Page:Confederate Military History - 1899 - Volume 1.djvu/542

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May, 1864. Another convention of Union men had assembled at Rochester, who also denounced secession and declared their opposition to the unconstitutional acts of the administration, and this was followed by still another convention held in Cincinnati December 4th, and again in Philadelphia December 24th, at which the conservative platform adopted by the legislature of Kentucky January 11, 1863, was made the basis of party union, and General McClellan was recommended as a candidate for the Presidency. There were enough elements of dissatisfaction in these various conventions to give Mr. Lincoln some fears and the Confederacy some hope that the party in power could be overthrown. The Congressional maneuvers for party advantage appear in the yet more distinct avowals made by the administration party of the war-power policy, and the settled purpose to crush the rebellion. Retracting nothing that had been avowed or done the administration resolved to stand or fall upon the emancipation proclamation; the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, and unconditional submission of the seceded States to the authority of the Federal Union.

The Confederate Congress had little to do. Its measures for prosecuting the war were quickly passed and the burden of the execution thereof rolled upon the Confederate executive, the governors of the States and the ever-faithful soldiery. The general principle of the war had been settled. The "war power" had become incorporated at Washington as a new force among the powers conferred by the Constitution. Mr. Lincoln had concluded the angry controversy on this subject by his simple, terse declaration that "the Constitution conferred the war power in time of war." After this the Confederates knew that their States might be overturned, their property confiscated, and themselves banished according to this view of the Constitution. The Northern States also knew that this meant the use of force to keep down any