ePub 版

treasure. On the 20th of February, by their vile conspiracy with the traitor, General Twiggs, they took possession of the munitions of war, and other national property in Texas. On the 12th of April, they bombarded and captured Fort Sumter. On the 17th of April, Jefferson Davis, as President of the new rebel government, issued letters of marque; thus waging a piratical war upon private citizens, and the Government of the United States; in violation of common honesty, and the laws of nations. On the 13th of April, the rebel Secretary of War publicly proclaimed their intention to attack the National Capital; and triumphantly boasted, that by the first of May, the rebel flag would float over the Federal Capital.

Not satisfied with all this reckless treason, they have shot down Union men in their lawful march to defend the National Capital; they have seized vessels and their cargoes, both national and private; loyal citizens have been driven from their homes; the right of trial by jury is denied; and the private property of peaceable citizens, has been feloniously taken and converted to the use of the rebels. The National flag has been disgraced; the Stripes and Stars have been trampled in the dust; and the Palmetto flag has been unfurled in the place of the Union Flag. The Rattlesnake and the Pelican have been most odiously and barbarously substituted for the American Eagle. Millions of public and private property have been burned, sunk, and destroyed by these lawless traitors. Railroads, telegraphs, vessels, bridges, and produce, have been destroyed, to gratify their fiendish malice. Not satisfied with these numerous acts of treason, the rebels have marched into the field of battle, an army of 100,000 hostile troops, arrayed against the United States, its institutions, and the people.

In opposition to all this treason and plunder, the Federal Government, after waiting long and patient, until endurance ceased to be a virtue, have raised an army of over 200,000 volunteers, to be increased as fast as practicable to 400,000; to be used in recovering the public property; in protecting loyal citizens, and in subduing and punishing the rebels.

The Union army consists principally of the youth, and best citizens of the nation. They have volunteered from the best families; from the farmers and mechanics of the rural districts; and from the merchants, bankers, and commercial houses of the cities. About one half of the Union army are now stationed in the immediate vicinity of the seat of war, in Virginia; and the remainder are distributed throughout various camps, in such numbers and places, that they can be brought into immediate service on call. The States, towns, and individuals, have contributed for the support of the army and their families most liberally; amounting to over $31,000,000.

The depredations of the rebels in Baltimore, and its vicinity, on public and private property, have been enormous. Not satisfied with shooting down in their march the Union Troops, the Baltimore rebels have willfully and deliberately destroyed the railroads, bridges, dams, and all the most useful property, they could lay their hands But the Federal Troops have been marched into the city, in such fearful numbers, as to arrest these modern Goths and Vandals in their barbarous career. The former route, through Maryland to Washington, by way of Annapolis, has been opened and secured under the command of General Butler. He passed through the city early in May, with his troops; and took his position on Federal Hill, about one mile


from Fort McHenry. On his arrival, he issued a proclamation to the citizens of Baltimore, stating, that he had come for the purpose of enforcing obedience to the laws of the State, and of the United States. In his proclamation, he distinctly stated, that no loyal citizen would be disturbed; nor would private property be interfered with; except in cases where it was used to aid the rebels against the National Government; and in such instances the property would be seized and confiscated. He admonished the rebels, that no assemblages of armed men, except the ordinary police, and those organized by the State, and acting under the orders of the Governor, would be permitted. He disclaimed any interference with the usual business of the people, and civil authorities; but he would aid and protect them in all their lawful and legal pursuits.

Governor Hicks, who, for reasons best known to himself, had previously declined to comply with the requisition of the President for a quota of troops, now issued his proclamation, stating that the requisition had been lawfully made, and therefore, he called upon the loyal citizens of the State to volunteer in numbers sufficient, to form four regiments for the term of three months; subject to the orders of the Commander-in-Chief of the army of the United States. General Butler was soon after promoted to the rank of Major-General; and was stationed at Fortress Monroe; in command of the military department of Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee. On General Butler's promotion and re moval, the command of the forces at Baltimore was given to General Cadwallader, of Pennsylvania. In order to suppress more effectually the rebellion in Baltimore, it was found necessary to assert martial law; and arrest

the most prominent leaders. John Merryman was therefore arrested; who immediately applied to Chief-Justice Taney for a writ of Habeas Corpus, which was granted, and served on General Cadwallader. In answer to the writ, the General stated, that the pri

soner had been arrested on several charges of treason against the Government of the United States; and by the order of the President he had suspended the writ; and therefore requested Judge Taney to suspend all further proceedings until the President could be consulted. On this return of the General, Judge Taney issued a writ of attachment against him for contempt of Court. The Marshal proceeded to Fort McHenry to execute the writ, and was refused admittance. Judge Taney decided that the President had no right to suspend the Habeas Corpus act; nor to authorize others to do it; that military officers had no right to make arrests, except in aid of the judicial authority,-that persons thus arrested must be delivered to the civil authorities to be dealt with according to law; that the military authority was subordinate to the civil; and under ordinary circumstances, it would. be the duty of the Marshal to proceed to bring the General into Court; but as in this case it would be impracticable to do it, he should prepare an opinion and forward it to the President, requesting him to enforce the attachment of the Court.

[ocr errors]

Since General Butler was stationed at Fortress Monroe, he has received large reinforcements of men and munitions. Three fugitive slaves belonging to the rebel commander of the Virginian troops in the neighborhood were brought into the fortress, while attempting to escape, to avoid being sent south. Their master sent a flag of truce, demanding the return of the

slaves under the Fugitive Slave Law. General Butler refused to return them, on the ground that slaves belonging to the rebels, were employed in military service; and, were, consequently, contraband of war. General Butler submitted his decision to the President, and was sustained. The first engage ment of the Union and Rebel forces occurred on the morning of the twen ty-fourth of May. Soon after midnight, the New York Firemen's Zouaves, under the command of Colonel Ellsworth, embarked on steamers from the Navy-Yard at Washington, for Alexandria. Other regiments from New York, New Jersey and Michigan, were simultanously sent over the long bridge which connects the District with Virginia. The Zouaves landed without opposition shortly after the dawn of day; and removed the rails from the road, leading into the interior, Colonel Ellsworth and two or three men, while passing a public house, saw a rebel flag floating from the roof, and entered the house for the purpose of removing it. While descending from the roof, with the flag in his hand, the proprietor of the house, James T. Jackson, met him in the hall and shot him through the heart. In the same moment, that Ellsworth fell, Francis E. Brownell, one of the Zouaves, who accompanied Ellsworth, shot Jackson, and killed him instantly Alexandria and its vicinity were immediately occupied by the Federal troops. A company of Virginia cavalry were captured; and after a detention of several days, they were discharged, upon taking the oath of allegiance to the United States. The troops threw up intrenchments around Alexandria, and upon Arlington Heights, which command a portion of the capital. Bodies of troops immediately marched toward the Manassas Junction; for the purpose of inter

rupting the communication between Richmond and Harper's Ferry. On the first of June, a company of cavalry set out on a scouting expedition to Fairfax Court House; a distance of about twenty miles beyond the outposts. Several hundred of Virginia rebels were stationed here; and a sharp skirmish immediately ensued. About twenty of the rebels were killed; and only one of the United States troops fell, with four or five wounded; among whom was the commander, the lamented Lieutenant Tompkins. The cavalry withdrew with five rebel prisoners. On the following day, the same cavalry made another brave dash to Fairfax, and rescued two of their com rades who had been left behind as prisoners. On the 27th of May, the United States volunteers, stationed at Wheeling in Virginia, marched toward Grafton; an important station on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. On the same day, two Ohio regiments crossed into western Virginia. This section of the United States is truly loyal and vetoed secession by a strong vote. It appears from the proclamation of General McClellan, commander of the Ohio forces, that the Government delayed marching troops into Virginia, until after the State election; for the purpose of avoiding the criticism, that they intended to influence the voters against the rebels. On the second of June, two columns, consisting of Virginia, Ohio, and Indiana troops, marched from Grafton to Philippi; about twenty-five miles distant, where a body of 2,000 secession troops were posted. The columns, exposed to a drenching rain, reached their destination just at daybreak The rebels were surprised, and fled after a short conflict; leaving behind their arms and equipments. About twenty were killed; and Colonel Kelly,

the commander of the loyal Virginians, was severely wounded. Several indecisive engagements have taken place, between the Union navy, and the rebel batteries, erected upon the shore of the Potomac. The rebel troops in Virginia are variously estimated from 75,000 to 150,000. They occupy a long irregular line extending from Harper's Ferry on the north, to Norfolk on the south. Strong detachments are stationed at Richmond, Lynchburg, and Petersburg; and advance forces are posted in considerable numbers, at Manassas Junction; nearly west of Washington. It is expected, that the first severe engagement will take place at Manassas Junction, or Harper's Ferry. Jefferson Davis with his cabinet moved from Montgomery to Richmond early in June. The Congress of the rebel States adjourned on the 20th of May, to meet at Richmond on the 20th of July, unless some public emergency should arise, which, in the judgment of their President, should render it impolitic to convene at that place; and, in such a case, he is authorized to call his Congress together, at some other convenient place to be selected by him. On the 6th of May, an act was passed by the rebel Congress, declaring war against the United

States; and authorizing letters of marque, the capture of prizes, and prize goods. The rebel Congress has passed an act prohibiting the export of cotton, or cotton yarn, from any of the Confederate States; except through the sea-ports; under penalty of the forfeiture of all exports; and a fine, not exceeding $5,000; or imprisonment for not more than six months. The rebel Postmaster-General, on the first of June, took charge of the mails in the rebel States; and on the same day the Postmaster-General of the United States, discontinued his mail in the Confederate States. All letters for the rebel States are sent to the dead letter office at Washington. Kentucky, Missouri, and Maryland, still remain in the Union; and the new State organization in Virginia, will probably restore Virginia to the Union. The popular vote in Virginia was in favor of secession; but in the north-western part of the State the vote was largely in favor of the Union. A convention of the western counties of Virginia, held at Wheeling on the 13th of May, passed resolutions declaring the ordinance of secession made by the State null and void. The loyal citizens have since organized a new State government, and are now represented in Congress.


THE Special Session of the Thirtyseventh Congress commenced at Washington on the fourth of July. The house was organized promptly, by the election of the Hon. G. A. Grow, as Speaker; and the choice of the Hon. Emerson Etheridge, as Clerk of the House. The President's message is a State paper of ability, and wisdom. After tracing the origin and progress

of the Southern rebellion, clearly and fairly, he recommends an increase of the army to 400,000; and an appropriation of $400,000,000 to sustain the Government, in subduing the rebellion. Senator Wilson of Massachusetts, gave notice of a bill, to ratify and confirm certain acts of the President, for the suppression of insurrection and rebellion. Also, a bill, to authorize the

employment of volunteers, to aid in enforcing the laws, and protecting the public property. A bill, to increase the present military establishment of the United States. A bill, providing for the better organization of the military establishment. A bill, to promote the efficiency of the army. A bill, for the organizatian of a volunteer militia force, to be called the National Guard of the United States. Senator Chandler also gave notice, that he should introduce a bill, to confiscate the property of all Governors of States, Mem bers of Legislatures, Judges of Courts, and of all military officers, above the rank of Lieutenant; who shall take up arms against the Government of the United States, or aid and abet treason against the Government; and that all such persons be forever disqualified for holding any office of honor, emolument, or trust in the Government; and that all such confiscated property shall be applied to restore to loyal Union men in the rebel States, any losses they may have innocently suffered, by means of the rebellion. All these bills have their origin in the present treasonable rebellion of the Slave States; and are designed to crush the rebellion, punish the rebels, and protect all loyal citizens.

The report of Secretary Chase, of the Treasury, reveals the following important facts. The funds necessary for the expenses of government, including the expenses of the war, for the fiscal year, commencing June 30th, 1861, will be about $320,000,000. The ordinary expenses of the government annually, previous to the rebellion, has averaged about $66,000,000. The remaining $254,000,000 will be required to carry on the war; including $9,000,000, for interest on moneys to be borrowed during the year, and $5,000,000, as the commencement of a

sinking fund, for the final extinguishment of the principal. The expense of the War Department is $180,296,397, and of the Navy Department, $30,609,520, amounting to $210,905,817. A large portion of the difference between the sum of $210,905,817, and the sum of $254,000,000, arises, probably, from the improvident expenses of the war, between the 4th of March and the 30th of June last, the commencement of the fiscal year. These prodigal war contracts, Congress will materially reduce in the future. The report of Secretary Chase, relieves the country of all further anxiety concerning the finances of the war. His financial policy shows him a statesman, worthy of public confidence. His cardinal principles of finance are, that he will borrow no money to pay interest. He will compound no debt, but ample revenues will be created, and promptly applied to the payment of the interest, and the gradual extinguishment of the principal. This financial policy will advance the market credit of the former loans of the Government. It adds the sum of $240,000,000, to the public debt, during the fiscal year after Juue 30th, 1861. The usual expense of the year will be about $80,000,000; including $5,000,000, for the liquidation of the principal of the existing debt. These are to be paid, by taxation, both direct and indirect. The Government heretofore has established the indirect system, which will be continued. The Secretary proposes to raise $20,000,000 by a war tax on tea, coffee, and sugar; and $7,000,000 by other alterations of the Tariff. He estimates the usual customs and imports for the present fiscal year, under all the embarrassing circumstances, at $57,000,000; to which he adds $3,000,000, arising from the sale of public lands, and other miscellaneous sources. Relying on di

« 上一頁繼續 »