The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Confederate States of America

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The American Cyclopædia
Confederate States of America
Edition of 1879. Written by Robert CarterSee also Confederate States of America on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.

CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, a confederacy formed by eleven southern and slaveholding states which seceded from the United States in 1860-'61, and organized a government terminating in 1865. In the presidential election of 1860 all these states voted by heavy majorities for the democratic candidates; in none of them were any votes given for the republican candidates, except in Virginia, where they received fewer than 2,000 in a total poll of 167,000 votes. The first public act which took place having for its avowed object the formation of a southern confederacy was the call for a state convention in South Carolina. This was issued by the legislature on Nov. 7, 1860, the day after the presidential election, when it was known that a majority of the electors chosen on Nov. 6 were in favor of Lincoln and Hamlin, the republican candidates for president and vice president. The call summoned the convention to meet at Columbia on Dec. 17. Other measures were then adopted calculated to put the state in a position to meet the consequences of her action. The most important of these was a bill providing for an army of 10,000 men. A month later, on Dec. 10, Francis W. Pickens was chosen governor of the state by the legislature, and was at once inaugurated. In his inaugural address he thus explained the cause and the reasons for the secession of South Carolina: “For 73 years this state has been connected by a federal compact with co-states, under a bond of union for great national objects common to all. In recent years there has been a powerful party, organized upon principles of ambition and fanaticism, whose undisguised purpose is to divert the federal government from external and turn its power upon the internal interests and domestic institutions of these states. They have thus combined a party exclusively in the northern states, whose avowed objects not only endanger the peace, but the very existence of nearly one half of the states of this confederacy. And in the recent election for president and vice president of these states, they have carried the election upon principles that make it no longer safe for us to rely upon the powers of the federal government or the guarantees of the federal compact. This is the great overt act of the people in the northern states at the ballot box, in the exercise of their sovereign power at the polls, from which there is no higher appeal recognized under our system of government in its ordinary and habitual operations. They thus propose to inaugurate a chief magistrate, at the head of the army and navy, with vast powers, not to preside over the common interests and destinies of all the states alike, but upon issues of malignant hostility and uncompromising war to be waged upon the rights, the interests, and the peace of half the states of this Union. In the southern states there are two entirely distinct and separate races, and one has been held in subjection to the other by peaceful inheritance from worthy and patriotic ancestors; and all who know the races well know that it is the only form of government that can preserve both, and administer the blessings of civilization with order and in harmony. Anything tending to change and weaken the government and the subordination between the races, not only endangers the peace, but the very existence of our society itself. We have for years warned the northern people of the dangers they were producing by their wanton and lawless course. We have often appealed to our sister states of the south to act with us in concert upon some firm and moderate system by which we might be able to save the federal constitution, and yet feel safe under the general compact of union; but we could obtain no fair warning from the north, nor could we see any concerted plan proposed by any of our co-states of the south calculated to make us feel safe and secure. Under all these circumstances we now have no alternative left but to interpose our sovereign power as an independent state to protect the rights and ancient privileges of the people of South Carolina. This state was one of the original parties to the federal compact of union. We agreed to it, as a state, under peculiar circumstances, when we were surrounded with great external pressure, for purposes of national protection, and to advance the interests and general welfare of all the states equally and alike. And when it ceases to do this, it is no longer a perpetual union. It would be an absurdity to suppose it was a perpetual union for our ruin.” The state convention assembled at Columbia on Dec. 17. Its president, David F. Jamison, said in his opening address: “If anything has been decided by the late election, it is that South Carolina must be taken out of this confederation in as speedy a manner as possible.” He had no faith in any guarantees that might be offered by the north. They could offer none more solemn or more binding than the present constitution, and yet that sacred instrument had not protected them from aggression on the question of slavery. “Has it saved us from abolition petitions, intended to insult and annoy us on the very floors of congress? Has not that instrument been trodden under their very feet by every northern state, by placing on their books statutes nullifying the laws for the recovery of fugitive slaves?” Smallpox prevailing in Columbia, the convention after organizing adjourned to Charleston, where a committee was appointed to draft an ordinance of secession. The committee reported on Dec. 20 the following instrument:

An Ordinance to dissolve the Union between the State of South Carolina and other States united with her under the compact entitled ‘The Constitution of the United States of America.

“We, the people of the state of South Carolina, in convention assembled, do declare and ordain, and it is hereby declared and ordained, that the ordinance adopted by us in convention on the twenty-third day of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight, whereby the constitution of the United States was ratified, and also all acts and parts of acts of the general assembly of the state ratifying amendments of the said constitution, are hereby repealed, and the union now subsisting between South Carolina and other states, under the name of ‘The United States of America,’ is hereby dissolved.”

This ordinance was immediately passed by the unanimous vote of the convention, and was signed on the same day by its members in the presence of the governor and of both branches of the legislature. At the conclusion of the ceremonies the president of the convention formally proclaimed the state of South Carolina an independent commonwealth. On the following day a special committee appointed to draft a “declaration of the causes which justify the secession of South Carolina from the federal union” made a report in which those causes are thus stated:

“We assert that fifteen of the states have deliberately refused for years past to fulfil their constitutional obligations, and we refer to their own statutes for the proof. The constitution of the United States, in its fourth article, provides as follows: ‘No person held to labor or service in one state, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due.’ This stipulation was so material to the compact that without it that compact would not have been made. The greater number of the contracting parties held slaves, and the state of Virginia had previously declared her estimate of its value by making it the condition of her cession of the territory which now composes the states north of the Ohio river. The same article of the constitution stipulates also for rendition by the several states of fugitives from justice from the other states. The general government, as the common agent, passed laws to carry into effect these stipulations of the states. For many years these laws were executed. But an increasing hostility on the part of the northern states to the institution of slavery has led to a disregard of their obligations, and the laws of the general government have ceased to effect the objects of the constitution. The states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa[1] have enacted laws which either nullify the acts of congress, or render useless any attempt to execute them. In many of these states the fugitive is discharged from the service or labor claimed, and in none of them has the state government complied with the stipulation made in the constitution. The state of New Jersey, at an early day, passed a law for the rendition of fugitive slaves in conformity with her constitutional undertaking, but the current of anti-slavery feeling has led her more recently to enact laws which render inoperative the remedies provided by her own law and by the laws of congress. In the state of New York even the right of transit for a slave has been denied by her tribunals; and the states of Ohio and Iowa have refused to surrender to justice fugitives charged with murder and with inciting servile insurrection in the state of Virginia. Thus the constitutional compact has been deliberately broken and disregarded by the non-slaveholding states, and the consequence follows that South Carolina is released from its obligation. The ends for which the constitution was framed are declared by itself to be ‘to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the common welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.’ These ends it endeavored to accomplish by a federal government, in which each state was recognized as an equal, and had separate control over its own institutions. The right of property in slaves was recognized by giving to free persons distinct political rights; by giving them the right to represent, and burdening them with direct taxes for, three fifths of their slaves; by authorizing the importation of slaves for twenty years; and by stipulating for the rendition of fugitives from labor. We affirm that these ends for which this government was instituted have been defeated, and the government itself has been made destructive of them by the action of the non-slaveholding states. Those states have assumed the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions, and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the states and recognized by the constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted the open establishment among them of societies whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloin the property of the citizens of other states. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes; and those who remain have been incited by emissaries, books, and pictures to servile insurrection. For twenty-five years this agitation has been steadily increasing, until it has now secured to its aid the power of a common government. Observing the forms of the constitution, a sectional party has found within that article establishing the executive department the means of subverting the constitution itself. A geographical line has been drawn across the Union, and all the states north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of president of the United States whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery. He is to be intrusted with the administration of the common government, because he has declared that that ‘government cannot endure permanently half slave, half free,’ and that the public mind must rest hi the belief that slavery is in the course of ultimate extinction. This sectional combination for the subversion of the constitution has been aided in some of the states by elevating to citizenship persons who, by the supreme law of the land, are incapable of becoming citizens; and votes have been used to inaugurate a new policy hostile to the south, and destructive of its peace and safety.”

This address was adopted on Dec. 24 by a vote of 124 to 30, and on the same day the governor issued the following proclamation:

Whereas, The good people of this state, in convention assembled, by an ordinance unanimously adopted and ratified on the twentieth day of December, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty, repealed an ordinance of the people of this state adopted on the twenty-third day of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight, and have thereby dissolved the union between the state of South Carolina and other states under the name of the United States of America:

“I, therefore, as governor and commander-in-chief in and over the state of South Carolina, by virtue of authority in me vested, do hereby proclaim to the world that this state is, as she has a right to be, a separate, sovereign, free, and independent state, and as such has a right to levy war, conclude peace, negotiate treaties, leagues, or covenants, and to do all acts whatsoever that rightfully appertain to a free and independent state.”

At this time, also, the state forces seized the United States custom house, post office, and arsenal in Charleston, and Forts Pinckney and Moultrie in the harbor of that city. Major Anderson, the United States commander, who had only about 80 men, withdrew his command from Fort Moultrie into Fort Sumter, which he considered more defensible. The convention on Dec. 25 appointed commissioners to visit the other slaveholding states and invite them to coöperate with South Carolina in the formation of a southern confederacy. Mississippi was the first to respond. Her convention passed the ordinance of secession on Jan. 9, by a vote of 84 to 15, which was subsequently made unanimous. Florida on the following day, Jan. 10, passed an ordinance of secession with a preamble declaring as a reason for the act, that “all hope of preserving the Union upon terms consistent with the safety and honor of the slaveholding states has been fully dissipated by the recent indications of the strength of the anti-slavery sentiment of the free states.” The ordinance was passed by a vote of 62 to 7. Alabama was the next state to secede. Her chief city, Mobile, received the news of the secession of South Carolina with ringing of bells, firing of cannon, great gatherings in the streets, enthusiastic speeches, and every demonstration of joy. The governor, Andrew B. Moore, had already called a convention of delegates, elected Dec. 24, which assembled Jan. 7, 1861. All the counties of the state were represented. A strong Union sentiment was manifested by the members from the northern part of the state. In spite of their opposition, however, the following ordinance of secession was carried by a vote of 61 to 39:

An Ordinance to dissolve the union between the state of Alabama and other states united under the compact styled ‘the constitution of the United States of America.’

“Whereas the election of Abraham Lincoln and Hannibal Hamlin to the offices of president and vice president of the United States of America, by a sectional party, avowedly hostile to the domestic institutions and to the peace and security of the people of the state of Alabama, preceded by many and dangerous infractions of the constitution of the United States by many of the states and people of the northern section, is a political wrong of so insulting and menacing a character as to justify the people of the state of Alabama in the adoption of prompt and decided measures for their future peace and security: Therefore,

Be it declared and ordained by the people of the state of Alabama in convention assembled, That the state of Alabama now withdraws, and is hereby withdrawn, from the union known as ‘the United States of America,’ and henceforth ceases to be one of said United States, and is, and of right ought to be, a sovereign and independent state.

Sec. 2. Be it further declared and ordained by the people of the state of Alabama in convention assembled, That all the powers over the territory of said state, and over the people thereof, heretofore delegated to the government of the United States of America, be, and they are hereby, withdrawn from said government, and are hereby resumed and vested in the people of the state of Alabama.”

Georgia, the most populous and powerful of the cotton states, did not secede without considerable hesitation on the part of a large proportion of her people, nor without solemn warning and earnest remonstrance from her most distinguished citizen, Alexander H. Stephens, who on Nov. 11, 1860, addressed her legislature in Milledgeville, which was then the capital of the state, in opposition to the project of calling a secession state convention. His advice was not heeded. A convention was called, which was elected Jan. 4, 1861, and met at Milledgeville on the 16th. Mr. Stephens was a member, and on the second day of the session made a powerful and almost prophetic speech against secession, in which he said:

“This step, secession, once taken, can never be recalled, and all the baleful and withering consequences that must follow (as you will see) will rest on this convention for all coming time. When we and our posterity shall see our lovely south desolated by the demon of war, which this act of yours will inevitably provoke, when our green fields and waving harvests shall be trodden down by a murderous soldiery, and the fiery car of war sweeps over our land, our temples of justice laid in ashes, and every horror and desolation upon us, who but this convention will be held responsible for it, and who but him who shall have given his vote for this unwise and ill-timed measure shall be held to a strict account for this suicidal act by the present generation, and be cursed and execrated by posterity in all coming time for the wide and desolating ruin that will inevitably follow this act you now propose to perpetrate? Pause, I entreat you, and consider for a moment what reasons you can give that will satisfy yourselves in calmer moments — what reasons you can give to your fellow sufferers in the calamity that it will bring upon us. What reasons can you give to the nations of the earth to justify it? They will be calm and deliberate judges of this case, and to what cause or one overt act can you point on which to rest the plea of justification? What right has the north assailed? what interest of the south has been invaded? what justice has been denied? and what claim, founded in justice and right, has been unsatisfied? Can any of you name to-day one governmental act of wrong, deliberately and purposely done by the government at Washington, of which the south has a right to complain? I challenge an answer. On the other hand, let me show the facts (and believe me, gentlemen, I am not here the advocate of the north, but I am here the friend, the firm friend and lover of the south and her institutions, and for this reason I speak thus plainly and faithfully for yours, mine, and every other man's interest, the words of truth and soberness) of which I wish you to judge, and I will only state facts which are clear and undeniable, and which now stand in the authentic records of the history of our country. When we of the south demanded the slave trade, or the importation of Africans for the cultivation of our lands, did they not yield the right for twenty years? When we asked a three-fifths representation in congress for our section, was it not granted? When we demanded the return of any fugitive from justice, or the recovery of those persons owing labor or allegiance, was it not incorporated in the constitution, and again ratified and strengthened in the fugitive slave law of 1850? Do you reply that in many instances they have violated this compact, and have not been faithful to their engagements? As individuals and local communities they may have done so, but not by the sanction of government, for that has always been true to southern interests. Again, look at another fact. When we asked that more territory should be added, that we might spread the institution of slavery, did they not yield to our demands in giving us Louisiana, Florida, and Texas, out of which four states have been carved, and ample territory left for four more, to be added in due time, if you by this unwise and impolitic act do not destroy this hope, and perhaps by it lose all, and have your last slave wrenched from you by stern military rule, or by the vindictive decree of a universal emancipation, which may reasonably be expected to follow? But again, gentlemen, what have we to gain by this proposed change of our relation to the general government? We have always had the control of it, and can yet have if we remain in it, and are as united as we have been. We have had a majority of the presidents chosen from the south, as well as the control and management of most of those chosen from the north. We have had 60 years of southern presidents to their 24, thus controlling the executive department. So of the judges of the supreme court, we have had 18 from the south, and but 11 from the north. Although nearly four fifths of the judicial business has arisen in the free states, yet a majority of the court has always been from the south. This we have required, so as to guard against any interpretation of the constitution unfavorable to us. In like manner, we have been equally watchful over our interests in the legislative branch of the government. In choosing the presiding officer (pro tem.) of the senate we have had 24 and they 11; speakers of the house, we have had 23 and they 12. While the majority of the representatives, from their greater population, have always been from the north, yet we have generally secured the speaker, because he to a great extent shapes and controls the legislation of the country. Nor have we had less control in every other department of the general government. Attorney generals we have had 14, while the north have had but 5. Foreign ministers we have had 86, and they but 54. While three fourths of the business which demands diplomatic agents abroad is clearly from the free states, because of their greater commercial interests, we have, nevertheless, had the principal embassies, so as to secure the world markets for our cotton, tobacco, sugar, on the best possible terms. We have had a vast majority of the higher officers of both army and navy, while a larger proportion of the soldiers and sailors were drawn from the north. Equally so of clerks, auditors, and comptrollers filling the executive department; the records show for the last 50 years that of the 8,000 thus employed, we have had more than two thirds, while we have only one third of the white population of the republic. Again, look at another fact, and one, be assured, in which we have a great and vital interest; it is that of revenue, or means of supporting government. From official documents we learn that more than three fourths of the revenue collected has uniformly been raised from the north. Pause now, while you have the opportunity, to contemplate, carefully and candidly, these important things. Look at another necessary branch of government, and learn from stern statistical facts how matters stand in that department. I mean the mail and post-office privileges that we now enjoy under the general government, as it has been for years past. The expense for the transportation of the mail in the free states was, by the report of the postmaster general for 1860, a little over $13,000,000, while the income was $19,000,000. But in the slave states the transportation of the mail was $14,716,000, and the revenue from the mail only $8,000,265, leaving a deficit of $6,715,735 to be supplied by the north for our accommodation, and without which we must have been entirely cut off from this most essential branch of the government. Leaving out of view for the present the countless millions of dollars you must expend in a war with the north, with tens of thousands of your sons and brothers slain in battle and offered up as sacrifices on the altar of your ambition — for what? I ask again. Is it for the overthrow of the American government, established by our common ancestry, cemented and built up by their sweat and blood, and founded on the broad principles of right, justice, and humanity? I must declare to you here, as I have often done before, and it has also been declared by the greatest and wisest statesmen and patriots of this and other lands, that the American government is the best and freest of all governments, the most equal in its rights, the most just in its decisions, the most lenient in its measures, and the most inspiring in its principles, to elevate the race of men, that the sun of heaven ever shone upon. Now for you to attempt to overthrow such a government as this, under which we have lived for more than three quarters of a century, in which we have gained our wealth, our standing as a nation, our domestic safety, while the elements of peril are around us, with peace and tranquillity, accompanied with unbounded prosperity and rights unassailed, is the height of madness, folly, and wickedness, to which I will neither lend my sanction nor my vote.”

Notwithstanding this appeal, the convention on Jan. 19 passed an ordinance of secession by a vote of 208 to 89. A week later, on Jan. 26, Louisiana seceded by a vote of 113 to 17. Finally, on Feb. 1, Texas, in spite of the opposition of her governor, Sam Houston, and the lukewarmness of a large part of her population, was voted out of the Union by an irregularly called convention, whose final vote was 166 to 7. — In the documents put forth by the seceding states thus far no allusion is made to any cause of complaint against the northern states other than their interference with slavery. But it was not long before the secessionists took broader ground generally, and claimed to be acting in defence of state rights against the encroachments of the national government. Their position is thus stated by Mr. Stephens of Georgia in his “War between the States,” published in 1867:

“Considerations connected with the legal status of the black race in the southern states, and the position of several of the northern states toward it, together with the known sentiments and principles of those just elected to the two highest offices of the federal government (Messrs. Lincoln and Hamlin) as to the powers of that government over this subject, and others which threatened, as was supposed, all their vital interests, prompted the southern states to withdraw from the Union, for the very reason that had induced them at first to enter into it; that is, for their own better protection and security. Those who had the control of the administration of the federal government denied this right to withdraw or secede. The war was inaugurated and waged by those at the head of the federal government against these states, or the people of these states, to prevent their withdrawal from the Union. On the part of these states, which had allied themselves in a common cause, it was maintained and carried on purely in defence of this great right, claimed by them, of state sovereignty and self-government, which they with their associates had achieved in their common struggle with Great Britain, under the declaration of 1776, and which in their judgment lay at the foundation of the whole structure of American free institutions.”

— Thus in the space of three months after the presidential election seven states had renounced the Union and declared themselves sovereign and independent. Everywhere throughout these states the arsenals, custom houses, navy yards, and forts belonging to the United States were seized by the secessionists, with the exception of Fort Sumter, and Fort Pickens in Florida, which last was preserved by the energetic action of Lieut. Slemmer, its commander. The posts at the southern extremity of Florida also remained in the hands of the government. Those which fell into the hands of the secessionists were without garrisons, and were taken without bloodshed. The United States army at the beginning of the southern revolt was only 16,000 strong, and by orders from Mr. Floyd, the secretary of war, who was himself a party to the secession movement, had been dispersed in the remotest parts of the country. The largest force in one body was in Texas under the command of Gen. Twiggs, a Georgian by birth, who on Feb. 18 surrendered his whole command and all the posts and munitions of war to the Texans, for which on March 1 he was dismissed from the army by command of President Buchanan. Under Mr. Floyd's orders also an extensive transfer of arms from northern to southern arsenals had been made during 1860, 115,000 muskets being transferred by one order, and great quantities of cannon and ammunition by other orders. Congress assembled at Washington, Dec. 3, 1860, and President Buchanan's annual message was mainly devoted to the consideration of the secession movement. He recommended, as the most effectual mode of stopping the revolution, an amendment of the constitution embracing these three points: 1, an express recognition of the right of property in slaves in the states where it now exists or may hereafter exist; 2, the duty of protecting this right in all the common territories throughout their territorial existence, and until they shall be admitted as states into the Union with or without slavery as their constitutions may prescribe; 3, a like recognition of the right of the master to have his slave, who has escaped from one state to another, restored and delivered up to him, and of the validity of the fugitive slave law enacted for this purpose, together with a declaration that all state laws impairing or defeating this right are violations of the constitution and are consequently null and void. “Such an explanatory amendment would, it is believed, for ever terminate the existing dissensions, and restore peace and harmony among the states.” This part of the message was referred in the senate to a committee of 13, who reported on Dec. 31 that they had not been able to agree upon any general plan of adjustment. Mr. Crittenden, a senator from Kentucky, introduced on Dec. 18 a plan of compromise, proposing to renew the Missouri line of 36° 30'; to prohibit slavery north and permit it south of that line; to admit new states with or without slavery as their constitutions might provide; to prohibit congress from abolishing slavery in the states, and in the District of Columbia so long as it exists in Virginia or Maryland; to permit free transmission of slaves by land or water in any state; to pay for fugitive slaves rescued after arrest; to ask the repeal of personal liberty laws in the states; these concessions to be submitted to the people as amendments to the constitution, and if adopted never to be changed. These were rejected, and the following resolutions, offered by Mr. Clark of New Hampshire, a republican senator, adopted: “That the provisions of the constitution are ample for the preservation of the Union, and the protection of all the material interests of the country; that it needs to be obeyed rather than amended; and that an extrication from the present dangers is to be looked for in strenuous efforts to preserve the peace, protect the public property, and enforce the laws, rather than in new guarantees for particular interests, compromises for particular difficulties, or concessions to unreasonable demands. That all attempts to dissolve the present Union, or overthrow or abandon the present constitution, with the hope or expectation of constructing a new one, are dangerous, illusory, and destructive; that, in the opinion of the senate of the United States, no such reconstruction is practicable, and therefore to the maintenance of the existing union and constitution should be directed all the energies of all the departments of the government, and the efforts of all good citizens.” These resolutions expressed substantially the position of the republicans in congress, who had become the majority in both houses by the resignation of the democratic senators and representatives from the seceded states. About the time that they were adopted, the legislature of Virginia passed resolutions recommending each of the states to appoint commissioners to a convention, the object of which should be “to adjust the present unhappy controversies.” This proposition was approved by the president, and most of the loyal states promptly responded by appointing delegates. None appeared from the seceded states. The convention assembled at Washington, Feb. 4, 1861, and chose John Tyler of Virginia as chairman. After a session of three weeks the convention laid before congress a series of proposed amendments to the constitution, to the following effect: 1, prohibiting slavery north of lat. 36° 30' in territories, but tolerating it in states, and forbidding all congressional or territorial legislation against slavery south of that line; 2, prohibiting any future acquisition of territory without the concurrence of a majority of senators both from slave and free states; 3, prohibiting congress from regulating, abolishing, or controlling slavery within any state, from interfering with or abolishing slavery in the District of Columbia or other places under exclusive federal jurisdiction, and from taxing slaves at a higher rate than land; 4, authorizing the states to enforce the rendition of fugitive slaves; 5, prohibiting the foreign slave trade. Another section provided for the payment from the United States treasury of the value of a fugitive slave whose rendition was prevented by mobs or by any violence or intimidation. The first, third, and fifth of these sections were to be permanent parts of the constitution, not to be abolished or amended without the consent of all the states. These propositions were rejected by congress, which had long had under consideration a variety of similar measures, all of which failed to secure a sufficient number of votes. The following amendment to the constitution was however recommended by the house by a two-thirds vote of 133 to 65: “No amendment shall be made to the constitution which will authorize or give to congress the power to abolish or interfere within any state with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to service or labor by the laws of said state.” While these discussions were going on in congress, the cabinet of President Buchanan was disturbed and perplexed on the subject of reënforcing the forts in Charleston harbor, a measure opposed by Mr. Floyd, the secretary of war, and insisted upon by Gen. Cass, the secretary of state, who on Dec. 14 resigned his office in consequence of the president's refusal to order reinforcements. Four days before, Howell Cobb, the secretary of the treasury, had resigned and returned to his residence in Georgia, where he immediately took an active part in the secession movement. His place was filled by Philip F. Thomas of Maryland, while Mr. Black, the attorney general, was appointed temporary secretary of state. Shortly afterward, on the unexpected movement of Major Anderson from Fort Moultrie to Fort Sumter, and the president's refusal to comply with Mr. Floyd's demand for the entire withdrawal of the garrison from Charleston harbor, the latter resigned, and Joseph Holt, who had been appointed postmaster general on the death of Aaron V. Brown in 1859, was authorized to administer the affairs of the war department. Mr. Floyd's services to the cause of secession by supplying the southern states with arms from northern arsenals had been of the highest value, and he was soon made a brigadier general in the army of the seceded states. On Dec. 29 commissioners from South Carolina, who had recently arrived in Washington, endeavored to open negotiations with the president for the surrender to South Carolina of the United States forts and other national property within her borders. The president declined to receive them as commissioners, or to surrender or evacuate Fort Sumter, and permitted his cabinet to make an attempt to send reënforcements to Major Anderson by the steamer Star of the West, which left New York Jan. 5, 1861, and arrived off Charleston on the morning of the 9th; but she was fired at from batteries manned by the forces of the state, and compelled to retire without effecting her purpose. This led to the immediate resignation of Jacob Thompson, secretary of the interior, and his return to Mississippi, from the revolutionary government of which he had while still in office received and acted upon a commission to visit and promote the secession of North Carolina. A few days later Mr. Thomas, also disapproving of the attempt to reënforce Fort Sumter, withdrew from the treasury department, and was succeeded by John A. Dix of New York, who was in favor of vigorous measures for maintaining the authority of the government. The legislatures of New York, Ohio, and Massachusetts at this time offered the whole military power of those states to the president, while the South Carolina legislature declared that any attempt to reënforce Fort Sumter would be an act of war. No further attempt, however, was made at reënforcement during the administration of President Buchanan, which came to an end March 4, 1861. On that day Mr. Lincoln was inaugurated at Washington. In his inaugural address the president began by declaring that the accession of a republican administration afforded no ground to the southern states for apprehending any invasion of their rights. He said: “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the states where it exists. I believe that I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so. Those who nominated and elected me knew that I had made this and many similar declarations, and had never recanted them.” He proceeded to argue that no state upon its own mere motion can lawfully go out of the Union; that resolves and ordinances to that effect are legally void; and that acts of violence within any state or states against the authority of the United States are insurrectionary or revolutionary according to circumstances. “I therefore consider that, in view of the constitution and the laws, the Union is unbroken; and to the extent of my ability I shall take care, as the constitution itself expressly enjoins upon me, that the laws of the Union be faithfully executed in all the states.” President Lincoln appointed as his cabinet William H. Seward, secretary of state; Salmon P. Chase, of the treasury; Simon Cameron, of war; Gideon Welles, of the navy; Caleb B. Smith, of the interior; Edward Bates, attorney general; and Montgomery Blair, postmaster general. The last two were from the slave states of Missouri and Maryland. The executive government of the United States was thus transferred from the hands of a party which had held it since the beginning of the century, with two or three brief intervals, during which period of 60 years southern men had occupied the presidential chair for more than two thirds of the time, while the northern men who attained to that high office, with the single exception of John Quincy Adams, were “northern men with southern principles.” It was a great and striking change of dynasty, and was naturally followed by profound convulsions. — Meantime the seceded states had been making vigorous efforts to organize and sustain a general government for themselves. On Feb. 4, 1861, a congress composed of delegates from South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana met at Montgomery, Ala., and were joined not long afterward by delegates from Texas. Howell Cobb of Georgia, ex-secretary of the treasury of the United States, was elected chairman. A constitution for the provisional government of the “Confederate States of America” was adopted, Feb. 8, which generally resembled that of the United States, but was superseded by a permanent constitution adopted unanimously March 11. This constitution adopted in nearly all its parts the precise language, and followed in its articles and sections the arrangement of the constitution of the United States. The main particulars in which it differed from that instrument were these: In the preamble the words “each state acting in its sovereign and independent character” were inserted to include the doctrine of state sovereignty, and to exclude the argument drawn from the preamble of the old constitution that it had been made by the people of the states collectively, and not by the states themselves. The official term of the president and vice president was extended to six years, and the president disqualified for reëlection. The protective policy was prohibited by the declaration that no duties or taxes on importations from foreign nations should be laid to promote or foster any branch of industry. Export duties were allowed to be levied with the concurrence of two thirds of both houses of congress. The impeachment of any judicial or other federal officer, resident and acting solely within the limits of any state, was allowed by a vote of two thirds of both branches of the legislature thereof, as well as by the house of representatives of congress; but the senate of the Confederate States was to have the sole power to try all such impeachments. No general appropriation of money was allowed unless asked for and estimated by some one of the heads of departments, except by a two-thirds vote in both branches of congress. The object of this was to make each administration responsible as far as possible for the public expenditures. All extra pay or extra allowance to any public contractor, agent, or servant was prohibited, as well as all bounties. Internal improvements by congress were prohibited. The power of the president to remove from office was restricted to removals for special cause, which must be reported to the senate with the reasons therefor, except in the case of the principal officer in each of the executive departments and all persons connected with the diplomatic service. The right of any citizen of one state to pass through or sojourn in another with his slaves was expressly guaranteed. In adjusting the basis of representation and direct taxation, “three fifths of all slaves” are enumerated, instead of three fifths of “other persons,” as in the constitution of the United States. The clause relating to fugitives from service or labor in the old constitution was enlarged so as expressly to include slaves, in order to preclude that interpretation which limited its meaning to apprentices and other persons legally bound for a term of years. The African slave trade was prohibited. Slavery in the territories was to be “recognized and protected by congress and by the territorial government.” And finally it was provided that “congress may by law grant to the principal officer in each of the executive departments a seat upon the floor of either house, with the privilege of discussing any measures appertaining to his department.” Some of these changes were improvements on the constitution of the United States, which the experience of 70 years had shown to be desirable. Others, especially those relating to protection, bounties, and internal improvements, referred to controverted points in American politics on which public opinion is yet undecided; while those relating to slaves were intended to cover the whole ground of quarrel on which the Confederate States had seceded from the Union. Before, the adoption of the permanent constitution, in fact on the day following the adoption of the provisional constitution, that is, on Feb. 9, an election for president and vice president was held by congress, voting by states as that constitution directed. All the states present (the delegates from Texas not having yet arrived) voted for Jefferson Davis of Mississippi for president, and Alexander H. Stephens of Georgia for vice president. Mr. Davis was not a member of congress, and was absent in Mississippi. It was understood that he aspired to the command of the army and did not wish to be president. He however accepted the office, arrived at Montgomery Feb. 16, and was inaugurated on the 18th. Mr. Stephens, who was a member of congress, had been sworn into office as vice president on the 10th. A few days later Mr. Davis appointed his cabinet, as follows: secretary of state, Robert Toombs of Georgia; secretary of the treasury, Charles G. Memminger of South Carolina; secretary of war, Leroy P. Walker of Alabama; secretary of the navy, Stephen R. Mallory of Florida; postmaster general, John H. Reagan of Texas; attorney general, Judah P. Benjamin of Louisiana. All of these except Memminger and Walker had been senators or representatives in the congress of the United States. The principles upon which the new government was founded were very clearly expounded by its vice president, Mr. Stephens, in a speech made by him at Savannah, March 21, 1861, as follows:

“The new constitution has put at rest for ever all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institutions — African slavery as it exists among us — the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. Jefferson, in his forecast, had anticipated this as the rock upon which the old Union would split. The prevailing ideas entertained by him, and most of the leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old constitution, were that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature; that it was wrong in principle, socially, morally, and politically. Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite ideas; its foundations are laid, its corner stone rests upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first in the history of the world based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth. It is the first government ever instituted upon principles in strict conformity to nature, and the ordination of Providence, in furnishing the materials of human society. Many governments have been founded upon the principle of enslaving certain classes; but the classes thus enslaved were of the same race, and enslaved in violation of the laws of nature. Our system commits no such violation of nature's laws. The negro by nature, or by the curse against Canaan, is fitted for that condition which he occupies in our system. The architect in the construction of buildings, lays the foundation with the proper material, the granite; then comes the brick or the marble. The substratum of our society is made of the material fitted by nature for it, and by experience we know that it is best, not only for the superior but for the inferior race, that it should be so. It is, indeed, in conformity with the Creator. It is not for us to inquire into the wisdom of his ordinances or to question them. For his own purposes he has made one race to differ from another as he has made ‘one star to differ from another in glory.’ The great objects of humanity are best attained when conformed to his laws and decrees, in the formation of governments as well as in all things else. Our confederacy is founded upon principles in strict conformity with these laws. This stone, which was rejected by the first builders, ‘is become the chief stone of the corner’ in our new edifice.”

— The two governments, that of Washington and that of Montgomery, alike in form and organization, but radically different in principles, thus stood face to face in the month of March, 1861. Between them stood the border states, as they were called, the slave states of Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware, which naturally sympathized with the slave states south of them, but in which the Union sentiment was still strong, and the sense of danger from their exposed position was calculated to impress upon the prudent part of their population the necessity of caution and moderation. Both sides were anxious to gain their support, and from the beginning of the secession movement their capitals had swarmed with ardent emissaries, official and volunteer, imploring them to join their brethren of the south. Their population and resources made their accession to either side of great importance; but to the south their assistance was essential in case of war. Their population was between 6,000,000 and 7,000,000, a large majority of whom were whites, while the whole population of the seven seceded states was less than 5,000,000, of whom nearly one half were slaves, of no value for military purposes. On the other hand, the free states, the states certain to uphold the Washington government, numbered 20,000,000 inhabitants, and were incomparably richer in money and credit, and in military and especially naval resources, than the south. They were in fact nearly twice as strong in numbers as all the slave states together, and in wealth and resources were even more formidable than in numbers. But their superiority in these respects was weakened by party divisions. The republican party by its success in the presidential election had obtained control of the national government, and was also in possession of all the free-state governments except that of Oregon. But it found itself everywhere confronted by a democratic minority, little inferior to itself in numbers, exasperated by a defeat at the polls which had wrested from it the control of a continent and the revenues of an empire, and still strongly affected, on the one hand, by the animosities engendered by its long and bitter controversy with the republicans, and on the other by its natural sympathy with the southern democracy, with whom it had been for many years in perfect political alliance and agreement, and from whom it now differed on no point of principle or policy except that of secession. The secession leaders counted largely on the support of the northern democrats, and repeatedly declared that they had positive assurances of assistance from them in case the government attempted to assert its authority by force of arms. On this point Horace Greeley in his “American Conflict” says: “The great mails, during the last few weeks of 1860, sped southward, burdened with letters of sympathy and encouragement to the engineers of secession, stimulating if not counselling them to go forward in their predetermined course.” In the south, on the contrary, all party lines were obliterated as soon as the states seceded. So confident were the people of their own prowess, and so little acquainted with the spirit and resources of the free states, that there was an almost universal conviction among them that the confederacy was already an accomplished fact, and that the union with the north was for ever ended. A strong party in the south had adhered to the Union until their states seceded, and then, considering the matter practically settled, had transferred their allegiance to the new government. Meantime a crisis was rapidly approaching. The key of the situation was Fort Sumter. The south regarded its continued occupation by a national garrison as an encroachment upon their sovereignty, and demanded that the intruders should be expelled. The north regarded it as the symbol of the Union on an otherwise rebellious and hostile shore, and were ready to spring to arms to resent an attack upon it. It was known to both sides that the garrison was very small, consisting of less than a company of soldiers, and a few laborers and musicians, and that they were very short of provisions and of ammunition. It was known also that the South Carolinians had been for several months erecting batteries of heavy guns in the most favorable positions for bombarding the fort, and that they had stationed in these batteries some 7,000 troops commanded by Gen. Beauregard, an experienced engineer, who had been an officer of the United States army. About a week after President Lincoln's inauguration a letter was sent to Mr. Seward, secretary of state, signed by John Forsyth and Martin J. Crawford, who claimed to be commissioners from the confederate government, authorized to make overtures to the government of the United States for the opening of negotiations. Mr. Seward replied, by a memorandum dated March 15, that he could not in any way admit that “the so-called Confederate States constitute a foreign power, with whom diplomatic relations ought to be established;” and both he and the president declined official intercourse with the commissioners, who remained for some weeks in Washington, and made other attempts at negotiation, with especial reference to Fort Sumter, of which they demanded the peaceful evacuation, or at least a pledge that it should not be relieved or reënforced. The president declined to give any such pledge, and at a cabinet meeting held March 21 it was determined that a fleet should be sent to the rescue of Major Anderson. A squadron, hastily equipped, and carrying supplies and a body of soldiers, was despatched from New York and other northern ports on April 6 and 7, and on the 8th formal notice was given to the governor of South Carolina that the fleet was on its way to relieve the fort. Gen. Beauregard immediately telegraphed this information to Montgomery, and on the 10th received orders from the confederate secretary of war to demand the immediate surrender of the fort, and in case of refusal to reduce it. The demand was made on the 11th, and being refused, a bombardment began on the 12th, which resulted in the surrender of the fort on the 13th, the fleet, which appeared off Charleston harbor on the 12th, not finding it practicable to assist the garrison. (See Sumter, Fort.) This event, the details of which as they occurred were transmitted by telegraph from Charleston to all parts of the country, created the greatest excitement both at the north and the south. Charleston was wild with exultation. The bells were rung, guns were fired, great crowds assembled, and the governor made a speech in which he said: “We have humbled the flag of the United States. We have defeated their twenty millions; we have brought down in humility the flag that has triumphed for 70 years; to-day, on this 13th day of April, it has been humbled, and humbled before the glorious little state of South Carolina.” At Montgomery there was equal exultation. An immense crowd assembled on the evening of April 12, and was addressed by Mr. Walker, the confederate secretary of war, who said: “No man can tell where the war this day commenced will end, but I will prophesy that the flag which now flaunts the breeze here will float over the dome of the capitol at Washington before the first of May. Let them try southern chivalry and test the extent of southern resources, and it may float eventually over Faneuil hall itself.” At Washington the effect of the news was to call forth the following proclamation from President Lincoln:

“Whereas the laws of the United States have been for some time past and are now opposed, and the execution thereof obstructed, in the states of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, by combinations too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings, or by the powers vested in the marshals by law: Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, president of the United States, in virtue of the power in me vested by the constitution and the laws, have thought fit to call forth, and hereby do call forth, the militia of the several states of the Union, to the aggregate number of 75,000, in order to suppress said combinations, and to cause the laws to be duly executed. The details for this object will be immediately communicated to the state authorities through the war department. I appeal to all loyal citizens to favor, facilitate, and aid this effort to maintain the honor, the integrity, and the existence of our national union, and the perpetuity of popular government, and to redress wrongs already long enough endured. I deem it proper to say that the first service assigned to the forces called forth will probably be to repossess the forts, places, and property which have been seized from the Union; and in every event the utmost care will be observed, consistently with the objects aforesaid, to avoid any devastation, any destruction of or interference with property, or any disturbance of peaceful citizens in any part of the country. And I hereby command the persons composing the combinations aforesaid to disperse and retire peaceably to their respective abodes within twenty days from this date. Deeming that the present condition of public affairs presents an extraordinary occasion, I do hereby, in virtue of the power in me vested by the constitution, convene both houses of congress. Senators and representatives are therefore summoned to assemble at their respective chambers, at 12 o'clock, noon, on Thursday, the fourth day of July next, then and there to consider and determine such measures as, in their wisdom, the public interest and safety may seem to demand.”

On this call to arms the north, which had been for months patiently though anxiously waiting for the government to act, rose almost as one man. Great meetings were held in all the large cities, in which men of all parties united. The governors of all the northern states responded promptly to the demand for troops. Massachusetts was the first in the field. On the day after the proclamation appeared, four regiments of volunteers, twice the number called for by the secretary of war, mustered with full ranks on Boston common, and three days later one of these regiments, the 6th, was 500 miles on its march to Washington, and was fighting its way through Baltimore on the 19th of April, the anniversary of Lexington and Concord, having been attacked in the streets by a mob of secessionists, whom it repulsed, not without considerable bloodshed on both sides. Pennsylvania was almost equally prompt, and her legislature sanctioned a loan of $3,000,000, and organized a reserve corps besides her quota. New York, called upon for 17,000 men for three months, responded by raising 30,000 for two years, and voted a war loan of $3,000,000. Rhode Island sent her quota at once, with her governor at its head. The other free states did likewise, and men and money were contributed to an extent far beyond what was demanded by the government. On the other hand, the governors of the border states replied to the requisition for troops in a defiant manner, and positively refused to furnish any. Those states, in fact, were as much excited by the fight at Sumter as any part of the nation, and there is no doubt that the attack on the fort was mainly prompted by a desire on the part of the confederate leaders to precipitate the border states into secession. Secessionists from all those states had long been urging upon the leaders at Montgomery and at Charleston the necessity of doing something decisive. “Sprinkle blood in the faces of the people of Alabama,” said Mr. Gilchrist, a member of congress from that state, “or they will be back in the Union in less than ten days.” “Strike a blow,” said Roger A. Pryor, ex-congressman from Virginia, addressing the citizens of Charleston on the eve of the attack on Fort Sumter, “and the moment that blood is shed Virginia will make common cause with her sisters of the south.” These persons knew well the spirit of their states. As late as April 4 the Virginia convention, by the decisive vote of 89 to 45, had refused to pass an ordinance of secession. On the 17th, four days after the surrender of Fort Sumter, the same convention in secret session, by a vote of 88 to 55, decreed the separation of Virginia from the Union, and her adhesion to the southern confederacy. A day or two later her military forces, energetically led, were in possession of the great navy yard at Norfolk, and of the United States arsenal at Harper's Ferry, neither of which was sufficiently garrisoned, though they contained millions of dollars worth of arms and ammunition, of incalculable value to the insurgents. At Norfolk alone they obtained 2,000 cannon and the steam frigate Merrimack, one of the finest in the navy. West Virginia, including more than a third of the area of the state and nearly a fourth of its white population, with very few slaves, refused to secede from the Union, but on the contrary seceded from Virginia. A convention of delegates from 40 counties met at Wheeling June 11, and formed a provisional government of men loyal to the Union. Five months later (Nov. 26) another convention assembled at Wheeling, framed a constitution for a new state, which was admitted by congress in December, 1862, and comprises 50 counties and nearly half a million of inhabitants. Tennessee speedily followed Virginia, and seceded May 6, but not without strong opposition from the eastern part of the state, where there were very few slaveholders, and where the Unionists were ably led by William G. Brownlow, Andrew Johnson, Horace Maynard, and other conspicuous citizens. The right of secession from the state, however, was denied them, and for a year or two they were severely persecuted for their fidelity to the Union, and were kept in subjection to the confederacy by military force, until relieved by the advance and victories of the Union armies. Arkansas seceded May 6, and North Carolina May 20. The excitement created by the attack on Fort Sumter had thus carried four states out of the Union. No more states formally seceded. Of the 15 slave states, 11 had now withdrawn. Four, Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland, and Delaware, maintained their constitutional compact, though great efforts were made to induce them to join the south. Missouri and Kentucky were indeed claimed by the confederacy, and were admitted to representation in the confederate congress; and Maryland furnished many soldiers to the confederate army. Missouri was in fact saved from actual secession only by a sharp and bloody struggle between the confederate party led by Claiborne F. Jackson, governor of the state, and Sterling Price, an ex-governor, and the Union party, headed by Francis P. Blair and B. Gratz Brown, who had also the support of the garrison of the United States arsenal at St. Louis, consisting of several hundred troops commanded by Capt. Nathaniel P. Lyon. — Immediately after the occurrences at Fort Sumter Jefferson Davis summoned the confederate congress to meet in Montgomery on April 29. In a session of three weeks measures were taken to raise money, to organize an army, and to issue letters of marque to privateers. A loan was authorized to the amount of $50,000,000, in addition to a previous loan of $15,000,000. These sums were to be raised by the sale of confederate bonds, redeemable at the expiration of 20 years, with interest at 8 per cent. per annum. The president was authorized to accept the services of 100,000 volunteers, to serve during the war. There being no means to create a regular navy, 15 or 20 small vessels were commissioned as privateers, and in the course of the summer a considerable number of prizes were taken or destroyed. On May 21 the congress adjourned to meet again on July 20 in Richmond, Va., which had been agreed upon as the confederate capital, and continued to be such until the fall of the confederacy. Nearly all the available troops of the confederacy were concentrated in Virginia, along a line extending from Harper's Ferry to Norfolk. Their strongest position was at Manassas Junction, on the direct road from Washington to Richmond, where Beauregard was in command with a force of 20,000 men. The entire force in Virginia, including militia, was about 60,000, and was under the command of Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, formerly of the United States army. Among the other officers who soon became distinguished were Robert E. Lee, T. J. Jackson, commonly called “Stonewall” Jackson, E. Kirby Smith, James Longstreet, and A. P. Hill. To oppose this formidable force the national government concentrated an army at Washington under the nominal command of the aged and infirm Gen. Winfield Scott. This force mainly occupied the Virginia side of the Potomac opposite the city. The United States government at this time was very much embarrassed by want of arms. The loss of Harper's Ferry left it with no arsenal of construction but that of Springfield, Mass. It had men in abundance, but its forces lacked not only arms but discipline. Many of its best officers had resigned from the army to enter the southern service, and its troops were raw levies compared with those of the south, who had been in training for several months longer. Every exertion was made to remedy these deficiencies. Agents were sent abroad to purchase arms, and the private manufactories in the northern states were worked to their utmost capacity. On April 19 the president proclaimed a blockade of all ports in the seceding states; and as the existing navy was not sufficient for the purpose, the navy department bought or chartered hundreds of merchant vessels and fitted them for war. On May 3 the president issued a proclamation calling for 42,000 volunteers to serve for three years, and also for 22,000 men to be added to the regular army and 18,000 to the navy. Persons of known or suspected treasonable conduct were arrested by order of the secretary of state, and confined in some of the national forts, and military officers were instructed to disregard all writs of habeas corpus issued for the release of such prisoners. These measures of the president were without sanction of law, but congress at its next session formally approved them, and declared them legalized and valid on the ground that they were war measures demanded by the exigency of circumstances and essential to the safety of the republic. — We have now traced the origin and progress of secession from its commencement in November, 1860, to its culmination in May, 1861, when it resulted in one of the greatest wars recorded in the annals of mankind. The movement had been singularly rapid, because the material and the motives for it had been long accumulating, and it was controlled by able and experienced politicians, who perfectly understood the temper and the feelings of the population with which they had to deal, and skilfully worked upon their ambition, their prejudices, their hopes, and their fears. On the confederate side of this great struggle were enlisted states containing five or six millions of whites, more than a million of them capable of bearing arms, brave, high-spirited, and warlike, accustomed to the use of weapons from childhood, confident of their own superior prowess and despising that of their opponents, and confident also of the rectitude of their cause and of the soundness of the principle of state sovereignty, for which mainly they had appealed to the gage of battle. On the other hand was a nation of 20,000,000, equally brave, though less accustomed to the use of arms, preferring peace to war, and if possible even more confident of the justice of their cause, and prepared to make any sacrifices for the salvation of the Union and the preservation of their country from the fate of the Spanish American republics. Both sides were of the same lineage, spoke the same language, professed the same religion, and, with the sole exception of slavery, differed little in manners, morals, general culture, and civilization. In the south agriculture was the predominant pursuit, and cotton its most valuable product. In the north agriculture was more diversified, and in addition to it a vast amount of manufacturing and commercial industry was carried on. The north was richer, and by its marine could command the sea, while its foreign trade supplied it with whatever arms and munitions of war it failed to produce within its own limits. The south at first was largely infatuated with the notion that the “northerners would not fight, and that if they did fight every southerner was a match for five of them.” A delusion even more general in the south was expressed by the current phrase, “Cotton is king;” by which was meant that the cotton of the south was an essential element of the prosperity of the north and of the manufacturing countries of Europe; and that if the southern supply of the material was cut off, intolerable suffering would result, especially in England and France, which would compel the governments of those countries to interfere in behalf of the south. This delusion was soon dispelled by the logic of events. Though the price of cotton advanced greatly all over the world in consequence of the blockade and of the diminished production in the south, this very advance in price stimulated its production in other countries, and India, Egypt, and South America supplied the market with large quantities. Europe was not driven to interfere in our civil strife, and her greatest powers, though with the exception of Russia they evidently hoped the south would succeed, did not dare openly to take her side, nor to give any but indirect and furtive encouragement to her agents, who made strenuous efforts to get foreign recognition and assistance for the confederacy. Nor did the south receive that assistance from the northern democrats on which she had counted so confidently. The great body of the party rallied round the flag of the Union, and volunteered in vast numbers for the defence of the nation, while many prominent democratic politicians attained the highest ranks in the army. Only a very small number of northern democrats joined the confederate forces, and the northern opponents of the government made no more formidable demonstration than a riot in New York, which broke out on occasion of a draft for the army, during the absence of military forces from the city, and was easily quelled when the soldiers returned. Politically the gravest demonstration made by the opposition was at their national convention which met at Chicago Aug. 29, 1864, and resolved that “four years of failure to restore the Union by the experiment of war” required that “immediate efforts be made for a cessation of hostilities.” They offset this, however, by nominating as their candidate for president a distinguished commander of the Union army, Gen. George B. McClellan. The defeat of the democrats in the presidential election of 1864, and the reëlection of President Lincoln, followed by brilliant successes of the Union armies under Grant and Sherman, deprived the confederates of their last hope, and made it apparent to all the world that the great conflict was drawing to its close. The Confederate States, stripped of men and money, their resources exhausted, their finances ruined, and the fairest portions of their territory ravaged by fire and sword, could no longer continue the unequal struggle, and presently collapsed, the people quietly submitting to their fate. — The main military events of the war were the battle of Bull Run, July, 1861; the capture of Fort Donelson, February, 1862; McClellan's campaign on the peninsula of Virginia, April to July, 1862; the battle of Shiloh, April, 1862; the capture of New Orleans, April, 1862; the second battle of Bull Run, August, 1862; the battle of Antietam, September, 1862; the battle of Fredericksburg, December, 1862; the battle of Stone river, December, 1862; the battle of Chancellorsville, May, 1863; the battle of Gettysburg, July, 1863; the capture of Vicksburg, July, 1863; the battle of Chickamauga, September, 1863; the battle of Chattanooga, November, 1863; Banks's Red river campaign, March and April, 1864; the battles in the Wilderness, at Spottsylvania Court House, and in southern Virginia, May and June, 1864; Sherman's Atlanta campaign, May to September, 1864; the battle near Nashville, December, 1864; Sherman's march to the sea, November and December, 1864; the siege of Petersburg, June, 1864, to April, 1865; Sherman's march through Georgia and the Carolinas, January to April, 1865; and finally the surrender of Lee's army in Virginia and of Johnston's in North Carolina, in April, 1865. The adjutant general of the confederate army, in a statement made since the close of hostilities, estimated the entire available confederate force capable of active service in the field at 600,000 men. Of this number not more than 400,000 were enrolled at any one time, and the Confederate States never had in the field at once more than 200,000. When the war ended the southern army was reduced to less than one half of this number. Scanty as these forces were compared with the northern armies, they made a most resolute and gallant defence, especially in Virginia under the command of Gen. R. E. Lee. Nor did they fail in any part of the war to exhibit manly courage, patient endurance of privations, and a steadfast adherence to what they considered the cause of their country. The last great military act of the war, the surrender of Johnston to Sherman, was followed on May 14 by that of Gen. Taylor with all the remaining confederate forces east of the Mississippi, and on the 26th of the same month by that of Gen. Kirby Smith with all his command west of the Mississippi, both to Gen. Canby. With these surrenders ended all military opposition to the government at Washington. The flag of the United States was lowered at Fort Sumter by Major Anderson, April 14, 1861. On the fourth anniversary of that event, April 14, 1865, the same flag was raised on Fort Sumter by the same Anderson, now promoted to the rank of major general. On April 3, when it became known in Richmond that Lee was defeated and that the city must be evacuated, Jefferson Davis fled southward in hopes of escaping by sea. He had made his way to southern Georgia when he was arrested near Irwinville by a party of Union cavalry sent in pursuit of him. He was taken to Fortress Monroe and kept for a considerable time in confinement, but was finally liberated on bail. For the history of the civil war, see the articles on the various battles under their own names, the notices of the prominent statesmen and generals on both sides, and United States. — Nothing like an adequate collection of the official documents relating to the civil war has ever been attempted. “The Rebellion Record” (9 vols. 8vo, 1861-'5), edited by Frank Moore, contains many documents and reports not otherwise accessible. The lack of published official reports on the operations of the Union armies is in a good degree supplied by the “Report of the Joint Committee of Congress on the Conduct of the War.” This embraces the sworn testimony of a very large proportion of the officers who bore a prominent part in military operations. The confederate “Report of the Operations of the Army of Northern Virginia” (3 vols. 8vo), embracing the period from the beginning of the seven days' battles down to the battle of Chancellorsville, is remarkably full and complete. Besides the general report of Lee, and detailed reports from each division commander, there are nearly 400 from subordinate officers. For all other periods the accessible confederate reports are nearly worthless. Of special reports, that of McClellan on the “Organization and Campaigns of the Army of the Potomac,” and that of Pope describing the operations of the army of Virginia, are valuable. A monograph by Hotchkiss and Allan, confederate engineers, relating to the battle of Chancellorsville, is of great value on account of its accurate military maps of the region of the “Wilderness.” Among the general histories of the war are to be noted those of Horace Greeley, “The American Conflict” (2 vols. 8vo, 1866); John W. Draper, “History of the American Civil War” (3 vols. 8vo, 1868-'70); A. H. Guernsey and H. M. Alden, “Harper's Pictorial History of the Great Rebellion” (4to); Edward A. Pollard, “The Lost Cause: a new Southern History of the War of the Confederates” (1866); Alexander H. Stephens, “The War between the States ” (2 vols. 8vo, 1868-'70); and William Swinton, “Campaigns of the Army of the Potomac” (1866), and “The Twelve Decisive Battles of the War” (1871).


  1. The enumeration of New York, Illinois, and Indiana among the states which had enacted personal liberty laws was an error. Those states had no such laws.