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  • The American Civil War, The Writings of Abraham Lincoln, Vol 4
    the States to exclude slavery will never be made if that party is not sustained by the elections I believe further that it is just as sure to be made as to morrow is to come if that party shall be sustained I have said upon a former occasion and I repeat it now that the course of arguement that Judge Douglas makes use of upon this subject I charge not his motives in this is preparing the public mind for that new Dred Scott decision I have asked him again to point out to me the reasons for his first adherence to the Dred Scott decision as it is I have turned his attention to the fact that General Jackson differed with him in regard to the political obligation of a Supreme Court decision I have asked his attention to the fact that Jefferson differed with him in regard to the political obligation of a Supreme Court decision Jefferson said that Judges are as honest as other men and not more so And he said substantially that whenever a free people should give up in absolute submission to any department of government retaining for themselves no appeal from it their liberties were gone I have asked his attention to the fact that the Cincinnati platform upon which he says he stands disregards a time honored decision of the Supreme Court in denying the power of Congress to establish a National Bank I have asked his attention to the fact that he himself was one of the most active instruments at one time in breaking down the Supreme Court of the State of Illinois because it had made a decision distasteful to him a struggle ending in the remarkable circumstance of his sitting down as one of the new Judges who were to overslaugh that decision getting his title of Judge in that very way So far in this controversy I can get no answer at all from Judge Douglas upon these subjects Not one can I get from him except that he swells himself up and says All of us who stand by the decision of the Supreme Court are the friends of the Constitution all you fellows that dare question it in any way are the enemies of the Constitution Now in this very devoted adherence to this decision in opposition to all the great political leaders whom he has recognized as leaders in opposition to his former self and history there is something very marked And the manner in which he adheres to it not as being right upon the merits as he conceives because he did not discuss that at all but as being absolutely obligatory upon every one simply because of the source from whence it comes as that which no man can gainsay whatever it may be this is another marked feature of his adherence to that decision It marks it in this respect that it commits him to the next decision whenever it comes as being as obligatory as this one since he does not investigate it and won t inquire whether this opinion is right or wrong So he takes the next one without inquiring whether it is right or wrong He teaches men this doctrine and in so doing prepares the public mind to take the next decision when it comes without any inquiry In this I think I argue fairly without questioning motives at all that Judge Douglas is most ingeniously and powerfully preparing the public mind to take that decision when it comes and not only so but he is doing it in various other ways In these general maxims about liberty in his assertions that he don t care whether slavery is voted up or voted down that whoever wants slavery has a right to have it that upon principles of equality it should be allowed to go everywhere that there is no inconsistency between free and slave institutions in this he is also preparing whether purposely or not the way for making the institution of slavery national I repeat again for I wish no misunderstanding that I do not charge that he means it so but I call upon your minds to inquire if you were going to get the best instrument you could and then set it to work in the most ingenious way to prepare the public mind for this movement operating in the free States where there is now an abhorrence of the institution of slavery could you find an instrument so capable of doing it as Judge Douglas or one employed in so apt a way to do it I have said once before and I will repeat it now that Mr Clay when he was once answering an objection to the Colonization Society that it had a tendency to the ultimate emancipation of the slaves said that those who would repress all tendencies to liberty and ultimate emancipation must do more than put down the benevolent efforts of the Colonization Society they must go back to the era of our liberty and independence and muzzle the cannon that thunders its annual joyous return they must blow out the moral lights around us they must penetrate the human soul and eradicate the light of reason and the love of liberty And I do think I repeat though I said it on a former occasion that Judge Douglas and whoever like him teaches that the negro has no share humble though it may be in the Declaration of Independence is going back to the era of our liberty and independence and so far as in him lies muzzling the cannon that thunders its annual joyous return that he is blowing out the moral lights around us when he contends that whoever wants slaves has a right to hold them that he is penetrating so far as lies in his power the human soul and eradicating the light of reason and the love of liberty when he is in every possible way preparing the public mind by his vast influence for making the institution of slavery perpetual and national There is my friends only one other point to which I will call your attention for the remaining time that I have left me and perhaps I shall not occupy the entire time that I have as that one point may not take me clear through it Among the interrogatories that Judge Douglas propounded to me at Freeport there was one in about this language Are you opposed to the acquisition of any further territory to the United States unless slavery shall first be prohibited therein I answered as I thought in this way that I am not generally opposed to the acquisition of additional territory and that I would support a proposition for the acquisition of additional territory according as my supporting it was or was not calculated to aggravate this slavery question amongst us I then proposed to Judge Douglas another interrogatory which was correlative to that Are you in favor of acquiring additional territory in disregard of how it may affect us upon the slavery question Judge Douglas answered that is in his own way he answered it I believe that although he took a good many words to answer it it was a little more fully answered than any other The substance of his answer was that this country would continue to expand that it would need additional territory that it was as absurd to suppose that we could continue upon our present territory enlarging in population as we are as it would be to hoop a boy twelve years of age and expect him to grow to man s size without bursting the hoops I believe it was something like that Consequently he was in favor of the acquisition of further territory as fast as we might need it in disregard of how it might affect the slavery question I do not say this as giving his exact language but he said so substantially and he would leave the question of slavery where the territory was acquired to be settled by the people of the acquired territory That s the doctrine May be it is let us consider that for a while This will probably in the run of things become one of the concrete manifestations of this slavery question If Judge Douglas s policy upon this question succeeds and gets fairly settled down until all opposition is crushed out the next thing will be a grab for the territory of poor Mexico an invasion of the rich lands of South America then the adjoining islands will follow each one of which promises additional slave fields And this question is to be left to the people of those countries for settlement When we get Mexico I don t know whether the Judge will be in favor of the Mexican people that we get with it settling that question for themselves and all others because we know the Judge has a great horror for mongrels and I understand that the people of Mexico are most decidedly a race of mongrels I understand that there is not more than one person there out of eight who is pure white and I suppose from the Judge s previous declaration that when we get Mexico or any considerable portion of it that he will be in favor of these mongrels settling the question which would bring him somewhat into collision with his horror of an inferior race It is to be remembered though that this power of acquiring additional territory is a power confided to the President and the Senate of the United States It is a power not under the control of the representatives of the people any further than they the President and the Senate can be considered the representatives of the people Let me illustrate that by a case we have in our history When we acquired the territory from Mexico in the Mexican War the House of Representatives composed of the immediate representatives of the people all the time insisted that the territory thus to be acquired should be brought in upon condition that slavery should be forever prohibited therein upon the terms and in the language that slavery had been prohibited from coming into this country That was insisted upon constantly and never failed to call forth an assurance that any territory thus acquired should have that prohibition in it so far as the House of Representatives was concerned But at last the President and Senate acquired the territory without asking the House of Representatives anything about it and took it without that prohibition They have the power of acquiring territory without the immediate representatives of the people being called upon to say anything about it and thus furnishing a very apt and powerful means of bringing new territory into the Union and when it is once brought into the country involving us anew in this slavery agitation It is therefore as I think a very important question for due consideration of the American people whether the policy of bringing in additional territory without considering at all how it will operate upon the safety of the Union in reference to this one great disturbing element in our national politics shall be adopted as the policy of the country You will bear in mind that it is to be acquired according to the Judge s view as fast as it is needed and the indefinite part of this proposition is that we have only Judge Douglas and his class of men to decide how fast it is needed We have no clear and certain way of determining or demonstrating how fast territory is needed by the necessities of the country Whoever wants to go out filibustering then thinks that more territory is needed Whoever wants wider slave fields feels sure that some additional territory is needed as slave territory Then it is as easy to show the necessity of additional slave territory as it is to assert anything that is incapable of absolute demonstration Whatever motive a man or a set of men may have for making annexation of property or territory it is very easy to assert but much less easy to disprove that it is necessary for the wants of the country And now it only remains for me to say that I think it is a very grave question for the people of this Union to consider whether in view of the fact that this slavery question has been the only one that has ever endangered our Republican institutions the only one that has ever threatened or menaced a dissolution of the Union that has ever disturbed us in such a way as to make us fear for the perpetuity of our liberty in view of these facts I think it is an exceedingly interesting and important question for this people to consider whether we shall engage in the policy of acquiring additional territory discarding altogether from our consideration while obtaining new territory the question how it may affect us in regard to this the only endangering element to our liberties and national greatness The Judge s view has been expressed I in my answer to his question have expressed mine I think it will become an important and practical question Our views are before the public I am willing and anxious that they should consider them fully that they should turn it about and consider the importance of the question and arrive at a just conclusion as to whether it is or is not wise in the people of this Union in the acquisition of new territory to consider whether it will add to the disturbance that is existing amongst us whether it will add to the one only danger that has ever threatened the perpetuity of the Union or our own liberties I think it is extremely important that they shall decide and rightly decide that question before entering upon that policy And now my friends having said the little I wish to say upon this head whether I have occupied the whole of the remnant of my time or not I believe I could not enter upon any new topic so as to treat it fully without transcending my time which I would not for a moment think of doing I give way to Judge Douglas SIXTH JOINT DEBATE AT QUINCY OCTOBER 13 1858 LADIES AND GENTLEMEN I have had no immediate conference with Judge Douglas but I will venture to say that he and I will perfectly agree that your entire silence both when I speak and when he speaks will be most agreeable to us In the month of May 1856 the elements in the State of Illinois which have since been consolidated into the Republican party assembled together in a State Convention at Bloomington They adopted at that time what in political language is called a platform In June of the same year the elements of the Republican party in the nation assembled together in a National Convention at Philadelphia They adopted what is called the National Platform In June 1858 the present year the Republicans of Illinois reassembled at Springfield in State Convention and adopted again their platform as I suppose not differing in any essential particular from either of the former ones but perhaps adding something in relation to the new developments of political progress in the country The Convention that assembled in June last did me the honor if it be one and I esteem it such to nominate me as their candidate for the United States Senate I have supposed that in entering upon this canvass I stood generally upon these platforms We are now met together on the 13th of October of the same year only four months from the adoption of the last platform and I am unaware that in this canvass from the beginning until to day any one of our adversaries has taken hold of our platforms or laid his finger upon anything that he calls wrong in them In the very first one of these joint discussions between Senator Douglas and myself Senator Douglas without alluding at all to these platforms or any one of them of which I have spoken attempted to hold me responsible for a set of resolutions passed long before the meeting of either one of these conventions of which I have spoken And as a ground for holding me responsible for these resolutions he assumed that they had been passed at a State Convention of the Republican party and that I took part in that Convention It was discovered afterward that this was erroneous that the resolutions which he endeavored to hold me responsible for had not been passed by any State Convention anywhere had not been passed at Springfield where he supposed they had or assumed that they had and that they had been passed in no convention in which I had taken part The Judge nevertheless was not willing to give up the point that he was endeavoring to make upon me and he therefore thought to still hold me to the point that he was endeavoring to make by showing that the resolutions that he read had been passed at a local convention in the northern part of the State although it was not a local convention that embraced my residence at all nor one that reached as I suppose nearer than one hundred and fifty or two hundred miles of where I was when it met nor one in which I took any part at all He also introduced other resolutions passed at other meetings and by combining the whole although they were all antecedent to the two State Conventions and the one National Convention I have mentioned still he insisted and now insists as I understand that I am in some way responsible for them At Jonesboro on our third meeting I insisted to the Judge that I was in no way rightfully held responsible for the proceedings of this local meeting or convention in which I had taken no part and in which I was in no way embraced but I insisted to him that if he thought I was responsible for every man or every set of men everywhere who happen to be my friends the rule ought to work both ways and he ought to be responsible for the acts and resolutions of all men or sets of men who were or are now his supporters and friends and gave him a pretty long string of resolutions passed by men who are now his friends and announcing doctrines for which he does not desire to be held responsible This still does not satisfy Judge Douglas He still adheres to his proposition that I am responsible for what some of my friends in different parts of the State have done but that he is not responsible for what his have done At least so I understand him But in addition to that the Judge at our meeting in Galesburgh last week undertakes to establish that I am guilty of a species of double dealing with the public that I make speeches of a certain sort in the north among the Abolitionists which I would not make in the south and that I make speeches of a certain sort in the south which I would not make in the north I apprehend in the course I have marked out for myself that I shall not have to dwell at very great length upon this subject As this was done in the Judge s opening speech at Galesburgh I had an opportunity as I had the middle speech then of saying something in answer to it He brought forward a quotation or two from a speech of mine delivered at Chicago and then to contrast with it he brought forward an extract from a speech of mine at Charleston in which he insisted that I was greatly inconsistent and insisted that his conclusion followed that I was playing a double part and speaking in one region one way and in another region another way I have not time now to dwell on this as long as I would like and wish only now to requote that portion of my speech at Charleston which the Judge quoted and then make some comments upon it This he quotes from me as being delivered at Charleston and I believe correctly I will say then that I am not nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes nor of qualifying them to hold office nor to intermarry with white people and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality And inasmuch as they cannot so live while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior I am as much as any other man in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race This I believe is the entire quotation from Charleston speech as Judge Douglas made it his comments are as follows Yes here you find men who hurrah for Lincoln and say he is right when he discards all distinction between races or when he declares that he discards the doctrine that there is such a thing as a superior and inferior race and Abolitionists are required and expected to vote for Mr Lincoln because he goes for the equality of races holding that in the Declaration of Independence the white man and negro were declared equal and endowed by divine law with equality And down South with the old line Whigs with the Kentuckians the Virginians and the Tennesseeans he tells you that there is a physical difference between the races making the one superior the other inferior and he is in favor of maintaining the superiority of the white race over the negro Those are the Judges comments Now I wish to show you that a month or only lacking three days of a month before I made the speech at Charleston which the Judge quotes from he had himself heard me say substantially the same thing It was in our first meeting at Ottawa and I will say a word about where it was and the atmosphere it was in after a while but at our first meeting at Ottawa I read an extract from an old speech of mine made nearly four years ago not merely to show my sentiments but to show that my sentiments were long entertained and openly expressed in which extract I expressly declared that my own feelings would not admit a social and political equality between the white and black races and that even if my own feelings would admit of it I still knew that the public sentiment of the country would not and that such a thing was an utter impossibility or substantially that That extract from my old speech the reporters by some sort of accident passed over and it was not reported I lay no blame upon anybody I suppose they thought that I would hand it over to them and dropped reporting while I was giving it but afterward went away without getting it from me At the end of that quotation from my old speech which I read at Ottawa I made the comments which were reported at that time and which I will now read and ask you to notice how very nearly they are the same as Judge Douglas says were delivered by me down in Egypt After reading I added these words Now gentlemen I don t want to read at any great length but this is the true complexion of all I have ever said in regard to the institution of slavery or the black race and this is the whole of it anything that argues me into his idea of perfect social and political equality with the negro is but a specious and fantastical arrangement of words by which a man can prove a horse chestnut to be a chestnut horse I will say here while upon this subject that I have no purpose directly or indirectly to interfere with the institution in the States where it exists I believe I have no right to do so I have no inclination to do so I have no purpose to introduce political and social equality between the white and black races There is a physical difference between the two which in my judgment will probably forever forbid their living together on the footing of perfect equality and inasmuch as it becomes a necessity that there must be a difference I as well as Judge Douglas am in favor of the race to which I belong having the superior position I have never said anything to the contrary but I hold that notwithstanding all this there is no reason in the world why the negro is not entitled to all the rights enumerated in the Declaration of Independence the right of life liberty and the pursuit of happiness I hold that he is as much entitled to these as the white man I agree with Judge Douglas that he is not my equal in many respects certainly not in color perhaps not in intellectual and moral endowments but in the right to eat the bread without the leave of anybody else which his own hand earns he is my equal and the equal of Judge Douglas and the equal of every other man I have chiefly introduced this for the purpose of meeting the Judge s charge that the quotation he took from my Charleston speech was what I would say down South among the Kentuckians the Virginians etc but would not say in the regions in which was supposed to be more of the Abolition element I now make this comment That speech from which I have now read the quotation and which is there given correctly perhaps too much so for good taste was made away up North in the Abolition District of this State par excellence in the Lovejoy District in the personal presence of Lovejoy for he was on the stand with us when I made it It had been made and put in print in that region only three days less than a month before the speech made at Charleston the like of which Judge Douglas thinks I would not make where there was any Abolition element I only refer to this matter to say that I am altogether unconscious of having attempted any double dealing anywhere that upon one occasion I may say one thing and leave other things unsaid and vice versa but that I have said anything on one occasion that is inconsistent with what I have said elsewhere I deny at least I deny it so far as the intention is concerned I find that I have devoted to this topic a larger portion of my time than I had intended I wished to show but I will pass it upon this occasion that in the sentiment I have occasionally advanced upon the Declaration of Independence I am entirely borne out by the sentiments advanced by our old Whig leader Henry Clay and I have the book here to show it from but because I have already occupied more time than I intended to do on that topic I pass over it At Galesburgh I tried to show that by the Dred Scott decision pushed to its legitimate consequences slavery would be established in all the States as well as in the Territories I did this because upon a former occasion I had asked Judge Douglas whether if the Supreme Court should make a decision declaring that the States had not the power to exclude slavery from their limits he would adopt and follow that decision as a rule of political action and because he had not directly answered that question but had merely contented himself with sneering at it I again introduced it and tried to show that the conclusion that I stated followed inevitably and logically from the proposition already decided by the court Judge Douglas had the privilege of replying to me at Galesburgh and again he gave me no direct answer as to whether he would or would not sustain such a decision if made I give him his third chance to say yes or no He is not obliged to do either probably he will not do either but I give him the third chance I tried to show then that this result this conclusion inevitably followed from the point already decided by the court The Judge in his reply again sneers at the thought of the court making any such decision and in the course of his remarks upon this subject uses the language which I will now read Speaking of me the Judge says He goes on and insists that the Dred Scott decision would carry slavery into the free States notwithstanding the decision itself says the contrary And he adds Mr Lincoln knows that there is no member of the Supreme Court that holds that doctrine He knows that every one of them in their opinions held the reverse I especially introduce this subject again for the purpose of saying that I have the Dred Scott decision here and I will thank Judge Douglas to lay his finger upon the place in the entire opinions of the court where any one of them says the contrary It is very hard to affirm a negative with entire confidence I say however that I have examined that decision with a good deal of care as a lawyer examines a decision and so far as I have been able to do so the court has nowhere in its opinions said that the States have the power to exclude slavery nor have they used other language substantially that I also say so far as I can find not one of the concurring judges has said that the States can exclude slavery nor said anything that was substantially that The nearest approach that any one of them has made to it so far as I can find was by Judge Nelson and the approach he made to it was exactly in substance the Nebraska Bill that the States had the exclusive power over the question of slavery so far as they are not limited by the Constitution of the United States I asked the question therefore if the non concurring judges McLean or Curtis had asked to get an express declaration that the States could absolutely exclude slavery from their limits what reason have we to believe that it would not have been voted down by the majority of the judges just as Chase s amendment was voted down by Judge Douglas and his compeers when it was offered to the Nebraska Bill Also at Galesburgh I said something in regard to those Springfield resolutions that Judge Douglas had attempted to use upon me at Ottawa and commented at some length upon the fact that they were as presented not genuine Judge Douglas in his reply to me seemed to be somewhat exasperated He said he would never have believed that Abraham Lincoln as he kindly called me would have attempted such a thing as I had attempted upon that occasion and among other expressions which he used toward me was that I dared to say forgery that I had dared to say forgery turning to Judge Douglas Yes Judge I did dare to say forgery But in this political canvass the Judge ought to remember that I was not the first who dared to say forgery At Jacksonville Judge Douglas made a speech in answer to something said by Judge Trumbull and at the close of what he said upon that subject he dared to say that Trumbull had forged his evidence He said too that he should not concern himself with Trumbull any more but thereafter he should hold Lincoln responsible for the slanders upon him When I met him at Charleston after that although I think that I should not have noticed the subject if he had not said he would hold me responsible for it I spread out before him the statements of the evidence that Judge Trumbull had used and I asked Judge Douglas piece by piece to put his finger upon one piece of all that evidence that he would say was a forgery When I went through with each and every piece Judge Douglas did not dare then to say that any piece of it was a forgery So it seems that there are some things that Judge Douglas dares to do and some that he dares not to do A voice It is the same thing with you Yes sir it is the same thing with me I do dare to say forgery when it is true and don t dare to say forgery when it is false Now I will say here to this audience and to Judge Douglas I have not dared to say he committed a forgery and I never shall until I know it but I did dare to say just to suggest to the Judge that a forgery had been committed which by his own showing had been traced to him and two of his friends I dared to suggest to him that he had expressly promised in one of his public speeches to investigate that matter and I dared to suggest to him that there was an implied promise that when he investigated it he would make known the result I dared to suggest to the Judge that he could not expect to be quite clear of suspicion of that fraud for since the time that promise was made he had been with those friends and had not kept his promise in regard to the investigation and the report upon it I am not a very daring man but I dared that much Judge and I am not much scared about it yet When the Judge says he would n t have believed of Abraham Lincoln that he would have made such an attempt as that he reminds me of the fact that he entered upon this canvass with the purpose to treat me courteously that touched me somewhat It sets me to thinking I was aware when it was first agreed that Judge Douglas and I were to have these seven joint discussions that they were the successive acts of a drama perhaps I should say to be enacted not merely in the face of audiences like this but in the face of the nation and to some extent by my relation to him and not from anything in myself in the face of the world and I am anxious that they should be conducted with dignity and in the good temper which would be befitting the vast audiences before which it was conducted But when Judge Douglas got home from Washington and made his first speech in Chicago the evening afterward I made some sort of a reply to it His second speech was made at Bloomington in which he commented upon my speech at Chicago and said that I had used language ingeniously contrived to conceal my intentions or words to that effect Now I understand that this is an imputation upon my veracity and my candor I do not know what

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  • The Civil War, Page Two
    of the Mexican War a capable secretary of war under President Franklin Pierce and a U S representative and senator from Mississippi whereas Lincoln who had served in the Illinois state legislature and as an undistinguished one term member of the U S House of Representatives could boast of only a brief period of military service in the Black Hawk War in which he did not perform well As president and commander in chief of the Confederate forces Davis revealed many fine qualities including patience courage dignity restraint firmness energy determination and honesty but he was flawed by his excessive pride hypersensitivity to criticism and inability to delegate minor details to his subordinates To a large extent Davis was his own secretary of war although five different men served in that post during the lifetime of the Confederacy Davis himself also filled the position of general in chief of the Confederate armies until he named Lee to that position on Feb 6 1865 when the Confederacy was near collapse In naval affairs an area about which he knew little the Confederate president seldom intervened directly allowing the competent secretary of the navy Stephen Mallory to handle the Southern naval buildup and operations on the water Although his position was onerous and perhaps could not have been filled so well by any other Southern political leader Davis overall performance in office left something to be desired To the astonishment of many Lincoln grew in stature with time and experience and by 1864 he had become a consummate war director But he had much to learn at first especially in strategic and tactical matters and in his choices of army commanders With an ineffective first secretary of war Simon Cameron Lincoln unhesitatingly insinuated himself directly into the planning of military movements Edwin M Stanton appointed to the secretaryship on Jan 20 1862 was equally untutored in military affairs but he was fully as active a participant as his superior Winfield Scott was the Federal general in chief when Lincoln took office The 75 year old Scott a hero of the War of 1812 and of the Mexican War was a magnificent and distinguished soldier whose mind was still keen but he was physically incapacitated and had to be retired from the service on Nov 1 1861 Scott was replaced by young George B McClellan an able and imaginative general in chief but one who had difficulty in establishing harmonious and effective relations with Lincoln Because of this and because he had to campaign with his own Army of the Potomac McClellan was relieved as general in chief on March 11 1862 He was eventually succeeded on July 11 by the limited Henry W Halleck who held the position until replaced by Ulysses S Grant on March 9 1864 Halleck then became chief of staff under Grant in a long needed streamlining of the Federal high command Grant served efficaciously as general in chief throughout the remainder of the war After the initial call by Lincoln and Davis for troops and as the war lengthened indeterminately both sides turned to raising massive armies of volunteers Local citizens of prominence and means would organize regiments that were uniformed and accoutred at first under the aegis of the states and then mustered into the service of the Union and Confederate governments As the war dragged on the two governments had to resort to conscription to fill the ranks being so swiftly thinned by battle casualties Strategic plans In the area of grand strategy Davis persistently adhered to the defensive permitting only occasional spoiling forays into Northern territory Yet perhaps the Confederates best chance of winning would have been an early grand offensive into the Union states before the Lincoln administration could find its ablest generals and bring the preponderant resources of the North to bear against the South Lincoln on the other hand in order to crush the rebellion and reestablish the authority of the Federal government had to direct his blue clad armies to invade capture and hold most of the vital areas of the Confederacy His grand strategy was based on Scott s so called Anaconda plan a design that evolved from strategic ideas discussed in messages between Scott and McClellan on April 27 May 3 and May 21 1861 It called for a Union blockade of the Confederacy s littoral as well as a decisive thrust down the Mississippi River and an ensuing strangulation of the South by Federal land and naval forces But it was to take four years of grim unrelenting warfare and enormous casualties and devastation before the Confederates could be defeated and the Union preserved The land war American Civil War The main area of the eastern campaigns 1861 65 The war in 1861 The first military operations took place in northwestern Virginia where non slaveholding pro Unionists sought to secede from the Confederacy McClellan in command of Federal forces in southern Ohio advanced on his own initiative in the early summer of 1861 into western Virginia with about 20 000 men He encountered smaller forces sent there by Lee then in Richmond in command of all Virginia troops Although showing signs of occasional hesitation McClellan quickly won three small but significant battles at Philippi on June 3 at Rich Mountain on July 11 and at Carrick s or Corrick s Ford on July 13 McClellan s casualties were light and his victories went far toward eliminating Confederate resistance in northwestern Virginia which had refused to recognize secession and paving the way for the admittance into the Union of the new state of West Virginia in 1863 Meanwhile sizable armies were gathering around the Federal capital of Washington D C and the Confederate capital of Richmond Va Federal forces abandoned Harpers Ferry on April 18 and it was quickly occupied by Southern forces who held it for a time The Federal naval base at Norfolk was prematurely abandoned to the enemy on April 20 On May 6 Lee

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  • The Civil War, Page Three
    the Federal army was north of the Potomac Lee hastened to concentrate his far flung legions Hostile forces came together unexpectedly at the important crossroads town of Gettysburg in southern Pennsylvania bringing on the greatest battle ever fought in the Western Hemisphere Attacking on July 1 from the west and north with 28 000 men Confederate forces finally prevailed after nine hours of desperate fighting against 18 000 Federal soldiers under John F Reynolds When Reynolds was killed Abner Doubleday ably handled the outnumbered Federal troops and only the sheer weight of Confederate numbers forced him back through the streets of Gettysburg to strategic Cemetery Ridge south of town where Meade assembled the rest of the army that night On the second day of battle Meade s 93 000 troops were ensconced in a strong fishhook shaped defensive position running northward from the Round Top hills along Cemetery Ridge and thence eastward to Culp s Hill Lee with 75 000 troops ordered Longstreet to attack the Federals diagonally from Little Round Top northward and Richard S Ewell to assail Cemetery Hill and Culp s Hill The Confederate attack coming in the late afternoon and evening saw Longstreet capture the positions known as the Peach Orchard Wheat Field and Devil s Den on the Federal left in furious fighting but fail to seize the vital Little Round Top Ewell s later assaults on Cemetery Hill were repulsed and he could capture only a part of Culp s Hill On the morning of the third day Meade s right wing drove the Confederates from the lower slopes of Culp s Hill and checked Stuart s cavalry sweep to the east of Gettysburg in mid afternoon Then in what has been called the greatest infantry charge in American history Lee against Longstreet s advice hurled nearly 15 000 soldiers under the immediate command of George E Pickett against the centre of Meade s lines on Cemetery Ridge following a fearful artillery duel of two hours Despite heroic efforts only several hundred Southerners temporarily cracked the Federal centre at the so called High Water Mark the rest were shot down by Federal cannoneers and musketrymen captured or thrown back suffering casualties of almost 60 percent Meade felt unable to counterattack and Lee conducted an adroit retreat into Virginia The Confederates had lost 28 063 men at Gettysburg the Federals 23 049 After indecisive maneuvering and light actions in northern Virginia in the fall of 1863 the two armies went into winter quarters Never again was Lee able to mount a full scale invasion of the North with his entire army The war in the West in 1863 Arkansas and Vicksburg In Arkansas Federal troops under Frederick Steele moved upon the Confederates and defeated them at Prairie Grove near Fayetteville on Dec 7 1862 a victory that paved the way for Steele s eventual capture of Little Rock the next September More importantly Grant back in good graces following his undistinguished performance at Shiloh was authorized to move against the Confederate Gibraltar of the West Vicksburg Miss This bastion was difficult to approach Admiral David G Farragut Grant and Sherman had failed to capture it in 1862 In the early months of 1863 in the so called Bayou Expeditions Grant was again frustrated in his efforts to get at Vicksburg from the north Finally escorted by Admiral David Dixon Porter s gunboats which ran the Confederate batteries at Vicksburg Grant landed his army to the south at Bruinsburg on April 30 1863 and pressed northeastward He won small but sharp actions at Port Gibson Raymond and Jackson while the circumspect Confederate defender of Vicksburg John C Pemberton was unable to link up with a smaller Southern force under Joseph E Johnston near Jackson Turning due westward toward the rear of Vicksburg s defenses Grant smashed Pemberton s army at Champion s Hill and the Big Black River and invested the fortress During his 47 day siege Grant eventually had an army of 71 000 Pemberton s command numbered 31 000 of whom 18 500 were effectives After a courageous stand the outnumbered Confederates were forced to capitulate on July 4 Five days later 6 000 Confederates yielded to Nathaniel P Banks at Port Hudson La to the south of Vicksburg and Lincoln could say in relief The Father of Waters again goes unvexed to the sea Chickamauga and Chattanooga Meanwhile 60 000 Federal soldiers under Rosecrans sought to move southeastward from central Tennessee against the important Confederate rail and industrial centre of Chattanooga then held by Bragg with some 43 000 troops In a series of brilliantly conceived movements Rosecrans maneuvered Bragg out of Chattanooga without having to fight a battle Bragg was then bolstered by troops from Longstreet s veteran corps sent swiftly by rail from Lee s army in Virginia With this reinforcement Bragg turned on Rosecrans and in a vicious two day battle September 19 20 at Chickamauga Creek Ga just southeast of Chattanooga gained one of the few Confederate victories in the West Bragg lost 18 454 of his 66 326 men Rosecrans 16 170 out of 53 919 engaged Rosecrans fell back into Chattanooga where he was almost encircled by Bragg But the Southern success was short lived Instead of pressing the siege of Chattanooga Bragg unwisely sent Longstreet off in a futile attempt to capture Knoxville then being held by Burnside When Rosecrans showed signs of disintegration Lincoln replaced him with Grant and strengthened the hard pressed Federal army at Chattanooga by sending by rail the remnants of the Army of the Potomac s 11th and 12th Corps under Hooker s command Outnumbering Bragg now 56 359 to 46 165 Grant attacked on November 23 25 capturing Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge defeating Bragg s army and driving it southward toward Dalton Ga Grant sustained 5 824 casualties at Chattanooga and Bragg 6 667 Confidence having been lost in Bragg by most of his top generals Davis replaced him

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  • The Civil War, Page Four
    was closed to Confederate blockade runners when the Federal navy reduced Fort Pulaski guarding the city and on April 25 David Glasgow Farragut running the forts near the mouth of the Mississippi took New Orleans which was subsequently occupied by Benjamin F Butler s army But in April 1863 and again in July and August Federal warships were repelled at Fort Sumter when they descended upon Charleston and a Federal army under Quincy A Gillmore fared little better when it tried to assist Farragut had better luck however when he rendered Mobile Ala useless by reducing Fort Morgan and destroying several defending Confederate ships on Aug 5 1864 in the hardest fought naval action of the war The Confederacy s last open Atlantic port Wilmington N C successfully withstood a Federal naval attack by Porter on defending Fort Fisher when Butler s army failed to coordinate its attack properly in December 1864 but it fell one month later to Porter and an ably conducted army assault led by Alfred H Terry Only Galveston remained open to the Confederates in the last months of the war In short Uncle Sam s web feet as Lincoln termed the Union navy played a decisive role in helping crush the Confederacy Foreign affairs Davis and many Confederates expected recognition of their independence and direct intervention in the war on their behalf by Great Britain and possibly France But they were cruelly disappointed in part through the skillful diplomacy of Lincoln Secretary of State Seward and the Union ambassador to England Charles Francis Adams and in part through Confederate military failure at a crucial stage of the war The Union s first trouble with Britain came when Captain Charles Wilkes halted the British steamer Trent on Nov 8 1861 and forcibly removed two Confederate envoys James M Mason and John Slidell bound for Europe Only the eventual release of the two men prevented a diplomatic rupture with Lord Palmerston s government in London Another crisis erupted between the Union and England when the Alabama built in the British Isles was permitted upon completion to sail and join the Confederate navy despite Adams protestations And when word reached the Lincoln government that two powerful ironclad rams were being constructed in Britain for the Confederacy Adams sent his famous this is war note to Palmerston and the rams were seized by the British government at the last moment The diplomatic crisis of the Civil War came after Lee s striking victory at the Second Battle of Bull Run in late August 1862 and subsequent invasion of Maryland The British government was set to offer mediation of the war and if this were refused by the Lincoln administration as it would have been forceful intervention on behalf of the Confederacy Only a victory by Lee on Northern soil was needed but he was stopped by McClellan in September at Antietam the Union s most needed success The Confederate defeats at Gettysburg and Vicksburg the following summer ensured the

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  • The Civil War, Page Five
    in Congress On May 5 1863 military authorities arrested Vallandigham after he had made an extreme antiwar speech in Mount Vernon Ohio A military court sentenced him to prison but Lincoln changed the penalty to banishment to the Confederacy On June 1 publication of the Chicago Times which was violently anti Lincoln was suspended At the urging of prominent Chicagoans who were sincerely devoted to free speech and a free press the President quickly lifted the suspension Before Lincoln acted however Fernando Wood the mayor of New York City and other fiery opponents of the war inflamed the tempers of the thousands who attended a protest meeting at Cooper Union in that city On July 13 1863 in spite of the signs of trouble federal authorities tried to put the draft into effect in New York City A mob made up mostly of foreign born laborers chiefly Irish Americans who could not pay for substitutes attacked the draft headquarters and burned and pillaged residences stores hotels and saloons For four days the mob fought off police firemen and the local militia During that time property worth 1 5 million was destroyed and many people lost their lives A number of the victims of the mob were blacks The government rushed in troops from the Army of the Potomac and restored order A month later drawings for the draft took place without disorder There were disturbances in other parts of the country but they did not compare with those of New York City Prison Camps After two years each side had taken thousands of prisoners In the beginning most prisoners were exchanged and returned to their armies after a few months but after 1863 far fewer exchanges were taking place One reason for decreasing exchanges was the South s treatment of Northern black soldiers The South regarded black soldiers as runaway slaves and refused to treat them as legitimate prisoners of war Confederate policy was to execute or enslave them Although the South did not systematically carry out this order the North was reluctant to continue prisoner exchanges In April 1864 Grant stopped almost all exchanges because the South with fewer soldiers had more to lose The North and its superior manpower could better withstand the loss of its troops The treatment of prisoners has been the subject of heated argument Union prisoners suffered greatly in such Confederate camps as Andersonville Prison in Georgia and Confederate prisoners suffered in such Union prisons as Camp Douglas Illinois In both sections the death rate among prisoners was appalling Prison conditions rather than willful mistreatment caused most of the deaths Poorly clothed Southern soldiers could not stand the harsh Northern winters Northern soldiers suffered from the intense heat of Southern summers Even when the supply of food was sufficient the food was of poor quality In general prisoners received the same rations as the troops who guarded them However the fact that deplorable sanitary conditions resulted from ignorance and overcrowding rather than from malice did not make their effect less deadly Medical Care Disease killed far more men in both armies than did bullets Quartermasters knew little about balanced nutrition and very often could not have obtained the proper food anyway Most of the time the men did their own cooking usually in frying pans Dysentery was common and was frequently fatal Surgeons used no antiseptics and operated in the field with their arms bloodstained to the elbows Medical knowledge was so inadequate that the sick or wounded soldier sent to a hospital was as likely to find it a step to the grave as a way to recovery In the North a voluntary organization called the United States Sanitary Commission did much to care for the sick and wounded and to provide small comforts for men in the field The commission recruited both male and female nurses and sent delicacies and extra clothing to hospitals Another voluntary organization the United States Christian Commission distributed Bibles reading matter and stationery In addition individuals often helped the war effort with their time or money One was Clara Barton who organized efforts to provide food and medical supplies and nursed wounded soldiers The South had no general relief and aid organizations but many local groups did what they could to make the life of the Confederate soldier more tolerable Chickamauga After the draft riots the summer of 1863 slipped by in quiet except for the nameless skirmishes and minor engagements that took place somewhere almost every day Early in September Union General Rosecrans and the Army of the Cumberland began a campaign against Chattanooga Tennessee an important rail center and supply point where Bragg had concentrated his troops Rosecrans split his forces so that they came toward Chattanooga from different directions Knowing that Rosecrans had divided his forces Bragg decided to give up Chattanooga withdraw to the south and attack Rosecrans s forces piecemeal as they came out of the mountain passes to the west and north At the last minute the federal commander realized the danger and frantically drew together his scattered troops On September 19 the two armies clashed along West Chickamauga Creek a few miles south of Chattanooga On the afternoon of the next day Rosecrans believing that he had been disastrously defeated left the field for Chattanooga where he planned to make a final stand However General George H Thomas the commander of the Federal 14th Corps stood his ground saved the day and won the nickname by which he was ever after known Rock of Chickamauga On the Confederate side Bragg refused to deliver the final blow that might have won the battle decisively for the Confederacy despite urges from Longstreet and Nathan B Forrest The Union troops or what was left of them retreated toward Chattanooga in good order Siege of Chattanooga Rosecrans soon discovered that his army was under siege The Confederates held his supply routes His men went on short rations and in the cool days of fall

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  • The Civil War, Page Six
    soggy but the guns and wagons came through with the foot soldiers In 50 days 10 of which were devoted to rest the troops covered 684 km 425 mi The march was notable because it proved that the South stood at the very edge of defeat It could no longer defend itself against an invading army Burning of Columbia Sherman s conduct of the campaign made his name hated throughout the South and left lasting scars Troops living off the resources of an area were a hardship on civilians In South Carolina destruction went far beyond military needs Northerners believed that the state had started the war and that its people should be made to pay for their sins Many Union officers tried to restrain their men but pillaging was common and the smoking ruins of houses and barns all too often marked the Federals path Fifteen towns were burned in whole or in part but no act of destruction compared with or caused more controversy than the burning of Columbia the state capital Sherman denied that he gave orders to burn the city The fires in Columbia were most likely begun both by retreating Confederate forces who wanted to deny supplies to the Northern troops and by invading Federal soldiers Sherman Joins Grant At the end of March Sherman left General Schofield in charge and hurried to Petersburg for a conference with Grant On March 27 and 28 the two met with Lincoln and Admiral Porter to make plans for the final campaign At this time Lincoln made his policy clear He wanted the war brought to an end with no more bloodshed than necessary and he had no desire to take harsh measures against the Confederates after they had laid down their arms Grant warned the president that Lee could not be expected to surrender without a last ditch effort Fall of Richmond Grant planned to extend his lines westward around Petersburg and Richmond to cut the two railroads that still supplied the hemmed in Confederates On March 29 the federal commander started his columns Lee moved troops to counter the threat On April 1 at Five Forks 24 km 15 mi west of Petersburg Sheridan defeated a Confederate force led by Pickett capturing much artillery and many prisoners Fearful of being completely encircled Lee sent three brigades to Pickett s support and decided to evacuate Richmond Learning that Lee had weakened his defenses Grant ordered a general assault on April 2 The defenders resisted staunchly giving Lee time to make an orderly withdrawal Federal troops entered the abandoned city the next day Appomattox Court House By taking his army out of Richmond and Petersburg Lee hoped to join Johnston who had been in North Carolina and at least to prolong the struggle Grant s goal was clear to prevent the two armies from uniting From April 3 to April 7 Union and Confederate forces engaged in a series of running fights On April 7 Sheridan managed to place his brigades across the line of Lee s retreat at Appomattox Court House Virginia 96 km 60 mi west of Petersburg Mindful of Lincoln s wish to avoid needless bloodshed Grant sent Lee a note pointing out his hopeless condition and inviting surrender Lee who was keenly aware of his desperate situation asked for terms On the morning of April 9 the two commanders met at a private home in Appomattox Court House Grant asked only that the officers and men of the Army of Northern Virginia surrender and give their word not to take up arms against the United States until properly exchanged Lee accepted the terms The war was over in Virginia THE WAR ENDS President Lincoln lived to learn of Lee s surrender and to rejoice that the war was almost at an end A few days later on April 14 he was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth a crazed actor and defender of the Confederacy The North overwhelmed with grief was not disposed to be generous to the conquered Confederacy Meanwhile news of Lee s surrender slowly made its way to Johnston and Sherman in North Carolina Johnston made peace overtures to Sherman and on April 17 the two commanders met in Durham Station North Carolina to discuss terms Sherman thought he was carrying out Lincoln s wish to heal the wounds of war by offering more generous terms than Grant had offered Lee However Secretary of War Edwin Stanton embittered by Lincoln s murder which he suspected had been inspired by the Confederate government refused to approve the terms On April 26 Johnston had to surrender his 37 000 men on the same conditions as those agreed on by Lee when he surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Court House Only two sizable Confederate armies remained One was in Louisiana led by General Richard Taylor The other commanded by General Edmund Kirby Smith was in Texas Taylor surrendered on May 4 and Smith surrendered on May 26 both of them to General E R S Canby On May 10 Jefferson Davis was captured in Georgia ASSESSMENT OF THE CIVIL WAR Looking backward anyone must marvel at the fact that the war lasted four years All the advantages seemed to favor the North In 1860 the 22 states that would remain in the Union three more would come in before 1865 had a combined population of 22 million The 11 states that made up the Confederacy could count only 9 million inhabitants including almost 4 million black slaves Most of the factories capable of producing war materials were located in the North and the section was well equipped with railroads It had a merchant marine and could maintain worldwide commerce The South on the other hand was a region of farms Although these farms produced products that Europe wanted particularly cotton the South had few ships and its principal ports were soon closed Much has been made of the superiority of Southern commanders Although Lee was

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  • Hernando Cortez
    a colony there Velasquez soon suspected Cortez of ambitions beyond his orders and canceled the expedition Cortez however assembled men and equipment and set sail He rounded the peninsula at Yucatan and touched Mexico on the coast of what is now the state of Tabasco During a battle with Indians there he took many captives including a young Aztec princess to whom he gave the Spanish name Marina She became his interpreter adviser and lover Cortez continued up the coast On April 21 1519 he landed near the site of Veracruz There to prevent all thought of retreat he burned his ships Leaving a small force on the coast Cortez led the remainder into the interior The warlike Tlaxcalans attacked 300 Indians to every Spaniard After three battles the Indians became allies of the Spaniards On Nov 8 1519 Cortez reached Tenochtitlan now Mexico City and was graciously received by Montezuma the Aztec emperor Soon after Cortez established headquarters in the capital he learned the Aztecs had plundered Veracruz Swiftly he seized Montezuma and forced him to surrender the attackers Then he had them executed Meanwhile Velasquez had sent 1 400 soldiers to arrest Cortez and bring him back to Cuba Cortez defeated this army and enlisted most of the survivors under his banner He returned to the Aztec capital The leader of the garrison there had slaughtered 600 Mexican nobles As Cortez and his men reached the heart of the city they were attacked by thousands of Aztec warriors Montezuma was brought out to pacify his people but they stoned him and later he died of his wounds Cortez army was surrounded and apparently doomed but he and three others managed to get to the chieftain of the Aztecs and killed him seizing his banner Dismayed by this apparent

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  • John Adams
    war with Britain This time he took along his youngest son Charles as well as John Quincy leaving Abigail to tend the farm and the other two children in Braintree Not until 1784 almost five years later was the entire family reunited in Paris By then Adams had shown himself an unnatural diplomat exhibiting a level of candor and a confrontational style toward both English and French negotiators that alienated Franklin who came to regard his colleague as slightly deranged Adams for his part thought Franklin excessively impressed with his own stature as the Gallic version of the American genius and therefore inadequately attuned to the important differences between American and French interests in the peace negotiations The favorable terms achieved in the Treaty of Paris 1783 can be attributed to the effective blend of Franklin s discretion and Adams s bulldog temperament Adams s reputation for emotional explosions also dates from this period Recent scholarly studies suggest that he might have suffered from a hyperthyroid condition subsequently known as Graves disease In 1784 Jefferson arrived in Paris to replace Franklin as the American minister at the French court Over the next few months Jefferson became an unofficial member of the Adams family and the bond of friendship between Adams and Jefferson was sealed a lifelong partnership and rivalry that made the combative New Englander and the elegant Virginian the odd couple of the American Revolution Jefferson also visited the Adams family in England in 1785 after Adams had assumed his new post as American ambassador in London The two men also joined forces though Adams as the senior figure assumed the lead in negotiating a 400 000 loan from Dutch bankers that allowed the American government to consolidate its European debts Political philosophy Because he was the official embodiment of American independence from the British Empire Adams was largely ignored and relegated to the periphery of the court during his nearly three years in London Still brimming with energy he spent his time studying the history of European politics for patterns and lessons that might assist the fledgling American government in its efforts to achieve what no major European nation had managed to produce namely a stable republican form of government The result was a massive and motley three volume collection of quotations unacknowledged citations and personal observations entitled A Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America 1787 A fourth volume Discourses on Davila 1790 was published soon after he returned to the United States Taken together these lengthy tomes contained Adams s distinctive insights as a political thinker The lack of organization combined with the sprawling style of the Defense however made its core message difficult to follow or fathom When read in the context of his voluminous correspondence on political issues along with the extensive marginalia he recorded in the several thousand books in his personal library that message became clearer with time Adams wished to warn his fellow Americans against all revolutionary manifestos that envisioned a fundamental break with the past and a fundamental transformation in human nature or society that supposedly produced a new age All such utopian expectations were illusions he believed driven by what he called ideology the belief that imagined ideals so real and seductive in theory were capable of being implemented in the world The same kind of conflict between different classes that had bedeviled medieval Europe would albeit in muted forms also afflict the United States because the seeds of such competition were planted in human nature itself Adams blended the psychological insights of New England Puritanism with its emphasis on the emotional forces throbbing inside all creatures and the Enlightenment belief that government must contain and control those forces to construct a political system capable of balancing the ambitions of individuals and competing social classes His insistence that elites were unavoidable realities in all societies however made him vulnerable to the charge of endorsing aristocratic rule in America when in fact he was attempting to suggest that the inevitable American elite must be controlled its ambitions channeled toward public purposes He also was accused of endorsing monarchical principles because he argued that the chief executive in the American government like the king in medieval European society must possess sufficient power to check the ravenous appetites of the propertied classes Although misunderstood by many of his contemporaries the realistic perspective Adams proposed and the skepticism toward utopian schemes he insisted upon has achieved considerable support in the wake of the failed 20th century attempts at social transformation in the communist bloc In Adams s own day his political analysis enjoyed the satisfaction of correctly predicting that the French Revolution would lead to the Reign of Terror and eventual despotism by a military dictator Vice presidency and presidency Soon after his return to the United States Adams found himself on the ballot in the presidential election of 1789 He finished second to Washington 69 votes to 34 votes which signaled three political realities first his standing as a leading member of the revolutionary generation was superseded only by that of Washington himself second his combative style and his recent political writings had hurt his reputation enough to preclude the kind of overwhelming support Washington enjoyed third according to the electoral rules established in the recent ratified Constitution he was America s first vice president This meant that Adams was the first American statesman to experience the paradox of being a heartbeat away from maximum power while languishing in the political version of a cul de sac Adams himself described the vice presidency as the most insignificant office that ever the Invention of man contrived or his Imagination conceived His main duty was to serve as president pro tem of the Senate casting a vote only to break a tie During his eight years in office Adams cast between 31 and 38 such votes more than any subsequent vice president in American history He steadfastly supported all

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