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make known to all whom it may concern, that the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is suspended throughout the United States, in the several cases before-mentioned, and that this suspension will continue throughout the duration of the said rebellion, or until this proclamation shall, by a subsequent one, to be issued by the President of the United States, be modified and revoked. And I do hereby require all magistrates, attorneys, and other civil officers within the United States, and all officers and others in the military and naval services of the United States, to take distinct notice of this suspension and give it full effect, and all citizens of the United States to conduct and govern themselves accordingly, and in conformity with the Constitution of the United States, and the laws of Congress in such cases made and provided."*
Early in October, the president addressed a letter to the Hon. C. D. Drake, and others, members of a Missouri delegation sent to Washington to urge changes in the military conduct of that department (see p. 246). It is interesting as showing the peculiar difficulties which he was called upon to encounter, especially in the questions which arose in the border states, and which were so hard to settle
* In connection with this subject of arbitrary arrests, and what was termed tho despotic use made of the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, which were strongly denounced by the democratic party, see President Lincoln's letter to the Hon. Erastus Corning, of New York, under date of June 13th, 1863, and also his reply to a committee of the Ohio Democratic State Convention, under date of June 20th, 1863.—Raymond's "Life of Lincoln," pp. 388-398; Duyckinck's " War for the Union," vol. iii. pp. 270-273; Appleton's "American Annual Cyclopaedia," for 1863, pp. 709-607.
on any satisfactory grounds. The removal of Gen. Schofield was demanded, and the appointment of Gen. Butler in his place; the delegation also required the breaking up of the system of enrolled militia, and the substitution for it of national forces in the state. A few passages may here be quoted from Mr. Lincoln's letter:—" We are in civil Avar. In such cases there al- I ways is a main question; but in this case that question is a perplexing com pound—union and slavery. It thus becomes a question not of two sides merely, but of at least four sides, even among those who are for the Union, saying nothing of those who are against it. Thus, those who are for the Union , with, but not without slavery—those! for it without, but not with—those for it with or without, but prefer it with, and those for it with or without, but prefer it without. Among these, again, is a subdivision of those who are for gradual but not for immediate, and those who are for immediate but not | for gradual extinction of slavery. It is easy to conceive that all these shades of opinion, and even more, may be sin- i! cerely entertained by honest and truthful men. Yet, all being for the Union, by reason of these differences each will prefer a different way of sustaining the j Union. . . . The evils now com- j plained of were quite as prevalent under Fremont, Hunter, Halleck, and J Curtis, as under Schofield. Without 1 disparaging any, I affirm with confi-' dence that no commander of that department has, in proportion to his means, done better than Gen. Schofield. . . . I am satisfied that the pre
venting of the threatened remedial raid into Missouri was the only safe way to avoid an indiscriminate massacre there, including probably more innocent than guilty. Instead of condemning, I therefore approve what I understand Gen. Schofield did in that respect. . . . From time to time I have done and said what appeared to me proper to do and say. The public knows it well. It obliges nobody to follow me, and I trust it obliges me to follow nobody. The radicals and conservatives each agree with me in some things and disagree in others. I could wish both to agree with me in all things; for then they would agree with each other, and would be too strong for any foe from any quarter. They, however, choose to do otherwise, and I do not question their right. I, too, shall do what seems to be my duty. I hold whoever commands in Missouri or elsewhere responsible to me, and not to either radicals or conservatives. It is my duty to hear all; but at last, I must, within my sphere, judge what to do and what to forbear." *
The condition of affairs in this department, it may here be mentioned, continued to be greatly disturbed by political agitations, and the personal controversies to which they gave rise. Some months later, the president deemed it expedient to relieve Gen. Schofield from further command in the department of Missouri; and on the 24th of January, 1864, Gen. Eosecrans was appointed in his place.
* For the letter in full, and for the special instructions sent to Gen. Schofield, see Raymond's"" Life of Abraham Lincoln." pp. 432-437.
On the 17th of October, in anticipation of the term of service of part of the volunteer troops expiring, and to provide for the probable demands of the campaign in the following spring, the president issued a proclamation, calling out 300,000 volunteers to serve for three years or the war, not, however, exceeding three years. The governors of the several states were required to raise their respective quotas, and, in case of any deficiency, a draft was ordered to be made in the states or districts, to commence on the 5th day of January, 1864. Active measures were taken to forward recruiting; the volunteers whose term of service was about to expire generally re-enlisted; and when the day arrived which was appointed for the draft, it was deemed expedient that the drawing be further postponed.*
On previous pages we have given the substance and tolerably full details of army operations and success, in the West and South, during the latter part of 1863. We purpose closing the present chapter with succinct notices of the position and movements of the Army of the Potomac, and of some few other events which may properly claim to be placed on the record. Lee, it will be remembered, after his defeat at Gettysburg (p. 333), retreated into Virginia, and was pursued by Meade, with
* The conscription act was brought up in the Thirtyeighth Congress and earnestly discussed. The chief point in the debates on the act was in reference to the propriety or necessity of retaining the $300 exemption clause. It was finally concluded to retain this, with the important restriction, that the exemption thus purchased should not continue beyond a single year, when the person relieved would again be subject to draft.
out, however, any special result. Lee retired in safety across the Rapidan, and Meade, with his army, took up the old line on the Rappahannock. For some time the Army of the Potomac was enjoying needed rest and an opportunity for recruiting and preparing for future operations. A considerable portion of Lee's force was sent, under Longstreet, to aid the rebel cause, just then in a rather critical condition, in Tennessee, where Bragg was in command. This was in September, 1863; and Meade, having become aware of the fact, made an advance movement, and had matured a plan, which promised well, for attacking Lee on the flank. Before, however, he could carry out his plan, the Army of the Potomac was largely depleted by the sending of the 11th and 12 th corps, under Hooker's command, to the aid of our army in Tennessee (see pp. 353, 358). This reduced Meade to the necessity of acting on the defensive simply, until he could be supplied again with reinforcements.
Early in October, Lee resolved upon an offensive movement, for the purpose of driving Meade back from the line of the Rapidan, and, by a decisive flank march, get between Meade and his communications with Washington. On Friday, October 9th, Lee crossed the Rapidan, and moved northwardly by way of Madison Court House, so as to turn Meade's right, in which movement he was quite successful. Meade, on ascertaining the rebel purpose, immediately fell back from the Rapidan and crossed the Rappahannock without molestation, and when Lee reached Culpepper, on the 11th of October, he
found that our army had passed over the river some hours before. On the 12th, Lee advanced in two columns, with the design of reaching the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, north of the river, and cutting off Meade's retreat On the afternoon of the same day, Lee crossed his columns at Warrenton Springs, to the north bank of the Rappahannock, and advanced rapidly, purposing to strike Meade's line of retreat by the railroad. The commander of the Army of the Potomac immediately began a retrograde movement, so as to | escape the consequences of the rebel attempt. It now became a sort of race between the two armies, and Tuesday and Wednesday, the 13th and 14th of October, were spent in determining which should first reach the heights of Centreville, and gain the race. The 2d! corps, under Warren, marched all Monday night up to Fayetteville. to guard the road, and remained there till the whole army passed. On Tuesday, Lee as well as Meade, was pushing forward rapidly, by parallel roads, only six or eight miles apart. At Warrenton, Lee formed the bold design of sending Hill's corps, by a rapid detour, to seiee the heights of Centreville, while Ewell's corps should fall upon Meade's flank and rear.
It was on Wednesday, the 14th October, when our whole army passed Cedar Run at Auburn, Warren's corps bringing up the rear. To this commander was assigned the duty of covering the trains of the army, which were much delayed in the crossing
by the pontoons. The position
was now an extremely critical one.
Ewell had begun pressing severely on the rear, and already, on Wednesday morning, at Auburn, the rear-guard became engaged with a portion of his force. Meade, it will be noted, was obliged to move with the utmost celerity in order to reach Centreville in advance of Hill, who had the start of him, and was on the shortest line; he was under the necessity also of keeping back the enemy from his trains in the rear. The army having passed Auburn, pushed rapidly on toward Catlett's. A couple of miles beyond Auburn, Warren received a message from Meade, directing him to hold on, so as to give sufficient time for the trains . The 2d corps, accordingly, for two hours, exhausted all the resources of tactics to keep back the enemy, by forming line of battle, skirmishing, shelling the woods, etc., the enemy making vigorous demonstrations all the while. The task was bravely and effectually performed by Warren. About noon, he reached Catlett's, and began his retreat toward Bristoe Station. The latter place was reached about three o'clock in the afternoon of October 14th. The rebel corps, under Hill, arrived at Bristoe shortly before Warren, and found that the whole army, excepting Warren, had just passed beyond that point; whereupon, Hill arranged a line of battle perpendicular to the railroad. The position was perilous, but Warren was equal to the emergency. The troops were brought up at the run; those which had been marching on the left of the railroad were brought quickly over to the right; and Warren, observing that the rebels
had neglected to occupy the cut and Vol. iv.^to.
embankment of the railroad, on the instant jumped his men, unseen, into it. This sagacious movement was admirably timed, and it enabled Warren to repulse Hill's corps with severe loss, and to secure about 450 prisoners. It was well, however, for Warren's safety that night soon after came on; for about sunset Ewell's corps joined Hill, and nothing but the darkness prevented an overwhelming assault. During the night, Warren retired, and the next morning came up with the main body of the army at Centreville.
This repulse at Bristoe Station, and the strong position now held by Meade, put an end to Lee's further advance. After a few demonstrations of no great moment, and after destroying the railroad from Cub Run southwardly to the Rappahannock, Lee began his retreat, Sunday, October 18th, and the next day passed through Warrenton, and thence across the river, leaving his cavalry in front of Meade. Troops, sent out from Harper's Ferry, forced him immediately to retreat. On the 7th of November, Gens. Sedgwick and French attacked the enemy at Rappahannock Station and Kelly's Ford, capturing several redoubts, four guns, eight flags, and about 2,000 prisoners. The enemy now retreated to his old position on the Rapidan, and Meade, having followed in pursuit, took up nearly the same ground which he had previously held. Lee states, in his report, that the whole number of prisoners captured by him was 2,436, of whom forty-one were commissioned officers.
Meade, anxious to accomplish something before going into winter quarters, planned an operation known as the Mine Run Move. The intention was, by a rapid and vigorous movement, to get betweeu the forces under Ewell and Hill, and destroy them in detail. The march was begun at dawn, on November 26th, and had it not been for vexatious delays, and consequent destroying the combinations relied upon by Gen. Meade, there is every reason to believe that he would have met with success. The attack on Lee was fixed for the morning of November 30th, but that commander having strongly entrenched himself behind Mine Run, south-west of Chancellorsville, the assault was deemed too hazardous, in fact hopeless, so far as victory was concerned.* There being no alternative, Gen. Meade withdrew across the Rapidan, and the army returned to its former quarters.
During the period of these campaigns of the Army of the Potomac, the forces in Western Virginia had been generally employed on the defensive, with occasional encounters with the enemy. Gen. Kelly, near Clear Springs, in July, concentrated his force on the enemy's flank, and was of much service to Meade's operations. On the 24th of July, Col. Toland attacked the enemy at Wytheville, on the East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad, capturing two pieces of artillery, 700 muskets and 125 prisoners. In August, Gen. Ave
* Mr. Swinton relates a touching instance of the mode and spirit in which the soldiers prepared for the expected fight: "Recognizing that the task now before them was of the character of a forlorn hope, knowing well that no man could here count on escaping death, the soldiers, without sign of shrinking from the sacrifice, were seen quietly pinning on the breast of their blouses of blue, slips of paper on which each had written his name."—" Army of the Potomac," p. !)97.
rill attacked a rebel force under Gen. Sam. Jones at Rocky Gap, in Greenbrier County, capturing one gun, 150 prisoners, and killing and wounding some 200. On the 11th of September, Tmboden attacked a small force of our troops at Moorfield, wounding fifteen and capturing about 150. On the 5th of November, Averill attacked and de- i feated the enemy near Lewisburg, capturing three pieces of artillery, 100 prisoners, and a large number of small arms, wagons and camp equipage. About the middle of December, Ave
rill's famous raid took place on tbe communications of Longstreet, on the . Tennessee Railroad. AverilPs own account is given with soldier-like brevity and point, and is well worth consulting by the reader. It is under date of December 21st, and reports the cutting of the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad, at Salem, on the 16th; the destroying three depots, containing 2,000 barrels of flour, 10,000 bushels of wheat, 50,000 bushels of oats, and 2,000 barrels of meat, and numerous other valuable stores; the cutting and destroying the telegraph line; the burning of bridges in connection with conflicts with the enemy; the crossing the Alleghanies by a road thought to be impassable; etc. Averill sums up with stating his! loss to have been six men drowned and nineteen wounded and missing. "AVe captured," are his concluding words, | "about 200 prisoners. but have I retained but forty officers and eighty men, on account of their inability to walk. We took also about 150 horses. Mv horses have subsisted entirely upon a very poor country, and