A School History of the United States
John Bach McMaster
Part 7 out of 10
%426. The Life of the Republic at Stake%.--Thus was begun the
greatest war in modern history. It was no vulgar struggle for territory,
or for maritime or military supremacy. The life of the Union was at
stake. The questions to be decided were: Shall there be one or two
republics on the soil of the United States? Shall the great principle of
all democratic-republican government, the principle that the will of the
majority shall rule, be maintained or abandoned? Shall state sovereignty
be recognized? Shall states be suffered to leave the Union at will, or
shall the United States continue to exist as "an indestructible Union of
indestructible States"? As Mr. Lincoln said, "Both parties deprecated
war; but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive;
and the other would accept war rather than let it perish."
%427. The South better prepared%.--For the struggle which was to
decide these questions neither side was ready, but the South was better
prepared than the North. The South was united as one man. The North was
divided and full of Southern sympathizers. She knew not whom to trust.
Officers of the army, officers of the navy, were resigning every day.
The great departments of government at Washington contained many men who
furnished information to Southern officials. Seventeen steam war vessels
(two thirds of all that were not laid up or unfit for service) were in
foreign parts. Large quantities of military supplies had been stored in
Southern forts. All the great powers of Europe save Russia were hostile
to our republic, and would gladly have seen it rent in twain. The South,
again, had the advantage in that she was to act on the defensive.
[Illustration: The United States July 1861 Showing the greatest
extension of the Southern Confederacy]
%428. Results of firing on the Flag.%--Not a man was killed on either
side during the bombardment of Sumter. Yet the battle was a famous one,
and led to greater consequences:
1. Lincoln at once called for 75,000 militia to serve for three months.
2. Four "border states," as they were called, thus forced to choose
their side, seceded. They were Arkansas, North Carolina, Virginia, and
3. The Congress of the United States was called to meet at Washington,
July 4, 1861.
4. After Virginia seceded, the capital of the Confederacy, at the
invitation of the Virginia secession convention, was moved from
Montgomery to Richmond, and the Confederate Congress adjourned to meet
there July 20, 1861.
%429. West Virginia.%--The act of secession by Virginia was promptly
repudiated by the people of the counties west of the mountains, who
refused to secede, and voted to form a new state under the name of
Kanawha. They adopted a constitution and were finally admitted in 1863
as the state of West Virginia.
[Footnote 1: A state made out of part of another state cannot be
admitted into the Union without the consent of that state first
obtained. But as Congress and the people of West Virginia considered
that Virginia consisted of that part of the Old Dominion which remained
loyal to the Union, the people practically asked their own consent.]
%430. The Call to Arms.%--Lincoln held that no state could ever leave
the Union, and that therefore no state had left the Union. Those which
had passed ordinances of secession were to his mind states whose
machinery of government had been seized on by persons in insurrection
against the government of the United States. When, therefore, he made
his call for 75,000 militia to defend the Union, he apportioned the
number among all the states, slave and free, north and south, east and
west, according to their population. Those forming the Confederacy paid
no attention to the call. The governors of the border slave states
(Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri) returned
evasive or insulting answers.
But the people of the loyal states responded instantly, and tens of
thousands of troops were soon on their way to Washington. To get there
was a hard matter. Baltimore lay on the most direct railroad route
between the Eastern and Middle States and Washington. But Baltimore was
full of disloyal men, who tore up the railroads, burned bridges, cut the
telegraph wires, and as the Massachusetts 6th regiment was passing
through the city from one railroad station to another, attacked it,
killing some and wounding others of its soldiers. This forced the troops
from the other states to go by various routes to Annapolis and then to
Washington, so that it was late in April before enough arrived to insure
the safety of the city.
Though none of the border and seceded states sent troops, the response
of the loyal states to Lincoln's call was so hearty that more than
75,000 men were furnished. The President decided to turn this outburst
of patriotism to good purpose, and May 3, 1861, asked for 42,034
volunteers for three years unless sooner discharged, and ordered 18,000
seamen to be enlisted, and 22,714 men added to the regular army.
Baltimore was now occupied by Union troops, and communication with
Washington through that city was restored and protected.
On July 1, 1861, there were 183,588 "boys in blue" under arms and
present for duty. These were distributed at various places north of the
line, 2000 miles long, which divided the North and South. This line
began near Fort Monroe, in Virginia, ran up Chesapeake Bay and the
Potomac to the mountains, then across Western Virginia and through
Kentucky, Missouri, and Indian Territory to New Mexico.
This line was naturally divided into three parts:
1. That in Virginia and along the Potomac.
2. That occupied by Kentucky, a state which had declared itself neutral.
3. That west of the Mississippi.
%431. The Battle of "Bull Run" or Manassas%.--General Winfield Scott
was in command of the Union army. Under him, in command of the troops
about Washington, was General Irwin McDowell. Further to the west, near
Harpers Ferry, was a Union force under General Patterson. In western
Virginia, with an army raised largely in Ohio, was General George B.
McClellan. In Missouri was General Lyon, aided by all the Union people
in the state, who were engaged in a desperate struggle to keep her in
In northern Virginia and opposed to the Union forces under General
McDowell, was a Confederate army under General Beauregard, and these
troops the people of the North demanded should be attacked. "The
Confederate Congress must not meet at Richmond!" "On to Richmond! On to
Richmond!" became the cries of the hour. General McDowell, with 30,000
men, was therefore ordered to attack Beauregard. McDowell found him near
Manassas, some thirty miles southwest of Washington, and there, on the
field of "Bull Run," on Sunday, July 21, 1861, was fought a famous
battle which ended with the defeat and flight of the Union army.
[Footnote 1: _Battles and Leaders of the Civil War_, Vol. I., pp.
General George B. McClellan, who had defeated the Confederate forces in
western Virginia in several battles, was now placed in command of the
troops near Washington, and spent the rest of 1861 and part of 1862 in
drilling and organizing his army. Bull Run had taught the people two
things: 1. That the war was not to end in three months; 2. That an army
without discipline is not much better than a mob.
%432. Fort Donelson and Fort Henry%.--While McClellan was drilling
his men along the Potomac, the Union forces drove back the Confederates
in the West. The Confederate line at first extended as shown by the
heavy line on the map on p. 390. In order to break it, General Buell
sent a small force under General Thomas, in January, 1862, to drive back
the Confederates near Mill Springs. Next, in February, General Halleck
authorized General U. S. Grant and Flag Officer Foote to make a joint
expedition against Fort Henry on the Tennessee. But Foote arrived first
and captured the fort, whereupon Grant marched to Fort Donelson on the
Cumberland, eleven miles away, and after three days of sharp fighting
was asked by General Buckner what terms he would offer. Grant
[Illustration: Handwritten note of Grant]
No terms excepting unconditional and
immediate surrender can be accepted.
I propose to receive immediately upon
I am Sir: very respectfully
your ** **
U. S. Grant
Buckner at once surrendered (February 16, 1862), and Grant won the first
great Union victory of the war.
[Footnote 1: _Battles and Leaders of the Civil War,_ Vol. I., pp.
398-429; Grant's _Memoirs_, Vol. I., pp. 285-315.]
%433. The Battle of Shiloh, or Pittsburg Landing.%--After the fall of
Fort Donelson, the Confederates, abandoning Columbus and Nashville,
hurried south toward Corinth in Mississippi, whither Halleck's army
followed in three parts. One under General S. E. Curtis moved to
southwestern Missouri, and beat the Confederates at Pea Ridge, Ark.
(March 6-8). The second, under General John Pope, cooeperated with Flag
Officer Foote, from the west bank of the Mississippi, in the capture of
Island No. 10 (April 7). Pope then joined Halleck in the movement
against Corinth, while the fleet went on down the river, attacked Fort
Pillow three times, captured it (June 4), and two days later
Meanwhile the third part of Halleck's army, under Grant, following the
Confederates, had reached Pittsburg Landing, where (April 6) he was
suddenly attacked by General A. S. Johnston and driven back. But General
Buell coming up with fresh troops, the battle was resumed the next day
(April 7), when Grant regained his lost ground, and the Confederates
fell back to Corinth.
[Footnote 1: _Battles and Leaders of the Civil War,_ Vol., pp. 465-486.]
[Illustration: Driving back the Confederate line in the West]
At this point General Henry Halleck arrived and took command, and at the
end of May occupied Corinth. Memphis then fell, and the Mississippi
River was opened as far south as Vicksburg. After the capture of
Memphis, Halleck went to Washington to take command of the armies of the
%434. Bragg's Raid into Kentucky.%--The Confederate line which in
January, 1862, had passed across Kentucky had thus by June been driven
southward to Chattanooga, Iuka, and Holly Springs. The Union line ran
from near Chattanooga to Corinth and Memphis. Against this the
Confederates now moved, with the hope of breaking through and driving it
back. Gathering his forces at Chattanooga, General Bragg rushed across
Tennessee and Kentucky toward Louisville. But General Buell, perceiving
his purpose, outmarched him, reached the Ohio, and forced Bragg to fall
back. At Perryville (October 8, 1862), Bragg turned furiously on Buell
and was beaten.
%435. Iuka and Corinth.%--While Bragg was raiding Kentucky, Generals
Price at Iuka and Van Dorn at Holly Springs, knowing that Grant's army
had been greatly weakened by sending troops to Buell, prepared to attack
Corinth. But Grant, thinking he could fight them separately, sent
Rosecrans to Iuka (September 19). Price was not captured, but retreated
to Van Dorn, and the two then fell upon Rosecrans at Corinth (October
4), only to be beaten and chased forty miles.
%436. Murfreesboro.%--For these successes Rosecrans (October 30) was
given command of Buell's army, then centering at Nashville. Bragg went
into winter quarters at Murfreesboro, and thither Rosecrans advanced to
attack him. The contest at Murfreesboro (December 31, 1862, and January
2, 1863) was one of the most bloody battles of the whole war. Bragg was
again defeated, and retreated to a position farther south.
%437. Arkansas%.--In January, 1862, the Confederate line west of the
Mississippi extended from Belmont across southern Missouri to the Indian
Territory. Against the west end of this line General Curtis moved in
February, 1862, and after driving the Confederates under Van Dorn and
Price out of Missouri, beat them in the desperate battle at Pea Ridge,
Arkansas (March 6-8, 1862), and moved to the interior of the state.
Price and Van Dorn went east into Mississippi (see Sec. 435), and when the
year closed the Union forces were in control north of the Arkansas
River, and along the west bank of the Mississippi. On the east bank the
only fortified positions in Confederate hands were Vicksburg, Grand
Gulf, and Port Hudson.
%438. Farragut captures New Orleans.%--While Foote was opening the
upper part of the Mississippi, a naval expedition under Farragut,
supported by an army under Butler, had cleared the lower part of the
river. These forces had been sent by sea to capture New Orleans. The
defenses of the city consisted of two strong forts almost directly
opposite each other on the banks of the river, about seventy-five miles
south of the city; of two great chain cables stretched across the river
below the forts to prevent ships coming up; and of fifteen armed vessels
above the forts. New Orleans was thought to be safe. But Farragut was
not dismayed. Sailing up the river till he came to the chains, he
bombarded the forts for six days and nights, while the forts did their
best to destroy him. Then, finding he could do nothing in this way, he
cut the chains, ran his ships past the forts in spite of a dreadful fire
(April 24, 1862), destroyed the Confederate fleet (April 25), and took
the city. General Butler, who had been waiting at Ship Island with
15,000 men, then entered and held New Orleans.
[Footnote 1: Farragut, after taking New Orleans, went up the river and
captured Baton Rouge and Natchez.]
%439. The Peninsular Campaign against Richmond.%--The signal success
of Grant and Farragut in the West was more than offset by the signal
failure of McClellan in the East. The wish of the administration, and
indeed of the whole North, was that Richmond should be captured. Against
it, therefore, the Army of the Potomac was to move. But by what route?
The government wanted McClellan to march south across Virginia, so that
his army should always be between the Confederate forces and Washington.
McClellan insisted on moving west from Chesapeake Bay. The result was a
1. Forces under Fremont and Banks were to operate in the Shenandoah
valley and prevent a Confederate force attacking Washington from
2. An army under McDowell was to march from Fredericksburg to Richmond.
3. McClellan was to take the main army from Washington by water to Fort
Monroe, and then march up the peninsula to Richmond, where McDowell was
to join him.
[Illustration: The Peninsula Campaign]
This peninsula, from which the campaign gets its name, lies between the
York and James rivers. Landing at the lower end of it, McClellan was met
by General Joseph E. Johnston, who caused a long delay by forcing him to
besiege Yorktown. McClellan then advanced up the peninsula, fighting the
battle of Williamsburg on the way. At White House Landing he turned
toward Richmond, extending his right flank to Hanover Courthouse, where
McDowell was expected to join him. But this was not to be, for General
T. J. Jackson ("Stonewall" Jackson) rushed down the Shenandoah valley,
driving Banks over the Potomac into Maryland, and retreated south before
Fremont or McDowell could cut him off; during this campaign he won four
desperate battles in thirty-five days. Jackson's success alarmed
Washington, and McDowell was held in northern Virginia. McClellan's
army, meanwhile, advanced on both sides of the Chickahominy River to
within eight miles of Richmond. At Fair Oaks and Seven Pines (May 31)
his left flank was almost overwhelmed by Johnston; but the latter was
wounded and his troops defeated. Johnston was then succeeded by R. E.
Lee, who, joined by Jackson, attacked McClellan at Mechanicsville and
Games Mill, and forced him to fall back, fighting for six days (June 26
to July 1, 1862) as he retreated to Harrisons Landing, on the James
River. There the army remained till August, when it was recalled to
[Footnote 1: The "Seven Days' Battles" are these and one fought June
%440. Lee's Raid into Maryland; Battle of Antietam, or
Sharpsburg.%--While the Army of the Potomac was at Harrisons Landing,
a new force called the Army of Virginia was organized, and General John
Pope placed in command. At the same time General Halleck was recalled
from the West and made general in chief of the Union armies. Pope
intended to move straight against Richmond. But when McClellan in
obedience to orders left Harrisons Landing and took his army by water to
the Potomac, near Washington, the Confederate army was left free to act
as it pleased. Seeing his opportunity, Lee moved at once against Pope's
army, whose line stretched along the Rappahannock and Rapidan rivers to
the Shenandoah valley in western Virginia. Near the Rapidan at Cedar
Mountain was General Banks. He was first attacked and beaten; after
which Lee fell upon Pope on the old field of Bull Run, and put the army
to flight. Pope fell back to Washington, where his forces were united
with those of McClellan. Pushing northward, Lee next crossed the Potomac
and entered Maryland. But he was overtaken by McClellan at Antietam
Creek, near Sharpsburg, where, September 17, 1862, a great battle was
fought, after which Lee went back to Virginia.
McClellan was now removed and the command of the army given to General
Burnside. He was as reckless as McClellan was cautious, and on December
13 threw his army against the Confederates posted at Fredericksburg
Heights and was beaten with dreadful slaughter. Thus at the end of 1862
Richmond was not captured, and the two armies went into winter quarters
with the Rappahannock River between them.
%441. Emancipation of the Slaves%.--More than two years had now
passed since South Carolina had seceded, and during this time a great
change had taken place in the feeling of the North towards slavery. When
Lincoln was inaugurated, very few people wanted the slaves emancipated.
But two years of bloody fighting had convinced the North that the Union
could not exist part slave, part free. As Lincoln said in his speech at
Springfield in 1858, "It must be all one thing, or all the other."
Seeing that the people now felt as he did, Lincoln, in 1862 (March 6),
asked Congress to agree to buy the slaves of the loyal slave states, and
urged the members of Congress from those states to advise their
constituents to set free their slaves and receive $300 apiece for them.
This they would not do; whereupon he decided to act upon his own
authority, and declared all slaves within the lines of the Confederacy
to be freemen.
For this he had two good reasons: 1. So far the war had been one for the
preservation of the Union. By making it a war for union and freedom the
North would become more earnest than ever. 2. The rulers of England, who
wanted Southern cotton, were only waiting for a pretext to acknowledge
the independence of the South. If, however, the North engaged in a war
for the abolition of slavery, the people of England would not allow the
independence of the Confederacy to be acknowledged by their rulers.
The time to make such a declaration was after some victory gained by the
Union army. When McClellan and Lee stood face to face at Antietam,
Lincoln therefore "vowed to God" that if Lee were defeated he would
issue the proclamation. Lee was defeated, and, on September 22, 1862,
the proclamation came forth declaring that if the Confederate States did
not return to their allegiance before January 1, 1863, "all persons held
as slaves" within the Confederate lines "shall be then, thenceforth, and
forever free." The states of course did not return to their allegiance,
and on January 1, 1863, a second proclamation was issued setting the
[Footnote 1: Nicolay and Hay's _Life of Lincoln, _Vol. VI., Chaps. 6,
Now, there are three things in connection with the Emancipation
Proclamation which must be understood and remembered:
1. Lincoln did not _abolish slavery_ anywhere. He _emancipated_ or _set
free the slaves_ of certain persons engaged in waging war against the
United States government.
2. The Emancipation Proclamation did not apply to any of the loyal slave
states, nor to such territory as the Union army had reconquered.
In none of these places did it free slaves.
[Footnote 1: Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Missouri.]
[Footnote 2: Tennessee, thirteen parishes in Louisiana, and seven
counties in Virginia.]
3. Lincoln freed the slaves by virtue of his power as commander in chief
of the army of the United States, "and as a fit and necessary
%442. The Battle of Gettysburg.%--After Burnside was defeated at
Fredericksburg, in December, 1862, he was removed, and General Hooker
put in command of the Army of the Potomac. Hooker--"Fighting Joe," as he
was called--led it against Lee, and (May 1-4, 1863) was beaten at
Chancellorsville and fell back. In June Lee again took the offensive,
rushed down the Shenandoah valley to the Potomac, crossed Maryland, and
entered Pennsylvania, with the Army of the Potomac in pursuit. On
reaching Maryland, Hooker was removed and General Meade put in command.
The opposing forces met on the hills at Gettysburg, Penn., and there,
July 1-3, Lee attacked Meade. The contest was a dreadful one; no field
was ever more stubbornly fought over. About one fourth of the men
engaged were killed or wounded. But the splendid courage of the Union
army prevailed: Lee was beaten and retired to Virginia, where he
remained unmolested till the spring of 1864. Gettysburg is regarded as
the greatest battle of the war, and the Union regiments engaged have
taken a just pride in marking the positions they held during the three
awful days of slaughter, till the field is dotted all over with
beautiful monuments. On the hill back of the village is a great
national cemetery, at the dedication of which Lincoln delivered his
famous Gettysburg address.
[Illustration: Part of the battlefield of Gettysburg]
%443. Vicksburg%.--The day after the victory at Gettysburg, the joy
of the North was yet more increased by the news that Vicksburg had
surrendered (July 4) to Grant. After the defeat, of the Confederate
forces at Iuka and Corinth in 1862, the Confederate line passed across
northern Mississippi, touched the river from Vicksburg to Port Hudson,
and then swept off to the Gulf. As the capture of these river towns
would complete the opening of the Mississippi, Grant set out to take
Vicksburg. Failing in a direct advance through Mississippi, Grant sent a
strong force down the river from Memphis, and later took command in
person. Vicksburg stands on the top of a bluff which rises steep and
straight 200 feet above the river, and had been so fortified that to
capture it seemed impossible. But Grant was determined to open the
river. On the west bank, he cut a canal through a bend, hoping to divert
the river and get water passage by the town. This failed, and he decided
to cross below the town and attack from the land. To aid him in this
attempt, Porter ran his gunboats past the town one night in April and
carried the army over the river. Landing on the east bank, Grant won a
victory at Port Gibson, and occupied Grand Gulf. Hearing that Johnston
was coming to help Pemberton, Grant pushed in between them, beat
Johnston at Jackson, and turning westward, drove Pemberton into
Vicksburg, and began a regular siege. For seven weeks he poured in shot
and shell day and night. To live in houses became impossible, and the
women and children took refuge in caves. Food gave out, and after every
kind of misery had been endured till it could be borne no longer,
Vicksburg was surrendered on July 4.
[Illustration: The Vicksburg Campaign]
Five days later (July 9, 1863), Port Hudson surrendered, and the
Mississippi, as Lincoln said, "flowed unvexed to the sea." It was open
from its source to its mouth, and the Confederacy was cut in two.
%444. Driving the Confederates eastward; Chickamauga and
Chattanooga%.--While Grant was besieging Vicksburg, Rosecrans by
skillful work forced Bragg to retreat from his position south of
Murfreesboro; then in a second campaign he forced Bragg to leave
Chattanooga and retire into northwestern Georgia. Bragg here received
more troops, and attacked Rosecrans in the Chickamauga valley (September
19 and 20, 1863), where was fought one of the most desperate battles of
the war. So fierce was the onset of the Confederates that the Union
right wing was driven from the field. But the left wing, under General
George H. Thomas, a grand character and a splendid officer, by some of
the best fighting ever seen held the enemy in check and saved the army
from rout. By his firmness Thomas won the name of "the Rock of
Rosecrans now went back to Chattanooga. Bragg followed, and taking
position on the hills and mountains which surround the town on the east
and south, shut in the Union army and besieged it. For a time it seemed
in danger of starvation. But Hooker was sent from Virginia with more
troops; the Army of the Tennessee under Sherman was summoned from
Vicksburg; Rosecrans was superseded by Thomas, and Grant was put in
command of all. Then matters changed. The forces under Thomas, moving
from their lines, seized some low hills at the foot of Missionary Ridge,
east of Chattanooga (November 23). On the 24th, Hooker carried the
Confederate works on Lookout Mountain, southwest of the city, in a
conflict often called the "Battle above the Clouds"; and Sherman was
sent against the northern end of Missionary Ridge, but succeeded only in
taking an outlying hill. On the 25th Sherman renewed his attack, but
failed to gain the main crest, whereupon Thomas attacked the Ridge in
front of Chattanooga, carried the heights, and drove off the enemy.
Bragg retreated to Dalton, in northwestern Georgia, where the command of
his army was given to Joseph E. Johnston.
%445. "Marching through Georgia"; "From Atlanta to the Sea."%--As the
Confederates had thus been driven from the Mississippi River, and forced
back to the mountains, they had but two centers of power left. The one
was the army under Lee, which, since the defeat at Gettysburg, had been
lying quietly behind the Rapidan and Rappahannock rivers, protecting
Richmond. The other was the army at Dalton, Ga., now under J.
[Illustration: WAR FOR THE UNION Breaking the Confederate Line]
Early in the spring of 1864 General U.S. Grant--"Unconditional Surrender
Grant," as the people called him--was made lieutenant general (a rank
never before given to any United States soldier except Washington and
Scott), and put in command of all the Federal armies. General Sherman
was left in command of the military division of the Mississippi.
Before beginning the campaign, Grant and Sherman agreed on a plan.
Grant, with the Army of the Potomac, was to drive back Lee and take
Richmond. Sherman, with the armies of Thomas, McPherson, and Schofield,
was to attack Johnston and push his way into Georgia. Each was to begin
his movement on the same day (May 4, 1864).
On that day, accordingly, Sherman with 98,000 men marched against
Johnston, flanked him out of Dalton, and step by step through the
mountains to Atlanta, fighting all the way. Johnston's retreat was
masterly. He intended to retreat until Sherman's army was so weakened by
leaving guards in the rear to protect the railroads, over which food and
supplies must come, that he could fight on equal terms. But Jefferson
Davis removed Johnston at Atlanta, and put J. B. Hood in command.
Hood, in July, made three furious attacks, was beaten each time;
abandoned Atlanta in September, and soon after started northwestward, in
hope of drawing Sherman out of Georgia. But Sherman sent Thomas and a
part of the army to Tennessee, and after following Hood for a time, he
returned to Atlanta, tearing up the railroads as he went. Then, having
partly burned the town, in November he started for the sea with 60,000
of his best veterans.
[Illustration: SHERMAN'S MARCH TO THE SEA]
The troops went in four columns, covering a belt of sixty miles wide,
burning bridges, tearing up railroads, living on the country as they
marched. Early in December the army drew near to Savannah; about the
middle of the month (December 13) Fort McAllister was taken; and a few
days later the city of Savannah was occupied. During all this long march
to the sea, nothing was known in the North as to where Sherman was or
what he was doing. Fancy the delight of Lincoln, then, when on the
Christmas eve of 1864, he received this telegram:
SAVANNAH, Georgia, December 22, 1864.
To His EXCELLENCY, PRESIDENT LINCOLN, WASHINGTON, D.C.
I beg to present you as a Christmas gift the city of Savannah, with one
hundred and fifty heavy guns and plenty of ammunition; also about
twenty-five thousand bales of cotton.
W. T. SHERMAN, MAJOR GENERAL.
Sherman had sent the message by vessel to Fort Monroe, whence it was
telegraphed to Lincoln.
%446. Sherman marches northward.%--At Savannah the army rested for a
month. Sherman tells us in his _Memoirs_ that the troops grew impatient
at this delay, and used to call out to him as he rode by: "Uncle Billy,
I guess Grant is waiting for us at Richmond." So he was; but he did not
wait very long, for on February 1, 1865, the march was resumed. The way
was across South Carolina to Columbia, and then into North Carolina,
with their old enemy, J. E. Johnston, in their front. Hood, in a rash
moment, had besieged Thomas at Nashville; but Thomas, coming out from
behind his intrenchments, utterly destroyed Hood's army. This forced
Davis to put Johnston in command of a new army made up of troops taken
from the seaport garrisons and remnants of Hood's army. In March,
Sherman reached Goldsboro in North Carolina.
%447. Grant in Virginia.%--Meantime Grant had set out from Culpeper
Courthouse on May 4, 1864, crossed the Rapidan, and entered the
"Wilderness," a name given to a tract of country covered with dense
woods of oak and pine and thick undergrowth. The fighting was almost
incessant. The loss of life was frightful; but he pushed on to
Spottsylvania Courthouse, and thence to Cold Harbor, part of the line of
fortifications before Richmond. He would, as he said, "fight it out on
this line if it takes all summer," and went south of Richmond and
%448. Early's Raid, 1864.%--Lee now sent Jubal Early with 20,000
soldiers to move down the Shenandoah valley, enter Maryland, and
threaten Washington. This he did, and after coming up to the
fortifications of the city, he retreated to Virginia. A little later,
Early sent his cavalry into Pennsylvania and burned Chambersburg.
Grant thought it was time to stop this, and sent Sheridan with an army
to drive Early out of the Shenandoah valley. "It is desirable," said
Grant, "that nothing should be left to invite the enemy to return."
Sheridan set out accordingly, and on September 19 he met Early in battle
at Winchester, and a few days later at Fishers Hill, beat him at both
places, and sent him whirling up the valley. Sheridan followed for a
time, and then brought his army back to Cedar Creek, after burning
barns, destroying crops, and devastating the entire upper valley.
%449. Sheridan's Ride.%--And now occurred a famous incident. About
the middle of October Sheridan went to Washington, and while on his way
back slept on the night of October 18 at Winchester. At 7 A.M. on the
19th he heard guns, but paid no attention to the sounds till 9 o'clock,
when, as he rode quietly out of Winchester, he met a mile from town
wagon trains and fugitives, and heard that Early had surprised his camp
at daylight. Dashing up the pike with an escort of twenty men, calling
to the fugitives as he passed them to turn and face the enemy, he met
the army drawn up in line eleven miles from Winchester. "Far away in the
rear," says an old soldier, "we heard cheer after cheer. Were
reinforcements coming? Yes, Phil Sheridan was coming, and he was a
host." Dashing down the line, Sheridan shouted, "What troops are these?"
"The Sixth Corps," came back the response from a hundred voices. "We are
all right," said Sheridan, as he swung his old hat and dashed along the
line to the right. "Never mind, boys, we'll whip them yet. We shall
sleep in our old quarters to-night." And they did. Early
[Footnote:1] Read Sheridan's account in his _Personal Memoirs, _Vol.
II., pp. 66-92.
%450. Surrender of Lee.%--At the beginning of 1865 the situation of
Lee was desperate, and in February, Alexander H. Stephens, Vice
President of the Confederacy, met Lincoln and Secretary Seward on a war
vessel in Hampton Roads to discuss terms of peace. Lincoln demanded
three things: 1. That the Confederate armies be disbanded and the men
sent home. 2. That the Confederate States submit to the rule of
Congress. 3. That slavery be abolished. These terms were not accepted,
and the war went on. Sherman marched northward through the Carolinas and
was reenforced from the coast; every seaport in the Confederacy was soon
in Union hands; Sheridan finally dispersed Early's troops, and joined
Grant before Petersburg; and the lines of Grant's army were drawn closer
and closer around Petersburg and Richmond.
Plainly the end was near. On April 2 Lee announced to Davis that both
Petersburg and Richmond must be abandoned at once. The rams in the James
River were immediately blown up, and on the morning of April 3 General
Weitzel, hearing from a negro what was going on, entered Richmond and
found that Lee was in full retreat. Grant followed, and on April 9
forced Lee to surrender at Appomattox Courthouse, seventy-five miles
west of Richmond. Grant's treatment of Lee was most generous. He was not
required to give up his sword, nor his officers their side arms, nor his
men their horses, which they would need, Grant said, "to work their
little farms." Each officer was to give his parole not to take up arms
against the United States "until properly exchanged"; each regimental
commander was to do the same for his men; and, "this done, each officer
and man will be allowed to return to his home." Immediately after this
surrender 25,000 rations were issued to Lee's men.
[Illustration: The house in which Lee and Grant arranged the surrender]
%451. End of the Confederacy.%--What little was left of the
Confederacy now went rapidly to pieces. On April 26 Johnston surrendered
to Sherman near Raleigh, North Carolina. A few days later the victorious
army started for Richmond, and then went on over battle-scarred
Virginia to Washington. May 10, Jefferson Davis was captured. When Lee
fled from Richmond, Davis hurried to Charlotte, N.C., with his cabinet,
his clerks, and such gold and silver coin as was in the Confederate
Treasury. But the surrender of Johnston forced Davis to retreat still
farther south, till he reached Irwinsville, Ga., where the Union cavalry
%452. The Grand Army disbands.%--As this was practically the end of
the Confederacy, the great Union army of citizen soldiers, numbering
more than 1,000,000 men, was called home from the field and disbanded.
Before these veterans separated, never to meet again with arms in their
hands, they were reviewed by the President, Congress, and an immense
throng of people who came to Washington from every part of the loyal
states to welcome them. During two days (May 23 and 24, 1865) the
soldiers of Grant and Sherman, forming a column thirty miles long,
marched down Pennsylvania Avenue, and then, with a rapidity and
quietness that seems almost incredible, scattered and went back to their
farms, to their shops, to the practice of their professions, and to the
innumerable occupations of civil life.
Of the Confederates not one was molested, not a soldier was imprisoned,
not a political leader suffered death. Davis was ordered to be
imprisoned at Fort Monroe for two years, but he was soon released on
bail, was never brought to trial, and died at New Orleans in 1889.
1. After the election of Lincoln seven states seceded from the Union,
and formed the "Confederate States of America."
2. Four other states joined the Confederacy later.
3. The refusal of the United States to recognize the right to secede led
to the refusal to give up Federal forts in Charleston harbor. The
attempt to take Sumter by force led to the appeal to arms.
4. The line which separated the troops of the two governments ran from
Chesapeake Bay, across Virginia, and through Kentucky and Missouri, to
5. While the Union troops held the Confederates in check on the eastern
end of the line, they broke through the line in the West, and, aided by
the Union fleet, opened the Mississippi River.
6. The Confederates were thus driven from the Mississippi and forced
back to the mountains of Georgia. Sherman was sent against them, and in
1864 marched eastward through the heart of the Confederacy to
7. Marching north from Savannah, across Georgia and South Carolina, to
Goldsboro in North Carolina, he was now in the rear of the Confederate
army in Virginia.
8. Grant, meantime, with the Army of the Potomac, had fought a series of
battles with Lee, and had besieged Richmond and Petersburg; and
Sheridan had cleared out the Shenandoah valley.
9. Lee was thus forced, early in 1865, to leave Richmond, and while
retreating westward he was forced to surrender.
SECESSION AND THE WAR FOR THE UNION
_The South_ _The North_
The cotton states secede. Attempts to compromise.
The Confederacy formed. Buchanan's attitude.
A constitution adopted. The Crittenden Compromise.
Unites States property seized. A Thirteenth Amendment proposed.
Buchanan attempts to provision Fort Sumter
_Star of the West_ fired on.
Lincoln attempts to provision Fort Sumter
The fort bombarded. The surrender.
Arkansas, North Carolina, The call to arms.
Virginia, and Tennessee secede. The march to Washington
Richmond made the capital Fight in the streets of
of the Confederacy. Baltimore. ------------------------------------------------------------------
_The war opens_
_Fighting in the West._ _Fighting along the Potomac and in
_1861-1862._ Breaking the _1861._ The attempt to take Richmond.
Confederate line. Battle of Bull Run.
1. Line broken at Fort Henry and Fort Donelson and driven out of
Kentucky and West Tennessee.
2. Driven out of Missouri and North Arkansas.
3. New Orleans taken.
4. Mississippi River nearly open.
_1863_. 1. Vicksburg and Port Hudson taken, and Mississippi River open
to the Gulf.
2. The Confederacy cut in two.
3. Arkansas and East Tennessee recovered.
_1864_. Driving the Confederate line eastward.
1. Sherman's march to Atlanta; to the sea.
2. The Confederacy again cut in two.
_1865_. Driving the Confederate line northward.
1. Sherman marches northward from Savannah to Goldsboro.
2. Surrender of Johnston to Sherman.
_1862_ The attempt on Richmond renewed.
------------------------ ------------------------ --------------------------
1. Fremont and Banks to 2. McDowell to move from 3. McClellan to move up
hold the Shenandoah Fredericksburg. Peninsula from Fort
valley. ------------+----------- Monroe.
------------+----------- | -------------+------------
| ------------+----------- |
------------+----------- Jackson's success in the -------------+------------
Defeated by Jackson. Shenandoah valley leads McClellan, left without
------------------------ to recall of McDowell. support of McDowell,
-------------------------- is defeated, changes base
to James River, and in
August is recalled north.
Removal of McClellan's army leaves Lee free to act.
He attacks Pope and defeats him on old field of Bull Run.
After defeat of Pope, he rushes into Maryland, where, at Antietam, he is
defeated, and goes back to Virginia.
1. Union victory at Antietam leads Lincoln to issue the Preliminary
2. McClellan relieved of command and Burnside put in his place.
3. Burnside attacks Lee's army and is beaten at Fredericksburg.
_1863_. 1. Burnside removed and _1864_. Grant in command.
Hooker in command. 1. The Wilderness and other battles.
2. Hooker defeated at Chancellorsville. 2. Early sent into the Shenandoah
3. Lee runs past and enters Pennsylvania. valley, where Sheridan defeats him.
4. Meade put in command. Battle of _1865_. Richmond taken.
Gettysburg. 1. Lee evacuates the city.
5. Lee beaten and goes back to Virginia. 2. Surrenders to Grant.
6. The turning-point of the war. ------------------+-----------------
%END OF THE WAR.%
WAR ALONG THE COAST AND ON THE SEA
%453. State of our Navy in 1861.%--On the day our flag went down at
Sumter, the navy of the United States consisted of ninety vessels of
every sort. Fifty of these were sailing ships. Forty were propelled by
steam. Of the steam fleet one was on the Lakes, five were unserviceable,
seventeen were in foreign parts, and nine laid up in navy yards and out
of service. Eight steam vessels (one a mere tender) and five sailing
vessels (a fleet of thirteen) made up the naval force of the United
States that was available for actual service on April 15, 1861.
%454. The Work before the Navy.%--The duty of the navy was to
1. Blockade the coast from Norfolk in Virginia to the Bio Grande in
2. Capture the seaports and forts scattered along this coast.
3. Acquire control of the sounds and bays, as Chesapeake, Albemarle,
Pamlico, Mobile, and Galveston.
4. Assist the army in opening the Mississippi, Arkansas, and other
5. Destroy all Confederate cruisers and protect the commerce of the
To accomplish this great work, most of the vessels abroad were recalled
(a slow process in days when no ocean cable existed), more were hastily
built, and in time 400 merchantmen and river steamboats were bought and
roughly adapted at the navy yards for war service.
%455. %The Blockade of the Southern Coast.%--The war on sea was
opened (April 19-27,1861) by two proclamations of Lincoln declaring the
coast from Virginia to Texas blockaded. This meant that armed vessels
were to be stationed off the seaports of the South, and that no ships
from any country were to be allowed to go into or out of them. To stop
trade with the South was important for three reasons:
1. The South had no ships, no great gun factories, machine shops, or
rolling mills, and must look to foreign countries for military supplies.
2. The South raised (in 1860) 4,700,000 bales of cotton, almost all of
which was sold to England and the North, and if this cotton should be
sent abroad, the South could easily buy with it all the guns, ships, and
goods she needed.
3. England was dependent on the South for raw cotton, and would sell for
it everything the South wanted in exchange.
The blockade, therefore, was to cut off the trade and supplies of the
South, and so weaken her. But as England, a great commercial nation,
wanted her cotton, it was certain that unless the blockade were rigorous
and close, cotton would be smuggled out and supplies sent in.
%456. Blockade Runners%.--This is just what did happen. The blockade
in the course of a year was made close, by ships stationed off the
ports, sounds, and harbors. In some places the hulks of old whalers were
loaded with stone and sunk in the channels, and to get in or out became
more difficult. As a result the price of cotton fell to eight cents a
pound in the South (because there was nobody to buy it) and rose to
fifty cents a pound in England (because so little was to be had). Then
"running the blockade" became a regular business. Goods of all sorts
were brought from England to Nassau in the West Indies, where they would
be put on board of vessels built to run the blockade. These blockade
runners were long, low steam vessels which drew only a few feet of water
and had great speed. Their hulls were but a few feet out of water and
were painted a dull gray. Their smokestacks could be lowered to the
deck, and they burned anthracite coal, which made no smoke. They would
leave Nassau at such a time as would enable them to be off Wilmington,
N.C., or some other Southern port, on a moonless night with a high tide,
and then, making a dash, would run through the blockading vessels. Once
in port, they would take a cargo of cotton, and would run out on a dark
night or during a storm. During the war, 1504 vessels of all kinds were
captured or destroyed.
[Footnote 1: Read T. E. Taylor's _Running the Blockade, _pp. 16-32,
%457. The Commerce Destroyers.%--While the North was thus busy
destroying the trade of the South, the South was busy destroying the
enormous trade of the North. When the war opened, our merchant ships
were to be seen in every port of the world, and against these were sent
a class of armed vessels known as "commerce destroyers," whose business
it was to cruise along the great highways of ocean commerce, keep a
sharp lookout for our merchantmen, and burn all they could find. The
first of these commerce destroyers to get to sea was the _Sumter_, which
ran the blockade at the mouth of the Mississippi in June, 1861, and
within a week had taken seven merchantmen. So important was it to
capture her that seven cruisers were sent in pursuit. But she escaped
them all till January, 1862, when she was shut up in the port of
Gibraltar and was sold to prevent capture.
%458. The Trent Affair, 1861.%--One of the vessels sent in pursuit of
the _Sumter_ was the _San Jacinto, _commanded by Captain Wilkes. While
at Havana, he heard that two commissioners of the Confederate
government, James M. Mason and John Slidell, sent out as commissioners
to Great Britain and France, were to sail for England in the British
mail steamer _Trent_; and, deciding to capture them, he took his station
in the Bermuda Channel, and (November 8, 1861) as the _Trent_ came
steaming along, he stopped and boarded her, and carried off Mason and
Slidell and their secretaries. This he had no right to do. It was
exactly the sort of thing the United States had protested against ever
since 1790, and had been one of the causes of war with Great Britain in
1812. The commissioners were therefore released, placed on board another
English vessel, and taken to England. The conduct of Great Britain in
this matter was most insulting and warlike, and nothing but the justice
of her demand prevented war.
[Footnote 1: Harris's _The Trent Affair._]
%459. The Famous Cruisers Florida, Alabama, Shenandoah.%--The loss
of the _Sumter_ was soon made good by the appearance on the sea of a
fleet of commerce destroyers all built and purchased in England with the
full knowledge of the English government. The first of these, the
_Florida_, was built at Liverpool, was armed at an uninhabited island in
the Bahamas, and after roving the sea for more than a year was captured
by the United States cruiser _Wachusett_ in the neutral harbor of Bahia
in Brazil. Her capture was a shameful violation of neutral waters, and
it was ordered that she be returned to Brazil; but she was sunk by "an
unforeseen accident" in Hampton Roads.
[Footnote 1: Bullock's _Secret Service of the Confederate States in
Europe,_ Vol. I., pp. 152-224.]
The next to get afloat was the _Alabama_. She was built at Liverpool
with the knowledge of the English government, and became in time one of
the most famous and successful of all the commerce destroyers. During
two years she cruised unharmed in the North Atlantic, in the Gulf of
Mexico, in the Caribbean Sea, along the coast of South America, and even
in the Indian Ocean, destroying in her career sixty-six merchant
vessels. At last she was found in the harbor of Cherbourg (France) by
the _Kearsarge_, to which Captain Semmes of the _Alabama_ sent a
challenge to fight. Captain Winslow accepted it; and June 19, 1864,
after a short and gallant engagement, the _Alabama_ was sunk in the
[Footnote 1: _Ibid_., Vol. I., pp. 225-294. _Battles and Leaders of the
Civil War,_ Vol. IV., pp. 600-625.]
The _Shenandoah_, another cruiser, was purchased in England and armed
at a barren island near Madeira. Thence she went to Australia, and
cruising northward in the Pacific to Bering Strait, destroyed the
China-bound clippers and the whaling fleet. At last, hearing of the
downfall of the Confederacy, she went back to England.
[Footnote 1: Bullock's _Secret Service of the Confederate States in
Europe_, Vol. II., pp. 131-163.]
%460. The Ironclads.%--To blockade the coast and cut off trade was
most important, but not all that was needed. Here and there were
seaports which must be captured and forts which must be destroyed, bays
and sounds, and great rivers coming down from the interior, which it was
very desirable to secure control of. The Confederates were fully aware
of this, and as soon as they could, placed on the waters of their rivers
and harbors vessels new to naval warfare, called ironclad rams. These
were steamboats cut down and made suitable for naval purposes, and then
covered over with iron rails or thick iron plates. The most famous of
them was the _Merrimac_.
[Illustration: %Remodeling the Merrimac%]
[Illustration: %The U.S. steamer Merrimac%]
%461. The Merrimac or Virginia.%--When Sumter was fired on and the
war began, the United States held the great navy yard and naval depot at
Portsmouth, Va., where were eleven war vessels of various sorts, and
immense quantities of guns and stores and ammunition. But the officer in
charge, knowing that Virginia was about to secede, and fearing that the
yard would be seized by the Confederates, sank most of the ships, set
fire to the buildings, and abandoned the place. The Confederates at once
took possession, raised the vessels, and out of one of them, a steamer
called the _Merrimac_. made an ironclad ram, which they renamed the
_Virginia_ and sent forth to destroy the wooden vessels of the United
States then assembled in Chesapeake Bay.
Well knowing that he could not be harmed by any of our war ships, the
commander of the _Merrimac_ went leisurely to work and began (March 8,
1862) by attacking the _Cumberland_. In her day the _Cumberland_ had
been as fine a frigate as ever went to sea; but the days of wooden ships
were gone, and she was powerless. Her shot glanced from the sides of the
_Merrimac _like so many peas, while the new monster, coming on under
steam, rammed her in the side and made a great hole through which the
water poured. Even then the commander of the _Cumberland_ would not
surrender, but fought his ship till she filled and sank with her guns
booming and her flag flying. After sinking the _Cumberland_, the
_Merrimac_ attacked the _Congress_, forced her to surrender, set her on
fire, and, as darkness was then coming on, went back to the shelter of
the Confederate batteries.
[Illustration: Monitor, side and deck plan]
%462. The Monitor.%--Early the next day the _Merrimac_ sailed forth
to finish the work of destruction, and picking out the _Minnesota_,
which was hard and fast in the mud, bore down to attack her. When lo!
from beside the _Minnesota_ started forth the most curious-looking craft
ever seen on water. It was the famous _Monitor_, designed by Captain
John Ericsson, to whose inventive genius we owe the screw propeller and
the hot-air engine. She consisted of a small iron hull, on top of which
rested a boat-shaped raft covered with sheets of iron which made the
deck. On top of the deck, which was about three feet above the water,
was an iron cylinder, or turret, which revolved by machinery and carried
two guns. She looked, it was said, like "a cheesebox mounted on a raft."
[Illustration: HAMPTON ROADS]
The _Monitor_ was built at New York, and was intended for harbor
defense; but the fact that the Confederates were building a great
ironclad at Norfolk made it necessary to send her to Hampton Roads. The
sea voyage was a dreadful one; again and again she was almost wrecked,
but she weathered the storm, and early on the evening of March 8, 1862,
entered Hampton Roads, to see the waters lighted up by the burning
_Congress_ and to hear of the sinking of the _Cumberland_. Taking her
place beside the _Minnesota_, she waited for the dawn, and about eight
o'clock saw the _Merrimac_ coming toward her, and, starting out, began
the greatest naval battle of modern times. When it ended, neither ship
was disabled; but they were the masters of the seas, for it was now
proved that no wooden ships anywhere afloat could harm them. The days of
wooden naval vessels were over, and all the nations of the world were
forced to build their navies anew. The _Merrimac_ withdrew from the
fight; when the Confederates evacuated Norfolk, they destroyed her (May,
1862). The _Monitor_ sank in a storm at sea while going to Beaufort,
N.C. (January, 1863).
[Footnote 1: _Battles and Leaders of the Civil War_, Vol. I., pp.
[Illustration: %An encounter at close range%]
%463. Capture of the Coast Forts and Waterways.%--Operations along
the coast were begun in August, 1861, by the capture of the forts at the
mouth of Hatteras Inlet, N.C., the entrance to Pamlico Sound; and by the
capture of Port Royal in November. A few months later (early in 1862)
control of Pamlico and Albemarle sounds was secured by the capture of
Roanoke Island, Elizabeth City, and Newbern, all in North Carolina, and
of Fort Macon, which guarded the entrance to Beaufort harbor.
McClellan's capture of Yorktown in May, 1862, was soon followed by the
hasty evacuation of Norfolk by the Confederate forces, so that at the
end of the first year of the war most of the seacoast from Norfolk to
the Gulf was in Union hands.
Along the Gulf coast naval operations resulted in opening the lower
Mississippi and capturing New Orleans in April, and Pensacola in
In April, 1863, a naval attack on Charleston was planned, but was
carried no farther than a severe battering of Fort Sumter. In August,
1864, Admiral Farragut led his fleet past Forts Morgan and Gaines, that
guarded the entrance of Mobile Bay, captured the Confederate fleet and
took the forts. Mobile, however, was not taken till April, 1865, just as
the Confederacy reached its end. Fort Fisher, which commanded the
entrance to Cape Fear River, on which stood Wilmington, the great port
of entry for blockade runners, fell before the attack of a combined land
and naval force in January, 1865.
1. The naval operations of the war opened with the blockade of the coast
of the Confederate States.
2. This was necessary in order to prevent cotton, sugar, and tobacco
being sent abroad in return for materials of war.
3. As a result blockade running was carried on to a great extent.
4. In order to destroy our commerce a fleet of cruisers was built in
England, purchased and manned by the Confederate government. They
inflicted very serious damage.
5. But the great event of the war was the battle between the ironclads
_Monitor_ and _Merrimac_, which marked the advent of the
iron-armored war ship.
THE COST OF THE WAR
%464. The Cost in Money.%--When Fort Sumter was fired on in 1861 and
Lincoln made his call for volunteers, the national debt was $90,000,000,
the annual revenue was $41,000,000, and the annual expenses of the
government $68,000,000. As the expenses were vastly increased by the
outbreak of war, it became necessary to get more money. To do this,
Congress, when it met in July, 1861, began a financial policy which must
be described if we are to understand the later history of our country.
%465. Power to raise Money.%--The Constitution gives Congress power
1. "To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises."
2. "To borrow money on the credit of the United States."
3. To apportion direct taxes among the several states according to their
%466. Raising Money by Taxation; Internal Revenue.%--Exercising these
powers, Congress in 1861 increased the duties on articles imported, laid
a direct tax of $20,000,000. and imposed a tax of three per cent on
all incomes over $800. The returns were large, but they fell far short
of the needs of the government, and in 1862 an internal revenue system
was created. Taxes were now imposed on spirits and malt liquors; on
manufactured tobacco; on trades, professions, and occupations; till
almost everything a man ate, drank, wore, bought, sold, or owned was
taxed. The revenue collected from such sources between 1862 and 1865 was
%467. Raising Money "on the Credit of the United States."%--Money
raised by internal revenue and the tariff was largely used to pay
current expenses and the interest on the national debt. The great war
expenses were met by borrowing money in two ways:
1. By selling bonds.
2. By issuing "United States notes."
%468. The Bonded and Interest-paying Debt.%--The bonds were
obligations by which the government bound itself to pay the holder the
sum of money specified in the bond at the end of a certain period of
years, as twenty or thirty or forty. Meantime the holder was to be paid
interest at the rate of five, six, or seven per cent a year. Between
July 1, 1861, and August 31, 1865, when our national debt was greatest,
$1,109,000,000 worth of bonds had been sold to the people and the money
used for war purposes.
%469. United States Notes.%--The United States notes were of two
kinds: those which bore interest, and those which did not. Those bearing
interest passed under various names, and by 1866 amounted to
United States notes bearing no interest were the "old demand notes," the
"greenbacks," the "fractional currency," and the "national bank notes."
The greenbacks (a name given them from the green color of their backs)
were authorized early in 1862, were in denominations from $1 up, bore no
interest, were legal tender in payment of all debts, public and private,
except duties on imports and interest on the public debt. In time
$450,000,000 were authorized to be issued, and in 1864, $449,000,000
were in circulation.
%470. Fractional Currency.%--The issue of the demand notes in 1861,
and the fact, apparent to every one, that Congress must keep on issuing
paper money, led the state banks to suspend specie payment in December,
1861. As a consequence, the 3, 5, 10, 25, and 50 cent silver pieces (and
of course all the gold) disappeared from circulation. This left the
people without small change, and for a time they were forced to pay
their car fare and buy their newspapers and make change with postage
stamps and "token" pieces of brass and copper, which passed from hand to
hand as cents. Indeed, one act of Congress, in July, 1862, made it
lawful to receive postage stamps (in sums under $5) in payment of
government dues. But in March, 1863, another step was taken, and an
issue of $50,000,000 in paper fractional currency was authorized.
%471. The National Banking System.%--Yet another financial measure to
aid the government was the creation of national banks. In 1863 Congress
established the office of "Comptroller of the Currency," and authorized
him to permit the establishment of banking associations. Each must
consist of not less than five persons, must have a certain capital, and
must deposit with the Treasury Department at Washington government bonds
equal to at least one third of its capital. The Comptroller was then to
issue to each association bank notes not exceeding in value ninety per
cent of the face value of the bonds. It was supposed that the state
banks, which then issued $150,000,000 in 7000 kinds of bank notes, would
take advantage of the law, become national banks, and use this national
money, which would pass all over the country. This would enable the
government to sell the banks $150,000,000 and more of bonds. But the
state banks did not do so till 1865, when a tax of ten per cent was laid
on the amount of paper money each state bank issued. Then, to get rid of
the tax, hundreds of them bought bonds and became national banks.
%472. The National Debt and State Expenditures.%--On the 31st of
August, 1865, the national debt thus created reached its highest figure,
and was in round numbers $2,845,000,000.
Besides the debt incurred by the national government, there were heavy
expenditures by the states, and we might say by almost every city and
town, amounting to $468,000,000. But even when the war ended, the outlay
on account of the war did not cease. Each year there was interest to
pay on the bonded debt, and pensions to be given to disabled soldiers
and sailors, and to the widows and orphans of men killed, and claims for
damages of all sorts to be allowed. Between July 1, 1861, and June 30,
1879, the expenditure of the government growing out of the war amounted
Many men who served in the army made great personal sacrifices. They
were taken away from some useful employment, from their farms, their
trades, their business, or their professions. What they might have
earned or accomplished during the time of service was so much loss.
%473. The Cost in Human Life.%--While the war was raging, Lincoln
made twelve calls for volunteers, to serve for periods varying from 100
days to three years. The first was the famous call of April 15, 1861,
for 75,000 three-months men; the last was in December, 1864. When the
numbers of soldiers thus summoned from their homes are added, we find
that 2,763,670 were wanted and 2,772,408 responded. This does not mean
that 2,770,000 different men were called into service or were ever at
any one time under arms. Some served for three months, others for six
months, a year, or three years. Very often a man would enlist and when
his term was out would reenlist. The largest number in service at any
time was in April, 1865. It was 1,000,516, of whom 650,000 were fit for
service. In 1865, 800,000 were mustered out between April and October.
Of those who gave their lives to preserve the Union, 67,000 were killed
in battle, 43,000 died of wounds, and 230,000 of disease and other
causes. In round numbers, 360,000 men gave up their lives in defense of
the Union. How many perished in the Confederate army cannot be stated,
but the loss was quite as large as on the Union side; so that it is safe
to say that more than 700,000 men were killed in the war.
[Footnote 1: A table giving the size of the armies and the loss of life
will be found in _Battles and Leaders of the Civil War_, Vol. IV., pp.
%474. Suffering in the South.%--The South raised all the cotton,
nearly all the rice and tobacco, and one third of the Indian corn grown
in our country, and depended on Europe and the North for manufactured
goods. But when the North, in 1861 and 1862, blockaded her ports and cut
off these supplies, her distress began. Brass bells and brass kettles
were called for to be melted and cast into cannon, and every sort of
fowling piece and old musket was pressed into service and sent to the
troops in the field. As money could not be had, treasury notes were
issued by the million, to be redeemed "six months after the close of the
war." Planters were next pledged to loan the government a share of the
proceeds of their cotton, receiving bonds in return. But the blockade
was so rigorous that very little cotton could get to Europe. When this
failed, provisions for the army were bought with bonds and with paper
money issued by the states.
This steady issue of paper money, with nothing to redeem it, led to its
rapid decrease in value. In 1864 it took $40 in Confederate paper money
to buy a yard of calico. A spool of thread cost $20; a ham, $150; a
pound of sugar, $75; and a barrel of flour, $1200.
%475. Makeshifts.%--Thrown on their own resources, the Southern people
became home manufacturers. The inner shuck of Indian corn was made into
hats. Knitting became fashionable. Homespun clothing, dyed with the
extract of black-walnut bark or wild indigo or swamp maple or
elderberries, was worn by everybody. Barrels and boxes which had been
used for packing salt fish and pork were soaked in water, which was
evaporated for the sake of the salt thus extracted. Rye or wheat roasted
and ground became a substitute for coffee, and dried raspberry
leaves for tea.
Quite as desperate were the shifts to which the South was put for
soldiers. At first every young man was eager to rush to the front. But
as time passed, and the great armies of the North were formed, it became
necessary to force men into the ranks, to "conscript" them; and in 1862
an act of the Confederate Congress made all males from eighteen to
thirty-five subject to military duty. In September, 1862, all men from
eighteen to forty-five, and later from sixteen to sixty, were subject to
conscription. The slaves, of course, worked on the fortifications, drove
teams, and cooked for the troops.
%476. Cost to the South%.--Thus drained of her able-bodied
population, the South went rapidly to rack and ruin. Crops fell off,
property fell into decay, business stopped, railroads were ruined
because men could not be had to keep them in repair, and because no
rails could be obtained. The loss inflicted by this general and
widespread ruin can never be even estimated. Cotton, houses, property of
every sort, was destroyed to prevent capture by the Union forces. On
every battlefield incalculable damage was done to woods, villages,
farmhouses, and crops. Bridges were burned; cities, such as Richmond,
Atlanta, Columbia, Charleston, were well-nigh destroyed by fire;
thousands of miles of railroad were torn up and ruined. The loss
entailed by the emancipation of the slaves, supposing each negro worth
$500, amounts to $2,000,000,000.
1. When the war opened, and the army and navy were called into the
field, Congress proceeded to raise money by three methods: A. Increasing
taxation. B. Issuing bonds. C. Issuing paper money.
2. Taxation was in three forms: A. Direct tax. B. Tariff duties. C.
Internal revenue, which included a vast number of taxes.
3. Paper money consisted of treasury notes, United States notes
(greenbacks), fractional currency.
4. Besides the cost to the nation, there was the cost to the states,
counties, cities, and towns for bounties, and in aid of the war in
general; and the cost to individuals.
6. There is again the cost produced by the war and still being paid as
pensions, care of national cemeteries, etc., and interest on the
6. The cost in human life was great to both North and South; there was
also a destruction of property and business, the money value of which
cannot be estimated.
"_THE INDESTRUCTIBLE UNION OF INDESTRUCTIBLE STATES._"
RECONSTRUCTION OF THE SOUTH
%477. The Reelection of Lincoln%.--While the war was still raging,
the time came, in 1864, for the nomination of candidates for the
Presidency and Vice Presidency. The situation was serious. On the one
hand was the Democratic party, denouncing Mr. Lincoln, insisting that
the war was a failure, and demanding peace at any price. On the other
hand was a large faction of the Republican party, finding fault with Mr.
Lincoln because he was not severe enough, because he had done things
they thought the Constitution did not permit him to do, and because he
had fixed the conditions on which people in the so-called seceding
states might send representatives and senators to Congress. Between
these two was a party made up of Republicans and of war Democrats, who
insisted that the Union must be preserved at all costs. These men held a
convention, and dropping the name "Republicans" for the time being, took
that of "National Union party," and renominated Lincoln. For Vice
President they selected Andrew Johnson, a Union man and war Democrat
The dissatisfied or Radical Republicans held a convention and nominated
John C. Fremont and General John Cochrane. They demanded one term for a
President; the confiscation of the land of rebels; the reconstruction of
rebellious states by Congress, not by the President; vigorous war
measures; and the destruction of slavery forever.
The Democrats nominated General George B. McClellan and George H.
Pendleton. The platform demanded "a cessation of hostilities with a view
to a convention of the states," and described the sacrifice of lives and
treasure in behalf of Union as "four years of failure to restore the
Union by the experiment of war." McClellan, in his letter of acceptance,
repudiated both of these sentiments. The platform called for peace
first, and then union if possible. McClellan said union first, and then
peace. "No peace can be permanent without union." The platform said the
war was a failure. McClellan said, "I could not look in the faces of my
gallant comrades of the army and navy ... and tell them that their
labors and the sacrifice of so many of our slain and wounded brethren
had been in vain."
The result was never in doubt. By September Fremont and Cochrane both
withdrew, and in November Lincoln and Johnson were elected, and on March
4, 1865, were sworn into office.
%478. The Murder of Lincoln%.--By that time the Confederacy was
doomed. Sherman had made his march to the sea; Savannah and Charleston
were in Union hands, and Lee hard pressed at Richmond. April 9 he
surrendered, and on April 14, 1865, the fourth anniversary of the
evacuation of Fort Sumter, Anderson, now a major general, visited the
fort which he had so gallantly defended, and in the presence of the army
and navy raised the tattered flag he pulled down in 1861.
That night Lincoln went to Ford's Theater in Washington, and while he
was sitting quietly in his box, an actor named John Wilkes Booth came in
and shot him through the head, causing a wound from which the President
died early next morning. His deed done, the assassin leaped from the box
to the stage, and shouting, "Sic semper tyrannis" (So be it always to
tyrants), the motto of Virginia, made his escape in the confusion of the
moment, and mounting a horse, rode away.
The act of Booth was one result of a conspiracy, the details of which
were soon discovered and the criminals punished. Booth was hunted by
soldiers and shot in a barn in Virginia. His accomplices were either
hanged or imprisoned for life.
[Footnote 1: The best account of the murder of Lincoln is given in "Four
Lincoln Conspiracies" in the _Century Magazine_ for April, 1896.]
%479. Andrew Johnson, President.%--Lincoln had not been many hours
dead when Andrew Johnson, as the Constitution provides, took the oath of
office and became President of the United States. Before him lay the
most gigantic task ever given to any President.
%480. Reconstruction.%--To dispose of the Confederate soldiers and
politicians was an easy matter; but to decide what to do with the
Confederate states proved most difficult. Lincoln had always held that
they could not secede. If they could not secede, they had never been out
of the Union, and if they had never been out of the Union, they were
entitled, as of old, to send senators and representatives to Congress.
[Illustration: Andrew Johnson]
But whether the states had or had not seceded, the old state governments
of 1861, and the relations these governments once held with the Union,
were destroyed by the so-called secession, and it was necessary to
define some way by which they might be reestablished, or, as it was
Toward the end of 1863, accordingly, when the Union army had acquired
possession of Tennessee, Arkansas, and Louisiana, Lincoln issued his
"Amnesty Proclamation" and began the work of reconstruction. He
promised, in the first place, that, with certain exceptions, which he
mentioned, he would pardon every man who should lay down his arms and
swear to support and obey the Constitution, and the Emancipation
Proclamation. He promised, in the second place, that whenever, in any
state that had attempted secession, voters equal in number to one tenth
of those who in 1860 voted for presidential electors, should take this
oath and organize a state government, he would recognize it; that is, he
would consider the state "reconstructed," loyal, and entitled to
representation in Congress.
[Footnote 1: The Constitution gives the President power to pardon all
offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.]
Following out this plan, the people of Arkansas, Tennessee, and
Louisiana made reconstructed state governments which Lincoln recognized.
But here Congress stepped in, refused to seat the senators from these
states, and made a plan of its own, which Lincoln vetoed.
%481. Johnson's "My Policy" Plan of Reconstruction.%--So the matter
stood when Lee and Johnston surrendered, when Davis was captured, and
the Confederacy fell to pieces. All the laws enacted by the Confederate
Congress at once became null and void. Taxes were no longer collected;
letters were no longer delivered; Confederate money had no longer any
value. Even the state governments ceased to have any authority. Bands of
Union cavalry scoured the country, capturing such governors, political
leaders, and prominent men as could be found, and striking terror into
others who fled to places of safety. In the midst of this confusion all
civil government ended. To reestablish it under the Constitution and
laws of the United States was, therefore, the first duty of the
President, and he began to do so at once. First he raised the blockade,
and opened the ports of the South to trade; then he ordered the
Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of the Interior, the
Postmaster-general, the Attorney-general, to see that the taxes were
collected, that letters were delivered, that the courts of the United
States were opened, and the laws enforced in all the Southern States;
finally, he placed over each of the unreconstructed states a temporary
or provisional governor. These governors called conventions of delegates
elected by such white men as were allowed to vote, and these conventions
did four things: 1. They declared the ordinances of secession null and
void. 2. They repudiated every debt incurred in supporting the
Confederacy, and promised never to pay one of them. 3. They abolished
slavery within their own bounds. 4. They ratified the Thirteenth
Amendment to the Constitution, which abolished slavery forever in the
%482. The Thirteenth Amendment%.--This amendment was sent out to the
states by Congress in February, 1865, and was necessary to complete the
work begun by the Emancipation Proclamation. That proclamation merely
set free the slaves in certain parts of the country, and left the right
to buy more untouched. Again, certain slave states (Delaware, Maryland,
West Virginia, Kentucky, Missouri) had not seceded, and in them slavery
still existed. In order, therefore, to abolish the institution of
slavery in every state in the Union, an amendment to the Constitution
was necessary, as many of the states could not be relied on to abolish
it within their bounds by their own act. The amendment was formally
proclaimed a part of the Constitution on December 18, 1865.
[Footnote 1: Before an amendment proposed by Congress can become a part
of the Constitution, it must be accepted or ratified by the legislatures
of three fourths of all the states. In 1865 there were thirty-six states
in the Union, and of these, sixteen free, and eleven slave states
ratified the Thirteenth Amendment, and so made it part of the
Constitution. When an amendment has been ratified by the necessary
number of states, the President states the fact in a proclamation.]
%483. Treatment of the Freedmen in the South%.--Had the Southern
legislatures stopped here, all would have been well. But they went on,
and passed a series of laws concerning vagrants, apprentices, and
paupers, which kept the negroes in a state of involuntary servitude, if
not in actual slavery.
To the men of the South, who feared that the ignorant negroes would
refuse to work, these laws seemed to be necessary. But by the men of the
North they were regarded as signs of a determination on the part of
Southern men not to accept the abolition of slavery. When, therefore,
Congress met in December, 1865, the members were very angry because the
President had reconstructed the late Confederate states in his own way
without consulting Congress, and because these states had made such
severe laws against the negroes.
%484. Congressional Plan of Reconstruction%.--As soon as the two
houses were organized, the President and his work were ignored, the
senators and representatives from the eleven states that had seceded
were refused seats in Congress, and a series of acts were passed to
protect the freedmen.
One of these, enacted in March, 1866, was the "Civil Rights" Bill, which
gave negroes all the rights of citizenship and permitted them to sue for
any of these rights (when deprived of them) in the United States courts.
This was vetoed; but Congress passed the bill over the veto. Now, a law
enacted by one Congress can, of course, be repealed by another, and lest
this should be done, and the freedmen be deprived of their civil rights,
Congress (June, 1866) passed the Fourteenth Amendment to the
Constitution, and made the ratification of it by the Southern States a
condition of readmittance to Congress.
Finally, a Freedmen's Bureau Bill, ordering the sale of government land
to negroes on easy terms, and giving them military protection for their
rights, was passed over the President's veto, just before Congress
%485. The President abuses Congress%.--During the summer, Johnson
made speeches at Western cities, in which, in very coarse language, he
abused Congress, calling it a Congress of only part of the states; "a
factious, domineering, tyrannical Congress," "a Congress violent in
breaking up the Union." These attacks, coupled with the fact that some
of the Southern States, encouraged by the President's conduct, rejected
the Fourteenth Amendment, made Congress, when it met in December, 1866,
more determined than ever. By one act it gave negroes the right to vote
in the territories and in the District of Columbia. By another it
compelled the President to issue his orders to the army through General
Grant, for Congress feared that he would recall the troops stationed in
the South to protect the freedmen. But the two important acts were the
"Tenure of Office Act" and "Reconstruction Act" (March 2, 1867).
%486. The Reconstruction Act%.--The Reconstruction Act marked out the
ten unreconstructed states (Tennessee had been admitted to Congress in
March, 1866) into five districts, with an army officer in command of
each, and required the people of each state to make a new constitution
giving negroes the right to vote, and send the constitution to Congress.
If Congress accepted it, and if the legislature assembled under it
ratified the Fourteenth Amendment, they might send senators and
representatives to Congress, and not before.
To these terms six states (North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida,
Alabama, Louisiana, and Arkansas) submitted, and in June, 1868, they
were readmitted to Congress. Their ratification of the Fourteenth
Amendment made it a part of the Constitution, and in July, 1868, it was
declared in force.
%487. "Tenure of Office Act"; Johnson impeached%--By this time the
quarrel between the President and Congress had reached such a crisis
that the Republican, leaders feared he would obstruct the execution of
the reconstruction law by removing important officials chiefly
responsible for its administration, and putting in their places men who
would not enforce it. To prevent this, Congress, in 1867, passed the
"Tenure of Office Act." Hitherto a President could remove almost any
Federal office holder at pleasure. Henceforth he could only suspend
while the Senate examined into the cause of suspension. If it approved,
the man was removed; if it disapproved, the man was reinstated. Johnson
denied the right of Congress to make such a law, and very soon
In August, 1867, he asked Secretary of War Stanton to resign, and when
the Secretary refused, suspended him and made General Grant temporary
Secretary. All this was legal, but when Congress met, and the Senate
disapproved of the suspension, General Grant gave the office back again
to Stanton. Johnson then appointed General Lorenzo Thomas Secretary of
War, and ordered him to seize the office. For this, and for his abusive
speeches about Congress, the House of Representatives impeached him, and
the Senate tried him "for high crimes and misdemeanors," but failed by
one vote to find him guilty. Stanton then resigned his office.
1. In 1864 the Republican party was split, and one part, taking the name
of National Union party, renominated Lincoln. The other or radical wing,
which wanted a more vigorous war policy, nominated Fremont and Cochrane.
The Democrats declared the war a failure, demanded peace, and nominated
McClellan and Pendleton.
2. The gradual conquest of the South brought up the question of the
relation to the Federal government of a state which had seceded.
3. Lincoln marked out his own plan of reconstruction in an amnesty
proclamation. Congress thought he had no right to do this, and adopted a
plan which Lincoln vetoed. His death left the question for Johnson
4. Johnson adopted a plan of his own and soon came into conflict with
5. Congress began by refusing seats to congressmen from states
reconstructed on Johnson's plan. It then passed, over Johnson's veto, a
series of bills to protect the freedmen and give them civil rights.
6. Six states accepted the terms of reconstruction offered, and their
senators and representatives were admitted to Congress (1868).
7. Johnson, in 1866, traveled about the West abusing Congress. For this,
and chiefly for his disregard of the Tenure of Office Act, he was
impeached by the House and tried and acquitted by the Senate.
* * * * *
Lincoln's plan ...
States cannot secede; only some of their people were in insurrection.
Recognizes Arkansas, Tennessee, and Louisiana.
Johnson's plan ...
Ratify Thirteenth Amendment.
New state constitutions made.
Congressional plan ...
Congress refuses them seats.
Civil Rights Bill.
Freedmen's Bureau Bill.
Tenure of Office Act.
Johnson _vs._ Congress ...
Vetoes Civil Rights Bill.
Freedmen's Bureau Bill.
Violates Tenure of Office Act.
THE NEW WEST (1860-1870)
%488. Discovery of Gold near Pikes Peak.%--In the summer of 1858 news
reached the Missouri that gold had been found on the eastern slope of
the Rockies, and at once a wild rush set in for the foot of Pikes Peak,
in what was then Kansas.
[Illustration: Crossing the plains]
During 1858 a party from the gold mines of Georgia pitched a camp on
Cherry Creek and called the place Aurania. Later, in the winter, they
were joined by General Larimer with a party from Leavenworth, Kan., and
by them the rude camp at Aurania was renamed Denver, in honor of the
governor of Kansas. In another six months emigrants came pouring in from
every point along the frontier. Some, providing themselves with great
white-covered wagons, drawn by horses, oxen, or mules, joined forces for
better protection against the Indians, and set out together, making
long wagon trains or caravans. All were accompanied by men fully armed.
Such as could not afford a "prairie schooner," as the canvas-covered
wagon was called, put their worldly goods into handcarts.
By 1859 Denver was a settlement of 1000 people. They needed supplies,
and, to meet this demand, the firm of Russell, Majors, and Waddell put a
daily line of coaches on the road from Leavenworth to Denver. This means
of communication brought so many settlers that by 1860 Denver was a city
of frame and brick houses, with two theaters, two newspapers, and a mint
for coining gold.
%489. The Pony Express; the Overland Stage.%--By that time, too, the
first locomotive had reached the frontier of Kansas. But between the
Missouri and the Pacific there was still a gap of 2000 miles which the
settlers demanded should be spanned at once, and it was. In 1860 the
same firm that sent the first stagecoach over the prairie from
Leavenworth to Denver, ran a pony express from the Missouri to the
Pacific. Their plan was to start at St. Joseph, Mo., and send the mail
on horseback across the continent to San Francisco. As the speed must be
rapid, there must be frequent relays. Stations were therefore
established every twenty-five miles, and at them fresh horses and riders
were kept. Mounted on a spirited Indian pony, the mail carrier would set
out from St. Joseph and gallop at breakneck speed to the first relay
station, swing himself from his pony, vault into the saddle of another
standing ready, and dash on toward the next station. At every third
relay a fresh rider took the mail. Day and night, in sunshine and storm,
over prairie and mountain, the mail carrier pursued his journey alone.
The cost in human life was immense. The first riders made the journey of
1996 miles in ten days. Next came the Wells and Fargo Express, and then
the Butterfield Overland Stage Company.
%490. The Union Pacific Railroad; the Land Grant Roads.%--Meantime
the war opened, and an idea often talked of took definite shape.
California had scarcely been admitted, in 1850, when the plan to bind
her firmly to the Union by a great railroad, built at national cost, was
urged vigorously. By 1856 the people began to demand it, and in that
year the Republican party, and in 1860 both the Republican and
Democratic parties, pledged themselves to build one. The secession of
the South, and the presence at Denver of a growing population, made the
need imperative, and in 1862 Congress began the work.
Two companies were chartered. One, the Union Pacific, was to begin at
Omaha and build westward. The other, the Central Pacific, was to begin
at Sacramento and build eastward till the two met. The Union Pacific was
to receive from the government a subsidy in bonds of $16,000 for each
mile built across the plains, $48,000 for each of 150 miles across the
Rocky Mountains, and $32,000 a mile for the rest of the way. It received
all told on its 1033 miles $27,226,000. The Central Pacific, under like
conditions, received for its 883 miles from San Francisco to Ogden
$27,850,000. But the liberality of Congress did not end here. Each road
was also given every odd-numbered section in a strip of public land
twenty miles wide along its entire length.
%491. Land Grants for Railroads and Canals.%--Grants of land in aid
of such improvements were not new. Between 1827 and 1860 Congress gave
away to canals, roads, and railroads 215,000,000 acres. This magnificent
expanse would make seven states as large as Pennsylvania, or three and a
half as large as Oregon, and is only 6000 acres less than the total area
of the thirteen original states with their present boundaries.
Although the roads were chartered in 1862, the work of construction was
slow at first, and the last rail was not laid till May 10, 1869.
%492. The Silver Mines; New States and Territories.%--What the
discovery of gold did for California and Denver, silver and the railroad
did for the country east of the Sierras. In 1859 some gold seekers in
what was then Utah discovered the rich silver mines on Mt. Davidson.
Population rushed in, Virginia City sprang into existence, the territory
of Nevada was formed in 1861, and in 1864 entered the Union as a state.
In 1861 Colorado was made a territory, and what is now North and South
Dakota and the land west of them to the Rocky Mountain divide became the
territory of Dakota. Hardly was this done when gold was found in a gulch
on the Jefferson Fork of the Missouri River. Bannock City, Virginia
City, and Helena were laid out almost immediately, and in 1864 Montana
was made a territory. In 1860 and 1862 precious metals were found in
what was then eastern Washington; Lewiston, Idaho City, and the old
Hudson Bay Company's post of Fort Boise became thriving towns, and in
1863 the territory of Idaho was formed, with limits including what is
now Montana and part of Wyoming. In 1863 Arizona was cut off from New
Mexico, and in 1868 Wyoming was made a territory.
%493. Population in 1870.%--Thus in the decade from 1860 to 1870
gold, silver, and the Pacific Railroad gave value to the American
Desert, brought two states (Nevada and Nebraska) into the Union, and
caused the organization of six new territories. More than 1,000,000
people then lived along the line of the Union Pacific. Our total
population in 1870 was 38,000,000.
1. What the discovery of gold did for California in 1849, it did for the
"Great American Desert" in 1858.
2. The consequences were the founding of Denver, the establishment of a
stagecoach line from the Missouri to Denver, the pony express to the
Pacific; the overland coach; and the Pacific Railroad.
3. Gold, the railroad, and the silver mines led to the organization of
Colorado, Nevada, Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming, and the admission of
Nebraska and Nevada into the Union.
4. Other causes led to the organization of Arizona and Dakota.
New States (1860-1870).
West Virginia, 1863.
Total number of states in 1870, 37.
New Territories (1860-1870).
_THE ECONOMIC STRUGGLE_
POLITICS FROM 1868 TO 1880
%494. New Issues before the People.%--Five years had now passed since
the surrender of Lee, and nine since the firing on Sumter. During these
years the North, aroused and united by the efforts put forth to crush
the Confederacy, had entered on a career of prosperity and development
greater than ever enjoyed in the past. With this changed condition came
new issues, some growing out of the results of the war, and some out of
the development of the country.
%495. Amnesty.%--In the first place, now that the war was over, the
people were heartily tired of war issues. Taking advantage of this,
certain political leaders began, about 1870, to demand a "general
amnesty"  or forgiveness for the rebels, and a stoppage of
reconstructive measures by Congress.
[Footnote 1: In 1863, Lincoln offered "full pardon" to "all persons"
except the leaders of the "existing rebellion." Johnson, in 1865, again
offered amnesty, but increased the classes of excepted persons; and,
though in the autumn of 1867 he cut down the list, he nevertheless left
a great many men unpardoned.]
%496. The National Finances.%--A second issue resulting from the war
was the management of the national finances. January 1, 1866, the
national debt amounted to $2,740,000,000, including (1) the bonded debt
of $1,120,000,000, and (2) the unbonded or floating debt of
$1,620,000,000, that part made up of "greenbacks," fractional currency,
treasury notes, and the like. Two problems were thus brought before
1. What shall be done with the national bonded debt?
2. How shall the paper money be disposed of and "specie payment"
As to the first question, it was decided to pay the bonds as fast as
possible; and by 1873 the debt was reduced by more than $500,000,000.
As to the second question, it was decided to "contract the currency" by
gathering into the Treasury and there canceling the "greenbacks." This
was begun, and their amount was reduced from $449,000,000 in 1864 to
$356,000,000 in 1868.
By that time a large part of the people in the West were finding fault
with "contraction." Calling in the greenbacks, they held, was making
money scarce and lowering prices. Congress, therefore, in 1868 yielded
to the pressure, and ordered that further contraction should stop and
that there should not be less than $356,000,000 of greenbacks.
%497. "The Ohio Idea"; the Greenback Party.%--But there was still
another idea current. To understand this, six facts must be remembered.
1. In 1862 Congress ordered the issue of certain 5-20 bonds; that is,
bonds that might be paid after five years, but must be paid in twenty
years. 2. The interest on these bonds was made payable "in coin." 3. But
nothing was said in the bond as to the kind of money in which the
principal should be paid. 4. When the greenbacks were issued, the law
said they should be "lawful money and a legal tender for all debts,
public and private, within the United States, except duties on imports
and interest as aforesaid." 5. This made it possible to pay the
principal of the 5-20 bonds in greenbacks instead of coin. 6. Fearing
that payment of the principal in greenbacks might have a bad effect on
future loans, Congress, when it passed the next act (March 3, 1863) for
borrowing money, provided that _both_ principal and interest should be
paid in coin.
At that time and long after the war "coin" commanded a premium; that is,
it took more than 100 cents in paper money to buy 100 cents in gold.
Anybody who owned a bond could therefore sell the coin he received as
interest for paper and so increase the rate of interest measured in
paper money. The bonds, again, could not be taxed by any state or
Because of these facts, there arose a demand after the war for two
things--taxation of the bonds and payment of the 5-20's in greenbacks.
This idea was so prevalent in Ohio in 1868 that it was called the "Ohio
idea," and its supporters were called "Greenbackers."
%498. Opposition to Land Grants to Railroads.%--Much fault was now
found with Congress for giving away such great tracts of the public
domain. In 1862 a law known as the Homestead Act was passed. By it a
farm of 80 or 160 acres was to be given to any head of a family, or any
person twenty-one years old, who was a citizen of the United States or,
being foreign born, had declared an intention to become a citizen,
provided he or she lived on the farm and cultivated it for five years.
Under this great and generous law 103,000 entries for 12,000,000 acres
were made between 1863 and 1870. This showed that the people wanted land
and was one reason why it should not be given to corporations.
%499. The Election of 1868.%--The questions discussed above (pp.
437-439) became the political issues of 1868.
The Republicans nominated Grant and Schuyler Colfax and declared for the
payment of all bonds in coin; for a reduction of the national debt and
the rate of interest; and for the encouragement of immigration.
The Democrats nominated Horatio Seymour and Francis P. Blair, and
demanded amnesty; rapid payment of the debt; "one currency for the
government, and the people, the laborer, and the office holder"; the
taxation of government bonds; and no land grants for public
The popular vote was 5,700,000. In the electoral college Grant had 214
votes, and Seymour 80.
%500. Troubles in the South; the Ku Klux Klan.%--Grant and Colfax
began their term of office on March 4, 1869, and soon found that the
reconstruction policy of Congress had not been so successful as they
could wish, and that the work of protecting the freedman in the exercise
of his new rights was not yet completed. Three states (Virginia,
Mississippi, and Texas) had not yet complied with the conditions
imposed by Congress, and were still refused seats in the House and
Senate. No sooner had the others complied with the Reconstruction Act of
1867, and given the negro the right to vote, than a swarm of Northern
politicians, generally of the worst sort, went down and, as they said,
"ran things." They began by persuading the negroes that their old
masters were about to put them back into slavery, that it was only by
electing Union men to office that they could remain free; and having by
this means obtained control of the negro vote, they were made governors
and members of Congress, and were sent to the state legislature, where,
seated beside negroes who could neither read nor write, but who voted as
ordered, these "carpetbaggers,"  as they were called, ruled the states
in the interest of themselves rather than in that of the people.
[Footnote 1: As the men were not natives of the South, had no property
there, and were mostly political adventurers, they were called
"carpetbaggers," or men who owned nothing save what they brought in
Now, you must remember that in many of the Southern states the negro
voters greatly outnumbered the white voters, because there were more
black men than white men, and because many of the whites were still
disfranchised; that is, could not vote. When these men, who were
property owners and taxpayers, found that the carpetbaggers, by means of
the negro vote, were plundering and robbing the states, they determined
to prevent the negro from voting, and so drive the carpetbaggers from
the legislatures. To do this, in many parts of the South they formed
secret societies, called "The Invisible Empire" and "The Ku Klux Klan."
Completely disguised by masks and outlandish dresses, the members rode
at night, and whipped, maimed, and even murdered the objects of their
wrath, who were either negroes who had become local political leaders,
or carpetbaggers, or "scalawags," as the Southern whites who supported
the negro cause were called.
%501. The Fifteenth Amendment.%--To secure the negro the right to
vote, and make it no longer dependent on state action, a Fifteenth
Amendment was passed by Congress in February, 1869, and, after
ratification by the necessary number of states, was put in force in
March, 1870. As the Ku Klux were violating this amendment, by preventing
the negroes from voting, Congress, in 1871, passed the "Ku Klux" or
"Force" Act. It prescribed fine and imprisonment for any man convicted
of hindering, or even attempting to hinder, any negro from voting, or
the votes, when cast, from being counted.
[Illustration: U. S. Grant]
%502. Rise of the Liberal Republicans.%--This legislation and the
conflicts that grew out of it in Louisiana kept alive the old issue of
amnesty, and in Missouri split the Republican party and led to the rise
of a new party, which received the name of "Liberal Republicans,"
because it was in favor of a more liberal treatment of the South. From
Missouri, the movement spread into Iowa, into Kansas, into Illinois, and
into New Jersey, and by 1872 was serious enough to encourage the leaders
to call for a national convention which gathered at Cincinnati (May,
1872), and, after declaring for amnesty, universal suffrage, civil
service reform, and no more land grants to railroads, nominated Horace
Greeley, of New York, for President, and B. Gratz Brown, the Liberal
leader of Missouri, for Vice President. The nomination of Greeley
displeased a part of the convention, which went elsewhere, and nominated
W. S. Groesbeck and F. L. Olmsted. The Republicans met at Philadelphia
in June, and nominated Grant and Henry Wilson. The Democrats pledged
their support to Greeley and Brown; but this act displeased so many of
the Democratic party, that another convention was held, and Charles
O'Conor and John Quincy Adams were placed in the field.
%503. The National Labor-Reform Party.%--From about 1829, when the
establishment of manufactures, the building of turnpikes and canals, the
growth of population, the rise of great cities, and the arrival of
emigrants from Europe led to the appearance of a great laboring class,
the workingman had been in politics. But it was not till the close of
the war that labor questions assumed national importance. In 1865 the
first National Labor Congress was held at Louisville in Kentucky. In
1866 a second met at Baltimore; a third at Chicago in 1867; and a fourth
at New York in 1868, to which came woman suffragists and labor-reform
agitators. The next met at Philadelphia in 1869 and called for a great
National Labor Congress which met at Cincinnati in 1870 and demanded
1. Lower interest on government bonds.
2. Repeal of the law establishing the national banks.
3. Withdrawal of national bank notes.
4. Issue of paper money "based on the faith and resources of the
nation," to be legal tender for all debts.
5. An eight-hour law.
6. Exclusion of the Chinese.
7. No land grants to corporations.
8. Formation of a "National Labor-Reform Party."
The idea of a new party with such principles was so heartily approved,
that a national convention met at Columbus, O., in 1872, denounced
Chinese labor, demanded taxation of government bonds, and nominated
David Davis and Joel Parker. When they declined, O'Conor was nominated.
%504. Anti-Chinese Movement.%--The demand in the Labor platform for
the exclusion of Chinese makes it necessary to say a word concerning
Chinamen were attracted to our shore by the discovery of gold in
California, but received little attention till 1852, when the governor
in a message reminded the legislature that the Chinese came not as
freemen, but were sent by foreign capitalists under contract; that they
were the absolute slaves of these masters; that the gold they dug out of
our soil was sent to China; that they could not become citizens; and
that they worked for wages so low that no American could compete
The legislature promptly acted, and repeatedly attempted to stop their
immigration by taxing them. But the Supreme Court declared such taxation
illegal, whereupon, the state having gone as far as it could, an appeal
was made to Congress. That body was deaf to all entreaties; but the
President through Anson Burlingame in 1868 secured some new articles to
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