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By the close of the year, 1,300,000
volunteers had been called for, and the daily expenses amounted to
$3,000,000. The conviction, too, was growing that slavery was the real
cause of the war, and the time had come to treat it with less
consideration than many leading officers and men whose patriotism could
not be doubted were disposed to show toward the "peculiar institution."
President Lincoln was one of the wisest men who ever sat in the
executive chair, and none read so unerringly the signs of the times as
he. The Abolitionists were impatient with his slowness, while many of
the doubting thought he went too fast. He waited until the right hour,
and then issued his Emancipation Proclamation.

[Illustration: UNITED STATES MILITARY TELEGRAPH WAGON.]

This appeared soon after the battle of Antietam, and it is said was the
fulfillment of the pledge President Lincoln had made to heaven that, if
Lee's invasion was turned back, he would issue the great paper, which,
in effect, would see free 4,000,000 bondsmen. In it he warned the
seceding States that in every one which failed to return to its
allegiance by the first of January, 1863, he would declare the slaves
free. The warning was received with scorn, as was expected. From the
date named, therefore, all the armed forces of the Union treated the
slaves as free wherever encountered. Before long colored men were
enlisted as soldiers and sailors, and they bore no inconsiderable part
in the prosecution of the war.


"GREENBACKS."

It will be understood that the revenue of the government was altogether
unequal to the vast demands upon it. Taxation was increased, and, in
1862, the government began the issue of its own paper money. The backs
of the bills being printed in green ink, these bills were known as
"greenbacks." They were made a legal tender, despite considerable
opposition to the measure. The law gave any person owing a debt, no
matter if contracted in gold and silver, the right to pay the same with
greenbacks. Since it is impossible to regulate the value of money except
by the law of supply and demand, the bills, as compared with gold,
depreciated a good deal in value.

The act of February 25, 1862, authorized the issue of $150,000,000, and
further issues were made on June 11, 1862, and March 3, 1863. The
depreciation of greenbacks was such that the price of gold averaged 2.20
throughout 1864, and at one time reached 2.85. In other words, a
greenback dollar was worth only thirty-five cents. Another method of
raising money was through the sale of bonds, of which many millions were
issued. To encourage their sale, the National Banking System was
established in 1863. This required all banks that issued currency to
deposit a slightly larger amount of bonds in Washington. Thus the banks
were compelled to help the government by loaning it money.

[Illustration: THE BATTLE OF MALVERN HILL, JULY 1, 1862

Malvern Hill was a very strong position taken by General McClellan in
his retreat before the army of Lee. General Lee made furious and
repeated assaults upon this well-nigh impregnable position, each time to
meet an inevitable repulse, and in the end a defeat accompanied by
severe losses, which necessitated his withdrawal to Richmond.]




CHAPTER XVII.

ADMINISTRATION OF LINCOLN (CONTINUED), 1861-1865.

WAR FOR THE UNION (CONTINUED), 1863.

The Military Situation in the West--Siege and Capture of Vicksburg--The
Mississippi Opened--Battle of Chickamauga--"The Rock of
Chickamauga"--The Battle Above the Clouds--Siege of Knoxville--General
Hooker Appointed to the Command of the Army of the Potomac--His Plan of
Campaign Against Richmond--Stonewall Jackson's Stampede of the Eleventh
Corps--Critical Situation of the Union Army--Death of Jackson--Battle of
Chancellorsville--Defeat of Hooker--The Second Confederate
Invasion--Battle of Gettysburg--The Decisive Struggle of the War--Lee's
Retreat--Subsequent Movements of Lee and Meade--Confederate
Privateering--Destruction of the _Nashville_--Failure of the Attacks on
Charleston--The Military Raids--Stuart's Narrow Escape--Stoneman's
Raid--Morgan's Raid in Indiana and Ohio.


There were now such immense armies in the field and military operations
were conducted on so vast a scale that the reader must carefully study
the situation in order to gain an intelligent idea of the progress of
the momentous events. We will give our attention first to operations in
the West.


THE SITUATION IN THE WEST.

There were four Union armies in that section. The first was the one
under Rosecrans, which, on the opening days of the year, won the victory
at Murfreesboro' or Stone River, an account of which is given in the
preceding chapter. The second was near Holly Springs, under General
Grant; a third was in New Orleans, under General Banks, who had
succeeded General Butler; and the fourth was in Arkansas. The main
object of all these armies was to open the Mississippi. When that should
be accomplished, the Confederacy would be split in two. Hundreds of
thousands of beeves were drawn from Texas and the country beyond the
Mississippi, and to shut off this supply would be one of the most
effective blows that could be struck against the rebellion.


GRANT BEFORE VICKSBURG.

General Sherman had failed to capture Vicksburg, and General Grant
assumed command of the forces besieging it. He saw that the defenses
facing the Mississippi and the lower part of the Yazoo were too powerful
to be taken by storm. He decided as a consequence to turn the rear of
the lines, and, securing an entrance into the upper part of the Yazoo,
reach the rear of the batteries at Haines' Bluff.

In this important work he received valuable help from the ironclads of
Admiral Porter. With one of them he opened communication with the
squadron in the lower part of the Mississippi and disabled a Confederate
steamer under the guns of Vicksburg. Two of the boats groped their way
through the swamps and wooded creeks, where nothing more than canoes and
dugouts had ventured before, obtained a great deal of cotton and burned
much more, disregarded the torpedoes and fought the rebels along the
banks, explored new routes, and in the end both were captured by the
enemy.

[Illustration: ADMIRAL PORTER.]

Several ingenious plans were tried to capture these formidable
fortifications. One was an attempt to force a passage into the Upper
Yazoo. Another was to open a new channel for the Mississippi. Both were
failures, but the levees along the Yazoo were cut and many acres in the
rear of Vicksburg overflowed, while a great deal of Arkansas and
Louisiana was flooded. The object of all this was to shut off the
supplies of Vicksburg. Admiral Farragut now strove to pass from the
lower Mississippi by the Port Hudson batteries to Vicksburg. The effort
was made on the night of March 14th, which was of inky darkness. The
approach was discovered by the enemy, who kindled large bonfires on the
bank which revealed the passing vessels. The latter opened on the
batteries with great effect, but only two, including the flagship, were
able to get past, the thirteen being forced to turn back. The
_Mississippi_ ran aground and was set on fire and abandoned. With the
two vessels in hand, Farragut blockaded the mouth of the Red River and
gave valuable help to General Grant, but the land forces advancing from
Baton Rouge to aid in the attack on Vicksburg turned back upon learning
of the failure of Farragut's fleet to run past the batteries.

General Grant had set out to capture Vicksburg and nothing could turn
him from his purpose. His aim was to sever the Confederate
communications with the east by turning the defenses of the Yazoo and
the Mississippi. General McClernand was sent in the latter part of March
to occupy New Carthage to the south, while General Banks, by advancing
from New Orleans, threatened Port Hudson in conjunction with the fleet
lying near.

Banks' force was so large that the most the enemy could do was to delay
his advance by burning bridges and obstructing the river. In the latter
part of April, he established himself at Simmsport, near the junction of
the Atchafalaya and the Mississippi. Admiral Porter, who was lying with
his fleet above Vicksburg, now made the attempt to join Farragut below,
and it proved one of the most exciting experiences of the war.


RUNNING THE BATTERIES.

Naturally a dark night--April 16th--was selected, and eight gunboats,
three transports, and several barges loaded with supplies silently
dropped down the river in the impenetrable mist, while the thousands of
Union troops intently watched the hulls as they melted from sight in the
gloom. The hope was general that they would be able to float past
undiscovered, and, when an hour of intense stillness went by, the
watchers and listeners began to breathe more freely, though their
anxiety was only partly lifted.

[Illustration: DAVID G. FARRAGUT.]

Suddenly two crimson lines of fire flamed along the river front, and the
earth trembled under the stupendous explosion. The ships had been
detected, and the river was swept by a tempest of shot and shell that it
seemed must shatter to fragments every one of the craft. It should be
remembered that these batteries extended for a long distance along the
shore, and they opened one after the other, as the ships came opposite.
Thus the fleet became the target of battery after battery, and had a
continuous and extended gantlet to run before reaching safety.

The gunboats returned the fire as they swept by, and many of their shots
were effective, but in such a duel the advantage is always with the land
batteries. One of the transports was disabled, and another, directly
behind her, had to stop to avoid running into the injured craft. The
crew of the former, finding themselves the centre of a terrific fire,
launched the yawl, and, leaping into it, pulled for the shore. They had
scarcely left their vessel when it was fired by a shell, and, aflame
from stem to stern, it drifted down stream. Meanwhile, the transport
that had grounded was towed out of danger.



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