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The Land We Live In - The Story of Our Country
by Henry Mann
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The opposition to a tariff for protection was very bitter in the South, where the people regarded the tariff duties as a tribute exacted from them for the benefit of the North. This feeling was especially strong in South Carolina, where a State convention undertook to pronounce the tariff law null and void, and held out a threat of secession should the Federal Government attempt to collect the duties. The States of Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia took firm ground against nullification, and on December 10, 1832, President Jackson issued his famous proclamation, exhorting all persons to obey the laws, and denouncing the South Carolina ordinance. "I consider then," said the President, "the power to annul a law of the United States, assumed by one State, incompatible with the existence of the Union, contradicted expressly by the letter of the Constitution, unauthorized by its spirit, inconsistent with every principle on which it was founded, and destructive of the great object for which it was formed." The President declared it to be his intent to "take care that the laws be faithfully executed," and he warned the citizens of South Carolina that "the course they are urged to pursue is one of ruin and disgrace to the very State whose rights they affect to support." Major Heileman, commanding the United States troops at Charleston, was instructed to be vigilant in defeating any attempt to seize the forts in that harbor, and two companies of artillery were ordered to Fort Moultrie. The Unionist sentiment in South Carolina itself was strong, and the crisis fortunately passed without any attempt to carry into execution the nullification ordinance. Excitement ran high, however, until the adoption in March, 1833, of a compromise tariff, which provided for a gradual reduction of duties.

* * *

General Jackson in his annual message of 1830, recommended the devotion of a large tract of land, west of the Mississippi, to the use of the Indian tribes yet remaining east of that river, and Congress, in 1834, enacted that "all that part of the United States west of the Mississippi River, and not within the States of Missouri and Louisiana, or the Territory of Arkansas, shall be considered the Indian country." This was the origin of the present Indian Territory, gradually reduced in area by the successive formation of States and Territories. The Seminoles of Florida naturally objected to removal from the land of their ancestors to a far-distant region, and under the leadership of a brave and skillful chief named Osceola they resisted the troops sent to coerce them into obedience. The most memorable event of the war was the massacre of Major Dade and about one hundred soldiers in an ambuscade, December 28, 1835. On the same day Osceola with a small party of followers killed and scalped General Wiley Thomson, of the United States army and five of Thomson's friends. Before the opening of hostilities Thomson had put Osceola in irons on account of his refractory attitude, and the Indian chief long planned the act of vengeance which he thus signally executed. The war lasted almost seven years, and was attended with a distressing loss of life and property. Not less than 9000 United States troops were in the Seminole territory in the latter part of 1837, and while the Indians were more than once severely chastised when brought to an engagement, it was almost impossible to pursue them in their native everglades. Osceola was taken prisoner when in conference, under a flag of truce, with General Jesup, of the United States army, but the Seminoles maintained the struggle under other leaders, and it was not until 1842 that peace was established, and the Indians driven to surrender. Osceola did not live to see the defeat of the cause for which he had fought so resolutely. He died of fever at Fort Moultrie on the last day of 1839.

* * *

The Black Hawk War in the Northwest was, as usual with Indian wars, a struggle on the part of the red men to retain the lands of their fathers. Black Hawk was a noted chief of the Sacs and Foxes, and he claimed that the original treaty by which his tribe sold all their lands in Illinois to the United States was made by only four chiefs, and that they were drunk when they signed it. Assuming this charge to be true it remains that the provisions of the first treaty were confirmed by two subsequent treaties, the last in 1830, when the principal chief, Keokuk, made the final cession to the United States of all the country owned by the Sacs and Foxes east of the Mississippi River. This was done without the knowledge of Black Hawk, whose indignation was greatly aroused upon hearing of the negotiation. Black Hawk was yet more enraged when he found, in April, 1831, that during the absence of himself and his people from their village on a hunting expedition a fur-trader had purchased from the government the ground on which the village stood, and was preparing to cultivate the field upon which the Indians had for many years raised their corn. This was in violation of the letter and spirit of the treaty, which provided that the Indians could occupy their lands until they were needed for settlement, and the frontier settlements were yet fifty miles distant. War soon followed between the whites and Indians, Abraham Lincoln, afterward President of the United States, being enlisted as a volunteer. Colonel Zachary Taylor, afterward President, was one of the officers in command of the United States troops. After fighting with varied fortunes for several months, Black Hawk was defeated with the loss of many warriors, and fled to a village of the Winnebagoes. The latter escorted the fallen chieftain to the United States authorities at Prairie du Chien. "Black Hawk is an Indian," said the captive warrior, speaking in the third person. "He has done nothing an Indian need be ashamed of. He has fought the battles of his country against the white men, who come year after year to cheat them and take away their lands. He will go to the world of spirits contented." Black Hawk was well treated as a prisoner, taken to Washington to visit the President, and liberated after peace had been made.

* * *

During Jackson's second term the American settlers in Texas succeeded, after a conflict attended by signal heroism and ferocity, in securing their independence of Mexico. The massacre of the Alamo by the Mexicans under Santa Anna, will always be remembered in American history. The Mission of the Alamo, which the Texans defended to the death against overwhelming numbers, was entirely isolated from the town of San Antonio. It consisted of several buildings, and a convent yard, surrounded by high and thick walls, having partly, like all the old missions, the character of a fortress. Fourteen pieces of artillery were mounted for the defence, and the garrison, when it entered the Alamo, consisted of one hundred and forty-five men, untrained in arms, except in the use of the rifle. Their leader was Lieutenant Colonel William Barret Travis, a native of North Carolina, and second in command was Colonel James Bowie, inventor of the terrible bowie-knife. Santa Anna, the President of Mexico, was in personal command of the attacking forces, numbering between 6000 and 7000 men. He declared that he would grant no quarter. The troops ordered to the assault numbered 2500, or about twenty-five Mexicans to one American. The deadly fire from the Alamo twice repelled the enemy, but they were driven on by the blows and shouts of their officers, and at the third attempt they scaled the wall, and carried the defences. While life lasted the Texans fought. They had agreed to blow up the buildings in the last extremity, but Major T. C. Evans, when about to fire the magazine, was struck down by a bullet. Not a defender who could be found was spared. Five Texans who had hidden themselves were taken before Santa Anna. At a word from that monster of cruelty they were at once dispatched with bayonets.

The Alamo was not long unavenged. The massacre took place on March 6, 1836. On April 21, the Texans, led by General Sam Houston, met the Mexicans at San Jacinto. The Texans numbered 743; the Mexicans about 1400, with Santa Anna in command. Houston, by strategy worthy of greater fame, had managed to come upon the Mexican President when the latter was separated from the larger part of his forces. Determined to win or die, Houston destroyed a bridge which afforded the only retreat for his men or escape for the enemy. The Texans delivered one volley at close range, and then clubbed their rifles or drew their bowie-knives, with the cry—"Remember the Alamo!" In fifteen minutes the Mexicans were in flight, pursued by the yelling Texans. "Me no Alamo! Me no Alamo!" cried the terrified fugitives. The Texans did not stay their hands until they had killed six hundred and thirty and wounded two hundred and eight of their cowardly foes. The remainder of the Mexicans were allowed to surrender, and were not maltreated as prisoners. Santa Anna was captured while hiding in the grass at some distance from the battlefield, and brought, a pallid and trembling captive, before Houston. The latter spared the tyrant's life, and placed a guard to protect him. The battle of San Jacinto virtually put an end to the war, and Texas remained the Lone Star Republic, until admitted to the American Union in 1845.

* * *

This period witnessed also the successful assertion of American title to that extensive and productive region now divided into the States of Oregon, Washington and Idaho. President Jefferson had seen almost with the vision of prophecy the future of that distant portion of the Louisiana Purchase. "I looked forward with gratification," he said in his later years, "to the time when the descendants of the settlers of Oregon would spread themselves through the whole length of the coast, covering it with free, independent Americans, unconnected with us but by the ties of blood and interest, and enjoying, like us, the rights of self-government." And yet, for forty years after the treaty which transferred to the United States the possessions of France in America, the leading statesmen of our republic, Jefferson excepted, remained blind to the value of America's domain on the Pacific. In 1810, John Jacob Astor's American Fur Company undertook to establish a post upon what they regarded as American soil, at a place which the founders called Astoria. The Hudson Bay Company then claimed Oregon as part of their territory, and when the War of 1812 broke out the British attacked Astoria, took the Americans prisoners, and changed the name of the post to Fort George. The Astor attempt to found a settlement in Oregon was not without favorable bearing on American claims to that territory, especially as the enterprise had the sanction of the United States Government, and a United States naval officer commanded the leading vessel in the expedition. Under the treaty of Ghent, Astoria was to be restored to its original owners, but it was not until 1846 that this act of justice was consummated. In 1818 it was mutually agreed that each nation should equally enjoy the privileges of all the bays and harbors on that coast for ten years, and this agreement was renewed in 1827 for an indefinite time. Practically this meant the occupation of the country by the Hudson Bay Company, which found its forests and waters a mine of fur-bearing wealth. The most eminent of America's statesmen, so far as the Pacific Northwest was concerned, seemed to be under the spell of their own ignorance and of the Hudson Bay Company's misrepresentations. The great Senator Benton said that, "The ridge of the Rocky Mountains may be named as a convenient, natural and everlasting boundary." Winthrop, of Massachusetts, quoted and commended this statement of Benton, and McDuffie of South Carolina declared that the wealth of the Indies would be insufficient to pay the cost of a railroad to the mouth of the Columbia. While the nation was stirred up over a boundary dispute involving a comparatively small district in the Northeast—settled by the Ashburton Treaty in 1842—Oregon, with its extensive territory and magnificent natural wealth was treated as unworthy of controversy. But for the patriot missionary, Marcus Whitman, who in the winter of 1842-43 made a perilous journey from his mission post in Oregon to Washington, to stir up the American Government to a sense of its duty, and of the imminent danger of the seizure of Oregon by the British, that valuable region would in all probability have passed under British dominion. "All I ask," said Doctor Whitman to President Tyler, "is that you won't barter away Oregon or allow English interference until I can lead a band of stalwart American settlers across the plains; for this I will try to do." The President promised; the settlers went, and Oregon was saved.[1] For a time it seemed that war might result, but the two nations at length compromised on a boundary line at forty-nine north latitude.

[1] It is sad to know that this patriot missionary and his admirable wife were massacred in 1847, with a number of other persons, at their mission station of Waiilatpwi by the very Indians they were educating. There is reason to believe the massacre was indirectly the result of Whitman's service to his country in rescuing Oregon from the Hudson Bay Company. The treaty of 1846 greatly irritated that powerful corporation, and this feeling inevitably spread to the Indians who depended upon the company for supplies, and who naturally sympathized with its policy of keeping the land for fur-bearing animals and savage humanity. It is unnecessary to suspect the company or the Roman Catholic missionaries attached to the company of any plot against Whitman's life. It was sufficient for the savages to know that the company hated Whitman, and that the American Protestant missionaries sought to convert them not only to Christianity, but also to industry.

During President Tyler's administration Rhode Island was the scene of a commotion known as the "Dorr War." While the property qualification for voters had been discarded in nearly every Northern State, Rhode Island still adhered to the system of government provided in the King Charles charter of 1663, which restricted the franchise to freeholders and their eldest sons. This restriction gave occasion for many abuses, mortgagees often exercising control over the votes of their debtors, and citizens who paid taxes on mortgaged property being sometimes denied the privilege of voting on the ground that they did not possess sufficient equity in their estates. The majority of the people desired a frame of government in accord with the spirit of American institutions, but were resisted by the minority in actual power. The party of reform, therefore, held an election in defiance of the charter, adopted a new constitution arid chose Thomas W. Dorr governor, along with other general officers and a General Assembly. The Dorr legislature met in a foundry and passed various laws, which they had no power to enforce. The charter government called out the militia, the Dorrites also took arms, and for some time there was danger of a collision. The Dorrites were ultimately dispersed without a battle, and the charter government remained in power. From a sanitary standpoint it was a healthy war, as more people were probably benefited by the outing than injured by bullets and bayonets.[2] Dorr was afterward sentenced to State Prison for life, but was pardoned after a few years, and his sentence expunged by vote of the legislature, from the records of the court. A constitution embodying most of the reforms for which the Dorrites had striven was legally adopted, and Rhode Island settled down to its customary calm and prosperity.

[2] The "Dorr war," however, was very real to the people of Rhode Island. About thirteen years ago the writer was present in the office of the clerk of a Rhode Island town, when an old lady entered, and told the clerk that she wanted to see the record of a deed. Upon being asked to indicate the probable date, she said it was "before the war." On inquiry by the clerk it appeared that she meant the "Dorr war."



CHAPTER XXXI.

War with Mexico—General Zachary Taylor Defeats the Mexicans—Buena Vista—Mexicans Four to One—"A Little More Grape, Captain Bragg!"— Glorious American Victory—General Scott's Splendid Campaign—A Series of Victories—Cerro Gordo—Contreras—Churubusco—Molino del Rey—Chapultepec—Stars and Stripes Float in the City of Mexico— Generous Treatment of the Vanquished—Peace—Cession of Vast Territory to the United States—The Gadsden Purchase.

The annexation of Texas by the United States was accepted by Mexico as an act of war. The American Government and people were not unprepared for a challenge from Mexico, and rather welcomed it, as, apart from the Texas issue, Mexico had, from the time of her independence treated the United States in a manner far from neighborly, and inflicted many injuries on American citizens. In the West and South especially it was deemed necessary to give Mexico a lesson; in New England the war was not popular. Hostilities began, and two sharp battles were fought, before war was actually declared. General Zachary Taylor, with a force much inferior to that of the enemy, defeated the Mexicans at Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma, and drove them out of Texas. At Resaca the American dragoons under Captain May charged straight upon a Mexican battery, killing the gunners and capturing the Mexican general La Vega just as he was about to apply a match to one of the pieces. The Mexican army was so completely scattered that their commander Arista fled unaccompanied across the Rio Grande. At Buena Vista Generals Taylor and Wool, with 5000 men, of whom only 500 were regular troops, confronted Santa Anna with 20,000, February 23, 1847. The Mexican chieftain expected an easy victory, and his army, inspired with his confidence, rushed from their mountains upon the small force of Americans drawn up in battle array on the plain of Angostura.

"Like the fierce Northern hurricane That sweeps his great plateau, Flushed with the triumph yet to gain, Came down the serried foe. Who heard the thunder of the fray Break o'er the field beneath, Well knew the watchword of that day Was victory or death."[1]

[1] "The Bivouac of the Dead."—O'Hara.

The battle lasted all day, the American artillery being splendidly handled, and mowing down the Mexicans at every charge. "Give 'em a little more grape, Captain Bragg!" said Taylor quietly, as he saw Santa Anna's lines wavering. The grape was given, and the Mexicans fled, leaving 500 of their number dead or dying on the field. The total Mexican loss, including wounded and prisoners was about 2000; that of the Americans in killed, wounded and missing, 746. This victory, and the successes of Fremont and Kearney in California, completed the conquest of Northern Mexico.

General Winfield Scott, who was in supreme command of all the American forces, conducted a brilliant campaign from the coast. After taking Vera Cruz and the castle of San Juan de Ulloa, General Scott advanced toward the City of Mexico with about 10,000 men. At Cerro Gordo, a difficult pass in the mountains, the American army encountered 12,000 Mexicans under command of Santa Anna, who had, by extraordinary efforts, collected this force after his defeat at Buena Vista. The battle was fought on April 18, every movement of the American troops being directed, according to a carefully prepared plan, by General Scott. Colonel Harvey led the storming party into the pass, with a deep river on one side, and batteries belching death from lofty rocks on the other side. The Americans rushed forward with irresistible courage. They knew their enemy. The Alamo had not been forgotten. Cerro Gordo fell, and the flight of the Mexicans may best be described in the language of one of their own historians: "General Santa Anna, accompanied by some of his adjutants, was passing along the road to the left of the battery, when the enemy's column, now out of the woods, appeared on his line of retreat and fired upon him, forcing him back. The carriage in which he had left Jalapa was riddled with shot, the mules killed and taken by the enemy, as well as a wagon containing $16,000 received the day before for the pay of the soldiers. Every tie of command and obedience now being broken among our troops, safety alone being the object, and all being involved in a frightful confusion, they rushed desperately to the narrow pass of the defile that descended to the Plan del Rio, where the general-in-chief had proceeded, with the chiefs and officers accompanying him. Horrid indeed was the descent by that narrow and rocky path where thousands rushed, disputing the passage with desperation, and leaving a track of blood upon the road. All classes being confounded military distinction and respect were lost; and badges of rank became marks of sarcasm. The enemy, now masters of our camp, turned their guns upon the fugitives, thus augmenting the terror of the multitude that crowded through the defile and pressed forward every instant by a new impulse, which increased the confusion and disgrace of that ill-fated day." Of the 12,000 Mexicans engaged in this battle about 1200 were killed and wounded, and 3000 were made prisoners. The captives were all paroled, and the sick and wounded sent to Jalapa, where they were well cared for. The Castle of Perote, the strongest fortress in Mexico, surrendered without resistance, and the American flag was unfurled on the summit of the eastern Cordilleras.

After a rest at Puebla General Scott pushed on in the footsteps of Cortes. Santa Anna, who would have equalled Napoleon or Caesar had his ability and courage in the field been equal to his success in organizing armies, made a stand with 32,000 Mexicans at Contreras and Churubusco. The army of General Scott numbered about 9000 effective men. Both sides knew that the battle to be fought would decide the fate of the City of Mexico. On the nineteenth of August about one-half of the American army attacked the fortified camp at Contreras, defended by nearly 7000 Mexicans, under General Valencia. Evening fell without victory for either side. In the early morning, after a night of heavy rain, General P. F. Smith, with three brigades of infantry, but without cavalry or artillery, marched in the darkness up to the Mexican camp, discharged several volleys in quick succession, and dashed, bayonet in hand, upon the enemy. In fifteen minutes the Americans were victors, over 3000 Mexicans were prisoners, and the rest of Valencia's troops were fugitives. The American army gave the enemy no time to recover, but moved promptly forward to more victories. The fort of San Antonio was captured, the garrison not waiting to be attacked before taking to flight, and then began the battle of Churubusco. This place is a small village, six miles south from the City of Mexico, and connected with it by a spacious causeway. At the head of the causeway, near the village, and in front of the bridge over the Churubusco River, was a strong redoubt, mounted with batteries, and occupied by a large force of Mexicans. The convent-church of San Pablo, with its massive stone walls, was converted into a fort. The walls were impervious to the attack of field pieces, and the building was defended by a well-constructed bastion, and guns placed in the embrasure. The church stood on an eminence, and the village which clustered about it was defended by stone walls and a stone building, strongly fortified.

The Americans carried the redoubt at the point of the bayonet, and then a desperate battle raged about the fortified village and church. From behind their defences the Mexicans kept up a deadly fire on the Americans, but the latter never faltered. The Mexicans made repeated sallies from the convent, but were driven back every time. In their desperation the native Mexicans desired to surrender, but some deserters from the American army, known as the San Patricio companies, hauled down the white flag whenever it was put up. At length after a three-hours' struggle the convent and other defences were captured. In the rear of Churubusco General James Shields and General Franklin Pierce, afterward President of the United States, were hard pressed by an overwhelming force of Mexicans, and in some danger. Timely reinforcements sent by General Scott turned danger into victory, and the Mexicans, discomfited on every side, gave way, and retreated in utter disorder toward the city of Mexico, pursued by the triumphant Americans. It was the most glorious day since Yorktown for American arms. The Mexican loss was nearly 4000 killed and wounded, besides 300 prisoners, thirty-seven cannon and a large quantity of small arms and ammunition. The Americans lost 139 killed and 926 wounded.

Churubusco should have ended the war, and negotiations for peace were commenced, but were broken off through Mexican bad faith. Hostilities were resumed and the coup-de-grace was given to Mexico on the historic hill of Chapultepec. The storming of El Molino del Rey, of the Casa de Mata and the Castle of Chapultepec were among the boldest exploits of the war. Chapultepec had been an ancient seat of the Aztec emperors. Rising abruptly from the shore of Lake Tezcuco, crowned with a strongly fortified castle, supported by numerous outworks and with several massive stone buildings, each a fortress powerfully garrisoned, at the base, the hill of Chapultepec seemed a very Gibraltar guarding the entrance to Mexico's capital. El Molino del Rey and the Casa de Mata were carried by storm on the eighth of September, the Mexicans leaving 1000 dead on the field, beside 800 prisoners, and those who escaped death or capture either flying in dismay from the scene or retreating up the hill to the Castle of Chapultepec.

General Scott determined to batter down the castle with heavy cannon. Robert E. Lee, afterward commander of the Confederate armies, was one of the officers who placed the artillery in position. A continuous fire was kept up during the first day (September 12), the solid shot and shell crashing through the Castle and killing many of its defenders. Among these were about one hundred young boys, from ten to sixteen years of age, cadets in the Military Academy, which was situated on the hill of Chapultepec. Several of the boys lost their lives fighting the Americans with a valor that might well have put some of their elders to shame. About fifty general officers were also in the Castle, and the whole Mexican force engaged probably did not exceed 4000 men. It was the last stand made by Mexican troops, and it was a brave stand. The weak and the demoralized had slunk away from further conflict with an invincible foe. The bombardment was resumed on the thirteenth, and troops moved to the assault under cover of a heavy cannonade. The Mexicans fought desperately, but they were no match for their antagonists. The Stars and Stripes soon floated over Chapultepec, hailed with a mighty cheer by the American troops, nearly all of whom had taken some part in the conflict.

On September 14 the American flag was hoisted in the City of Mexico, and from the National Palace of that Republic General Scott issued a general order in which, with justifiable pride, he declared: "Beginning with August 10 and ending the fourteenth instant, this army has gallantly fought its way through the fields and forts of Contreras, San Antonio, Churubusco, Molino del Rey, Chapultepec and the gates of San Cosme and Tacubaya into the capital of Mexico. When the very limited number who have performed these brilliant deeds shall have become known, the world will be astonished and our own countrymen filled with joy and admiration." The triumphs of Scott and Taylor added lustre to American arms which time will not efface. They recalled the exploits of Cortes and Pizarro, save in the scrupulous honor and humanity which guided every step of the American invasion. No victors were ever more generous in their treatment of the conquered. "The soldiers of Vera Cruz," says a Mexican historian, "received the honor due to their valor and misfortunes. Not even a look was given them by the enemy's soldiers which could be interpreted into an insult." The Duke of Wellington, the conqueror of Napoleon, followed Scott's campaign with deep interest and caused its movements to be marked on a map daily, as information was received. Admiring its triumphs up to the basin of Mexico, Wellington then said: "Scott is lost. He has been carried away by successes. He can't take the city, and he can't fall back on his base." Wellington proved to be wrong. He had never met American troops.

The treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, concluded February 2, 1848, established the Rio Grande as the boundary between the United States and Mexico, and California and New Mexico, including what is now Arizona, were ceded to the United States for $15,000,000. The United States also assumed the payment of obligations due by Mexico to American citizens to the amount of $3,250,000, and discharged Mexico from all claims of citizens of the United States against that Republic. Strict provision was made for the preservation of the rights of the inhabitants of the ceded territory. The Gadsden Purchase, in 1853—so called from General James Gadsden, who conducted the negotiations in behalf of the United States—added 45,535 square miles of Mexican territory to the United States, for which this country paid $10,000,000, Mexico at the same time relinquishing claims against the United States for Indian depredations amounting to from $15,000,000 to $30,000,000. The American Republic thus received in all, as a consequence of the Mexican War, 591,398 square miles, and the Union acquired its present boundaries, exclusive of Alaska. The Mexican War gave to the United States the Pacific as well as the Atlantic seaboard, and completed the westward movement which had begun with the very birth of the Republic. It made the United States the great power of the American continent, seated between the two oceans, with a domain unequalled in natural resources by any other region of the world.



CHAPTER XXXII.

The Union in 1850—Comparative Population of Cities and Rural Districts —Agriculture the General Occupation—Commercial and Industrial Development—Growth of New York and Chicago—The Southern States— Importance of the Cotton Crop—Why the South Was Sensitive to Anti-Slavery Agitation—Manufactures—Religion and Education,—The Cloud on the Horizon.

Approaching that period of civil discord, followed by civil war, which has left its impress in every corner of the Union, and which was attended by radical changes in the Constitution and the institutions of our country, it may be well to review the material condition of the States when the forces of freedom and slavery began to gather for the great conflict, first in the forum and later in the field. In 1850 the United States had a population of 23,191,876, of whom 3,204,313 were slaves. Only 4,000,000 of the people lived in cities, towns and villages, and of these but 2,860,000 resided in 140 cities and towns of more than 10,000 inhabitants each. Of the total real and personal property in the United States more than two-thirds was owned by the rural population, and the value of manufactures was insignificant, compared with the products of agriculture. One leading aim of American statesmanship and enterprise had been, from a very early period, to connect the great lakes and the fertile valleys of the middle and western States with the cities and ports along the Atlantic seaboard; to improve navigation of the rivers, and thus bring into cultivation the valuable tracts of country along their banks; and, as a part of this great work, to connect with each other, by railways and canals, the towns and villages in the more densely-peopled and cultivated districts. To carry out the general design, vast sums were lavished and expensive works constructed, in many instances far in advance of any ascertained requirements of the country, and certainly with little prospect of an early return for the expenditure. But in the meantime the most apparently hopeless of these works conferred important benefits upon the mass of the community, by developing sources of wealth which might otherwise have been closed for years, and providing new spheres for the restless and indomitable energy of the American.

While the agricultural portion of the American people were extending the area of their location, and laying under the Constitution new and vast sources of wealth, the cities and towns also grew apace under the impulse of commercial and industrial development. No country in the world, Great Britain not excepted, succeeded more signally in directing its natural advantages to the promotion of commerce. The abundance of water power was utilized for manufactures of every description. Machinery of the most perfect kind was applied to every process, economizing labor, facilitating locomotion and aiding in surmounting those difficulties which had ever impeded the progress of young nations. Nowhere was the gigantic power of steam more abundantly and usefully employed—in the mine and in the mill, on the rivers and lakes, the canals and the railroads, doing the work of millions of hands and of human and animal sinews, without creating a vacuum in the market for labor, or diminishing the rewards of industry. From 1830 to 1840, a period of only ten years, the increase in the population of twenty of the largest cities in the United States, from New York to St. Louis inclusive, was fifty-five per cent, and this in face of the most disastrous commercial panic that had ever visited the country, and this marvelous rate of increase was fully maintained during the subsequent decade.

It is not remarkable that the cities and States of the Union which first took steps to connect the fertile regions lying beyond the Allegheny Mountains with the Atlantic should have made the greatest progress in importance and prosperity. It was the fortune of the State of New York to take the earliest step to effect this great desideratum, although Washington had perhaps first suggested its importance, in agitating a movement for the purpose of connecting the country adjoining the Great Lakes with his native Virginia. The construction of the Erie Canal placed New York in the very front of American communities. Before the canal was opened the cost of transit from Lake Erie to tidewater was such as to prohibit the shipment of western produce and merchandise to New York; and it consequently came only to Baltimore and Philadelphia. "As soon as the lakes were reached," says a Federal report, "the line of navigable water was extended through them nearly one thousand miles farther from the interior. The Western States immediately commenced the construction of similar works, for the purpose of opening a communication from the more remote portions of their territories with this great water-line. All these works took their direction and character from the Erie Canal, which in this manner became the outlet for the greater part of the produce of the West. Without such a work the West would have had no attractions for a settler, and have probably remained a waste up to the present time; and New York itself could not have progressed as it has done." In addition, however, to the formation of the Erie Canal, New York originated, in advance of most other States, lines of railway throughout its territory, in connection either with the canal, or between its various towns and settlements. It also connected itself by railroad with Lake Champlain, and succeeded in diverting a considerable portion of the transit trade of Canada from the St. Lawrence through these communications to the port of New York. The effect of this enterprise displayed by the people and by the State may be estimated by the fact that the population, which was, in 1830, 1,918,608, had increased in 1840 to 2,428,921, and in 1850 was 3,097,394. In 1830, the value of the imports at New York was $38,656,064; in 1840 it had reached $60,064,942, and in 1851, when the network of railway communications throughout the State had come into fairly complete operation, the value of imports was $144,454,616.

Under the influence of railroad and canal Chicago also made swift and wonderful progress. In May, 1848, a canal one hundred miles in length was opened to connect Lake Michigan with the Illinois River, and the first section of a railway from Chicago to the westward was opened in March, 1849. Previously to these works being brought into operation it appears from the city census of 1847 that the population was 16,859; in 1850, it had sprung to 29,963, and in August, 1852 it was estimated at nearly, if not quite, 40,000, having thus considerably more than doubled itself in five years.

The efforts of the Southern States to attract toward their ports the produce of the West, by way of the magnificent rivers which empty themselves into the Gulf of Mexico, rivalled those made by the North. The prosperity of these States was greatly promoted by the growing demand for cotton in America and Europe. In the thirty-one years from 1821 to 1852, there had been an increase of 3,000,000 bales in the growth, which multiplied itself during that period seven-fold! The importance of this crop as an element of wealth may be estimated from the fact that the census value of it in 1849-50 was $112,000,000; that its cultivation and preparation for market employed upward of 800,000 agricultural laborers, 85 per cent of whom were slaves and the residue (120,000) white citizens; that upward of 120,000 tons of steam shipping, and at least 7000 persons were engaged in its transportation from the interior to the southern ports, and that after remunerating merchants, factors, underwriters and a host of other persons it furnished profitable freight for 1,100,000 tons of American shipping, and 55,000 seamen in the Gulf and Atlantic coasting trade, and for 800,000 tons and 40,000 seamen for its transport to Europe and elsewhere. As the Southern people generally believed that cotton could not be cultivated without the labor of slaves it is easy to understand why they were sensitive to every agitation, however slight, that seemed to threaten that source of wealth, and how their sensitiveness grew as cotton's empire extended.

Manufactures were also in a flourishing condition, and it was estimated in 1852, that the capital embarked in the cotton manufactories of the United States was at least $80,000,000; that the value of the products was $70,000,000; that 100,000 male and female operatives were employed, and that quite 700,000 bales of cotton, worth at least $35,000,000, were spun and woven. America possessed, also, a number of woolen manufactories, which employed about the same period 39,252 hands.

The American people, then as now, believed in religion and education as the corner-stones of liberty's temple. The population of 23,000,000 in 1850 had 36,221 churches and chapels, with accommodation for 13,967,449 persons—a large accommodation for a new country whose population had spread so rapidly over so extensive an area. Of the youth nearly 4,000,000 were receiving instruction in the various educational institutions. The teachers numbered 115,000, and colleges and schools nearly 100,000. America had upward of seventy theological schools; forty-four medical and surgical schools; nineteen schools of law, and ten schools of practical science and extensive libraries were attached to nearly all of these institutions.

Never had the future of our nation seemed more promising than at the very time when the cloud of slavery began to darken the bright horizon, gradually overspreading the heavens until it burst in the storm of secession.



The Slavery Conflict.



CHAPTER XXXIII.

Aggressiveness of Slavery—The Cotton States and Border States—The Fugitive Slave Law—Nullified in the North—Negroes Imported from Africa—The Struggle in Kansas—John Brown—Abraham Lincoln Pleads for Human Rights—Treason in Buchanan's Cabinet—Citizens Stop Guns at Pittsburg—Conditions at the Beginning of the Struggle—Southern Advantages—The Soldiers of Both Armies Compared—Conscription in the Confederacy—Southern Resources Limited—The North at a Disadvantage at First, but Its Resources Inexhaustible—Conscription in the North— Popular Support of the War—Unfriendliness of Great Britain and France—Why They Did Not Interfere.

Slavery could not stand still. The Cotton States, so-called, which suffered least from the escape of slaves were the most aggressive in demanding a Fugitive Slave Law, while the Border States, where escapes were frequent, were not nearly as aggressive as their Southern neighbors. Attachment to slavery in the Cotton States had become a passion, springing from self-interest, but stronger than self-interest; while in the Border States the slaveholders were affected by propinquity to free communities, and the calculations of self-interest were softened by their surroundings; which shows, like many another chapter in history, that in the mighty impulses which guide the destinies of nations, the heart is above the head. The advocates of slavery felt insecure because they knew that even if legally right they were divinely and humanly wrong. They were not satisfied to have the Free States acquiescent and even submissive; they were determined, in their fever of unrest, to drive freedom to the wall, and to make the people of the North slave-catchers, if they would not consent to be slave-owners.

The South had the Constitution on its side, and the Fugitive Slave Law could be met only by obedience or nullification. The Northern people simply decided to nullify the law. They did not meet in State conventions—like South Carolina in 1832—and declare the law void and of no effect. They were too sensible for that; but they would not obey the law. It was nullified in various ways. In Rhode Island, for instance, it was made a crime for an officer of the State to arrest a fugitive slave; in Ohio the ordinary statute against kidnappers was used to punish Federal officers and others attempting to carry slaves back into bondage, and in New York and other States mob law interfered to rescue and liberate the victims. The Fugitive Slave Law roused the spirit of freedom, and Northern defiance of the law inflamed the slaveholders. The Kansas-Nebraska bill, menacing the free States with a slave barrier West as well as South, and stretching to the Pacific as well as the Gulf, made civil war almost inevitable. Compromise became cowardice, and everyone who was not for freedom was against it. The Supreme Court of the United States supported the contentions of the slaveholders, but in vain for their cause. That higher tribunal—the conscience of a free and intelligent people—arraigned slavery as a crime against God and man, the Constitution and the Supreme Court to the contrary notwithstanding. When Chief Justice Taney held that Dred Scott was not a citizen of Missouri, but a thing, and could be carried by his master from one State to another, like a dog or a watch, and still be a slave, the Chief Justice only immortalized his own infamy; he did not immortalize slavery. Still greater was the shock when in defiance of the Constitution and the laws the foreign slave trade was resumed, and negroes imported from Africa to the South. It is only just to state that, according to recently published narratives of these slave importations, with details that could not have been related at the time with safety for the parties concerned, the Federal authorities in the South seem to have made a sincere effort to bring the slave-traders to justice, and the planters apparently did not welcome the traffic.

The pioneers of the great struggle to come met on the plains of Kansas and several years of fierce border strife ended in victory for freedom. John Brown, whom the world calls a fanatic, perished on the scaffold at Harper's Ferry in a vain attempt to liberate the slaves, and while editors vacillated and quibbled, and fawning time servers applauded, Thoreau, from his hermitage in the New England woods, paid eloquent tribute to the man who dared to die for the truth. Away in the West a figure was looming up, a gaunt, homely figure, born in and nurtured in hardship, but endowed as no other man of his age was endowed, with the ability to guide his country through the awful ordeal to come. He perceived the right, and he boldly declared it. "If it is decreed that I should go down because of this speech, then let me go down linked to the truth—let me die in the advocacy of what is just and right," said Abraham Lincoln to the friends who disapproved his celebrated declaration that the government could not endure half slave, half free. "In the right to eat the bread without the leave of anybody else, which his own hand earns, he (the negro) is my equal, and the equal of Judge Douglas, and the equal of every living man"—was another sterling utterance which struck home to the North.

While Lincoln was pleading the cause of human rights, and asserting that the Declaration of Independence was meant for black as well as white, members of President Buchanan's cabinet, holding in their grasp the reins of National Government, were plotting the nation's overthrow. Even down to the very moment that John B. Floyd left the War Office, and when South Carolina was already in rebellion, this plotting was continued. As late as the beginning of January, 1861, an attempt was made under an order from Floyd to remove one hundred and fifty cannon from the Allegheny Arsenal, at Pittsburg, to the South, to be used against the Union. "Our people are a unit that not a gun shall be shipped South," said the Dispatch of that city, and without violence, without the shedding of a drop of blood or the drawing of a weapon against national authority, the citizens obtained the reversal of the order, and the guns, some of which were already under convoy to the wharf, were returned to the arsenal. The "Rebellion Records," published by the government, should not begin with 1861. They should go back to the time when the plot originated to strip the national arsenals for the benefit of the nation's enemies, to disarm the Union that it might fall a prey to secession. This was the treason which should never be forgotten. The men who fought bravely and openly in the field for the Confederate cause can be respected for their sincerity and honored for their valor; but not so with the men who before the war violated their trust as guardians and armor bearers of the Union to betray the nation to its conspiring foes.

* * *

The conditions at the beginning of the war were much more favorable to the South than a mere comparison of population would indicate. The loyal States had a population of 23,000,000; the seceded States 8,000,000, of whom about one-half were slaves. These slaves counted, however, for about as much effective strength as if they had been whites, for the soil had to be cultivated, the armies fed, fortifications built and other necessary services performed, and the negroes, while all who were bright enough to understand the situation wished for the success of the Union, worked for their masters faithfully, as a rule, until the approach of the national armies gave an opportunity to escape. Besides, the negroes in attendance on the Confederate troops performed many duties to which on the Northern side soldiers were assigned, and in this way the blacks were useful in even a strictly military sense. In short, the negroes did everything for the Confederacy but fight for it, and this, too, although they loved the blue uniform, and gave loyal assistance to the Union troops whenever occasion offered. The Southern forces, it should also be remembered, were on their own ground. They knew every thicket and road and stream; they had the sympathy of the white, as well as the service of the black inhabitants. They were led by a brilliant group of commanders whom Jefferson Davis, when Secretary of War, had brought together probably with this object in view, and they were thoroughly armed and equipped at the expense of the very government against which they were contending. It is needless to say that no better soldiers ever bore rifle or sabre than the men of the Southern Confederacy. They were, like most of their northern antagonists, Americans of the same blood as those who carried the redoubts at Yorktown and stormed the hill of Chapultepec, and their courage in the Civil War fully maintained the prestige gained in battle against alien foes. In intelligence, or at least in education, however, the rank and file of the Confederate armies were inferior to the native Americans in the Union armies. The Confederate troops captured at Vicksburg were no doubt equal to the average, and of the 27,000 men then made prisoners and paroled two-thirds made their marks, not being able to write their names. This is not so surprising when it is remembered that there was no common school system in the South before the war, and that the "twenty-negro law," exempting the owner of twenty negroes from conscription, excused from military service the class which had an opportunity to be educated, and which also had most at stake in the contest.

Before the close of the war, however, all exemptions in the Confederacy were virtually swept away, and the government enlisted every one able to bear a musket, from the boy hardly in his teens to the old man tottering to the grave. Those not able to go to the front did duty in the rear, and the whole male population, excepting cripples and children, was in the ranks, or the civil service. If any escaped the net of conscription they were likely to be caught in the round-up made every now and then after the fashion of the old English press-gang, when all who happened to be in sight were gathered in, and sent to the army, unless they clearly proved a title to freedom. In one of these round-ups, says Jones, in his "Diary of a Rebel War Clerk"—the Postmaster-General of the Confederacy, John H. Reagan, was carried along with the rest, and detained for some time before released. Thus the prophecy of Houston was strikingly fulfilled. Of course, the refugees and deserters, of whom there were a very large number in the swamps and woods of the South, are excepted from the statement that the whole population was in arms for the Confederate cause.

* * *

In the beginning of the war the North was at a disadvantage. Mr. Lincoln found the little army of the United States scattered and disorganized, the navy sent to distant quarters of the globe, the treasury bankrupt and the public service demoralized. Floyd and his fellow-conspirators had done their work thoroughly. It did not take long for the people of the North to rally to the defence of the government, and for an army to be formed capable not only of defending the loyal States, but of striking a blow at the Confederacy. With the National credit restored, an abundance of currency provided for national needs, and the public departments cleared of Southern sympathizers, the North entered upon a conflict which could have but one ending should the North remain steadfast.

The weakness of the South, from a military standpoint, was in the fact that men lost could not be replaced. The North could replenish its depleted armies; the South could not. With men therefore of the same race and equal in soldierly qualities arrayed against each other, one side within measurable distance of exhaustion and the other with inexhaustible human resources to draw upon, the war became an easy sum in arithmetic, provided the stronger party should not cry "enough" before the weaker had reached the exhaustion point. The battles on comparatively equal terms were fought, therefore, in the early part of the war, the decisive battles in 1863, and the closing struggle between the gasping Confederacy and the Union stronger than ever, in the last fifteen months of the conflict.

In the North, notwithstanding the immense armies put in the field, there never was a time except in brief periods of riot and disorder, when the usual bustle of humanity was absent from the cities and towns. Commerce and industry went on with accustomed activity. While Southern cities looked like garrisoned graveyards the North had never worn a busier or more prosperous appearance. With such a large population there should have been no reason for conscription, but when conscription was deemed requisite, there ought to have been no exemption on the ground of wealth. Every able-bodied drafted man ought to have been obliged to serve, without the privilege of a substitute, and no money payment should have secured release from service. The obligation to defend the country rests upon all, but if there is any distinction, the rich man has more interest in protecting the government which shields him and his possessions from danger than the poor man. European nations make no exemption on account of wealth or position, and the American Republic certainly should not have given such an example.

The people of the North, however, with comparatively few but very troublesome exceptions, gave earnest and enthusiastic support to the National Government. Committees were formed everywhere to aid the armies in the field, to provide for the wounded and the sick and to assist the families of absent soldiers. In the darkest days of the struggle the people never lost faith in the ultimate triumph of the Union. While statesmen and editors professing to be superior to their fellows in knowledge and foresight saw only the gloomy side and predicted the defeat and downfall of the Republic, the popular heart was true and confident and courageous. Upon the people's arms Lincoln could always lean in times of severest trial and anxiety, assured of comfort, support and strength.

* * *

The unfriendliness of Great Britain and France was a most serious and ever-present danger to the United States throughout the whole period of the war, and was prolific of injury to American interests. From the first Great Britain showed a conscious unfriendly purpose. That government privately proposed to France, even before Queen Victoria's proclamation recognizing the insurgents as belligerents, to open direct negotiations with the South, and the British Legation at Washington was used for secret communications with the Confederate President. When the Confederate agents, James M. Mason and John Slidell and their secretaries, were taken from the British mail-steamer Trent by Captain Wilkes, of the American warship San Jacinto, the course of the British Cabinet indicated an unfriendliness so extreme as to approach a desire for war. Peremptory instructions were sent to Lord Lyons, the British Minister at Washington, to demand the release of the men arrested, and to leave Washington if the demand was not complied with in seven days. Vessels of war were fitted out by the British, and troops pressed forward to Canada. The official statement of the American Minister at London that the act had not been authorized by the American Government was kept from the British people, and public opinion was encouraged to drift into a state of hostility toward the United States. The surrender of Mason and Slidell removed all excuse for war, much to the disgust, doubtless, of the ruling class in Great Britain. Leading English statesmen made public speeches favoring the Confederacy. Lord Russell, himself, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, stated in the House of Lords that the subjugation of the South by the North "would prove a calamity to the United States and to the world." The Alabama and other privateers went forth from British ports to prey on American commerce, and the builder of the Alabama was cheered in the House of Commons when he boasted of what he had done. Even Mr. Gladstone—before Vicksburg and Gettysburg—declared that "the restoration of the American Union by force is unattainable."

Napoleon the Third—that crow in the eagle's nest—was cordially with Great Britain in all efforts to injure the American Union. He had long cherished the design to establish a vassal empire in Mexico, and in our Civil War he saw his opportunity. A Southern Confederacy would form a grand barrier between a Franco-Mexican dominion and the United States, and while the French emperor treated the government at Washington with diplomatic courtesy, he never ceased to exert his influence in favor of the South, so far as he could, without an actual rupture. Napoleon was ready and anxious to recognize the Confederacy, and he only waited for the South to win victories that would give him an excuse for action. "His course toward us," says Bigelow, "from the beginning to the end of the plot was deliberately and systematically treacherous, and his ministers allowed themselves to be made his pliant instruments."[1] General Grant declared at City Point, in 1864, that as soon as we had disposed of the Confederates we must begin with the Imperialists, and after Appomattox he expressed the opinion that the French intervention in Mexico was so closely allied to the rebellion as to be a part of it.

[1] France and the Confederate Navy.

Neither England nor France interfered directly in behalf of the South. Louis Napoleon waited for England to act, and the British Cabinet felt that the British masses would not justify a war in defence of slavery. The American Government, while it met with firm and dignified protest Great Britain's disregard of international obligations, was careful to abstain from giving any excuse for British hostility. "One war at a time," said Abraham Lincoln, in deciding to surrender Mason and Slidell. But Americans kept careful account of every item of outrage on the part of England, and in due time the bill was presented—and paid. And in due time also Napoleon was told to go out of Mexico—and he went.



CHAPTER XXXIV.

The Confederate Government Organized—Fort Sumter—President Lincoln Calls for 75000 Men—Command of the Union Forces offered to Robert E. Lee—Lee Joins the Confederacy—Missouri Saved to the Union—Battle of Bull Run—Union Successes in the West—General Grant Captures Fort Donelson—"I Have No Terms but Unconditional Surrender"—The Monitor and Merrimac Fight—Its World-Wide Effect—Grant Victorious at Shiloh—Union Naval Victory Near Memphis—That City Captured—General McClellan's Tactics—He Retreats from Victory at Malvern Hill—Second Bull Run Defeat—Great Battle of Antietam—Lee Repulsed, but Not Pursued— McClellan Superseded by Burnside—Union Defeat at Frederickburg— Union Victories in the West—Bragg Defeated by Rosecrans at Stone River —The Emancipation Proclamation.

The new Confederate Government was organized at Montgomery, Ala., February 4, 1861, by delegates from South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas. Jefferson Davis, of Mississippi, was elected President and Alexander H. Stephens, of Georgia, Vice-President. The border States, which would be the battlefield of war, still hoped for peace, and hesitated to yield to the importunities of those who had already crossed the Rubicon. In Charleston harbor, the American flag floated over a little fortress called Sumter, so named after the "South Carolina Gamecock" of the Revolution, and commanded by Major Robert Anderson. In the gray of the morning on April 12, the Confederate batteries opened fire on the fort. For nearly two days the Stars and Stripes waved defiantly amid the storm of shot and shell. Then further resistance being useless and hopeless, the brave garrison evacuated the fort, carrying away the flag which they had so resolutely defended. Two days later President Lincoln called for 75,000 men to put down armed resistance to national authority. The North sprang to arms, and from East and West regiments started on their way to Washington. The governors of Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, Virginia and Missouri declined to obey the call of the President, and the secession of all these States from the Union followed, except Kentucky and Missouri. On April 17, the Virginia Convention passed the Ordinance of Secession. President Lincoln had desired to give the command of the troops to be called into the field to Colonel Robert E. Lee, of the First United States Cavalry, but that officer declined to accept the offer, resigned his commission, and joined the Confederacy. It should be needless to say that the qualities displayed by Lee, at the head of the Army of Northern Virginia, amply justified President Lincoln's measure of his capacity. The seat of the Confederate Government was removed from Montgomery to Richmond, and the latter city was thenceforward the headquarters of the rebellion.

Of the other border States Maryland remained in the Union, and Kentucky, after an attempt to maintain an impossible neutrality, yielded to the influence of mountain air, and espoused the cause of freedom. Missouri's disloyal government sought to drag the State into secession, but Francis Preston Blair, a lawyer of St. Louis, and Captain Nathaniel Lyon, commandant of the United States Arsenal in that city, took vigorous action against the rebel sympathizers, and saved the State to the Union. The German element in Missouri was so loyal to the old flag that "Unionist" and "Dutchman" were synonymous terms in that region during the war. Captain Lyon, promoted to brigadier-general, was defeated and killed at the battle of Wilson Creek. It is believed that he resolved to win the battle or die. Of such stuff were the men who rescued the Southwest.

The battle of Bull Run, when General Joseph E. Johnston, commanding the Confederates, defeated General McDowell with serious loss, and sent the Union army in disorderly retreat toward Washington, taught the Northern people that the war was not a parade, and that the overthrow of the Confederacy would tax all the energies of the loyal States. Fortunately, General George H. Thomas won an important victory for the Union at Mill Spring, Kentucky, in January, 1862, and the capture of Fort Henry and Fort Donelson, in the following month, by General Ulysses S. Grant, aided by Commodore Foote and his gunboats, tended to efface the depression caused by defeat in Virginia. General Grant's reply to the Confederate General Buckner, when the latter wished to make terms for the surrender of Fort Donelson, was on every tongue in the North. "I have no terms but unconditional surrender. I propose to move immediately upon your works," was a message that spoke the man. Nearly sixteen thousand prisoners were captured. They belonged mostly to the working classes of Missouri, Tennessee and Arkansas.

* * *

John Ericsson's Monitor, in March, 1862, sent a thrill of relief and joy through the North by its wonderful victory over the Merrimac. The Confederates cut down a United States frigate at the Norfolk navy yard, and transformed it into an ironclad ram, with a powerful beak. This monster they sent against the Union fleet of wooden warships in Hampton Roads. Broadsides had no effect on the Merrimac. The floating fortress attacked the Cumberland, ramming that vessel, and breaking a great hole in its side. The Cumberland sank with all on board. The Congress was driven aground and compelled to surrender. Then the monster rested for the night, intending to continue its mission of destruction on the morrow. It seemed that not only the Union fleet, but the ports and commerce of the North would be at the mercy of this novel and terrible engine of destruction. The telegraph carried the news everywhere, and in dread and anxiety the people awaited the fate of another day. When morning came at Hampton Roads a small nondescript vessel, looking like an oval raft with a turret, interposed between the Merrimac and its prey. It was the Monitor, the invention of Captain John Ericsson, and it had arrived during the night of March 8. The Monitor had been constructed at Greenpoint, Long Island, and was towed to Hampton Roads by steamers. Her turret was a revolving, bomb-proof fort, in which were mounted two 11-inch Dahlgren guns. As the turret revolved the great guns kept up a steady discharge, battering the sides of the Merrimac. The latter hurled enormous masses of iron on the Monitor, but made no impression whatever on the little craft, and the duel continued until the Merrimac gave up the fight, and ran back to shelter at Norfolk. Ericsson's praise was on every tongue. The great Swedish engineer whose sanity had been questioned when he submitted his ideas to the Navy Department, not only saved the Union navy from destruction, and Northern harbors from devastation, but he also revolutionized naval warfare.

* * *

Their first line broken in the Southwest, and now compelled to fight within secession territory, the Confederates made a stand along a second line from Memphis to Chattanooga, their forces being massed at Corinth. In the great battle of Shiloh (April 6 and 7) 100,000 men were engaged; the National loss in killed, wounded and prisoners was about 15,000, and that of the Confederates over 10,000. The latter fought more desperately than on any previous field, and for a time they had the advantage. The usual ethics of defeat had, however, no place in General Grant's military education, and the enemy were at length forced to give way. General Albert Sydney Johnston, one of the ablest Confederate commanders, was killed, and General Beauregard retreated, leaving his dead and wounded in Union hands. The second line of defence was broken. An amusing incident of this battle—if anything can be amusing in war—was a message sent by General Beauregard to General Grant explaining why he had withdrawn his troops. General Grant was strongly tempted to assure Beauregard that no apologies were necessary.

The capture of New Orleans in the latter part of April, and of Island Number Ten in the same month gave the National forces control of the Mississippi nearly up to Vicksburg and down to Memphis. The Confederate flotilla was defeated and destroyed in a sharp engagement by the Union river fleet, two miles above Memphis, on June 6, the battle occurring in full view of that city. It was one of the most dramatic spectacles of the war. The combat lasted just one hour and three minutes, and as the Union fleet landed at Memphis, a number of newsboys sprang on shore from the vessels, shouting: "Here's your New York Tribune and Herald!"—before the city had been formally surrendered. The Unionists received the National troops like brothers, and one lady brought out from its hiding place in her chimney a National flag concealed from the beginning of the war. "We found Memphis," wrote a correspondent, "as torpid as Syria, where Yusef Browne declared that he saw only one man exhibit any sign of activity, and he was engaged in tumbling from the roof of a house." Salt was rubbed into the wounds of the vanquished by the military assignment of Albert D. Richardson and Col. Thomas W. Knox, representatives of the Tribune and Herald, to edit the bitterest secession newspaper in the town.

* * *

In the East the Union cause made no progress. General George B. McClellan, in command of the Army of the Potomac, was endeavoring to play the part of a Turenne in a field utterly foreign to European strategy. Generals Robert E. Lee, Joseph E. Johnston and Thomas Jonathan ("Stonewall") Jackson, the three great Confederate commanders in Virginia, proved themselves easily the superiors of their antagonists in the tactics best fitted for American warfare, and but for the stubborn valor of the Union soldiers at Fair Oaks and in the seven days' battles ending at Malvern Hills, the Army of the Potomac would probably have been destroyed. When Malvern Hills was won by the splendid fighting of the National troops, without any agency of their commander, and when they were enthusiastic for a forward movement upon Richmond, McClellan consulted his tactical horoscope, and ordered them to retreat just as if they had been beaten. The second battle of Bull Run, with General John Pope in command on the Union side, and Generals Lee, "Stonewall" Jackson and James Longstreet leading the Confederates, stopped short of being as disastrous a defeat for the National arms as the first Bull Run, but that was all.

Lee pushed into Maryland with about 45,000 troops, and encountered McClellan at Antietam, on September 17, with 85,000. McClellan was "cautious," as usual, but fighting had to be done, and the rank and file of the Union forces were, as ever, anxious to fight. Lee was repulsed after a fearful conflict, in which about 20,000 men were killed and wounded. General Joseph Hooker, known as "Fighting Joe Hooker," was under McClellan at Antietam, and behaved most gallantly. Wounded before noon, Hooker was carried from the field. "Had he not been disabled," wrote a war correspondent, "he would probably have made it a decisive conflict. Realizing that it was one of the world's great days, he said: 'I would gladly have compromised with the enemy by receiving a mortal wound at night, could I have remained at the head of my troops until the sun went down.'" McClellan neglected to take advantage of the success achieved at the cost of so many brave lives, and Mr. George W. Smalley, then of the Tribune, who was on the field, is authority for the statement that General Hooker was privately requested in behalf of a number of Union officers, to assume command and follow up the victory. In Hooker's condition this was impossible, even had he been inclined to take a step so serious in its possible consequences for himself.

McClellan was superseded in November by General Ambrose E. Burnside, who had distinguished himself at Antietam, as he always did in a subordinate command. On December 13, General Burnside suffered a fearful defeat at Fredericksburg, with a loss of 12,000 men. It was one of Lee's most brilliant victories, and on the Union side it was a useless sacrifice of life. "Lee's position," says General Fitzhugh Lee, "was strong by nature and was made stronger by art. No troops could successfully assail it, and no commanding general should have ordered it to be done."[1] Burnside was superseded by Hooker, and the armies in Virginia did but little more until spring.

[1] Life of General Robert E. Lee. D. Appleton & Co.

* * *

After the battle of Shiloh the Confederates made Chattanooga, Tenn., the base of their operations in the Southwest. General Braxton Bragg, who succeeded Beauregard in command in that region, invaded Kentucky, and sought to drive the inhabitants into the Confederate service. A sanguinary battle at Perryville resulted in the complete repulse of the Confederates, who retreated into Tennessee, carrying with them a vast quantity of plunder. General William Starke Rosecrans now came to the front as a successful Union commander. With Grant's left wing he defeated the Confederates at Iuka, September 19, and Corinth, October 3 and 4, and as chief of the Army of the Cumberland, he fought one of the great battles of the war with General Bragg at Murfreesboro, or Stone River, December 31 and January 2. Never during the four years of conflict did the troops on both sides fight more resolutely. The first day was rather favorable to the Confederates. Little was done on New Year's Day, but on January 2 the struggle was renewed more fiercely than before. The western armies had caught Grant's instinct of never recognizing defeat. Charge after charge was made, first by the Confederates, then by the Union troops, and at length the Confederate line fell back, and did not charge again. At midnight of January 4 Bragg retired in the direction of Chattanooga. The killed, wounded and missing numbered over 20,000, probably about evenly divided.

* * *

The Emancipation Proclamation, issued by President Lincoln on New Year's Day, 1863, was in every sense a statesmanlike and justifiable measure. It aroused the powerful anti-slavery sentiment of England in support of the Union, and neutralized Tory sympathy with the Confederacy; it strengthened the Union cause at home, and it showed that the National Government was not afraid to punish, and was resolved to weaken its enemies by the confiscation of their property.



CHAPTER XXXV.

General Grant Invests Vicksburg—The Confederate Garrison—Scenes in the Beleaguered City—The Surrender—Hooker Defeated at Chancellorsville— Death of "Stonewall" Jackson—General Meade Takes Command of the Army of the Potomac—Lee Crosses the Potomac—The Battle of Gettysburg—The First Two Days—The Third Day—Pickett's Charge—A Thrilling Spectacle—The Harvest of Death—Lee Defeated—General Thomas, "The Rock of Chickamauga" —"This Position Must Be Held Till Night"—General Grant Defeats Bragg at Chattanooga—The Decisive Battle of the West.

The Confederates made Vicksburg a position of marvelous strength. General William Tecumseh Sherman, who had proved his eminent talent as a commander under Grant at Shiloh, assaulted the bluffs north of the town on December 29, 1862, and was repulsed. General Grant, with the perseverance which he afterward exhibited at Richmond, fought battle after battle until he had Vicksburg completely invested. Commodore David D. Porter, with a formidable fleet, bombarded the stronghold from the river, while Grant's kept up a cannonade day and night from the land side. General John C. Pemberton had about 15,000 effective men out of 30,000 within the lines of the beleaguered city. Every day the situation grew more intolerable for the besieged. Rats were on sale in the market-places with mule-meat. The people lived in cellars and caves, children were born in caves, and it is interesting to read in a diary of that fearful time that "the churches are a great resort for those that have no caves. People fancy that they are not shelled so much, and they are substantial and the pews good to sleep in." A woman wished to go through the lines to her friends, and on July 1 an officer with a flag of truce carried the request. He came back with the statement: "General Grant says no human being shall pass out of Vicksburg; but the lady may feel sure danger will soon be over. Vicksburg will surrender on the fourth." A Confederate general present when this message was received, said: "Vicksburg will not surrender." But Grant was right. On July 4 silence descended upon Vicksburg. The simoon of shot and shell was over, and men and women and children crawled from their caves into the light of day. The river vessels poured in an abundance of provisions, and plenty succeeded starvation. General Pemberton surrendered 27,000 men as prisoners of war.

* * *

General Hooker, notwithstanding his undoubted courage, proved no more fortunate than his predecessors in command of the Army of the Potomac. With 90,000 men he attacked Lee and 45,000 men at Chancellorsville, May 1 to 4. The Confederate commander was at his best in this fearful four days' struggle. Hooker, says a high Confederate authority, had guided his army "into the mazes of the Wilderness, and got it so mixed and tangled that no chance was afforded for a display of its mettle." Lee with inferior forces managed by consummate strategy to meet and overcome Hooker's subordinates in detail. Then he prepared for a crushing blow at Hooker himself, which the latter escaped by a timely retreat. The bombastic Order No. 49 which followed this sweeping disaster for the Union arms did not deceive either President Lincoln or the people, who had once more seen the lives of thousands of our gallant troops sacrificed on the altar of shoulder-strapped incompetency. The killed and wounded in this battle numbered about 25,000, of whom more than half were Unionists. These figures repeat eloquently that real soldiers were waiting for a real general. The death of "Stonewall" Jackson at Chancellorsville was in no slight degree a compensation for Union losses.

The tide turned at Gettysburg. General George Gordon Meade succeeded Hooker in command of the Army of the Potomac. Meade was not a brilliant man, but he was a thorough soldier, and eminently free from that spirit of envy which was the bane of our armies, which had nearly driven Grant from the service, and which was responsible for the loss of more than one battle. Elated by Chancellorsville, Lee determined to invade the North. The South made an extreme effort to replenish its armies, and that of Northern Virginia was raised to about 100,000 men. With the greater part of this magnificent host, including 15,000 cavalry and 280 guns, Lee marched down the Shenandoah Valley, crossed the Potomac on the twenty-fifth of June, and headed for Chambersburg. Meade drew near with the army of the Potomac, and such reinforcements as had been hastily collected in Pennsylvania on the news of the invasion. At Gettysburg the two armies met for the decisive battle of the war. Meade had on the field 83,000 men and 300 guns; Lee, 69,000 men and 250 guns. For three days the two armies contended with frightful losses, and with a courage not surpassed in ancient or modern warfare. The brave General John F. Reynolds lost his life in the first encounter, and General Winfield Scott Hancock was sent by Meade to take charge of the field. On the second day occurred the desperate conflict for Little Round Top, which resulted in that key to the Union line being seized and held by the Union troops. Neither side, however, gained any decided advantage. On the third day Lee prepared for the grand movement known in history as "Pickett's charge." Fourteen thousand men were selected as the forlorn hope of the Confederacy. For two hours before the charge 120 guns kept up a fearful cannonade upon the Union lines. Meade answered with eighty guns. About three o'clock in the afternoon Meade ceased firing. Lee thought the Northern gunners were silenced. He was mistaken; they knew what was coming.

On moved the charging column, as the smoke of battle lifted, and the "tattered uniforms and bright muskets" came plainly into view. At an average distance of about eleven hundred yards the Union batteries opened. Shot and shell tore through the Confederate ranks. Still they marched on over wounded and dying and dead. Canister now rained on their flanks, and as they came within closer range a hurricane of bullets burst upon them, and men dropped on every side like leaves in the winds of autumn. The strength of the charging column melted before the gale of death; but the survivors staggered on. When the remains of the Confederate right reached the Union works their three brigade commanders had fallen, every field officer except one had been killed or wounded; but still the remnant kept its face to the foe, led to annihilation by the dauntless Armistead. The four brigades on the left of Pickett met a similar fate. "They moved up splendidly," wrote a Union officer, "deploying as they crossed the long sloping interval. The front of the column was nearly up the slope, and within a few yards of the Second Corps' front and its batteries, when suddenly a terrific fire from every available gun on Cemetery Ridge burst upon them. Their graceful lines underwent an instantaneous transformation in a dense cloud of smoke and dust; arms, heads, blankets, guns and knapsacks were tossed in the air, and the moan from the battlefield was heard amid the storm of battle."

One half of the 14,000 perished in the charge. Gettysburg was over, and the tide of invasion from the South was rolled back never to return. Meade had lost about 23,000 men, and Lee about 23,000. Halleck, whose business as general-in-chief seemed to be to annoy successful commanders, and irritate them to the resignation point, blamed Meade for allowing Lee to retire without another battle, but public opinion upheld the victor of Gettysburg, and Congress honored him and Generals Hancock and O. O. Howard with a resolution of thanks.

* * *

General George H. Thomas, a Southern officer of the Lee and Johnston rank in military capacity, who fortunately stood by the Union, saved Chickamauga from being a Union defeat that would have done much to offset Gettysburg and Vicksburg. Rosecrans had compelled Bragg to evacuate Chattanooga, and erroneously assumed that the Confederate commander was in retreat, when in fact he had been reinforced by Longstreet and was ready to risk another battle. The two armies met in the valley of Chickamauga. Operations on the Union side were chiefly a series of blunders which resulted in the right wing of Rosecrans' army being broken and driven from the field, leaving the brunt of the conflict to be borne by General Thomas with the left wing.

The magnificent stand made by Thomas against the victorious Confederates, gained for him the title of the "Rock of Chickamauga." Surrounded on all sides by a force that a craven commander might have deemed irresistible, Thomas thought out his plans as coolly as if miles away from danger. "Take that ridge!" he said calmly to General James B. Steedman, when that fearless soldier came up with his division; and Thomas pointed to a commanding ridge held by the enemy. Steedman moved at once to the attack, and the ridge was carried with a loss of 2900 men. In vain both wings of the Confederates were hurled, with fierce determination against the little army of Thomas. With 25,000 men he successfully resisted the attacks of between 50,000 and 60,000. "It will ruin the army to withdraw it now; this position must be held till night"—was the answer of Thomas to Rosecrans; and Thomas held the position until night, and then withdrew in good order. The Union loss was about 19,000 and that of the Confederates at least as great. Thomas in the following month succeeded Rosecrans as commander of the Army of the Cumberland. It is more than probable that up to that time his merits had not been fully recognized, owing to unfounded suspicion of his loyalty. When it was said of Thomas to General Joseph E. Johnston that he "did not know when he was whipped," Johnston answered: "Rather say he always knew very well when he was not whipped."

The Army of the Tennessee, now commanded by Sherman, was brought up to Chattanooga from Vicksburg, and General Grant was placed in command of all forces west of the Alleghenies. General Hooker was sent from Virginia with reinforcements, and General Grant prepared for the decisive battle of the West. In that battle, which was fought about Chattanooga, November 24 and 25, Bragg was completely defeated with a loss of about 3000 in killed and wounded and 6000 prisoners. A remarkable feature of this battle is that the Confederate position on Missionary Ridge was carried by a charge made by the Union troops without orders from their commanders.



CHAPTER XXXVI.

Grant Appointed Lieutenant-General—Takes Command in Virginia—Battles of the Wilderness—The Two Armies—Battle of Cedar Creek—Sheridan's Ride—He Turns Defeat Into Victory—Confederate Disasters on Land and Sea—Farragut at Mobile—Last Naval Battle of the War—Sherman Enters Atlanta—Lincoln's Re-election—Sherman's March to the Sea—Sherman Captures Savannah—Thomas Defeats Hood at Nashville—Fort Fisher Taken—Lee Appointed General-in-chief—Confederate Defeat at Five Forks—Lee's Surrender—Johnston's Surrender—End of the War—The South Prostrate—A Resistance Unparalleled in History—The Blots on the Confederacy—Cruel Treatment of Union Men and Prisoners—Murder of Abraham Lincoln—The South Since the War.

The Confederacy having been dismantled in the Southwest—except in Texas, where secession simply awaited the result in other States—Virginia became the central battle-ground of the rebellion. There its chief energies were concentrated for the closing struggle, and there its greatest leader commanded. It was the part of wisdom, therefore, for the National Government to make its most successful general chief of all the National armies, with the understanding that he would personally direct operations in the most important field. Grant was appointed lieutenant-general in March, 1864, and he at once gave his attention to the Army of the Potomac, which Meade continued to command under his supervision. The Army of Northern Virginia was no longer the well-equipped host which had gained victory after victory in the earlier period of the war, but its spirit was undaunted, and Lee, as his resources diminished, displayed more signally than ever his remarkable military genius. The two great commanders were face to face, but not on the equal terms that in '62 or '63 would have presented a duel of giants. The Confederacy was falling, gradually, it is true, but the end was in sight. It was virtually confined to four States, Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia, and these but shells that only needed Sherman's march to the sea to prove how hollow they were. General Grant fought his way through the battles of the Wilderness, Spottsylvania and Cold Harbor, and across the James River to Petersburg. His losses of men were enormous, but the strength of his army was maintained by a continuous supply of recruits from the North. Grant established his lines in front of Petersburg, and proceeded to reduce that place. He gave Lee no rest, and exhausted the Confederates with repeated surprises and attacks.

General Lee had about 50,000 men to defend two cities and a line of intrenchments enveloping both, thirty-five miles long, against about 150,000 men, a large proportion of them veterans, trained and steeled to war. The time had passed for offensive operations on any effective scale on the part of the Confederates, although a desperate dash now and then gave a false impression to the world outside that the Confederacy still had a vigorous vitality. While General Philip H. Sheridan, Chief of Cavalry of the Army of the Potomac, was at Winchester, October 19, General Jubal Early suddenly attacked Sheridan's forces at Cedar Creek, nearly twenty miles from Winchester. The attack was made at dawn, and proved a complete surprise. The National troops were defeated, and the roads were thronged with fugitives, while camp, and cannon and a large number of prisoners fell into the hands of the enemy. Sheridan was riding leisurely out of Winchester, when he met his routed troops. At once he dashed forward on his black charger, crying out to his men: "Face the other way, boys! Face the other way!" and, as he learned the extent of the disaster, he added: "We will have all the camps and cannon back again!" With courage revived by their leader's example, the Union troops rallied and turned upon the foe, recovering all the spoil, and virtually destroying Early's army.

* * *

Disaster attended the Confederate cause on land and sea. The British cruiser Alabama, flying the Confederate flag, was defeated and sunk by the United States frigate Kearsarge, off the coast of France, in June, 1864. Admiral David Glasgow Farragut entered Mobile Bay, August 5, lashed to the mast of his flagship, the Hartford, and fought the last naval battle of the war. The monitor Tecumseh, which led the National vessels, was struck by the explosion of a torpedo, and sank with Commander Craven and nearly all her officers and men. Farragut, unshaken by this disaster, ordered the Hartford to go ahead heedless of torpedoes, and the other vessels to follow. He silenced the batteries with grapeshot, destroyed the Confederate squadron, and on the following day captured the forts with the assistance of a land force of 5000 men from New Orleans. The impatience of the Richmond government, chafing under its own impotence, hastened the catastrophe. General Joseph E. Johnston, who had succeeded Bragg, and who husbanded as far as compatible with an efficient defence the troops under his command, was removed to give way to General John B. Hood, who was willing to waste his forces in hopeless conflict with Sherman. On September 2 Sherman entered Atlanta.

The news of Lincoln's re-election by 212 electoral votes to 21 for McClellan, put an end to Confederate reliance on Northern sympathy and aid. Even the most sanguine now lost hope.

* * *

After sending a part of his army under Thomas to cope with Hood, who had moved into middle Tennessee, Sherman started about the middle of November with 60,000 men on his famous march through Georgia to the seacoast. He destroyed the railroads, and devastated the country from which the Confederacy was drawing its supplies. Although I have never seen it mentioned in any publication regarding the war, I believe that previous to Sherman's march it was the purpose of the Confederate Government to retreat to North Carolina when too hardly pressed in Virginia. Otherwise there seems to be no explanation for the vast accumulation of provisions at Salisbury, which were certainly not intended or used for the Union prisoners at that place, and for the large stores of food at Charlotte. Sherman captured Savannah just before Christmas, and proceeded northward through the Carolinas. Meantime General Thomas had completely defeated Hood at the battle of Nashville, and dispersed his army, the remnant of which gathered again under General Joseph E. Johnston to oppose the march of Sherman. Fort Fisher, North Carolina, surrendered to General Alfred H. Terry and Admiral Porter in January, 1865.

* * *

Lee, reduced to the last extremity at Richmond, and appointed in February, 1865, general-in-chief of armies which no longer had a real existence, decided to abandon the Confederate capital and effect a junction with Johnston. Sheridan prevented this by defeating the Confederates at Five Forks, April 1, and turning Lee's right and threatening his rear. Five Forks was the beginning of the end. Thirty-five thousand muskets were guarding thirty-seven miles of intrenchments, and on these attenuated lines General Grant ordered an immediate assault. The defences were found to be almost denuded of men. Petersburg and Richmond fell, and Lee, driven westward, surrendered at Appomattox, on April 9, the remains of the once proud Army of Northern Virginia, now numbering 26,000 ragged and starving soldiers. On learning that Lee's troops had been living for days on parched corn, General Grant at once offered to send them rations, and the Union soldiers readily shared their own provisions with the men with whom, a few hours before, they had been engaged in mortal strife. Lee bade a touching farewell to his troops, and rode through a weeping army to his home in Richmond. A fortnight afterward Johnston surrendered to Sherman, and with the surrender of the Confederate Trans-Mississippi Army, May 26, the war was at an end. The Confederate Government had fled from Richmond when Lee withdrew his army, and on May 10, Jefferson Davis was captured near Irwinsville, Ga., and sent as a prisoner to Fortress Monroe.

* * *

We have read of the sieges of Numantia and of Haarlem, of Scotland's struggle for liberty under Wallace and Bruce, and of the virtual extinction of the men of Paraguay in the war against Brazil and Argentina; but history records no resistance on the part of a considerable population inhabiting an extensive region, under an organized government, worthy to compare in resolution, endurance and self-sacrifice, with that of the Southern Confederacy to the forces of the Union. When the war closed the South was prostrate. When the Governor of Alabama was asked to join in raising a force to attack the rear of Sherman he answered, no doubt truthfully, that only cripples, old men and children remained of the male population of the State. In their desperation the Southern leaders even thought of enlisting negroes, thus adding a grotesque epilogue to the mighty national tragedy. Of course even the most ignorant negro could not have been expected to fight for his own enslavement. I saw Richmond about a month before the surrender. It was like a city of the dead. Two weeks later I was in New York. It teemed with life and bustle and energy.

The blots on the Confederacy were the cruel persecution of Union men living in the South, who were, in many instances, dragged from their families and put to death as traitors, and the maltreatment of Union prisoners. The North tolerated Southern sympathizers, when not actually engaged in plotting against the government, and treated Southern prisoners with all the kindness possible. It has been said for the South that while Union prisoners were starving, the Confederate troops in the field were almost starving too. This is a dishonest subterfuge. The Southern troops were starving not because ordinary food was not plentiful in the Confederacy, but because of lack of transportation to carry the food from the interior to the front, while the Union prisoners perished from hunger in the midst of abundance. Again, even assuming the plea of scarcity to be true, that would not palliate the numerous murders of helpless prisoners by volleys fired into the stockades at the pleasure of the guards.[1] There was a vindictiveness in these crimes which no plea can extenuate.

[1] As one of the survivors of the massacre of November 25, 1864, at Salisbury, North Carolina, I know whereof I speak.

* * *

The murder of Abraham Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth removed the only man who could have done justice to the South and controlled the passions of the North. Lincoln was signally, providentially adapted to be the nation's guide in the struggle which, under his leadership, was brought to a successful conclusion. For the equally difficult task of reconstruction he was likewise admirably qualified, and his death was followed by a civil chaos almost as deplorable as armed disunion. From that chaos the American people gradually emerged by force of their native character and their fundamental sense of justice and of right. The South, for some years subjected to the rule of camp-followers and freedmen, gradually recovered from the devastation of war, and superior intelligence came to the top, as it always will eventually. The Southern people learned that they had other resources besides cotton, and they began to emulate the North in the development of manufactures and mines. The old slave-owning aristocracy in the South has disappeared, but the "poor whites" have also almost disappeared, and the average of comfort in that section is greater than at any period in American history. The negroes complain, and with too much cause, of political oppression and exclusion from the suffrage, but they seem to be on good terms with their "oppressors," and on the principle of the old Spanish proverb that "he is my friend who brings grist to my mill," the Southern black has no better friend than the Southern white.



Thirty Years of Peace.



CHAPTER XXXVII.

Reconstruction in the South—The Congress and the President—Liberal Republican Movement—Nomination, Defeat and Death of Greeley—Troops Withdrawn by President Hayes—Foreign Policy of the Past Thirty Years— French Ordered from Mexico—Last Days of Maximilian—Russian-America Bought—The Geneva Arbitration—Alabama Claims Paid—The Northwest Boundary—The Fisheries—Spain and the Virginius—The Custer Massacre —United States of Brazil Established—President Harrison and Chile —Venezuela—American Prestige in South America—Hawaii—Behring Sea—Garfield, the Martyr of Civil Service Reform—Labor Troubles— Railway Riots of 1877 and 1894—Great Calamities—The Chicago Fire, Boston Fire, Charleston Earthquake, Johnstown Flood.

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