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The Secretary of War.
and the Secretary of War. Now, I occupy a position that enables nie to observe, that at least these two gentlemen are not nearly so deep in the quarrel as some pretending to be their friends. General McClellan's attitude is such that, in the very selfishness of his nature, he cannot but wish to be successful, and I hope he will—and the Secretary of War is in precisely the same situation. If the military commanders in the field cannot be successful, not only the Secretary of War, but myself, for the time being the master of them both, can not be but failures. I know that General McClellan wishes to be successful, and I know he does not wish it any more than the Secretary of War for him, and both of them together no more than I wish it. Sometimes we have a dispute about how many men General McClellan has had, and those who would disparage him say that he has had a very large number, and those who would disparage the Secretary of War insist that General McClellan has had a very small number. The basis for this is, there is always a wide difference, and on this occasion perhaps a wider one, between the grand total on McClellan's rolls and the men actually fit for duty; and those who would disparage him talk of the grand total on paper, and those who would disparage the Secretary of War talk of those at present fit for duty. General McClellan bas sometimes asked for things that the Secretary of War did not give him. General McClellan is not to blame for asking what he wanted and needed, and the Secretary of War is not to blame for not giving when he had none to give. And I say here, as far as I know, the Secretary of War has withheld no one thing at any time in my power to give him. I have no accusation against him. I believe he is a brave and able man, and I stand here, as justice requires me to do, to take upon myself what has been charged on the Secretary of War, as withholding from him. I have talked longer than I expected to, and now I avail myself of my privilege of saying no more.”
After the Campaign.
Affairs at the West.
It was unfortunate for him that the precedents were so numerous in American history for making a successful military man President. This must have embarrassed him no little, and tempted him into much of that correspondence which otherwise he would have avoided. Had it not been for these fatal precedents, he, assuredly, would not have leisurely seated himself at Harrison's Landing to write to the President a lengthy homily on affairs of State at a moment when it was doubtful whether he would long have an army of which he could be General in command.
Finally, it was unfortunate for him that he had not, when learning to command, learned also to obey. This would have spared himself and the country and the cause several entirely superfluous inflictions.
Whoever would form a correct estimate of President Lincoln's connection with the Peninsular campaign and its commander, must bear these facts in mind. Aside from all considerations of a purely military nature, they are indispensable in reaching an unbiassed decision.
What dogged the heels of this unfortunate campaign must be briefly told. Vigorous orders from Pope, “headquarters in the saddle," turned into most melancholy bombast by his failure, occasioned either by want of brains or willful lack of coöperation; a rebel invasion of Maryland; the battle of South Mountain gained under McClellan; Antietam, not the victory it might have been, for which a ream of reasons were given; the withdrawal of the rebels; Government hard at work urging McClellan to follow; supersedure of the latter by the President, who survived his cabinet in clinging to him; appointment of Burnside, much against his wishes; another defeat at Fredericksburg; and the Army of the Potomac in winter-quarters again.
Such is the summary in the East for A. D. 1862.
In the West, the year closed with the opening of the battle of Murfreesboro, and Vicksburg still held out against all our attempts to take it.
FREEDOM TO MILLIONS.
Tribune Editorial-Letter to Mr. Greeley-Announcement of the Emancipation Proclama
tion-Suspension of the Habeas Corpus in certain cases-Order for Observance of the Sabbath-The Emancipation Proclamation.
An editorial article having appeared in the New York Tribune, in the month of August, 1862, in the form of a letter addressed to the President, severely criticising his action relative to the question of slavery—a letter written in ignorance of the fact that a definite policy had already been matured, which would be announced at a suitable moment, Mr. Lincoln responded as follows:
"Executive Mansion, Washington, Aug. 22, 1862. Hon. HORACE GREELEY-Dear Sir: I have just read yours of the 19th, addressed to myself through the New York Tribune. If there be in it any statements or assumptions of fact which I may know to be erroneous, I do not now and here controvert them. If there be in it any inference which I may believe to be falsely drawn, I do not now and here argue against them. If there be perceptible in it an impatient and dictatorial tone, I waive it in deference to an old friend, whose heart I have always supposed to be right. "As to the policy I seem to be pursuing,' as you say,
I have not meant to leave any one in doubt.
“I would save the Union. I would save it the shortest way under the Constitution. The sooner the National authority can be restored, the nearer the Union will be the Union as it was.' If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time save Slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy Slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this
The Union to be Saved.
struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or destroy Slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it; and if I could do it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it; and if I could do it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that. What I do about Slavery and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save this Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause. I shall try to correct errors when shown to be errors; and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be true views. I have here stated my purpose according to my view of official duty, and I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men, every where, could be free.
“Yours, A. LINCOLN." What that policy was, every manly heart learned with delight when the following Proclamation appeared, the most important state-paper ever penned by any American President:
“I, ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President of the United States of America, and Commander-in-chief of the Army and Navy thereof, do hereby proclaim and declare, that hereafter, as heretofore, the war will be prosecuted for the object of practically restoring the constitutional relation between the United States and the people thereof, in those States in which that relation is, or may be, suspended or disturbed; that it is my purpose, upon the next meeting of Congress, to again recommend the adoption of a practical measure tendering pecuniary aid to the free acceptance or rejection of all the Slave States, so-called, the people whereof may not then be in rebellion against the United States, and which States may then have voluntarily adopted, or thereafter may voluntarily adopt, the immediate or gradual abolishment of slavery within their
Slaves of Rebels to be Free.
Article of War.
respective limits, and that the effort to colonize persons of African descent, with their consent, upon the continent or elsewhere, with the previously obtained consent of the government existing there, will be continued ; that on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State, or any designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, SHALL BE THEN, THENCEFORWARD AND FOREVER, FREE, and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom ; that the Executive will, on the first day of January aforesaid, by proclamation, designate the States, and parts of States, if any, in which the people thereof respectively shall be in rebellion against the United States ; and the fact that any State, or the people thereof, shall on that day be in good faith represented in the Congress of the United States by members chosen thereto, at elections wherein a majority of the qualified voters of such State shall have participated, shall, in the absence of strong countervailing testimony, be deemed conclusive evidence that such State and the people thereof have not been in rebellion against the United States.
" That attention is hereby called to an act of Congress, entitled, 'An act to make an additional article of war, approved March 13, 1862, and which act is in the words and figures following:
"Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That hereafter the following shall be promulgated as an additional Article of War for the government of the Army of the United States, and shall be observed and obeyed as such. 66. Article
All officers or persons of the military or