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the fifth Lee struck at Grant's right flank with all the weight and drive of a Frederick II, regiments and divisions shrieking the famous Confederate yell as they dashed upon the Union flanks. Grant had never felt such a blow, and his army was in a position where it could neither use its heavy artillery nor employ all its force. By the middle of the day the Union cause seemed desperate, and Grant thought of retreat as he threw himself, in a paroxysm of fear and excitement, upon his camp bed, a dangerous retreat, and posted regiments to hold the way open; Lee anticipating such a move, had hastened men to bar the way. A little later the Union commander observed that the momentum of Lee's attack was waning. Longstreet had taken the wrong road; the battle could not be finished that day. On the morrow Grant was safe, but he lost eighteen thousand men.

Two days later Grant moved again toward Spotsylvania Court-House, on the way to Richmond. On the ninth Lee met the Union troops there, and from that day till the eighteenth of May there were desperate encounters, Grant losing again twelve to fifteen thousand men, dead, wounded, and missing. Gideon Welles says he went down the Potomac one day consumed with anxiety, and met great fleets of transports bringing the wounded and the prominent dead from the battle-fields, other transports carrying fresh recruits to fill the gaps in the Union lines. But neither Lincoln nor Grant could delay. On May 19 Grant moved toward Cold Harbor, south of the North Anna, where he fell upon Lee again with the weight of half his

army. He lost twelve thousand men in half an hour-the campaign had cost Grant fifty-four thousand men, Lee less than half as many! It was June 2, vague and disturbing rumors spreading over the North: the Associated Press announcing merely, "Heavy fighting in the Wilderness, three hundred and twenty-five men killed at Cold Harbor."

Grant was in doubt, his men angry, some of his ablest generals protesting. The stock-market tumbled in spite of assurances from Washington, tumbled till greenbacks were not worth forty cents on the hundred. The Union National Republican Convention was gathering in Baltimore, Thurlow Weed doing what he could to hold the "wild men" in check, the men who would defeat Lincoln and at the same time issue a challenge to the French emperor, just then setting up the government of Maximilian in Mexico. Foolish men, calling themselves patriots. The country could not stand the news from the front. It was not given. Lincoln was uneasy, his cabinet still at loggerheads. By a clever move Robert J. Breckenridge was designated to make the key-note speech; he proved a past master, lifting men out of their despairing moods. He reannounced the Lincoln plan of reconstruction. Governor William Dennison of Ohio reëchoed the moderate views of Lincoln when he took his seat as chairman of the convention. The president's Southern delegations were there, arousing the ire of Thaddeus Stevens, who would have preferred their scalps. Chase's friends were not without hope that Lincoln would lose, Frémont hanging about hoping to be nominated. The decision came

when the vote was taken on the seating of the Tennessee delegation, led by Parson Brownlow. The delegation was at first denied a place. Then the Illinoisians reversed their attitude, as Illinois has done since at critical moments, and Lincoln became the master of the convention. The ten per cent delegations were not seated. It was not necessary. The president was renominated without recorded opposition, Andrew Johnson, the war Democrat of Tennessee, being named for the vice-presidency. It was a Lincoln victory, the first of the three he must win that summerthe irreconcilables returning to their places in Congress to renew their contest with the president on every item of his policy.

All eyes turned, if they had ever been averted, to the contest in Virginia. A despatch of a reporter that fifteen thousand new beds had been placed in the Washington hospitals gave the public deep concern, and slowly more and more of the casualty lists were published. Grant was denounced as "Butcher Grant," as if the killing of men were not the business of war. There was a growing demand that Grant be removed the Union army dared not attack again at once, some charging that Grant had left a heap of dead bodies all the way to the Rapidan. Grant paused and gave the country time to read the news from Georgia. There, Union forces made slow but sure headway, though neither the officials at Washington nor the people at home seemed to grasp the meaning of Sherman's cautious work, Sherman already more than half-way to Atlanta-only fifteen or eighteen thousand men lost.

But nothing overcame the deepening gloom of the people and the press.


It was the moment for a masterstroke of Lee, by no means conquered. A strange inertia came upon him. He had been ill the preceding winter; after Spotsylvania he was again stricken, calling out upon his sickbed, "Grant must never pass us again, never." The illness of a general may be as fatal in war as the loss of an army. But I do not know that illness seriously affected Lee's movements that June. He surely miscalculated. Grant was his objective. Jefferson Davis warned him on June 9 that Grant might try to move south of the James River. Crossing the river in the face of a powerful enemy was no small feat. Grant sent two regiments toward Malvern Hill, where he might be supposed to cross; Lee sent similar detachments to the same neighborhood, and there was skirmishing and fighting. But at the moment, Grant was turning his columns southeast toward White House, where the Pamunkey becomes the York River. Thence the great army, with long trains of supplies, heavy guns, and droves of cattle, marched by long detour to the lower James from the twelfth to the fifteenth of June. On the latter day Grant began to cross the river at City Point; on the seventeenth his army was safe on the other side. Lee had not fired a gun; it was as great a feat as the move by which Grant had taken Vicksburg.

At the very moment that Grant made ready to change his base and cross the James, Lee planned the expedition of Jubal Early and John C. Breckenridge against Washington.

Early took his whole corps from Lee's army on the twelfth of June and made the spectacular march, through the Valley toward Washington and Baltimore, which cut off the capital from the rest of the North for a period of two days. Lee learned with surprise on June 18 that Grant was approaching Petersburg. The maneuvers and marches through northern Virginia by Early and Breckenridge that June and July were the useless price Lee paid for the escape of Grant. It was a fatal moment, though the people of the North were unaware of Grant's great success. If Lee had caught Grant in the act of crossing the James River the consequences must have been incalculable. The stars were beginning to point dimly to the ultimate success of Abraham Lincoln.

But while Lee allowed Grant to escape, Winter Davis and Thaddeus Stevens pressed through Congress the Reconstruction Bill on which President Johnson was to be wrecked a year and a half later: there was to be immediate emancipation of the slaves; a majority of Southerners were to be compelled to take an ironclad oath before any delegates could be seated in Congress; and the Southern States were to be compelled to accept the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution as a condition to any reconstruction at all—a drastic measure as compared with Lincoln's ten per cent plan. On the first of July Chase, still in harmony with the opposition in Congress, offered his resignation. The president accepted it, and Chase took his departure, leaving the Blairs unmolested. On the fourth the leaders of

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Congress presented Lincoln with their bill. He refused to sign it, members of the House and Senate making earnest and threatening protest, the tide of opinion in the North running against Lincoln.

On the twenty-eighth of June there was an uproarious mass-meeting in Cooper Institute, Lincoln's name jeered and hissed in ominous fashion. Theodore Tilton, editor of the "Independent," shouted from the platform that Seward had been seen drunk at the recent Baltimore Sanitary Fair. Orestes Brown, associate of Wendell Phillips, confessed that he had voted for the president in 1860. Now any man "should vote to defeat Lincoln and the party of shoddy." In Maryland and Missouri and in the Middle West in general there was growing unrest, even neighborhood warfare. On the eighth of July Horace Greeley declared in the "Tribune": "There is danger of social convulsions; but courage, countrymen, it is but the darkness before dawn." At that moment Lincoln was calling for five hundred thousand men, which would make a million two hundred thousand out of a population of twenty million since February 1. And, as if to intensify the fears of the country, the president set the fourth of August for a day of national humiliation and prayer! It looked as if the renomination, which the "Independent" said was but a gift of the president to himself, would be the last of Lincoln's victories.

Meanwhile the Democrats had not been idle. In the city of Peoria, Illinois, there was a monster peace demonstration, Lincoln blamed for all the ills of the time. The friendly

"St. Louis Republic" uncovered what was thought to be a vast conspiracy of Mid-Western opponents of the war, Democrats and "copperheads" uniting to take possession of the State governments, take control of the coming Democratic National Convention in Chicago, and bring the war to an end. The story was worse than the facts, but the facts were serious enough. On August 12 there was an open-air meeting in Union Square, New York, a demonstration in behalf of General McClellan, the candidate of army officers in general as well as of conservative people in all the States. Hiram Ketchum and other prominent New York business men were listed as vicepresidents of the meeting. The "Evening Post" estimated the crowd at sixty thousand, the "Tribune" at thirty thousand. McClellan was undoubtedly the choice of the people for the presidency at that time.

As if this were not bitter enough, on the eighth of August the papers of the North carried the angry reply of Wade and Davis to Lincoln's refusal to adopt the Congress plan of reconstruction, as violent an attack upon the president as any this generation has witnessed, closing with the charge: "the President strides headlong toward the anarchy his proclamation of December inaugurated." On the eighteenth the papers carried a story that Lincoln had proposed an armistice to Jefferson Davis-the first news of the secret maneuvers of John R. Gilmore and Horace Greeley seeking a means of ending the war, Lincoln not unwilling even then if Southerners would but remain in the Union.

In the midst of all this distress and gloom and lawlessness, the

Democratic leaders, assisted by their own and the independent press, prepared for the greatest convention they had held since the days of Jackson and Polk. Eminent men all over the North, business men of great means and the smaller folk of conservative tendencies, in conventions and in mass-meetings, showed the strength of the ancient party. When the delegates met in Chicago on August 29, it was plain to all that the majority of the country sympathized with their efforts to compromise the differences between North and South, as indeed the reception of Lincoln's similar efforts had shown—it was to be a peace without victory.

The convention met. It nominated George B. McClellan on the first ballot and without opposition, the downright peace element of the convention very popular and very powerful. On the last day of August the country was of the opinion that Lincoln had no chance, Wade and Davis still agitating, Greeley and Chase still complaining and hopeless. A committee of leading Republicans, young Whitelaw Reid of the "Cincinnati Gazette," Horace Greeley, and George Updyke of the National Union Republican Committee, having entered into tacit agreements with some senators and other leaders of the party, made formal demand for the withdrawal of Lincoln from the ticket and for the further agreement to yield to the calling of another Union Republican Convention late in September, a convention that was to nominate another candidate, could one be agreed upon. Was it Chase? And to show how strong the pressure was, one has only to recall that Lincoln dismissed from the cabinet on

the first of September his loyal friend, Postmaster-General Blair, to appease the wrath of Chase, Blair yielding gracefully to the unwilling request of the president, the bitter Winter Davis ready now to make speeches for the cause if not for Lincoln. Lincoln, watching from Washington with sorrowful eye the vast drift of opinion, wrote the remarkable note proposing to share with McClellan the administration of the government, in the event of his own expected defeat, and in curious fashion procured the signatures of all his cabinet. On September 1, 1864, the personal popularity and prestige of Abraham Lincoln had reached their lowest ebb, his very place in history in grave doubt, military success delayed till men thought the sieges of Petersburg and Atlanta would drag on till after the election-the North to lose everything if she lost that.

One of the strange turns of history occurred. Joseph E. Johnston, a slow man of the mold of McClellan, yielding ground during the summer of 1864 until Sherman and his unshaken army approached the far-flung defenses of Atlanta, found himself the object of as bitter popular attack in Georgia as McClellan had been in the North. Benjamin H. Hill, a fiery Confederate, carried the people's case to Jefferson Davis, sore pressed at every point and not forgetful of the fussy complaining character of Johnston. There was a momentous conference at the house of James Lyons in the suburbs of Richmond, the fate of Lincoln depending on the decision of Davis. For Johnston behind his intrench

ments about Atlanta might easily baffle and thwart Sherman for months, as Lee baffled and thwarted Grant at Petersburg. But the people demanded a change. Davis removed Johnston.

John B. Hood, a militarist of the type of Jackson or Forrest, both legs shot off in Virginia, the rest of him tied fast upon his war-horse, took command. He fought a battle, not unlike that of Grant at Cold Harbor, and lost leagues to Sherman's eager army. Toward the end of August, the great Democratic convention in session in Chicago, Montgomery Blair about to be dismissed from Lincoln's unhappy cabinet, Lee still unbeaten at Petersburg, Hood made his next great drive upon Sherman and lost again-fighting in this case more fatal than running away. Atlanta fell September 2. Sherman informed Lincoln on the fourth. Once more the unreligious Lincoln called the people of the North into their churches. There was reason. The Republicans ceased to attack their president; the Democratic cause, till then ominous, began to flatten. Americans love success. Lincoln was successful, poor Chase and his chum Winter Davis willing now to touch their hats. The son of Nancy Hanks, by the help of the excited people of Georgia and the doubting Jefferson Davis, had the most decisive of all his military encounters to his credit. This was his military success. The fall of Atlanta meant the reëlection of Lincoln, the last item of his program won. The sun shone brightly in November, 1864. Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd began to be happy in the White House.

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