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A compromise, to be effective, must be made either soldiers. Among the commanders holding these with those who control the rebel army, or with the views are some who have never had any affinity people first liberated from the domination of that with what is called " Abolitionism or with “Rearmy by the successes of our own army. Now, publican party politics," but who hold them purely allow me to assure you that no word or intimation as military opinions. I submit these opinions as from that rebel army, or from any of the men con- being entitled to some weight against the objections trolling it, in relation to any peace compromise, often urged that emancipation and arming the blacks has ever come to my knowledge or belief. All are unwise as military measures, and were not charges and insinuations to the contrary are decep- adopted as such in good faith. tive and groundless. And I promise you that if any You say you will not fight to free negroes. such proposition shall hereafter come, it shall not Some of them seem willing to fight for you — but be rejected and kept a secret from you. I freely no matter. Fight you, then, exclusively to save the acknowledge myself the servant of the people ac- Union. I issued the proclamation on purpose to cording to the bond of service,- the United States aid you in saving the Union. Whenever you shall Constitution,—and that as such I am responsible to have conquered all resistance to the Union, if I shall them.
urge you to continue fighting, it will be an apt time But, to be plain, you are dissatisfied with me then for you to declare you will not fight to free about the negro. Quite likely there is a difference negroes. I thought that in your struggle for the of opinion between you and myself upon that sub- Union, to whatever extent the negroes should cease ject. I certainly wish all men could be free, while helping the enemy, to that extent it weakened the Í suppose you do not. Yet I have neither adopted enemy in his resistance to you. Do you think differnor proposed any measure which is not consistent ently? I thought that whatever negroes can be got with even your view, provided you are for the Union. to do as soldiers leaves just so much less for white I suggested compensated emancipation, to which soldiers to do in saving the Union. Does it appear you replied you wished not to be taxed to buy otherwise to you? But negroes, like other people, negroes. But I had not asked you to be taxed to act upon motives. Why should they do anything buy negroes, except in such way as to save you for us if we will do nothing for them? If they stake from greater taxation to save the Union exclusively their lives for us, they must be prompted by the by other means.
strongest motive, even the promise of freedom. And You dislike the Emancipation Proclamation, and the promise, being made, must be kept. perhaps would have it retracted. You say it is un- The signs look better. The Father of Waters constitutional. I think differently. I think the Con- again goes unvexed to the sea. Thanks to the great stitution invests its commander-in-chief with the North-west for it. Nor yet wholly to them. Three law of war in time of war. The most that can be hundred miles up they met New England, Empire, said - if so much—is that slaves are property. Is Keystone, and Jersey, hewing their way right and there, has there ever been, any question that by left. The sunny South, too, in more colors than the law of war, property, both of enemies and friends, one, also lent a hand. On the spot, their part of the may be taken when needed? And is it not needed history was jotted down in black and white. The whenever taking it helps us or hurts the enemy? job was a great national one, and let none be banned Armies, the world over, destroy enemies' property who bore an honorable part in it. And while those when they cannot use it, and even destroy their who have cleared the great river may well be proud, own to keep it from the enemy. Civilized belliger- even that is not all. It is hard to say that anything ents do all in their power to help themselves or has been more bravely and well done than at Anhurt the enemy, except a few things regarded as tietam, Murfreesboro', Gettysburg, and on many barbarous or cruel. Among the exceptions are the fields of lesser note. Nor must Uncle Sam's web-feet massacre of vanquished foes and non-combatants, be forgotten. At all the watery margins they have male and female.
been present. Not only on the deep sea, the broad But the proclamation, as law, either is valid or bay, and the rapid river, but also up the narrow, is not valid. If it is not valid it needs no retraction. muddy bayou ; and wherever the ground was a If it is valid it cannot be retracted, any more than little damp, they have been and made their tracks. the dead can be brought to life. Some of you pro- Thanks to all. For the great Republic — for the prinfess to think its retraction would operate favorably ciple it lives by and keeps alive - for man's vast for the Union. Why better after the retraction than future - thanks to all. before the issue? There was more than a year and Peace does not appear so distant as it did. I hope a half of trial to suppress the rebellion before the it will come soon, and come to stay; and so come proclamation issued, the last one hundred days of as to be worth the keeping in all future time. It which passed under an explicit notice that it was will then have been proved that among free men coming, unless averted by those in revolt returning there can be no successful appeal from the ballot to to their allegiance. The war has certainly progressed the bullet, and that they who take such appeal are as favorably for us since the issue of the proclama- sure to lose their case and pay the cost. And there tion as before.
will be some black men who can remember that with I know, as sully as one can know the opinion silent tongue, and clenched teeth, and steady eye, and of others, that some of the commanders of our well-poised bayonet they have helped mankind on armies in the field, who have given us our most to this great consummation; while I fear there will important successes, believe the emancipation pol- be some white ones unable to forget that with maicy and the use of the colored troops constitute the lignant heart and deceitful speech they strove to heaviest blow yet dealt to the rebellion, and that at hinder it. least one of these important successes could not have Still let us not be over sanguine of a speedy, final been achieved when it was but for the aid of black triumph. Let us be quite sober. Let us diligently
apply the means, never doubting that a just God, support of our Government, until the rebellion in His own good time, will give us the rightful shall be finally and forever crushed": they reresult.1
solved that " whatever else may die, the Union Among all the state papers of Mr. Lincoln shall live to perpetuate civil liberty; whatever from his nomination to his death this letter is else may perish, the Government shall survive unique. It may be called his last stump speech, in all its constitutional integrity; whatever else the only one made during his Presidency. We may be destroyed, the nation shall be preserved find in it all the qualities that made him in Il- in its territorial unity; and to this end we pledge linois the incomparable political leader of his anew our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred party for a generation. There is the same close, honor."3 unerring logic, the same innate perception of In this spirit the campaign was fought political conduct, the same wit and sarcasm, through to its victorious close, and on the night the same touch of picturesque eloquence, of the 3d of November the President, sitting which abounded in his earlier and more care- in the War Department, had the pleasure of less oratory, but all wonderfully heightened, learning from all the clicking wires about him strengthened, and chastened by a sense of im- that the cause of nationality and freedom was mense responsibility. In this letter, which the triumphant from one end of the Union to the chairman took only ten minutes to read, he said other; that the people had come up fully abreast more than all the orators at all the stands. It of him on the question of emancipation, and was, like most of his speeches, addressed prin- that the nation was now substantially united cipally to his opponents, and in this short space in the resolute purpose to prosecute the war to he appealed successively to their reason, to their its legitimate conclusion. These victories at the sympathies, and to their fears. By a succession of polls made sure the good results of this summer unanswerable syllogisms he showed them how of battles; the Administration felt itself conuntenable was their position. He appealed to firmed anew and strengthened for the work betheir generosity, to their sense of duty, to their foreit. To those members of the Administration patriotism, even to their love of glory, and in who had formerly acted with the Democratic the end he held out to them with dignified party there was a certain sense of humiliation austerity the prospect of shame and self-re- and disappointment. Mr. Stanton said, “The proach which lay before them if they contin- disheartening thing in the affair was that there ued their hostility to the sacred cause of seemed to be no patriotic principle left in the humanity and nationality. The style of this Democratic party, the whole organization votletter is as remarkable as its matter; each ing solidly against the country.”4 Mr. Seward, sentence, like a trained athlete, is divested of on the contrary, came back from Auburn, where every superfluous word and syllable, yet no- he had gone home to vote, in the highest spirits. where is there a word lacking, any more than He considered the political attitude of New a word too much. Modest as he was, he knew York absolutely safe in the present and future. the value of his own work, and when a friend He thought“ the crowd that follows power had called to ask him if he was going to Spring- come over to the Republicans; the Democrats field he replied, “No, I shall send them a letter had lost their leaders when Toombs and Davis instead; and it will be a rather good letter."2 and Breckinridge forsook them and went South;
The Springfield convention, taking up the the inferior Northern Democrats who succeeded gauntlet thrown down by the disloyal massmeet- to the leadership had proved their incompeing of June, resolved “ that we will lay aside tency; the best and most energetic portion of all party questions and forget all party preju- the rank and file of the party were now voting dices and devote ourselves unreservedly to the shoulder to shoulder with the Republicans. 5
1 Lincoln to James C. Conkling, Aug. 26, 1863. proceeding in relation to it was due to truth and to
? Nothing he ever uttered had a more instantane. your own character, shamefully assailed as it has been. ous success. Mr. Sumner immediately wrote to him: The development is an imperishable monument of wis" Thanks for your true and noble letter. It is a histori. dom and virtue.” After discussing the question of cal document. The case is admirably stated, so that emancipation, he continued:“ I write under the impresall but the wicked must confess its force. It cannot be sion that the victory of the United States in this war is answered.” Henry Wilson wrote him: “God Almighty inevitable ; compromise is impossible. Peace on any bless you for your noble, patriotic, and Christian letter. other basis would be the establishment of two nations, It will be on the lips and in the hearts of hundreds of each hating the other, both military, both necessarily thousands this day.” Among the letters which the warlike, their territories interlocked with a tendency President most appreciated was one from the vener. of never-ceasing hostility. Can we leave to posterity able Josiah Quincy, then ninety-one years of age, who a more cruel inheritance, or one more hopeless of hapwrote: “Old age has its privileges, which I hope this piness and prosperity ?.” Mr. Lincoln answered this letter will not exceed; but I cannot refrain from ex. letter in a tone expressive of his reverence for the age pressing to you my gratification and my gratitude for and illustrious character of the writer. your letter to the Illinois convention — happy, timely, History of Sangamon County,” p. 315. conclusive, and effective. What you say concerning 4 J. H., Diary, Nov. 3. MS. emancipation, your proclamation, and your course of 5 Ibid., Nov. 8. MS.
VOL. XXXVIII.- 20.
No party,” he said, “can survive an oppo- worse than Lazarus after he had been buried sition to a war. The Revolutionary heroes were three days.”There was no man slower than political oracles till 1812, and afterwards the Mr. Lincoln to take personal offense at even isoldiers of the late war' succeeded to their the most indiscreet advice or censure ; but he honors. But we are hereafter a nation of sol- answered this letter of Mr. Chandler in a tone diers. These people will be trying to forget years of unusual dignity and severity. “I have seen," hence that they ever opposed this war. I had he said, “Governor Morgan and Thurlow to carry affidavits to prove I had nothing to do Weed separately, but not together, within the with the Hartford Convention. Now the party last ten days; but neither of them mentioned that gained eminence by the folly of the Fed- the forthcoming message, or said anything, so eralists in opposing the war have the chalice far as I can remember, which brought the commended to their own lips. I told the Demo- thought of the message to my mind. I am very cratic leaders,” he said, with his habitual sub- glad the elections this autumn have gone favoracid good nature, “how they might have saved ably and that I have not by native depravity, themselves and carried the next Presidential or under evil influences, done anything bad election, by being more loyal and earnest in enough to prevent the good result. I hope to support of the Administration than the Repub- 'stand firm' enough to not go backward, and lican party. The Lord knows that would not yet not go forward fast enough to wreck the have been hard."
country's cause." 2 Although in this memorable contest the In the month of October Mr. Hood, the Republicans presented a united front to the postmaster at Chattanooga, wrote to the Presicommon enemy, within their own organiza- dent a letter setting forth the particulars of a tion there were those bitter differences of scheme which Emerson Etheridge, Clerk of opinion which always arise among men of the House of Representatives, had entered into strong convictions. The President's anteroom to give control of the next House to the oppowas thronged with earnest men who desired to sition. Etheridge was a member of Congress warn him in person against the machinations of from Tennessee besore the war, and his sincere other men equally earnest, and his mail was attachment to the Union in the face of much encumbered by letters from every part of the obloquy and persecution at home had endeared country, and every shade of faction, filled with him to the Republicans in Congress and caused similar denunciations and warnings. The pure him to be given the post of Clerk of the House; and able Senator Dixon of Connecticut wrote: but in the course of two years of war he had “The heresies of Sumner are doing immense become separated from his former political harm in a variety of ways. If his doctrine affiliations and now sympathized with the prevails, this country will be ruined. I do hope opposition. Mr. Hood, who wrote apparently you and Mr. Seward will stand firm.” From with great regret as a personal friend of Etherthe other wing of the party came the most idge, claimed to have become aware of Etherpassionate denunciations of Seward and those idge's intention to leave off the rolls of the who were associated with him in the popular House the names of all members whose certifimind; and after the election Senator Chandler cates did not bear on their face the statement of Michigan, one of the most powerful of the that they had been elected “ according to the Republicans who had by this time assumed to laws of the State or of the United States." He themselves the title of Radicals, having seen based this action upon the provisions of a law in the newspapers a paragraph that Mr. Thurlow which had been hurriedly passed during the Weed and Governor Morgan had been in con- last day of the Thirty-seventh Congress. At sultation with the President in regard to his mes- the same time it was understood that he had sage, wrote a vehement letter to the President, intimated to the Democratic members what telling him there was a “patriotic organization his action would be, so as to allow them to in all the free and border States, containing over provide themselves with certificates in the form one million voters, every man of whom is your required. The President, on the receipt of this friend upon the Radical measures of your Ad- news, put himself confidentially in communicaministration; but there is not a Seward, Weed, tion with leading Republicans in all the loyal or Blair man among them. How are these men,' States, requesting them, without publicity, to he asked, “to be of service to you in any way? have prepared duplicate certificates meeting They are a millstone about your neck. You the objection which it was thought that Etherdrop them and they are politically ended for- idge would raise to the ordinary ones. This ever. Conservatives and traitors are buried was in most cases attended to, but not in all, together. For God's sake do not exhume their so that when the members began to arrive in remains in your message. They will smell Washington a few days before the day fixed 1 Chandler to Lincoln, Nov. 15, 1863. MS.
for the opening of Congress, a general impres2 Lincoln to Chandler, Nov. 20, 1863. MS. sion of the contemplated action of Etheridge had transpired and there was some uneasiness in Congress or remain in the field. My wish, then, in regard to the issue. The President had done is compounded of what I believe will be best for the what he could to meet the legal requirements country and best for him; and it is that he will of the case; but, that having been done, he come here, put his military commission in my hands, was not inclined to rely exclusively upon moral the nominations, help elect the nominees, and thus
take his seat, go into caucus with our friends, abide force. In view of the threatened outrage he aid to organize a House of Representatives which sent for some of the leading members of Con- will really support the Government in the war. If the gress and told them the main thing was to be result shall be the election of himself as Speaker, let sure that all the Union members should be him serve in that position. If not, let him retake present. “Then,” he said, “ if Mr. Etheridge his commission and return to the army. For the undertakes revolutionary proceedings, let him country this will heal a dangerous schism ; for him be carried out on a chip, and let our men it will relieve from a dangerous position. By a misorganize the House."1 This practical solution ing permanently separated from those with whom
understanding, as I think, he is in danger of beof the trouble had occurred to others, and the only he can ever have a real sympathy — the sinRev. Owen Lovejoy, disregarding for a moment cere opponents of slavery. It will be a mistake if the etiquette of his sacred calling, announced he shall allow the provocations offered him by inthat he was quite ready himself to take charge sincere time-servers to drive him from the house of of Etheridge, and was confident of his muscular his own building. He is young yet. He has abunsuperiority to the Tennesseean.
dant talent-quite enough to occupy all his time There was not so much uncertainty in re military skill and usefulness." His recent appoint
without devoting any to temper. He is rising in gard to the issue as to prevent an animated ment to the command of a corps, by one so compecontest among the Republicans for the caucus tent to judge as General Sherman, proves this. In nomination for the speakership. The promi- that line he can serve both the country and himself nent candidates were Mr. Schuyler Colfax of more profitably than he could as a member of ConIndiana and Mr. Elihu B. Washburne of Illi- gress upon the floor. The foregoing is what I would nois. Mr. Cox of Ohio was the principal can
say if Frank Blair were my brother instead of yours.2 didate for the barren honor of the caucus nomination among the Democrats; though for In pursuance of this letter Blair came to some time before the meeting of Congress there Washington, though before Congress assemwas a good deal of not very practical talk in bled his candidacy for the speakership had regard to the nomination of General Frank P. passed out of sight. He took his seat, served Blair of Missouri as a compromise candidate for some months, and went back to the army to be supported by the Democrats and by a in command of a corps, as the President had few of the so-called Conservative Republicans. promised. This relinquishment of and restoGeneral Blair, while one of the earliest and ration to a high command in the army occaablest Republicans of the border States, one sioned much feeling and a violent attack upon who had distinguished himself equally in poli- the President on the part of the Radical Retics and in the field in the cause of freedom publicans, which continued even after he had and of progress, had, through the vehemence submitted in a message to Congress the enof the factional fight which had so long been tire correspondence, which reflected nothing raging in Missouri, been gradually forced, but credit upon all parties. partly by the denunciations of his enemies, The canvass for Speaker closed on Saturday and partly by his own combative instincts, into night, the 5th of December, Washburne withan attitude almost of hostility to the Republi. drawing from the field, and Colfax being nomcan party of the nation. Mr. Lincoln saw this inated by acclamation. All the next day there with great regret. He had a high personal re- was great excitement at the hotels frequented gard for Blair, and deplored the predicament by politicians in regard to Etheridge's prointo which his passionate temper and the as- posed course of action, which was now no saults of his enemies were gradually crowding longer a secret to any one. The comments he him. In the autumn of 1863 the Postmaster- everywhere heard upon his conduct had its General, in conversation with the President, effect upon his nerves, and he began to talk in a said that his brother Frank would be guided complaining and apologetic tone, saying he by the President's wishes as to whether he was simply obeying the law and there was no should continue with his command in the field reason why Republicans should regard him or take the seat in Congress to which he had vindictively. The next day, when the House been elected from Missouri. The President opened, while he did not Ainch from the poanswered in a letter, dated 2d of November, sition he had occupied, he did nothing arbisaying :
trary or revolutionary. He left off the roll the Some days ago I understood you to say that your
names of all those members whose certificates brother, General Frank Blair, desired to be guided were not, in his opinion, in due form, but readily by my wishes as to whether he will occupy his seat 1 J. G. N., MS. Memoranda. 2 MS.
entertained a motion to restore them. This Richmond to the end that this bloody, destrucmet with a hot protest from some of the pro- tive, and inhuman war shall cease, and the slavery members, but a vote was taken show- Union be restored upon terms of equity, fraing a majority of twenty for the Government. ternity, and equality under the Constitution." Mr. Washburne nominated Mr. Colfax, and he This resolution was laid upon the table by a was elected by the same majority in a total party vote, and Mr. Green Clay Smith of vote of 181, the Democratic vote being scat- Kentucky offered resolutions opposing “any
“ tered among many members, Mr. Cox receiv- armistice, or intervention, or mediation, or ing more than any other.
proposition for peace from any quarter so long As soon as Congress came together Mr. as there shall be found a rebel in arms against Fernando Wood renewed his furtive overtures the Government; and we ignore," the resowith the Government for the appointment of lutions continued, all party names, lines, and peace commissioners from what he called his issues, and recognize but two parties in this wing of the Democratic party, making no war-patriots and traitors." Second: “That secret of his belief that he himself was the we hold it to be the duty of Congress to pass most appropriate choice which could be made all necessary bills to supply men and money, for such a function. He urged the President and the duty of the people to render every to publish some sort of amnesty for the North- aid in their power to the constituted authorern sympathizers with the rebellion which ities of the Government in the crushing out of would include Mr. Vallandigham and permit the rebellion and in bringing the leaders therehim to return to the country. He promised of to condign punishment." The third resoluthat in that case there should be two Demo- tion tendered the thanks of Congress to the cratic candidates in the field at the next Pres- soldiers in the field. The first resolution was idential election. The President declined his passed by a party vote of ninety-three to sixtyproposition, but he would not take no for an five; the second and third were passed unanianswer. He called again on the morning of mously, with the exception of Mr. B. G. the 14th of December and the President re- Harris of Maryland. Several times during the fused to see him, merely sending word by a session this battle of resolutions was renewed, servant that he had nothing further to say to but always with the same result; the Demohim.1 Later in the day Mr. Wood offered, in cratic party constantly favoring negotiations the House of Representatives, a resolution for peace while as constantly declaring their " that the President be requested to appoint devotion to the Union, and the Republicans three commissioners, who shall be empowered repudiating every suggestion of negotiation or to open negotiations with the authorities at compromise so long as the enemies of the 1 J. G. N.. MS. Memoranda.
Republic bore arms against it.
THE WESTERN SOLDIER.
HEN General Sher- and logical. He came of a stock that had man said to General conquered the frontier wilderness through a Grant, “Your belief in long and hard discipline of toil, vigilance, and victory I can compare sacrifice, and in so doing had exalted self-reto nothing but the faith liance as the first of virtues. His idea of duty of the Christian in the had its root in a deep growth of previous en
Saviour," he specified durance, which was also a present possession one of the leading characteristics of the typical of honor and practical advantage. The past Western soldier. At no time, from Sumter to appealed to him at a short distance and in Appomattox, did that devoted servant of the voices that were personally familiar; the Union demands of courage and fortitude doubt the meant to him a tangible daily blessing, pursuccess of the Union cause. It was a part of chased for him by the direct efforts of his father his temperament, of his philosophy, to look for and grandfather in the founding of new States; triumph. Not that he was simply a good- and he scorned to think for a moment that he humored optimist, unregardful of adverse con- could not repeat such service with similar reditions, nor yet a victim of blind superstition, sults upon the field of battle. political or theological, but that heredity and In the beginning, to be sure, he misjudged experience had equipped him with a sense of the proportions of the undertaking ; but when confidence in himself, in his country, and in the whole truth was made plain to him it only the force called fortune that was alike heroic served to emphasize his loyalty and confirm