Sumter;
  refuses muskets to Massachusetts militia;
  wishes to leave War Department;
  appointed minister to Russia;
  instructs Butler not to return slaves, see vol. ii.;
  authorizes Sherman to use negroes;
  suggests arming slaves in annual report;
  his report suppressed by Lincoln;
  supports Lincoln for reëlection.

Campbell, Judge John A.,
  acts as intermediary between Seward and Confederate commissioners,
      see vol. i.;
  on Confederate Peace Commission, see vol. ii.

Cartwright, Peter,
  defeated by Lincoln for Congress, see vol. i.;
  his character as itinerant preacher.

Cass, Lewis,
  attacked by Lincoln in Congress, see vol. i.;
  in Buchanan's cabinet;
  wishes to coerce South;
  resigns when Buchanan refuses to garrison Southern forts.

  denounced by Whigs in Illinois, see vol. i.

Cedar Mountain,
  battle of, see vol. ii.

Chambrun, Comte de,
  on Lincoln's magnanimity, see vol. ii.

  battle of, see vol. ii.

Chandler, Zachariah,
  in Senate in 1861, see vol. i.;
  denounces conservatives, see vol. ii.;
  threatens Lincoln.

Chase, Salmon P.,
  in debate on Compromise, see vol. i.;
  candidate for Republican nomination in 1860;
  secretary of treasury;
  objected to by Pennsylvania protectionists;
  wishes to reinforce Sumter;
  dislikes subordination to Lincoln;
  wishes McClellan to advance;
  asks him his plans and is snubbed;
  favors Lincoln's plan of campaign;
  on ease of a victory;
  considers Lincoln inefficient, see vol. ii.;
  leader of discontented Republicans;
  on Lincoln's responsibility for emancipation proclamation;
  suggests an addition to it;
  wishes to present bankers to Lincoln;
  left undisturbed in control of Treasury;
  his resignation taken by Lincoln;
  letter of Lincoln to;
  hesitates to withdraw resignation;
  finally does so;
  irritated by Lincoln's independence;
  becomes candidate for Republican nomination;
  not feared by Lincoln;
  his offer to resign declined;
  fails to obtain support;
  withdraws name;
  continues to dislike Lincoln;
  frequently offers resignation;
  finally leaves office;
  on bad terms with Blair;
  appointed chief justice.

Chestnut, James,
  defies North in 1860, see vol. i.

  battle of, see vol. ii.

Chittenden, L.E.,
  on danger of a recognition of Confederacy by England, see vol. i.

Cisco, John J.,
  quarrel over appointment of his successor, see vol. ii.

Clay, Henry,
  admired by Lincoln, see vol. i.;
  less admired after his visit at Ashland;
  offers Compromise of 1850.

Clinton, George,
  denounced in New York for calling secession "rebellion", see vol. i.

Cobb, Howell,
  in Congress with Lincoln, see vol. i.;
  on "making better terms out of the Union than in it";
  in Buchanan's cabinet;
  candidate for presidency of South;
  resigns from cabinet.

Cochrane, General John,
  nominated for Vice-President, see vol. ii.

Cold Harbor,
  battle of, see vol. ii.

Colfax, Schuyler,
  expects Douglas to join Republicans, see vol. i.;
  in House in 1861;
  on Lincoln's tenacity, see vol. ii.;
  announces passage of thirteenth amendment.

Collamer, Jacob,
  in Congress with Lincoln, see vol. i.;
  vote for, in Republican Convention of 1860;
  in Senate in 1861.

  favored by Lincoln, see vol. i., see vol. ii.

Compromise of 1850,
  history of, see vol. i.

Confederate States,
  formed by convention, see vol. i.;
  organization of;
  sends commissioners to United States;
  its envoys rejected by Lincoln;
  prepares to seize Fort Sumter;
  amused at Lincoln's call for volunteers;
  receives Virginia;
  belligerency of, recognized by England and France;
  refusal of Lincoln to receive Stephens embassy from, see vol. ii.;
  sells bonds in England;
  dealings of supposed emissaries from, with Greeley;
  refusal of Lincoln to negotiate with;
  dealings of Blair with;
  sends commissioners;
  conference of Lincoln and Seward with commissioners of;
  government of, collapses.

  proposes amendment to Constitution to protect slavery, see vol. i.;
  counts electoral votes;
  extra session called;
  votes to support Lincoln;
  creates Committee on Conduct of War;
  discusses battle of Shiloh;
  passes Crittenden resolution disavowing slavery as cause of war,
      see vol. ii.;
  passes bill freeing slaves used in war;
  refuses to reaffirm Crittenden resolution;
  passes bill for emancipation in District;
  prohibits officers to return fugitive slaves;
  abolishes slavery in Territories, etc.;
  passes act freeing slaves of rebels;
  passes act to arm negroes;
  fails to provide equal pay;
  ignores Lincoln's wishes to conciliate Border States;
  passes resolution to cooperate with States adopting emancipation;
  unpopularity of Lincoln with;
  continues in 1862 to oppose Lincoln;
  fails to pass bill offering compensated emancipation to Missouri;
  character of, in 1863;
  accepts Representatives from reconstructed Louisiana;
  jealous of Lincoln's plan of reconstruction;
  desires to control matter itself;
  passes reconstruction bill;
  wishes to supplant Lincoln by Chase;
  creates lieutenant-general;
  refuses to recognize electors from Southern reconstructed States;
  fails to adopt thirteenth amendment;
  after election of 1864, passes amendment.

Conkling, James C.,
  letter of Lincoln to, see vol. ii.

Conkling, Roscoe,
  in House in 1861, see vol. i.

  slavery compromises in, see vol. i.;
  in relation to doctrine of non-intervention;
  in relation to slavery in States;
  in relation to emancipation;
  in relation to popular sovereignty and Dred Scott decision;
  attitude of Abolitionists and Republicans toward;
  its relation to secession, Buchanan's view;
  proposal to amend, in 1861;
  its relation to secession, Lincoln's view;
  in relation to blockade;
  strained by civil war;
  war powers of, used by Lincoln;
  in connection with suspension of habeas corpus;
  makes President commander-in-chief;
  in relation to act abolishing slavery in Territories, see vol. ii.;
  desire of Abolitionists to ignore;
  Lincoln's view of, as forcing issue of war to be the Union;
  in relation to emancipation proclamation;
  strained by admission of West Virginia;
  really in abeyance;
  in relation to reconstruction;
  justifies "military governors";
  in regard to relative powers of executive and Congress in reconstruction;
  as to power of Congress over electoral count;
  proposal to amend so as to abolish slavery;
  passage of thirteenth amendment by Congress.

Constitutional Union party,
  its origin and aims, see vol. i.;
  its subsequent fate;
  its vote in 1860.

  developed in second year of war, see vol. ii.;
  their principles and policy;
  active after Chancellorsville;
  organization of, to oppose war;
  feared in Indiana;
  fail to accomplish anything;
  despised by Lincoln;
  led by Vallandigham;
  attempt to put down;
  Lincoln's opinion of;
  demand revocation of emancipation proclamation.

Corbett, Boston,
  kills Booth, see vol. ii.

Covode, John,
  in House in 1861, see vol. i.

Cox, Samuel S.,
  in House in 1861, see vol. i.

Crittenden, John J.,
  offers compromise in 1861, see vol. i.;
  in House in 1861;
  offers resolution that war is not against slavery, see vol. ii.;
  opposes Lincoln's plan of emancipation in Kentucky.

Curtin, Governor Andrew G.,
  invites governors to meet at Altoona, see vol. ii.;
  on connection of conference with emancipation proclamation;

Curtis, Benjamin R.,
  his opinion in Dred Scott case, see vol. i.

Curtis, General Samuel R.,
  his campaign in Missouri and Arkansas, see vol. i.

Cushing, Lieutenant William B.,
  destroys the Albemarle, see vol. ii.

Davis, David,
  at Illinois bar, see vol. i.;
  disgusted at election of Trumbull in 1855;
  Lincoln's manager in convention of 1860.

Davis, Garrett,
  succeeds Breckenridge in Senate, see vol. i.;
  his plea against arming negroes, see vol. ii.

Davis, Henry Winter,
  introduces reconstruction bill, see vol. ii.;
  issues address denouncing Lincoln for vetoing bill;
  obliged to support Lincoln rather than McClellan.

Davis, Jefferson,
  advocates extension of Missouri Compromise in 1850, see vol. i.;
  sneers at attempted compromise in 1861;
  elected President of Confederate States;
  defies North;
  hopes to entrap Seward into debate with commissioners;
  urged by South to do something;
  prefers to make North aggressor;
  tries to win over Kentucky;
  offers to issue "letters of marque and reprisal";
  when secretary of war, sent McClellan to Europe;
  sends troops to seize East Tennessee;
  wishes to free Kentucky, see vol. ii.;
  his escape wished by Lincoln;
  replaces Johnston by Hood;
  proposition of Blair to;
  expresses willingness to treat for peace;
  nominates commissioners to treat for peace with independence;
  notified by Lee of approaching fall of Richmond;
  escapes from city;
  makes himself ridiculous and escapes punishment;
  suspected of complicity in Booth's plot.

  leads Lincoln in vote for legislature in 1834.

Dayton, William L.,
  nominated by Republicans in 1856, see vol. i.;
  candidate for nomination in 1860.

Democratic party,
  controls Illinois, see vol. i.;
  wins in 1852;
  factions in;
  elects Buchanan in 1856;
  in. Illinois, nominates Douglas for Senate;
  torn with factions;
  breaks up in 1860 into Northern and Southern wings;
  nominates two sets of candidates;
  campaign of, in 1860;
  attempts to reunite;
  in North, members of, become Union men;
  effort of Lincoln to placate, by giving recognition in cabinet;
  Copperhead and other factions of, see vol. ii.;
  "War Democrats";
  makes campaign in 1862 on opposition to anti-slavery legislation;
  gains in Congressional elections;
  wishes Lincoln to compromise;
  denounces seizure of Vallandigham;
  agitates against military tyranny;
  commits error in opposing war;
  loses ground in 1863;
  applauds Fremont's candidacy;
  hopes for success in 1864;
  denounces war as failure and nominates McClellan;
  war faction of, hesitates to vote for Lincoln, on slavery grounds;
  divided over peace plank;
  damaged by Federal military successes;
  hurt by Southern approval;
  defeated in election;
  members of, in Congress, aid in passage of thirteenth amendment.

Dennison, William,
  succeeds Blair as postmaster-general, see vol. ii.

Dickinson, Daniel S.,
  candidate for vice-presidential nomination, see vol. ii.

Diplomatic history,
  Seward's proposed foreign wars to prevent disunion, see vol. i.;
  recognition of Southern belligerency by England and France;
  instructions of Seward to Adams;
  difficulties over English privateers;
  message of Lincoln on foreign relations;
  the Trent affair;
  the Oreto affair, see vol. ii.;
  the Alabama affair.

District of Columbia,
  bill to emancipate slaves in, advocated by Lincoln, see vol. i.;
  slave trade in, abolished;
  abolition in, favored by Lincoln;
  emancipation in, carried, see vol. ii.

Dix, John A.,
  on possible secession of New York, see vol. i.;
  appointed to Treasury Department;
  his order to protect American flag.

Dixon, Archibald,
  offers amendment repealing Missouri Compromise, see vol. i.

Donelson, Andrew J.,
  nominated for presidency by Whigs and Know-Nothings, see vol. i.

Donelson, Fort,
  battle of, see vol. i.

Doolittle, James R.,
  in Senate in 1861, see vol. i.

Doubleday, General Abner,
  on Hooker's plan in Chancellorsville campaign, see vol. ii.

Douglas, Stephen A.,
  meets Lincoln in 1835, see vol. i.;
  encounters him in campaign of 1840;
  Lincoln's rival in love affair;
  his position at Illinois bar;
  charges Lincoln with lacking patriotism in opposing Mexican war;
  introduces Kansas-Nebraska Bill;
  mobbed in Chicago;
  debates with Lincoln in campaign of 1854;
  proposes a truce;
  candidate for Democratic nomination in 1856;
  opposes Lecompton Constitution;
  leading figure in public life;
  his character and ability;
  his doctrine of "popular sovereignty";
  avoids consequences of Dred Scott decision;
  defies Buchanan;
  his conduct in Lecompton case dictated by desire to secure reëlection
      to Senate;
  attacks "English Bill" as unfair;
  his candidacy for reëlection gives Lincoln opportunity;
  renominated by Democrats;
  denounced by South;
  opposed by administration;
  accepts Lincoln's challenge to joint debates;
  his attacks upon Lincoln;
  accused by Lincoln of a plot to make slavery national;
  denies any plot;
  on status of negro under Declaration of Independence;
  sneered at by Lincoln;
  keeps temper with difficulty;
  attempts to reconcile Dred Scott decision with popular sovereignty;
  fails to satisfy South;
  cornered by Lincoln;
  gains reëlection;
  on difficulty of debating with Lincoln;
  speaks in Ohio;
  in debate ignores secession;
  nominated by Democrats in 1860;
  reasons why repudiated by South;
  his vigorous canvass in 1860;
  vote for;
  offers to aid Lincoln after fall of Sumter;
  value of his assistance.

Dred Scott case,
  decision in, see vol. i.;
  equivocal attitude of Douglas toward;
  discussed by Lincoln.

Duane, Captain,
  escorts Lincoln at inauguration, see vol. i.

Early, General Jubal A.,
  tries to capture Washington, see vol. ii.;
  defeated by Sheridan.

  ignorant of Lincoln, see vol. i.;
  led to respect Lincoln by his speeches.

Edwards, Ninian W.,
  in frontier political debates, see vol. i.;
  member of Illinois bar.

  Lincoln's plan for, in 1849, see vol. i.;
  compensation for, wished by Lincoln;
  again proposed by Lincoln with compensation and colonization,
      see vol. ii.;
  discussion of Lincoln's proposal;
  demanded instantly by Abolitionists;
  question of its constitutionality;
  opposition to, in North;
  demanded by clergymen;
  gradual decision of Lincoln to proclaim;
  reasons for caution in issuing proclamation;
  delay urged by Seward;
  preliminary declaration of, after battle of Antietam;
  not influenced by Altoona conference;
  its effect upon North;
  urged again, with compensation, by Lincoln;
  repudiated by Missouri;
  final proclamation of, issued;
  condemned by rulers of England, though approved by people;
  renewed scheme of Lincoln to gain, by compensation.

  ignorance of, in West, see vol. i.;
  its aid hoped by South;
  its sympathy expected by North;
  its upper classes dislike America;
  rejoices in anticipated destruction of United States;
  recognizes belligerency of South;
  attitude of Seward toward;
  later dealings with;
  acquiesces in blockade;
  enraged at Trent affair;
  demands reparation;
  admitted by Lincoln to be in the right;
  reply of Seward;
  Northern hatred of;
  wisdom of Lincoln's attitude toward;
  people of, gratified by emancipation proclamation, see vol. ii.;
  fails to detain Oreto and Alabama;
  subscribes to Confederate loan.

English, James E.,
  in House in 1861, see vol. i.;
  votes for thirteenth amendment, see vol. ii.

Ericsson, John,
  designs the Monitor, see vol. i.

Evarts, William M.,
  moves to make Lincoln's nomination unanimous, see vol. i.

Everett, Edward,
  nominated for Vice-President by Constitutional Union party, see vol. i.;
  delivers oration at Gettysburg, see vol. ii.

Ewell, General R.S.,
  enters Shenandoah Valley, see vol. ii.;
  enters Pennsylvania.

  defeats Lincoln for speakership in Illinois legislature, see vol. i.

Farragut, Captain D.G.,
  takes New Orleans, see vol. i.;
  his campaign on Mississippi;
  takes Mobile, see vol. ii.

Fell, J.W.,
  asks Lincoln concerning his ancestry, see vol. i.;
  urges Lincoln to seek presidential nomination.

Felton, Samuel M.,
  fears plot to assassinate Lincoln, see vol. i.;
  has wires cut to avoid sending news.

Fenton, Reuben E.,
  in House in 1861, see vol. i.

Fessenden, William P.,
  in Senate in 1861, see vol. i.;
  reluctantly accepts Treasury Department, see vol. ii.;
  his success.

Fillmore, Millard,
  nominated for presidency by Know-Nothings and Whigs in 1856, see vol. i.

Financial history,
  Chase's conduct of Treasury, see vol. ii.

Five Forks,
  battle of, see vol. ii.

   ready to secede in 1860, see vol. i.;

  Confederate privateer, see vol. ii.

Floyd, John B.,
  in Buchanan's cabinet, see vol. i.;
  wishes secession delayed;
  sends arms into South;
  involved in defalcation;
  quarrels on question of reinforcing Sumter and resigns;
  runs away from Fort Donelson.

Foote, Admiral Andrew H.,
  his operations in 1862, see vol. i.;
  captures Fort Henry.

Ford, Governor,
  remark on Lincoln's political luck, see vol. i.

Forney, John W.,
  on Republican Convention of 1864, see vol. ii.

Forquer, George,
  taunts Lincoln with youth, see vol. i.;
  retort of Lincoln to.

Fox, G.V.,
  his plan to relieve Fort Sumter, see vol. i.

Franklin, General William B.,
  summoned by Lincoln to consultation, see vol. i.;
  does not tell McClellan;
  favors McClellan's plan of attack;
  his division sent to McClellan, but not used, see vol. ii.;
  his force occupies West Point.

Fremont, Mrs. Jessie Benton,
  her interview with Lincoln, see vol. i.

Fremont, John C.,
  nominated for presidency by Republicans, see vol. i.;
  appointed to command in Missouri;
  his quarrelsomeness and inefficiency;
  arrests Blair;
  the idol of Abolitionists;
  declares slaves of rebels free in Missouri, see vol. ii.;
  asked by Lincoln to modify order;
  refuses, and becomes enemy of Lincoln;
  reinforced by Lincoln under political pressure;
  commands force in West Virginia;
  ordered to catch Jackson;
  upheld by Lincoln's enemies in Missouri, as rival for presidency;
  nominated for presidency;
  failure of his candidacy;
  his followers hate Blair.

  recognizes belligerency of South, see vol. i.;
  would have joined England in case of war;
  proposes mediation, see vol. ii.

  battle of, see vol. ii.

Free Soil party,
  origin of, see vol. i.

Fugitive Slave Law,
  passed, see vol. i.;
  Lincoln's opinion of.

Garrison, William Lloyd,
  disapproves of Republican party, see vol. i.;
  supports Lincoln in 1864, see vol. ii.

  not ready for secession, see vol. i.;
  wishes a Southern convention;
  how led to secede;
  Union minority in.

  battle of, see vol. ii.;
  Lincoln's address at.

Giddings, Joshua R.,
  favors Lincoln's emancipation bill in 1849, see vol. i.;
  member of Republican Convention of 1860.

Gilmer, John A.,
  refuses to enter Lincoln's cabinet, see vol. i.

  governor of South Carolina, sends circular letter asking about secession
      feeling in South, see vol. i.

Grant, Ulysses S.,
  his operations in 1862, see vol. i.;
  captures Forts Henry and Donelson;
  recommended by Halleck for promotion;
  condemned by Halleck and relieved from command;
  advances to Pittsburg Landing;
  attacked by Johnston;
  does not admit defeat at Shiloh;
  on severity of battle;
  his conduct of battle criticised;
  harassed by Halleck, asks to be relieved;
  on Halleck's mistakes;
  on Copperheads, see vol. ii.;
  forms plan to take Vicksburg;
  tries to approach city from south;
  besieges and takes Vicksburg;
  his credit for campaign;
  his relations with Lincoln;
  accused of drunkenness;
  congratulated by Lincoln;
  given command of the West;
  orders Thomas to hold Chattanooga;
  relieves siege;
  wins battle of Chattanooga;
  sends Sherman to relieve Burnside;
  on reconstruction;
  his conference with Lincoln;
  movement to nominate for President in 1864;
  appointed lieutenant-general;
  given free control;
  prepares plan of campaign;
  correspondence with Lincoln;
  his campaigns in Virginia;
  sends force to hold Washington against Early;
  sends Sheridan against Early;
  character of his military methods;
  reports proposal of Lee for a conference;
  ordered by Lincoln to refuse;
  on desertions from Lee's army;
  his plan to entrap Lee's army;
  wishes to capture Lee without Sherman's aid;
  enters Petersburg;
  pursues Lee;
  urges Lee to surrender;
  his liberal terms to Lee;
  praised by Lincoln;
  unable to accept Lincoln's invitation to theatre the evening of his

Greeley, Horace,
  prefers Douglas to Lincoln in 1858, see vol. i.;
  in convention of 1860, works against Seward;
  his influence used against Lincoln;
  willing to admit peaceable secession;
  on comparative strength of North and South;
  suddenly denounces compromise;
  a secessionist in 1861;
  publishes address to President, see vol. ii.;
  his influence;
  answered by Lincoln;
  his abusive retort;
  suggests French mediation;
  condemns Lincoln in 1864;
  on movement to delay nomination;
  his political creed;
  claims to be a Republican while denouncing Lincoln;
  favors Fremont;
  wishes peace at any price;
  wishes to treat with Confederates;
  authorized to do so by Lincoln;
  conditions named by Lincoln;
  abuses Lincoln for causing failure of negotiations.

Green, Duff,
  tries to induce Lincoln to support Buchanan, see vol. i.

Greene, Bolin,
  lends Lincoln money, see vol. i.

Grimes, James W.,
  in Senate in 1861, see vol. i.

Grow, Galusha A.,
  speaker of House in 1861, see vol. i.

Habeas Corpus,
  suspension of, by Lincoln, see vol. i.

Hale, John P.,
  sums up Buchanan's secession doctrine, see vol. i.;
  in Senate in 1861;
  denounces administration in Trent affair.

Halleck, General Henry W.,
  letter of Lincoln to, on plan of war, see vol. i.;
  commands in Missouri;
  sends news of capture of Fort Donelson and asks for command in West;
  assumes command;
  complains of Grant;
  drives Grant to request to be relieved;
  his slow advance upon Corinth;
  refuses to fight;
  enters Corinth unopposed;
  fails to use powerful army;
  appointed general-in-chief, see vol. i., see vol. ii.;
  compared with McClellan, see vol. i.;
  gains advancement because unopposed and unnoticed by politicians;
  expels slaves from camp, see vol. ii.;
  favors recall of McClellan from Peninsula;
  allowed free hand by Lincoln;
  inferior to McClellan;
  his telegraphic dispute with McClellan;
  begs McClellan's assistance after Pope's defeat;
  instructs McClellan to command defences of Washington;
  alarmed over safety of capital;
  has friction with Hooker;
  refuses to give Hooker garrison of Harper's Ferry;
  urges Meade to attack after Gettysburg;
  wishes Buell and Rosecrans to invade Tennessee;
  superseded by Grant;
  on bad terms with Blair.

Hamlin, Hannibal,
  nominated for Vice-President, see vol. i.;
  reasons why not renominated, see vol. ii.

Hanks, John,
  aids Lincoln to split rails, see vol. i.;
  on Lincoln's first sight of slavery;
  brings rails split by Lincoln into Republican Convention.

Hanks, Nancy,
  mother of Lincoln, see vol. i.;
  descends from a "poor white" family;
  her character;
  marries Thomas Lincoln;
  her death.

Hardin, Colonel John J.,
  defeats Lincoln and Baker for Congress, see vol. i.;
  defeated by Lincoln.

Harlan, James,
  in Senate in 1861, see vol. i.

Harrison, W.H.,
  campaign for, in 1840, see vol. i.

Hawkins, George S.,
  opposes compromise in 1861 as futile, see vol. i.

  recognized, see vol. ii.

Heintzelman, General Samuel P.,
  opposes McClellan's plan of campaign, see vol. i.;
  appointed corps commander;
  on force necessary to protect Washington, see vol. ii.

Henderson, John B.,
  approves Lincoln's emancipation scheme, see vol. ii.

Henry, Fort,
  captured, see vol. i.

Herndon, William H.,
  law partner of Lincoln, see vol. i.;
  prevents Lincoln from association with Abolitionists;
  aids Lincoln in organizing Republican party;
  visits East to counteract Greeley's influence against Lincoln.

Herold, David E.,
  tried for assassination of Lincoln, see vol. ii.;

Hickman, John,
  calls Lincoln's emancipation scheme unmanly, see vol. ii.

Hicks, Governor Thomas H.,
  opposed to secession, see vol. i.;
  suggests referring troubles to Lord Lyons as arbitrator.

"Higher Law,"
  Seward's doctrine of, see vol. i.

Hitchcock, General Ethan A.,
  considers Washington insufficiently protected, see vol. ii.

Holt, Joseph,
  succeeds Floyd in Buchanan's cabinet, see vol. i.;
  joins Black and Stanton in coercing Buchanan;
  fears attempt of South to seize Washington.

Hood, General John Bell,
  succeeds Johnston, see vol. ii.;
  defeated by Sherman.

Hooker, General Joseph,
  allows slave owners to reclaim fugitives, see vol. ii.;
  replaces Burnside in command;
  letter of Lincoln to;
  his abilities;
  in Chancellorsville campaign;
  throws away chance of success;
  fails to use all of troops;
  orders retreat;
  wishes to resume attack;
  first prevented, then urged by Lincoln;
  wishes to capture Richmond;
  follows Lee to North;
  instructed by Lincoln to obey Halleck;
  irritated by Halleck, resigns;
  sent to aid Rosecrans;
  storms Lookout Mountain.

House of Representatives,
  election of Lincoln to, and career in, see vol. i.;
  members of;
  debates Mexican war;
  struggles in, over Wilmot proviso;
  refuses to pass Lincoln's emancipation bill of 1849;
  settles question of admission of Kansas;
  proposes Constitutional amendment in 1861;
  rejects plan of Peace Congress;
  leaders of, in 1861;
  thanks Captain Wilkes;
  approves emancipation proclamation, see vol. ii.;
  fails to pass thirteenth amendment;
  later passes amendment.

Houston, Samuel,
  opposes secession in Texas, see vol. i.

Hunter, General David,
  asked by Lincoln to aid Fremont, see vol. i.;
  succeeds Fremont;
  proclaims martial law and abolishes slavery in Georgia, Florida, and
      South Carolina, see vol. ii.;
  his order revoked;
  organizes a negro regiment.

Hunter, R.M.T.,
  on Confederate peace commission, see vol. ii.;
  retort of Lincoln to.

Hyer, Tom,
  hired by Seward's supporters in Republican Convention, see vol. i.

  early settlers and society of, see vol. i.;
  in Black Hawk war;
  early politics in,;
  land speculation in;
  career of Lincoln in legislature of;
  the career of "Long Nine" in;
  internal improvement craze in;
  adopts resolutions condemning Abolitionists and emancipation in the
  suffers from financial collapse;
  carried by Van Buren against Harrison;
  legal profession in;
  carried by Democrats in 1844;
  upholds Mexican war;
  denounces Kansas-Nebraska Act;
  senatorial election of 1855 in;
  popular feeling in, concerning Kansas;
  in campaign of 1856;
  political situation in, during 1858;
  prestige of Douglas in;
  senatorial campaign in;
  carried by Douglas;
  movement in, to nominate Lincoln for President;
  carried by Democrats in 1862, see vol. ii.

  carried by Democrats in 1862, see vol. ii.;
  Copperheads in.

Internal improvements,
  craze over, in Western States, see vol. i.

Iverson, Alfred,
  works in Georgia for secession, see vol. i.;
  threatens Houston with assassination;
  wishes to keep Washington as capital of Confederacy.

Jackson, Andrew,
  popularity of, in Illinois, see vol. i.;
  attitude of Lincoln toward.

Jackson, Thomas Jonathan, "Stonewall",
  commands at Harper's Ferry, see vol. i.;
  in Shenandoah valley, see vol. ii.;
  his raid down valley in 1862;
  escapes pursuing forces;
  joins Johnston and attacks McClellan;
  compels McClellan to retreat to James River;
  defeats Banks;
  marches around Pope;
  on too good condition of Federal armies;
  breaks Federal right at Chancellorsville;
  accidentally shot by his own soldiers.

Johnson, Andrew,
  in Congress with Lincoln, see vol. i.;
  in Senate in 1861;
  instructed by Lincoln to reorganize government in Tennessee,
      see vol. ii.;
  stern opinion of treason;
  repudiates Sherman's terms with Johnston;
  his nomination for vice-presidency aided by Lincoln;
  protested against, by Tennesseeans;
  his accession to presidency welcomed by radicals;
  refuses to commute Mrs. Surratt's sentence.

Johnson, Bushrod R.,
  captured at Fort Donelson, see vol. i.

Johnson, Herschel V.,
  nominated for Vice-President in 1860, see vol. i.;
  votes against secession in 1860.

Johnson, Oliver,
  supports Lincoln in 1864, see vol. ii.

Johnston, General A.S.,
  plans to crush Grant and Buell in detail, see vol. i.;
  commands at battle of Shiloh;

Johnston, Joseph
  succeeds Jackson at Harper's Ferry, see vol. i.;
  aids Beauregard at Bull Run;
  on condition of Confederate army;
  evacuates Manassas;
  fears that McClellan will storm Yorktown, see vol. ii.;
  begins attack on McClellan;
  retreats from Sherman after Vicksburg;
  terms of Sherman with, in 1865;
  campaign against Sherman in 1864;
  removed by Davis;
  campaign against Sherman in Carolinas;
  plan of Lee to join;

Johnston, Sally,
  marries Thomas Lincoln, see vol. i.;
  her character.

Jones, Abraham,
  ancestor of Lincoln, see vol. i.

Judd, N.B.,
  asked by Lincoln to help his canvass in 1860, see vol. i.;
  urges Lincoln to avoid danger of assassination.

Julian, George W.,
  in House in 1861, see vol. i.;
  on Republican dissatisfaction with Lincoln, see vol. ii.

Kane, Marshal Geo. P.,
  telegraphs for Southern aid to oppose passage of troops through
      Baltimore, see vol. i.

  struggle in, between free and slave-state men, see vol. i.;
  rival constitutions of;
  admission of, under Lecompton Constitution, urged by Buchanan;
  opposed by Douglas;
  attempt of Congress to bribe into acceptance of Lecompton Constitution;
  rejects offer;
  speeches of Lincoln in.

Kansas-Nebraska bill,
  introduced, see vol. i.;
  repeals Missouri Compromise.

Keitt, Lawrence M.,
  his fight with Grow, see vol. i.

Kellogg, Win. Pitt,
  letter of Lincoln to, on extension of slavery, see vol. i.

  desire of Lincoln to retain in Union, see vol. i.;
  refuses to furnish troops;
  attempt of Secessionists to carry;
  wishes to be neutral;
  thereby intends to aid South;
  skillful dealings of Lincoln with;
  remains in Union;
  saved by State loyalty;
  its neutrality violated by South, joins North;
  campaign of Grant in;
  invaded by Bragg, see vol. ii.

Keyes, General Erasmus D.,
  favors McClellan's plan of campaign, see vol. i.;
  appointed corps commander;
  on force necessary to protect Washington, see vol. ii.;
  on impossibility of taking Yorktown.

  their career in 1854-1856, see vol. i.;
  attempt to draw out Lincoln in 1860.

Lamon, Colonel Ward H.,
  connection with assassination story, see vol. i.

Lane, James H.,
  senator from Kansas, see vol. i.

Lane, Joseph,
  nominated for Vice-President on Breckinridge ticket in 1860, see vol. i.

Lee, Robert E.,
  offered command of Union army, see vol. i.;
  opposes secession;
  resigns from army and accepts command of State troops;
  becomes Confederate general;
  commands against Pope, see vol. ii.;
  prepares to invade Maryland;
  his contempt for McClellan;
  at Antietam;
  at Fredericksburg;
  outmanoeuvred by Hooker;
  at Chancellorsville;
  hopes to conquer a peace;
  enters Pennsylvania;
  retreats after Gettysburg;
  sends reinforcements to Bragg;
  campaign in Virginia against Meade;
  his campaign against Grant;
  suggests a conference with Grant;
  notifies Davis that Richmond must fall;
  his chance of escape;
  attacks Federal lines;
  tries to escape;
  surrenders at Appomattox;
  asks for food.

  recognized, see vol. ii.

Lincoln, Abraham,
  his ignorance concerning his ancestry, see vol. i.;
  sensitive regarding it;
  his own statements;
  anxious to appear of respectable stock;
  his genealogy as established later;
  his reputed illegitimacy;
  his birth;
  his references to his mother;
  his childhood;
  befriended by his step-mother;
  his education;
  early reading;
  early attempts at humorous writing;
  youthful exploits;
  let out by his father;
  helps his father settle in Sangamon County, Ill.;
  works for himself;
  his trip to New Orleans for Offut;
  impressed with slavery;
  in Offut's store;
  fights Armstrong;
  later friendship with Armstrong;
  borrows a grammar;
  his honesty;
  loses situation;
  involved in border quarrels;
  his temperance considered eccentric;
  careless habits of dress;
  in the country groceries;
  coarseness of speech;
  his sympathetic understanding of the people;
  his standards dependent on surroundings;
  enlists in Black Hawk war;
  chosen captain;
  his services.

  _Frontier Politician_.
  Announces himself a candidate for the legislature;
  a "Clay man";
  his campaign and defeat;
  enters grocery store, fails;
  pays off debt;
  studies law;
  postmaster at New Salem;
  settles account with government;
  elected to legislature;
  borrows money to ride to capital;
  his career in legislature;
  love affair with Ann Rutledge;
  his gloom;
  its inexplicable character;
  affair with Mary Owens;
  again a candidate, his platform;
  calms excitement in campaign;
  his fairness;
  his retort to Forquer;
  elected as one of "Long Nine";
  favors unlimited internal improvements;
  acknowledges his blunder;
  his skill as log-roller;
  gains popularity in county;
  protests against anti-abolition resolutions;
  admitted to bar, settles in Springfield;
  partnership with Stuart;
  studies debating;
  political ambitions;
  shows evidences of high ideals;
  incidents of his canvass in 1838;
  opposes repudiation, in legislature;
  reflected in 1840, unsuccessful candidate for speaker;
  jumps out of window to break a quorum;
  in campaign of 1840;
  his courtship of Mary Todd;
  fails to appear on wedding day;
  character of his married life;
  quarrels with Shields;
  later ashamed of it;
  improves prospects by a partnership with Logan;
  later joins with Herndon;
  his competitors at the bar;
  considers law secondary to politics;
  his legal ability;
  a "case lawyer";
  his ability as jury lawyer;
  refuses to conduct a bad case;
  on Whig electoral ticket in 1844;
  later disillusioned with Clay;
  fails to get nomination to Congress;
  alleged understanding with Baker and others;
  renews candidacy in 1846;
  elected, his vote.

  _In Congress_.
  Agrees with Whig programme on Mexican war;
  introduces "Spot Resolutions" against Polk;
  his speech;
  his doctrine of right of revolution;
  votes for Ashmun's amendment condemning war;
  defends himself from charge of lack of patriotism;
  his honesty;
  damages Whigs in Illinois;
  favors candidacy of Taylor;
  his speech in House for Taylor against Cass;
  votes for Wilmot Proviso;
  his bill to prohibit slave trade in District of Columbia;
  obtains support of Giddings;
  fails to obtain commissionership in Land Office;
  declines governorship of Oregon.

  _Candidate for Senate_.
  Accepts compromise although recognizing its futility;
  favors Scott in 1852;
  answers Douglas's defense of Nebraska bill;
  escapes connection with Abolitionists;
  renews attack upon Douglas;
  candidate for Senate;
  leads in first ballots;
  injured by Abolitionist praise;
  urges friends to secure election of Trumbull;
  his alleged bargain with Trumbull;
  receives vote for Vice-President in Republican National Convention;
  his surprise;
  his opinion of Kansas question;
  delivers speech at organization of Republican party;
  meets disapproval at Springfield;
  in campaign of 1856;
  encounters hostility of Greeley in the East;
  journey of Herndon in his behalf;
  nominated by State Convention for senatorship;
  damaged by Whig support of Douglas;
  prepares letter of acceptance;
  reads paragraph on situation to friends;
  alarms advisers by his plainness of utterance;
  insists on asserting the irrepressible conflict;
  statesmanship of his course;
  challenges Douglas to joint debate;
  misrepresentations of his position on slavery;
  his appeal to "the fathers";
  his accusation against the South;
  his crucial question to Douglas;
  Douglas's reply;
  his position on Dred Scott decision;
  accused of duplicity;
  his views as to slavery under the Constitution considered;
  on Abolitionists;
  on negro race;
  his freedom from animosity toward opponents or slaveholders;
  does not denounce slaveholders;
  his fairness a mental trait;
  on popular sovereignty;
  convicts Douglas of ambiguity;
  alleged purpose to discredit Douglas as presidential candidate;
  feels himself upholder of a great cause;
  his moral denunciation of slavery;
  his literary form;
  elevation of tone;
  disappointed at defeat by Douglas;
  exhausted by his efforts;
  asked to contribute to campaign fund.

  _Candidate for Presidency_.
  Makes speeches in Ohio;
  calls Douglas pro-slavery;
  invited to speak in New York, prepares address;
  journey through Kansas;
  his New York address;
  states the situation;
  praised by newspapers;
  tour in New England;
  comprehensive nature of his speeches;
  ignores disunion;
  by dwelling on wrong of slavery, makes disunion wrong;
  slow to admit publicly a desire for presidency;
  enters field in 1859;
  nominated as candidate by Illinois Republican Convention;
  his managers at National Convention;
  yelled for by hired shouters;
  supposed to be more moderate than Seward;
  his own statement of principles;
  votes secured for, by bargains;
  nominated on third ballot;
  accepts nomination in dejection;
  his nomination a result of "availability";
  little known in country at large;
  anxious to avoid discussion of side issues;
  opposed by Abolitionists;
  supported by Giddings;
  the choice of a minority.

  His trying position during interregnum;
  his election the signal for secession;
  damaged by persistent opposition of New York "Tribune";
  his opinion of the proposed constitutional amendment to guarantee
  declared elected by electoral count;
  alleged plot to assassinate;
  maintains silence during winter;
  privately expresses dislike of compromise;
  declares against interfering with slavery;
  pronounces for coercing seceded States;
  his journey to Washington;
  warned of plot against;
  speeches in Pennsylvania;
  induced to avoid danger;
  accused of cowardice;
  his own opinion as to plot;
  question of his real danger;
  visited by Peace Congress;
  impresses visitors by his appearance;
  inauguration of;
  his address;
  states intention to enforce laws;
  repeats opposition to extension only of slavery;
  his previous denunciations remembered by South;
  shows statesmanship in emphasizing Union.

  _President_--_First Term_.
  Appears tranquil after entering office;
  not over-confident, but resolved on doing his duty;
  disheartened by lack of support at North;
  not trusted by leaders of Republican party;
  feels isolation;
  his cabinet;
  seeks representatives of all views;
  prefers individual strength to unity in cabinet;
  criticised by radical Republicans;
  has difficulties in satisfying Cameron;
  dissuades Seward from refusing to join cabinet;
  his statement of purpose to Virginia commissioners;
  annoys South by failing to notice it;
  irritates Northern extremists;
  asks opinion of Scott as to relieving Sumter;
  asks advice of cabinet;
  promises South to take no action without warning;
  again asks cabinet;
  forms plan to relieve Fort Pickens;
  spoils plan to relieve Sumter by sending Powhatan to Pensacola;
  announces intention to provision Sumter;
  admits blame for failure;
  question of his fault in delaying to relieve fort;
  issues proclamation calling for volunteers for three months;
  his purpose;
  expects Northerners to equal Southerners as fighters;
  calls Congress for special session;
  wishes to gain Kentucky;
  dreads effect of Baltimore riot on Border States;
  offers to send troops around Baltimore;
  soothes Maryland;
  cut off from North for a week;
  tries in vain to prevent Virginia from seceding;
  tries to secure Lee;
  successful in his policy for retaining Kentucky in Union;
  unable to reach North Carolina, Tennessee, or Arkansas;
  tries to aid Missouri loyalists;
  confident in efficiency of North;
  his capacities unknown to people;
  question of his "inspiration";
  his masterfulness not realized;
  question as to his relations with advisers;
  obliged to restrain Chase and Seward;
  his relations with Chase;
  receives Seward's "Thoughts";
  his reply to Seward;
  realizes his own responsibility and accepts it;
  receives absurd advice;
  proclaims blockade of Southern ports;
  advised to "close" ports;
  sees necessity of admitting war;
  decides to act efficiently without regard to Constitution;
  instructs Scott to watch Maryland legislature;
  issues order to arrest Maryland secessionists;
  orders Scott to suspend writ of habeas corpus;
  denounced by Taney;
  issues proclamation authorizing further suspension;
  states his argument to Congress;
  calls for more volunteers;
  takes pains with message which he sends to Congress;
  on neutrality of Kentucky;
  on blockade;
  on secession;
  appeals for ample means to end war;
  appoints McClellan to command Army of Potomac;
  avoids connection with Ball's Bluff affair;
  appoints McClellan to succeed Scott;
  sees that popular demand for action must be followed;
  puzzled by McClellan's refusal to move;
  forced to bear military responsibility;
  his freedom from self-seeking;
  urges McClellan to advance;
  discouraged by McClellan's illness, consults McDowell and Franklin;
  consults McClellan;
  exasperates McClellan by his action;
  appoints Stanton to succeed Cameron;
  his lack of personal feeling against Stanton;
  his patience toward Stanton;
  his letter to Halleck;
  wishes a direct attack;
  accused by McClellan's friends of meddling;
  decides to force action;
  issues General War Order No.;
  its purpose political rather than military;
  orders McClellan to move South;
  asks McClellan to justify his plan;
  calls council of generals;
  accepts McClellan's plan;
  insists on preservation of capital;
  political reasons for his anxiety to hold Washington;
  reasons why his plan should have been adopted;
  never convinced of superiority of McClellan's scheme;
  issues General War Order to secure Washington;
  unmoved by abuse of McClellan's enemies;
  relieves McClellan of general command;
  forced by Congress to divide Army of Potomac into corps;
  appreciates importance of Western operations;
  urges on Western generals;
  unable to supply troops;
  appoints Fremont to command Department of West;
  tries to guide Fremont;
  appealed to by Mrs. Fremont;
  removes Fremont, his reasons;
  sees military importance of Cumberland Gap;
  urges construction of a railroad there;
  urges Buell on;
  annoyed by Buell's refusal to move;
  death of his son;
  discusses plan to capture New Orleans;
  suddenly obliged to consider foreign affairs;
  his corrections on Seward's instructions to Adams;
  his statement of foreign relations in message of December, 1861;
  avoids either timidity or defiance;
  objects from beginning to seizure of Mason and Slidell;
  proposes to arbitrate the matter;
  thinks England's claim just;
  wisdom of his course in surrendering the envoys;
  unable to prevent slavery from entering into war, see vol. ii.;
  disapproves of Fremont's order freeing slaves of rebels;
  by rescinding it, makes an enemy of Fremont;
  revokes order of Hunter freeing slaves;
  takes responsibility of matter upon himself;
  prevents Cameron from urging arming of negroes;
  advises recognition of Hayti and Liberia;
  in message suggests compensated emancipation and colonization;
  approves bill abolishing slavery, with compensation, in District;
  signs bill prohibiting return of fugitive slaves;
  signs bill abolishing slavery in United States Territories;
  signs bill to emancipate slaves of rebels;
  slow to execute bill to enlist slaves;
  finally recognizes value of black troops;
  his conciliatory policy not followed by Congress;
  his reasons for advocating compensated emancipation;
  hopes to induce Border States to emancipate voluntarily;
  sends special message urging gradual emancipation;
  practically warns Border State men;
  denounced by both sides;
  tries in vain to persuade Border State representatives;
  his plans repudiated;
  repeats appeal in proclamation;
  his scheme impracticable, but magnanimous;
  sees future better than others;
  refrains from filling vacancies on Supreme Bench with Northern men;
  agrees to McClellan's peninsular campaign;
  still worried over safety of capital;
  neglects to demand any specific force to protect it;
  forced to detach troops from McClellan to reinforce Fremont;
  nearly orders McClellan to attack;
  his plan better than McClellan's;
  orders McDowell to return to Washington;
  alarmed at condition of defenses of capital;
  question of his error in retaining McDowell;
  shows apparent vacillation;
  explains situation in letter to McClellan;
  urges him to strike;
  annoyed by politicians;
  tries to forward troops;
  orders McDowell to join McClellan without uncovering capital;
  criticised by McClellan;
  refuses to let McDowell move in time;
  sends McDowell to rescue Banks;
  loses his head;
  insists on McDowell's movement;
  his blunder a fatal one;
  not a quick thinker;
  ruins McClellan's campaign;
  begins to lose patience with McClellan's inaction;
  appoints Halleck commander-in-chief;
  his constancy in support of McClellan;
  does not sacrifice McClellan as scapegoat;
  visits Harrison's Landing;
  avoids any partisanship in whole affair;
  appears better than McClellan in campaign;
  yet makes bad blunders;
  stands alone in failure;
  remains silent;
  allows Halleck a free hand;
  his reasons for appointing Halleck and Pope;
  decides to reappoint McClellan;
  shows sound judgment;
  places everything in McClellan's hands;
  indignant at slight results from Antietam;
  urges McClellan to pursue;
  his order ignored by McClellan;
  writes McClellan a blunt letter insinuating sluggishness or cowardice;
  replaces McClellan by Burnside;
  his extreme reticence as to his motives;
  attacked by Copperheads;
  criticised by defenders of the Constitution;
  harassed by extreme Abolitionists;
  denounced for not issuing a proclamation of emancipation;
  his reasons for refusing;
  explains his attitude as President toward slavery;
  struggles to hold Border States;
  general dissatisfaction with, in 1862;
  held inefficient by Chase;
  and by Congressmen;
  but believed in by people;
  addressed by Greeley with "Prayer of 20,000,000";
  his reply to Greeley;
  his reply to Abolitionist clergymen;
  points out folly of a mere proclamation;
  thinks silently for himself under floods of advice;
  writes draft of Emancipation Proclamation;
  questions expediency of issuing;
  reads proclamation to cabinet;
  adopts Seward's suggestion to postpone until a victory;
  issues preliminary proclamation after Antietam;
  takes entire responsibility;
  not influenced by meeting of governors;
  fails to appease extremists;
  supported by party;
  thinks an earlier proclamation would not have been sustained;
  warned that he will cause loss of fall elections;
  always willing to trust people on a moral question;
  supported by Border States in election;
  renews proposals for compensated emancipation;
  favors it as a peaceful measure;
  his argument;
  fails to persuade Missouri to accept plan;
  issues definite proclamation;
  his remark on signing;
  tries to stimulate enlistment of blacks;
  threatens retaliation for Southern excesses;
  shows signs of care and fatigue;
  never asks for sympathy;
  slow to displace McClellan until sure of a better man;
  doubtful as to Burnside's plan of attack;
  refuses to accept Burnside's resignation after Fredericksburg;
  declines to ratify Burnside's dismissals;
  his letter to Hooker;
  suggestions to Hooker after Chancellorsville;
  opposes plan to dash at Richmond;
  directs Hooker to obey Halleck;
  appoints Meade to succeed Hooker;
  urges Meade to attack Lee after Gettysburg;
  angry at Meade's failure;
  his letter to Meade;
  annoyed by Democratic proposals for peace;
  refuses to receive Stephens.;
  annoyed by inaction of Rosecrans;
  urged to remove Grant;
  refuses to disturb him;
  his letter to Grant after Vicksburg;
  wishes Rosecrans to unite with Burnside;
  tries to encourage Rosecrans after Chickamauga;
  sends aid to Rosecrans;
  replaces him by Thomas and puts Grant in command in West;
  wishes Meade to attack in Virginia;
  refuses to interfere in finances;
  his attitude in Alabama affair;
  refuses foreign arbitration;
  asked by radicals to dismiss Seward;
  secures resignations of Chase and Seward, and then urges them to
      resume duties;
  his wisdom in avoiding a rupture;
  asks opinion of cabinet on admission of West Virginia;
  his reasons for signing bill;
  not alarmed by Copperhead societies;
  his relation to Vallandigham case;
  supports Burnside;
  sends Vallandigham within Confederate lines;
  replies to addresses condemning martial law;
  obliged to begin draft;
  insists upon its execution;
  his letter to Illinois Union Convention;
  shows necessity of war;
  impossibility of compromise;
  justifies emancipation;
  points to successes;
  really controls government autocratically;
  able to, because supported by people;
  gains military experience;
  has measure of generals;
  henceforward supervises rather than specifically orders;
  begged by Chandler to disregard conservatives;
  prepares address for Gettysburg;
  the address;
  his theory of "reconstruction";
  recognizes a state government of Virginia;
  appoints military governors for conquered States;
  urges them to organize state governments;
  wishes only Union men to act;
  wishes bona fide elections;
  instructs new State organizers to recognize emancipation;
  fails to prevent quarrels;
  issues amnesty proclamation;
  proposes reconstruction by one tenth of voters;
  at first generally applauded;
  later opposed by Congress;
  on negro suffrage;
  doubts power of Congress over slavery in States;
  refuses to sign reconstruction bill;
  denounced by radicals;
  defends his course;
  his conference with Sherman, Grant, and Porter;
  wishes to let Davis escape;
  his authority appealed to by Sherman later;
  question of practicability of his plan;
  its generosity and humanity.

  Opposition to his reëlection in Republican party;
  exasperates Congressmen by his independence;
  not disquieted by Chase's candidacy;
  desires reëlection;
  trusts in popular support;
  letter of Pomeroy against;
  refuses Chase's resignation;
  renominated by Ohio and Rhode Island Republicans;
  opposition to, collapses;
  relations with Chase strained;
  accepts Chase's resignation;
  nominates as successor, Tod, who declines;
  forces Fessenden to accept Treasury;
  angers Missourians by refusing to remove Schofield;
  denounced by them and by Phillips;
  gradually wins support of Abolitionists;
  witty remark on Fremont's nomination;
  remark on Grant's candidacy;
  generally supported by local party organizations;
  the "people's candidate";
  refuses to interfere actively to secure renomination;
  desires admission of delegates from South;
  question of his having dictated nomination of Johnson;
  accepts nomination;
  feels need of some military success;
  assailed by Greeley;
  embarrassed by Greeley's dealings with Confederate emissaries;
  authorizes Greeley to confer;
  charged by Greeley with failure;
  asked if he intends to insist on abolition;
  for political reasons, does not reply;
  renews call for soldiers;
  waits for military success;
  appoints Grant lieutenant-general;
  agrees not to interfere with Grant;
  wishes Grant success;
  astonished by a civil reply;
  under fire during Early's attack on Washington;
  discredited by fact of Washington's being still in danger;
  thanks Sherman for victory of Atlanta;
  rewards Sheridan for defeating Early;
  his election secured by these successes;
  urged by radicals to remove Blair;
  refuses at first, later does so;
  refuses to interfere in campaign;
  refuses to postpone call for more troops;
  refutes campaign slanders;
  prepares for defeat;
  re-elected easily;
  his remarks on election;
  refuses to intervene to secure counting of electoral votes of Border
  signs bill rejecting elections in Southern States, his reasons;
  shows magnanimity in appointing Chase chief justice;
  refuses to try to hasten matters;
  refuses to negotiate with Davis;
  permits Blair to see Davis;
  sends Seward to confer with Southern peace commissioners;
  later himself confers with them;
  insists on complete submission;
  other positions;
  recognizes decline of Confederacy;
  wishes to hasten peace by offer of money compensation and an amnesty
  his scheme disapproved by cabinet;
  his second inaugural address.

  _Second Term_.
  Possibly thinks Emancipation Proclamation unconstitutional;
  on its practical results;
  unable to touch institution of slavery;
  wishes a constitutional amendment;
  wishes it mentioned in Republican platform;
  on impossibility of renewing slavery;
  led to make war on slavery by situation;
  sees necessity of its abolition to secure results of war;
  unable to treat with seceded States;
  renews appeal for Constitutional amendment in 1864;
  exerts influence with Congressmen;
  congratulates crowd on passage of amendment;
  his responsibility in last weeks of war;
  forbids Grant to treat with Lee on political matters;
  conference with Grant, Sherman, and Porter;
  enters Petersburg;
  visits Richmond;
  speech on returning to White House;
  his disgust with office-seekers;
  superstitious concerning assassination;
  receives threats, but ignores them;
  persuaded to accept a guard;
  his remarks;
  refuses to consider Americans as his enemies;
  visits theatre, is assassinated;
  effect of his death upon history;
  general view of his character.

  _Personal Characteristics_.
  General view, see vol. ii.;
  unfriendly views, see vol. i., see vol. ii.;
  abstemiousness, see vol. i.;
  ambition, see vol. i., see vol. ii.;
  business inefficiency, see vol. i., see vol. ii.;
  coarseness, see vol. i.;
  coolness, see vol. i., see vol. ii.;
  courage, see vol. i., see vol. ii.;
  development through life, see vol. i.;
  education, see vol. i.;
  eloquence, see vol. i., see vol. ii.;
  far-sightedness, see vol. i., see vol. ii.;
  honesty, see vol. i., see vol. ii.;
  humor, see vol. i., see vol. ii.;
  kindliness, see vol. i., see vol. ii.;
  legal ability, see vol. i.;
  loyalty, see vol. i., see vol. ii.;
  magnanimity, see vol. i., see vol. ii.;
  masterfulness, see vol. i., see vol. ii.;
  melancholy, see vol. i., see vol. ii.;
  military ability, see vol. i., see vol. ii.;
  modesty, see vol. i., see vol. ii.;
  morbidness, see vol. i.;
  patience, see vol. i., see vol. ii.;
  physical strength, see vol. i.;
  popular insight, see vol. i., see vol. ii.;
  reticence, see vol. i., see vol. ii.;
  shrewdness, see vol. i., see vol. ii.;
  superstition, see vol. ii.;
  tenacity, see vol. i., see vol. ii.;
  unselfishness, see vol. i., see vol. ii.;
  women, relations with, see vol. i.

  _Political Opinions_.
  Blockade, see vol. i.;
  Border State policy, see vol. i., see vol. ii.;
  Compromise of 1850, see vol. i.;
  Constitution, see vol. i., see vol. ii.;
  Copperheads, see vol. ii.;
  disunion, see vol. i., see vol. ii.;
  draft, see vol. ii.;
  Dred Scott case, see vol. i.;
  emancipation, see vol. i., see vol. ii.;
  England, see vol. i., see vol. ii.;
  finance, see vol. i., see vol. ii.;
  habeas corpus, suspension of, see vol. i.;
  "house divided against itself", see vol. i.;
  internal improvements, see vol. i.;
  Kansas-Nebraska Bill, see vol. i.;
  Mexican war, see vol. i.;
  military events of war of Rebellion, see vol. ii.;
  negro soldiers, see vol. ii.;
  negro suffrage, see vol. ii.;
  office-seekers, see vol. ii.;
  party management, see vol. i., see vol. ii.;
  peace, terms of, see vol. ii.;
  reconstruction, see vol. ii.;
  slavery, see vol. i., see vol. ii.;
  Southern policy, see vol. i.;
  States' rights, see vol. i.;
  suffrage, see vol. i.;
  Trent affair, see vol. i.;
  war, purpose of, see vol. ii.;
  Wilmot Proviso, see vol. i.

Lincoln, Abraham,
  grandfather of Lincoln, emigrates to Kentucky, see vol. i.;
  his marriage;
  shot by Indians.

Lincoln, John,
  son of Mordecai, inherits property in New Jersey, see vol. i.;
  moves to Virginia;
  his descendants.

Lincoln, Mordecai,
  son of Samuel, lives in Scituate, Mass., see vol. i.;
  his descendants.

Lincoln, Mordecai,
  son of Mordecai, moves to Pennsylvania, see vol. i.;
  his property.

Lincoln, Mordecai,
  son of Abraham, saves life of Thomas Lincoln, see vol. i.

Lincoln, Samuel,
  ancestor of Lincoln, emigrates to New England, see vol. i.

Lincoln, Solomon,
  establishes Lincoln's pedigree, see vol. i.

Lincoln, Thomas,
  father of Abraham, see vol. i.;
  life saved from Indians;
  denies Puritan or Quaker ancestry;
  his parentage of Abraham denied;
  marries Nancy Hanks;
  his children;
  moves from Kentucky to Indiana;
  marries again;
  moves to Illinois;
  later relations with Abraham;
  his manner of fighting.

Logan, Stephen T.,
  partnership with, and influence upon, Lincoln, see vol. i.;
  leader of Illinois bar;
  agrees with Lincoln to receive election to House in turn;
  defeated for Congress;
  manages Lincoln's candidacy in Republican Convention of 1860.

Longstreet, General James,
  sent to reinforce Jackson, see vol. ii.;
  enters Pennsylvania;
  sent to reinforce Bragg;
  at battle of Chickamauga;
  sent to crush Burnside;
  retreats from Sherman.

  not ready for secession, see vol. i.;
  but prepared to resist coercion;
  plan of Lincoln to reconstruct, see vol. ii.

Lovejoy, Elijah P.,
  killed at Alton, see vol. i.

Lovejoy, Owen,
  tries to commit Lincoln to joining Abolitionists, see vol. i.;
  prevents Lincoln's election as senator;
  in House in 1861;
  his rage after Trent affair;
  supports Lincoln in 1864, see vol. ii.

Lyons, Lord,
  suggested by Hicks as arbitrator between North and South, see vol. i.;
  instructed to insist on instant reply in Trent affair;
  confers with Seward.

McCall, General George A.,
  favors McClellan's plan of campaign, see vol. i.;
  his division sent to aid McClellan, see vol. ii.

McClellan, George B.,
  given command of Army of Potomac, see vol. i.;
  his record prior to 1861;
  his organizing ability;
  promoted to succeed Scott;
  his arrogance and contempt for civilians;
  causes discontent by inactivity;
  considers army unfit to move;
  unwilling from temperament to take any risks;
  fails to appreciate political situation;
  overestimates preparations of Confederates;
  overestimates Confederate numbers;
  wishes to end war by a crushing campaign;
  ignores Lincoln's suggestion to move;
  falls ill;
  hearing of conferences, becomes well and makes appearance;
  snubs McDowell and Chase;
  objects to a direct attack on Confederates;
  his plan;
  his opponents become a recognized faction;
  his scheme repudiated by Lincoln;
  protests and explains views;
  liberality of Lincoln towards;
  thinks politicians plot to destroy him;
  his plan accepted by Lincoln;
  discussion of its merit;
  makes mistake in insisting on his plan against Lincoln's wish;
  hampered by Lincoln's detaching men to protect Washington;
  discredited by Johnston's evacuation of Manassas;
  denounced Committee on Conduct of War;
  begins advance;
  annoyed at being relieved from general command;
  exasperated at action of Lincoln in forming corps and appointing
  authorizes Halleck to arrest Grant;
  approves Buell's plan;
  his career compared with Halleck's;
  promises to put down any slave insurrection, see vol. ii.;
  in spite of evacuation of Manassas, insists on Peninsular campaign;
  approved by corps commanders;
  estimate of forces needed to defend Washington;
  fears no danger from Manassas;
  protests against removal of Blenker's brigade;
  begins campaign at Fortress Monroe;
  besieges Yorktown;
  sneers at Lincoln's suggestion of storming it;
  his excuses always good;
  exasperated at retention of McDowell before Washington;
  question of his responsibility;
  not really trusted by Lincoln;
  still outnumbers enemy;
  letter of Lincoln to, answering his complaints;
  takes Yorktown;
  advances slowly;
  predicts Confederate evacuation of Norfolk;
  continues advance;
  forbidden to use McDowell so as to uncover Washington;
  follows Lincoln's plan and extends right wing to meet McDowell;
  informed by Lincoln of withdrawal of McDowell to pursue Jackson;
  attacked by Johnston and Jackson;
  refuses to move for two weeks;
  wears out Lincoln's patience by delay;
  retorts sharply to suggestions;
  retreats to James River;
  writes bitter letter to Stanton;
  proves his incapacity to attack;
  wishes to resume offensive by James River;
  his prestige ruined at Washington;
  his recall demanded by Pope and Halleck;
  supported by Lincoln in spite of attacks;
  finally ordered to retreat;
  discussion of his conduct;
  beloved by army;
  predicts defeat of Pope;
  accused of failing to support Pope;
  exchanges telegrams with Halleck;
  his aid asked by Halleck after Pope's defeat;
  kept inactive during Pope's campaign;
  appointed by Lincoln, in spite of protests, to command in Washington;
  his fitness to reorganize army;
  describes steps taken to put him in command;
  cautious attitude toward Lee;
  at Antietam;
  welcomed by troops;
  fails to use advantages;
  urged by Lincoln to pursue;
  disappoints country by inaction;
  ordered by Lincoln to advance;
  letter of Lincoln to;
  fails to move;
  relieved from command;
  conduct of Lincoln towards;
  praised by conservative Democrats;
  endangers of emancipation;
  nominated for President;
  repudiates peace plank;
  his election hoped for by South.

McClernand, General John A.,
  letter of Lincoln to, on difficulties of equipping armies, see vol. i.

McClure, A.K.,
  on influence of New York "Tribune", see vol. ii.

McDougall, James A.,
  in Congress in 1861, see vol. i.

McDowell, General Irwin,
  commands Federal army, see vol. i.;
  obliged to attack;
  at battle of Bull Run;
  summoned by Lincoln to consultation;
  does not tell McClellan;
  describes McClellan's appearance at conference;
  favors Lincoln's plan of campaign;
  appointed to command a corps;
  on force necessary to defend Washington, see vol. ii.;
  his corps retained at Washington;
  reasons of Lincoln for retaining;
  again ordered to support McClellan;
  ordered not to uncover Washington;
  prevented from advancing by Lincoln's superstition;
  ordered to turn and pursue Jackson;
  protests vigorously;
  obliged to abandon McClellan;
  foretells that Jackson will escape.

McLean, John,
  candidate for Republican nomination in 1860, see vol. i.

Magruder, General J.B.,
  confronts McClellan at Yorktown, see vol. ii.;
  evacuates Yorktown.

  Democratic gains in, during 1862, see vol. ii.

Mallory, S.R.,
  in Confederate cabinet, see vol. i.

Malvern Hill,
  battle of, see vol. ii.

  passage of troops through, see vol. i.;
  effect of Baltimore conflict upon;
  danger of its secession;
  determines to stand neutral;
  importance of its action;
  furnishes South with troops;
  military arrests in, to prevent secession;
  Lee's invasion of, see vol. ii.

Mason, James M.,
  captured by Wilkes, see vol. i.;
  imprisoned in Port Warren;

  prepared for war by Governor Andrew, see vol. i.;
  sends troops to front.

Matteson, Governor Joel A.,
  Democratic candidate for Senator in Illinois, see vol. i.

Maynard, Horace,
  in House in 1861, see vol. i.;
  approves Lincoln's emancipation scheme, see vol. ii.

Meade, General George G.,
  on McClellan's organizing ability, see vol. i.;
  replaces Burnside in command, see vol. ii.;
  question of his powers;
  at Gettysburg;
  fails to attack;
  irritation of Lincoln with;
  offers to resign;
  urged in vain by Lincoln to attack;
  "campaign in mud";
  enters Petersburg;
  at Appomattox.

Meigs, General Montgomery C.,
  at Lincoln's council of war in January, 1862, see vol. i.

Memminger, C.G.,
  in Confederate cabinet, see vol. i.

Mercer, Captain, Samuel,
  superseded by Porter under Lincoln's orders, see vol. i.

Mercier, M. Henri,
  letter of Greeley to, see vol. ii.

Merryman, John,
  arrested in Maryland, see vol. i.;
  attempt of Taney to liberate.

Mexican war,
  denounced by Whigs, see vol. i.;
  character of.

  driven into war, see vol. i.;
  abolishes slavery.

  Republican losses in election of 1862, see vol. ii.

Miles, Colonel Dixon S.,
  at Harper's Ferry, see vol. ii.

Miller, Mrs. Nancy,
  bargains with Lincoln to make a pair of trousers, see vol. i.

  not ready to secede, see vol. i.;
  sends commissioner to persuade North Carolina.

  refuses to furnish Lincoln with troops, see vol. i.;
  Unionist and Southern elements in;
  civil war in;
  refuses to secede;
  Fremont's career in;
  saved from South by General Curtis;
  refuses compensated emancipation, see vol. ii.;
  factional quarrels in;
  declares for Fremont against Lincoln;
  delegates from, in Republican Convention.

Missouri Compromise,
  its sacred character, see vol. i.;
  its extension demanded in 1850;
  questioned by South;

Morgan, Edwin D.,
  urged by Lincoln to put emancipation plank in Republican platform,
      see vol. ii.

Morton, Governor Oliver P.,
  harassed by Copperheads, see vol. ii.;
  tries to alarm Lincoln.

Mudd, Samuel,
  accomplice of Booth, tried and condemned, see vol. ii.

Naglee, General Henry M.,
  favors McClellan's plan of campaign, see vol. i.

Napoleon I.,
  Lincoln contrasted with, see vol. ii.

Napoleon III.,
  agrees with Earl Russell to recognize belligerency of South, see vol. i.;
  offers mediation, see vol. ii.;
  his course suggested by Greeley.

  equality of, Lincoln's feeling toward, see vol. i.

Nesmith, James W.,
  in Senate in 1861, see vol. i.

New England,
  speeches of Lincoln in, see vol. i.

New Jersey,
  carried by Democrats in 1862, see vol. ii.

New Mexico,
  plan of South to occupy as slave territory, see vol. i.;
  urged by Taylor to ask for admission as a State;
  organized as a Territory.

New York,
  Lincoln's speech in, see vol. i.;
  secession threatened in;
  carried by Democrats in 1862, see vol. ii.;
  tries to evade draft;
  draft riots in.

  surpasses South in development, see vol. i.;
  begins to oppose spread of slavery;
  denounces Kansas-Nebraska Act;
  anti-Southern feeling in;
  enraged at Dred Scott decision;
  annoyed at both Secessionists and Abolitionists;
  effect of Lincoln's "House divided" speech upon;
  effect of Lincoln's speeches in;
  its attitude toward slavery the real cause of secession;
  carried by Republicans in 1860;
  its condition between Lincoln's election and his inauguration;
  panic in, during 1860;
  urged to let South secede in peace;
  proposals in, to compromise with South;
  led by Lincoln to oppose South on grounds of union, not slavery;
  irritated at inaction of Lincoln;
  effect of capture of Fort Sumter upon;
  rushes to arms;
  compared with South infighting qualities;
  responds to Lincoln's call for troops;
  military enthusiasm;
  doubtful as to Lincoln's ability;
  wishes to crush South without delay;
  forces McDowell to advance;
  enlightened by Bull Run;
  impatient with slowness of McClellan to advance;
  expects sympathy of England;
  annoyed at recognition of Southern belligerency by England;
  rejoices at capture of Mason and Slidell;
  its hatred of England;
  unity of, in 1861, see vol. ii.;
  inevitably led to break on slavery question;
  depressed by Peninsular campaign;
  opponents of the war in;
  public men of, condemn Lincoln;
  popular opinion supports him;
  effect of Emancipation Proclamation upon;
  forced by Lincoln to choose between emancipation and failure of war;
  depressed after Chancellorsville;
  discouraged by European offers of mediation;
  adjusts itself to war;
  waning patriotism in;
  tries to evade draft;
  draft riots in;
  bounty-jumping in;
  Republican gains in;
  really under Lincoln's dictatorship;
  relieved from gloom by successes of 1864;
  rejoicings in 1865.

North Carolina,
  not at first in favor of secession, see vol. i.;
  ready to oppose coercion;
  urged by Mississippi to secede;
  refuses to furnish Lincoln troops;
  finally secedes;

Offut, Denton, sends Lincoln to New Orleans with a cargo, see vol. i.;
  makes Lincoln manager of a store;
  brags of Lincoln's abilities;
  fails and moves away.

Oglesby, Governor R.J.,
  presides over Illinois Republican Convention, see vol. i.

  campaign of 1858 in, see vol. i.;
  carried by Democrats in 1862, see vol. ii.;
  career of Vallandigham in;
  reply of Lincoln to Democrats of;
  election of 1863 in;
  renominates Lincoln in 1864.

O'Laughlin, Michael,
  accomplice of Booth, tried and condemned, see vol. ii.

Ordinance of 1787,
  its adoption and effect, see vol. i.

Owens, Mary,
  rejects Lincoln, see vol. i.

Pain, John,
  Lincoln's only hearer at "mass meeting" to organize Republican party,
      see vol. i.

Palmerston, Lord,
  drafts British ultimatum in Mason and Slidell case, see vol. i.;
  shows it to Queen.

Paris, Comte de,
  on condition of Union army in 1861, see vol. i.;
  on McDowell's advance from Washington to aid McClellan, see vol. ii.

Patterson, General Robert,
  commands force in Pennsylvania, see vol. i.;
  fails to watch Johnston.

Payne, Lewis,
  accomplice of Booth, tried and hanged, see vol. ii.

Peace Congress,
  its composition and action, see vol. i.;
  repudiated by South.

Pea Ridge,
  battle of, see vol. i.

Pemberton, General John C.,
  surrenders Vicksburg, see vol. ii.

Pendleton, George H.,
  in House in 1861, see vol. i.

  carried by Democrats in 1862, see vol. ii.;
  regained by Republicans;
  renominates Lincoln.

Penrose, Captain----,
  on Lincoln's rashness in entering Richmond, see vol. ii.

  battle of, see vol. ii.

  refuses to trust a Republican, see vol. i.

Phillips, Wendell,
  remark on nomination of Lincoln, see vol. i.;
  denounces Lincoln;
  welcomes secession;
  upholds right of South to secede;
  opposes Lincoln's renomination, see vol. ii.

Pickens, Fort,
  relief of, in 1861, see vol. i.

Pickens, Governor F.W.,
  sends commissioners to Buchanan regarding dissolution of Union by
      South Carolina, see vol. i.

Pierce, Franklin,
  elected President, see vol. i.;
  defeated for renomination.

Pierpoint, Francis H.,
  recognized as governor of Virginia, see vol. ii.

Pillow, Fort,
  massacre at, see vol. ii.

Pillow, General Gideon J.,
  runs away from Fort Donelson, see vol. i.

Pinkerton, Allan,
  discovers plot to assassinate Lincoln, see vol. i.

Plug Uglies,
  feared in 1861, see vol. i.;
  mob Massachusetts troops.

Polk, James K.,
  carries Illinois in 1844, see vol. i.;
  brings on Mexican war;
  his policy attacked by Lincoln's "Spot Resolutions";
  asks for two millions to buy territory.

Pomeroy, Samuel C.,
  senator from Kansas, see vol. i.;
  an enemy of Lincoln, see vol. ii.;
  urges Chase's friends to organize to oppose Lincoln's renomination.

Pope, General John,
  recommended by Halleck for promotion, see vol. i.;
  prevented by Halleck from fighting;
  urges recall of McClellan from Peninsula, see vol. ii.;
  his military abilities;
  commands Army of Virginia;
  shows arrogance and lack of tact;
  fails to cut off Jackson from Lee;
  insists on fighting;
  beaten at Bull Run;

Popular sovereignty,
  doctrine of, in Compromise of 1850, see vol. i.;
  used by Douglas to justify repeal of Missouri Compromise;
  theory of, destroyed by Dred Scott decision;
  attempt of Douglas to reconcile, with Dred Scott case.

Porter, General Andrew,
  favors McClellan's
  plan of campaign, see vol. i.

Porter, David D.,
  takes Powhatan under Lincoln's orders, see vol. i.;
  refuses to obey Seward's order;
  aids Grant at Vicksburg, see vol. ii.;
  confers with Lincoln;
  upholds Sherman in referring to Lincoln as authorizing Johnston's
      terms of surrender.

Porter, General Fitz-John,
  favors McClellan's plan of campaign, see vol. i.;
  sent to meet McDowell, see vol. ii.

Powell, L.W.,
  denounces Lincoln's emancipation scheme, see vol. ii.

Rathbone, Major Henry R.,
  at Lincoln's assassination, see vol. ii.

Raymond, Henry J.,
  warns Lincoln of danger done to Republican party by emancipation
      policy, see vol. ii.;
  reply of Lincoln to.

Reagan, J.H.,
  in Confederate cabinet, see vol. i.

  constitutional theory of, see vol. ii.;
  begun by appointment of military governors;
  Lincoln's plan for;
  blocked by refusal of Congress to receive representatives;
  usually associated with new constitutions;
  method laid down in amnesty proclamation;
  difficulties in way of;
  extremist proposals concerning;
  Reconstruction bill passed;
  bill for, vetoed by Lincoln;
  later statements of Lincoln concerning;
  involved in Sherman's terms of surrender given to Johnston;
  Lincoln's scheme discussed;
  problem of, in 1865;
  intention of Lincoln to keep, in his own control.

Republican party,
  its origin, see vol. i.;
  in campaign of 1856;
  organized in Illinois;
  defined by Lincoln;
  its programme put forth by Lincoln;
  in Illinois, nominates Lincoln for presidency;
  convention of, in 1860;
  candidates before;
  balloting, in convention;
  nominates Lincoln;
  chooses Lincoln because available;
  its campaign methods;
  denounced by Abolitionists;
  elects Lincoln;
  its moral attitude toward slavery the real cause of secession;
  its legal position on slavery;
  its leaders distrust Lincoln;
  dissatisfied with Lincoln's cabinet;
  dissatisfied with Lincoln's emancipation policy, see vol. ii.;
  torn by factions;
  Abolitionist members of, denounce Lincoln;
  leaders of, condemn Lincoln;
  majority of, continues to support him;
  influence of Greeley upon;
  upholds Emancipation Proclamation;
  loses in congressional elections of 1862;
  radical wing of, demands dismissal of Seward;
  regains ground in 1863;
  extreme faction of, still distrusts Lincoln and Seward;
  members of, denounce Lincoln for vetoing reconstruction bill;
  movement in, to nominate Chase;
  movement in, to nominate Fremont;
  masses of, adhere to Lincoln;
  fails to postpone nominating convention;
  nominates Lincoln;
  nominates Johnson for Vice-President;
  receives reluctant support of radicals;
  damaged by Greeley's denunciations of Lincoln;
  dreads defeat in summer of 1864;
  damaged by draft;
  radical element of, forces dismissal of Blair;
  conduct of campaign by;
  gains election in 1864;
  makes thirteenth amendment a plank in platform;
  radical members of, rejoice at accession of Johnson after murder of

Reynolds, Governor,
  calls for volunteers in Black Hawk war, see vol. i.

Rhode Island,
  renominates Lincoln, see vol. ii.

Richardson, W.A.,
  remark on congressional interference with armies, see vol. i.

Rives, W.C.,
  remark of Lincoln to, on coercion, see vol. i.

Rosecrans, General William S.,
  succeeds Buell, see vol. ii.;
  disapproves Halleck's plan to invade East Tennessee;
  fights battle of Stone's River;
  reluctant to advance;
  drives Bragg out of Tennessee;
  refuses to move;
  finally advances to Chattanooga;
  defeated at Chickamauga;
  unnerved after Chickamauga;
  cheered by Lincoln;
  besieged in Chattanooga;
  relieved by Grant.

Russell, Earl, his prejudices in favor of South, see vol. i.;
  recognizes belligerency of South, see vol. i.;
  revises Palmerston's dispatch in Trent affair;
  condemns Emancipation Proclamation, see vol. ii.;
  calls Alabama affair a scandal.

Rutledge, Ann, love affair of Lincoln with, see vol. i.

Saulsbury, Willard,
  in Senate in 1861, see vol. i.

Saxton, General Rufus, permitted to raise negro troops, see vol. ii.

Schofield, General John M.,
  treats with Johnston, see vol. ii.;
  his removal from Missouri refused by Lincoln.

Schurz, General Carl,
  refused permission by Lincoln
  to leave army to support his canvass, see vol. ii.

Scott, Winfield,
  in Mexican war, see vol. i.;
  supported by Lincoln for President;
  suggests division of country into four parts;
  his help expected by Secessionists;
  advises reinforcement of Southern garrisons;
  threatens Southerners with violence;
  warns Lincoln of plot to murder;
  his military preparations;
  thinks Sumter must be abandoned;
  assembles troops at Washington;
  wishes to induce Lee to command Northern army;
  instructed to watch Maryland legislature;
  authorized to suspend writ of habeas corpus;
  has difficulties with McClellan;

Seaton, William W.,
  promises to help Lincoln's emancipation bill, see vol. i.

  mention of, avoided by Douglas and Lincoln, see vol. i.;
  question of its justification in 1860;
  process of, in 1860-61;
  discussed by Buchanan;
  admitted by Northern leaders;
  threatened by New York Democrats;
  Lincoln's view of;
  Southern theory of;
  its success makes union, not slavery, the issue at stake;
  renewed by Border States;
  recognized as not the ultimate cause of war, see vol. ii.;
  again asserted by Lincoln to be cause of war.

Sedgwick, General John,
  beaten at Chancellorsville, see vol. ii.

Semmes, Captain Raphael,
  his career with the Alabama, see vol. ii.

Senate of United States,
  proposes "Union-saving devices", see vol. i.;
  defeats Crittenden compromise;
  rejects plan of Peace Congress;
  leaders of, in 1861;
  passes thirteenth amendment, see vol. ii.

Seward, Frederick,
  warns Lincoln of plot in 1861, see vol. i.

Seward, W.H.,
  appeals to higher law, see vol. i.;
  candidate for Republican nomination to presidency;
  opposed by Greeley;
  methods of his supporters;
  considered too radical;
  defeated by a combination;
  deserves the nomination;
  adopts conciliatory attitude in 1860;
  sends son to warn Lincoln;
  meets Lincoln at Washington;
  his theory of irrepressible conflict;
  wishes to submit to South;
  secretary of state;
  tries to withdraw consent;
  attempt of Davis to involve, in discussion with Confederate
  refuses to receive them;
  announces that Sumter will be evacuated;
  reproached by commissioners;
  opposes reinforcing Sumter;
  authorized to inform Confederates that Lincoln will not act without
  makes mistake in order concerning Powhatan;
  said to have led Lincoln to sign papers without understanding contents;
  made to feel subordination by Lincoln;
  submits thoughts for President's consideration;
  wishes foreign war;
  offers to direct the government;
  reasons for his actions;
  repressed by Lincoln;
  advises against a paper blockade;
  wishes to maintain friendly relations with England;
  angered at Russell's conduct;
  writes menacing instructions to Adams;
  his attitude in Mason and Slidell affair;
  drafts reply to England's ultimatum;
  disavows Wilkes's act and surrenders envoys;
  advises Lincoln to withhold Emancipation Proclamation until after a
      victory, see vol. ii.;
  suggests promise to maintain freedom of slaves;
  dealings with England;
  rejects offer of French mediation;
  denounced by radicals;
  plan to force his resignation;
  offers resignation;
  withdraws it at Lincoln's request;
  on Copperhead societies;
  denounced by Chandler;
  on bad terms with Blair;
  his remarks used against Lincoln;
  sent by Lincoln to confer with Confederate peace commission,
      his instructions;
  shown Lincoln's dispatch to Grant;
  attempt to assassinate.

Seymour, Horatio,
  elected governor of New York, see vol. ii.;
  denounces tyranny of Lincoln;
  tries to prevent draft;
  asks Lincoln to delay enforcement until Supreme Court gives judgment;
  inefficient at time of draft riots.

Shackford, Samuel,
  investigates Lincoln's ancestry, see vol. i.

Shellabarger, Samuel,
  in House in 1861, see vol. i.

Shepley, Governor G.F.,
  remark of Lincoln to, see vol. ii.

Sheridan, General Philip H.,
  at battle of Chattanooga, see vol. ii.;
  his campaign against Early;
  plans to cut off Lee;
  wins Five Forks;
  at Appomattox.

Sherman, John,
  in Senate in 1861, see vol. i.

Sherman, General W.T.,
  unappreciated by Halleck, see vol. i.;
  authorized by Cameron to use slaves, see vol. ii.;
  assaults Vicksburg;
  pursues Johnston;
  sent to reinforce Rosecrans;
  storms Missionary Ridge;
  relieves Burnside;
  confers with Lincoln;
  his terms to Johnston in 1865 involve political reconstruction;
  his terms annulled by Stanton;
  shows resentment toward Stanton;
  makes terms with Johnston;
  refers to Lincoln as authority;
  his terms disapproved by Grant;
  appointed to command in West;
  drives Johnston southward;
  defeats Hood at Atlanta;
  thanked by Lincoln;
  marches to the sea;
  marches north through Carolinas;
  ready to join Grant.

Shields, General James A.,
  paper duel of Lincoln with, see vol. i.;
  loses reëlection to Senate;
  his force joined to McDowell's, see vol. ii.

Shipley, Mary,
  ancestor of Lincoln, see vol. i.

Short, James,
  lends Lincoln money, see vol. i.

Sickles, Daniel E.,
  threatens secession of New York city, see vol. i.

Sigel, General Franz,
  replaces Fremont, see vol. ii.

  its entrance into politics described, see vol. i.;
  compromises concerning, in Constitution;
  settled by Missouri Compromise;
  attitude of South toward;
  necessity of extending area of, in order to preserve;
  Lincoln's description of struggle over;
  attitude of Lincoln toward;
  moral condemnation of, by North, the real cause of secession;
  wisdom of Lincoln in passing over, as cause of war;
  forced to front as real cause of war, see vol. ii.;
  comes into question through action of Federal generals;
  attempts of Fremont and Hunter to abolish, revoked by Lincoln;
  acts of Congress affecting;
  Emancipation Proclamation against;
  regard for, hinders War Democrats from supporting Lincoln;
  not touched as an institution by Emancipation Proclamation;
  necessity of a constitutional amendment to abolish;
  desire of Copperheads to reëstablish.

  during Civil War, called "contraband" by Butler, see vol. ii.;
  escape to Northern armies;
  declared free by Fremont;
  this declaration revoked by Lincoln;
  declared free by Hunter;
  inconsistent attitude of generals toward;
  proposal of Cameron to arm, cancelled by Lincoln;
  protected from return to owners by Congress;
  not paid equally with whites until 1864;
  armed in 1863;
  threatened with death by South.

Slidell, John,
  seized by Wilkes, see vol. i.;
  imprisoned in Fort Warren;

Smith, Caleb B.,
  delivers votes to Lincoln in convention of 1860, see vol. i.;
  secretary of interior;
  opposes relieving Sumter.

Smith, General C.W.,
  praised by Halleck, see vol. i.

Smith, General W.F.,
  favors McClellan's plan of campaign, see vol. i.

Smoot, Coleman,
  lends Lincoln money, see vol. i.

  its early sectionalism, see vol. i.;
  demands political equality with North;
  its inferior development;
  gains by annexation of Texas;
  enraged at organization of California as a free State;
  threatens disunion;
  demands Fugitive Slave Law;
  asserts doctrine of non-intervention in Territories;
  not satisfied with Compromise of 1850;
  fails to secure Kansas;
  applauds Brooks for his assault on Sunnier;
  enraged at Douglas's opposition to Lecompton Constitution.;
  reads Douglas out of party;
  its policy described by Lincoln;
  fairness of Lincoln toward;
  demands that North cease to call slavery wrong;
  question of its justification in seceding;
  its delegates disrupt Democratic party;
  scatters vote in 1860;
  process of secession in;
  agitation of dis-unionists in;
  State loyalty in;
  justified by Greeley and others;
  threatens North;
  repudiates Peace Congress;
  its leaders in Congress remain to hamper government;
  forms Confederacy;
  expects Scott to aid;
  wishes to seize Washington;
  impressed by Lincoln's inaugural;
  its real grievance the refusal of North to admit validity of slavery;
  its doctrine of secession;
  "Union men" in;
  makes secession, not slavery, the ground of war;
  irritated at failure of secession to affect North;
  purpose of Lincoln to put in the wrong;
  rejoices over capture of Sumter;
  compared with North in fighting qualities;
  elated over Bull Bun;
  its strength overestimated by McClellan;
  expects aid from Northern sympathizers;
  hopes of aid from England disappointed;
  after Chancellorsville, wishes to invade North and conquer a peace,
      see vol. ii.;
  welcomes Vallandigham;
  economically exhausted in 1863;
  reconstruction in;
  applauds McClellan;
  evidently exhausted in 1864;
  hopes of Lincoln to make its surrender easy.

South Carolina,
  desires secession, see vol. i.;
  suggests it to other States;
  sends commissioners to treat for division of property with United States;
  refusal of Buchanan to receive;
  refuses to participate in Peace Congress;
  besieges Fort Sumter.

Spangler, Edward,
  aids Booth to escape, see vol. ii.;
  tried by court martial;

Speed, Joshua,
  letter of Lincoln to, on slavery, see vol. i.;
  goes with Lincoln to Kentucky.

  battle of, see vol. ii.

Sprague, Governor William,
  of Rhode Island, see vol. ii.

Stanton, Edwin M.,
  attorney-general under Buchanan, see vol. i.;
  joins Black in forcing Buchanan to alter reply to South Carolina
  share in Stone's punishment;
  appointed secretary of war;
  his previous insulting attitude toward Lincoln;
  discussion of his qualities, good and bad;
  an efficient secretary;
  sneers at generals who favor McClellan's plans;
  shows incompetence in organizing army;
  praises Wilkes for capturing Mason and Slidell;
  communicates Lincoln's approval to McClellan, see vol. ii.;
  loses head during Jackson's raid;
  bitter letter of McClellan to;
  becomes McClellan's merciless enemy;
  tries to prevent reappointment of McClellan;
  wishes to take troops from Meade for Rosecrans;
  repudiates Sherman's terms with Johnston;
  insults Sherman;
  his relations with Grant;
  at time of Early's attack on Washington;
  on bad terms with Blair;
  persuades Lincoln to use an escort;
  plan to assassinate.

Stephens, Alexander H.,
  in Congress with Lincoln, see vol. i.;
  on reasons for Georgia's secession;
  opposes secession;
  elected Vice-President of Confederate States;
  denies plot to seize Washington;
  letter of Lincoln to;
  wishes to treat for peace with Lincoln, see vol. ii.;
  his attempt foiled by Lincoln;
  admits desire to place Lincoln in false position;
  nominated by Davis on peace commission.

Stevens, Thaddeus,
  leader of House in 1861, see vol. i.;
  denounces Lincoln's emancipation scheme, see vol. ii.;
  considers Constitution destroyed;
  on admission of West Virginia;
  on unpopularity of Lincoln in Congress;
  admits Lincoln to be better than McClellan.

Stone, General Charles P.,
  commands at Ball's Bluff, see vol. i.;
  his punishment.

Stuart, John T.,
  law partnership of Lincoln with, see vol. i.

Stuart, General J.E.B.,
  rides around Federal army, see vol. ii.;
  repeats feat after Antietam.

Sumner, Charles,
  assaulted by Brooks, see vol. i.;
  in Senate in 1861.

Sumner, General Edwin V.,
  objects to Lincoln's trying
  to avoid murder plot, on ground of cowardice, see vol. i.;
  opposes plan of Peninsular campaign;
  appointed corps commander;
  on force necessary to protect Washington, see vol. ii.

Sumter, Fort,
  question of its retention in 1861, see vol. i.

Supreme Court,
  left to determine status of slavery in Territories, see vol. i.;
  in Dred Scott case;
  in Merryman case;
  reluctance of Lincoln to fill, exclusively with Northern men,
      see vol. ii.;
  Chase appointed chief justice of.

Surratt, John H.,
  escapes punishment for complicity in assassination plot, see vol. ii.

Surratt, Mary E.,
  accomplice of Booth, tried and executed, see vol. ii.

Swinton, William,
  on McClellan's self-sufficiency, see vol. i.;
  on campaign of 1862;
  on extraordinary powers given Meade, see vol. ii.

Tanet, Roger B.,
  his opinion in Dred Scott case discussed, see vol. i.;
  administers inaugural oath to Lincoln;
  attempts to liberate Merryman by habeas corpus;
  denounces Lincoln's action as unconstitutional;
  succeeded by Chase, see vol. ii.

Tatnall, Captain Josiah,
  destroys Merrimac, see vol. ii.

Taylor, Dick,
  amusingly tricked by Lincoln, see vol. i.

Taylor, General Zachary,
  his victories in Mexican war, see vol. i.;
  supported by Lincoln for President;
  urges New Mexico to apply for admission as a State.

  refuses to furnish Lincoln with troops, see vol. i.;
  at first opposed to secession;
  eastern counties of, Unionist;
  forced to secede;
  desire of Lincoln to save eastern counties of;
  prevented from Northern interference by Kentucky's "neutrality";
  seized by South;
  plan of Halleck to invade, see vol. ii.;
  eastern counties freed from Confederates;
  plan of Lincoln to reconstruct;
  chooses presidential electors.

  its rebellion and annexation, see vol. i.;
  claims New Mexico;

Thomas, General George H.,
  considers Washington insufficiently protected, see vol. ii.;
  at Chickamauga;
  replaces Rosecrans;
  prepares to hold Chattanooga;
  defeats Hood at Nashville, see vol. ii.

Thomas, Philip F.,
  succeeds Cobb in Buchanan's cabinet, see vol. i.;
  resigns from Treasury Department.

Thompson, Jacob,
  in Buchanan's cabinet, see vol. i.;
  acts as Mississippi commissioner to persuade Georgia to secede;
  claims Buchanan's approval;

Thompson, Colonel Samuel,
  in Black Hawk war, see vol. i.

Tod, David,
  declines offer of Treasury Department, see vol. ii.

Todd, Mary,
  her character, see vol. i.;
  morbid courtship of, by Lincoln;
  marries Lincoln;
  her married life with Lincoln;
  involves Lincoln in quarrel with Shields.

Toombs, Robert,
  in Congress with Lincoln, see vol. i.;
  works for secession in 1860;
  declares himself a rebel in the Senate;
  secretary of state under Jefferson Davis.

Toucey, Isaac,
  in Buchanan's cabinet, see vol. i.

"Tribune," New York;
  See Greeley, Horace.

Trumbull, Lyman,
  leader of Illinois bar, see vol. i.;
  elected senator from Illinois through Lincoln's influence;
  said to have bargained with Lincoln;
  in Senate in 1861;
  introduces bill to confiscate slaves of rebels, see vol. ii.

Tucker, John,
  prepares for transportation of Army of Potomac to Fortress Monroe,
      see vol. ii.

  organized as a Territory, see vol. i.

Vallandigham, Clement L.,
  in House in 1861, see vol. i.;
  his speeches in 1863, see vol. ii.;
  tried and condemned for treason;
  imprisoned in Fort Warren;
  sent by Lincoln to Confederate lines;
  goes to Canada, nominated for governor in Ohio;
  opinion of Lincoln on;
  forces peace plank into National Democratic platform.

  siege of, see vol. ii.

  at first opposed to secession, see vol. i.;
  carried by Secessionists;
  makes military league with Confederate States;
  becomes member of Confederacy;
  northwestern counties of, secede from;
  comment of Lincoln on;
  nominal State government of, see vol. ii.

Voorhees, Daniel W.,
  in House in 1861, see vol. i.

Wade, Benjamin F.,
  in Senate in 1861, see vol. i.;
  thinks country ruined in 1862, see vol. ii.;
  issues address denouncing Lincoln for veto of reconstruction bill;
  obliged to support Lincoln rather than McClellan.

Wadsworth, General James S.,
  commands forces to protect Washington, see vol. ii.;
  considers troops insufficient.

Walker, L.P.,
  in Confederate cabinet, see vol. i.

Walworth, Chancellor R.H.,
  denounces coercion, see vol. i.

War of Rebellion,
  first call for volunteers, see vol. i.;
  protection of Washington;
  passage of Massachusetts troops through Baltimore;
  proclamation of blockade;
  naval situation;
  second call for volunteers, army increased;
  military episodes of 1861;
  campaign of Bull Run;
  character and organization of Northern armies;
  McClellan commander-in-chief;
  civilian officers in;
  attempt to force McClellan to advance;
  administration of War Department by Stanton;
  Lincoln's plan for;
  debate as to plan of Virginia campaign;
  General War Order No. I;
  adoption of McClellan's plan;
  discussion of McClellan's and Lincoln's plans;
  evacuation of Manassas;
  removal of McClellan from chief command;
  creation of army corps;
  character of Western military operations;
  Northern successes along the coast;
  campaign in Missouri and Arkansas;
  operations in Kentucky;
  campaign of Forts Henry and Donelson;
  capture of New Madrid and Island No.;
  career of the ram Merrimac;
  battle of Merrimac and Monitor;
  capture of New Orleans;
  battle of Memphis;
  cruise of Farragut on Mississippi;
  Halleck commander in West;
  advance of Grant and Buell on Corinth;
  battle of Shiloh;
  Halleck's advance on Corinth;
  part played in war by politics;
  question of protection of Washington, see vol. ii.;
  reinforcement of Fremont;
  Peninsular campaign;
  transportation to Fortress Monroe;
  retention of McDowell before Washington;
  advance of McClellan;
  Jackson's raid on Harper's Ferry;
  McDowell ordered to pursue Jackson;
  criticism of Lincoln's orders;
  Seven Pines and Fair Oaks;
  halt and retreat of McClellan;
  Malvern Hill;
  retreat continued;
  discussion of campaign;
  Halleck commander-in-chief;
  abandonment of campaign;
  Army of Virginia formed under Pope;
  Pope's campaign in Virginia;
  Cedar Mountain;
  second battle of Bull Run;
  quarrels between officers;
  reinstatement of McClellan;
  reorganization of army;
  Lee's campaign in Maryland;
  McClellan fails to pursue Lee;
  Lincoln's proposals;
  McClellan superseded by Burnside;
  Fredericksburg campaign;
  quarrels in army;
  Burnside succeeded by Hooker;
  Chancellorsville campaign;
  failure of Hooker to fight Lee in detail;
  Lee's invasion of Pennsylvania;
  Hooker replaced by Meade;
  battle of Gettysburg;
  failure of Meade to pursue Lee;
  Bragg's invasion of Kentucky;
  battle of Perryville;
  Buell replaced by Rosecrans;
  battle of Stone's River;
  Rosecrans drives Bragg out of Tennessee;
  siege and capture of Vicksburg;
  fall of Port Hudson;
  Rosecrans' Chattanooga campaign;
  battle of Chickamauga;
  siege of Chattanooga;
  Rosecrans replaced by Thomas, Grant given command of West;
  battle of Chattanooga;
  liberation of East Tennessee;
  Meade's campaign in mud;
  steps leading to draft;
  diminishing influence of politicians in;
  Grant made lieutenant-general;
  new plan of campaign;
  Grant's Virginia campaign;
  battle of Wilderness;
  battle at Spottsylvania;
  battle of Cold Harbor;
  Butler "bottled up";
  Early's raid against Washington;
  Sherman's Atlanta campaign;
  capture of Mobile;
  Sheridan's Valley campaign;
  Sherman's march to the sea;
  Thomas's destruction of Hood's army;
  sinking of the Alabama and of the Albemarle;
  decay of Confederate army in 1865;
  siege of Petersburg;
  march of Sherman through Carolinas;
  attempts of Lee to escape;
  Five Forks;
  abandonment of Petersburg and Richmond;
  flight of Lee to Southwest;
  surrender of Lee;
  surrender of Johnston.

Washburne, Elihu B.,
  letters of Lincoln to, on senatorial election of 1855, see vol. i.;
  on compromise in 1861;
  meets Lincoln at Washington;
  in House in 1861.

Washington, George,
  futility of attempt to compare Lincoln with, see vol. ii.

Webb, General A.S.,
  on effects of politics in Virginia campaigns, see vol. i.;
  on the consequences of Lincoln's relation to McClellan, see vol. ii.;
  on McClellan's change of base.

Webster, Daniel,
  his 7th of March speech, see vol. i.

Weed, Thurlow,
  advocates revision of Constitution in 1860, see vol. i.

Weitzel, General Godfrey,
  enters Richmond, see vol. ii.

Welles, Gideon,
  secretary of navy, see vol. i.;
  opposes relieving Sumter;
  changes opinion;
  not told by Lincoln of plan to relieve Pensacola;
  learns that Lincoln has spoiled his plan to relieve Sumter;
  wishes Lincoln to close Southern ports by proclamation;
  disapproves of Lincoln's scheme of amnesty, see vol. ii.

  social characteristics of frontier life in, see vol. i.;
  democracy in;
  vagrants in;
  violence and barbarity of;
  manners and customs;
  grows in civilization;
  economic conditions of;
  frontier law and politics;
  popular eloquence in;
  its ignorance of foreign countries.

West Virginia,
  origin of, see vol. i.;
  campaign of McClellan in;
  forms a state Constitution, see vol. ii.;
  question of its admission;
  its vote counted in 1864.

  character of, in Illinois, see vol. i.;
  support Lincoln for speaker;
  fail to carry Illinois in 1840;
  and in 1844;
  elect Lincoln to Congress;
  oppose Mexican war;
  elect Taylor;
  defeated in 1852;
  join Know-Nothings in 1856.

White, Hugh L.,
  supported by Lincoln in 1836, see vol. i.

Whiteside, General Samuel,
  in Black Hawk war, see vol. i.

Wigfall, Lewis T.,
  jeers at North in 1860, see vol. i.

  battle of, see vol. ii.

Wilkes, Captain Charles,
  seizes Mason and Slidell, see vol. i.;
  applauded in North;
  condemned by Lincoln.

Wilmot, David,
  in Congress with Lincoln, see vol. i.;
  in Senate in 1861.

Wilson, Henry,
  hopes that Douglas will become Republican in 1858, see vol. i.;
  in Senate in 1861;
  introduces bill to emancipate slaves in District, see vol. ii.;
  on negro troops;
  admits small number of radical emancipationists;
  denounces Blair to Lincoln.

Winthrop, Robert C.,
  chosen speaker of House, see vol. i.

  admitted as free State to balance Texas, see vol. i.;
  Democratic gains in, see vol. ii.

Wood, Fernando,
  advocates secession of New York City, see vol. i.;
  wishes Lincoln to compromise, see vol. ii.

Wool, General John E.,
  commands at Fortress Monroe, see vol. ii.

  siege of, see vol. ii.

Yulee, David L.,
  remains in Senate in 1861 to embarrass government, see vol. i.

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