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AFFAIRS ABOUT WASHINGTON, AUGUST-OCTOBER, 1861
GENERAL MCCLELLAN, immediately I eminently prejudicial to good order and after the battle of Bull Run, hastened military discipline, and must at once be from the scene of his victories in West- discontinued. The time and services of ern Virginia, at the call of the Govern- all persons connected with this division ment, to take command of the army be- should be devoted to their appropriate fore Washington. By an order of the duties with their respective commands. War Department, dated July 23, 1861, It is therefore directed that hereafter no he was placed at the head of a special officer or soldier be allowed to absent geographical division, composed of the himself from his camp and visit WashDepartment of Washington, including the ington except for the performance of Maryland counties of Prince George, some public duty, or the transaction of Montgomery, and Frederick, and the de- important private business, for which partment of North-eastern Virginia. He purposes written permits will be given arrived the same day in Washington, by by the commanders of brigades." To
of Philadelphia, and at once en- ' enforce these regulations, Colonel Antered on the duties of his command. One drew Porter of the 16th United States of his first employments was to restore Infantry, was detailed for temporary to the camps the authority which had duty as Provost Marshal. This able and been always more or less relaxed, and energetic officer entered upon his duty free the capitol from the disgraceful with such vigor that, in a day or two, spectacle of the throng of officers absent the city was freed from the disorder and from their posts, lounging at the hotels, disgrace of the vagrant soldiery. The and an unruly crowd of soldiers which officers ceased to throng the bar-rooms, had beset the peaceful inhabitants since and the men to annoy the shop-keepers the disastrous retreat from Bull Run. and citizens. By an order of the ProAn order dated July 30th, remains an vost Marshal all soldiers found in the historical record of the confusion which streets, hotels, or other places in the then existed in the city. “The General | city after 9 o'clock in the evening were commanding the Division," was its lan- to be arrested, taken to the central guage, “has with much regret observed guard-house, and detained for trial and that large numbers of officers and men, punishment. A military board was orstationed in the vicinity of Washington, ganized by the War Department, with are in the habit of frequenting the streets the concurrence of the General-in-Chief, and hotels of the city. This practice is General Scott, for the examination of all officers of volunteer regiments as to their of the Federal Union. Its movements fitness for the positions assigned them. I have been marked by violence and fraud. Officers found to be incompetent were to Wherever it has manifested itself, it has be rejected, and the vacancies thus occa- disregarded the rights of citizens, coerced sioned were to be filled by the appoint- them into the ranks of its armies, and ment of such persons as had passed the exercises an absolute control over person examination before the Board.* On the and property, in utter defiance of the 19th of August, a month after the battle Constitution and laws of the land. Amof Bull Run, a list was published of two bitious and designing men, disappointed hundred and twenty-five company offi- in their personal aims, have been enacers whose resignations had been ac- bled, chiefly by misrepresenting the cepted.
feelings of one portion of the country toCongress had at once, losing no time ward the other, to usurp and exercise a in vain regrets, met the disaster at Bull power which has become not only tyranRun by authorizing the President to call nical and oppressive in several States a force of volunteers to the number of whose constitutional governments it has 500,000 into the field. The greatest temporarily suspended, but dangerous to activity prevailed in the War Depart. the entire Union ; the pretences originment to assemble and equip a portion of ally held forth as a justification for acts this army. The Governors of the loyal of lawlessness and treason have been States again, as after the attack upon laid aside ; the intention of the leaders Sumter, gave every assistance to the ap- of this wicked rebellion to destroy the piication. The call was instant, and it Union, cemented by the blood of our was immediately responded to. Gover- forefatbers, is now fully manifest; and, nor Curtin of Pennsylvania, ready at all elated by an accidental success, they autimes to aid the Government, within daciously threaten the national capital. four days after the disaster at Manassas, As chief magistrate of the State, it is my forwarded, for the defence of the capital, solemn duty to warn all good and loyal ten full regiments of infantry who had men of the dangers to which our institubeen for some time collected in camps of tions are exposed, and to urge upon instruction. On the 25th of July, Gov- them the necessity of an earnest and ernor Morgan of New York called for zealous coöperation with the authorities 25,000 volunteers from the State. The of the State and General Governments; following month he further seconded the of a cheerful contribution of their means demands of the administration and the to snpport the public credit, and of acpatriotic action of Congress by a special tive enrollment in the forces now being appeal to the people of the State. “A organized for the defence of the Union ; conspiracy,” was the language of his convinced that the tranquility of the Proclamation of August 22, “not the country, so wantonly disturbed, can only work of a day, but the result of years of be restored by the prompt and vigorous false, wicked, and traitorous machina- suppression of rebellion and treason, tions, has for several months disturbed wherever they may appear. The repre. the peace of the State of New York and sentatives of the people of the United * Order of the War Department, July 25, 1861.
- States, lately convened in Congress at A NEW CALL FOR TROOPS.
the call of a constitutionally-elected Pres-cess, they have augmented their forces, ident, in view of the perils which sur- and enhanced the necessity for vigilance round the Union, have, by legislative and power in Washington, in Western enactments, provided for liberal supplies Virginia, and at Missouri. Twenty-nine of men and means for the enforcement regiments of infantry, together with a of the laws, and have thus invited a proportionate force of artillery and cavhearty and zealous response on the part alry, are now being organized in your of several States. New York has never State. As the Executive of the State, it wavered in her devotion to the Union. becomes my duty to appeal to you to She prizes it on account of the many perfect those organizations as rapidly as blessings which all parts of the country possible.” In allusion, doubtless, to the alike have received from it ; on account suggestions of the “peace" advoca of the memory of her patriot sons, by “rump” of the old Democratic party as whose blood it was purchased ; and for they were termed, he added : “I invoke thu inestimable benefits it confers upon you to give no ear to any counsels unfriendthe present, and secures to future gener- ly to the prompt and effective consolidaatious. Her noble response to the call tion of the military force which the General of the President, in April last, was such Government requires to repel the threatas to preserve to her the proud title she ened assaults of the enemy and crush the has long borne in the family of States. rebellion. It must be suppressed or the Another stage in the great rebellion has Government is subverted. Its suppresbeen reached, and the Government, ap-sion can only be effected by vigorous preciating the dangers now menacing it, measures on the part of that Governappeals for aid. The whole country, ment, promptly sustained by the people, the civilized world, now looks to the animated by a positive and comprehenState of New York. Let the response sive policy. I conjure you to give no be worthy of her history. Let her an- heed to any proposition, under whatever swer go back in full ranks of earnest sanction it may come, for negotiation or men, who, justly valuing the magnitude compromise with armed rebellion. The of the interests involved, temporarily only condition upon which negotiation relinquish their pursuits, and prepare to can be tolerated is the complete surrenmeet the crisis."
der of the rebels to the national GovGovernor Dennison of Ohio, in a Pro- ernment, and an unqualified return of clamation dated August 28th, reminds their allegiance to its supreme authority. the people of the State that, without a Without that, there should be no adjustregiment of troops at the opening of hos- ment, without it there can be no peace.” tilities, they had already sent more than Indiana, with her Crittenden, Dumont, 30.000 men into the field armed and Milroy, and other noble spirits of the equipped. “The Federal Government," war at the head of her regiments, exhibsaid he, "again calls upon you for sol-ited equal alacrity in recruiting and senddiers. The late disaster at Manassas, ing her forces into the field. Early in Auserious as it was in many respects to the gust the State had thirty-six regiments rebels, has added to their audacity and rapidly equipping, besides several batinsolence. Encouraged by apparent suc- teries of artillery and cavalry regiments. Governor Buckingham of Connecticut, tempt to pull down the peace flag which in his Proclamation of August 31st, par- bad been raised, was resisted, and a ticularly denounced various acts inter- serious fight ensued, in which two "peace fering with the support of the Govern- men” were severely handled. ment in its conduct of the war. After a A general order having been issued brief allusion to the course of the seced- from the War Department in July proing States combining their energies to hibiting the mustering into the service of rob us of the blessings of a free Govern- volunteers who do not speak the English ment as the greatest crime recorded in language, and giving rise to much apprehistory, he added : “At this critical hension as to the employment of foreign
juncture our liberties are still further ers in the War, it was explained by a imperiled by the utterance of seditious subsequent order as not applying to re. language ; by a traitorous press, which giments or companies of foreign nationalexcuses or justifies the rebellion ; by ity in which men and officers speak the several organizations, which propose to same tongue, but to prevent the enlistresist the execution of the laws of this ment, into regiments or companies whose State by force ; by the public exhibition officers speak the English language only, of peace flags,' falsely so called ; and by of men not understanding it, and to inan effort to redress grievances regardless duce such persons to enlist under officers of the forms and officers of the law.” whose language they do understand.* A
One of these peace flags alluded to communication on this subject was adhad been hoisted a few days before at dressed by Mr. Alberger, the Mayor of Stepney, ten miles north of Bridgeport, Buffalo, to the Secretary of State, who on occasion of a meeting of persons sup- replied that the misconceived order had posed to be unfriendly to the war. As been “entirely rescinded and vacated," the assembly was about opening, “a pro- and that there was no obstacle whatever cession of carriages appeared containing to the acceptance of the services of volone hundred of the first citizens of Bridge-unteers on the ground of their nationality port and twenty-five of the returned vol- or language. "The contest for the unteers. In less than forty seconds the Union," he added, with a just feeling of secession flag was trailing in the dust, the occasion, its opportunities and necesand in twenty seconds more it was torn sities, “is regarded, as it ought to be,
in five hundred pieces. Several pistols a battle of the freemen of the world for "and one gun were taken from the seces- the institutions of self-government." sionists, who drew, but dared not fire An address, delivered at a mass meetthem. A Union ineeting was then or- ing of the people of Providence, Rhode ganized, of which Elias Howe, Jr., was Island, on the 16th of August, by the appointed President, and P. T. Barnum Hon. Caleb B. Smith, Secretary of the Secretary. Some glorious Union resolu- Interior, may be taken as an exhibition tions denouncing peace secession meet- of the policy of the Government, as the ings were passed."* At another meeting speaker asserted the conservative princiat New Fairfield the same day an at- ples of the administration, reviewed its * Special Despatch of P. T. Barnum to N. Y. Tribune,
course, and justified its measures as dicAugust 24, 1861.
* General Order War Department, Aug. 3, 1861.
tated by the necessities of the times. their lives at the altar of patriotism. I Touching upon a topic ever uppermost want to make peace with in the minds of a New England audience, and your Holts, and men of that classhe said : "I do not invoke you to engage with men who are loyal to the country, in this war as a war against slavery. We and not with rebels who have muskets in are warring for a different principle. their hands." But there is an old adage brought down The Hon. Joseph Holt of Kentucky, to us from the ancients, that whom the at a meeting in New York on the 3d of gods would destroy they first madden.' September, at the invitation of the They are afflicted by that madness which, Chamber of Commerce, delivered one of for their wickedness, God's providence those kindling addresses with which he, has brought upon them ; and that will perhaps, more than any other, nerved do more to crush out the institution of the minds of his countrymen to the strugslavery than would have been done by gle upon which they had entered. Speakthe peaceful administration of the Gov- ing of his State of Kentucky, he said : ernment in ten centuries. If that should " In spite of all the efforts to rend them be the consequence, I have no tears to asunder, New York and Kentucky this shed. To the future and to Providence night stand before the world as sisters. I leave the issues of this great question. Kentucky has not now, she never has It is not the province of the Government had, and she never can have sympathy of the United States to enter into a cru- with either the spirit or the purpose of sade against the institution of slavery.” those conspirators who, at the head of
At a Union meeting at Bangor, Maine, armies and in the mad pursuit of power, in this month (September) Vice-Presi- are now reddening their hands in a nadent Hamlin spoke. “There has been a tion's blood. She abhorred them as great deal," he remarked, “said about Rome abhorred Cataline, as the Ameripeace. I am a peace man, and for peace, can people abhorred Benedict Arnold, as and am willing to fight for it; and I am Christians abhor the memory of Judas bere flanked on either side with two ma Iscariot. That abhorrence was fully exjestic peace-makers—the very best in- pressed in her recent election, and yet in struments known to men to make a peace the very presence of that overwhelming in times like the present. I am for a popular demonstration, and in defiance peace ; and I want it founded upon that and contempt of it, the public papers basis that shall not entail upon my chil- now assure us that the secessionists are dren the necessity of again passing preparing to precipitate that State into through this ordeal. I am for peace; the horrors of civil war, simply and but I want that peace that shall elevate solely because she has refused to follow us in the eyes of all the world, and which the example of Faust and sell herself to shall demonstrate that there is integrity the devil. If, like the political bandits and capacity enough in men for self-gov- of South America, they atrociously perernment; and I want a peace, too, that sist in appealing from the popular vote shall give security to the gallant men in to the sword, then I venture to predict the rebel States who have come forward that it will be found that the Union men and sacrificed their fortunes and almost of Kentucky, with all their sincere love