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VIIIFour score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. . . . we here highly resolve . . . that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom--and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
--PRESIDENT LINCOLN'S Address at Gettysburg, November 19, 1863.
THE CIVIL WAR1
(APRIL, 1861--APRIL, 1865)
THE REPUBLICAN PARTY IN POWER
ABRAHAM LINCOLN (REPUBLICAN) AND ANDREW JOHNSON (WAR DEMOCRAT)
319. Lincoln and Johnson's Administrations (Sixteenth and Seventeenth Presidents, Two Terms2 1861-1869); the President's Arrival at Washington; his Inaugural Address; his Intentions toward the Seceded States. President Lincoln's friends believed that it would not be safe for him to make the last part of his journey to Washington publicly; and he therefore reached the national capital secretly by a special night train.
1 Reference Books (the Civil War). W. Wilson's "Division and Reunion," ch. 8-10; T. A. Dodge's "A Bird's-Eye View of Our Civil War" (revised edition); W. C. Bryant and Gay's" United States "(revised edition), lV, ch. 17-19; V, ch. 7-18; J. Schouler's "Civil War"; A. B. Hart's "American History by Contemporaries," IV, ch. 18-22; A. B. Hart's "Source Book," pp. 296-335; F. E. Chadwick's "Causes of the Civil War"; J. K. Hosmer's "The Appeal to Arms"; J. K. Hosmer's "Outcome of the Civil War." See also the classified List of Books in the Appendix.
2 Abraham Lincoln (§ 315, note 2) war elected President by the Republican party (Hannibal Hamlin of Maine, Vice President), in 1860, over Douglas and Breckenridge, the two candidates of the Northern and the Southern Democrats, and Bell, the candidate of the "Constitutional Union" party. He was again elected by the Republicans in 1864 (Andrew Johnson of Tennessee, Vice President), over General George B. McClellan, the Democratic candidate. President Lincoln was assassinated April 14, 1865, one month and ten days after entering upon his second administration. Vice President Johnson then became President
THE FIRST GUN OF THE WAR
At his inauguration (March 4, 1861) he said: "I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the states where it exists.1 I believe I have no lawful right to do so; and I have no inclination to do so." But the President also declared in the same speech that he held the Union to be perpetual, and that he should do his utmost to keep the oath he had just taken "to preserve, protect, and defend it" (§ 199). He furthermore declared that the government had no intention of beginning war against the seceded states, but would only use its power to retake the forts and other national property which had been seized by the Confederacy.
At this time the general feeling throughout the northern states was a strong desire for peace and a willingness to assure the southern states that their constitutional right1 to hold slaves should not be interfered with.
FIRST YEAR OF THE WAR (APRIL, 1861-APRIL, 1862)
320. Major Anderson's Condition at Fort Sumter; the First Gun of the War; Surrender of the Fort. Major Anderson now sent a message to the President, stating that he could not long
for the remainder of the term. President Lincoln, on first entering office, chose William H. Seward, Secretary of State; Salmon P. Chase, Secretary of the Treasury; Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy; and Simon Cameron, Secretary of War (succeeded, January 15, 1862, by Edwin M. Stanton). During the Civil War they rendered services of inestimable value to the President and to the nation.
1 See the Constitution (as it then stood), Article IV, Section 2, Paragraph 3, "No person held to service," etc.
LEADING FACTS OF AMERICAN HISTORY
continue to hold Fort Sumter unless provisions were sent to him. His entire garrison, aside from some laborers, consisted of eighty-five officers and men; the Confederate force in Charleston was about 7000. The government immediately made arrangements to send the needed supplies. As soon as Jefferson Davis heard of it, he ordered General Beauregard, in command of the
Confederate army at Charleston, to demand the surrender of the fort.
Major Anderson declined to surrender, and at daybreak, April 12, 1861, the Confederates fired the first gun at the fort. It was answered by one from Sumter. War had begun. For thirty-four hours nineteen batteries rained shot and shell against the fort, which continued to fire back. Notwithstanding this tremendous cannonade, no one was killed on either side. But Major Anderson, finding that his ammunition was nearly exhausted, and having nothing but pork to eat, decided to give up the fort. On Sunday (April 14) he, with his garrison, left the fort and embarked for New York; he carried with him the shot-torn flag under which he and his men had fought (§ 358).
THE RISING OF THE NORTH
321. President Lincoln's Call for Volunteers; the Rising of the North. The next day (April 15, 1861) President Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers for three months' service, for few then supposed that the war, if there was really to be a war, would last longer than that. In response to the President's call the whole North seemed to rise. Men of all parties forgot their political quarrels, and hastened to the defense of the capital. The heart of the people stood by the Union, and by the old flag. Within thirty-six hours several companies from Pennsylvania had reached Washington. They were speedily followed by the Sixth Massachusetts Regiment -- the first full regiment to march. They had to fight their way through a mob at Baltimore. There, on April 19, 1861, the day on which the Revolutionary battles of Lexington and Concord were fought, the first Union soldiers gave their lives for the preservation of the nation.
Many of the volunteers were lads under twenty, and some of them had never left home before. There were many affecting scenes when the "boys in blue"1 started for Washington. Anxious mothers took tearful leave of sons, whom they feared they should never see again. The peril of the republic touched men in all conditions of life as nothing ever had before. Farmers left their plows, mechanics dropped their tools, clerks said farewell to their employers, college students threw down their books -- all hurried to take their places in the ranks, and even lads of fifteen begged to go as drummer boys.
On the Southern side there were the same anxious leave-takings for it should be borne in mind that while the people of the North were eager to offer their lives for the defense of the Union, the
1 The Union soldiers wore blue uniforms; the Confederates, gray.
LEADING FACTS OF AMERICAN HISTORY
people of the South were just as eager to give theirs to repel what they considered invasion.
322. Secession of Four More States; General Butler's "Contrabands." President Lincoln's call for troops made it necessary for the remaining slave states to decide at once whether they would remain in the Union or go out. Virginia1 joined the Confederacy; but the western part of the state had voted against secession, and later it became a separate state (1863) under the name of West Virginia. The Confederate capital was soon removed from Montgomery to Richmond (§ 316). Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina followed the example of Virginia; but Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri did not secede. By the middle of June the Confederacy consisted of eleven states; no more were added.
General Butler of Massachusetts held command of Fort Monroe2 in eastern Virginia. It was the only Union stronghold in the state, and was of the very highest importance. A number of slaves came to the general and begged him to set them free. He had no authority to give them their liberty. On the other hand, he was certain that if he returned these slaves to their masters they would use them in carrying on the war against the Union. Finally, General Butler got out of the difficulty by saying, These negroes are contraband of war3; then putting spades in the hands of the "contrabands," as they were henceforth called, he set them to work to strengthen the fort. General Butler's action was the first decided blow struck at the existence of slavery after the commencement of the war.
323. Condition of the North and of the South with Respect to the War. In regard to the terrible struggle now about to begin between the North and the South, each of the combatants had certain advantages over the other.
1 The secession of eastern Virginia immensely increased the military difficulties with which the North had to contend. Had Virginia remained in the 'Union (as she seemed at one time likely to do), the war would probably have been of short duration.
2 Commonly called Fortress Monroe, but officially designated Fort Monroe.
3 Contraband of war: here meaning, forfeited by the customs or laws of war. General Butler's idea was that the laws of war forbade his returning any property to the Confederates which they could use in carrying on the contest.
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THE NORTH AND THE SOUTH IN THE WAR
1. At the North the national government had more than twice as many men to draw on as the South.1
2. The North, although unprepared for war, had iron mills, shipyards, foundries, machine shops, and factories of all kinds. For this reason it could make everything its soldiers would need, from a blanket to a battery.
3. The North had the command of the sea, and so with its war vessels -- most of which, however, it had to buy or build -- it could shut up the Southern ports and cut them off from help from abroad.
The South had the following advantages:
1. It had prepared for the war by getting possession of large quantities of arms and ammunition (though it had small means of getting any more).
2. With the exception of General Scott and a few others who stood by the Union, it had a majority of the best known officers in the regular army, -- such men as Robert E. Lee of Virginia2 and General Beauregard.
3. It could send all of its fighting men to the front, while it kept several millions of slaves at work raising food to support them.
4. It was able to fight on the defensive, on its own soil, and so required fewer soldiers.
General Grant thought that the two armies, all things considered, were about equally matched.
324. How Money was raised to carry on the War; National Banks. The national government needed immense sums of money to pay the Union soldiers, and to obtain arms and military supplies. The South, on the other hand, was soon practically cut off from,
1 The total population of the United States in 1860 was, in round numbers, 32,000,000. The Union states, including the border states, had about 23,000,000; the eleven seceded states about 9,000,000, of which nearly 3,500,000 were slaves. Both sides drew men from the border states.
2 General Lee was born in Virginia, 1807; died, 1870. He was a graduate of West Point and served with distinction in the Mexican War (§ 292). When Virginia seceded, Lee, who was then a lieutenant colonel in the United States army, said, "I recognize no necessity for this state of things," yet he felt it his duty to go with his state. He said, "With all my devotion to the Union ... I have not been able to make up my mind to raise my band against my relatives, my children, my home." He was made commander in chief of the Virginia state forces. In 1862 he received -- subject to the orders of Jefferson Davis -- the entire command of "the armies of the Confederacy." His management of the war showed that he was a man of great military ability, and of entire devotion to what he understood to be his duty.