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j gard to efforts to enforce it at this date. In a few states, as Pennsylvania,
j Connecticut, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, etc, it was practically carried out, during the autumn of 1862; but, in consequence of necessary delays for enrolments, etc., the draft was, in most I cases, postponed, and for the time, at
'least, allowed to fall quietly out of sight. The short term of service under
II the recent militia act, with the liberal bounties offered by states, cities, and individuals, favored largely the supply of men ; so that, early in December,
I 1862, the secretary of war reported, under the calls of July and August, I 420,000 new troops in the field, of whom 320,000 were volunteers for three years, or during the war. Accord in<; to the best estimate which can i now be made, the number of troops in I the service of the United States, at the close of 1862, was nearly or quite '1,000,000*
The active efforts of treasonable and | disaffected persons, and the violent and malicious assaults of a portion of the
I i press, in order to thwart the plans of
II the government and aid and abet the i rebellion, led to the continued exercise
iI of that power which was claimed to
* The numbers of the rebel force cannot be given with any exactness; some writers say there were over 400,000 in the service; but by the rigid enforcement
. of the conscription act in the seceded states (see p. 117),
I compelling all persons between the ages of eighteen and forty-five to do military duty, the rebel leaders managed to got together larger armies, at the end of 1SC2, than at any previous period, and were consequently prepared to carry on the war in 1863. The
I process of conscription, however, was exhausting, and could ill bear repetition. It became odious to the peo
'pie of the states in rebellion ; it was evaded in every possible way; and it was denounced as not only a gross violation of the much-cherished state rights' doctrine,
| bat also as the most outrageous of military despotism.
belong to the executive in case of mauifest necessity; we refer to the suspen sion of the writ of habeas corpus. Dur ing the early period of the great struggle for national life and integrity, arrests were made by orders issued from the secretary of state; but in February, 1862, the control of this whole matter was transferred to the war department. We have noted, on a previous page, Chief-justice Taney's views, in the spring of 1861 (see p. 29). In July of the same year, Mr. Bates, the United States attorney-general, gave an elaborate opinion on this subject, and asserted the right of the president, in the great crisis existing, to exercise this power. The government, thenceforward acted with promptitude and vigor. A large number of persons, known or supposed to be in complicity with the rebels, were arrested and placed in confinement, but, after longer or shorter intervals, were released, upon taking the oath of allegiance to the United States.
On the 14th of February, the secretary of war issued a paper containing the "executive orders in relation to state prisoners," in which Mr. Stanton set forth, clearly and forcibly, the grounds on which the government felt it necessary to pursue the
course it had adopted. "The president felt it his duty to employ with energy the extraordinary powers which the Constitution confides to him in cases of insurrection. He called into the field such military and naval forces, unauthorized by the existing laws, as seemed necessary. He directed measures to prevert the use of the post
MILITARY ARRESTS, ETC.
office for treasonable correspondence."* In addition, as was stated on a previous page, (p. 259), disloyal, or supposed to be disloyal, persons were arrested and imprisonments made quite extensively. On the 27th of July, Gen. Dix, and the Hon. E. Pierrepont of New York, were appointed a commission to make examination into the cases of state prisoners then in custody, and to determine whether it were proper and safe to discharge them, or remit them to the civil tribunals for trial. These gentlemen entered upon the duties assigned them; they visited the Old Capitol prison at Washington, Fort McHenry at Baltimore, Fort Lafayette at New York, and Fort Warren at Boston; and large numbers were released from confinement on taking the oath of allegiance.
Arrests, however, continued to be made, and though the president assumed the responsibility, the secretary of war determined upon the cases, and suspended the writ as he deemed best. This assumption of power was most strenuously objected to, and some of the courts took the ground that, although the president might have authority under the Constitution, in case of rebellion or invasion, to suspend the writ, he could not legally delegate that authority to any subordinate. In order to meet this view, Mr. Lincoln issued a proclamation, September 24th, declaring that all persons discouraging volunteer enlistments, or engaging in any disloyal practices, were subject to martial law; and further, that the writ
* Ou the subject of "newspaper exclusion and suppression," with interesting details, see McPherson's "UWvry of the Rebellion," pp. 188-194.
of habeas corpus was suspended in re gard to all persons who had been, or should be, arrested and confined by military authority. A provost marshal general was appointed, with subordinates, to carry out the determination of the government in every direction.
Of course, such action was sharply criticised; outcries were made against what was denounced as tyranny in its worst form; and in some, or more cases, individuals were harshly treated, and their rights unduly invaded. Political leaders in opposition to the government made the most of all this; "peace meetings" were held in various places; the administration was vigorously assailed; efforts were made to prevent enlistments and hinder the putting down the rebellion by fjree of arms; and so powerful an influence was exerted upon the state elections. near the close of the year, that the gov emment was, in several instances, seriously worsted. Nevertheless, the ener getic action of the public authorities was so far effective and salutary, that on the 22d of November, the following order was issued by the war department :—
"Ordered, 1. That all persons now in military custody, who have been arrested for discouraging volunteer enlistments, opposing the draft, or for otherwise giving aid and comfort to the enemy, in states where the draft has been made or the quota of volunteers and militia has been furnished, shall be discharged from further military restraint. 2. That persons who, by the authority of the military commander or governor in rebel states,
have been arrested and sent from such state, for disloyalty or hostility to the government of the United
States, and are now in military custody, may also be discharged, upon giving their parole to do no act of hostility against the government of the United States, nor render aid to its enemies. ... 3. This order shall not operate to discharge any person who has been in arms against the government, or by force and arms has resisted, or attempted to resist the draft, nor relieve any person from liability to trial and punishment by civil tribunals, j or by court martial or military comj mission, who may be amenable to such tribunals for offences committed." When Congress met, in December, j 1862, this subject occupied a large share of their attention; it was warmly and fully discussed, and the result was, that an act of indemnity was passed in behalf of the president, and those under his orders, for whatever had been done, and power was conferred giving him full authority to suspend the writ of habeas corpus whenever, in his judgment, the public safety required it.*
It will have been noted by the reader that the government had, at various times, announced that its obi ject, in its military and other opera
* An indemnity bill was passed in the House, December 8th, by a vote of 00 to 45; two weeks afterwards, thirty-six members of the House moved to enter
'on the journal an elaborate protest against the bill, as a deliberate, palpable, and dangerous violation of the Constitution. The list was headed by Geo. H. Pendle
I ton, W. A. Richardson, C. L. Vallandingham, S. S. Cox, :tc. On motion of Mr. Stevens, the protest was tabled by a vote of 75 to 41. The bill respecting habeas corpiM, etc., ns finally agreed upon by the two houses, was pass.il and approved, March 3d, 1863.—See McPherson's 'History of the Rebellion," pp. 183—187.
tious against the rebels, was to put down lawless insurrection, and restore the authority of the Constitution. The southern leaders and traitors to the j Union endeavored to excite terrible | apprehensions and arouse bitter hos- j tility, on the ground that the loyal states had in view the entire subjugation and conquest of the people, the stirring up a slave rebellion, the destruction of all property, and everything else that was foul and horrible. The government made earnest efforts to allay apprehensions and remove all cause for hostility. Every imputation that the intention of our armies was to destroy property and liberate the slaves, was repelled as false and slanderous. "In no way or manner," it was announced, "did the government desire to interfere with the laws con stitutionally established in the south \ era states, or with their institutions of any kind whatever, their property of any sort, or their usages in any respect."
This was the avowed policy of the administration, so far as there was any policy, at the outbreak of the rebellion, and mainly during the years 1861 and 1862. Gen. Fremont's and Gen. Hunter's movements, in regard to the position of the slaves, and what to do with them, were refused sanction by the government; and the more zealous and radical of the supporters of Mr. Lincoln made many serious complaints and charges of backwardness and lukewarmness on the part of the president. It was evident that they regarded slavery as the greatest of all evils, and that they would not rest content with anything short of its total destruction; but Mr. Lincoln hesitated at taking so decided a step and abandoning the ground heretofore held on this subject.
On the 22d of July, a few days after the adjournment of Congress, an order was issued in regard to the general use of rebel property in the several military departments, directing that military commanders should seize any property necessary or convenient for supplies, in any of the insurgent states; that negroes should be employed and properly compensated as laborers; and that accounts should be kept and furnished to the government in regard to these various matters.
Mr. Lincoln's favorite policy in regard to emancipation, was that of compensation for the estimated value of the slaves of loyal owners, and colonizing I them in some part of Southern or Cen1 tral America.* But neither of these plans met with general favor. The government was pressed, by its more ardent supporters, to adopt and proclaim some larger and more definite policy as to the vexed question of slavery. It began to be felt, by both Mr. Lincoln and the people, that something positive must be done, and done speedily and effectively. The rebels were making use of the slaves as tillers of the ground and laborers in military operations, so as greatly to increase their capability of resistance, and enable all the white population to serve in the rebel army.
Several of the influential journals of
* For notice of the steps which were token at the previous session in regard to compensated emancipation, colonization of the negroes, etc., see p. 148.
the day urged the subject vehemently and forcibly upon the president, and Mr. Lincoln, through the press, under date of August 22d, gave utterance to his views, in his peculiar style and manner of argument. He declared that his one great aim was to save the Union, and that the question of slav ery was wholly subordinate to this end and aim. "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 this Union, and what I forbear I forbear because I do not believe it would help to 3ave the Union."
From the purport of this letter it may be gathered, that the president was fast tending to that change of pol icy which was soon after publicly announced His position was such, and the urgency of the party which supported the president was such, that he could no longer forbear taking a bold and decided stand. Accordingly, on the 22d of September, Mr. Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation. It is a document of sufficient importance to be given in full, and may be found in the appendix to the present chapter.
On the one hand the proclamation was received with applause, and on the other denounced vigorously. But, after all that was or could be said against this change or development of the policy of the government, the great body of the people were disposed to acquiesce in the measure as a war measure, and as a military act justified by a military necessity.*
The Thirty-seventh Congress began its third session on the 1st day of December, 1862. The friends and supporters of the administration were largely in the majority, both in the Senate and in the House, and the national legislature entered upon its work I with becoming zeal and diligence. The president's message was a document of great length, in which Mr. Lincoln gave a review of the general condition of affairs at home and abroad, and especially argued upon the question of compensated emancipation. "Since J your last annual assembling," he said, "another year of health and bountiful harvests has passed, and while it has not pleased the Almighty to bless us with the return of peace, we can but press on, guided by the best light He gives us, trusting that, in His own good time and wise way, all will be well." The relations with foreign nations were stated to be on an amicable
* In the rebel Congress, immediately on receipt of the Emancipation Proclamation, measures of retaliation were strongly urged. Much violent invective was ind ulged in ; there was fierce talk of raising the "black flag," resorting to a war of extermination, etc. The matter was finally handed over to Jeff. Davis, who, on the 23d of December, issued a retaliatory proclamation, principally directed against Gen. B. F. Butler, and concluding with the following order: "That all negro slaves captured in arms be at once delivered over to the executive authority of the respective states to which they belong, to be dealt with according to the laws of said states. That the like orders be executed in all cases with respect to all commissioned officers of the United States, when found serving in company with said slaves in insurrection against the authorities of the different states of this Confederacy."
footing, in general; the condition ot the finances was commended to their "most dilisjent consideration
attention was called to the reports of the secretaries of war and the navy, and various interesting statements were made respecting the post office department, the public lands, the Indian tribes, etc. The latter half of the message was devoted to the subject of "compensated emancipation," in which Mr. Lincoln was profoundly interested, and to which he gave the largest and fullest consideration. The reader may consult to advantage this part of the message; we have no room for details or large quotation; its closing paragraph was as follows: "Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history. We of this Congress and this admiuistration will ba 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 that 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."