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He took charge August 20th, and set about organizing and
disciplining the magnificent body of men. No one could surpass him at
such work, and he had the opportunity of establishing himself as the
idol of the nation. That he failed to do so was clue to an inherent
defect of his nature. He shrank from taking chances, lacked nerve and
dash, distrusted himself, and was so slow and excessively cautious that
he wore out the patience of the government and finally of the nation
itself.

General Scott's old age and increasing infirmities compelled him in
November to give up the command of the Union armies, and all hopes
centred upon McClellan. He kept drilling the Army of the Potomac, and by
the close of the year had 150,000 well-trained soldiers under his
command. The impatience of the North began to manifest itself, but no
general advance took place, though the Confederate line was gradually
pushed back from its threatening position in front of Washington to its
first position at Bull Run. The Confederacy was also busy in recruiting
and drilling its forces. Knowing that Richmond was the objective point
of the Union advance, the city was surrounded with formidable
fortifications.


DISASTER AT BALL'S BLUFF.

On the 19th of October General McCall was ordered to occupy
Drainesville, eighteen miles northwest of Washington. At the same time,
General Stone was directed to keep watch of Leesburg, from which the
patrols afterward reported a weak Confederate force. An advance was
ordered, whereupon Colonel Evans, who had given the Confederates great
help at Bull Run, concentrated his forces on the road leading from
Leesburg to Washington, and, on the morning of the 21st, had assumed a
strong position and was ready to be attacked.

[Illustration: FORTIFYING RICHMOND.

In the foreground we see R.E. Lee and two other confederate officers
directing the work.]

The Union troops were ferried across the river in three scows, two
skiffs, and a life-boat, which combined would not carry one-fourth of
the men. When all were over they advanced to Leesburg, where no
Confederate camp was found, but the enemy in the woods attacked them.
Colonel E.D. Baker, a civilian officer from California, hurried across
the river with 1,900 men and took command. The enemy was reinforced and
drove the Unionists back. Colonel Baker was killed and the Federals
fled in a panic to the Potomac, with the Confederates upon them. The
fugitives swarmed into the boats and sank three of them; others leaped
over the bank and swam and dived for their lives, the enemy shooting and
bayoneting all who did not surrender. When the horrible affair was over,
the Union loss was fully a thousand men. This occurrence was in some
respects more disgraceful than Bull Run.


MILITARY OPERATIONS IN MISSOURI.

Claiborne F. Jackson, governor of Missouri, was a strong secessionist,
and did all he could to take the State out of the Union, but the
sentiment against him was too strong. St. Louis was also secession in
feeling, but Captain Nathaniel Lyon kept the disloyalists in subjection
so effectively that he was rewarded by being made a brigadier-general.
Governor Jackson by proclamation called out 50,000 of the State militia
to repel the "invasion" of the State by United States troops. Sterling
Price, a major-general of the State forces, was dispatched to Booneville
and Lexington, on the Missouri River.

Colonel Franz Sigel, with 1,100 Union troops, had an engagement in the
southwestern part of the State and was compelled to retreat, but he
managed his withdrawal so skillfully that he killed and wounded a large
number of his pursuers. General Lyon joined Sigel near Springfield, and
the Confederates, under General Ben McCulloch, retreated to Cowskin
Prairie, on the border of the Indian Territory.


BATTLE OF WILSON'S CREEK.

Both sides were reinforced, the Unionists being under the command of
General John C. Fremont, who had been assigned to the department of the
West, which included Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, and Kansas. The two
armies met early in August near Wilson's Creek. The Confederates were
the most numerous, but were poorly armed and disciplined. The battle was
badly mismanaged by both sides, and General Lyon, while leading a
charge, was shot dead. His men were defeated and retreated in the
direction of Springfield.

Missouri was now overrun with guerrillas and harried by both sides.
Colonel Mulligan made a desperate stand at Lexington in September, but
an overwhelming force under General Price compelled him to surrender.
Price moved southward and Lexington was retaken by the Unionists, who
also occupied Springfield. The Legislature sitting at Neocho passed an
ordinance of secession, but most of the State remained in the hands of
the Federals until they finally gained entire possession.

General Fremont's course was unwise and made him unpopular. He issued
what was in reality an emancipation proclamation, which President
Lincoln was compelled to modify. He was fond of show and ceremony, and
so extravagant that he was superseded in November by General Hunter,
who was soon sent to Kansas, and was in turn succeeded by General
Halleck. The fighting in the State was fierce but of an indecisive
character.

The expected neutrality of Kentucky was speedily ended by the entrance
of a body of Confederates under the command of General Leonidas Polk, a
graduate of West Point and a bishop of the Episcopal Church. General
U.S. Grant was dispatched with a force from Cairo, as soon as it became
known that Polk had entered Kentucky. Grant destroyed a Confederate camp
at Belmont, but was attacked by Polk and compelled to retreat to his
gunboats.


OPERATIONS ON THE COAST.

A formidable coast expedition, with land and naval forces on board,
under command of General B.F. Butler and Commodore Stringham, in August,
1861, captured Hatteras Inlet and the fort defending it. Establishing
themselves at that point, they made other attacks along the adjoining
coast of North Carolina. A still larger expedition left Fort Monroe in
November under Commodore Dupont and General T.W. Sherman and captured
Port Royal. The fleet was so powerful, numbering nearly one hundred
vessels and transports, that the garrisons were easily driven out of the
forts, after which the land forces took possession of them. The islands
between Charleston and Savannah were seized, and in September a Union
fleet took possession of Ship Island, not far from the mouth of the
Mississippi, with a view of aiding an expedition against New Orleans.


THE TRENT AFFAIR.

It was all important for the Confederacy to secure recognition from
England and France. The Confederate government thought they could be
induced to act, if the proper arguments were laid before the respective
governments. Accordingly, James M. Mason, of Virginia, and John Slidell,
of Louisiana, both of whom had been United States senators, were
appointed commissioners, the former to England and the latter to France.

They succeeded in running the blockade to Havana, where they took
passage on the British steamer _Trent_ for England. Captain Charles
Wilkes, of the steamer _San Jacinto_, knew of their intended sailing and
was on the lookout for them. Before they were fairly on their way,
Captain Wilkes stopped the _Trent_, and, despite the protests of the
captain and the rebel commissioners, he forcibly took them off and
carried them to the United States.

In acting thus Captain Wilkes did the very thing that caused the war
with England in 1812. It was our opposition to the search of American
vessels by British cruisers that caused that war, while England was as
persistent in her claim to the right to make such search. The positions
were now reversed, and England expressed indignation, and demanded the
return of the commissioners and a disavowal of the act of Captain
Wilkes. The position of our government was untenable, and Secretary
Seward gracefully confessed it, and surrendered the prisoners, neither
of whom was able afterward to be of the slightest benefit to the
Confederacy.


SUMMARY OF THE YEAR'S OPERATIONS.

The close of 1861 was to the advantage of the Confederates. The two real
battles of the war--Bull Run and Wilson's Creek--had been won by them.
In the lesser engagements, with the exception of West Virginia, they had
also been successful. This was due to the fact that the people of the
North and West had been so long at peace that they needed time in which
to learn war. In the South the men were more accustomed to the handling
of firearms and horseback riding. Moreover, they were on the defensive,
and fighting, as may be said, on inner lines.

It must not be forgotten, however, that the Union forces had saved
Kentucky, Maryland, and Missouri from joining the Confederacy, despite
the strenuous efforts of their disunion governors and an aggressive
minority in each State. Washington, which more than once had been in
danger of capture, was made safe, and the loyal section of Virginia in
the West was cut off and formed into a separate State. In wealth and
resources the North vastly preponderated. An immense army had been
raised, money was abundant, commerce thriving, the sentiment
overwhelmingly in favor of the prosecution of the war, and the
manufactories hummed with work made necessary by the building of
hundreds of ships for the navy and the furnishing of supplies and
equipments to the armies.

[Illustration: THE ATTACK ON FORT DONELSON.

This memorable battle of February, 1862, was the first serious blow to
the Confederate cause. It was also Grant's first victory of importance,
and marks the beginning of his rise to fame. Fifteen thousand prisoners
were taken. Grant generously allowed the Confederates to retain their
personal baggage, and the officers to keep their side arms. General
Buckner expressed his thanks for this chivalrous act, and later in life
became Grant's personal friend.]




CHAPTER XVI.

ADMINISTRATION OF LINCOLN (CONTINUED), 1861-1865.

WAR FOR THE UNION (CONTINUED), 1862.

Capture of Forts Henry and Donelson--Change in the Confederate Line of
Defense--Capture of Island No.



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