1902 Encyclopedia > United States > The Civil War: 1861-65

United States
(Part 10)


Part 10. The Civil War: 1861-65

263. Secession has taken away many of the men who had for years managed the Federal Government, and who understood its workings. Lincoln’s party was in power for the first time; his officers were new to be routine of Federal administration,; and the circumstances with which they were called upon to deal were such as to daunt any spirit. The Government had become so nearly bankrupt in the closing days of Buchanan’s administration that it had only escaped by paying double interest, and that by the special favor of the New York banks, which obtained n return the appointment of Dix as secretary of the treasury. The army had been almost broken up by captures of men and material and by resignation of competent and trusted officers. The navy had come to such a pass that, in February 1861, a house committee reported that only two vessels, one of twenty, the other of two guns, were available for the defence of the entire Atlantic coast. And, to complicate all difficulties, a horder of clamorous office-seekers crowded Washingtion.

264. Before many weeks of Lincoln’s administration had passed, the starting of an expedition to provision Fort Sumter brought on an attack by the batteries around the fort, and, after a bombardment of 36 hours, the fort surrendered (April 14, 1861). It is not necessary to rehearse the familiar story of the outburst of feeling which followed this event and the proclamation of President Lincoln calling for volunteers, the mustering of men, the eagerness of States cities, and villages to hurry volunteers forward and to supply money to their own Government in its need. The 75,000 volunteers called for were supplied three or four times over, and those who were refused felt the refusal as a personal deprivation.

265. There had been some belief in the South that the North-West would take no part in the impending conflict, and that is people could be persuaded to keep up friendly relations with the new nationality until the final treaty of peace should establish all the fragments of the late Union upon an international basis. In the spring months of 1861 Douglas, who had long been denounced as the tool of the Southern slave-holders, was spending the closing days of life in expressing the determination of the North-West that it would never submit to have "a line of custom-houses" between it and the ocean. The batteries which Confederate authority was erecting on the banks of the Mississippi were fuel to the flame. Far-off California, which had been considered neutral by all parties, pronounced as unequivocally for the national authority.

266. The shock of arms put an end to opposition in the South as well. The peculiar isolation of life in the South precluded the more ignorant voter from any comparisons of the power of his State with any other; to him it was almost inconceivable that his State should own or have a superior. The better educated men, of wider experience, had been trained to think State sovereignty the foundation of civil liberty, and, when their State spoke, they felt bound to "follow their State." The president of the Confederate States issued his call for men, and it was also more than met. On both sides of the line armed men were hurrying to a meeting.

267. Lincoln’s call for troops met with an angry reception wherever the doctrine of State sovereignty had a foothold. The governors of the border States (§ 257) generally returned it with a refusal to furnish troops. Two States, North Carolina and Arkansas, seceded and joined the Confederate States. In two others, Virginia and Tennessee, the State politicians formed, "military leagues" with the Confederacy, allowing Confederate troops to take possession of the States, and then submitted the question of secession to "popular vote." The secession of these States was thus accomplished, and Richmond became the Confederate capital. The same process was attempted in Missouri, but failed, and the State remained loyal. The politician class in Maryland and Kentucky took the extraordinary course of attempting to maintain neutrality; but the growing power to the Federal Government soon enabled the people of the two States to resume control of their governments a d give consistent support to the Union. Kentucky, however, had troops in the Confederate armies; and one of her citizens, the late vice-president, John C. Breckinridge, left his place in the senate and became an officer in the Confederate service. Delaware cast her lot from the first with the Union.

268. The first blood of the war was shed in the streets of Baltimore, when a mob attempted to stop Massachusetts troops on their way to Washington (April 19). For a time there was difficulty in getting troops through Maryland because of the active hostility of a part of its people, but this was overcome, and the national capital was made secure. The Confederate lines had been pushed up to Manassas Junction, about 30 miles from Washington. When Congress, called into special session by the president for July 4, came together, the outline of the Confederate States had been fixed. Their line of defence held the left bank of the Potomac from Fortress Monroe nearly to Washington; thence, at a distance of some 30 miles from the river; to Harper’s Ferry; thence through the mountains of western Virginia and the southern part of Kentucky, crossing the Mississippi a little below Cairo; thence through southern Missouri to the eastern border of Kansas; and thence south-west through the Indian Territory and along the northern boundary of Texas to the Rio Grande. The length of the line, including also the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, has been estimated at 11,000 miles. The territory within it comprised about 800,000 square miles, with a population of over 9,000,000 and great natural resources. It cotton was almost essential to the manufactories of the word; in exchange for it every munition of war could be procured; and it was hardly possible to blockade a coast over 3000 miles in length, on which the blockading force had but one port of refuge, and that about the middle of the line. Nevertheless President Lincoln issued his proclamation announcing the blockade of the Southern coast, a proclamation from President Davis appearing with it, offering letters of marque and reprisal against the commerce of the United States to private vessels. The news brought out proclamations of neutrality from Great Britain and France, and, according to subsequent decisions of the Supreme Court, made the struggle a civil war, though the minority held that this did not occur legally until the Act of Congress of July 13, 1861, authorizing the president, in case of insurrection, to shut up ports and suspend commercial intercourse with the inhabitants of the revolted district.

269. The president found himself compelled to assume powers never granted to the executive authority, trusting to the subsequent action of Congress to validate his action. He had to raise and support armies and navies; he even had to authorize seizures of necessary property, of railroad and telegraph lines, arrests of suspected persons, and the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus in certain districts. Congress supported him, and proceeded in 1863 to give the president power to suspend the writ anywhere in the United States, which he proceeded to do (§ 115). The Supreme Court, after the war, decided that no branch of the Government had power to suspend the writ in districts where the courts were open, - that the privilege of the writ might be suspended as to persons properly involved in the war, but that the writ was still to issue, the court, deciding whether the person came within the classes to whom the suspension applied. This decision, however, did not come until "arbitrary arrests," as they were called, had been a feature of the entire war. A similar suspension of the writ took place in the Confederate States.

270. When Congress met (July 4, 1861), the absence of Southern members had made it heavily Republican. It decided to consider no business but that connected with the war, authorized a loan and the raising of 500,00 volunteers, and made confiscation of property a penalty of rebellion. While it was in session the first serious battle of the war-Bull Run, or Manassas-took place (July 21), and resulted in the defeat of the Federal army. Both armies were as yet so ill-trained that the victors gained nothing from their success. In the west the battle of Wilson’s Creek, near Springfield, Mo. (August 10), was either a drawn battle or a Confederate victory; but here also the victors rather lost than gained ground after it. The captures of Fort Hatteras, N.C. (August 29), and Port Royal, S.C. (November 7), gave the blockading fleets two important harbors of refuge. The over-zealous action of an naval officer in taking the Confederate envoys Mason and Slidell out of a British mail-steamer sailing between two neutral ports almost brought about a collision between the United States and Great Britain in November. But th American precedents were all against the United States (§ 172), and the envoys were given up.

271. General M’Clellan (p. 789), in the early months of the war, had led a force of Western troops across the Ohio river, entered western Virginia, and beaten the Confederate armies in several battles. After the battle of Bull Run he was called to Washington and put in command of all the armies on the retirement of Scott. His genius for organization, and the unbounded confidence of the people in him, enabled him to form the troops at and near Washington into the first great army of the war – the army of the Potomac. It was held, however, too much in idleness to suit the eagerness of the people and the administration; and the dissatisfaction grew louder as the winter of 1861-62 passed away without any forward movement (§ 284).

272. If the army was idle, Congress was not. The broad-construction tendencies of the party showed themselves more plainly as the war grew more serious; there was an increasing disposition to cut every knot by legislation, with less regard to the constitutionality of the legislation. A paper currency, commonly known as "greenbacks," was adopted and made legal tender (February 25, 1862). The first symptoms of a disposition to attack slavery appeared: slavery was prohibited in the District of Columbia and the Territories; the army was forbidden to surrender escaped laves to their owners; and slaves of insurgents were ordered to be confiscated. In addition to a Homestead Act, giving public lands to actual settlers at reduced rates (§ 200), Congress began a further development of the system of granting public lands to railway corporation.

273. The railway system of the United States was but twenty years old in 1850 (§ 230), but it had begun to assume some consistency. The day of short and disconnected lines had passed, and the connections which were to develop into railway systems had appeared. Consolidation of smaller companies had begun; the all-rail route across the State of New York was made up of more than a dozen original companies at its consolidation in 1853. the Erie Railway was formed in 1851; and another western route- the Pennsylvania – was formed in 1854. These were at least the germs of great trunk lines (§ 312). The cost of American railways has been only from one-half to one-fourth of the cost of European railways; but an investment in a far western railway in 1850-60 was an extra-hazardous risk. Not only did social conditions make any form of business hazardous; the new railway often had to enter a territory bare of population, and there create its own towns, farms, and traffic. Whether it could do so was so doubtful as to make additional inducements to capital necessary. The means attempted to Congress in 1850, in the case of the Illinois Central Railroad, was to grant public lands to the corporation, reserving to the United States the alternate sections. The expectation was that the railway, for the purpose of building up traffic, would sell lands to actual settlers at low rates, and that the value of the reserved lands would thus be increased. At first grants were made to the States for the benefit of the corporations; the Act of 1862 made the grant directly to the corporation.

274. The vital military and political necessity of an immediate railway connection with the Pacific coast was hardly open to doubt in 1862, but the necessity hardly justified the terms which were offered and taken. The Union Pacific Railroad was incorporated; the United States Government was to issue to it bonds, on the completion of each 40 miles, to the amount of $16,000 per mile, to be a first mortgage; through Utah and Nevada, the aid was to be doubled, and for some 300 miles of mountain building to be trebled; and, in addition to this, alternate sections of land were granted. The land-grant system, thus begun, was carried on in the cases of a large number of other roads, the largest single grants being those of 47,000,000 acres to the Northern Pacific (1864) and of 42,000,000 to the Atlantic and Pacific line (1866).

275. Specie payments had been suspended almost everywhere towards the end of 1861; but the price of gold was but 103.5 at the beginning of 1862. About May its price in paper currency began to rise. It touched 170 during the next year, and 285 in 1864; but the real price probably never went much above 250. As gold rose, specie disappeared. Other articles felt the influence in currency prices. Mr D. A. Wells, in 1866, estimated that prices and rents had risen 90 per cent. since 1861, while wages had not risen more than 60 per cent.

276. The duties on imports were driven higher than the Morrill tariff had ever contemplated (§ 258). The average rates, which had been 18 per cent. on dutiable articles and 12 per cent. on the aggregate in 1860-61, rose, before the end of the war, to nearly 50 per cent. on dutiable articles and 35 per cent. on the aggregate. Domestic manufactures sprang into new life under such hothouse encouragement; every one who had spare wealth converted it into manufacturing capital. The probability of such a result had been the means of getting votes for an increased tariff; free-traders, had voted for it as well as protectionists. For the tariff was only a means of getting capital into positions in which taxation could be applied to it, and the "internal revenue" taxation was merciless beyond precedent. The annual increase of wealth from capital was hen about $550,000,000; the internal revenue taxation on it rose in 1866 to $130,000,000, or nearly 60 per cent. Even after the war the taxation was kept up unflinchingly until the reduction of the national debt had brought it to a point where it was evidently at the mercy of time (§ 322).

277. The stress of all this upon the poor must have been great, but it was relieved in part by the bond-system on which the war was conducted (§ 322). While the armies and navies were shooting off large blocks of the crops of 1880 or 1890, work and wages were abundant for all who were competent for them. It is true, then, that the poor paid most of the cost of the war; it is also true that the poor had shared in that anticipation of the future which had been forced on the country, and that, when the drafts on the future came to be redeemed, it was done mainly by taxation on luxuries. The destruction of a Northern railroad meant more work for Northern iron mills and their workmen. The destruction of a Southern road was an unmitigated injury; it had to be made good at once by paper issues; the South could make no drafts on the future, by bond issues, for the blockade had put cotton out of the game, and Southern bonds were hardly saleable. Every expense had to be met by paper issues; each issue forced prices higher; every rise in prices called for an increased issue of paper, with increased effects for evil. A Rebel War-Clerk’s Dairy gives the following as the prices in the Richmond market for May 1864:- "Boots. $200; coats, $350; pantaloons, $100; shoes, $125; flour, $275 her barrel; meal $60 to $80 per bushel; bacon, $9 per pound; no beef in market; chickens; $30 per pair; shad, $20, potatoes, $25 per bushel; turnip greens, $4 per peck; white beans, $4 per quart or $120 per bushel; butter, $15 per pound; lard same; wood, $50 per cord" How the rise in salaries and wages, always far slower than other prices, could meet such prices as these, one must be left to imagine. It can only be said that most of the burden was really sustained by the women of the South.

278. The complete lack of manufactures told heavily against the South from the beginning. As men were drawn from agriculture in the North and West, the increased demand for labor was shaded off into an increased demand for agricultural machinery (§ 231); every increased percentage of power in reaping-machines liberated so many men for service at the front. The reaping- machines of the South-the slaves- were incapable of any such improvement, and, besides, required the presence of a portion of the possible fighting-men at home to watch them. There is an evident significance in the exemption from military duty in the Confederate States of "one agricultural on such farm, where there is no white male adult not liable to duty, employing 15 able-bodied slaves between ten and fifty years of age." But, to the honor of the enslaved race, no insurrection took place.

279. The pressing need for men in the army made the Confederate Congress utterly unable to withstand the growth of executive power. Its bills were prepared by the cabinet, and the action of Congress was quite perfunctory. The suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, and the vast powers granted to President Davis, or assumed by him under the plea of military necessity, with the absence of a watchful and well-informed public opinion, made the Confederate Government by degrees almost a despotism. It was not until the closing months of the war that the expiring Confederate Congress mustered up courage enough to oppose the president’s will. The organized and even radical opposition to the war in the North, the meddlesomeness of Congress and its "committees on the conduct of the war," were no doubt unpleasant to Lincoln; but they carried the country through the crisis without the effects visible in the South.

280. Another act of Federal legislation – the National Bank Act – should be mentioned here, as it was closely connected with the sale of bonds (February 25, 1863). The banks were to be organized, and, on depositing United States bonds at Washington, were to be permitted to issue notes up to 90 per cent. of the value of the bonds deposited. As the redemption of the notes is thus assured, they circulate without question all over the United States. By a subsequent Act the remaining State bank circulation was taxed out of existence. The national banks are still in operation; but the disappearance of United States bonds threatened their continuance.

281. At the beginning of 1862 the lines of demarcation between the two powers had become plainly marked. The western part of Virginia had separated itself from the parent State, and was admitted as a State (1863) under the name of West Virginia. It was certain that Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri had been saved to the Union, and that the battle was to be fought out in the territory to the south of them. In the west Grant (p. 788), commanding a part of Buell’s general forces, moved up the Tennessee river and broke the center of the long Confederate line by the capture of Forts Henry and Donelson (February 1862). The collapse of the Confederate line opened the way for the occupation of almost all western Tennessee, including its capital, and the theater of war was moved far forward to the southern boundary of the State, and advance of fully 200 miles into the heart of the Confederacy. It had been shown already that the successful officers were to be those from West Point; but even they were getting their first experience in the handling of large masses of men. Grant and Sherman owed a part of that experience to the military genius of the Confederate commander, Albert S. Johnston, whose sudden attack on their army at Pittsburgh Landing (April 6) brought on the first great battle of the war. The Federal forces held out stubbornly until the arrival of Buell’s advance guard relieved the pressure, and the Confederates were driven back to Corinth, with the heavy loss of their commander, who had been mortally wounded. Steady advances brought the Union armies to Corinth, an important railroad center, in June; ands the Mississippi was opened up as far as Memphis by these successes of the armies and by the hard fighting of the gunboats at Island Number Ten and other places. At the northern boundary of the State of Mississippi the Union advance stopped for the time, but what had been gained was held.

282. At the same time the Mississippi was opened in part from below. A great naval expedition under Farragut and Porter, with a land force under Butler, sailing from Fort Monroe, came to the mouth of the Mississippi. Farragut ran past the forts above the mouth of the river, sank the ironclads which met him, and captured New Orleans (April 25). The land forces then took possession of it and the forts, while the fleet cleared the river of obstacles and Confederate vessels as far as Port Hudson and Vicksburgh, where the Confederate works were situated on bluffs too high for a naval attack.

283. The energy of the combatants had already brought ironclad vessels to the test which they had not yet met elsewhere, that of actual combat. Western ingenuity had produced a simple and excellent type of river ironclad by cutting down river steamers and plating them with railroad or other iron. The type needed for the rougher Eastern waters was different, and the Confederates converted the frigate "Merrimac," captured at Norfolk, into an ironclad of a more sea-going type. The battle between her and the "Monior" (March 8), in Hampton Roads, was indecisive; but the "Merimac" was driven back to Norfolk, the blockade and the cities of the Atlantic coast, which had seemed to be at its mercy, were saved, and the day of wooden war-vessels was seen to be over. Before the end of the following year there were 75 ironclads in the United States navy; the number of vessels had increased to 588, with 4443 guns and 35,000 men.

284. The hundred miles between Washington and Richmond are crossed by numberless streams, flowing southeast, and offering strong defensive positions, of which the Confederates had taken advantage. M"Clellan (§ 271) therefore wished to move his army to Fort Monroe and attack Richmond from that point, on the ground of Cornwalli’s campaign of 1781. He believed that such a movement would force the Confederate armies away from Washington to meet him. The administration, believing that such a movement would only open the way for the enemy to capture Washington – a more valuable prize than Richmond – gave directions that a part of M’Clellan’s force, under M’Dowell, should take the overland route as far as Fredericksburgh, while the rest, under M’Clellan, were moving up the peninsula towards Richmond; and that as the enemy withdrew to meet the latter, a junction of the two divisions should take place, so as to carry out M’Clellan’s plans without uncovering Washington. But a month was spent in besieging Yorktown; when the attempt was made to form the junction with M’Dowell it involved the separation of the two wings by the little river Chickahominy; and in May the spring rains turned the little stream into a wide river, and the army was divided. Joseph E. Johnston, the Confederate commander, at once attacked the weaker wing at Seven Pines and Fair Oaks, but was beaten and was himself wounded and compelled to leave he service for a time. This event gave his place to Robert E. Lee, whose only military service in the war up to this time had been a failure in western Virginia. He was no to begin, in conjunction with Thomas J ("Stonewall") Jackson, as series of brilliant campaigns.

285. From Staunton, 100 miles west of Richmond, the Shenandoah valley extends north-east to the Potomac, whence there is an easy march of 75 miles south-east to Washington. Jackson struck the Union forces in the valley, drove them to the Potomac, and excited such alarm in Washington that M’Dowell’s troops were hastily withdrawn from Fredericksburgh. Having thus spoiled M’Clellan’s plan of junction, and taken some 40,000 men fromhim, Jackson hurried to Richmond. Lee let him on the north side of the Chickahominy, and two armies attacked M’Clellan’s right wing at Gaines’s Mill, and cut the connection between it and its base of supplies on the York river (June 26). Unable to reunite his wings and regain his base, M’Clenllan was forced to draw his right wing south, and attempt to establish another base on the James river. Lee and Jackson followed hard on his retreat, and the "seven days’ battles" were the most desperate of the war up to this time, the principal battles being those of Savage’s Station (June 29), Glendale (June 30), and Malvern Hill (July 1). The last ended the series, for M’Clallen had reached the James, and his army had fixed itself in a position fromwhich it could not be driven.

286. Pope had succeeded M’Dowell, and Jackson attacked and beat him on the battle ground of Bull Run (August 29), driving his army towards Washington. M"Clellan was at once recalled to defend the capital. As he withdrew from the peninsula, Lee joined Jackson, and the whole Confederate army, passing to the north-west of Washington, began the first invasion of the North. As it passed through the mountains of north-western Maryland, the army of the Potomac, which had been brought up through Maryland in pursuit, reached its rear, and forced it to turn and fight the battle of Antietam, or Sharpsburgh, September 17. Both sides claimed the victory, but Lee was compelled to recross the Potomac to his former position. M’Clellan was blamed for the slowness of his pursuit and was removed, Burnside (p. 788) becoming his successor. The only great event of his term of command was his attempt to storm the height behind Fredericksburgh (December 13) and the terrible slaughter of his defeat. Hooker was then put in his place. The year 1862 thus closed with the opposing armies in about the same positions as at the beginning of the war.

287. At the beginning of the war the people and leaders of the North had not desired to interfere with slavery, but circumstances had been too strong for them. Lincoln had declared that he meant to save the Union as he best could, - by preserving slavery, by destroying it, or by destroying part and preserving part of it. Just after the battle of Antietam he issued his proclamation calling on the revolted States to return to their allegiance before the following January 1, otherwise their slaves would be declared free men. No State returned, and the threatened declaration was issued January 1, 1863. As president Lincoln could issue no such declaration; as commander-in-chief of the armies and navies of the United States he could issue directions only as to the territory within his lines; but the Emancipation Proclamation applied only to territory outside of his lines. It has therefore been debated whether the proclamation was in reality of any force. It may fairly be taken as an announcement of the policy which was to guide the army, and as a declaration of freedom taking effect as the lines advanced. At all events, this was its exact effect. Its international importance was far greater. The locking up of the world’s source of cotton-supply had been a general calamity, and the Confederate Government and people had steadily expected that the English and French Governments, or at least one of them, would intervene in the war for the purpose of raising the blockade and releasing the southern cotton. The conversion of the struggle into a crusade against slavery made intervention impossible for Governments whose peoples had now a controlling influence on their policy and intelligence enough to understand the issue which had now been made.

288. Confederate agents in England were numerous and active. Taking advantage of every loophole in the British Foreign Enlistment Act, they built and sent to sea the "Alabama" and "Flordia," which for a time almost drove American commerce from the ocean. Whenever they were closely pursued by United States vessels they took refuge in neutral ports until a safe opportunity occurred to put to sea again. Another, the "Georgia," was added in 1863. All three were destroyed in 1864, - the "Florida" by a violation of Brazilian neutrality, the "Georgia" after an attempt to transfer her to neutral owners, and the "Alabama" after a brief sea-fight with the "Kearsarge," off Cherbourgh (June 19). Confederate attempts to have ironclads equipped in England and France were unsuccessful.

289. In the west (§ 281) Bragg (p. 788), now in command of the Confederate forces, turned the right of the Union line in southern Tennessee, and began an invasion of Kentucky about the time when Lee was beginning his invasion of the North. Carrying off much booty, he retired into Tennessee. Towards the end of the year Rosecrans moved forward from Nashville to attack him. The armies met at Murfreesboro’, and fought a drawn battle during the last day of the year 1862 and the first two days of January 1863. The western armies were now in four parts, - that of Rosecrans near Murfreesboro’ that of Grant near Corinth, that of Schofield in Missouri and Arkansas, and that of Banks in Louisiana. The complete opening of the Mississippi being the great object, the burden of the work fell to Grant, who was nearest the river. Vicksburgh was the objective point, and Grant at first attempted to take it from the opposite or western bank of the river. Failing here, he moved south to a favorable point for crossing, and used the river fleet to transfer his army to the eastern bank. He was now on the Vicksburgh side of the river. J. E. Johnston was north-east of him, at Jackson, with a weaker army; the bulk of the Confederate forces was at or near Vicksburgh, under Pemberton. Jonston wanted to siege of Vicksbrugh; Pemberton wanted no junction with Johnston, which might cost him the glory of defeating Grant; and Grant solved their difficulty for them. Moving north-east he struck Johnston’s army near Jackson, beat it, and drove it out of any possibility of junction. He then turned westward, fighting several sharp battles as he went, and late in May he had Pemberton shut up in Vicksburgh. His lines were maintained for six weeks, and then (July 4, 1863) the finest Confederate army in the west surrendered. Port Hudson surrendered to Banks five days later: the Mississippi was opened from end to end, and the Confederacy was cleft in twain. From this time communication between the two parts of the Confederate States became increasingly more difficult, and the transfer of supplies from the rich country west of the Mississippi was almost at an end. There was little further fighting to the west of the great river, except an intermittent guerilla warfare and the defeat of Bank’s expedition against north-western Louisiana early in 1864. When the war ceased in the east, the isolated western half of the Confederacy feel with it.

290. While Grant was besieging Vicksbrugh, Rosecrans had begun to move from the eastern end of the Union line in Tennessee against Bragg at Chattanooga. He drove Bragg through the place, and a dozen miles beyond it, into Georgia. Here the Confederate army took position behind Chickamauga creek, and inflicted a complete defeat upon the pursuing Union forces (September 19-20, 1863). Thomas covered the rear stubbornly, and secured a safe retreat into Chattanooga, but the possession of the mountains around the place enabled Bragg to cut off almost all roads of further retreat and establish a siege of Chattanooga. Bragg was so confident of success that he detached a part of his army, under Longstreet, to besiege Knoxville, in eastern Tennessee. Grant was ordered to take command at Chattanooga, and went thither, taking Sherman and others of the officers who had taken part in his Viscksburgh campaign. He soon opened new routes of communication to the rear, supplied and reinforced his army, and began to prepare for the storming of the mountains before him. His assaults on Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge (November 23-25) were among the most dramatic and successful of the war. Bragg was driven out of all his positions and back to Dalton, where Davis was compelled by the complaints of his people to remove him, and appoint J.E. Johnston his successor. Longstreet broke up the siege of Knoxville, and made good his retreat across the mountain into Virginia to join Lee.

291. The army of the Potomac, under Hooker, kept its place near Fredericksburgh (S 286) until May 1863. Hooker then began a movement across the Rapidan towards Richmond, and was defeated in the battle of Chancellorsville (May 2-3). The victorious army suffered the severest of losses in the death of Jackson, but this did not check Lee’s preparations for a second invasion of the North, which began the next month. As his army moved northwards, very nearly on the route which it had followed the year before, the army of the Potomac held a parallel course through Maryland and into Pennsylvania. The Confederate forces penetrated farther than in 1862; their advance came almost to Harrisburgh, and threw the neighboring Northern cities into great alarm; but the pursuing army, now under Meade (p. 790), met Lee at Gettysburgh (July 1-3) and defeated him. The Confederate army, assaulting its enemy in very strong positions, suffered losses which were almost irreparable, and it was never again quite the same army as before Gettysbrugh. Some Northern critics were inclined to think that Lee’s former successes had really been due to Jackson’s genius, and that he had lost his powers in losing Jackson. The campaign of 1864 was to prove the contrary. The customary retreat brought the two armies back to very nearly the same positions which they had occupied at the beginning of he war, the Rappahannock flowing between them. Here they remained until the following spring.

292. The turning-point of the war was evidently in the early days of July 1863, when the victories of Vicskburgh and Gettysburgh came together. The national Government had at the beginning cut the Confederate States down to a much smaller area than might well have been expected; its armies had pushed the besieging lines far into the hostile territory, and had held the ground which they had gained; and the war itself had developed a class of generals who cared less for the conquest of territory than for attacking and destroying the opposing armies. The great drafts on the future which the credit of the Federal Government enabled the North to make gave it also a startling appearance of prosperity; so far from feeling the war, it was driving production of every kind of a higher pitch that ever before. The cities began to show greater evidences of wealth, and new rich men appeared, many of them being the "shoddy aristocracy," who had acquired wealth by mis-serving the Government, but more being able men who had grasped the sudden opportunities offered by the changes of affairs.

293. The war had not merely developed improved weapons and munitions of war; it had also spurred the people on to a more careful attention to the welfare of the soldiers, the fighting men drawn from their own number. The Sanitary Commission, the Christian Commission, and other voluntary association, the Christian Commission, and other voluntary associations for the physical and moral care of soldiers received and disbursed very large sums. The national Government was paying an average amount of $2,000,000 per day for the prosecution of the war, and, in spite of the severest taxation, the debt grew to $500,000,000 in June 1862, to twice that amount a year later, to $1,700,000,000 in June 1864, and reached its maximum August 31, 1865 - $2,845,907,626. But this lavish expenditure was directed with energy and judgment. The blockading fleets were kept in perfect order and with every condition of success. The railroad and telegraph were brought into systematic use for the first time in modern warfare. Late in 1863 Stanton, the secretary of war, moved two corps of 23,000 men from Washington to Chattanooga, 1200 miles, in seven days. A year later he moved another corps, 15,000 strong, from Tennessee to Washington in eleven days, and within a month had collected vessels and transferred it to North Carolina. Towards the end of the war, when the capacity of the railroad for war purposes had been fully learned, these sudden transferred of troops by the Federal Government almost neutralized the Confederate advantage of interior lines.

294. On the other hand, the Federal armies now held almost all the great Southern through lines of railroad, except the Georgia lines and those which supplied Lee from the South (§ 296). The want of the Southern people was merely growing in degree, not in kind. The conscription, sweeping from the first, had become omnivorous; towards the end of the war every man between seventeen and fifty-five was legally liable to service, and in practice the only limits was physical incapacity. In 1863 the Federal Government also was driven to conscription. The first attempts to carry it out resulted in forcible resistance in several places, the worst being he "draft riots" in New York (July), when the city was in the hands of the mob for several days. All the resistance was put down; but exemptions and substitute purchases were so freely permitted that the draft in the North had little effect except as a stimulus to the States in filling their quotas of volunteers by voting bounties.

295. Early in 1864 Grant (§ 290) was made lieutenant-general, with the command of all the armies. He went to Washington to meet Lee, leaving Sherman to face Johnston at Dalton. Events had thus brought the two ablest of the Confederate generals opposite the two men who were the best product of the war on the Northern side. It remained to be seen whether Lee, with his army of northern Virginia, could resist the methods by which Grant and Sherman had won almost all the great tableland which occupies the heart of the country east of the Mississippi. And it remained to be seen, also, whether the reputation which Grant had won at a distance from the political atmosphere of Washington would not wither in his new position. It was necessary for him to take the overland route to Richmond, or meet M’Clellan’s fate. He did not hesitate. Early in May 1864, with about twice as many men n(125,000) as Lee, he entered the "Wilderness" on the other side of the Rapidan. At the same time he sent 30,000 men, under Butler, up the James river; but this part of his plan proved of comparatively little service.

296. Two weeks’ hard fighting in the Wilderness and at Spotsylvania Court House (May 5-18), and four days more at North Anna (May 23-27), with flank movements as a means of forcing Lee out of positions too strong to be taken from the front, brought the army of the Potomac to Cold Harbor, in the immediate defences of Richmond. One assault, bloodily repulsed, showed that there was no thoroughfare in this direction. Lee had so diligently prepared that his position became stronger as he was driven into greater concentration; and Grant began to move along the eastern face of the line of Confederate fortifications, striking at them as he passed them, but finding no weak spot. As he crossed the James river and reached Petersburgh, he came at last into dangerous proximity to the railroads which brought Lee’s supplies from the south-the Weldon Railroad, running directly south, the Danville Railroad, running south-west, and the Southside Railroad, running west. At this end of his line, therefore, Lee kept the best part of his troops, and resisted with increasing stubbornness Grant’s efforts to carry his line farther to the south-west or to reach the railroads. Resorting to the plan which had been so effective with M’Clellan, he sent Early on a raid up the Shenandoah Valley, to threaten Washington (July). But early was not Jackson, and the returned with no more success than the frightening of the authorities at Washington. Grant put Sheridan in command in the valley, and he beat Early at Cedar Creek (October), scattering his army for the remainder of the war. In August Grant succeeded in seizing a few miles of the Weldon Railroad; but Lee brought his supplies in wagons round that portion held by Grant. Late in the year this was stopped by the destruction of some twenty miles of the road. Here Grant was himself stopped for the time. Lee had so taken advantage of every defensive position that Grant could not reach the nearer of the other two railroads without an advance of 15 miles, or the further one without a circuit of about 40 miles. The two armies remained locked until the following spring, Grant, however, was operating still more successfully elsewhere through Sherman.

297. Sherman (§ 295) had moved on the same day as Grant (May 5). Johnston’s retreat was skillfully conducted; every position was held to the last moment; and it was not until the middle of July that Sherman had forced him back to his strongest lines of defence-those around Atlanta. The Confederate forces could not retreat much beyond Atlanta, for the great central tableland here begins to fall into the plains which stretch to the Atlantic. Sherman had now been brought so far from his base that the two armies were much more nearly on an equality than in May; and Johnston was preparing for the decisive battle when Davis made Sherman’s way clear. A feature in Davis’s conduct of the war had been his extraordinary tendency to favoritism. He had been forced to take Johnston as commander in Georgia; and the widespread alarm caused by Johnson’s inexplicable persistence in retreating gave him the excuse he desired. He removed Johnston (July 17), naming Hood (p. 789), a "fighting general," as his successor. Before the end of the month Hood had made three furious attacks on Sherman and been beaten in all of them. Moving around Atlanta, as Grant was doing around Petersburgh, Sherman cut the supplying railroads, and at last was able o telegraph to Washington (setpember 2)," Atlanta is ours, and fairly won."

298. Hood, by the direct command of Davis, then adopted a course which led to the downfall of the Confederacy in the following spring. Moving from between Sherman and the open country, he set out for Tennessee, expecting to draw Sherman after him. Sherman sent Thomas (p. 790) to Nashville, called out the resources of the North-West to support him, and left Hood to his march and his fate. Hood reached Nashville; but in the middle of December Thomas burst out upon him, routed his army, and pursued it so vigorously that it never again reunited. One of the two great armies of the Confederacy had disappeared; and Sherman, with one of the finest armies of the war, an army of 60,000 picked veteran troops, stood on the edge of the Georgia mountains, without an organized force between him and the back of Lee’s army in Virginia.

299. In the meantime the presidential election of 1864 had taken place, resulting in the re-election of Lincoln, with Andrew Johnson as vice-president. The Democratic convention had declared that, after four years of failure to restore the Union by war, during which the constitution had been violated in all its parts under the plea of military necessity, a cessation of hostilities ought to be obtained, and had nominated M’Clellan (p. 789) and Pendleton. Farragut’s victory in Mobile Bay (August 5), by which he sealed up the last port, except Wilmington of the blockade-runners, and the evidently staggering condition of the Confederate resistance in the east and the west, were the sharpest commentaries on the Democratic platform; and its candidates carried only three of the twenty-five States which took part in the election. The thirty-sixth State – Nevada – had been admitted in 1864.

300. Sherman began (November 16, 1864) the execution of his own plan,- to "send back his wounded, make a wreck of the railroad, and, with his effective army, move through Georgia, smashing things to the sea." He had been drawing supplies from a point 500 miles distant, over a single railroad. He new destroyed the railroad, and the telegraph, cut off his communication with the North, and moved towards the Atlantic coast. The sea was reached on December 12, and Savannah was taken on the 20th. He had threatened so many points, and kept the enemy in so much doubt as to his object, that there had hardly been men enough in his front at any one time to make a skirmish line. On January 15, 1865, the army moved north from Savannah, through Columbia, to Fayetteville N.C. The march had forced the evacuation of Charleston and the other coast cities, and their garrisons had been put by Davis under command of Johnston as a last hope. Wilmington, which had been captured by a land and sea force on the day when Sherman left Savannah, was an opening for communication with Washington; and it would have been possible for Sherman, with Wilmington as a base, to crush Johnston at once. All that he cared to do was to hold Johnston where he was while Grant should begin his final attack on Lee.

301. During he opening days of March 1865 Sheridan, with a body of cavalry, moved from the Shenandoah Valley along the James river to a junction with Grant (§ 296). On the way he had ruined the canal and railroad communication directly west from Richmond, and had reduced Lee to dependence on the two railroads running south-west. Grant resumed his attempts to work his lines farther round to the south of Petersburgh; and, with each successful advance, Lee was compelled to lengthen his thin line of men. Sheridan was put in command on the extreme left; he pushed forward to Five Forks, destroyed the Southside Railroad (April 1), and held his ground. Giving Lee time to lengthen his line to meet this new danger, Grant gave the signal for a general advance the next day. It was successful everywhere; Petersburgh was taken, and Richmond the next day; Davis and the other political leaders fled to North Carolina; and Lee retreated westward, hoping to join Johnston. The pursuit was too hot, and he surrendered (April 9). All the terms of surrender named by Grant were generous: no private property was to be sure surrendered; the men were even to retain their horses, "because they would need them for the spring ploughing and farm-work"; and both officers and men were to be dismissed on parole, not to be disturbed by the United States Government so long as they preserved their parole and did not violate the laws., It should be stated, also, to Grant’s honor that, when the politicians afterwards undertook to repudiate some of the terms of surrender, he personally intervened and used the power of his own name to force an exact fulfillment. Johnston surrendered on much the same terms (April 26) after an unsuccessful effort at a broader settlement. All organized resistance had now ceased; Union calvary were ranging the South, picking up Government property or arresting leaders; but it was not until May that the last detached parties of Confederates, particularly beyond the Mississippi, gave up the contest.

302. Just after Lee’s surrender President Lincoln died by assassination (April 15), the theatrical crime of a half-crazed enthusiast. Even this even did not impel the American people to any vindictive use of their success for the punishment of individuals. In the heat of the war, in 1862, Congress had so changed the criminal law that the punishment of treason and rebellion should no longer be death alone, but death or fine and imprisonment. Even this modified punishment was not inflicted. There was no hanging for treason, some of the leaders were imprisoned for a time, but were never brought to trial. The leader and president of the Confederate States is living (1887) quietly at his home in Mississippi; and the vice-president, before his death, had returned to the Congress of the United States as an efficient and respected member.

303. The armies of he Confederacy are supposed to have been at their strongest (700,000) at the beginning of 1863; and it is doubtful whether they contained 200,000 men in March 1865. The dissatisfaction of the Southern people at the manner in which Davis had managed the war seems to have been profound; and it was only converted into hero-worship by the ill-advised action of the Federal Government in arresting and imprisoning him. Desertion had become so common in 1864, and the attempts of the Confederate Government to force the people into the ranks had become so arbitrary, that the bottom of the Confederacy, the democratic elements which had given it all the success it had ever obtained, had dropped out of it before Sheman moved northward from Savannah; in some parts the people had really taken up arms against the conscripting officers. On the contrary, the numbers of the Federal armies increased steadily until March 1865, when they were a few hundreds over a million. As soon as organized resistance ceased, the disbanding of the neb began; they were sent home at the rate of about 300,000 a month, about 50,000 being retained in service as a standing army. The debt reached its maximum August 31, 1865, amounting to $2,845,907,626.56. Some $800,000,000 of revenue had also been spent mainly on the war; States, cities, counties, and towns had spent their own taxation and accumulated their own debts for war purposes; the payment for pensions will probably amount to $1,500,000,000 in the end; the expenses of the Confederacy can never be known; the property destroyed by the Federal armies and by Confederate armies can hardly be estimated; and the money value ($2,000,000,000) of the slaves in the South was wiped out by the war. Altogether , while the cost of the war cannot be exactly calculated, $8,000,000,000 is a moderate estimate.

304. In return for such an expenditure, and the death of probably 300,000 men on each side, the abiding gain was incalculable. The rich section, which had been kept back in the general development by a single institution, and had been a clog on the advance of the whole country, had been dragged up to a level with the rest of the country. Free labor was soon to show itself far superior to slave labor in the South; and the South was to reap the largest material gain from the destruction of the Civil War (§ 314). The persistent policy of paying the debt immediately resulted in the higher taxation falling on the richer North and West; and the new wealth of the South will for ever escape the severe taxation which the other sections have been compelled to feel. As a result of the struggle the moral stigma of slavery was removed. The power of the nation, never before asserted openly, had made a place for itself; and yet the continuing power of the States saved the national power from a development into centralized tyranny. And the new power of the nation, guaranteeing the restriction of government to a single nation in central North America, gave security against any introduction of international relation, international armament, international wars, and continual war taxation into the territory occupied by the United States. An approach for four years to the international policy of Europe had given security against its future necessity. Finally, democracy in America had certainly shown its ability to maintain the unity of its empire.

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