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he had humorous intervals on other subjects, not so constituted. His home life had not
and at all times he was a man who obeyed orders whether he liked them or not.
The thing about the man from the Potomac that the Westerners thought most peculiar was his persistent admiration of McClellan. They could not understand why he should think a man a great soldier who had organized so much victory that never came to pass, and avoided so many defeats by reversing the theory of Hudibras, that military honor is to be won, like a widow, with brisk attempt, "not slow approaches, like a virgin." It seemed to them that while their Eastern brother's McClellanism, as they denominated it, included certain technical virtues that were undoubtedly worth having, it also tended to confuse and hamper him in the presence of circumstances to which they were always superior. He excelled them in drill, they frankly acknowledged; he wore his uniform as if he had never worn anything else, and in all his actions there was a distinct and selfconscious air of martial propriety. It was not true, as was grotesquely asserted, that he wore a corset, used cosmetics, and slept with gloves on. But it was true that he was remarkably fastidious, and attached much importance to his wardrobe. The deprivations of the siege of Chattanooga would probably not have vanquished him, had he been there to bear them, but his endurance would have lacked the capital cheerfulness which was displayed in that extremity of hunger and raggedness. Perhaps he would have joined in the search for undigested kernels of grain which had already served as food for horses and mules, but it would have been with a countenance bereaved of the power to smile; and certainly he could not have surveyed himself in patches and tatters and found it possible to exclaim, as did a Western soldier under those conditions, "Oh, no, I ain't sufferin' for clothes, but my heart 's a-breakin' for a diamond breast-pin !" He was
qualified him for sacrifices of that kind. He could and did make them, let it be remembered to his honor; but he never learned how to do it in the Western mood of ready and tonic buoyancy.
The Western soldier felt that the victory of Chattanooga, following so soon after the successes of Gettysburg and Vicksburg, should bring the war rapidly to an end; but when he ascertained that such was not to be the case, he made the best of it, as he did of everything. He went on, as fast as the enemy could be persuaded to get out of the way, from Chattanooga to Atlanta; from Atlanta to the sea; thence to Richmond; and at last to Washington. His work was done, and done so well that it was its own most vivid and eloquent commendation. So they mustered him out. He was a soldier no longer, but a visiting citizen at the National Capital, who was to take the first train for home. His uniform was discarded with a sense of surpassing relief. The new garments which he hastened to put on made him feel stiff and awkward, and somehow his thoughts seemed to be affected in the same queer way. It was like beginning life all over again. His talk was not so much of what was past as of what was to come. The Union had been saved, he had known all the time that it would be,- and he was eager now to get back to his folks. It cost him a little pang to give up his gun; he had come to regard it with a kind of affection. The pungent scent of battle smoke still lingered in its joints and creases. By that sign he had conquered. And having conquered, he was ready to go home. He had gone away under a heavy obligation to his country; now he was his country's creditor, and it acknowledged the debt with pride and gladness
TOPICS OF THE TIME.
No New Sectional Division.
THE HE old sectional line in the United States is fast vanishing. It may even be said already to have been wiped out a part of the way, when Delaware breaks her long succession of senators from one party, and West Virginia is claimed for weeks by both parties. It is obvious that neither North nor South can be counted upon as "solid" in future national struggles.
This result was as inevitable as it is desirable. The ancient division between the two sections was due to a single cause, and it could not long survive the final removal of that cause. It is an abnormal state of things
in a republic for a great group of States always to support the same party in an election - almost as abnormal as for all the men in a community to hold the same political opinions. The natural order is one of divergences among States as among individuals. No better illustration of this truth could be desired than is furnished by the experience of New England. Of all parts of the country this has always been regarded as the most distinctly defined and differentiated. The Yankee has been considered a type, almost a race, and one would have expected to find Yankees in every Yankee State taking the same side of a great public controversy. So far, however, has this been from the case that even such close neighbors as New Hamp
shire and Vermont have over and over again parted company politically; indeed, they were for many years stoutly opposed to each other. Lying side by side, with only a river between them, similar in physical geography, settled by pioneers of the same character, one of them has gone overwhelmingly one way for more than a generation, while the other was long a "stronghold" of the opposite political party, and still continues a close State.
There were similar divergences in the South originally, and they continued until a special cause broke down all minor differences and fused rival States. In 1840 the Whigs carried Mississippi for Harrison, while Alabama, its next neighbor on the east, went Democratic by a good majority; North Carolina was strongly Whig, South Carolina strongly Democratic. In 1848 North Carolina remained a strong Whig State, while Virginia on one side and South Carolina on the other cast their electoral votes for the Democratic candidate. Even in 1852 Kentucky and Tennessee held aloof from the other Southern States in their adherence to the Whigs, and it was not until 1856 that all of the commonwealths in that part of the Union were found united in a Presidential election, and "Mason and Dixon's line" became an actual line of political division.
As only an overmastering interest which affected them all could weld together States that had differed sharply upon other questions, so the disappearance not only of that interest, but also of the issues which for a while survived its removal, must cause them to fall apart. For some time past it has been chiefly sentiment which has preserved the solidity of the section. The political struggles of the reconstruction era naturally maintained the feeling that the South must make common cause still, as in the years before the war, but the issues of that era have been settled, so far as they can be settled by any agency except that of time. The most urgent appeals to "stand firm," for fear that harm might yet be done to their common interests if they should divide, were not powerful enough last year to hold together the old Whigs and the old Democrats of Virginia, and enough ex-Confederates took sides against the majority of their old associates in the defense of slavery to leave the two great parties almost even in the total poll. It must be accounted one of the brightest auguries for our national future that the last Presidential election of our first century showed that the old sectional division in our politics is not to lap over into the second century.
Is a new sectional division to supplant the old? Now that the South is no longer to be solid, are we to see the West arrayed against the East? Such has been the forecast of some political prophets, and the suggestion is plausible enough to merit attention.
That the West should boast of its growing strength is most natural and justifiable. The centennial of Washington's inauguration serves to bring out in strong relief the wonderful advancement of Western progress. Washington received every electoral vote, but he received not one from beyond the Alleghanies. At the last Presidential election the States west of that range and north of the Ohio River line to the Pacific (counting Missouri among them, as obviously should be done) cast 151 out of 401 electoral votes - almost two-fifths of the whole number. "Beyond the Alleghanies," says Irving, in speaking of Washington's inauguration, "ex
tended regions almost boundless, as yet, for the most part, wild and uncultivated, the asylum of roving Indians and restless, discontented white men." The last census showed 17,209,492 people, out of a total population in the whole country of 50,155,783, in the States already organized out of those regions. The census of 1890 will undoubtedly increase the proportion of the whole population to be found in those States. Moreover, the creation of four new States from the Territories in the North-west will raise still higher the percentage of the electoral college alloted to that portion of the country. It seems safe to say that more than two-fifths of the electoral votes in 1892 will be cast by States beyond the Alleghanies.
Meanwhile the East steadily loses power. Applying this term to New England and the “Middle States" of the old geographies,- New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware, we shall find that the region cast 76 out of 135 electoral votes after the census of 1790, and not until thirty years later failed to hold more than half of the whole number. Now these ten States have only 116 out of 401, or but a little more than a quarter. The proportion is likely to sink a little lower under the next apportionment. Already therefore the West, which, politically speaking, did not exist when Washington was inaugurated, far outweighs the East, and its preponderance seems bound steadily to grow for a long while to come.
That the West could rule the East and the country, through a union of its strength with three or four neighboring States to the southward, is evident enough. That it should be hastily suggested that a new sectional line of this sort may be drawn, is not strange. But reflection will show that such an alignment is both a moral and a physical impossibility. To begin with, the West is itself the offspring of the East. Its institutions are those which were carried by advancing settlers from the Atlantic seaboard. Its political traditions and associations have always been the same as those of the East. No peculiar interest has ever separated these two portions of the North, as slavery once put apart the North and the South. There is nothing in its political development to incline the West towards sectional action against the East. On the contrary, all those underlying causes which in the long run most profoundly influence men work irresistibly towards continued harmony.
The notion that an artificial line of division has been drawn which may array West against East on economical questions is equally fallacious. It is easy to say that the West is an agricultural section and the East a manufacturing one, but the statement will not bear analysis. As long ago as 1880 Ohio reported much more than half the amount of capital invested in manufactures which she should have had relatively to New York on the basis of population; Illinois, nearly half her quota on the basis of Pennsylvania; even Missouri, more than a third of the total needed to place her on an equality with New Jersey in the ratio of such capital to population. Clearly it will not answer to call such States agricultural communities.
Moreover, experience has shown that not even manufacturing States can be lumped together in politics. In the East, Pennsylvania and New York went one way in 1888; New Jersey and Connecticut, the other. It is already coming to be the same with the newer
manufacturing States in the West. Indiana has rapidly growing interests in this direction, and it is the closest State in all that region. Illinois has many more manufactories than in 1880, but it gave Harrison a much smaller majority than Garfield. Call the West agricultural or manufacturing, as you please, it cannot be counted as solid any more than the East. The country has suffered so much from sectional politics in the past that the prospect of another line of division might well arouse apprehension, but happily it is plain that no such prospect exists.
Office Seeking the Man.
To a right-minded man, with a taste for public affairs and a conviction that he has the ability to render his country some service, scarcely anything can be more grateful than the spontaneous tender by his fellow-citizens of a position suited to his talents. To such a man also the idea is intolerable that he should have to seek an office in order to secure one; that he must go into the market and cry his own wares; that he may even need to establish "headquarters," and draw people to become his patrons by methods little above those employed by the "puller-in" of a Bowery shopkeeper.
It is always difficult to make comparisons as to the relative amount of office seeking the man and officeseeking by the man at different periods in our history. The longest memory can cover only a portion of the century, and the most trustworthy recollection is liable to err. Newspaper files afford little assistance, for the press of two and three generations ago was apt to overlook or disregard the very matters of detail which are necessary to afford material for a sound judgment. The unanimity with which the highest honors were thrust upon Washington is known to everybody, but the most careful investigation leaves the inquirer uncertain how large was the proportion of such cases and how often an Aaron Burr was ready for any intrigue to secure place.
The decline of rotation as regards representatives in Congress, and the tendency to reëlect senators term after term, are signs which indicate a decided gain in the attitude of the public. But there is a dark side to the picture. Even in a State where a senator is given a third term without a word of protest, lower offices may be sought and won by the hardest workers. "Nominations, nowadays, do not come to men who make no effort to get them, but rather go to those who organize and labor and expend money to secure them," was the melancholy confession last year of a newspaper in Massachusetts, in speaking of an impending vacancy in a congressional district which is largely composed of farming towns. "The idea of office seeking the man is nearly played out' in this State. An honest, deserving, and every way capable aspirant for a respon sible position has little chance to obtain a nomination before a convention if his rival is a prominent politician, with an abundance of party workers to whoop it up' for him." Such was the bitter comment of a Boston paper a few months later. " 'Oh, what's the use of talking about -? He is n't doing anything. He is n't making any trades or giving any pledges, and men don't get elected speaker nowadays without trades and pledges." So spoke a busy Massachusetts politi
cian, himself actively working last winter for another candidate, who had no such scruples.
Massachusetts is not a sinner above all other States in this matter; indeed, it is perhaps the memory of other traditions which were once exceptionally strong there that prompts the bitter confessions of her own people and fixes the surprised attention of outsiders. There is more than one State which at once occurs to the careful observer of national politics where a governorship or a United States senatorship has been carried off by a man whom nobody would have suggested as qualified for the place by eminent talent or distinguished public service; where every one recognizes that it is either money or "push" which secured the place that should have been awarded to merit.
Taken by themselves, such incidents are most discouraging. Even when viewed along with other more hopeful tendencies, they are calculated to depress one. The optimistic attitude is certainly the most agreeablethat they represent temporary and local set-backs in a current which on the whole makes for better politics. But this will only prove to be the case if the offenders are made to feel that public sentiment is outraged by such conduct. This is emphatically one of those cases where silence will be held to mean consent, and the press has a duty which it cannot afford to neglect.
Soldiers' Memorial Services.
WITH every repetition of the ceremonies of Memorial Week the true meaning and import of this unique festival is more fully disclosed. Just after the war the annual gathering of companies of old soldiers to strew with flowers the graves of their comrades who fell in the service was looked upon by the public as a natural and beautiful remembrance of the heroic dead; still, as then exercised, it was a rite affecting only a limited class in each community. When, however, the ceremony was followed up year after year, and the citizens in a body were invited to take part by the donation of flowers and other decorations, and to join in the services, either in the parades, at the cemeteries, or in the general public exercises of the day,— it was apparent that the occasion appealed to the sentiments of all. Instead of being a narrow rite, and restricted to a class, it was a broad, patriotic symbol, and belonged to the whole nation. The nation adopted the new idea and to-day it is an institution; one, too, that promises to last long.
The world honors martial bravery, and it is not a sign of false civilization that such should be the case. Theoretically, wars in modern times have a moral purpose, and almost always there is a moral issue involved in every great strife. The traditions of this Republic, especially, are that war is justifiable only in a conflict of conscience. And for a man to risk his life for his belief is universally held to be the sublimest duty allotted to mortal. It is this lofty idea- this conviction which to many has the sacredness of a religious creed — that runs through all the ritual services of the military orders in commemorating their dead, and it is becoming generally adopted by orators when addressing public assemblies during Memorial Week. Even the martial bravery of the late enemy is remembered by the Grand Army veterans at the tombs of their own dead comrades, and they there solemnly pledge to their enemy" a soldier's
pardon." Upon the common ground of honoring the brave, the Union and Confederate veterans unite to offer tribute to departed valor.
There is another feature of this memorial work that makes the rite a broad one. It is not alone those who died for the cause that are thus honored by the Grand Army, but every Union soldier who has since passed away, so far as the graves can be identified. It does not matter that a veteran has devoted a quarter of a century to civil pursuits since his military service ended, or that changes of opinion on the issues of the war have been openly declared by him: all is forgotten except the fact that he once answered the call of duty. Mere partisan feelings are tabooed, and the veteran, though he died but yesterday, is remembered at his burial with military honors. To his comrades he has become a "dead soldier," whose "march" is just "over," and whose spirit has joined the "long column"
above. There is in this catholicity of soldier sentiment, winning, as it does, the admiration and sympathy of former foes, an earnest of civil security in the future.
In that strong fraternal impulse also, which is expressed in the most touching manner in the joint memorial services along the old border, and in some of the chief interior cities of the South, there is a trace of further development of that true national sentiment which has had such remarkable growth in the South since the war. Lincoln said of the people of the North and the South, in 1865: "Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God." To-day the veterans' memories of the conflict that called them to arms are on both sides turning to a single noble ideal - martial heroism. Surely the worshipers of that ideal will know no North and no South while twining chaplets to immortalize the brave.
Fraternization - The Blue and the Gray.
N the number of this magazine for July, 1888, I gave a list of the important reunions of organized bodies of Union and ex-Confederate veterans. The list was as full as the available records would permit.1 Other instances of fraternal meetings were the receptions given to the Gate City Guard, of Atlanta, Georgia, in 1879, at Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, Hartford, Boston, and elsewhere, by local military organizations, composed in part of Union veterans, and a reunion at Elizabeth, New Jersey, October 19, 1875, participated in by ex-Confederates living in the North and numbers of Union veterans who responded to the call.
Since the publication of my article on reunions, Mr. William G. James, Assistant Adjutant-General Department of Louisiana and Mississippi, G. A. R., has sent me the following item from the New Orleans "Picayune," in an account of the Confederate Memorial Services of April 6, 1878:
During the day a deputation from the Grand Army of the Republic visited the Confederate monument with an offering of two baskets of flowers and a number of bouquets, with this inscription attached :
IN MEMORIAM. A TRIBUTE TO THE FALLEN BRAVE FROM JOSEPH A. MOWER POST No. 1, DEPARTMENT OF LOUISIANA, GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC.
Mr. James adds:
On the 30th of May following this occurrence, just as the steamboat with the comrades of Mower Post and their friends was landing at Chalmette National Cemetery, there came alongside a tugboat with a barge, evidently fitted up for the occasion, filled with ladies and gentlemen, who proved to be the members and guests of two Confederate veteran organizations, with floral offerings for our dead. This party was followed by another composed of the Continental Guards (ex-Confederates), also bringing offerings. On each Memorial Day since, these Confederate organizations have presented offerings and participated with us in our memorial services at Chalmette National Cemetery, and it is a question whether there are not more ex-Confederates than Union veterans present on these occasions.
1 In the account of the Antietam reunion of September, 1887, the "50th N. Y. Volunteers" should read "20th N. Y. Volun
Mower Post was organized April 3, 1872, and now has nearly 150 members in good standing.
George L. Kilmer, Abraham Lincoln Post No. 13, Dep't New York, G. A. R.
General McClellan's Baggage-Destroying Order.
I. BY JAMES F. RUSLING, LATE BREVET BRIGADIER-GENERAL, U. S. V.
IN Messrs. Nicolay and Hay's" Lincoln," referring to General McClellan's conduct after the battle of Gaines's Mill, June 28, 1862 (see THE CENTURY MAGAZINE, November, 1888, p. 142), in a foot-note they say:
Lieutenant-Colonel B. S. Alexander, of the Corps of Engineers, gave the following sworn evidence before the Committee on the Conduct of the War (p. 592). He said he saw, on the evening of the 28th, at General McClellan's headquarters at Savage's Station, an order directing the destruction of the baggage of the officers and men, and he thought also the camp equipage; appealing to the officers and men to submit to this privation because it would be only for a few days, he thought the order stated. He went to the general at once, and remonstrated with him against allowing any such order to be issued, telling him he thought it would have a bad effect upon the army- would demoralize the officers and men; that it would tell them more plainly than in any other way that they were a defeated army, running for their lives. This led to some discussion among the officers at headquarters, and Colonel Alexander heard afterward that the order was never promulgated, but suppressed.
Now is it not very singular that nobody has ever produced a copy of that "order"? General McClellan in his official report of the Peninsula campaign, and also in his "Own Story" (1887), makes no mention of it. And yet it is the truth of history that just such an "order" was "issued" and "promulgated" by him on that occasion, for I myself saw and read it. I was then a captain and assistant quartermaster of Carr's (Patterson's) brigade, Hooker's division of the Third Army Corps (Heintzelman's). The order was received at brigade headquarters from the division headquarters about 8 P. M., June 28, and handed to me and others there for our official guidance. The brigade
itself was out on picket, in front of Fair Oaks, with headquarters pitched near Fair Oaks, just south of the railroad. After showing the order to me and others, the adjutant-general (C. K. Hall, now deceased) mounted his horse and rode to the front to promulgate it to the regiments of the brigade (the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th New Jersey and the 2d New York). What became of this order afterward I do not know, but suppose it was destroyed, with most of the official desks and papers of the brigade, near Bristow Station, Virginia, in the August following, when Stonewall Jackson got possession of the railroad there, in the rear of Pope, and burned several hundred cars, including the baggage of our brigade. But the substance of the order I entered in my "Army Journal" a few days subsequent to the issue of it, and it is recorded there as follows:
On the night of Saturday above mentioned (June 28, 1862), about dark, we received orders from army headquarters to load the trains with ammunition and subsistence, to destroy all trunks and surplus baggage, to abandon all camp equipage but not to burn it, and to decamp across White Oak Swamp, in the direction of James River, with as much expedition as possible. Ordered headquarters train to gear up, then galloped to the regiments and directed regimental quartermasters to report with their trains to me near Savage's Station as soon as possible. Then returned to camp, and proceeded to arrange for the skedaddle. Resolved to save all private baggage and official papers at headquarters at any rate, and packed my train accordingly. This done, I packed three tents, and abandoned the rest (only three), first cutting them to pieces, and with this exception loaded up everything. About II P. M. bade the staff "good-bye," and soon after 12 M. reached the plain by Savage's Station. My recollection is that the "order" came by telegraph, and read about as follows:
The general commanding directs that the trains be loaded with ammunition and subsistence, and dispatched as promptly as possible by Savage's Station, across White Oak Swamp, in the direction of James River. All trunks and private baggage, and all camp equipage, will be abandoned and destroyed, but not burned. The general commanding trusts his brave troops will bear these privations with their wonted fortitude, as it will be but for a few days.
In obedience to this order, all of the regiments of our brigade abandoned and destroyed their camp equipage, and most of their private baggage, such as officers' trunks, valises, etc., as well as a large amount of new army clothing just received. The First and Second Brigades of the division received the same order, and of course obeyed it in the same way. Trunks and valises were knocked and hacked to pieces; clothing was cut and torn to rags; tents were ripped and slit to ribbons. Our wall, Sibley, and hospital tents- many almost new - were cut and ripped, and the poles chopped to pieces, but nothing was set on fire that night, lest the enemy should learn of our movement prematurely. Next morning, when the troops fell back to Savage's Station, fire was set to many things, including the commissary depot at Fair Oaks.
That extraordinary order certainly was "issued" and "promulgated" to Hooker's division of the Third Army Corps, and hence, I presume, to the rest of the corps. The truth, I think, is that it was promulgated to the Third Corps, and perhaps to another, but not to the rest of the army, because of the vigorous protests of Colonel Alexander and others, who saw its demoralizing tendency at a glance. TRENTON, N. J.
II. BY GEORGE E. CORSON.
ON the twenty-eighth day of June, 1862, I was commissary sergeant, and acting quartermaster sergeant, of the first battalion, 17th regiment, United States Infantry, and as such on that date was with the wagon train of Sykes's division of Porter's corps, which was parked near and a little to the south-east of Savage's Station. About 5 or 6 o'clock in the afternoon of the 28th the quartermasters in charge of the train received orders to empty the wagons under their charge of the baggage of the officers and men, and of all camp equipage, and to destroy the same at once by burning. The order was immediately executed. All the personal effects of the officers, consisting of their clothing, bedding, messchests, etc., the knapsacks of the men,- left by them in our camp at Gaines's Mill on the morning of the 26th, when the troops were ordered off in light marching order in the direction of Mechanicsville, and which had been brought along in our wagons,—and the tents and other camp equipage, were removed from the wagons, made into large piles, and set on fire.
Strict orders were given the teamsters, guards, and others on duty with the train not to rifle, interfere with, or attempt to save from the flames any of the effects of the officers or men, though it was known that many of the officers' valises and knapsacks contained money, watches, revolvers, and other valuables. One or more of the teamsters or train-guard were, of my personal knowledge, wounded by the discharge of loaded revolvers from the burning piles. I narrowly escaped the same fate myself, while superintending the destruction of the property in my charge. After completing this destruction the now empty train was taken to Savage's Station and there loaded with hardbread, pork, coffee, sugar, and other commissary stores. The remaining commissary stores, among which there was said to be three hundred barrels of whisky, and the vast amount of quartermaster's stores which had been accumulated at the station for the use of the army, were set on fire, and by the light of the great conflagration our train wended its way towards the James River.
It will be seen from these facts that the order of General McClellan, referred to by Colonel Alexander, was promulgated in the afternoon of June 28, to the officers in charge of the wagon-trains in the immediate vicinity of Savage's Station, to the great loss and hardship at least of the officers and men of Sykes's division; but whether said order was intended for the whole army, or made known to them, I never knew, and have no means of determining. Having assisted in executing the order, and the recollection of the scenes connected therewith being among the most vivid of my memories of the war, I was surprised, when I read Colonel Alexander's statement, to find that any officer connected with McClellan's headquarters should be ignorant of the fact that the order was promulgated and duly executed. WASHINGTON, D. C.
The Abuse of Applause.
ONE of the canons of art insisted upon by Richard Wagner as an essential reform was that all applause during the acting of a drama or an opera was to be censured as interfering with the purpose of the represen