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abandonment of this contest—an abandonment of the grounds upon which it had been undertaken. If this is so, who is to answer for the hundreds of thousands of men who had been slain in the war? Who was to answer for them before the bar of heaven?"
The measure was decided upon by the action of Virginia; and the reply to all contradiction and inconsistency was, the stern necessity of the case. Unpalatable as was the fact, it was nevertheless the last resource. White men could not be had; the blacks must be tried; and so the blacks were called upon to volunteer; the slaves were invited to fight for the people who had doomed them to everlasting bondage! The slaves, however, manifested anything but alacrity to engage in the contest; and the rebel leaders had to endure not only this mortifying result, but also the conviction that the day had passed when their humiliation on .this point could be of any avail towards filling up the ranks of Lee's depleted army*
As we have stated (p. 507), the Thirty-eighth Congress began its second session in December, 1864. This was the short session of only about three months in extent, and the time was spent in the usual course of legislative proceedings. It is not necessary to go into details here; we can
* The rebel congress, just before its breaking up in March, issued a long, supplicating appeal, in which they sought to infuse fresh courage into the hearts of those who sympathised with them, and in which also, while using language of the most confident character, they plainly betrayed to the observant reader, that their words were words merely and nothing else. For this document, see Appleton's "American, Annual Cyclopadia" for 1865, pp. 195-198.
only indicate a few of the more important acts, and must refer the reader, who desires full information, to the works containing the official reports and documents. Nothing of moment occurred during the month of December.* In January, 1865, a resolution was passed, requesting the president to give notice of the termination of the Reciprocity treaty with Canada. Other topics occupied the attention of both Houses during the balance of the session; such as military arrests, habeas corpus, confiscation, reconstruction, etc The Freedman's Bureau was established, after considerable debate and conference, just at the close of the session. The tariff bill was modified, a bill for a loan of $600,000,000 was passed, and various other bills of less consequence, received due attention.
By far, however, the most important action of Congress, during the "session, was the passage, on the 31st of January, of the resolution for the ig6j Constitutional amendment abolishing slavery. This resolution had passed the Senate, early in the previous session, February 10th, 1864; but coming up in the House in June, had failed to receive the requisite two-thirds vote (p. 465). A motion for reconsideration was made, and laid upon the table. It was again brought before the House early in the present session, and was debated with much earnestness and at great length. It was finally adopted by a vote of 119 to 56, and
* On the 19th of December, 1864, Mr. Lincoln issued a proclamation, calling for 200,000 men. This was to provide for deficiencies in the former call in July, and also for possible needs in the spring campaign.
was expressed in the following terms: "Be it resolved by the Seriate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, two-thirds of both homes concurring, That the following article be proposed to the legislatures of the several states as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which, when ratified by three-fourths of said legislatures, shall be valid, to all intents and purposes, as a part of the said Constitution, namely:
Sec. 1. 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. Sec. 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation."*
This important matter was now transferred to the people, who, acting through the legislatures of the several states were to confirm or reject the amendment to the Constitution. The votes of twenty-seven states were needed to complete the required three-fourths of the whole, in order to make the amendment a part of the law of the land. We may mention here, that Illinois took the lead, on the 1st of February, in ratifying the amendment, and was followed by Maryland, the same day, and by other states as their
* The House was crowded with expectant observers, and when the speaker announced the vote, it was received with enthusiasra, and despite of all parliamentary rules, clapping of hands, cheeriDg, waving of hats and handkerchiefs prevailed for some time. On motion the House at once adjourned.
legislatures met. Before the 4th of March, the close of Mr. Lincoln's first term of office, eighteen states had given their approval of the amendment Three states, Delaware, Kentucky, and New Jersey rejected it.*
About the middle of February, Mr. Fessenden, secretary of the treasury, made the following statement in regard to the national debt: Aggregate debt, bearing interest in coin, $1,087,556,438 80; interest, $63,433,131 45. Debt bearing interest in lawful money, $608,570,952 44; interest, $29,698,770 41. Debt on which interest has ceased, $350,570 09. Legal tender debt, bearing no interest, $433,160,569. Fractional currency, $24,960,913 93. Total, $2;153,735,444 26. Total interest, $93,131,901 86. Early in the following month, Mr. Fessenden having resigned, the Hon. Hugh McCulloch, of Indiana, was appointed secretary of the treasury.
We may fitly put on record, in closing the present chapter, the assumption, by Andrew Johnson, of his posi
• On the 18th of December, 1865, Mr. Seward officially announced from the state department that the amendment to the Constitution had been adopted. From this document it appears, that the states of Illinois, Rhode Island, Michigan, Maryland, New York, West Virginia, Ohio, Missouri, Nevada, Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, Winconsin, Vermont, Tennessee, Arkansas, Connecticut, Hew Hampshire, Maine, KnTiaaa, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia, South Carolina, Alabama, North Carolina, and Georgia, by their legislatures ratified the proposed amendment. The whole number of states being thirty-six, of which twenty-seven, as just named, being throe-fourths, had ratified the amendment, Mr. Seward, in accordance with the duties of his office, "certified that the amendment aforesaid has become valid, to all intents and purposes, as part of the Constitution of the United States." For Mr. Sumner's resolution, in the Senate, on this subject, see Appleton's " American Annual Ojfclopadia " for 1866, p. 125.
tion as vice-president of the United States, and also the inaugural ceremonies connected with Mr. Lincoln's entrance upon the expected four years of additional service to his country as president of the United States. On the 4th of March, the Senate being then in extra session, Mr. Johnson indulged himself in a speech before taking the oath. Of this speech, in which he spoke several times of his "plebeian " origin and position, and of other things quite as impertinent to the occasion, the best we can say is, that it was in bad taste, and might much better have been dispensed with. "I, a plebian, elected by the people vice-president of these United States, am here to enter upon the discharge of my duties. . ... I, though a plebeian boy, am authorized by the principles of the government under which I live, to feel proudly conscious that I am a man," etc. Mr. Johnson thereupon took the oath of office and the Senate adjourned.
The scene presented at the second inaguration of Abraham Lincoln was noted as a very striking one. "The morning had been inclement," says Mr. Raymond, "storming so violently that up to a few minutes before twelve o'clock it was supposed that the inaugural address would have to be delivered in the Senate chamber. But the people had gathered in immense numbers before the capitol in spite of the storm, and just before noon the rain ceased and the clouds broke away, and, as the president took the oath of office, the blue sky appeared above, a small white cloud, like a hovering bird, seemed to
hang above his head, and the sunlight broke through the clouds and fell upon him with a glory, afterwards felt to have been an emblem of the martyr's crown, which was soon to rest upon his head." The oath of office was administered by Chief-justice Chase, in the presence of the cabinet officers, heads of bureaus, members of Con gress, officers of the army and navy, and the diplomatic corps. The presi dent then delivered his inaugural address from the balcony, the usual place for such a purpose. As this was among the last documents proceeding from Mr. Lincoln's pen, and as it is rather re- i markable for its tone and spirit, we give the address in full.
"Fellow-countrymen—At this second appearing to take the oath of the presidential office, there is less occasion' I for an extended address than there was j at the first. Then, a statement, somewhat in detail, of a course to be pursued, seemed very fitting and proper. Now, at the expiration of four years, j during which public declarations have been constantly called forth on every point and phase in 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 avoid 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 the effects, by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war; but one of them would make war l ather 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 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 trinmph, 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 prayer of both could not be an
swered; that of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. 'Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come, but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh.' If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of these offences 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 offence 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 altogether.'
"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 orphans; to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and a lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations."
This brief but touching address having been delivered, a national salute
was fired, and Mr. Lincoln, seated in an open barouche with Senator Foster, of tho committee of arrangements, was escorted through Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House. Everything passed
off quietly and calmly, and the president had good reason to look forward to a successful issue of the great contest and a return of peace, for which he and all true patriots ardently longed.
GRANT'S ORDERS TO SHERMAN.
SHERMAN'S MARCH TO GOLDSBOROUGH, N. C.: CHARLESTON AND WILMINGTON CAPTURED.
Grant's orders to Sherman and his reply — Further orders — Arrangements in regard to Schofield and his co. operating force — Sherman's preliminary movements — March began on the 1st of February — Advance of the army across the Salkahatchie, to Orangeburg, and thence to Columbia, S. C. — The city burned and pillaged by rebel cavalry — Charleston evacuated by Hardee, February 18th — State and condition of the city — Fort Anderson on Cape Fear River — Attack — Abandoned by the rebels — Wilmington captured — Results of the capture — Grant's directions to Gen. Thomas — Further movements of the right and left wings of Sherman's army towards Fayetteville, N. C. — The town entered, March 11th — Sherman's views as to his position—Movement towards Goldsborough — Advance of Schofield and Terry — Hardee, and contest at Averysborough — Battle at Bentonville with Johnston — Losses — Goldsborough taken — Sherman's conference with Grant— The march and its results — Excellent conduct of the army.
Gen. Sherman, as we have already noted (see p. 492), having reached and occupied Savannah, on the 21st of December, 1864, was ready almost at once for any further movement toward securing the triumph of our arms. Early in the month, December 6th, Gen. Grant, regarding the capture of Lee's army as the most important operation which required attention, sent orders to Sherman, "that, after establishing a base on the sea coast, with necessary garrison, to include all his artillery and cavalry, to come by water to City Point with the balance of his command." Sherman, in reply, December 16th, stated, that he had expected, on reducing Savannah, to march to Columbia, S. C., thence to
Raleigh, N. C., and thence to report to Grant, which, he estimated, would take about six weeks' time; but that he would obey the lieutenant-general's order at once, and could reach him by sea as early as the middle of January. Grant thereupon, on the 28th of December, ordered Sherman to make preparations to start as he proposed, without delay, to break up the railroads in North and South Carolina, and join the armies operating against Richmond as soon as he could.
As tending to facilitate his movements, Grant informed Sherman, on the 21st of January, that he had ordered east, from Tennessee, the 23d corps, under Gen. Schofield; that that corps numbered about 21,000 men ; that there