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Washington, that I called on Lincoln at eleven o'clock at night and sat with him alone until after one o'clock in the morning. He was, as usual, worn out with the day's exacting duties, but he did not permit me to depart until the Grant matter had been gone over and many other things relating to the war which he wished to discuss. I pressed upon him with all the earnestness I could command the immediate removal of Grant as an imperious necessity to sustain himself. As was his custom, he said but little, only enough to make me continue the discussion until it was exhausted. He sat before the open fire in the old Cabinet room, most of the time with his feet up on the high marble mantel, and exhibited unusual distress at the complicated condition of military affairs. Nearly every day brought some new and perplexing military complication. He had gone through a long winter of terrible strain with McClellan and the Army of the Potomac; and from the day that Grant started on his Southern expedition until the battle of Shiloh he had had little else than jarring and confusion among his generals in the West. He knew that I had no ends to serve in urging Grant's removal, beyond the single desire to make him be just to himself, and he listened patiently. I appealed to Lincoln for his own sake to remove Grant at once, and giving my reasons for it simply voiced the admittedly overwhelming protest from the loyal people of the land against Grant's continuance in command. I could form no judgment during the conversation as to what effect my arguments had upon him beyond the fact that he was greatly distressed at this new complication. When I had said everything that could be said from my standpoint, we lapsed into silence. He then gathered himself up in his chair, and said in a tone of earnestness that I shall never forget: 'I can't spare this man; he fights.' That was all he said, but I knew that it was enough, and that Grant was safe in Lincoln's hands against his countless hosts of enemies. The only man in all the Nation who had the power to save Grant was Lincoln, and he had decided to do it.”
On April 7th, while the battle of Shiloh was raging, Island No. 10 with some 6,500 prisoners fell into Federal hands. Halleck appointed General Thomas to command the right wing of the Army of the West; Pope, the left wing; Buell, the centre, with Grant second to Pope. It was Sherman's influence at this time which kept Grant from resigning from the army. The Confederate army, under Beauregard, fell back toward Corinth. New Orleans surrendered to Farragut, April 24th, and General B. F. Butler with 2,500 troops took possession of the city. The capture of New Orleans was a deadly blow to the Confederacy. It was the principal port, the principal city of the South; as Jefferson had said nearly sixty years before, whoever controlled New Orleans must control the Mississippi River. If there was any intention at Paris or London to give official aid to the Confederacy, it vanished at the news of the capture of New Orleans.
The confiscation act of 1861 was amended and made more comprehensive during July, the year following: slaves found in any place occupied by Confederate forces, or escaping from masters engaged in rebellion against the United States and taking refuge in the Union armies were declared free, and the president was empowered to employ "persons of African descent" in such manner as he thought proper for the suppression of rebellion. If he chose to colonize any such persons, freed by the act, the colonists were to have all the rights and privileges of freemen. The enrollment of negro troops was at variance with the laws and the practices of more than thirty States. On June 19th, Congress abolished slavery in the Territories, thus applying the principle which Lincoln had said in his Cooper Institute speech was the principle of the Fathers concerning slavery. Yet a week before this act passed, Congress had abolished slavery in the District of Columbia. The extent of abolition thus far was Federal territory, except as to the emancipatory powers authorized by the amended confiscation act, the terms of which have been stated above.
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Lincoln had long desired the disappearance of slavery from the States. On March 6th, he sent a special message to Congress recommending compensated emancipation: the United States to co-operate with any State to that end. His suggestion, in the form of a joint resolution, passed both Houses the roth of April. He then sought to get favorable action from the border States and, drawing up a tabular statement, showed that the cost of the war for eighty-seven days would more than pay for all the slaves, at $400 apiece, in Delaware, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Kentucky and Missouri. At this time he believed that colonization in South America and in Africa was practicable. On May 9th, Major-General Hunter, by proclamation, declared the slaves free in Georgia, Florida and South Carolina, but Lincoln, ten days later, countermanded Hunter's order, asserting also at the same time that he alone as commander-in-chief of the army and navy was competent to issue such a proclamation as Hunter's. Lincoln had objected to the confiscation act because it asserted that Congress could free slaves within a State: a doctrine which he had repudiated all his political life. But if the slave could in some way be transferred to the Nation, Congress could then emancipate him. The problem with Lincoln at this time was to get a national title to the slaves. He would strike a blow against slavery but would do it in what he conceived to be a constitutional manner.
The first year of the Civil War had passed. The firing on the Star of the West, and on Fort Sumter; the attack on the Northern regiments by the mob in Baltimore; the long delay in protecting the capital; the retirement of General Scott and the succession of General McClellan, and the wearisome waiting for McClellan to attack the Confederacy were the anxious events of the early part of the year. In the West the Confederacy had been forced southward: Forts Henry and Donelson taken; the regeneration of Missouri; the partial regeneration of Arkansas; Kentucky and Tennessee quite cleared of Confederate armies; Island No. 10 at the North and New Orleans at the South taken; · McClellan with an army of more than 100,000 well drilled troops approaching Richmond; Washington secure; and the great Army of the West, directed by Halleck, converging upon Corinth. The North was rejoicing; the South, desponding. And Congress had made all Federal soil free soil and had begun the process of emancipation, by the confiscation act, in the Confederate States themselves. And last of all, the national government offered to compensate slave owners who would free their slaves. The North was trying to convince itself that the war would soon be over and Secretary Stanton had issued a general order to stop recruiting. Lincoln had the confidence of the North as never before: a thousand acts of wisdom and kindness endeared him to the plain people; and out in the West, Lincoln had found a man, who also came from Illinois—who was a general and who would fight."
THE SECOND YEAR OF THE WAR
DURING the last week of April, 1862, McClellan was besieging Yorktown, the Army of the Potomac outnumbering that under General Johnston three to one. Nothing could have pleased the Confederacy more than McClellan's dilatory methods, his delusions, his querulous attitude toward Lincoln and the government and his whole conception of the management of the war. When, on May 3d, Johnston evacuated Yorktown, McClellan was wholly surprised; he had insisted on reinforcements and McDowell's corps had been sent him the week before. Johnston's army retreated toward Richmond; Hooker fought the Confederates at Williamsburg, but the battle was a Union defeat. McClellan came up late in the day and planned to renew the fight next morning, but that night the Confederates withdrew toward Richmond. The roads were in a dreadful condition, but it was McClellan who caused the Army of the Potomac to consume a fortnight in marching forty-five miles in ostensible pursuit of Johnston, and go into camp on the Chickahominy. Norfolk was abandoned by the Confederates, May 1oth, leaving the James River open to the · Union fleet, and the Merrimac to be destroyed at her moorings. News of the destruction of this iron-clad depressed the South and persuaded many at the North that the road to Richmond was now clear: the Union fleet coming up to within eight miles of the city. Military critics assert that the
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