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V THE BEGINNING OF THE CIVIL WAR
On April 12, 1861, came with the bombardment of Fort Sumter the actual beginning of the War. The foreseeing shrewdness of Lincoln had resisted all suggestions for any such immediate action on the part of the government as would place upon the North the responsibility for the opening of hostilities. Shortly after the fall of Sumter, a despatch was drafted by Seward for the guidance of American ministers abroad. The first reports in regard to the probable action of European governments gave the impression that the sympathy of these governments was largely with the South. In France and England, expressions had been used by leading officials which appeared to foreshadow an early recognition of the Confederacy. Seward's despatch as first drafted was unwisely angry and truculent in tone. If brought into publication, it would probably have increased the antagonism of the men who were ruling England. It appeared in fact to foreshadow war with England. Seward had assumed that England was going to take active part with the South and was at once throwing down the gauntlet of defiance. It was Lincoln who insisted that this was no time, whatever might be the provocation, for the United States to be shaking its fist at Europe. The despatch was reworded and the harsh and angry expressions were eliminated. The right claimed by the United States, in common with all nations, to maintain its own existence was set forth with full force, while it was also made clear that the nation was strong enough to maintain its rights against all foes whether within or without its boundaries. It is rather strange to recall that throughout the relations of the two men, it was the trained and scholarly statesman of the East who had to be repressed for unwise truculency and that the repression was done under the direction of the comparatively inexperienced representative of the West, the man who had been dreaded by the conservative Republicans of New York as likely to introduce into the national policy "wild and woolly" notions.

In Lincoln's first message to Congress, he asks the following question: "Must a government be of necessity too strong for the liberties of its own people or too weak to maintain its own existence? Is there in all republics this inherent weakness?" The people of the United States were able under the wise leadership of Lincoln to answer this question "no." Lincoln begins at once with the public utterances of the first year of the War to take the people of the United States into his confidence. He is their representative, their servant. He reasons out before the people, as if it constituted a great jury, the analysis of their position, of their responsibilities, and the grounds on which as their representative this or that decision is arrived at. Says Schurz: "Lincoln wielded the powers of government when stern resolution and relentless force were the order of the day, and, won and ruled the popular mind and heart by the tender sympathies of his nature."

The attack on Sumter placed upon the administration the duty of organising at once for the contest now inevitable the forces of the country. This work of organisation came at best but late because those who were fighting to break up the nation had their preparations well advanced. The first call for troops directed the governors of the loyal States to supply seventy-five thousand men for the restoration of the authority of the government. Massachusetts was the first State to respond by despatching to the front, within twenty-four hours of the publication of the call, its Sixth Regiment of Militia; the Seventh of New York started twenty-four hours later. The history of the passage of the Sixth through Baltimore, of the attack upon the columns, and of the deaths, in the resulting affray, of soldiers and of citizens has often been told. When word came to Washington that Baltimore was obstructing the passage of troops bound southward, troops called for the defence of the capital, the isolation of the government became sadly apparent. For a weary and anxious ten days, Lincoln and his associates were dreading from morning to morning the approach over the long bridge of the troops from Virginia whose camp-fires could be seen from the southern windows of the White House, and were looking anxiously northward for the arrival of the men on whose prompt service the safety of the capital was to depend. I have myself stood in Lincoln's old study, the windows of which overlook the Potomac, and have recalled to mind the fearful pressure of anxiety that must have weighed upon the President during those long days; as looking across the river, he could trace by the smoke the picket lines of the Virginia troops. He must have thought of the possibility that he was to be the last President of the United States, that the torch handed over to him by the faltering hands of his predecessor was to expire while he was responsible for the flame. The immediate tension was finally broken by the appearance of the weary and battered companies of the Massachusetts troops and the arrival two days later, by the way of Annapolis, of the New York Seventh with an additional battalion from Boston.

It was, however, not only in April, 1861, that the capital was in peril. The anxiety of the President (never for himself but only for his responsibilities) was to be repeated in July, 1863, when Lee was in Maryland, and in July, 1864, at the time of Early's raid.

We may remember the peculiar burdens that come upon the commander-in-chief through his position at the rear of the armies he is directing. The rear of a battle is, even in the time of victory, a place of demoralising influence. It takes a man of strong nerve not to lose heart when the only people with whom he is in immediate contact are those who through disability or discouragement are making their way to the rear. The sutlers, the teamsters, the wounded men, the panic-struck (and with the best of soldiers certain groups do lose heart from time to time, men who in another action when started right are ready to take their full share of the fighting)—these are the groups that in any action are streaming to the rear. It is impossible not to be affected by the undermining of their spirits and of their hopefulness. If the battle is going wrongly, if in addition to those who are properly making their way to the rear, there come also bodies of troops pushed out of their position who have lost heart and who have lost faith in their commanders, the pressure towards demoralisation is almost irresistible.

We may recall that during the entire four years of War, Lincoln, the commander-in-chief, was always in the rear. Difficult as was the task of the men who led columns into action, of the generals in the field who had the immediate responsibility for the direction of those columns and of the fighting line, it was in no way to be compared with the pressure and sadness of the burden of the man who stood back of all the lines, and to whom came all the discouragements, the complaints, the growls, the criticisms, the requisitions or demands for resources that were not available, the reports of disasters, sometimes exaggerated and sometimes unduly smoothed over, the futile suggestions, the conflicting counsels, the indignant protests, the absurd schemes, the self-seeking applications, that poured into the White House from all points of the field of action and from all parts of the Border States and of the North. The man who during four years could stand that kind of battering and pressure and who, instead of having his hopefulness crushed out of him, instead of losing heart or power of direction or the full control of his responsibilities, steadily developed in patience, in strength, in width of nature, and in the wisdom of experience, so that he was able not only to keep heart firm and mind clear but to give to the soldiers in the front and to the nation behind the soldiers the influence of his great heart and clear mind and of his firm purpose, that man had within him the nature of the hero. Selected in time of need to bear the burdens of the nation, he was able so to fulfil his responsibilities that he takes place in the world's history as a leader of men.

In July, 1861, one of the special problems to be adjusted was the attitude of the Border States. Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia had not been willing at the outset to cast in their lot with the South, but they were not prepared to give any assured or active support to the authority of the national government. The Governor and the Legislature of Kentucky issued a proclamation of neutrality; they demanded that the soil of the State should be respected and that it should not be traversed by armed forces from either side. The Governor of Missouri, while not able to commit the State to secession, did have behind him what was possibly a majority of the citizens in the policy of attempting to prevent the Federal troops from entering the State. Maryland, or at least eastern Maryland, was sullen and antagonistic. Thousands of the Marylanders had in fact already made their way into Virginia for service with the Confederacy. On the other hand, there were also thousands of loyal citizens in these States who were prepared, under proper guidance and conservative management, to give their own direct aid to the cause of nationality. In the course of the succeeding two years, the Border States sent into the field in the union ranks some fifty thousand men. At certain points of the conflict, the presence of these union men of Kentucky, Tennessee, Maryland, and Missouri was the deciding factor. While these men were willing to fight for the union, they were strongly opposed to being used for the destruction of slavery and for the freeing of the blacks. The acceptance, therefore, of the policy that was pressed by the extreme anti-slavery group, for immediate action in regard to the freeing of the slaves, would have meant at once the dissatisfaction of this great body of loyalists important in number and particularly important on account of their geographical position. Lincoln was able, although with no little difficulty, to hold back the pressure of Northern sentiment in regard to anti-slavery action until the course of the War had finally committed the loyalists of the Border States to the support of the union. For the support of this policy, it became necessary to restrain certain of the leaders in the field who were mixing up civil and constitutional matters with their military responsibilities. Proclamations issued by Fremont in Missouri and later by Hunter in South Carolina, giving freedom to the slaves within the territory of their departments, were promptly and properly disavowed. Said Lincoln: "A general cannot be permitted to make laws for the district in which he happens to have an army."

The difficulties in regard to the matter of slavery during the war brought Lincoln into active correspondence with men like Beecher and Greeley, anti-slavery leaders who enjoyed a large share of popular confidence and support. In November, 1861, Lincoln says of Greeley: "His backing is as good as that of an army of one hundred thousand men." There could be no question of the earnest loyalty of Horace Greeley. Under his management, the New York Tribune had become a great force in the community. The paper represented perhaps more nearly than any paper in the country the purpose and the policy of the new Republican party. Unfortunately, Mr. Greeley's judgment and width of view did not develop with his years and with the increasing influence of his journal. He became unduly self-sufficient; he undertook not only to lay down a policy for the guidance of the constitutional responsibilities of the government, but to dictate methods for the campaigns. The Tribune articles headed "On to Richmond!" while causing irritation to commanders in the field and confusion in the minds of quiet citizens at home, were finally classed with the things to be laughed at. In the later years of the War, the influence of the Tribune declined very considerably. Henry J. Raymond with his newly founded Times succeeded to some of the power as a journalist that had been wielded by Greeley.

In November, 1861, occurred an incident which for a time threatened a very grave international complication, a complication that would, if unwisely handled, have determined the fate of the Republic. Early in the year, the Confederate government had sent certain representatives across the Atlantic to do what might be practicable to enlist the sympathies of European governments, or of individuals in these governments, to make a market for the Confederate cotton bonds, to arrange for the purchase of supplies for the army and navy, and to secure the circulation of documents presenting the case of the South. Mr. Yancey of Mississippi was the best-known of this first group of emissaries. With him was associated Judge Mann of Virginia and it was Mann who in November, 1861, was in charge of the London office of the Confederacy. In this month, Mr. Davis appointed as successor to Mann, Mr. Mason of Virginia, to whom was given a more formal authorisation of action. At the same time, Judge Slidell of Louisiana was appointed as the representative to France. Mason and Slidell made their way to Jamaica and sailed from Jamaica to Liverpool in the British mail steamer Trent. Captain Charles Wilkes, in the United States frigate San Jacinto, had been watching the West Indies waters with reference to blockade runners and to Wilkes came knowledge of the voyage of the two emissaries. Wilkes took the responsibility of stopping the Trent when she was a hundred miles or more out of Kingston and of taking from her as prisoners the two commissioners. The commissioners were brought to Boston and were there kept under arrest awaiting the decision from Washington as to their status. This stopping on the high seas of a British steamer brought out a great flood of indignation in Great Britain. It gave to Palmerston and Russell, who were at that time in charge of the government, the opportunity for which they had been looking to place on the side of the Confederacy the weight of the influence of Great Britain. It strengthened the hopes of Louis Napoleon for carrying out, in conjunction with Great Britain, a scheme that he had formulated under which France was to secure a western empire in Mexico, leaving England to do what she might find convenient in the adjustment of the affairs of the so-called United States.

The first report secured from the law officers of the Crown took the ground that the capture was legal under international law and under the practice of Great Britain itself. This report was, however, pushed to one side, and Palmerston drafted a demand for the immediate surrender of the commissioners. This demand was so worded that a self-respecting government would have had great difficulty in assenting to it without risk of forfeiting support with its own citizens. It was in fact intended to bring about a state of war. Under the wise influence of Prince Albert, Queen Victoria refused to give her approval to the document. It was reworded by Albert in such fashion as to give to the government of the United States an opportunity for adjustment without loss of dignity. Albert was clear in his mind that Great Britain ought not to be committed to war for the destruction of the great Republic of the West and for the establishment of a state of which the corner-stone was slavery. Fortunately, Victoria was quite prepared to accept in this matter Albert's judgment. Palmerston protested and threatened resignation, but finally submitted.

When the news of the capture of the commissioners came to Washington, Seward for once was in favour of a conservative rather than a truculent course of action. He advised that the commissioners should be surrendered at once rather than to leave to Great Britain the opportunity for making a dictatorial demand. Lincoln admitted the risk of such demand and the disadvantage of making the surrender under pressure, but he took the ground that if the United States waited for the British contention, a certain diplomatic advantage could be gained. When the demand came, Lincoln was able, with a rewording (not for the first time) of Seward's despatch, to take the ground that the government of the United States was "well pleased that Her Majesty's government should have finally accepted the old-time American contention that vessels of peace should not be searched on the high seas by vessels of war." It may be recalled that the exercise of the right of search had been one of the most important of the grievances which had brought about the War of 1812-1814. In the discussion of the Treaty of Ghent in 1814, the English and American commissioners, while agreeing that this right of search must be given up, had not been able to arrive at a form of words, satisfactory to both parties, for its revocation. Both sets of commissioners were very eager to bring their proceedings to a close. The Americans could of course not realise that if they had waited a few weeks the news of the battle of New Orleans, fought in January, 1815, would have greatly strengthened their position. It was finally agreed "as between gentlemen" that the right of search should be no longer exercised by Great Britain. This right was, however, not formally abrogated until December, 1861, nearly half a century later. This little diplomatic triumph smoothed over for the public of the North the annoyance of having to accept the British demand. It helped to strengthen the administration, which in this first year of the War was by no means sure of its foundations. It strengthened also the opinion of citizens generally in their estimate of the wise management and tactfulness of the President.

Some of the most serious of the perplexities that came upon Lincoln during the first two years of the War were the result of the peculiar combination of abilities and disabilities that characterised General McClellan. McClellan's work prior to the War had been that of an engineer. He had taken high rank at West Point and later, resigning from the army, had rendered distinguished service in civil engineering. At the time of the Lincoln-Douglas debates, McClellan was president of the Illinois Central Railroad. He was a close friend and backer of Douglas and he had done what was practicable with the all-important machinery of the railroad company to render comfortable the travelling of his candidate and to insure his success. Returning to the army with the opening of the War, he had won success in a brief campaign in Virginia in which he was opposed by a comparatively inexperienced officer and by a smaller force than his own. Placed in command of the army of the Potomac shortly after the Bull Run campaign, he had shown exceptional ability in bringing the troops into a state of organisation. He was probably the best man in the United States to fit an army for action. There were few engineer officers in the army who could have rendered better service in the shaping of fortifications or in the construction of an entrenched position. He showed later that he was not a bad leader for a defeated army in the supervision of the retreat. He had, however, no real capacity for leadership in an aggressive campaign. His disposition led him to be full of apprehension of what the other fellow was doing. He suffered literally from nightmares in which he exaggerated enormously the perils in his paths, making obstacles where none existed, multiplying by two or by three the troops against him, insisting upon the necessity of providing not only for probable contingencies but for very impossible contingencies. He was never ready for an advance and he always felt proudly triumphant, after having come into touch with the enemy, that he had accomplished the task of saving his army.

The only thing about which he was neither apprehensive nor doubtful was his ability as a leader, whether military or political. While he found it difficult to impress his will upon an opponent in the field, he was very sturdy with his pen in laying down the law to the Commander-in-chief (the President) and in emphasising the importance of his own views not only in things military but in regard to the whole policy of the government. The peculiarity about the nightmares and miscalculations of McClellan was that they persisted long after the data for their correction were available. In a book brought into print years after the War, when the Confederate rosters were easily accessible in Washington, McClellan did not hesitate to make the same statements in regard to the numbers of the Confederate forces opposed to him that he had brought into the long series of complaining letters to Lincoln in which he demanded reinforcements that did not exist.

The records now show that at the time of the slow advance of McClellan's army by the Williamsburg Peninsula, General Magruder had been able, with a few thousand men and with dummy guns made of logs, to give the impression that a substantial army was blocking the way to Richmond. McClellan's advance was, therefore, made with the utmost "conservatism," enabling General Johnston to collect back of Magruder the army that was finally to drive McClellan back to his base. It is further in evidence from the later records that when some weeks later General Johnston concentrated his army at Gaines's Mill upon Porter, who was separated from McClellan by the Chickahominy, there was but an inconsiderable force between McClellan and Richmond.

At the close of the seven days' retreat, McClellan, who had with a magnificent army thrown away a series of positions, writes to Lincoln that he (Lincoln) "had sacrificed the army." In another letter, McClellan lays down the laws of a national policy with a completeness and a dictatorial utterance such as would hardly have been justified if he had succeeded through his own military genius in bringing the War to a close, but which, coming from a defeated general, was ridiculous enough. Lincoln's correspondence with McClellan brings out the infinite patience of the President, and his desire to make sure that before putting the General to one side as a vainglorious incompetent, he had been allowed the fullest possible test. Lincoln passes over without reference and apparently without thought the long series of impertinent impersonalities of McClellan. In this correspondence, as in all his correspondence, the great captain showed himself absolutely devoted to the cause he had in mind. Early in the year, months before the Peninsular campaign, when McClellan had had the army in camp for a series of months without expressing the least intention of action, Lincoln had in talking with the Secretary of War used the expression: "If General McClellan does not want to use the army just now, I would like to borrow it for a while." That was as far as the Commander-in-chief ever went in criticism of the General in the field. While operations in Virginia, conducted by a vacillating and vainglorious engineer officer, gave little encouragement, something was being done to advance the cause of the union in the West. In 1862, a young man named Grant, who had returned to the army and who had been trusted with the command of a few brigades, captured Fort Donelson and thus opened the Tennessee River to the advance of the army southward. The capture of Fort Donelson was rendered possible by the use of mortars and was the first occasion in the war in which mortars had been brought to bear. I chanced to come into touch with the record of the preparation of the mortars that were supplied to Grant's army at Cairo. Sometime in the nineties I was sojourning with the late Abram S. Hewitt at his home in Ringwood, New Jersey. I noticed, in looking out from the piazza, a mortar, properly mounted on a mortar-bed and encompassed by some yards of a great chain, placed on the slope overlooking the little valley below, as if to protect the house. I asked my host what was the history of this piece of ordnance. "Well," he said, "the chain you might have some personal interest in. It is a part of the chain your great-uncle Israel placed across the river at West Point for the purpose of blocking or at least of checking the passage of the British vessels. The chain was forged here in the Ringwood foundry and I have secured a part of it as a memento. The mortar was given to me by President Lincoln, as also was the mortar-bed." This report naturally brought out the further question as to the grounds for the gift. "I made this mortar-bed," said Hewitt, "together with some others, and Lincoln was good enough to say that I had in this work rendered a service to the State. It was in December, 1861, when the expedition against Fort Donelson and Fort Henry was being organised at Fort Cairo under the leadership of General Grant. Grant reported that the field-pieces at his command would not be effective against the earthworks that were to be shelled and made requisition for mortars." The mortar I may explain to my unmilitary readers is a short carronade of large bore and with a comparatively short range. The mortar with a heavy charge throws its missile at a sharp angle upwards, so that, instead of attempting to go through an earthwork, it is thrown into the enclosure. The recoil from a mortar is very heavy, necessitating the construction of a foundation called a mortar-bed which is not only solid but which possesses a certain amount of elasticity through which the shock of the recoil is absorbed. It is only through the use of such a bed that a mortar can be fired from the deck of a vessel. Without such, protection, the shock would smash through the deck and might send the craft to the bottom.

The Ordnance Department reported to the Secretary of War and the Secretary to Lincoln that mortars were on hand but that no mortar-beds were available. It was one of the many cases in which the unpreparedness of the government had left a serious gap in the equipment. The further report was given to Lincoln that two or three months' time would be required to manufacture the thirty mortar-beds that were needed. A delay of any such period would have blocked the entire purpose of Grant's expedition. In his perplexity, Lincoln remembered that in his famous visit to New York two years before, he had been introduced to Mr. Hewitt, "a well-known iron merchant," as "a man who does things." Lincoln telegraphed to Hewitt asking if Hewitt could make thirty mortar-beds and how long it would take. Hewitt told me that the message reached him on a Saturday evening at the house of a friend. He wired an acknowledgment with the word that he would send a report on the following day. Sunday morning he looked up the ordnance officer of New York for the purpose of ascertaining where the pattern mortar-bed was kept. "It was rather important, Major," said Hewitt to me, "that I should have an opportunity of examining this pattern for I had never seen a mortar-bed in my life, but this of course I did not admit to the ordnance officer." The pattern required was, it seemed, in the armory at Springfield. Hewitt wired to Lincoln asking that the bed should be forwarded by the night boat to him in New York. Hewitt and his men met the boat, secured the pattern bed, and gave some hours to puzzling over the construction. At noon on Monday, Hewitt wired to Lincoln that he could make thirty mortar-beds in thirty days. In another hour he received by wire instructions from Lincoln to go ahead. In twenty-eight days he had the thirty mortar-beds in readiness; and Tom Scott, who had at the time, very fortunately for the country, taken charge of the military transportation, had provided thirty flat-cars for the transit of the mortar-beds to Cairo. The train was addressed to "U.S. Grant, Cairo," and each car contained a notification, painted in white on a black ground, "not to be switched on the penalty of death." That train got through and as other portions of the equipment had also been delayed, the mortars were not so very late. Six schooners, each equipped with a mortar, were hurried up the river to support the attack of the army on Fort Donelson. A first assault had been made and had failed. The field artillery was, as Grant had anticipated, ineffective against the earthworks, while the fire of the Confederate infantry, protected by their works, had proved most severe. The instant, however, that from behind a point on the river below the fort shells were thrown from the schooners into the inner circle of the fortifications, the Confederate commander, Floyd, recognised that the fort was untenable. He slipped away that night leaving his junior, General Buckner, to make terms with Grant, and those terms were "unconditional surrender," which were later so frequently connected with the initials of U.S.G.

Buckner's name comes again into history in a pleasant fashion. Years after the War, when General Grant had, through the rascality of a Wall Street "pirate," lost his entire savings, Buckner, himself a poor man, wrote begging Grant to accept as a loan, "to be repaid at his convenience," a check enclosed for one thousand dollars. Other friends came to the rescue of Grant, and through the earnings of his own pen, he was before his death able to make good all indebtedness and to leave a competency to his widow. The check sent by Buckner was not used, but the prompt friendliness was something not to be forgotten.

Hewitt's mortar-beds were used again a few weeks later for the capture of Island Number Ten and they also proved serviceable, used in the same fashion from the decks of schooners, in the capture of Forts Jackson and St. Philip which blocked the river below New Orleans. It was only through the fire from these schooners, which were moored behind a point on the river below the forts, that it was possible to reach the inner circle of the works.

I asked Hewitt whether he had seen Lincoln after this matter of the mortar-beds. "Yes," said Hewitt, "I saw him a year later and Lincoln's action was characteristic. I was in Washington and thought it was proper to call and pay my respects. I was told on reaching the White House that it was late in the day and that the waiting-room was very full and that I probably should not be reached. 'Well,' I said, 'in that case, I will simply ask you to take in my card.' No sooner had the card been delivered than the door of the study opened and Lincoln appeared reaching out both hands. 'Where is Mr. Hewitt?' he said; 'I want to see, I want to thank, the man who does things.' I sat with him for a time, a little nervous in connection with the number of people who were waiting outside, but Lincoln would not let me go. Finally he asked, 'What are you in Washington for?' 'Well, Mr. Lincoln,' said I, 'I have some business here. I want to get paid for those mortar-beds.' 'What?' said Lincoln, 'you have not yet got what the nation owes you? That is disgraceful.' He rang the bell violently and sent an aid for Secretary Stanton and when the Secretary appeared, he was questioned rather sharply. 'How about Mr. Hewitt's bill against the War Department? Why does he have to wait for his money?' 'Well, Mr. Lincoln,' said Stanton, 'the order for those mortar-beds was given rather irregularly. It never passed through the War Department and consequently the account when rendered could not receive the approval of any ordnance officer, and until so approved could not be paid by the Treasury.' 'If,' said Lincoln, 'I should write on that account an order to have it paid, do you suppose the Secretary of the Treasury would pay it?' 'I suppose that he would,' said Stanton. The account was sent for and Lincoln wrote at the bottom: 'Pay this bill now. A. Lincoln.' 'Now, Mr. Stanton,' said Lincoln, 'Mr. Hewitt has been very badly treated in this matter and I want you to take a little pains to see that he gets his money. I am going to ask you to go over to the Treasury with Mr. Hewitt and to get the proper signatures on this account so that Mr. Hewitt can carry a draft with him back to New York.' Stanton, rather reluctantly, accepted the instruction and," said Hewitt, "he walked with me through the various departments of the Treasury until the final signature had been placed on the bill and I was able to exchange this for a Treasury warrant. I should," said Hewitt, "have been much pleased to retain the bill with that signature of Lincoln beneath the words, 'Pay this now.'

"Towards the end of the War," he continued, "when there was no further requirement for mortars, I wrote to Mr. Lincoln and asked whether I might buy a mortar with its bed. Lincoln replied promptly that he had directed the Ordnance Department to send me mortar and bed with 'the compliments of the administration.' I am puzzled to think," said Hewitt, "how that particular item in the accounts of the Ordnance Department was ever adjusted, but I am very glad to have this reminiscence of the War and of the President."

Lincoln's relations with McClellan have already been touched upon. There would not be space in this paper to refer in detail to the action taken by Lincoln with other army commanders East and West. The problem that confronted the Commander-in-chief of selecting the right leaders for this or that undertaking, and of promoting the men who gave evidence of the greater capacity that was required for the larger armies that were being placed in the field, was one of no little difficulty. The reader of history, looking back to-day, with the advantage of the full record of the careers of the various generals, is tempted to indulge in easy criticism of the blunders made by the President. Why did the President put up so long with the vaingloriousness and ineffectiveness of McClellan? Why should he have accepted even for one brief and unfortunate campaign the service of an incompetent like Pope? Why was a slow-minded closet-student like Halleck permitted to fritter away in the long-drawn-out operations against Corinth the advantage of position and of force that had been secured by the army of the West? Why was a political trickster like Butler, with no army experience, or a well-meaning politician like Banks with still less capacity for the management of troops, permitted to retain responsibilities in the field, making blunders that involved waste of life and of resources and the loss of campaigns? Why were not the real men like Sherman, Grant, Thomas, McPherson, Sheridan, and others brought more promptly into the important positions? Why was the army of the South permitted during the first two years of the War to have so large an advantage in skilled and enterprising leadership? A little reflection will show how unjust is the criticism implied through such questions. We know of the incapacity of the generals who failed and of the effectiveness of those who succeeded, only through the results of the campaigns themselves. Lincoln could only study the men as he came to know about them and he experimented first with one and then with another, doing what seemed to be practicable to secure a natural selection and the survival of the fittest. Such watchful supervision and painstaking experimenting was carried out with infinite patience and with an increasing knowledge both of the requirements and of the men fitted to fill the requirements.

We must also recall that, Commander-in-chief as he was, Lincoln was not free to exercise without restriction his own increasingly valuable judgment in the appointment of the generals. It was necessary to give consideration to the opinion of the country, that is to say, to the individual judgments of the citizens whose loyal co-operation was absolutely essential for the support of the nation's cause. These opinions of the citizens were expressed sometimes through the appeals of earnestly loyal governors like Andrew of Massachusetts, or Curtin of Pennsylvania, and sometimes through the articles of a strenuous editor like Greeley, whose influence and support it was, of course, all important to retain. Greeley's absolute ignorance of military conditions did not prevent him from emphasising with the President and the public his very decided conclusions in regard to the selection of men and the conduct of campaigns. In this all-perplexing problem of the shaping of campaigns, Lincoln had to consider the responsibilities of representative government. The task would, of course, have been much easier if he had had power as an autocrat to act on his own decisions simply. The appointment of Butler and Banks was thought to be necessary for the purpose of meeting the views of the loyal citizens of so important a State as Massachusetts, and other appointments, the results of which were more or less unfortunate, may in like manner be traced to causes or influences outside of a military or army policy.

General Frank V. Greene, in a paper on Lincoln as Commander-in-chief, writes in regard to his capacity as a leader as follows:

"As time goes on, Lincoln's fame looms ever larger and larger. Great statesman, astute politician, clear thinker, classic writer, master of men, kindly, lovable man,—these are his titles. To these must be added—military leader. Had he failed in that quality, the others would have been forgotten. Had peace been made on any terms but those of the surrender of the insurgent forces and the restoration of the union, Lincoln's career would have been a colossal failure and the Emancipation Proclamation a subject of ridicule. The prime essential was military success. Lincoln gained it. Judged in the retrospect of nearly half a century, with his every written word now in print and with all the facts of the period brought out and placed in proper perspective by the endless studies, discussions, and arguments of the intervening years, it becomes clear that, first and last and at all times during his Presidency, in military affairs his was not only the guiding but the controlling hand."

It is interesting, as the War progressed, to trace the development of Lincoln's own military judgment. He was always modest in regard to matters in which his experience was limited, and during the first twelve months in Washington, he had comparatively little to say in regard to the planning or even the supervision of campaigns. His letters, however, to McClellan and his later correspondence with Burnside, with Hooker, and with other commanders give evidence of a steadily developing intelligence in regard to larger military movements. History has shown that Lincoln's judgment in regard to the essential purpose of a campaign, and the best methods for carrying out such purpose, was in a large number of cases decidedly sounder than that of the general in the field. When he emphasised with McClellan that the true objective was the Confederate army in the field and not the city of Richmond, he laid down a principle which seems to us elementary but to which McClellan had been persistently blinded. Lincoln writes to Hooker: "We have word that the head of Lee's army is near Martinsburg in the Shenandoah Valley while you report that you have a substantial force still opposed to you on the Rappahannock. It appears, therefore that the line must be forty miles long. The animal is evidently very slim somewhere and it ought to be possible for you to cut it at some point." Hooker had the same information but did not draw the same inference.

Apart from Lincoln's work in selecting, and in large measure in directing, the generals, he had a further important relation with the army as a whole. We are familiar with the term "the man behind the gun." It is a truism to say that the gun has little value whether for offence or for defence unless the man behind it possesses the right kind of spirit which will infuse and guide his purpose and his action with the gun. For the long years of the War, the Commander-in-chief was the man behind all the guns in the field. The men in the front came to have a realising sense of the infinite patience, the persistent hopefulness, the steadiness of spirit, the devoted watchfulness of the great captain in Washington. It was through the spirit of Lincoln that the spirit in the ranks was preserved during the long months of discouragement and the many defeats and retreats. The final advance of Grant which ended at Appomattox, and the triumphant march of Sherman which culminated in the surrender at Goldsborough of the last of the armies of the Confederacy, were the results of the inspiration, given alike to soldier and to general, from the patient and devoted soul of the nation's leader.

In March, 1862, Lincoln received the news of the victory won at Pea Ridge, in Arkansas, by Curtis and Sigel, a battle which had lasted three days. The first day was a defeat and our troops were forced back; the fighting of the second resulted in what might be called a drawn battle; but on the third, our army broke its way through the enclosing lines, bringing the heavier loss to the Confederates, and regained its base. This battle was in a sense typical of much of the fighting of the War. It was one of a long series of fights which continued for more than one day. The history of the War presents many instances of battles that lasted two days, three days, four days, and in one case seven days. It was difficult to convince the American soldier, on either side of the line, that he was beaten. The general might lose his head, but the soldiers, in the larger number of cases, went on fighting until, with a new leader or with more intelligent dispositions on the part of the original leader, a first disaster had been repaired. There is no example in modern history of fighting of such stubborn character, or it is fairer to say, there was no example until the Russo-Japanese War in Manchuria. The record shows that European armies, when outgeneralled or outmanoeuvred, had the habit of retiring from the field, sometimes in good order, more frequently in a state of demoralisation. The American soldier fought the thing out because he thought the thing out. The patience and persistence of the soldier in the field was characteristic of, and, it may fairly be claimed, was in part due to, the patience and persistence of the great leader in Washington.

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