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a decree authorizing everybody to transact business in and to invite any information which will enable the any money he chose. “No sooner,” says Mr. McLeod, Commission to prosecute the offenders. in his “ Economical Philosophy," " was this great blow In regard to the practice which has prevailed in some struck at the paper currency, of making it pass at its recent campaigns, of sending circulars from State or current value, than specie immediately reappeared in National committees to the private residences of ofcirculation.” In commenting upon this second expe. fice-holders, instead of to the public buildings in which rience of France with paper money, which lasted for they are employed, thus evading the letter of the law, about six years, Prof. A. L. Perry, in his “ Elements while violating its spirit, Mr. Roosevelt says the Comof Political Economy,” thus graphically and truthfully mission will also call public attention to every case of sums up the consequences :
this kind which it discovers, and will assure all Gov
ernment employees that they can disregard all such apThe distress and consternation into which a country falls when its current measure of services is disturbed peals without fear of losing their places. and destroyed, as it was in this case, is past all powers of
These are all public-spirited purposes, and no one description. The prisons and the guillotine did not com- familiar with Mr. Roosevelt will doubt that he will ad. pare with the assignats in causing suffering during those here to them with vigor and determination. The pracsix years. This example is significant because it shows the powerlessness of even the strongest and most unscru
tice is an abominable injustice, and ought not to be pulous governments to regulate the value of anything. allowed in a single instance. It does not prevail to The assignats were depreciating during the very months anything like the extent to which it was carried before in which Robespierre and the Committee of Public
Safety the present law was enacted, but the evil is by no means were wielding the power of life and death in France with terrific energy. They did their utmost to stop the sinking abolished. Fear of loss of place, or chance of promoof the Revolutionary paper. But value knows its own laws, tion, impels many a clerk to give who would never and follows them in spite of decrees and penalties.
contribute a penny could he feel assured that his re
fusal would have no effect upon his tenure or prospects. Campaign Blackmailing of Government Clerks.
The hardship which such extortion entails is pictured MR. THEODORE ROOSEVELT, speaking in the name vividly, but with entire truthfulness, by Mr. Roosevelt of the National Civil Service Commission, issued a
in the following passages : timely warning in the July“ Atlantic” against all levy
Government employees, as a whole, are hard-working, ing of assessments upon governmental employees dur- not overpaid men, with families to support, and there is ing the presidential campaign. He wrote with char- no meaner species of swindling than to blackmail them acteristic plainness and force, and set forth both the for the sake of a political organization. The contribution, law in the case and the attitude of the Commission to- peculiarly difficult for them to pay. To take away two per
moreover, is extorted from them at a time when it is often ward offenders with such clearness that his utterance cent. of a man's salary just at the beginning of winter may cannot fail to have a restraining influence upon all per
mean that he will have to go without a winter overcoat, or sons tempted to violate the statute.
his wife and children without the warm clothing which is
almost a necessity: As he pointed out, the law seeks to provide both for Moreover, it is the poorest and most helpless class who the protection of the office-holder and for the punish. are most apt to be coerced into paying. In several invesing of the politician who seeks to get from him a por. tigations undertaken by the Commission, we found that tion of his salary. It provides, under heavy penalties, women opposed in political faith to the administration
it was women who were inost certain to pay, and that the that no office holder shall in any way solicit or receive were even more apt to pay than the others. assessments or contributions for political purposes from any other office-holder; that no person, office-holder Can any self-respecting person read that and not or otherwise, shall solicit such contribution in any fed- Alush with indignation that such things are possible uneral building; that no office-holder shall in any way be der a free, popular government? Could there be a jeopardized in his position for contributing or refusing meaner or more despicable business for a man or a to contribute, as he sees fit; and that no office-holder party to be engaged in than this levying of political shall give any money to another office-holder for the blackmail upon hard-working, deserving, and poorly promotion of any political object whatever.
paid men and women ? Mr. Roosevelt is right in thinkIt is well to give these provisions the widest possible ing that publicity will be a powerful weapon to use publicity at this time, in order that all men may become against all men caught in this business. The American familiar with them and act accordingly. Mr. Roosevelt people would be made of poor stuff indeed if they did gives emphatic assurance that the Commission will pro. not arise in wrath against such unworthy specimens tect all office-holders whose positions are threatened of their race. The abuse has been tolerated only bebecause of refusal to contribute, and will ask the in- cause the public attention has not been aroused to it. dictment and recommend the dismissal of all superiors Let us have the names of the offenders, and specificain the service who attempt any intimidation of subor- tions of their offenses, published to the world, no matdinates. He invites complaints of all instances in which ter how high they may stand in official life, and the contributions are solicited, promising to treat them as thorough extermination of the evil will be soon acconfidential and to endeavor to punish the guilty per. complished. son without revealing the identity of the informant. Mr. Roosevelt gives a valuable hint to the extorHe also declares that it is the intention of the Com- tioners, at the close of his article, by reminding them mission during the present campaign, whenever it finds that in case of a defeat of their party at the polls in No. an individual or an organization trying to assess Gov. vember, it will be much easier to obtain evidence against ernment office-holders, publicly, through the press, to them from their victims after election, than it would call the attention of everybody to what is being done, be were the party to succeed.
VOL. XLIV.- 104.
The Crisis of the Civil War.
The position that I held in 1862 and 1863 was that
of Chief of the Bureau of Military Railroads, charged the celebration of the opening of the Northern with the duty of constructing, reconstructing, and operat
eral manager, two of the guests present were President operations of the war, but especially in Virginia, Mary. Chester A. Arthur and Secretary of War Robert Lin- land, and Pennsylvania, where I directed operations coln. Mr. Lincoln sent for me with a request for a brief personally. I reported directly to the Secretary of War interview, and stated that he desired information upon and to General Halleck, but necessarily kept in constant a subject that had elicited much discussion, and upon communication with the general in command of the which a careful examination of the war records, both army in the field, that I might know his plans, his re. of telegrams and letters, failed to throw any light. He quirements in the way of transportation, and the lines said that upon entering his father's room one morning, to be operated upon. just after the battle of Gettysburg, he found him in When Lee was moving toward the Potomac for the great distress, and upon inquiring the cause, the Presi. invasion of Pennsylvania, I supposed as a matter of dent stated that information had just been received course that General Hooker would follow him up and from General Haupt that General Meade had no inten- that, as a necessary consequence, the base of supplies tion immediately of following up his advantage; that must be changed and the rolling-stock transferred from he intended to rest for several days; that without an the line of the Orange and Alexandria to the Baltimore immediate movement of the army the enemy would be and Ohio Railroad. I went to the front to consult with permitted to cross the Potomac and escape; that the General Hooker, and found him under a tree two miles fruits of victory would be lost and the war indefinitely from Fairfax Station. prolonged. He asked if I had sent any letters, tele- In answer to my inquiries, he replied that he did not grams, or other communications in which this informa- intend to move until he got orders, and that he would tion had been given.
follow them literally and let the responsibility rest I replied that I had communicated such information where it belonged. He said that he had made suggeseither to the President or to General Halleck, but in tions that were not approved, and if he could not carry what way I could not then remember.
out his own plans he could not be held accountable for Two years ago I commenced to write the memoirs failure if he literally carried out instructions of which of the operations of the Military Railroad Construction he disapproved. Corps, and in one of my letter-books found a full and Regarding the situation as critical, I returned as satisfactory explanation. From this it appears that after soon as possible to Washington and made report to spending the forenoon of Sunday, the day following General Halleck in person. General Halleck opened Lee's retreat, with General Meade, I took an engine the his desk and took out a bundle of papers, from which same evening and repaired to Washington and as early he selected several which he read to me. They were as possible on Monday morning made personal report communications which had passed between General to General Halleck; informed him of the situation and Hooker and the President, of which copies were al. the conclusions I had reached, that, unless General ways sent to General Halleck. Meade could be induced to change his plans and move From these papers it appeared that Hooker's plan immediately, the enemy would certainly cross the river was to capture Richmond while the army of Lee was and escape. It was, no doubt, immediately after this absent from it, and that the President had replied, in interview that General Halleck called on the President substance, that it would be a poor exchange to give and communicated the information that gave him so Washington for Richmond; that if, as stated, the enmuch distress.
emy was spread out in a long thin line, with one flank The President and General Halleck have been se. resting on Fredericksburg and the other on the Potoverely criticized in some quarters for the words of cen- mac, it would be much better to break through his sure sent to General Meade, which, it was claimed, did line and beat him in detail. This was about the subinjustice to a gallant officer who had performed services stance of these letters, as I remember them. of the highest value. Certain it is that the predictions in After reading these papers, General Halleck put on regard to the escape of Lee were verified: he was not his cap and left the office, no doubt to confer with the disturbed for ten days; he crossed the Potomac July President. In half an hour he returned, and quietly 14, 1863, and the war, which, in my opinion, might have remarked, “ Hooker will get his orders.” This was all been then substantially ended, was prolonged for two he said, but a few days after General Hooker was reyears with immense sacrifice of blood and treasure. lieved at his own request, and the command conferred
As the battle of Gettysburg was the turning point in upon General Meade. the great struggle, and as antecedent events with which General Meade and I had been classmates at West no one now living is familiar except myself had ap- Point, graduating in 1835. I appreciated the difficulparently an important influence upon the result, my ties of his position. Called unexpectedly to the comfriends insist that it is a duty to place certain facts on mand of an army the several corps of which were record.
scattered, and with no plan of operation required to except such as could be procured from barns and
form his own plans and prosecute a campaign with but at Gettysburg, rather than at Chambersburg. The movelittle time for consideration, it was certainly a most
ment on their part is very rapid and hurried. They re
turned from Carlisle in the direction of Gettysburg by trying situation.
way of the Petersburg Pike. Firing about Petersburg The following special orders were issued :
and Dillsburg this P. M. continued some hours. Meade
sudden attack from Lee's whole army.
H. HAUPT, Brigadier-General.
(And repeat to General Meade and General Schenck.) Special Orders, No. 286.
Brigadier-General H. Haupt, United States Volun- General Meade subsequently informed me that he teers, is hereby authorized and directed to do whatever received these telegrams by courier in his tent at about he may deem expedient to facilitate the transportation of troops and supplies to aid the armies in the field in Vir. 3 A. M, on the morning of July 1. ginja, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.
On July 1, I returned to Baltimore via Philadelphia, By command of Major-General Halleck.
as the Northern Central had been broken, and organE. D. TOWNSEND, ized transportation over the Western Maryland RailAssistant Adjutant-General.
road. J. N. Du Barry, superintendent of the Northern June 28, 1863, General Meade telegraphed General Central Railroad, was relieved at his own request, and Halleck, acknowledging the receipt of the order placing Adna Anderson placed in charge, under whose efficient him in command of the army, and stated that he was
management thirty trains per day were passed over this ignorant of the exact condition of the troops and the
road under extraordinary difficulties; and, as General position of the enemy.
Ingalls, Chief Quartermaster, stated, so efficient was I repaired promptly to Harrisburg, as the best point the service that at no time were the supplies insufficient at which to obtain reliable information as to the situa
for three days' rations in advance. tion. I found Colonel Thomas A. Scott at the depot,
I then directed my attention to the reconstruction of showed him my orders, and asked for a full report. He the Northern Central Railroad, on which nineteen informed me that Lee, who had occupied the opposite bridges had been destroyed, as also all the bridges on the șide of the river in full force, had that morning, June Before midnight of July 5, all these bridges between
branches between Hanover Junction and Gettysburg. 30, begun to retreat precipitately, in some cases leaving provisions uncooked, and the artillery being on a trot. Gettysburg and Baltimore had been reconstructed and After hearing a full explanation, with many details un
the telegraph line restored, and on Monday morning, necessary to repeat, I told Colonel Scott that he was
July 6, General Meade was in communication with entirely in error as to the cause of Lee's retirement. Washington both by rail and telegraph. My explanation of the movement was that Lee had
On Sunday morning, the day of Lee's retreat, I rode just received information that Hooker had been re
to Gettysburg in a buggy, and repaired early to General lieved and Meade placed in command; that Lee knew
Meade's headquarters, where I found Generals Meade that our army corps were widely scattered, and that and Pleasonton, and remained with them about three some days would be required before Meade could get hours. The scene is vividly impressed upon my memory,
as also the conversation. We were seated at a small them in hand; and that the movement of Lee was clearly not one of retreat but of concentration, with a
table, upon which was a map of the country,— Meade view to fall upon the several corps and crush them in and Pleasonton on one side, I on the opposite side. detail, in which case Washington, Baltimore, and Phila- General Meade was much surprised to learn that the delphia would fall into his possession; and I added bridges and telegraph lines had nearly been reconemphatically, “We are in the worst position that we
structed, and that in a few hours he could begin to send have occupied since the commencement of the war,
his wounded to the hospitals. He remarked that he and nothing but the interposition of Providence can
had supposed that the destruction of the railroads had save us from destruction."
been so complete that three weeks would be required Colonel Scott replied: “I think you are right. nected with the battle had been related, General Pleas
for their reconstruction. After many incidents conWhat can be done ? " I immediately, at 10 P. M., sent this telegram :
onton made the remark that if Longstreet had con
centrated his fire more and had kept it up a little longer, HARRISBURG, PENN., June 30, 1863.
we would have lost the day; to which Meade made no MAJOR-GENERAL HALLECK, General-in-Chief: Lee reply, and appeared to acquiesce in this opinion. is falling back suddenly from the vicinity of Harrisburg After other matters had been disposed of, I reand concentrating all his forces. York has been evacuated. Carlisle is being evacuated. The concentration
marked to General Meade that I supposed he would appears to be at or near Chambersburg. The object, at once follow up his advantages and capture the reapparently, a sudden movement against Meade, of which mains of Lee's army before he could cross the Potohe should be advised by courier immediately. A courier might reach Frederick by way of Western Maryland mac. The reply was, “ Lee's pontoon-trains have been Railroad to Westminster. This information comes from destroyed, and the river is not fordable. My army reT. A. Scott, and I think it reliable. H. HAUPT, quires a few days' rest, and cannot move at present."
I was greatly surprised, and said decidedly, “General,
I have a construction-corps that could pass that army Further information continued to be received, and in less than forty-eight hours, if they had no material at 12.45 A. M. I sent this second telegram :
houses and trees from the woods; and it is not safe to HARRISBURG, PENN., July 1, 1863, 12.45 A.M. MAJOR-GENERAL H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief.
assume that the enemy cannot do what we can.” All Information just received, 12.45 A. M. , leads to the belief my arguments and remonstrances proved unavailing, that the concentration of the forces of the enemy will be and I left, when the interview ended, fully convinced
that Lee would be permitted to escape, and that the that I had indicated as possible. Meade's army, instead fruits of the glorious victory would be lost.
of occupying the line of road east of the Blue Ridge The situation can be briefly explained. The Federal and cutting the communications of the enemy, followed army had been occupying the Cemetery Ridge for sev- him in a hopeless chase up the Shenandoah Valley, eral days. They were not so foot-sore that a march and, when too late to be of efficient service, I was of thirty-five miles would have been impossible; they telegraphed to bring all my forces from the line of the had ample supplies for at least three days, as the Cumberland Valley Railroad and reconstruct with all chief quartermaster informed me; they would have possible expedition the Orange and Alexandria Railmoved toward, not from, their proper base of supplies, way, which again became the base of supplies. the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad; they had two good The records show that even before the interview with pontoon-trains with which to bridge the river at any General Meade I wrote to General Halleck, expressing desired point. I was quite familiar with the locations, apprehension that the pursuit would be so tardy as to having resided ten years at Gettysburg and made rail- lose the fruits of victory. On page 523 of Part III of road surveys between it and the Potomac, and had the Gettysburg records there is a letter to General Halwalked over the same ground in one day ten miles leck, dated Oxford, Pennsylvania, July 4, "II A. M." further than it would have been necessary for the army This date is an error in the printed records; it should to march.
have been P. M., as the letter commences“
“Night has The Confederates were depressed by defeat, short of overtaken me at Oxford. . . . Persons just in from ammunition, especially for artillery, they had a swollen Gettysburg report the position of affairs. I fear that stream-not fordable in their front, no pontoon-bridges while Meade rests to refresh his men and collect supand no material immediately available for constructing plies Lee will be off so far that he cannot intercept him. others, no possibility of retracing their route up the A good force on the line of the Potomac to prevent Lee Cumberland Valley, as that would have removed them from crossing would, I think, insure his destruction.” further from their supplies on the south side of the This letter, it will be perceived, was written from OxPotomac, and, besides, the Cumberland Valley was oc- ford, seven miles east of Gettysburg, before my intercupied by the corps of General Couch, which had not view with General Meade at an early hour the next been in action; they were apparently hemmed in a trap. morning. The fear expressed was so greatly intensified
My opinion has always been that if Meade had by my personal interview with General Meade that I moved at once to the Potomac, had occupied a defen- felt it to be my duty to take an engine and proceed to sible position below Lee's army, thrown bridges across Washington the same night, to make a personal report and placed a moderate force with artillery on the south to General Halleck, who was my immediate superior, side, within supporting distance from the main army, it Although the President seems to have been much would have been impossible for Lee to receive supplies exercised over the probability of Lee's escape, the comor reinforcements; the batteries, properly placed, would munications between Generals Halleck and Meade, as have prevented any attempts to construct bridges; and published in the records, do not indicate disapprobaLee would have been forced to capitulate. It would tion on the part of the authorities at Washington until not have been necessary to risk an engagement; the the escape had been actually effected, on July 14, when enemy would have been checkmated.
the telegrams were of such character as to induce GenI left Meade on Sunday, July 5, about noon, and eral Meade to ask to be relieved from the command of the next morning, as I find from my records, I was in the army. Washington and had a personal interview with General I can readily understand the situation from my relaHalleck, in which the situation was fully explained; and tions to General Halleck and familiarity with his policy, this is the reason why no records were found of any Contrary to the generally received opinion, he was letters or telegrams from me to General Halleck or unwilling to give any other than very general instructhe President referring to the Meade interview. I tions to the generals in the field. A single illustration find, however, a letter to General Halleck, written from will make this clear. At the battle of Fredericksburg my office in Washington, Monday, July 6, referring I was with Burnside nearly all day in an upper room to the interview with him in the morning, which throws of the Phillips House overlooking the battle-field. After light upon the subjects discussed at that interview. In the battle I took an engine, ran to Aquia Creek, twelve this letter I assumed that Lee would escape, and sug- miles, then boarded a steamer and proceeded as rapidly gested that, as a successful pursuit up the Shenandoah as possible to Washington. I called on President Lin. Valley would be hopeless, it was desirable at once to coln and explained the situation. He asked me to occupy the line of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad walk with him to General Halleck's quarters on I with a good cavalry force as far as Lynchburg, destroy street, near the Arlington. On arrival we found Gentelegraph lines and the bridges and tracks on both the eral Halleck at about II P. M. in his drawing room roads leading from Richmond, occupy the passes of the with several officers. These were requested to withBlue Ridge, isolate the army in the Shenandoah Valley, draw, and the President then asked me to repeat my and attack when favorable opportunities offered. These report to General Halleck, which I did. The President were, of course, mere suggestions for the consideration then directed General Halleck to telegraph orders 10 of the General-in-Chief. The principal value of this let. Burnside to withdraw his forces from the south side ter at the present time is to show that as early as July 6 of the river. General Halleck rose from his seat, paced I had reached the conclusion that Lee would escape, the room for some time in meditation, and then, standand was occupied with plans of what should be done ing in front of the President, said emphatically, “I will in that contingency.
do no such thing. If such orders are issued, you must The predictions were verified. Lee did escape, but issue them yourself. If we were personally present we not until July 14, on bridges constructed on the plans might assume such responsibility. I hold that a general
in command of an army in the field is, or ought to be, for conditions more favorable for themselves. If no better acquainted with all the conditions than parties at decisive move could be made north of the Potomac, it a distance, and by giving peremptory orders a serious was vain to expect more favorable results on the south error might be committed." The President made no side, with the enemy reinforced, supplied, rested, and reply, but seemed much dejected. I then ventured the on their own territory, with communications intact and remark that I did not consider the situation so serious popular sympathy in their favor. as he supposed. I explained more in detail the topo- The records show that the opinions herein expressed graphical features of the locality and the relative posi- are not afterthoughts, but were entertained at the time tions of the two armies. Our troops could not be fired when the events occurred, and that no efforts were spared apon, nor our bridges enfiladed by the batteries on on my part to avert the great calamity of the escape of Marye’s Heights, without destroying the city, and I had the Confederate army and the prolongation of the conno doubt that Burnside would retire his army during test for two years, with the losses of life and treasure the night. When I finished, the President, with a deep consequent thereon. sigh, remarked, “What you have just told me gives me Soon after the battle of Gettysburg, for reasons not a great many grains of comfort."
pertinent to this article, I ceased to be an active parti. There can be, I think, no doubt that the President cipant in the operations of the army; but the construcfrom the first shared with me the apprehension that tion-corps that I had the privilege of organizing conLee would escape and the war be indefinitely pro- tinued, under other officers, to perform most efficient longed, but was deterred from interfering with Gen- service, and contributed greatly -- perhaps it would not eral Meade by the position taken by General Halleck, be too strong an expression to say was indispensable — who would not, unless personally present, assume the to the success of General Sherman in his celebrated responsibility of giving orders.
march to the sea. The facility with which bridges were General M. C. Meigs, Quartermaster-General, had reconstructed and broken communications restored engreat influence with the President, Secretary of War, abled him to advance with confidence, leaving hundreds and General Halleck, and was often present at their of miles of unprotected railroad communications in his councils. I find among my papers a telegram to General Meigs, dated Frederick, July 8, in which I en- Colonel Lazelle, formerly in charge of the publicadeavored to secure his coöperation to induce more tion of the records of the war, declared that the services prompt action, in which this language is used, “ I could of the Military Railroad Construction Corps had been build trestle-bridges of round sticks and floor with fence- of the greatest value to the Government, but that they rails. It is too much to assume that the rebels cannot had never been recognized or appreciated. do the same.” I had previously made a similar remark
Herman Haupt. to General Meade. On July 9, General Halleck telegraphed to General
Francis Davis Millet. Meade that “the evidence that Lee's army will fight north of the Potomac seems reliable."
“ BETWEEN Two Fires” is a good example of the This seems to me, under the circumstances, a very work of one of the best-known of American painters. remarkable opinion for an officer of so much intelli. The story is well told, the painting is conscientious and gence as General Halleck; but he may have had reasons unobtrusive, the figures are well drawn, and the comfor the opinion of which I am not advised. Lee was of position is pleasing in color. It shows, perhaps, as well necessity short of ammunition. With nearly 300 pieces as any of Mr. Millet's pictures, what the qualities are of artillery in action for three days, it would seem to that distinguish his work and have contributed to the have been an impossibility for Lee to have retained painter's excellent position in contemporary art. He sufficient ammunition to renew the offensive, and he seems to have the same desire not to omit detail, and yet could get neither ammunition, supplies, nor reinforce not to insist too much upon it, that appears in the work ments until he could establish communications with the of the great Dutchmen. There is no dash or showy south side of the Potomac. In fact, it was not until brush-work, though technically Mr. Millet's work is July 10 that Lee succeeded in getting some ammuni- not tame; but the chief characteristic is a certain thortion via Martinsburg, probably carried over the river oughness, a straightforward earnestness of intention to in rowboats, and this could have been intercepted by be realistic, and the accomplishment of this purpose a small force on the south side. To me it seems ex- without making realism the only, or even the predomtremely probable, in fact almost certain, that if Lee could inant, quality. There are charm of expression, healthy have been prevented from getting ammunition to renew sentiment, very clever workmanship, and completeness an attack, or from constructing bridges on which to in all that he does. cross the river, he would have been forced to capitulate In a large picture of “ Anthony Van Corlaer, the without another battle. If he had attempted to escape by Trumpeter of New Amsterdam," a fine composition of moving up the river, the difficulties of the position would six or seven figures; in “ Rook and Pigeon,” an exnot have been relieved. Meade, having the great ad- cellent group of two men, with the scene in an Engvantage of pontoon-bridges, could always safely have lish inn in the time of the Stuarts ; in “ A Waterloo maintained a sufficient force on the south side to inter- Widow”; in “ The Duet ”; and in the picture of the cept supplies. Lee's forces were certainly in no condition traveler at the inn, which belongs to the Union League to renew the contest when they reached the Potomac, Club of New York, the painter's admirable qualities and although it might not have been wise to attack them are well shown. The picture “ Between Two Fires " in a strong, defensive position, it is certain that, without has been purchased this year from the Royal Academy supplies, such position could not have been long main. Exhibition by the Chantrey Fund. tained, and the Federal army could never again hope In another line of subjects - those depicting scenes