A Military Genius - Life of Anna Ella Carroll of Maryland
by Sarah Ellen Blackwell
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I enclose you a letter describing the battle of Pittsburg Landing, which will interest you.

Very sincerely,


* * * * *

Extract from the letter to the Secretary of War on the 15th of May, 1862, advising the occupation of Vicksburg:

* * * "It will be the obvious policy of the rebels, in the event of Beauregard's defeat, to send a large column into Texas for the purpose of holding that country for subsistence, where beef and wheat abound. This can be defeated by strongly occupying Vicksburg and plying a gunboat, to be placed at the mouth of the Red and Arkansas rivers." * * * "Whether the impending battle in North Mississippi should occur at Corinth or within the area of a hundred miles, a large part of the enemy's forces will retreat by the Yazoo river, and by the railroad to Vicksburg, on the Mississippi, and will take the railroad through Louisiana into Texas." * * *

* * * * *

On the following Monday Miss Carroll handed Mr. Watson a letter giving information that the canoes, skiffs, and other transports had been sent up the Yazoo from Memphis and Vicksburg for the purpose, undoubtedly, of securing the rebels' retreat from our pursuing army.

Letter from the file of the Attorney General, Court of Claims:[29]

[Footnote 29: Copied by me from the file at the office of the Attorney General, March 23, 1891. S. E. BLACKWELL.]

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

Sir: I find that the Secretary of War and the President are violently assailed for arresting certain parties in the loyal States and suspending the writ of habeas corpus. It is represented that a high judicial officer in the State of Vermont has taken issue with the Administration on this question. It is also intimated that the State authorities, in Vermont and elsewhere, are to be invoked for the protection of the citizen against military arrests. There is very great danger at this time to be apprehended to the country from a conflict between the military and the judicial authorities, because the opinion is almost universal that the authority to suspend the writ of habeas corpus rests with Congress. The reason that this opinion has so generally obtained is that in England, whence we have derived much of our political and judicial system, the power to suspend the writ is vested alone in Parliament; and our jurists, without reflecting upon the distinction between the constitutions of the two Governments, have erroneously made the English theory applicable to our own.

I believe in my work on the "War Powers of the Government," etc., I was the first writer who has succeeded in placing the power of the Government to arrest for political offences, and to suspend the writ of habeas corpus, on its true foundation. In the opinion of eminent men, if this work were now placed in the hands of every lawyer and judge it would stay the evil which threatens to arise from a conflict between the military and judicial departments of the country. I therefore respectfully suggest the propriety of authorizing me to circulate a large edition of this work, or, what would be still better, that I should write a new paper, specially on the power of the Executive to suspend the writ of habeas corpus, and to arrest political offenders.


* * * * *

In October, 1862, Miss Carroll wrote the following letter to the Secretary of War, through the hands of John Tucker, Assistant Secretary, on the reduction of Vicksburg:

"As I understand an expedition is about to go down the river for the purpose of reducing Vicksburg, I have prepared the enclosed map in order to demonstrate more clearly the obstacles to be encountered in the contemplated assault. In the first place, it is impossible to take Vicksburg in front without too great a loss of life and material, for the reason that the river is only about half a mile wide, and our forces would be in point-blank range of their guns, not only from their water batteries, which line the shore, but from the batteries that crown the hills, while the enemy would be protected by the elevation from the range of our fire. By examining the map I enclose you will at once perceive why a place of so little apparent strength has been enabled to resist the combined fleets of the upper and lower Mississippi. The most economical plan for the reduction of Vicksburg now is to push a column from Memphis to Corinth, down the Mississippi Central railroad to Jackson, the capital of the State of Mississippi. The occupation of Jackson and the command of the railroad to New Orleans would compel the immediate evacuation of Vicksburg, as well as the retreat of the entire rebel army east of that line, and by another movement of our army from Jackson, Mississippi, or from Corinth to Meridian, in the State of Mississippi, on the Ohio and Mobile railroad, especially if aided by a movement of our gunboats on Mobile, the Confederate forces, with all the disloyal men and their slaves, would be compelled to fly east of the Tombigbee. Mobile being then in our possession, with 100,000 men at Meridian we would redeem the entire country from Memphis to the Tombigbee river. Of course I would have the gunboats with a small force at Vicksburg as auxiliary to this movement. With regard to the canal, Vicksburg can be rendered useless to the Confederate army upon the first rise of the river; but I do not advise this, because Vicksburg belongs to the United States and we desire to hold and fortify it, for the Mississippi river at Vicksburg and the Vicksburg-Jackson railroad will become necessary as a base of our future operations. Vicksburg might have been reduced eight months ago, as I then advised, after the fall of Fort Henry, and with much more ease than it can be done to-day."

* * * * *

WASHINGTON, D. C., May 10, 1876.

My Dear Miss Carroll:

Referring to the conversation with Judge Evans last evening, he called my attention to Colonel Scott's telegram, announcing the fall of Island No. 10, in 1862, as endorsing your plan, when Scott said: "The movement in the rear has done the work." I stated to the Judge, as he and you knew before, that your paper on the reduction of Vicksburg did the work on that place, after being so long baffled and with the loss of so much life and treasure, by trying to take it from the water; that to my knowledge your paper was approved and adopted by the Secretary of War and the President, and immediately sent out to the proper military authority in that Department.

I remember well their remarks upon it at that time, and of all your other views and suggestions, made after we got the expedition inaugurated, and know the direction they took. These matters were often talked over as the campaign advanced, and in the very last interview with Mr. Stanton, just before his death, he referred to your services in originating the campaign in the strongest terms he could express, and, as I have informed you, stated that if his life was spared he would discharge the great duty of seeing your services to the country properly recognized and rewarded. But why need I say more. Your claim is established beyond controversy, unless the witnesses are impeached, and I hardly think they would undertake that business. What motive could any of us have had to mislead or falsify the history of the war. Your claim is righteous and just, if ever there was one, and for the honor of my country I trust and hope you will be suitably rewarded and so declared before the world.

Yours truly,


* * * * *

Miss Carroll's after papers, so far as I can learn, were mainly on emancipation, on the ballot, and on reconstruction.



Very curious is the picture revealed by the Congressional records. Fully as Lincoln and his Military Committee recognize the genius of the remarkable woman now taking the lead, it needs great courage to adopt her plans.

"Mr. Lincoln and Stanton are opposed to having it known that the armies are moving under the plan of a civilian, directed by the President as Commander-in-Chief. Mr. Lincoln says it was that which made him hesitate to inaugurate the movement against the opinions of the military commanders, and he says he does not want to risk the effect it might have upon the armies if they found that some outside party had originated the campaign; that he wanted the country and the armies to believe they were doing the whole business in saving the country."

Judge Wade alludes to a remark about the sword of Gideon, made by Secretary Stanton, and says that was done to maintain the policy of secrecy as to the origin of the plan. Strict silence is counselled as absolutely necessary, and Anna Ella Carroll is not the woman to allow a thought of self to interfere with her plans for the salvation of her country.

Rapid and brilliant is the success of that Tennessee campaign, planned and supervised by that able head. Her papers, as the campaign progresses, are as remarkable as the original plan. On the fall of Fort Henry she prepares a paper on the feasibility of advancing immediately on Mobile or Vicksburg, without turning to the right or left. She carries it, in person, to the War Department and delivers it into the hands of Assistant Secretary Tucker, who takes it at once to the Secretary of War.

She exhibits also a copy of the original plan, submitted on the 30th of November, 1861.

Mr. Tucker remarks: "This is prophecy fulfilled so far," and says he knows her to be the author, Colonel Scott having so informed him before he left for the West.

Notwithstanding some blunders in the execution, the campaign progresses, as the authorities at the War Office testify, "mainly in accordance with Miss Carroll's suggestions."

The fall of Fort Henry having opened the navigation of the Tennessee river, its capture is followed by the evacuation of Columbus and Bowling Green. Fort Donelson is given up and its garrison of 14,000 troops are marched out as prisoners of war; Pittsburg Landing and Corinth follow. The Confederate leaders discover with consternation that the key to the whole situation has been found. All Europe rings with the news of victories that have reversed the probabilities of the war.

On the 10th of April, four months after the adoption of Miss Carroll's plans, President Lincoln issues a proclamation thanking Almighty God for the "signal victories which have saved the country from foreign intervention and invasion."

* * * * *


* * * * *


March 6, 1862.

"It is now apparent that we are at the beginning of the end of the attempted revolution. Cities, districts, and States are coming back under Federal authority."

* * * * *


March 6, 1862.

"We are anxiously awaiting the news by every steamer, but not for the same reasons as before; the pressure for interference here has disappeared."

* * * * *


March 25, 1862.

"The Emperor said that he must frankly say that when the insurrection broke out and this concession of belligerent rights was made he did not suppose the North would succeed; that it was the general belief of the statesmen of Europe that the two sections would never come together again."

* * * * *


March 31, 1862.

"I again called the Emperor's attention to the propriety of his Government retracing its steps in regard to its concession to the insurrectionists of belligerent rights, referring him to the consideration in regard thereto contained in your former dispatches. He said, 'It would scarcely be worthy of a great power, now that the South was beaten, to withdraw a concession made to them in the day of their strength.'"

* * * * *


April 10, 1862.

"It has pleased Almighty God to vouchsafe signal victories to the land and naval forces engaged in suppressing an internal rebellion, and at the same time to avert from our country the danger of foreign intervention and invasion."

* * * * *


May 7, 1862.

"The proclamation of commerce which is made may be regarded by the maritime powers as an announcement that the Republic has passed the danger of disunion."

* * * * *

Great enthusiasm is felt at Washington and throughout the country, as it becomes evident that a brilliant and successful plan has been adopted, and great anxiety is evinced to find out and reward the author.

For this purpose a lively debate takes place in the House of Representatives for the avowed purpose of finding out whether "these victories were arranged or won by men sitting at a distance, engaged in organizing victory," or whether "they have been achieved by bold and resolute men left free to act and to conquer." No one knows.

Mr. Conkling proposes to "thank Halleck and Grant."

Mr. Washburne thinks "General McClernand and General Logan should be included."

Mr. Cox thinks "General Smith is entitled to an equal degree of the glory."

Mr. Holman thinks "General Wallace should have a fair share."

Mr. Mallory thinks "General Buell should not be forgotten."

Mr. Kellogg thinks all these suggestions derogatory to President Lincoln, as Commander-in-Chief. He desires "it to be remembered that subordinate officers by law are under the control and command of the Commander-in-Chief of the American Army." He believes "there is, emanating from the Commander-in-Chief of the American forces, through his first subordinates, and by them to the next, and so continuously down to the soldiers who fight upon the battlefield, a well digested, clear, and definite policy of campaign, that is in motion to put down this rebellion;" and he "here declares that he believes that the system of movements that has culminated in glorious victories, and which will soon put down this rebellion, finds root, brain, and execution in the Commanding General of the American Army and the Chief Executive of the American people."

Mr. Olin says: "If it be the object of the House, before passing a vote of thanks, to ascertain who was the person who planned and organized these victories, then it would be eminently proper to request the Secretary of War to give us that information. That would satisfy the gentleman and the House directly as to who was the party that planned these military movements. It is sufficient for the present that somebody has planned and executed these military movements. Still, if the gentleman has any desire to know who originated these movements, he can ascertain that fact by inquiring at the proper office, for certainly some one at the War Department must be informed on the subject. The Secretary of War knows whether he had anything to do with them or not; the Commanding General knows whether he had anything to do with them or not. If neither of them had anything to do with them, they will cheerfully say so."

But at the War Department it has been determined that the secret must be kept so long as the war continues, and this noble, silent woman sits in the gallery listening to all this discussion and makes no claim, knowing well the injury that it would be to the national cause if it should be known that the plan was the work of a civilian, and, above all, a woman—a creature despised and ignored, not even counted as one of "the people" in the sounding profession made of human rights a hundred years ago.

The House of Representatives having failed to discover the author of the campaign, on March 13th, 1862, the Senate makes a similar attempt.

Mr. Washburne and Mr. Grimes think "it is Commodore Foote who should be thanked." But no one knows.

Again that wonderful, quiet woman in the gallery sits silently listening to all their talking and discussing.

She speaks of it afterwards to Colonel Scott; refers to the discussions which had taken place in Congress to find out who had devised the movement, and to the fact that she had preserved entire silence while the debate went on, claiming it for one and another of the generals of the war.

Colonel Scott says she has "acted very properly in the matter; that there is no question of her being entitled to the vote of thanks by Congress; that she has saved incalculable millions to the country, etc., but that it would not do while the struggle lasted to make a public claim;" and also states that the War Power pamphlet has done much good, and he has heard it frequently referred to while in the West.

Judge Wade discusses the matter and says it greatly adds to the merit of the author that it was not made known. "Where is there another man or woman," says Judge Wade, turning to Judge Evans, "who would have kept silence when so much could have come personally from an open avowal." Judge Evans says he has reproached himself more than once that he had not in some way made known what he knew, but was constrained to silence by considerations of patriotism that were above all else at that time.

Hon. Benjamin F. Wade, Chairman of the Committee on the Conduct of the War, afterward writes to Miss Carroll:

"I have sometimes reproached myself that I had not made known the author when they were discussing the resolution in Congress to find out; but Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Stanton were opposed to its being known that the armies were moving under the plan of a civilian. Mr. Lincoln wanted the armies to believe that they were doing the whole business of saving the country."

Mr. Wade also writes to Miss Carroll:

"The country, almost in her last extremity, was saved by your sagacity and unremitting labor; indeed, your services were so great that it is hard to make the world believe it. That all this great work should be brought about by a woman is inconceivable to vulgar minds. You cannot be deprived of the honor of having done greater and more efficient services for the country in time of her greatest peril than any other person in the Republic, and a knowledge of this cannot be long repressed."

Col. Thomas A. Scott, Assistant Secretary of War, to whom her plans were submitted, informs her in 1862 that "the adoption of her plan has saved the country millions of money."

Hon. L. D. Evans, justice of the supreme court of Texas, in a pamphlet entitled "The Material Bearing of the Tennessee Campaign in 1862 upon the Destinies of our Civil War," shows that no military plan could have saved the country except this, and that this was unthought of and unknown until suggested by Miss Carroll, who alone had the genius to grasp the situation.

How clearly the Confederate leaders recognized the fatal effects of this Tennessee campaign is indicated by a letter found among the papers captured by General Mitchell at Huntsville, written by General Beauregard to General Samuel Cooper, Richmond, Va.:

"CORINTH, April 9, 1862.

"Can we not be reinforced by Pemberton's army?" "If defeated here, we lose the Mississippi Valley and probably our cause, whereas we could even afford to lose Charleston and Savannah for the purpose of defeating Buell's army, which would not only insure us the valley of the Mississippi, but our independence."

The feeling of the Confederate army is curiously indicated by the following letter received by Miss Carroll as the struggle drew towards its close and filed by Mr. Stanton among his papers:

FORT DELAWARE, March 1, 1865.

Miss Carroll, Baltimore, Md.:

Madam: It is rumored in the Southern army that you furnished the plan or information that caused the United States Government to abandon the expedition designed to descend the Mississippi river, and transferred the armies up the Tennessee river in 1862. We wish to know if this is true. If it is, you are the veriest of traitors to your section, and we warn you that you stand upon a volcano.


* * * * *

Miss Carroll's patriotic labors continued to the end. She contributed papers on emancipation and on reconstruction, and wrote articles for the leading journals in support of the Government.

"While her pen was tireless in the cause of loyalty, her sympathy and interest extended themselves toward the prisons, the battlefields, and the hospitals, and many were the individual cases of suffering and want that she relieved. She was especially successful with procuring discharges for Union prisoners, and where such were in need her own means were most generously used to give adequate help."

Although the agreement with the Government was that she should be remunerated for her services and the employment of her private resources, it was not until some time after the close of the war that she endeavored, by the advice of her friends and prominent members of the War Committee, to make a public claim and establish so important a fact in the history of the war.

"Miss Carroll's own feeling was a desire to make her services a free gift to her country, and her aged father, who felt the proudest satisfaction in his daughter's patriotic career, was of the same disinterested opinion."[30]

[Footnote 30: Abbie M. Gannet, in the Boston Sunday Herald, February, 1890.]

The same high and chivalrous feeling that led him to sacrifice his ancestral home to liquidate the debts incurred by others made him unwilling that his daughter should press even for the payment of the debt due for the publication of her pamphlets and campaign documents, though published at the request of the War Department on the understanding that she was to be repaid. His loftiness of feeling and unbounded generosity continued even under adverse fortunes.

"But as time went on, her father no longer living, Miss Carroll noted how honors and emoluments were allotted to her fellow-laborers, and that her own work, owing to the peculiar circumstances that at first surrounded it and the untimely deaths of Mr. Lincoln and others who would gladly have proclaimed it, was wholly sinking into obscurity. A sense of the injustice of the case took possession of her and the conviction that history itself would be falsified if her silence continued."[31]

[Footnote 31: Abbie M. Gannet, in the Boston Sunday Herald.]

Thomas A. Scott and Mr. Wade, chairman of the Committee on the Conduct of the War, and others well acquainted with her work were still living, able and desirous to establish her claim. By their advice and with their enthusiastic endorsement she made a statement of her case in 1870 and presented it before Congress, asking for recognition and a due award.

"Every lover of history, every true patriot, and, above all, every patriotic woman will be glad that she so decided."—Mrs. Abbie M. Gannet.

It was not fitting that such achievements should be allowed to sink into oblivion.

Accordingly she made her claim, supported by the strongest and clearest testimony from the very men who were most competent to speak with absolute authority, Mr. Wade, Mr. Scott, and others of the War Department testifying again and again to the facts of the case.

It immediately became evident that a most determined effort was to be made to crush her claims. The honors of war were not to be allowed to rest on the head that had so ably won them. Personal and political interests were too strongly involved. If it had been a little matter it might have passed; but this was a case of such magnitude and importance, a case that must greatly change existing estimates.

To defeat the testimony was impossible. Other means must be used. Chicanery of every kind was resorted to.

Twice Miss Carroll's whole file of papers were stolen from the Military Committee, who were considering her claims.

Fortunately Miss Carroll possessed the original drafts of these letters. She speedily reproduced them, and the Military Committee and Mr. Hunt, the keeper of the records, having already examined the letters, accepted the new file and ordered them to be printed, thus giving them their guarantee; so that, to all intents and purposes, they became the same as the originals.

Judge Wade advises Miss Carroll:

"I want you to set forth to these gentlemen, in your private letters, the facts about the abstracting of these papers. It has never been properly done. It is exceedingly important as evidence of the truth of your claim. Tell them how your papers were abstracted from the files twice. Send a letter to General Banning. Tell Judge Evans to ask the General to appoint a sub-committee to investigate it, so as to submit it to the general committee. Tell them all, and remind them that when one report was made in the Senate Committee by Mr. Howard the papers were abstracted from the files, as the Secretary of the Committee, Rev. Samuel Hunt, will testify. I hope the report will be a very emphatic and explicit one in setting forth your plan as you took it to Colonel Scott. It makes the strongest foundation to commence upon in the sub-committee. There will undoubtedly be a minority of Republicans, and it will be so much the better for that, because they can find no evidence to invalidate the report of the majority, and I would like to see them make the attempt. Being at the head of the War Committee, I had most to do with it. The committee not half the time were present. Nobody knows the difficulty the War Committee had to get the army moved. We had almost to fight for that campaign."

Mr. Hunt writes from Natick, Mass.:

March 7, 1876.

My Dear Miss Carroll:

I remember well your failure to recover twice all the papers you intrusted to the charge of the Military Committee and our inability to account for their loss.

Hoping you will have better success now, I remain as ever,

Very truly yours,

S. HUNT, Late Secretary of Senate Military Committee.

* * * * *

Senator Howard tells Miss Carroll she has a right to feel disappointed that her claims should be neglected, but he says, "you know the great power of the military, who don't want you to have the recognition."

"Senator Howard," she replies, "there is something in moral integrity. I understand you, but just tell the truth. I ask only to be sustained by truth, and am not afraid of this power."

"Miss Carroll," he says with emphasis, "you have done more for the country than them all. You told and showed where to fight and how to strike the rebellion upon its head. No one comprehends the magnitude of that service more than I."

* * * * *

Judge Wade's remarks to Senator Wilson last of May, 1862 (as taken down by a reporter):

Judge Wade said he talked just right to Wilson for the delay in Miss Carroll's matter before his committee; that Wilson said he was no more against the claim than Wade. Wade told him it would kill him politically if he didn't act soon; that it ought to kill any party who knew the truths of the great civil war and conspired to conceal them for their own purposes; that it would be a great feather in a man's cap and a great help to his own cause to bring the matter before the country right, no matter who it offended, and he only regretted he was not in the Senate then on this very account, and would always be sorry he had not induced Miss Carroll to come out and make claim for her rights while the rejoicing was going on at the final surrender. Wilson said it was a big thing, and he agreed that the American people would cheerfully pay for it, if it had been so done, by contribution boxes at the cross-roads and post-offices of the country.

* * * * *

Mr. Tucker writes from Philadelphia in 1870:

"I saw Colonel Scott yesterday and placed your papers in his hands. He remarked that he should stand by all he had said or written in the matter, and he presumed that was all you would want."

* * * * *


Judge Wade says: "I went to Morton, in the Senate, and told him that it was infamous that the Military Committee did not report at once. He said, for himself he was ready to endorse your claim fully, and had done so when Howard reported. I went on to tell him more, but he said, 'I could not be more strongly convinced of the justice of that claim. Your own statement satisfied me without anything more. If Wilson will send down for the report I will sign my name to it right now.' I then went over to Wilson and told him what Morton had said, and told him he had better send down for it. Wilson said he didn't think that was the best way of doing it, but that he would call a special meeting of the Committee and have it done. I then saw Cameron. He said he was ready and always had been."

* * * * *


Judge Wade tells her: "Howe said your claim had been sent to his committee—on Claims—but that it did not properly belong there; but that he had examined the papers; that your claim was entirely just and ought to be paid."

And again: "That he had spoken to Wadleigh, a member of the Military Committee, about her claim. He said he had no question that it was clearly proved, and no doubt she would be ultimately paid by the Government."

* * * * *


Judge Wade says: "I asked Logan what he was going to do about Miss Carroll's claim." He said "he didn't know what to say." "I told him it ought to be paid at once; that it was clearly established." Logan said, "Yes; but she claims so much." Wade replies, "She claims to have furnished the information that led to the military movements that decided the war." Logan didn't say any more, or what he would do.

Judge Wade asked Morrill what he was going to do; that this claim had been before Congress long enough. Morrill said your claim was clearly established; "that were you applying for a title for a new patent of discovery nothing could defeat you, but that it was indispensable to have the Military Committee act again." Wade says "he feels embarrassed in appearing as an advocate, being a witness, but that he will go before the committee anyhow and insist upon action."

JEFFERSON, OHIO, October 3, 1876.

My Dear Miss Carroll:

I do assure you that the manner in which your most noble services and sacrifices have been treated by your country has given me more pain and anxiety than anything that ever happened to me personally; that such merit should go so long unrewarded is deeply disgraceful to the country, or rather to the agencies of the Government who have had the matter in charge. I hope and trust it will not always be so. The truth is, your services were so great they cannot be comprehended by the ordinary capacity of our public men; and then, again, your services were of such a character that they threw a shadow over the reputations of some of our would-be great men. No doubt great pains have been taken in the business of trying to defeat you, but it has always been an article of faith with me that truth and justice must ultimately triumph.

Ever yours truly,


* * * * *

JEFFERSON, OHIO, April 10, 1877.

My Dear Miss Carroll:

There is nothing in my power I would not most gladly do for you, for none have ever done so much for the country as you, and none have had so little for it. I cannot but believe justice will be done you yet for the immense services you rendered the country in the civil war. But when I reflect what mighty work you have done for the country and how you have been treated it keeps me awake nights and fills my soul with bitterness.

Truly yours ever,


* * * * *

JEFFERSON, OHIO, September 4, 1877.

My Dear Miss Carroll:

* * * I know you are right and I will never fail to do all I can to aid you in attaining it. Your only trouble is you have the whole army to fight, who seem better skilled in opposing you than they were in finding out the best method of fighting the enemy. I hope your health holds out and continues good, for what you have done and what you have to do would break down any weaker intellect and physical constitution.

Mrs. Wade joins me in wishing you all success.

Truly yours,


* * * * *

Governor Corwin writes her:

WASHINGTON, Jan. 13, 1878.

Dear Friend:

I thank you for the address of your good Governor of the third instant. I believe you will succeed in saving Maryland, but there is nothing to be done with this Congress, and your counsel to your friends is wise. Art, finesse, and trick are in this age worth the wisdom of Solomon, the faith of Abraham, and the fidelity of Moses.

Truly yours,


[Footnote 32: Thomas Corwin was Secretary of the Treasury under Fillmore, U. S. Senator, a noted lawyer and wit, and a man of letters.]

* * * * *

Soon after the close of the war Miss Carroll inquires of Mr. Stanton if he could not furnish what was termed "a transportation and subsistence" for a southern tour. Many people were present. He remarks he had rather pay her millions of dollars than to say no to any request she could make of him. "You," he says, "who have done such incomparable services for the country with so much modesty and so little pretension," etc.

Miss Carroll does not like so much in the line of compliment and says to General Hardie as she passes out, "Mr. Stanton said too much and attracted the attention of all in the room."

Hardie says, "Don't take it in that light. Mr. Stanton is not the man to say what he don't mean, and, I venture to say, never said so much to any one besides during the war."

Miss Carroll relates this to Judge Wade. "Why," says he, "Stanton has said the same of you to me, and often in the same vein; he said your course was the most remarkable in the war; that you found yourself, got no pay, and did the great work that made others famous."

For these reports and conversations see—

45th Congress,} House of Representatives.} Miss. Doc. 2nd Session, } Pp. 30, 31, 32, 33. } No. 58.

Vol. 6, Miscellaneous Documents, Document Room of the Senate.



In July of 1862 Miss Carroll presented her very modest bill for the pamphlets that had been accepted at the War Department, which included the expenses paid by herself of printing and circulating.

Of the Breckenridge pamphlet she printed and circulated 50,000, which went off, as Hon. James Tilghman (president of the Union Association in Baltimore in 1860) testifies, "like hot cakes."

In the library of the State Department specimens of two large editions of the War Powers may be seen side by side in the volumes of bound manuscripts. It is over 23 closely printed pages in length, and was circulated east and west with admirable results, all expenses borne by Miss Carroll personally.

The Power of the President to Suspend the Writ of Habeas Corpus, The Relation of the Revolted Citizens to the United States, and other able papers followed.

The Secretary of War suggested the presentation of Miss Carroll's bill, advising her to obtain the opinion of one or more competent judges as to the reasonableness of her charges and a statement of the understanding upon which they were written.

The bill is as follows, and the testimonials are as reported in the Miss. Doc. 58 (House), 45th Congress, 2d session:

Secret-Service Fund of the War Department to Anna Ella Carroll, Dr., as per Agreement with Hon. Thomas A. Scott, Assistant Secretary of War.


Sept. 25. To circulating the Breckenridge reply $1,250 Dec. 24. To writing, publishing, and circulating the "War Powers," etc. 3,000


May ——. Writing, publishing, and circulating the relations of the National Government to the rebelled citizens 2,000 ——— $6,250

Credit, October 2, 1861: By cash 1,250 ——— $5,000

* * * * *

PHILADELPHIA, January 2, 1863.

I believe Miss Carroll has earned fairly, and should be paid, the compensation she has charged above.


* * * * *

PHILADELPHIA, January 28, 1863.

All my interviews with Miss Carroll were in my official capacity as Assistant Secretary of War, and in that capacity I would have allowed, and believed she should be paid, the amount of her bill within, which is certified as being reasonable by many of the leading men of the country.


* * * * *

PHILADELPHIA, January 28, 1863.

The pamphlets published by Miss Carroll were published upon a general understanding made by me with her as Assistant Secretary of War, under no special authority in the premises, but under a general authority then exercised by me in the discharge of public duties as Assistant Secretary of War. I then thought them of value to the service, and still believe they were of great value to the Government. I brought the matter generally to the knowledge of General Cameron, then Secretary of War, without his having special knowledge of the whole matter; he made no objections thereto. No price was fixed, but it was understood that the Government would treat her with sufficient liberality to compensate her for any service she might render, and I believe she acted upon the expectation that she would be paid by the Government.


* * * * *

NEW YORK, October 10, 1862.

Without intending to express any assent or dissent to the positions therein asserted, but merely with a view of forming a judgment in respect to their merits as argumentative compositions, I have carefully perused Miss Carroll's pamphlets mentioned in the within account. The propositions are clearly stated, the authorities relied on are judiciously selected, and the reasoning is natural, direct, and well sustained, and framed in a manner extremely well adapted to win the reader's assent, and thus to obtain the object in view. I consider the charges quite moderate.


* * * * *

WASHINGTON, September 19, 1862.

Without having seen the writings mentioned in the within account I have heard them so favorably spoken of by the most competent judges that the charges of the account seem to be most reasonable.


* * * * *

706 Walnut St., PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 11, 1862.

Having been requested to give my opinion of the pamphlets described in the within list, I have in a cursory way looked over them. As I have just returned from Europe from a long absence and am at present with many unsettled matters of my own, I cannot undertake therefore to study them. From the examination I have given them I cheerfully say they appear to be learned and able productions and the work of a well-stored mind. They are written in a clear style and must be read with interest and advantage, and certainly cannot fail to be of service to the cause they uphold.

Much labor must have been given to these productions. Their actual value in money I cannot determine, but I think they are well worthy of a high and liberal compensation.


[Footnote 33: Benjamin H. Brewster was a noted lawyer of Philadelphia and a member of Arthur's Cabinet.]

* * * * *

WASHINGTON, September 23, 1862.

I have read several of the productions of Miss Carroll, and, among others, two of the within mentioned. The learning, ability, and force of reasoning they exhibit have astonished me. Without concurring in all the conclusions of the writer, I think that the writer is fully entitled, not only to the amount charged, but to the thanks and high consideration of the Government and the nation.


* * * * *

WASHINGTON, September 10, 1862.

Having read with care the several pamphlets mentioned within, and comparing them with professional arguments in causes of any considerable importance, and considering the vast learning and the ability with which it is handled, I have to say that in my judgment the charges are not only very reasonable, but will, in the estimation of all men of learning who will carefully examine the documents, be deemed too small.


* * * * *

WASHINGTON, D. C., September 23, 1862.

I have read the pamphlets mentioned within, together with others on similar subjects written by Miss Carroll, and I fully concur in the opinion above expressed, believing that said pamphlets have been of essential service to the cause of the Union.


* * * * *

September 8, 1862.

I have carefully perused, some time since, the papers referred to within, and without entering into any question of concurrence or non-concurrence of views I deem the documents of great value to the Government, and that the estimate of the account is reasonable.


* * * * *

WASHINGTON, October, 1862.

Miss Carroll:

While I never put my name to any paper, I would very cheerfully state at the Department that I consider the charges for your publications too small, but I do not think it can be necessary. What more could any one want than such an endorsement as you have from Mr. O'Conor and other eminent men?

Very respectfully,


[Footnote 34: Edwards Pierrepont was Minister to England under Grant.]

* * * * *

Later developments showed that the $1,250 that Miss Carroll had credited to the secret-service fund had come out of Thomas A. Scott's own pocket as his private contribution to the national cause and to help on the circulation of such important documents.

Mr. Scott sent the following letter, to be found in Miss. Doc. 167:

PHILADELPHIA, January 16, 1863.

Hon. JOHN TUCKER, Assistant Secretary of War:

I believe Miss Carroll has fairly earned and ought to be paid the amount of her bill ($6,750), and if you will pay her I will certify to such form as you may think necessary as a voucher.


* * * * *

Mr. Tucker not having the settlement of the account, and the matter being referred to Assistant Secretary Watson, Miss Carroll submitted the account endorsed by many eminent men as reasonable, and also endorsed with Hon. Thomas A. Scott's recollection of the agreement upon which they were produced.

An agent tendered but $750, with a receipt in full.

On objecting he said her redress was with Congress, and, upon being informed by Mr. Reverdy Johnson that the receipts would not bar her claim, she accepted it. The original account, with endorsements, etc., it is stated, is "on file in the War Department." The Senate Military Committee of the 41st Congress, 3d session, Report 339, referring to these publications, said: "Miss Carroll preferred a claim to reimburse her for expenses incurred in their publication which ought to have been paid."

Miss Carroll having also credited the $750 to the secret-service fund, Mr. Thomas A. Scott wrote her that she should not have done so; that it came out of his own pocket in his indignation at finding the agreement made by himself in his capacity of Assistant Secretary of War disregarded by his successor. For thirty years this account has been presented in vain. In 1885 it was retransmitted from the Court of Claims on some judicial grounds, though accompanied by the "moral assent" of the court.

Miss Carroll had written the great and influential pamphlets of the day which ought to have made her a minister of state. She had devised the military movements that ought to have given her a very high military rank. Under our arrangements for securing a male aristocracy no services, however brilliant, could secure to a woman any post whatever. She must remain an unrecognized member, and being an unrecognized member for her there was no pay—not even her traveling expenses. Any help towards the circulation of her invaluable pamphlets had to come out of the private means of Thomas A. Scott. From first to last, for all her intense and unremitting labors through all the years of the civil war, she has, it would appear, received from the Government, in any department whatever, not one cent. To her personally, through the generous and unhesitating use of her own private means, the result has been a long martyrdom of poverty and suffering.

That is how America has treated her noblest daughter.

That is the result of belonging to a disfranchised class.



Miss Carroll's first memorial was brought before Congress March 31, 1870. It was simple and short, with a copy of the plan of campaign appended.

A Military Committee, with General Jacob M. Howard as chairman, was appointed to consider it. Thomas A. Scott wrote twice to the Military Committee endorsing the claim. Mr. Wade, Judge Evans, etc., made their statements on affidavit.

The evidence being thorough and incontrovertible, Mr. Howard reported accordingly on February 2, 1871. He recapitulates the letters and evidence received; gives Mr. Wade's testimony; states that a copy of Miss Carroll's paper was shown him immediately after the success of the campaign, by the late Hon. Elisha Whittlesey,[35] of Ohio (Mr. Whittlesey had asked Miss Carroll for a copy that he might leave it in his family as an heirloom); notes Miss Carroll's statement that no military man had ever controverted her claim to having originated the campaign, and concludes:

"From the high social position of this lady and her established ability as a writer and thinker, she was prepared at the inception of the rebellion to exercise a strong influence in behalf of liberty and the Union; that it was felt and respected in Maryland during the darkest hours in that State's history, there can be no question. Her publications throughout the struggle were eloquently and ably written and widely circulated, and did much to arouse and invigorate the sentiment of loyalty in Maryland and other border States. It is not too much to say that they were among the very ablest publications of the time and exerted a powerful influence upon the hearts of the people. Some of these publications were prepared under the auspices of the War Department, and for these Miss Carroll preferred a claim to reimburse her for the expenses incurred in their publication, which ought to have been paid; and, as evidence of this, we subjoin the following statement from the Assistant Secretary of War:—

"'PHILADELPHIA, January 28, 1863.

"'All my interviews with Miss Carroll were in my official capacity as Assistant Secretary of War. The pamphlets published were, to a certain extent, under a general authority then exercised by me in the discharge of public duties as Assistant Secretary of War. No price was fixed, but it was understood that the Government would 'treat her with sufficient liberality to compensate her for any service she might render.'"

[Footnote 35: Elisha Whittlesey was Comptroller of the Treasury at the time of his death, a very distinguished lawyer in Ohio, and for many terms a Representative in Congress.]

On the fifteenth of June, 1870, Hon. Thomas A. Scott addressed a letter to Hon. J. M. Howard, U. S. Senate, in which he says:

"'I learn from Miss Carroll that she has a claim before Congress for services rendered in the year 1861 in aid of the Government. I believe now that the Government ought to reward her liberally for the efforts she made in its behalf to rouse the people against the rebellious action of the South. I hope you will pass some measure that will give Miss Carroll what she is certainly entitled to.


"In view, therefore, of the highly meritorious services of Miss Carroll during the whole period of our National troubles, and especially at that epoch of the war to which her memorial makes reference, and in consideration of the further fact that all the expenses incident to this service were borne by herself, the committee believe her claim to be just, and that it ought to be recognized by Congress, and consequently report a bill for her relief."

An accompanying bill was sent in, leaving the amount of compensation blank for Congress to determine, but the committee agreeing that the bill ought to be passed in some manner that should recognize the remarkable and invaluable nature of the services rendered.

Congress having thus received the report made by their own Military Committee appointed for the purpose, for reasons plainly given by Mr. Wade and others, at once ignored it, tossing it over to the Court of Claims, who would have nothing to do with it, and so that Congress adjourned.

Then followed that singular and disheartening feature of congressional committees.

Action having been taken, a Military Committee appointed, and a conclusive report made, Congress could utterly neglect it, and at the following Congress the previous action would count for nothing, and the whole wearisome proceeding of a new memorial, a new effort to procure attention, a new examination of evidence, a new report, a new bill, and again utter neglect. But the brave woman continued. She was really fighting alone and at terrible odds another Tennessee campaign for the rightful recognition of woman's work.

Accordingly, the following year another memorial was sent in, another committee appointed, renewed testimony given by Scott, Wade, Evans, and others. Mr. Wilson testified that the claim was "incontestably established," referred to the evidence given in Miss Carroll's own memorial, but for want of time made no regular report, apparently, except this:


"Mr. Wilson, on behalf of the Committee on Military Affairs, laid before the Senate the memorial of Anna Ella Carroll, of Maryland, setting forth certain valuable military information given to the Government by her during the war and asking compensation therefor, which was ordered to be printed, together with a bill rewarding her for military and literary services"—twice read in United States Senate—amount left $——, to be filled by this body. Then Congress again quietly dropped a recognition that might interfere with party plans, and so that Congress adjourned.

And so the weary work went on of presenting new memorials and meeting with the same neglect, Congress never denying the claim and none of the military commanders making any claim or denying the facts.

Miss Carroll gave extracts from every known historical work showing the surmises made, endeavoring to attribute the plan to one and another, and no evidence found to establish such surmises.

Miss Carroll wrote to Hon. J. T. Headley, the distinguished historian of the Civil War, and received the following letter:

NEWBURGH, N. Y., February 6, 1873.

My Dear Madam:

I am much obliged for the pamphlet you sent me. I never knew before with whom the plan of the campaign up the Tennessee river originated. There seemed to be a mystery attached to it that I could not solve. Though General Buell sent me an immense amount of documents relating to this campaign I could find no reference to the origin of the change of plan. Afterwards I saw it attributed to Halleck, which I knew to be false, and I noticed that he never corroborated it. It is strange that after all my research it has rested with you to enlighten me.

Money cannot pay for the plan of that campaign. I doubt not Congress will show not liberality but some justice in the matter.

Yours very sincerely,


So matters went on. New memorials presented for the most part met with "leave to withdraw." Then Miss Carroll gathered herself up for a supreme effort, presented fresh testimony, and in 1878 sent in a memorial that is a mine of wealth and the most interesting memorial she has ever presented. It is labeled—

45th Congress, House of Representatives / Miss. Doc. 2d Session / No. 58

Being a document of the first importance and containing some singular evidence, it has been systematically excluded from every Congressional index, though published by order of Congress and included in the bound volumes.

Miss Carroll having made in 1878 this very notable memorial, on February 18, 1879—

45th Congress, Senate /Report 3d Session. / No. 775.

Mr. Cockrell made a report entered on the Congressional lists as adverse, but really an additional evidence of the incontrovertible nature of the facts and the testimony of the case, the report being only adverse as to compensation. The report admits the services, both literary and military, and even concedes the proposition that "the transfer of the national armies from the banks of the Ohio up the Tennessee river to the decisive position in Mississippi was the greatest military event in the interest of the human race known to modern ages, and will ever rank among the very few strategic movements in the world's history that have decided the fate of empires and peoples," and that "no true history can be written that does not assign to the memorialist the credit of the conception."

The report thereupon proceeds to state the opinion of the committee, that with all the evidence before them every subsequent Congress having failed to make an award they must have had some unknown reasons for the omission, and that the claim, having been so long neglected, may as well be indefinitely postponed—a surprising mode of reasoning and manner of disposition of a claim.

The report supposes the neglect was due to the fact that the services were rendered to the Secret Service Commission and inclines to think that the two thousand dollars received was considered a sufficient remuneration for the literary work.

"The committee have not been able to find a precedent for payment of claims of this character." * * * "But it would destroy much of the poetry and grandeur of noble deeds were a price demanded for kindred services, and achievements of this nature huckstered in the market as commodities of barter." And that is all a report intended to be adverse can say against the claim.

One might remark that it is not wholly unprecedented for honorable gentlemen to receive remuneration from the Government for services rendered, or even to ask for their traveling expenses. But this looks somewhat like a sneer.

Was it directed against the noble invalid who had devoted her life and strength, her great ability, and her private fortune to the service of her country for years, with such lavish prodigality and such brilliant success, and had left a fitting award wholly to the determination of Congress, asking only that it should be made in some way that should mark the unusual and distinctive nature of the services rendered?

No; surely it must have been directed against the Government agent who wanted Miss Carroll, for the consideration of $750, to give a receipt in full for a bill of $5,000 remaining—a bill certified by the highest authorities to be sufficiently low or altogether too low for the literary work performed. (No wonder if such huckstering moved Mr. Cockrell's righteous soul.) His remarks also were exceedingly applicable to a liberal-minded person who shortly after sent in a bill recommending that after all these years Congress would kindly allow Miss Carroll a pension of $50 a month for "the important military services rendered the country by her during the late civil war." If any more $50 miseries are proposed we would commend to the committees Mr. Cockrell on "huckstering."

The true description of such a report would be "admission of the incontestable nature of the services rendered."

Then followed the report of the Military Committee of 1881—the last report, so far as I have been able to ascertain, "printed by order of Congress."

It is as follows, verbatim:

46th Congress, House of Representatives. / Report 3d Session. / No. 386

* * * * *


* * * * *

March 3, 1881.—Committed to the Committee of the Whole House and ordered to be printed.

E. S. Bragg, from the Committee on Military Affairs, submitted the following


(To accompany bill H. R. 7256.)

The Committee on Military Affairs, to whom the memorial of Anna Ella Carroll was referred, asking national recognition and reward for services rendered the United States during the war between the States, after careful consideration of the same, submit the following:

In the autumn of 1861 the great question as to whether the Union could be saved, or whether it was hopelessly subverted, depended on the ability of the Government to open the Mississippi and deliver a fatal blow upon the resources of the Confederate power.

The original plan was to reduce the formidable fortifications by descending this river aided by the gunboat fleet then in preparation for that object.

President Lincoln had reserved to himself the special direction of this expedition, but before it was prepared to move he became convinced that the obstacles to be encountered were too grave and serious for the success which the exigencies of the crisis demanded, and the plan was then abandoned and the armies diverted up the Tennessee river and thence southward to the center of the Confederate power.

The evidence before this committee completely establishes that Miss Anna Ella Carroll was the author of this change of plan, which involved a transfer of the national forces to their new base in north Mississippi and Alabama, in command of the Memphis and Charleston railroad. That she devoted time and money in the autumn of 1861 to the investigation of its feasability is established by the sworn testimony of L. D. Evans, chief justice of the supreme court of Texas, to the Military Committee of the United States Senate in the 42d Congress (see pp. 40, 41 of the memorial); that after that investigation she submitted her plan in writing to the War Department at Washington, placing it in the hands of Col. Thomas A. Scott, Assistant Secretary of War, as is confirmed by his statement (see p. 38 of the memorial); also confirmed by the statement of Hon. B. F. Wade, chairman of the Committee on the Conduct of the War, made to the same committee (see p. 38), and of President Lincoln and Secretary Stanton (see p. 39 of memorial); also by Hon. O. H. Browning, of Illinois, Senator during the war, in confidential relations with President Lincoln and Secretary Stanton (see p. 39 of memorial); also that of Hon. Elisha Whittlesey, Comptroller of the Treasury (see p. 41 of memorial); also by Hon. Thomas H. Hicks, Governor of Maryland, and by Hon. Frederick Feckey's affidavit, Comptroller of the Public Works of Maryland (see p. 127 of memorial); by Hon. Reverdy Johnson (see pp. 26 and 41 of memorial); Hon. George Vickers, United States Senator from Maryland (see p. 41 of memorial); again by Hon. B. F. Wade (see p. 41 of memorial); Hon. J. T. Headley (see p. 43 of memorial); Rev. Dr. R. J. Breckenridge on services (see p. 47 of memorial); Prof. Joseph Henry, Rev. Dr. Hodge, of theological seminary at Princeton (see p. 30 of memorial); remarkable interviews and correspondence of Judge B. F. Wade (see pp. 23-26 of memorial).

That this campaign prevented the recognition of Southern independence by its fatal effects on the Confederate States is shown by letters from Hon. C. M. Clay (see pp. 40, 43 of memorial), and by his letters from St. Petersburgh; also those of Mr. Adams and Mr. Dayton from London and Paris (see pp. 100-102 of memorial).

That the campaign defeated national bankruptcy, then imminent, and opened the way for a system of finance to defend the Federal cause is shown by the debates of the period in both Houses of Congress; by the utterances of Mr. Spalding, Mr. Diven, Mr. Thaddeus Stevens, Mr. Roscoe Conkling, Mr. John Sherman, Mr. Henry Wilson, Mr. Fessenden, Mr. Trumbull, Mr. Foster, Mr. Garrett Davis, Mr. John C. Crittenden, &c., found for convenient reference in appendix to memorial, page 59; also therein the opinion of the English press as to why the Union could not be restored.

The condition of the struggle can best be realized as depicted by the leading statesmen in Congress previous to the execution of these military movements (see synopsis of debates from Congressional Globe, pp. 21, 22 of memorial).

The effect of this campaign upon the country and the anxiety to find out and reward the author are evinced by the resolution of Mr. Roscoe Conkling in the House of Representatives, 24th of February, 1862 (see debates on the origin of the campaign, pp. 39-63 of memorial). But it was deemed prudent to make no public claim as to authorship while the war lasted (see Colonel Scott's view, p. 32 of memorial).

The wisdom of the plan was proven, not only by the absolute advantages which resulted, giving the mastery of the conflict to the national arms and ever more assuring their success even against the powers of all Europe should they have combined, but it was likewise proven by the failures to open the Mississippi or win any decided success on the plan first devised by the Government.

It is further conclusively shown that no plan, order, letter, telegram, or suggestion of the Tennessee river as the line of invasion has ever been produced except in the paper submitted by Miss Carroll on the 30th of November, 1861, and her subsequent letters to the Government as the campaign progressed.

It is further shown to this committee that the able and patriotic publications of the memorialist in pamphlets and newspapers, with her high social influence, not only largely contributed to the cause of the Union in her own State, Maryland (see Governor Hicks' letters, p. 27 of memorial), but exerted a wide and salutary influence on all the border States (see Howard's Report, p. 33, and p. 75 of memorial).

These publications were used by the Government as war measures, and the debate in Congress shows that she was the first writer on the war powers of the Government (see p. 45 of memorial). Leading statesmen and jurists bore testimony to their value, including President Lincoln, Secretaries Chase, Stanton, Seward, Welles, Smith, Attorney General Bates, Senators Browning, Doolittle, Collamer, Cowan, Reverdy Johnson, and Hicks, Hon. Horace Binney, Hon. Benjamin H. Brewster, Hon. William M. Meredith, Hon. Robert J. Walker, Hon. Charles O'Connor, Hon. Edwards Pierrepont, Hon. Edward Everett, Hon. Thomas Corwin, Hon. Francis Thomas, of Maryland, and many others, found in memorial.

The Military Committee, through General Howard, in the Forty-first Congress, 3d session, Document No. 337, unanimously reported that Miss Carroll did cause the change of the military expedition from the Mississippi to the Tennessee, &c.; and the aforesaid act of the 42d Congress, 2d session, Document No. 167, as found in memorial, reported through Hon. Henry Wilson the evidence and bill in support of this claim. Again, in the Forty-fourth Congress, the Military Committee of the House favorably considered this claim, and Gen. A. S. Williams was prepared to report, and, being prevented by want of time, placed on record that this claim is incontestably established, and that the country owes to Miss Carroll a large and honest compensation, both in money and in honors, for her services in the national crises.

In view of all these facts, this committee believes that the thanks of the nation are due Miss Carroll, and that they are fully justified in recommending that she be placed on the pension rolls of the Government as a partial measure of recognition for her public service, and report herewith a bill for such purpose and recommend its passage.

Hon. E. M. Stanton came into the War Department in 1862 pledged to execute the Tennessee campaign.

Statement from Hon. B. F. Wade, chairman of the Committee on the Conduct of the War, April 4, 1876. (This is the long letter from Mr. Wade, which we have already given, and we need not repeat it.)

* * * * *

General Bragg prepared and suggested the following bill to accompany the report:

[36]"Be it enacted, That the same sum and emoluments given by the Government to the major generals of the United States Army be paid to Anna Ella Carroll from the date of her services to the country, in November, 1861, to the time of the passage of this act; and the further payment of the same amount as the pay and emoluments of a major general of the United States Army be paid to her in quarterly installments to the end of her life, as a partial measure of recognition of her services to the nation," and recommend its passage.

[Footnote 36: I copied this from a printed account some years ago. Conversing lately with a friend of General Bragg, I was assured that this was the first bill prepared.]

To suggest a bill that should rightfully mark the preeminently military nature of the services rendered without giving offense to the class accustomed to monopolize the sounding titles and to wear the glittering plumes was a wonderfully difficult thing to do. Here at least was a brave and honest effort to accomplish what no previous committee had even attempted. The other committees had left the award a blank, to be filled in by a puzzled and unwilling Congress, who preferred to do nothing at all.

In England probably there would not have been the same insuperable difficulty, a sovereign lady holding high military office as a matter of course; but we have thrown aside some noble traditions, and America never has a sovereign lady.

There was something noble and fitting in this recommendation of award by General Bragg. Considering how great public services have been formerly rewarded, it was certainly not extreme.

To go back to English history:

"The Duke of Marlborough, who commanded the allied armies of England, Austria, and Germany, received the most flattering testimonials in all forms. A principality was voted to him in Germany, while the English Government settled upon him the manor of Woodstock, long a royal residence, and erected thereon a magnificent palace as an expression of a nation's gratitude. On the Duke of Wellington honors, offices, and rewards were showered from every quarter. The crown exhausted its stores of titles, and in addition to former grants the sum of L200,000 was voted in 1815 for the purchase of a mansion and estate, etc. The rank of field marshal in four of the greatest armies in the world was bestowed by the leading governments of Europe.

"In England it has for a long time been the custom to reward and honor those illustrious in the realms of science and literature as well as of military success. Though with less demonstration and expenditure of wealth, our own country has not overlooked signal services in its behalf. The government of Pennsylvania in the days of the Revolution voted L2,500 for the political writings of Thomas Paine, and New York a farm of 300 acres in a high state of cultivation, with elegant and spacious buildings. Washington himself gave a woman a sergeant's commission in the army, who stood at the gun by which her husband had fallen, and on his recommendation she was placed on the pay-roll for life.

"Congress, in pursuance of this feeling, has not been unmindful of Anderson's heroic defense of Fort Sumter, of Farragut's capture of New Orleans, of Rawlins, etc., of Stanton, and of Lincoln, in conferring tokens of recognition for their services upon the families who survived them. Many instances might be cited where public-spirited women have been rewarded for services rendered in individual cases during the late struggle and in other forms since."

And was it not fitting that the author of such influential pamphlets and the designer of the remarkable plan of the Tennessee campaign should be honorably recognized and rewarded?

Miss Carroll was in her 66th year at the time of General Bragg's recommendation. Her father was no longer living, her family was scattered, her health was failing, and her time, strength, and fortune had been wholly expended in the service of her country with noble generosity and the most brilliant results. Surely she deserved to spend the remaining years of her life in honorable independence, distinguished and beloved by the nation to whom she had rendered incalculable service.

Now it seemed as if, after such an unqualified indorsement of her work by three successive military committees appointed for the purpose, and a suitable bill prepared, that surely her cause was won. Miss Carroll had been informed of the report and of the bill that had been prepared. But the Military Committee, having made this excellent summary of evidence, indorsed Miss Carroll's claim in the strongest manner, and prepared a noble and fitting bill, became greatly alarmed at what they had done. Leaving their report unchanged, at the last moment they hastily withdrew the dignified and fitting bill and substituted in its place the following surprising performance:

"Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the Secretary of the Interior be, and he is hereby, authorized and directed to place upon the pension-rolls of the United States the name of Anna Ella Carroll, and to pay to her a pension of fifty dollars per month from and after the passage of this act, during her life, for the important military service rendered the country by her during the late civil war."

Such a report and such a bill side by side stand an anomaly unparalleled.

Truly the life of the nation was rated as a cheap thing.

Of course the bill died immediately of its own glaring and ineffable meanness.

One can hardly say whether it would have been the more unworthy thing to pass such a bill or to pass none at all; but the last, being the most timorous course, had been adopted for ten successive years, as it has also been resorted to in the ten succeeding ones.

The Military Committee of 1881, having accomplished this astonishing feat, threw away their arms and ignominiously fled—and Congress followed in the rear, indefinitely postponing action on an unwelcome claim, that always would turn up "incontestably proven."



Miss Carroll, urged on by the friends of justice and historical verity, had made great efforts rightly to present her case and to get together a wonderful mass of indubitable testimony.

She had been informed of the thorough endorsement of her claim made by the Military Committee and reported by General Bragg, and of the noble and fitting bill which he had prepared. Then came that pitiful little bill and the adjournment of Congress without taking further action upon the claim.

She perhaps did not realize, in the presence of what seemed immediate defeat, that she had performed a great and lasting historical work in putting the whole matter on immovable record; but she certainly realized that, though an angel should come from heaven to testify, it would be useless to expect national recognition. A reaction of discouragement followed, and she was suddenly stricken down by paralysis, which threatened at once to terminate her noble life. For three years she hovered between life and death, no hope being entertained of her recovery. Then the natural vigor of her constitution reasserted itself, and she slowly regained a very considerable portion of health; but any subsequent efforts with regard to her claim, though receiving her assent, had to be made without her personal co-operation, as mental fatigue was imperatively forbidden. She had ceased to hope for any benefit to herself personally from the prosecution of her claim; but, rejoicing in the sense of the great work that she had been providentially called upon to accomplish, she rested in the serene conviction that with the incontestable evidence that had been presented the facts could not be forever buried out of sight, and that ultimately the truths of history would be secure.

When Miss Carroll, who had hitherto been as a tower of strength to her family, was suddenly stricken down, fortune seemed to be at its lowest ebb; but again the Carroll energy and ability came to the rescue. An unmarried sister, with noble devotion, sustained the nation's benefactress. She obtained work in teaching in Baltimore and by hard daily toil provided for her support. But those were very dark days that followed. Then this same brave sister, through the influence of an eminent lady at the White House, obtained a clerkship at the Treasury, at Washington, brought her sister from Baltimore and established her in a little unpretending family home, which she has sustained to this day.

Note.—Owing to the confusion attendant upon Miss Carroll's well-nigh fatal illness and her subsequent removal to Baltimore, a trunk and box marked A. E. C. were left behind at the Tremont House, in Washington.

After the severe three years' prostration ended, Miss Carroll inquired for this trunk and box, and learned that the Tremont House had gone into other hands after the death of Mr. Hill; that all its contents had been sold off, and to this day she has sought in vain to learn what has become of that box and trunk. They contained a great number of letters, a completed history of Maryland, and her materials for several projected works.

Thus, through the cruel neglect she had experienced, the world has lost the benefit of works which, from her exceptional ability and her exceptional opportunities, would have been of inestimable value to our future literature.

If any one knows of the fate of that trunk and box they are requested to send word to Miss Carroll or to the present writer, and if ever that history of Maryland comes to light it will be claimed for Miss Carroll, as there are internal evidences which would establish its identity.

Governor Hicks a few days before his death committed to Miss Carroll all his papers with a request that she would write the history of Maryland in connection with the civil war, and the part performed by him in the maintenance of the Union.

Cassius M. Clay also sent to her his letters and papers desiring that she should write his biography.

During Miss Carroll's long and apparently hopeless illness Mr. Clay's letters were sent for and returned to him.

Another ray of light, too, had come to cheer the invalid. A new power was rising upon the horizon in the growing thoughtfulness and development of women, now banding together in clubs, societies, and confederations, with their own journals, newspapers, and publications, and with the avowed determination of never resting until women, as an integral half of the people, had obtained all the rights and privileges proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence, the granting of which alone could make of our country a sound and true Republic and secure the ultimate triumph of the moral and humane considerations and measures upon which its welfare must depend.

Naturally, when this growing party came to know of Miss Carroll's remarkable work they were not disposed to let it fall into oblivion. It seemed as if the Lord himself had declared for their cause in giving to a woman, at the crisis of the national peril, the remarkable illumination that, so far as human knowledge can judge, had turned the scale of war in favor of our National Union, and had thus pledged the country for all future time to the just recognition of the equal rights of women as an integral half of the people, and of equal importance with their brethren to the welfare of the State. Every effort may be made to ignore and hide the remarkable fact, but the work of the Lord remains steadfast, immovable, and incapable of lasting defeat.

"The moving finger writes, And, having writ, Moves on."

A notice of Miss Carroll and her brilliant achievements had been written by Mrs. Matilda Joselyn Gage and incorporated in the history of Woman Suffrage, a considerable work, giving a sketch of the career of many eminent women. Mrs. Gage also wrote and circulated a pamphlet calling attention to the case, and Miss Phoebe Couzzins made great exertions in her behalf. One and another began to inquire what had become of the woman who had done such wondrous work for the national cause and had been treated with such deep ingratitude. Mrs. Cornelia C. Hussey, daughter of a high-principled New York family of friends, sought her out, visited her at Baltimore, cheered her with her sympathy, and, interesting others in her behalf, she was enabled to strengthen the hands of the devoted sister. She induced the North American Review, of April, 1886, to publish an account furnished by Miss Carroll, and she procured the publication of a series of letters in the Woman's Journal, of Boston, that increased the knowledge and interest beginning to be felt for Miss Carroll's work.

Petitions began to pour in asking Congress to take action in the case. In 1885 it was taken up by the Court of Claims, and in case 93 may be seen the result. The evidence presented, though remarkable, was by no means as complete as it should have been, owing to Miss Carroll's illness and to the difficulty of now procuring copies of her pamphlets. Consequently, though the judgment rendered makes notable admissions and the moral assent runs all through, the court was enabled, through some legal defects, to retransmit the case to Congress for its consideration; and having once made its decision, the case cannot again come before that court without a direct order from Congress to take it up and try it again.

Looking over the brief at the Court of Claims, made by the late Colonel Warden, I noted this significant passage:

[37]"It may not be amiss here to submit that the two and only drawbacks or obstacles that we have met to the immediate, prompt, and unanimous passage of an act of Congress in recognition of and adequate compensation for the patriotic services and successful military strategy of Miss Carroll in the late civil war are found first in an obstruction which President Lincoln encountered and which he referred to when he explained to Senator Wade that the Tennessee plan was devised by Miss Carroll, and military men were exceedingly jealous of all outside interference." (House Miss. Doc. 58). "The second obstacle which has stayed us is founded in a (to some men) seemingly insuperable objection, often demonstrated in words and acts by our legislators—a misfortune or disability (if it be one) over which Miss Carroll had no control whatever, namely, in the fact that she is a woman."

[Footnote 37: Brief of claimant in Congressional case 93.]

It would appear that the decision of the Court of Claims retransmitting the claim to Congress was considered by Miss Carroll's friends to be in her favor.

Erastus Brooks writes her at this time:

Dear Miss Carroll:

Your "Reminiscences of Lincoln" (a work suggested by Mrs. Hussey) should, as far as possible, bring out the words and own thoughts of the man. The subject, the man, and the occasion are the points to be treated, and in this order, perhaps.

Again, my old and dear friend, I am very glad and hope the award will meet all your expectations—mental, pecuniary, and of every kind. The hope of the award to yourself and friends must be as satisfactory as the judgment of the court.



Miss Carroll showed this letter to Mrs. Hussey, who copied and immediately published it.

Miss Carroll, who had always been on friendly terms with General Grant, spoke to him of her claim. They conversed together concerning her work. He assured her that he had not been aware of its extent, and advised her by all means to continue to push her claim. I have seen the draft of a letter, written by Miss Carroll at this time, to General Grant in which she alludes to the advice he had given her to push her claim before Congress. The letter is written in the friendliest spirit and in a tone of touching modesty. It should be here noted that there never was any antagonism between these two who had done such great work for the salvation of their country.

Cassius M. Clay wrote to the editor of the New York Sun the following letter, as published in that journal:

WHITE HALL, KENTUCKY, March 3, 1886.

In 1861, as soon as I could get General Scott apart from his staff of rebel sympathizers, I advised him to reach the Southern forces by all the water-ways, as the shortest and most practical lines of attack. This advice was hardly necessary as every tyro in the Union Army would probably have done the same. But it belonged to Miss Anna Ella Carroll to project and force upon the bewildered army officers—Halleck, Grant, and others—the cutting in two of the Confederacy by way of the Tennessee river by means of the gunboats, and of our facilities of thus concentrating troops and supplies. It was the great strategical coup of the war.

I call the attention of the American nation to Miss Carroll's article in the April number of the North American Review of 1886. It appears that the splendid conception of this project called for the immediate reward of a grateful Congress as the representative of the whole people. But when it was found that it was neither Grant, nor Halleck, nor Buell, but a woman, who showed more genius and patriotism than all the army of military men, the resolution was suppressed and the combined effort of many of the ablest men of the Republican party could never resurrect it. Miss Carroll merely states her case. There is no event in history better backed up-with impregnable evidence.


Mr. Clay also wrote to Mrs. Hussey the following letter, which she sends me for publication:

April 12, 1886.


Dear Madame: Your letter and circular of the 8th inst. are received. I was a long time a correspondent of Miss C., never having seen her, but holding a letter of introduction from Vice-President Henry Wilson. I have no standpoint in politics of influence now. * * * Miss Carroll's case shows the infinite baseness of human nature—how few worship truth and justice. I am already assailed for speaking a word in her cause, and shall have all the old feuds against me revived; but I am not dependent upon the American people for subsistence and am not a petitioner for money or office, so I speak my mind.

Very truly yours,


Miss Katharine Mason, Miss Anna C. Waite, Miss Phoebe Couzzins, Mrs. H. J. Boutelle, Mrs. Louisa D. Southworth, Mrs. Esther Herrman, and a host of other prominent ladies in succession took up the cause, publishing articles east and west, and speaking upon the subject or contributing in some way to the cause. Petitions to Congress continued asking attention to Miss Carroll's case, and that due recognition and award should be accorded to her. High-principled Senators and Representatives would take up these petitions and present them with their own endorsement of the case. But ten righteous men count for little among a mass of Senators and Representatives wildly pushing their own individual and party measures. Every human being with a ballot might be worthy of their attention, but a disfranchised class must go to the wall. With every extension of the ballot such a class sinks deeper and deeper in the scale, and the disregard and contempt for women and their claims becomes inborn—for law is an educator.

In the spring of 1890 Mr. and Mrs. Root spent weeks in Washington verifying, step by step, the incontrovertible facts of Miss Carroll's work. The Woman's Tribune, of Washington, generously published a large edition of their report, enclosed advanced sheets, with a personal letter, to every Senator and Representative, and laid them upon their desks, with the invariable result of continued neglect.

Mrs. Abby Gannett Wells, of a highly cultivated Boston family, took up the cause with enthusiasm, made a tour among the army relief posts, and created among soldiers and soldiers' wives a lively interest in the work of their great coadjutor. Tokens of recognition were sent to Miss Carroll, and many a retired veteran, beside his evening fire, put down his name to petitions for her just recognition. Then this brave lady made another effort. She published in the Boston Sunday Herald, of February, 1890, an account, from which we give the following extract, having already given extracts from the earlier portion:

"In the last year so many women throughout the country had come to take an interest in this case, petitions to Congress asking for Miss Carroll's suitable recognition and remuneration were sent in considerable numbers, some being presented in the Senate by Mr. Hoar and some in the House by Mr. Lodge. In September last, at an interview with these gentlemen in Boston, I learned it to be their opinion that if I made a plea in Miss Carroll's behalf before the two Congressional Committees on Military Affairs an interest might be aroused to lead to successful results. I therefore promised to visit Washington, and went to the city in the second week in February of the present year.

"The bill calling for an appropriation from Congress for Miss Carroll's services during the civil war, such services consisting of the preparation of papers used as war measures and the furnishing of the military plan for our western armies, known as the plan of the Tennessee campaign, had already been presented in the Senate by General Manderson, of Nebraska, and in the House by Mr. Lodge, of Massachusetts. As Mr. Hoar was ill when I arrived in Washington, he wrote a letter to Mr. Manderson, asking for an early hearing for me, and then sent his private secretary to conduct me to that gentleman in person. I write particulars of the obtaining of these hearings simply to show that even a case demanding urgent action like this finds unexpected obstacles that threaten to retard it indefinitely.

"Mr. Manderson met me kindly, but stated that the committee had such a pressure of business on hand it seemed impossible to take time for Miss Carroll's case, greatly as some of the members had it at heart. But on my replying that I represented the wishes of many women, and we could appeal nowhere else in order for this injustice to be righted, he said if I would come to the committee-room on the morning of the 5th I should be given what time was possible. On that morning General Hawley, the chairman, received me pleasantly, but stated, as he introduced me to the members, that it was unusual to give such a hearing, and he trusted that I would occupy only a little time; but I am glad to add that the committee's courtesy quite exceeded what might be expected of these busy workers. I had over half an hour of their most earnest attention, and if the expressions upon their faces were a criterion to judge by, Miss Carroll's story was not without its effect upon their sympathy and sense of right. I was particularly glad to see such evidences, because among their members were ex-Confederates, Gen. Wade Hampton being one.

"When Mr. Lodge presented me to General Cutcheon, chairman of the House committee, I heard again the plea of overmuch business; yet the concession was made—I might come on the morning of the 7th and occupy a "few minutes." Promptly at the hour I was at the committee-room, and since the time was to be so short I had put aside my notes and was telling of Miss Carroll's work, and growing sure of the interest of my listeners, when the chairman interrupted, saying that it now occurred to him that a bill asking for an appropriation belonged with the Committee on War Claims. A book was consulted, and it became the opinion of the committee that this bill did belong with the War Claims Committee. As, in order for me to appear before that committee, the bill would have to go back to the House and be remanded there, and there might be some delay about it, the Military Committee passed a unanimous vote asking the Committee on War Claims to hear my plea at their next meeting, in view of the bill not appearing until later.

"This was discouraging, and the matter grew more so when, on meeting General Thomas, of the War Claims Committee, I was assured that the bill could not possibly belong there. By good fortune I met General Cutcheon at one of the doors of the ladies' gallery of the House, and I told him the dilemma. He generously went to the Speaker and got his decision, which was that either committee could decide as to the merits of the bill. Being given my choice, I decided to appear again before the Military Committee.

"That brought the hearing round to the 11th, the limit of my possible stay in the city. When a quorum had assembled General Cutcheon stated the case, and I was about to begin, when a member objected. He was sure that the bill belonged with the Committee on War Claims. A second member expressed himself as decidedly. A short discussion took place, the vote was put, it was against me and I was dismissed.

"I turned away, having never had in my life a greater sense of disappointment. Had I not known that the objection was so purely technical I could have borne the situation better; but to lose the opportunity for this, return home with my mission unaccomplished, see Miss Carroll herself, and tell her that the effort had been nipped in the bud, it seemed impossible to submit to it.

"Mr. Wise of Virginia, the gentleman who had first objected, now appeared to have a second thought.

"'Since the lady has come so far, and in behalf of another person, it seems to me we hardly ought to dismiss her so summarily.'

"I hastened to say that the bill had had a similar fate before, had passed and repassed from Military and War Claims Committees until action was wholly prevented.

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