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The distressing news of Bull Run brought home to the North the awful realities of war. Men who had all along distrusted the Republican party now denounced a war waged for the emancipation of the South's slaves. Both the President and Congress formally announced that it was a struggle for the maintenance of the Union and not a war on behalf of the slaves.

It was well that this position was taken, else the North might have broken into impotent factions. The East hated the South and warred upon their ancient rivals, the planters; the border States owned slaves, disliked the Republican party, and feared the purposes of those in power; while the West loved the Union, held the negro in contempt, and was committed to the party in power on the smallest possible margin.

None but Lincoln seemed to possess the tact and the ability necessary to hold together these dissolving elements of a country never yet thoroughly united; and even he was long doubted and distrusted by many good men. Strange as it may seem, Douglas had been, until his death, June 3, 1861, his right arm. Douglas's last speeches and dying words urged upon the millions of his followers the necessity of giving their lives to the cause of the Union. So critical was the situation that when nominations were made for elective office in the Middle States or the West in 1861, the Administration party took pains to disavow its former attitude and put forward candidates who had been regular Democrats, thus following the same compromising policy which Davis inaugurated in the South. Daniel S. Dickinson, a member of the old Polk and Pierce party of ruthless expansion, was made leader of the Administration forces in New York in 1861, and David Tod, a stanch Douglas man in 1860, was elected Governor of Ohio the same year by Republican votes. John C. Frémont was removed from the command of the Federal army in St. Louis because he undertook to emancipate the slaves in his department. The people of the North were not willing to invade the sister States of the South for any other cause than to restore the Union. Wealthy bankers, industrial leaders, and railway magnates might be kept together on a platform of enlarging the area of their operations, but never on a program which proposed the confiscation of billions of dollars' worth of property, which the slaves represented. In this hour of trial the supreme need was coöperation and union among the diverse elements of the North, for in 1862 another Congress would be chosen, and if party lines were suffered to be drawn, the South would certainly gain her independence.

[Illustration: One Nation, or Two?]

With this Unionist program perfectly understood, Lincoln asked Congress for 400,000 men. Congress gave him 500,000. A second wave of warlike enthusiasm swept over the North, and men enlisted not for three months, but for three years. The zeal and _abandon_ of the South was hardly matched, but there was no lack of men or support. With a few exceptions the newspapers, the pulpits, and the lecture platforms urged most ardent support of the common cause. But the more difficult problem of finding money for the vast armies that moved upon the South was not so quickly solved. Secretary Chase reported the expenditure in the three months of June, July, and August of a hundred millions--an amount greater far than the total national debt. Before another three months had passed this expenditure had doubled, and the Secretary estimated that $500,000,000 would be needed before the end of June, 1862! These were astounding figures to a country whose normal annual income was about $50,000,000. And what was worse, the financial men refused to take government bonds at par, as they had done during the war with Mexico, although they were now offered interest at the rate of six to eight per cent. The country had recovered from the panic of 1857, and as business activity increased and the general prosperity became certain, it was more difficult for the Government to borrow money. The suspension of specie payments by all the banks before the end of the year did not mean panic or severe economic crisis, as had hitherto been the case; rather, a change from metallic to paper money. Secretary Chase was told by New York leaders in December, 1862, that government bonds bearing six per cent interest would hardly bring sixty cents on the dollar. Yet business men borrowed money at four per cent and the wheels of industry and commerce were moving at full speed. Prosperity in the North was thus almost as fatal to the Union as adversity in the South was to the Confederacy. Rather than advertise a collapse of the federal credit by selling bonds at a discount of twenty to forty per cent the guiding spirits at Washington decided to issue notes as legal tender to the amount of $150,000,000, increased to $300,000,000 a little later. Immediately, bankers and business men who refused to take bonds protested with such vigor and resolution that Chase and Lincoln, unlearned in the ways of finance, knew not what course to take. To sell bonds at enormous discounts and high rates of interest was bad; to tax the people directly for the needs of the Government would have ruined the party in power; and to issue fiat money was equivalent to forcing the poor to lend what the rich refused. But the emergency was great. It was decided to issue and float "greenbacks" and also to sell bonds in unprecedented numbers. Though the markets of the world were open to the North and business was as active as ever in the history of the country, the Federal Government was thus reduced, like the Confederacy, to the use of paper money, and, surprising as it may appear, the securities of the latter sold in Europe at a higher price than those of the former. Gold and silver disappeared entirely in both sections.

But the eyes of the public were fixed on military movements, not finance, and as the winter of 1861-62 wore on an army of a hundred thousand men gathered around Washington for the second invasion of Virginia. George B. McClellan, the "young Napoleon," drilled and organized the raw recruits while public opinion began to urge another march upon Richmond. Other armies nearly a hundred thousand strong spread over Kentucky and threatened Tennessee at Cumberland Gap, Bowling Green, and Forts Henry and Donelson. In February Ulysses S. Grant saw the strategic importance of the forts on the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers, and before the first of March he had captured both, and the whole of West Tennessee lay open to him. Nashville fell as he moved up the Tennessee, and Commodore Foote opened the Mississippi River almost to Vicksburg during the early spring. Meanwhile Albert Sidney Johnston had retreated to northern Mississippi. Finding Grant in a weak position on the southern bank of the Tennessee near Shiloh Church, he hastily gathered his discouraged troops about him for a sudden attack upon the invaders. Grant had nearly 45,000 men and he knew that General Buell was only a few miles away with 37,000 more. Johnston had 40,000. The purpose of the Confederate general was known to his men, and all were inspired with the determination of striking a blow before the two armies of the enemy could unite. Johnston's assistants in command were Beauregard and Bragg, both able and experienced officers. On the morning of April 6, the Confederates fell upon Grant's outposts and drove them headlong against the main body. Desperate valor was shown in the ensuing attack, and before the afternoon it seemed that nothing could save the Union army and its commander from complete disaster. The river was in high flood, two impassable creeks flanked the Federals, while the victorious Confederates held the fourth side of the field. At two o'clock Johnston fell mortally wounded; Beauregard succeeded to command, and about four o'clock the attack slackened; at six it ceased altogether, though the Union forces were demoralized and expecting to be captured. Grant was saved. With the support of Buell at hand he attacked Beauregard on the morrow and regained some of his lost prestige. The "promenade" up the Tennessee had been halted; but the loss of Johnston was equal to the loss of an army. This fighting of South and West was of the most desperate character, for Grant lost more than 10,000 in killed and wounded, while Johnston and Beauregard lost 9700.

The march of Grant and Buell across middle and western Tennessee and the opening of the Mississippi to Memphis was accompanied by the loss to the Confederates of Missouri and a part of Arkansas. Grant's objective in the summer and autumn of 1862 was Vicksburg, but the Confederates held him fast in the neighborhood of Corinth, Mississippi. Buell withdrew from middle Tennessee in the late summer, when Bragg, commander of a second Confederate army in the West, moved through eastern Tennessee into Kentucky, threatening Lexington and Louisville. But Bragg failed after some successes in September to carry the tide of war back toward the Ohio, and he was followed in October by the army of the Ohio, now under the command of General W. S. Rosecrans, toward Murfreesboro, Tennessee, where another sanguinary battle was fought on the last day of December, 1862. Rosecrans now had 43,000 men, Bragg 38,000. After a desperate encounter in which the honors inclined to the Confederate side, Bragg withdrew toward Chattanooga, his base of operations, and Rosecrans encamped at Murfreesboro. The Federal losses in this engagement were more than 13,000, the Confederate somewhat over 9000, and the only advantage was the gaining of a few miles of territory. The war in the West which began so brilliantly for the Federals at Forts Henry and Donelson seemed to have come to a halt. Grant was unable to penetrate the lower South, and Rosecrans was content to leave Bragg in undisturbed possession of the region between Murfreesboro and Chattanooga.

Meanwhile the eyes of the two warring powers were concentrated on the operations in Virginia. McClellan moved in March, 1862, upon Richmond by way of the Yorktown Peninsula, a swampy wild region over which it was difficult, indeed, to move an army. He commanded 125,000 men, and 40,000 more were in the neighborhood of Washington to make a diversion in his favor in case of necessity. Joseph E. Johnston, who had held chief command in Virginia since Bull Run, shifted his position promptly from northern Virginia to Richmond to meet the threatened attack. He had no more than 55,000 men. As McClellan worked his way slowly up the peninsula Johnston fortified his position along the ridges east and north of the Confederate capital, which stood on the hills just above tidewater. From Hanover Court-House to Malvern Hill, a distance of some twenty-five miles, the two armies confronted each other in irregular lines conforming to the topography of the region. Late in May, Johnston attacked McClellan on the Union right, and the fighting continued two or three days, now at one point, now at another of the long lines. On May 31, in the battle of Fair Oaks, Johnston was severely wounded and the command devolved upon Robert E. Lee, whose failure to hold West Virginia against McClellan during the preceding autumn had temporarily eclipsed his growing reputation. Lee's management of his forces during the early days of his new command was faulty; but before the 23d of June he had received reinforcements from the Carolinas and Georgia which brought his total almost to 60,000; and he relied on "Stonewall" Jackson, who was just concluding a wonderful campaign in the Valley of Virginia, to come to his assistance with his corps of 16,000. But McClellan still had 105,000 fairly trained soldiers, and there was no reason to doubt that a second Union army was forming near Alexandria. It was a critical moment.

Meanwhile, Jackson's operations in the Shenandoah Valley had so startled and astounded the Federals that he was able to march, June 20-25, unobserved, over the passes of the Blue Ridge Mountains to Lee's assistance. A series of battles began June 26 at Mechanicsville on McClellan's right, near where Johnston had fought. But the failure of Jackson to arrive and begin the attack, according to agreement, caused the first Confederate onset to fail, with heavy losses to the South. The next day, however, the tide turned the other way and Lee routed McClellan at Gaines' Mill. McClellan now retreated across White Oak Swamp towards Harrison's Landing on the James. The weather was hot, the ground soft from rains, and the underbrush so thick and tangled that men could not see each other at a distance of ten paces, save in the narrow roads or small clearings. Realizing the difficulties under which his opponent labored, Lee ordered hasty pursuit, and ineffective blows were struck at Savage's Station and in White Oak Swamp. Jackson again failed to maintain the great reputation he had won in the Valley, and Magruder, Holmes, and Huger, other lieutenants of Lee, not knowing their own country as well as did the Federals, suffered their commands to be lost in the wilderness and thus aided McClellan in his escape from a dangerous situation. On July 1 the retreating Union army gathered, still devoted to its commander, on Malvern Hill, within support of the Federal gunboats in the James River below. The Confederates, confident and expectant, poured out of the woods from every direction, formed in battle array, and charged over open fields and rising ground toward the two hundred and fifty great guns which had been dragged for weeks through the swamps in the hope of just such an opportunity. The attempt of Lee to carry this impregnable position lost the Confederates as many brave men as all the other six days of unremitting warfare. McClellan held his own till night; Lee withdrew to the neighboring thickets, surprised at the resolute strength of an opponent who had avoided battle at every turn since June 26.

The week of fighting and scouring the woods had cost the North nearly 16,000 men; the South, 20,000. The retreat on July 2 to Harrison's Landing was McClellan's confession of failure, which sorely distressed his superiors in Washington and greatly depressed the spirits of the North. Lee's first essay at war on a large scale had saved the Confederate capital, though at fearful cost, and he was everywhere regarded as a great general. From this time Davis and the Confederate Government gave him the fullest confidence, and the people of the South came to think of him as almost superhuman. Though he was bold in action and even reckless of human life, his soldiers gave him an obedience and a reverence which no other commander in American history has ever received. Jackson, Longstreet, and D. H. and A. P. Hill had also won fame in this baptism of blood. To the average Southerner the outlook was once more exceedingly bright. Richmond breathed freely, and the Government bent its energies to the task of supplying its able officers with men and means.

While the Federal Government was deciding what to do with McClellan and his army, still almost twice as large as Lee's, the Confederate commander sent Jackson with some 20,000 men to the neighborhood of Bull Run, where the commands of McDowell, Banks, and Frémont had been united to make a third army of invasion. General John Pope was brought from successful operations in the West to Washington, where Secretary Edwin M. Stanton, assuming more and more the directing authority of the Government, prepared, with the assistance of Senator Benjamin F. Wade, a proclamation which Pope was to distribute among the troops. "I come from the West, where we have always seen the backs of our enemies," ran this remarkable admonition to Eastern, officers and men. "Let us look before us and not behind." Most of the 50,000 men who were soon to meet Jackson and Lee resented the comparison and the affront. On August 9 a sharp encounter at Cedar Mountain showed how resolute and real was the purpose of Lee to drive this army out of Virginia. When President Lincoln removed McClellan and ordered the Army of the Potomac in part to Washington, in part to Acquia Creek, near Fredericksburg, to support Pope, and gave the command of all the armies of the East to General H. W. Halleck, for whom Grant had won high reputation earlier in the year, Lee hastened northward to defeat Pope before these reinforcements could arrive. The Union forces north of Bull Run amounted now to nearly 75,000 men; Lee had 55,000, but there was no thought of delay. On the 29th and 30th Pope was crushed and routed completely in a series of maneuvers and battles which have been pronounced the most masterly in the whole war. For four days the discouraged and baffled troops and officers of the Union retreated or ran pell-mell across the northern counties of Virginia into Washington, to the dismay of Lincoln and the friends of the Federal cause. It was at this moment, too, that Bragg was advancing, as already described, into Kentucky and threatening to seize Lexington and Louisville. It was a dark hour to the patient and patriotic Lincoln, who had never dreamed that such catastrophes could be the result of his reluctant decision, in early April, 1861, to hold Fort Sumter.

General Halleck proved uncertain and dilatory; the Army of the Potomac was generally dissatisfied and clamoring for the restoration of McClellan, who, like Joseph E. Johnston, of the South, was always popular with his men; the Cabinet, too, was uncertain and hopelessly divided in its counsels. The cause of the Union was exceedingly doubtful in September, 1862, as Lee entered Maryland, publishing abroad his call to the Southern element of that State to rise and join their brethren of the Confederacy. Public opinion in the North was divided and depressed. The abolitionists of the East were pressing every day through Sumner and Chase for a proclamation emancipating the slaves, which might have driven Maryland and Kentucky into the arms of the enemy; the Northwest was in turmoil, for there abolitionism was as unpopular as slavery itself, and leading men declared that it was a war for the Union, for a great common country, not a struggle to overthrow the institutions of the South. There was still no great party, sure of a majority in the coming elections, upon which the President could rely, and the loss of a majority in Congress would have been fatal.

Under these circumstances Lee, Longstreet, and Jackson entered Maryland at a point some fifty miles above Washington, with their army enthusiastic and self-confident because of recent victories. It seemed almost certain that another victory, and this on the soil of the North, would secure Confederate recognition in Europe. Reluctantly Lincoln restored McClellan to the command of the Union army which was moving northwestward to confront Lee. An accident, one of those small things in war which sometimes determines the fate of nations, put into McClellan's hands the orders of Lee for the Maryland campaign. General D. H. Hill dropped his copy of these important and highly confidential instructions upon the ground as he was breaking camp on the morning of the 12th of September. On the same day this tell-tale document was handed to the Federal commander. Almost a third of Lee's army was on its way to Harper's Ferry, many miles to the west, to seize that post, which McClellan thought had already been evacuated. McClellan began to press upon the Confederates as they retired from their advanced position to the valley of Antietam Creek. South Mountain, a spur of the Blue Ridge, lay between the armies. On September 16, McClellan crossed the passes and confronted Lee, who was now on the defensive. A most sanguinary battle followed on the 17th, and the Confederates, having suffered losses of nearly 12,000 men, retired to northern Virginia. The campaign was closed, for McClellan was too cautious to risk a second attack, and Lee retired to a safe position south of the Potomac. The consternation of the North subsided and President Lincoln gave out the announcement that if war continued till January he would emancipate the slaves by executive order in all the States which at that time refused to recognize the Federal authority.

The elections which came in October and November following ran heavily against the Administration. New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin, Republican States in 1860, went Democratic. Only in States where the war upon the South, as the ancient enemy, was popular did the Administration receive hearty support. In the moderate States like Pennsylvania and the border States like Kentucky, the Republican party had practically ceased to exist. The Emancipation Proclamation had served to emphasize the almost fatal cleavage in Northern public opinion.

But the fortunes of both sides depended on victory in the field as well as votes in Congress, and all eyes turned again to the movements of Lee. The failure of McClellan to follow Lee and deliver battle led to his second removal from command. Ambrose E. Burnside, a corps commander who had done good work at Antietam, succeeded, and in obedience to the orders of the War Department moved directly upon Richmond by way of Fredericksburg, with an army of 122,000. But Lee confronted him on the south bank of the Rappahannock, and though his forces were only a little more than half as strong, there was no uneasiness at Confederate headquarters. On the 12th of December Burnside crossed the Rappahannock and attacked Lee, who held the formidable hills on the southern bank of that stream. Another bloody battle ensued. After a vain and hopeless sacrifice of 12,000 men, Burnside withdrew to the northern bank of the river. The active fighting of 1862 had come to a close. In northern Mississippi Grant and Sherman were blocked; at Murfreesboro, Tennessee, the armies of Rosecrans and Bragg were about to make their fruitless onsets already mentioned, and in Virginia the Union outlook was quite as dark as it had been after the first unfortunate trial at arms in July, 1861. Lincoln thought of removing Grant because of the failure of the campaign in northern Mississippi, but gave him another opportunity; Burnside resigned a command he had not sought, and Joseph Hooker took up the difficult problem of beating Lee.

At Washington the deepest gloom prevailed. On July 2, 1862, before the news of McClellan's failure to capture Richmond had reached the people, a call for 300,000 three-year men was made. Then came the disaster of Second Manassas and the invasion of Maryland. Recruiting went on drearily during the fall, when most signs pointed to the failure of all the gigantic efforts to maintain the Union. The writ of _habeas corpus_, so dear to Anglo-Saxons, had been frequently suspended; arbitrary arrests were made in all parts of the North, and many well-known men were held in military and other prisons without warrant or trial. Stanton and Seward with the approval of the President issued orders for the seizure of men at night, and the mysterious disappearances of public men in places where opposition had been shown served to warn people against displeasing their own officers at the capital. The cost of the war had mounted to $2,500,000 a day, while the gross receipts of the Government were not more than $600,000 a day. When the time came to put into force the Emancipation Proclamation, the people were in greater doubt than ever about the wisdom of the move, and Secretary Seward wrote to a friend condemning utterly this effort to raise a servile war in the South. The letter found its way into the newspapers and showed once more the cleavage of Northern public opinion. The radical East approved, the nationalist West disapproved, and business men, bankers, merchants, and manufacturers, whom Seward best represented, went on their indifferent ways, refusing to lend money to the Government save on usurious terms, and at the same time denouncing its policy of paying debts by issuing irredeemable paper. Lincoln had lost the confidence of the public, even of Congress; but, as he himself said, no other man possessed more of that confidence. An honest German merchant wrote home to friends that if the North could only exchange officers with the Confederates, the war would be over in a few weeks. In the midst of the depression the Secretary of the Treasury issued another $100,000,000 of greenbacks to meet pressing needs; and to fill up the ranks of the armies a Federal conscript law was enacted in March, 1863, only a little less drastic than the Confederate measure which was said to "rob both the cradle and the grave."

Under these circumstances Hooker moved half-heartedly upon Lee. The two armies, the Union out-numbering the Confederate more than two to one, met in the dreary and almost impenetrable forest, southwest of Fredericksburg, known as the Wilderness, though the battle which followed bears the name of Chancellorsville. For five days the bloody work went on, with the result that Hooker retired beaten and humiliated before his enemy. Lee and the South had also lost their greatest general, Stonewall Jackson, and the people of the South were feeling to the full the disasters of war. But Lee gathered his forces from Norfolk, Petersburg, and Richmond, every regiment that could be spared, more than 80,000 men, and set his face once more toward western Maryland and Pennsylvania, where he confidently expected to wrest a peace from the stubborn North. The Army of the Potomac moved on interior lines toward Gettysburg, leaving some regiments in Washington against an emergency. The people of Pennsylvania and New York were panic-struck; a second time the evils of war had been transferred from Southern to Northern territory. Great cities have not been famous for self-control and philosophy when their banks and their rich storehouses have been threatened with ruin. Philadelphia and New York were no exceptions to the rule, and if it had been left to them the war would have been brought to a close before Lee crossed the Pennsylvania border.

Once more the Union commander was changed. Upon the modest shoulders of General George Gordon Meade fell the heavy responsibility of saving the riches of the Middle States and the cause of the Union, for all felt that a Confederate victory in the heart of the North would bring the tragedy to a close. Lee was so bold and confident that he was hardly more cautious in the disposition of his troops than he had been when fighting on his own soil. Meade secured a strong position on the hills about the since famous village of Gettysburg, and awaited attack; he had somewhat more than 90,000 men, who were, however, still laboring under the delusion that Lee was invincible and that their commanders were unequal to those of the adversary. Without waiting for the return of his cavalry and without trying, like Napoleon at Austerlitz, to entice the Federals away from their fortifications, General Lee pressed forward. On July 1 the Confederates gained some advantage in the fighting; on the second day they held their own; but on the third day they attempted, somewhat after the manner of Burnside at Fredericksburg, the impossible, and the best army the South ever had was hopelessly beaten. About 30,000 of their brave men were dead, wounded, or missing. Meade had not suffered so great a loss, and he had saved the cause of his Government. After a day of waiting the Confederate army took up its march unmolested toward northern Virginia. While the people of the North rejoiced at their deliverance, the news came that Grant had captured Vicksburg and all the 30,000 men who had defended that important point. The Mississippi went on its way "unvexed to the sea," as Lincoln said, for New Orleans had long since fallen and the upper river had been cleared of all resistance. At only one point on the long line from Washington to Vicksburg had the Confederates held their own--Chattanooga, whence Bragg had retreated earlier in the year and where the next great battle was to be fought.

Hastily Davis ordered his available regiments to Bragg, who held the mountain ridges south of Chattanooga. Lee, who felt strong enough to hold Meade in check in northern Virginia, sent away Longstreet with his veterans. September 19, Rosecrans attacked Bragg on his impregnable hills, and after two days of heroic fighting and appalling losses he retired to the city. Bragg had won a victory similar in every respect to that which crowned Meade's efforts at Gettysburg. Though slow, unpopular with officers and men, and unimaginative, he soon seized the strong points on the river above and below the city, and Rosecrans was surrounded, besieged, for the single, almost impassable road to Nashville and the North would not bear the burden of necessary supplies. If Bragg had proved watchful and alert, it would have been only a matter of time when the Federals would have been driven by famine to surrender.

Bibliographical Note

Mr. Gamaliel Bradford has published some extremely interesting studies of the war-time leaders, of which, _Lee, the American_ (1912) is by far the most important, though his _Confederate Portraits_ (1914) including character sketches of most of the eminent Southern generals, offer a great deal that is suggestive. In volume _IV_ of Mr. Rhodes's _History_ there are two chapters which treat of the life of the people of North and South in the most interesting manner. In addition to the more general works already cited, one may turn to George C. Gorham's _Life and Public Services of Edwin M. Stanton_ (1889); George H. Haynes's _Charles Sumner_ in _American Crises_ biographies; Henry Cleveland's _Alexander H. Stephens in Public and in Private_ (1866); A. B. Hart's _Salmon Portland Chase_ in _American Statesmen_ series; Frederic Bancroft's _The Life of William H. Seward_ (1900); and Carl Schurz's _Reminiscences_ (1907-08); H. A. Wise's _Seven Decades of the American Union_ (1876); and J. W. DuBose's _The Life and Times of William L. Yancey_ (1892).

The diplomatic history of the war will be found in J. M. Callahan's _Diplomatic History of the Southern Confederacy_ (1901); J. W. Foster's _A Century of American Diplomacy_ (1900); Charles Francis Adams's _Charles Francis Adams_ (1900), in _American Statesmen_ series; Charles Francis Adams's _Lee at Appomatox_ (1909); and _Transatlantic Solidarity_ (1913); and Pierce Butler's _Judah P. Benjamin_, in _American Crises_ biographies.

Of contemporary accounts to be added to those already mentioned are W. T. Sherman's _Memoirs of General W. T. Sherman_ (1875), and especially the _Home Letters of General Sherman_, edited by M. A. DeWolfe Howe (1909); G. B. McClellan's _McClellan's Own Story_ (1887); E. A. Pollard's _A Southern History of the War_ (1866); Horace Greeley's _The American Conflict_ (1864-67); and Jefferson Davis's _Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government_ (1881).