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Weekly national intelligencer. [volume] (Washington [D.C.]) 1841-1869, July 28, 1864, Image 2

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NATIONAL INTELLIGKNCEB.
JT ? - ^. .a.j : z
THE POINT OF 1NQU1HY.
Our readers are aware that in the animadver
sions which we have reoently felt it our imperative
duty to offer on what we conceived to be the negli
genco of the military administration, in being lound
unprepared for the late invasion of Maryland, by
the way, for the third time, of the Shenandoah
valley, it was no part of our purpose to singlo out
particular persons connected with tbat administra
tion for spbcial censure. It is a great part of the
infelicity under which the whole country labors
With regard to the general conduct of the war, (so
f*r?as that conduct is regulated in this city,) that
nobody knows whom to hold responsible for any
given act, though every body knows that, within
its appropriate sphere, tomtlody connected with
that administration is responsible for every thing
that is done or that is not done. And hence, in
the obscurity resting over the military direction of
affairs in Washington, the popular dissatisfaction,
which never fails to deelarc itself on every recur
rence of calamity or of conccivcd disgrace, wreaks
itself upon the head now of the President, now of
the Seoretary of War, and now of Gen. lialleck,
acoording to the drift and pressure of the convic
tions or prejudices which CDntrol the judgments of
men, in arriving at their conclusions, where they
have no means of infallible knowledge.
As we have said before, so we say again, that in
the absence of definite information as to the per
son or persons who are responsible for the recent
national humiliation, we have felt it proper to do
no mC'r$ tban ^express the conviction, not now
entertained for the first time, but more than ever
foroed upon us by iate events, that it is the duty
of the President of the United States to difcover
the source of this weakness or negligence in our
military counsels and to apply the remedy. If this
is not done, it will be left for the people of the
United States to understand that he takes upon him
self the responsibility of all the miltiary misfortunes
under which they groan, and thus the President
wPl pluck down on his single head all the re
proaches which now swell ^the volume of public
dissatisfaction distrust.
Our readers do not need to be informed as to
the generality of these reproaches, which are the
most vehementin the case of those most devoted
to the political interests of the President. For,
with the ready instinct taught by immediate con
tact with the masses of the people, it is seen end
felt by the President's best friends that his politi
cal fortunes are in imminent jeopardy of being
irretrievably stamped by the rising tides of popu
lar impatience and indignation at a state of things
which, if not speedily amended, threatens to spread
despondency through all ranks of the people in the
Loyal States, because the thing that has been under
the present conduot of the war is, they will lear,
the thing that shall be, so long as the conditions
of the military problem remain unchanged.
In order to show the universality of this impres
?ion V? have made numerous selections from our
contemporary of the public press in all parts of
the land, ranging from Boston to Chicago, confin
ing our selections exclusively to Republican pa
pew, and among these making choioe of the most
intelligent and influential. They all speak a com
mon language and point to " the military adminis
tration" as the presumed seat of the evil. The
most radical and extreme prints of the RcpubJjcan
party are among the most outspoken in their terms
of condemnation, far transcending in some
any language which wo Lave felt it proper to use.
Will any body pretend, in the presence of such a
volume of testimony pointing in a single direction,
-that this outcry is factitious, or that it is the off
spring of political prejudice?
We hope tho President, in respect for the deep
ly roused feeling of the country, will seek to dis
cern and to comprehend the true relations and pur
port of this deep popular movement, which unites
political journals of all parties and religious jour
nals of all creeds?as wide apart as the New York
Independent anc? the New York Observer?in one
common sentiment of impatience at the military
conduct. And in so saying wo- do not un,
dertake to measure the justico of this sentiment.
We simply recite the fact of iU existence as one
not to be ignored. We venture to express this
hope becauae, if there be any truth in certain out
givings of the correspondents in this city who
write for.thc New York press, it would seem that
the ^ranii proportions of this national inquest are
in danger of heing reduccd to tho lame and impo
tent conclusion of ? mere Cabinet squabble, which
may turn for w*? >M?e on matters wholly imperti
nent to the grsnJ 10 ^ llclJ
for the purpose of disco?cr'n8 bow it came to pass
that the State of Maryland W.M recently allowed to
be invaded and the capital of the oountry put in
siege?as the War Department would have us be
lieve in perilous siege?during this fourth year of
the war.
(rCn. Buell was put on his defence before a court
of inquiry in the year 1862 for alldwiftg Kentucky
to be invaded by Gen. Bragg under circumstanocs
which,.on *ny conceivable theory of his conduct,
even the worst that was falsely imputed to him by
his detractors, cCuld not be oonstrued to imply a
delinquency at all approaching in magnitude that
which has just for the third time led to an irrup
tion of the enemy into Maryland. Shall nobody
be put on his defence for this manifest dcrcliction?
Or shall an attempt be made to divert popular at
tention from the gravamen of the publio accusation
in this matter by preoccupying tho minds of the
people with * mere Cabinet etclandrtf What
we mean by this latter inquiry our readers may
/earn from the following intimations of the Wash
ington correspondent of the New York World.
Under date of the 19th instant he writes:
" It i* reported in (fficial circle, and very generally be
*ed, that Mr StaDton ba* reined hi* position m Secre
tly *>! War It H known that for *nme time pact be baa
not been on ?pea>ing Po*tnia*ter General Blair,
and tbe la "or of tbaJ eentleman it eaaential to retaining the
?onfideuce o.f Prudent J-incoto. The immediate cauae of
the resignation grew out 0. the quarrel* which followed
tbe attack of tbe reb? la upon tbe city, Blair charging in
competence and cowardice upon b.fa?ton and Halleck for
tbeix want of management during tbe pTOfrea* of the raid,
h Among the oandidate* mentioned to ?uooe.*d Mr. btanton
?re Seuator John bhermau and UfD Kchenck It la doubt
?d whether Mr Bbernaa will accept tbe position. ?
" The burning of Poatmaater Gei,*ral Blair'* hou*e l?y
tbe rebels be* led to other betide Cabinet complication*
In bia auger tbe Po*tma*ter General ww loud id hi* de
pttactsUcB* of tbe want of oapautj and vigor abown in the
dafanoe of Maryland He vu so abusive la M| reaarks,
which pointed ?o directly to Gen. Halleok, that that umwr
drew up a remonatranoe to the President, and demanded
an investigation of hia oouduot He alao maiat^d that Blair
should uot be retained among the oouuaellora of the Preai
deut in oaae the cbargea proved to be unfounded. How
tfce matter will end ia uot known, but it ia far utore likely
that Geu. Halleck will go belore Mr. Blair, aa the latter
hat become Mr. Linooln'a aeoood aelf. There ia uo doubt
at all that these rumor* of disgracelul quarrel* in the Cabi
net and among the immediate adviaera of the Preaident
have but teo much foundation in truth."
We shall not undertake to sift theae rumors for
the purpose of proving their authenticity, even if
we had the means of doing so. Wc advert to them
simply for the purpose of saying th%t it is a matter
of great inconsequence, in our judgment, what Mr.
Blair may have said or not said under the irrita
tions natural to one who had just been oalled to
suffer individual loss, as well aa to feel, in oommon
with the great dims of his oountrymen, a deep
sense' of mortifioation at the events whioh, what
ever may be said in extenuation of them, refleoted
db little credit on the alertness and energy of the
military administration. The fact that he is a
member of the Administration under which such
events have taken place might perhaps justly serve
to make him only the more sensitive to a feeling of
shame and indignation at their occurrence. The
sentiment attributed to him, whatever may be the
justice of its application to Gen. Halleck, (about
which we know nothing and affirm nothing,) is one
which he shares in oommon with the groat mass of
the American people, without regard to politioal
divisions or official stations, and it would be great
ly to misconceive the height of the argument ap
propriate to such a transaction if the President
should suffer the petty personal aspects of this
question to hide from his view the grave poncern
ment of the nation in this matter The nation
does not particularly care to know how Mr. Blair
appreciates the military administration, but it does
want to know how it came to pass that Mr. Blair's
house oould be burned almost under the walls of
one of the forts of this city by an invading force
which entered Maryland through the valley of th.'
Shenandoah. If this force was small, aa some per
sons contend, why was it not sooner repelled ? If
it was large, as the War Department prefers us to
believe, why was not its approach sooner discover
ed and its magnitude ascertained in time to pro
vide for the adequate defence of the city? These
are the questions which concern the nation. What
Mr. Blair may have said?wc know not the pre
cise terms ascribed to him?is important only as
serving to indicate whether he felt as others felt
and spoke as others spoke under the deep impres
sion produced by events which were supposed to
have shed a disastrous lustre on our military ad
ministration. We may gather the evidenoes of
this feeling, as is well said by the oandid New York
Observer, (a religious journal which carries the
obligations of truth and piety into the conduct of
its columns,) " from our own consciousness, from
' the speech of the people with whom we come in
1 oontact, and from the sentiment of the newspaper
' press, particularly of the papers that are the most
4 hearty and outspoken in support of the Govern
' ment, the Administration, and the War. The
' feeling is natural, teasonable, and inevitable."
And where there is suoh a community of deep feel
ing wc must expect to find its expression infinitely
diversified with more or less of emphasis, accord
ing to the different tem pet amenta of individuals.
FALL OF RAIN.
In compliance with a request recently addressed to him,
the learned Secretary of the Smithionian Institution haa
sent u* in the following table* the facta iu regard to the
fall of rain during the laat three months :
lull of ham as measured at the Smithsonian Institution m
May, June, and July since 1859.
May.
June.
July.
Inches. Inches. Inche*
IK?9 | 3020 5 016 1.636
l8i>0 ' ?660 827p 2 840
1H61 3 4H2 3U14 5 213
1W62 2226 4 913 5 378
1663 1 3.18W t?4? 6 679
1p64 1 5.133 0 805 0.6U0*
Mean 4.102 3.214
4 041
* This quantity is what has fallen up date.
From thia table it appears that the quantity of rain
which fell in May last was greater than the meau amount
for the last six years ; and that the quantity which haa
fallen since the beginning of June is much leas than the
average for the same time in six years, and also than for
any one year aince 1359.
bale and yuantiy of fall of rain unci the beginning of
May of the present year.
May.
Jun<?.
July.
Date.
Inrhes
2d 680
11th .257
12th 2 170
15th
16th
18th
10th 1
22d i
24 th
26th, 27tb.j
The Secretary adds : "The idta has frequently been ad
raoced that a drought may be interrupted by the firing of
cmidoo, but a little reflection will convince us that neither
the combustion of gunpowder nor the agitation of the air
by rf discharge of cannot ran furnish the moisture neces
sary to the production of rain. If, however, the air is
surcharged with moisture, and the atmosphere in the un
stable condition which immediately precedes rain, then a
violent commotion or an upward current of air produced
by a large fire may bring on a rain whieh might, in some
rare instances, not otherwiae have fallen. In the oese of
the drought which we have had for the laat six weeks
there was not sufficient moisture in the atmoaphere to pro
duce a rain. Kvn on Saturday and Sunday morning the
air was remsrkably dry, nnd therefore the moisture from
which the rain of Sunday night was precipated must have
been wafted from a distance by the northeast wind which
commenced blowing from that direction at about nine
o'clock on Sunday morning."
FROM GEN. SHERMAN'S ARMY
LoI'Ihville, JL'LY 27.?Information has been received
from an < fflcer at the front, who says: "In two battles in
front of Atlsnta we have destroyed the better portion of
the enemy's two best corps. All the prisoners oaptured
on th* 22d and 231 unit* in saying the rebel Gen. Hood
waa killed on the 221"
Major Gen. Routseau and start arrived last night from
Marietta. The raid was the most*successful during ttoe
war The total loss was five killi*d and thirteen wounded,
who were captured and paroled. Two thousand rebels
were killed and wounded, and two hundred were alao cap
tured, together with eight hundred horses and mules and
I about th? aame number of contrabands The expedition
I destroyed thirty-one miles of railroad, great quantities of
j storea, cotton, etc , and thirteen railroad depots at various
J poinU on the AtUgf* Montgomery railroad
THE PEAOB NEGOTIATIONS.
In his first message to Congress, called to meet
in extraordinary session on the 4th of July, 1861,
President Lincoln held the following language :
" Lest there be some uneasiness in the minds of
meu a. to what i. to be the c^ur^ of tbe aoven^eut to^
ward* the Southern States, after the rebellion shall have
been suppressed, the Executive deems it proper t > say >
will be bin purpose then, u ever, to bt *? ' *
stxtution and the laws; and that te probably Will have no
different understanding of the powers and duties of we
Federbl Qoveruuient relatively to the rights of the
and the people, under the Constitution, thau that e*Pre"ed
in the inaugural address. He d? aire* to preset the Uov
ernment, that it may be ad in buttered for all, as U teat ?rt
minutertd by the men who made it. Loyal cUttent ttery
where have the right to claim thitof thtir Government and
the Government hat no right to withhold or
is not perceived that, in giving it, there M any o '
any conquest, or any subjugation, in any just aeuae o
terma."
On the 28d of August, 1862, in his well-known
letter to Mr. Greeley, as originally published in
our oolumns, the President wrote as follows.
>? Ut paramount object ia to aave the Union, and not
either save or deatroy slavery. If I could
without freeing any slave, I would do it , if I c'|uld ,a*J
it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it; and if I could
save it by treeing some and leaviug others alone, I would
also do that. What I do about slavery and the colored
race, I do because I believe it helps to aave the Union ,
and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not behave t
would help to save the Union. I thall do leas whenever
shall believe what I am do.ng hurts the eause; and I'haU
do more whenever I baliove doing more will help the
cause.
In the opening words of the preliminary " Pro
i clamation of Freedom," issued on the 22d ot Sep
| tember, 1862, the President, as if anxious to pre
olude the inference that he meant thereby to
I change the object of the war, was careful to declare
" that hereafter as here'ojore the war will be prose
| outed for the object of practically restoring the con
stitutional relation between the United Slates and
each of THE Stateh and the peoph thereoj in
whioh -States that relation is or may be sus
pended or disturbed." This is "the object" of
the war as the President understands it. to restore
the constitutional relation between the United
States and each oj the States in whioh that' rela
tion is now suspended or disturbed.
In reply to a communication from the Hon.
Fernando Wood, of New York, who, in December,
1862, had imparted to the President ?ome infor
mation to the effect "that the Southern States
would send representatives to the nexc Congress
provided that a full and general amnesty should
permit them to do so," Mr. Lincoln, under date
of December 12th of that year, held the following
explicit language :
" I strongly suspeot your information will prove to be
gs: utidless, nevertheless, I thank you for communicating
it to me Understanding the phrase in the paragraph above
quoted?' the Southern States would send representatives
to the next Congress'?to be substantially the same as
that the ' people of the Southern St?tes would cease re
sistance, and would reiuaugurat*, submit to, and maintain
the national authority within the limits of such States,
under the Constitution of the United Stat-s,' / any that zn
such case the war should cease on the part oj the Lnitid
Statu; and that, if within a reatonable time, ' a full and
general amnesty ' were necessary to sueh end, it would not
bt withheld."
Early in the autumn of 1863, in hia celebrated
Letter addressed to the Springfield Republican
Convention, the President wrote as follows, as if
to exclude the cavil or objection on the part of po
litical opponents that he had any design to con
tinue the war for the purpose of emancipation after
the declared object of the war should have been
reached in a restoration of the Union. To this
effect the President said :
" You say you will not fight to free uegroes. Some of
them ietm willing to fight lor you. But no matter; fight
you then exclusively to save the Union. I issued the pro
clamation on purpose to aid you in saving the Union.
Whenever you shall have conquered all resi^tinoe to the
Union, if I shall urge you to continue fighting, it will be an
apt time then for yuu to declare you will not fight to free
negroes." ? i
We have arranged these declarations of the Pre
sident in the order of their chronology, for the. pur
pose of showing that his daolaied policy under
this head has been uniform, deliberate, definite,
and determinate.
In the month of July. 1861, he declared'it his
purpose to preserve the Government that it might
be administered as it was adminit-tercd by the men
who made it, and he added that "loyal citizens
every where have tin right to claim this of their
Government, and the Government has no right to
withhold it."
In December, 1862, he said that if "the people
of the Southern States would cease resistance and
would reinaugufate, submit to, and maintain the
national authority within the limits of said States,
under the Constitution of the U tited State, in such
case the icar tould cease on the part of the United
States."
Tn September, 1863, directing his remarks to
supposed dissentients from his negro policy, he said:
"Fight you then exclusively for the Union."
" Whenever you shall have conquered all resistance
to the Union, if 1 shall urje yuu to continue fa hi
iny, itieill be an apt time for you to d(clare. you
will not fiyht to Jres neyroet."
It is in the light of these Presidential declara
tions that the reader is prepared properly to appre
ciate thelatcat terms on which the war will cease, as
far as the President is concerned, and without which
ho purposes to " oontinue lighting." We allude
of course to the stipulations announced by him a
few days ago as the neoessary conditions prelimi
nary to negotiations with the Confederate autbori.
tics, as follows:
Exrcutivk Mansion,
Washington, July 18, 18G4.
To whom it may concern :
Any proposition which embraces the restoration of
peaoe, the integrity of the whob Union and the abandon
ment if slavery, and which comes by and with an authority
that can control the armies now at war against the United
States, will le received and considered by the Executive
Government of the United States, and will be m?t by
liberal terms oo other substantial and collateral poiuts, and
the btarer or bearers thereof shall have safe conduct both
wayg, Abraham Lincoln.
This declaration is important in many aspects.
It shows, in the first place, that, according to tho
principles propounded by the President in tho
year 1861, the time has passed when he proposes
" to preserve the Government that it may be ad
ministered aa it was administered by the men who
made it;" for nobody pretends that the " men
who made the Government" supposed that the
President had any power to dictate emancipation
as the condition of maintaining or restoring
peaceful relations between the States and the Gov
ernment.
As compared with the terms ot peace propounded
to Mr. Wood in the year 1862, it shows that the
time has passed when " the war will cease on the
part of the United States if the people of the
Southern States would cease resistance, and would
reinaugurate, submit to, and maintain the national
authority j" for the President now in cflfect an
nounces that no proposition "will bo reoeived and
oonsidered by the Kxaoutivt Government of the
United States" whioh does not embrace, in addi-1
tion to " the restoration of peace and the in
tegrity of the whole Union," the " abandonment
of slavery."
As compared with the declaration of 18(33, it
shows that the time has now oome whan, accord
ing to the President's own admission and oonsent,
such of his countrymen as are " fighting exclu
sively for the Union," and who conscientiously
deny the right of the Government to fight for any
thing else, may aptly say that the new terms on
which the President insists are such that if the
negotiations were broken down by his persistence
on this point, they might fairly claim, according
to his own theory of their duty, an exemption from
"fighting to free negroes."
It will thus be seen that, by applying to the
late declaration of the President the principles an
nounced by him in the years 1861, 1862, and
1863, we are able to measure the effeot and pur
port of that declaration by his own standards.
And when the President thus becomes his own
oritio and confuter, it would be idle in us to add
any words on the subject.
But this latest declaration is important in other
aspects. It serves to show, that the President has
overoome any scruples he may have previously
had on.the subject of recognising the Confederate
military authorities. He now makes it a condition
of receiving and considering any proposition that
it shall oome " by and with an authority that can
oontrol the armies now at war against the United
States." On this point he has paid little heed to
the resolution of the Baltimore Convention, when,
in renominatng him, it declared :
" Resolved, That we approve the determination of the
Government of the United States not to compromise with
rebels, or to offer any terms of peace except such as may
be based upon an unconditional surrenderor their hostility,
and a return to their first allegiance to the Constitution
and laws of the United States} and that we call upon the
Government to maintain their position, aud to prosecute
the war with the utmost possible vigor to the oomplete
suppression of the rebellion, in full reliauce upon the self
sacrificing patriotism, the heroic valor, aud the uudyipg
devotion of the American people to their country and its
tree institutions." *
The President, it seems, is now willing to
" compromise with rebels," for he says that if they
will accept the terms prescribed they will be met
by "liberal terms on other substantial and col
lateral points."
But Mr. Lincoln must have been aware that the
President of the so-called Confederate States (who
is the "authority" that controls " the armies now at
war against the United States") is not empowered
by any of his prerogatives to stipulate for " the
abandonment of slavery," and, therefore, in spe
cifying this as one of the terms of a proposition to
oomo "by and with" such an "authority," he
asked what Gen. Jefferson Davis, even with the
fullest disposition to do so, had no right or power to
grant?slavery being, under the Constitution of
the Confederate States, as of the United States,
exclusively an institution of the separate States,
over which the oentral power has no rightful ju
risdiction or control.
The views of our " Executive Government" on
this point were officially expounded by the present
Secretary of State at the opening of this Adminis
tration in a despatch which is known to have re
ceived the President's sanction. We allude to the
letter of instructions to Mr. Dayton, our Minister
to Paris, in whioh occur these passages:
?' The framers of our Government placed the entire
control of slavery, as it was then existing, beyond the
control of the Federal authorities, by leaving it to re
main subject to the exclusive management and disposition
of the several States themselves, and fortified it there with
a provision for the return of fugitives from labor and ser
vice, and another securing an allowance of three fifths of
such persous in fixing the basis of direct taxation and re
presentation. *
"The condition of slavery In toe ^several States will re
main just the same whether it [the rebellkn] succeed or
fail. There is not even a pretext for the complaint that
the disaffected States are to be conquered by the United
Stites if the revolution fai,; for the rights of the States, and
the tondi'.ion of every human bring in them, will remain
subject to ezaetly the same lairs apd forms of administration,
k hither the tcvolulton shtill succeed or whether it shall f*il I n
the one cas < tbe States would be federally connected with
the new Confederacy; in the other, they would, as now,
b.i members of tbe United States; but th?ir constitut ons
and laws, cuctoms, habits, and institutions in either case
will remain the same.
' It is hardly necessary to add to this incontestable state
ment the further fact that the new President, as well as the
oitiz?ns through whose suffrages he has come into the ad
minntration, has always repudiated all designs whatever
and wherever imputed to him aud them of disturbing the
system of slavery as it is existing under the Constitution
and laws The case, uowftr, u>out4 not be fuUy presented
if I were to omit to say that any such effort on his part would
kt unconstitutional, and all his actions in that direction
would be prevented by thi juaicial authority, even though
thy wc.rt assented to by Congress and the people."
We do not doubt that the people of the United
States will see in the impossible requisition of the
President as a condition preliminary to peaoe only
a new illustration of the inextricable entanglements
iuto which the President has suffered himself to
be drawn by departing from the original theory of
tho war. And if ho desires to know the universal
impression that is likely to be produced by the at
titude in which he has placed himself, he may, we
think, read it in suoh oomments as tho following,
from the only one of the New \ork journals whioh
was originally in favor of his renomination. We
allude to tho New York Times, which says :
?' The President made but two conditions to the reception
and consideration of any proposition for the restoration of
P"*ce, which should come to him from competent author
ity first, that it should embrace the integrity of the whole
I'nion; second, that it should embrace the abandonment
of slavery We believe he might have gone still further
tban this; he might have omitted the second of these con
dition* altogether, and required tbe first alone, as ess< ntiai
to the reception and consideration of proposals for peace.
We do not mean to say that it will be eventually found
possible to ei.d tho war and restore the Union without the
" abandonment of slavery;" but we do say that this aban
donment n*< d not be exacted by tbe President as a condi
tion without which he will not receive or consider propo
sal fur peace. The people do not require him to insist
upon any such condition. Neither his oath of office, nor
his constitutional duty, nor his personal or official consis
tency requires him to insist upon it That is oue of the
questions to be considered and arranged when the terms
of peace c<>me to be discussed. It i| not a subject on
which term* can be imposed by the Government, without
consultation, without agreement, or without equivalents."
Equally explicit and pertinent are the following
words of that able and influential Republican jour
nal, the Buffalo Commercial Advertiser. It aays j
?' Next to the issue of the armed struggle in which this
people are engaged, the most difficult problem which has
arisen is the method by which peace is ultimately to be
restored. The question is involved in mary grave difficul
ties, and has been the subject of much anxious reflection
among our thinking men. Of course, jeace is the end
for which we are all struggling, and lor waioh all are ear
nestly hoping. We are aware that it haa become the
fashion with a class of silly, unrefleoting men to scout the
idea of any peace, and to refuse to listen to deliberate re
flection or discu>sion upon the subject as an abandonment
of principle. Buoh men seem to oonsider the present
?truggle as a aort of Kilkenny fight, involving tbe total
annihilation of one or the other of the parties to it, and re
gard the mention of peace as very nearly allied to treason
" This visionary ar.d Quixotic idea is entertained largely
at tbe Mouth as well as at the North. The absolute and
QnoomproiuisiDg secessionists of the South have their coun- j
tarpart* In the lmpraotloal extremists of the North, and it
1* dally becoming more and mure apparent that the two to
gether oomplete an antagonism which never can be brought
together. We have loug ago abandoned all hope of finding
the solution of our national troubles in either of theae quar
ters. Nevertheless, we do look for the end froui some source.
" We are uow upon the fourth year of a war which has no
parallel in the world's history, and aa yet the end oannot
be discovered. * * ? ?
" The North eutered upon the preseut struggle with the
declared purpose of maintaining the Union. President
Lincoln, iu his inaugural, uttered sentiments whioh would
to day be entirely satisfactory to the South ns a basis for
peaoe. Congress at its first session after the commence
ment of hostilities resolved, with all the solemni'y of legis
lation, that the war should be prosecuted with no purpose
of aggression upon the Federal rights of the South The
ink of the engrossing clerk was scarcely dry before the na
tional faith thus pledged waa violated Three blood - years
have sealed the stultification which was then enactea.
"The key of the great problem now before this people
may be found in this question: What are we fighting for T
Is it the maintenance of the Union, or is it the reoonstruo
tion of the Union upon a basis of emancipation 7 Are we
fighting to assert and vindicate the power of the Federal
Government, or to regulate and reform the domestio abuses
of the South? Iu the answer to these questions lies the
solution of all the issues of war.
" We venture the opinion that if a reliable assurance
could be given to the people of the South that the Federal
Constitution and its striot maintenance were the sole ulti
matum of peace that the rebellion would cense within
three months. The^fire-eaters of Seoessia have lost the
prestige of their power, and the people are beginning to
yearn after the blessings of the old order of things. They
have learned a wholesome respect for the North and have
been taught to correct the old contempt for us into which
they have been educated."
And we Buppose that it was in presage of the
obstacles likely to be laid in the way of peace by
the theoretical position whioh the President had
assumed on these and other subjects, that the New
York Tribune was induced to oppose his reno
luination, and in reiteration of which, even after
hia re-nomination, it held the following language:
"We cannot but feel that it would have been wiser and
safer to spike the most serviceable guns of our adversaries
by nominating another for President, and thus dispelling all
motive, Bave that of naked disloyalty, for further warfare
upon this Administration. We believe the rebellion would
have lost something of its cohesion and venom from the
hour in which it was known that a new President would
surely be inaugurated ou the 4th of March next; and that
hostility in the Loyal States to the National cause must
have sensibly abated or been deprived of its readiest, most
dangerous weapons from the moment that all were brought
to realize that the President, having no more to expect or
hope, could henceforth be impelled by no conceivable mo
tive but a desire to serve and save his country, and thus
win lor himself an enviable and enduring fame."
It was a singular coincidence that tho friendly
editor, who held this frank language after the Pre
sident's rotiomination, should have been called to
aot so prominent a part in tho negotiations which
have just given the wholo country abundant reason
to ooncur with him in his opinion.
The President solemnly declared in the year
1861, in his message to the Congress of the United
States, that " loyal citizens everywhere had the
right to claim" that the Government should be
preserved "that it might be administered Jor all
as it was administered by tho men who made it."
As loyal citizens we enter our "claim" in these
words. And the President said at tho same time
that " the Government had no right to withhold
or negleot" this claim, 'ihen we ask that he shall
not "withhold or negleot" what he has authorized
the nation to demand.
THE FIGHT AT SNICKER'S GAP.
Snicker's Ferry, (Va.) July 20,1864
The forces under Major Gen. Wright have pursued
Early and Breckinridge from Washington to thia place,
sometimes skirmishing with their rear guard, which proved
to have been kept twenty-four hours in the rear of the
main body for purposes of observation.
It invariably fled when attacked. When near Puroells
ville, some miles south of Snicker** Gap, Duffle's cavalry,
of Gen. Crook's oomiuaud, came upon their trains aud
captured eighty two of their wagons,-with bat slight loss.
Up at the mouth of the Gap be had a more serious time,
aud lost a few men. Crook then brought up his cavalry,
and, passing through the Gap, reached the ferry, which
was strongly proteoted, so that he could not cross.
The uext day Gen. Wright came up with some of bis
troops, and aoon determined to attempt a crossirg, suffi
ciently at least to develop their strength. He did so. and
under ooverof artillery fire grossed overseveral regiments,
which maintained their ground manfully for some time;
but, jast as reinforoemeuts were about to join them, they
came back, the right of the line being in some confusion.
It was now near night, and a renewal of the attempt
could not be made until morning. Gen. WrigUt then be
gan to manoeuvre to divide his enemy's foroe and his atten
tion, when he could easily have destroyed him. Instead of
succeeding in this, he found that Early had received news
from Lee which, together with the chances of being thrash
ed by Wright, made him pack up and leave at double quick
in the direction of Strasburg. G*a. Wright crossed the
river and proceeded a few miles towards Winchi ster, but,
learning nothing to ohange his mind as to the direction the
enemy had taken, he oountermarobed his forced, in obe
dience to orderr.
Among the casualties on the lath, at Island ford, were
Col. Washburne, 116th Ohio, wounded; Col. Frost, 11th
Virginia, wounded in the bowela, and Lieut Col. Murray,
5th New York heavy artillery, aerving as infantry, mus
ing, and known to be severely wound> d The whole loss was
three hundred men. The enemy's loss was fivo htiudred
by their own atatements.
The annexed letter, whioh we find in the Wheeling In
telligencer of Monday lait, gives fuller particulars of the
fight at Snicker's Gap on Monday, the 18th instant, than
were embodied in the above letter:
Hcadquartert 12/A Ht.g't IK Va. Volunteer Infantry,
Ntar Smtker't Gap, July 21, 1864
On Monday, July 18th, the regiment moved from Pur
cellville. Loudoun county, to Snicker's Gap, some seven
miles. Along the route we found the remains of several
burned wagons, some dea* mules, and the other debris of
the rebel army which had passed on Saturday.
About four o'dock P. M. we filed tight and went some
distance down the Shenandoah river to endeavor to effect
a crossing. The usual ford, the stream running along thn
immediate foot of the mountain, was occupied by the re
bels, advantageously posted. At the pointy where the
General decided to wade over onr skirmishers advanced
and drove the enemy's sharpshooters, on the opposite bunk,
away. The water was waist deep. Across this our bare
legged division, about four thousand strong, waded, form
ing a double line on the other aide, with skirmishers well
advanced. The first line was in a wheat field proteetrd
by a rise in the ground, The second line wan on the edge
of a river bank, behind a atone fenoe. In thia line our re
giment was placed.
Soon the enemy advanced in foroe. Our first line, being
out flanked and slightly eufiladed by the rebel skirmishers,
broke and ran through the second. It is not to be wonder
ed at that the first line br ke under a cross-fire. But after
breaking they fled shamefully through the second line, and
rushed madly down into the river, where'tnany, never look
ing for the fard at which they crossed, plunged in to drown
Of course many brave men fV II into the second line and re
mained, but as an organization the rest fled and came not
back. Under this the seoond line wavered. The Johnnies
shouted and advanced. Some fifteen hundred of our dis
mounted cavalry of all regiments, armed m infantry, were
?osted in our line, and immediately on onr regimental right,
'hese flew pell-mell over the river with our first line, never
firing a shot. It is a Bull Knn panio, and if our line does
not check tbe rebels it will be a Ball's BlufT re enacted,
our men being shot or drowned in the fiver. They pour
over the stone -fences and our heads like an inundation.
Except the dastardly cavalry tbe line atands firm aa a
rock. The rebels shout, charge, re-sboMt, and re charge,
but only oome np to the edge of the rise fifty yards in front
of us to get sweetened, (sugar of lead,) to drop on their
faces and not dariog to rise again, to cmwl bark in the high
grass. Thus we fight till dark, out flunked by superior
numbers right and left. Finally, &ft?v ?*ne of their repulses
the rebels retire to tb9 woods in their rear. For s
reason our commanders deem it advisable to retire iasU?sd
of re infOroing us.
Our whole lost, including those drowned in the panio
missing the ford, will be about four hundred men. Tbe
lota ol tbe enemy was greater, from the fact that tbey
were the assailants and exposed. Owing to the excellent
cover behind which our regiment fought it loses slightly.
Tbe 12th was the last regiment to reoross, and the bigheat
praise is paid them by the broad oullars for ooolness and
steadiness Col. Tboburn commanded during tho fight
He exposed himself wherevertheflre was heaviest, and there
directed matters in person. Being all the time mounted,
and therefore a mark, it is strange he was not struck. His
Adjutant, Lieut. Rider, of the 14th Virginia, and an orderly,
SVock, Cormak, of tka 1st Virginia, were both wounded.
OOMMENra or THE PRESS ON THE FEA.CE
NEGOTIATIONS AT NIAGARA.
From the Nfto York Timet, (Rcftub lean )
'1 be President made but two oouditi'jus to the reception
aud oousideration of auy proposition for the reatoratiou of
pea'!tf, which should come to hiui from competent author
ity : tint, that it should embrace the integrity of the whole
Union; Mooud, that it should embrace the ubandonwunt
of slavery We believe be might have gone st 11 further
than thin; be might Lave omitted the secoud of these oou
ditious altogether, and required the first alone, as essential
to the reception and couai4e;alioU of proposals for peace.
We do not mean to say that it will be eveutually fouud
possible to eud the war aud restore the Uuiuu without the
"abandonment of slavery;" but we do any that this aban
donment need uot be exacted by the President as a condi
tion without which he will not receive or consider propo
sals for peaoe. The people do not require him to insist
upou any such condition. Neither bia o&th of offioe, nor
hi* constitutional duty, uor bia personal or ut&oiaJ conaia
tenoy requirea him to inaiat upon it. That ia one of tL?
questions to be considered aud arranged wbeu the term*
of peaoe come to be diaouased. It it not a aubjeot on
which terma c*n be imposed by the Government, without
consultation, without agreement, or Without equivalents.
The President has a right, and it ia his duty to luast
upou the iutegrity of the Uuiou as a oondition sina qua
non. His oath of office binds bim by the most aolemn
sanctions to execute the laws over all the territory com
mitted to his executive jurisdiction by the Constitution;
and if he were to enter upou any negotiation* with any
Power, fortign or domestic, uuder any pleasure from
within or without, for the disruption of that Territory and
the overthrow of the Government committed to hia handa, ,
h* would reuder himself liable to impeachment, trial, and
punishment as a traitor, lie caunot concede tliat point,
uor waive it at any time or under any oircum*tanoea. He'
can make no treaty ; be can listen to no propositiona for m
treaty; be cau receive no otherwise than aa a crime any
suggestion from auy quarter for any peaoe which involves
the destruction or separation of the Union.
Upou this point, moreover, the people of the country,
outside of the rebellion, are thoroughly and heartily agreed
No party in the loyal Statca dare favor separation for a
moment, aud terrible as are the burdeua aud calamities of
the war, they will be borne a/id welcomed, with alacrity
even, aud carried through to the bitter end, by the great
mass of the prople of alt parties and of all opimona, if this
Union can bo preaerved in no other way. Upon thia point
we have no doubt, and the President need have no mis
givings. He cannot err in standing by it, and in making
it th?> abaolutd and immovable guide for bia aotion now aud
forever.
But it is not *o with slavery, with confiscation, with the
dooiriue of State rights, with the assumption of the rebel
debt, or with any other question growing out of the war,
or connected with if, in its origin or ita progress, in auy
way, or however clonely These questions were open to
discussion before the war ommeno^d, hnd they are open
jet It is the right of both aides to be heard upon them,
for both aides are to be afiected by them, ft needs but
little reflection to eonviure any candid man that their dis
cussion and settlement by concurrence must enter iuto any
peaoe which will be either potable or worth preserving.
From the Ar?v> \ork News, (Democrat.)
Now that all know what has been said and done and
writtcn.it is no 1 eger premature to oonaider the facts
aud search for the moral of the whole transaction.
Two prominent aud influential citizena of the 8outh
the IIou. Clement C Clay arid Profesaor J. P. Holcomb
the one a member of the Confederate House of Represen
tatives from Virginia, the other representing the State of
Alabama in the Confederate Senate? requeated a tfafe con
duct to Washington to confer with the Federal Adminis
tration in regard to the political differeocea between the
aectiona, expressing their conviction that an interview ot
that nature would be improved by the Confederate Got '
ernmeot as the prelude to negotiation with a view to ter-.
minatiog at the earlieat possible moment the calamities of
war. Although those gentlemen were not offloially ac
credited with power to treat, and were therefore power
less to offer or accept torma in the name of the Confede
racy, they were " in the confidential employment of their
Government," and "entirely familiar with its wiahes and
opinions on that subject."
The circumstance of their unofficial character, so far as
it referred to the position assumed by thia Adminiatretion
of holding no diplomatic relationa with the rebel authori
ties, was in itaelf an additional reason why the aafe eon
duct bhoyld be grauted; for it gave Mr. Lincoln an op
portunity to aicertiin the radioal points of antagooiam
between the aectiona without danger of compromising
the position tg v\l?ioh we have alluded. When the appli
cation of Alexander 11. Stepb ns waa rejected, the Ad
ministration organs justified the act upon the ground that
Mr. Stephens came as an accredited envoy of the Rich
mond authorities, and to receive him in that capacity
would imply a virtual rec. grit on of the Confederacy. In
the preaent case, Mr. Lincoln appeaia to have favored the
proposition for aa interview under the impreasiou that
Metara. Clay and Holcomb were duly accredited; but
upon ascertains g the unofficial character of their miaaioa
the aafe conduct waa withdrawn In one case the ab
rence and in the other the possession of credentials for
bids an interview. We leave it for the Administration
organs to recoucile the conflicting phasea of Mr. Linoolu'a
diplomacy.
It muit bo borne in mind that the most intimate soeial
relations exist between Jeff-raon Davi* and Meaara. Clay
and Holcomb. Both of tbe latter are men of high charae
t< r, who would under n? circumstances connect them
reives with a trivial mission or lend their names to a mere
electioneers trick They know what terms the Confede
rate authorities will accent aud the Southern people sanc
tion. Is it not right aud ettential that we ahould know
too? Is it not madness to proceed with this work of car
nuge when the objeet contended for, by on) at leeat of the
partiea, ia a mystery 1 *
It ia upon record, above the aignature oi Abraham Lin
coln, that " the abandonment of slavery" must be aocepted
by the Houtb, even aa a preliminary to negotiation. No
proposition that does not embrace aubmiaaion to thlt con
dition will be "received and considered bj the Ezecuttve
Government of tbe United States" It is therefore aet
tled that the " abandonment of alavery" ia tbe purpose of
thia war. For that our aoil is drenched with blood ; for
that our aoldiera fight aud periah ; lor that our hoapitals
are crowded with the maimed ami suffering manhood of
tbo.land; for that the widow a wail and the children hun
ger ; for that we accumulate a cruahing debt; for that we
yield tbia coutiueut to foreign despots ; for that our liber
ties are trampled on ; for that republicanism la sacrificed
and our country convulsed, impoverished, and threatened
with overwhelming rum. The idea of restoring tbe Union
no longor troubles tbe Executive brain.
It will be remarked that throughout the Canada corre
spondence Messrs. CUy and Holcomb make no allusion to
terms. It is not, then, ou the ground of inadmissible cou-.
ditiorm that Mr. Lincoln ha* cancelled that hope of peace.
From the New York. Commercial Advertiser, (Republican.)
Mr Sunders and Mr. Greeley, though wide aa tbe poles
apart in political sentiment, are nevertbeleaa on fair terms
of frieudahip. In the early spring of 1861, Mr. Sanders
was the author of sundry brief, portentous, and oraoular
telegrams which appeared in tbe Tribune, and which pur
ported to nfleet the aeritim*nt thru getting into shape at
Montgomery, (Ala.) Since the war Mr Sandera haa been
in Europe, and on bis return his friends very naturally
flrck to see him at bis retreat, just outside onr territorial
limit*. Mr. Greeley may, of course, go to see him if he
ebooses, but we ran fancy t he storm of indignation that would
have been aroused had a Wood, or a Cox, or a Seymour
?ought the same scene of rebel activity. The moat ponder
on a vocabularies and the richest Thesanrui. ol words would
furnish poor and scanty atore of epithets for those who
would have driven their subatantivea and six with thunder*
ing apeed and endleas Jargon over and against the ainnera
wlm dared to held communication with these ou traits Per
haps Mr. Gre?ley may even yet teeeive some of thia bene
diction. At all eventa, he may aa well eee to it that be
does not make himaelf liable to the pain* and penaltiea of
Mr. Sumner'a act of February 2S, I8G3, which forbids
correapoudence with the rebels, with intent to defeat the
meaaures of the Government or weaken their efficacy.
Union Pkisunkhm in Andeknonvillk, (Ga.)?The
number ia now over twenty seven thousand, and has been
almost <laily increasing An Addition of five aerea has re
cently been made to the enoloaursi but even with thia it is
already too much crowded, ard the commandant ia en* -
deavormg to receive no more. The foortality ia considera
ble, being generally from fifty fo eixty a day. A atrange
state of hffaira secma to prevail among them, wholly of a
domeatrO character of their own. There has been thieving,
fighting, and murders, and, to aecure aoma of them frem
damage from the others, about ninety have to be kept oat
aide tbe walla under guard It ia aaid that several will be
hung by their comrade* for tbe murdera committed.
| Man;* ((ia ) Journal
THE LIGHT DRAFT MONITORS.
Donald McKay, the ship builder, aaya the light draft
monitors, whieh have been eonaidered fallurea, can be al
tered at mueh leas eoat than reported, and that the De
partment baa delegated Capt Kr lessen to make aoob Im
provementa in them aa will render them available forecast
and harbor defence. The Dictator and Puritan, in his
opinion, in material, workmanship, and invulnerability,
excel any thing be has aeen in England or France. Mr.
McKay reeommenda the construction of a number of sea
going wooden ahipa, heavily Iron olad, with high apeed,
and from tweuty foot to thirty-si* guns.

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