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LEADING FACTS OF AMERICAN HISTORY
selling its cotton or from raising money in any way. The national government obtained it in four ways:
1. By calling on the people of the North for many kinds of new taxes.
2. By a war tariff which increased the duties collected on imported goods, and compelled payment of such duties in gold.
3. By issuing enormous quantities of paper money, commonly called "greenbacks."
4. Finally, and chiefly, by borrowing hundreds of millions of dollars both at home and abroad. In return for these loans the national government gave bonds which promised to repay the borrowed money in a certain number of years, and to pay interest on it at from six to over seven per cent per year.
In order to obtain these loans more readily, the government created (1863) a great system of new banks called National Banks. The state and city banks then in existence (§ 265) had this disadvantage: their paper money often would not pass in another state except at a loss to the holder. On this account people frequently could not tell, when away from home, what a dollar bill was really worth. But the national-bank bills have always been good all over the United States, because the banks which issue them are obliged by law to deposit government bonds with the treasurer at Washington as security.1 The National Banks increased rapidly; they are now the only ones which issue paper money (§ 440).
325. The Number and Position of the Two Armies. President Lincoln's first call for troops was quickly followed by others, and the South likewise strengthened its side. By the summer of 1861 the Union forces probably numbered about 180,000, and those of the Confederates 150,000. The former were under the direction of the veteran General Scott (§ 292), and the latter under General Beauregard.2 The Union army was mainly in eastern Virginia and
1 By the act of 1863 (materially changed in 1900), National Banks were compelled to borrow money from the national government, to the amount of 90 percent of the bills they issued, and to deposit the bonds they received from the government with the treasurer at Washington.
2 General Joseph E. Johnston ranked above General Beauregard, and after the battle of Bull Run (July 21, 1861), in which he took a leading part, he held command of the Confederate army of Virginia until he was wounded at the battle of Seven Pines, May 31, 1862, when General Lee took command.
THE BATTLE OF BULL RUN
Maryland. It extended along the banks of the Potomac from Harpers Ferry to the mouth of the river, and thence southward to Fort Monroe. The Confederate army held the country south of the Potomac, with Richmond as its fortified center. (Map, p. 284.)
In Missouri the national troops, under General Lyon, Frémont,1 and Halleck, got control of that state, while General McClellan drove the Confederates from West Virginia. In the southwest the Confederates had got possession of the Mississippi from New Orleans to Columbus, Kentucky, by building forts on the banks of the river. They were preparing to do the same on the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers and they hoped to get the entire control of Kentucky besides.
326. The Battle of Bull Run. The cry at the South was, "On to Washington!" It was answered by the cry of the North, "On to Richmond!" Beauregard had taken up his position at Manassas junction on a small stream called Bull Run. There he could both protect the Confederate capital and threaten Washington. He had an army of about 30,000. General McDowell, in command, in the field, of the Union forces, had about the same number.2 One army, as President Lincoln said, was as "green" as the other. McDowell advanced, not because he was ready, but for the simple reason that the North was tired of waiting and was impatient to strike a decisive blow.
The battle began on a sweltering hot Sunday in July (July 21, 1861). At first the Union troops drove the Confederates from their position. General Bee, one of the Southern leaders, rushing
I General Frémont was born at Savannah in 1813. Under the authority of the government he began the exploration of the Rocky Mountains and of an overland route to the Pacific in 1842-1844, In 1845 he set out on another exploring expedition to the Pacific coast. After the outbreak of the Mexican War he, with the assistance of American settlers in California, freed that territory from the authority of Mexico, and in the summer of 1846 he was appointed governor of the territory. The treaty of peace (1848) secured California to the United States. In 1856 Frémont was nominated to the presidency (as the Anti-Slavery candidate) by the Republican party. From 1878 to 1881 he was governor of Arizona. In the summer of 1861 Fremont issued a proclamation emancipating the slaves of all persons in Missouri who were in arms against the Union; but President Lincoln refused to approve it.
2 In the Civil War the Confederates counted in battle only those of their men who were present and able to fight; but the Union officers, on the contrary, counted all as present whose names were on their army rolls. See General Grant's "Personal Memoirs," II, 290, and "The Century Company's War Book," I, 485.
LEADING FACTS OF AMERICAN HISTORY
up to General Jackson, cried out, "General, they. are beating us back!" "We will give them the bayonet," said Jackson, quietly rallying his men, Bee shouted, Look! there is Jackson standing like a stone wall!" It was true and "Stonewall" Jackson,1 as the Confederate general was ever after called, used "the bayonet" to check the Union advance. Then the Southerners held their ground until heavy reënforcements came up, by rail, from the Shenandoah valley, and drove the Union troops from the hard-fought field. As the Confederate General J. E. Johnston says: "The Northern army fought under the great disadvantage of having to make the attack. They fled back to Washington in confusion."
327. Results of the Defeat at Bull Run. Some failures are stepping-stones to success. The defeat at Bull Run was such a case. Instead of discouraging the people of the North, it roused them to new and greater effort. At the very time the defeated and disheartened Union soldiers were pouring over the Long Bridge across the Potomac into Washington, Congress voted to raise 500,000 men and $500,000,000 to carry on the war.
1 General T. J. Jackson of Virginia, born 1824; died 1863. He was one of the most remarkable men who fought on the side of the South. His motto was, "Do your duty, and leave the rest to Providence." His death was the heaviest personal loss, except perhaps that of General A. S. Johnston (§ 332), which the South sustained during the war. Lee called "Stonewall" Jackson his "right arm"; in his department he ranked as one of the ablest generals in the Confederacy, and was respected alike by those who fought under him and those who fought against him.
UNION PLAN OF THE WAR
The cry of the North was now, "Drill and organize!" General McClellan came from West Virginia (§ 325) to take command of the army. He taught the men the great lesson, that enthusiasm without military organization is of no more use than steam without an engine. For the next six months and more "all was quiet on the Potomac";1 that quiet, however, meant that both sides were getting ready to fight in terrible earnest.
328. Union Plan of the War. Gradually a plan for the war in defense of the Union took shape; it was this:
1. To station vessels of war in front of all Southern ports (Map, p. 286), and thus cut off the South from getting supplies from abroad for carrying on the contest. This blockade by the Union navy was of immense help, and without it the contest might have dragged on for many years longer than it did.
2. To attack and take Richmond.
3. To open the lower Mississippi, with the Tennessee and the Cumberland, which the Confederate forts had closed to navigation.
4. To break through the Confederate line in the West, march an army to the Atlantic, and thence northward to Virginia.
329. Blockade Runners; Confederate War Vessels; Seizure of Mason and Slidell. While the Union forces were getting possession of Fort Hatteras, Port Royal, and other points on the coast of North and South Carolina, fast Southern vessels ran the gantlet of the blockade to obtain arms and ammunition; furthermore, British steamers, specially built for the work, often succeeded in evading the Union cruisers and in bringing supplies for the Confederates. Jefferson Davis had no navy, but he succeeded in buying or building a number of war vessels in Great Britain, which in time destroyed so many merchant ships owned in the North that unarmed vessels no longer dared to carry the Stars and Stripes. Later, the Alabama, built in England, was added to the Confederate fleet and inflicted immense damage on Union commerce, for which at the end of the war England had to pay roundly (§ 374).
1 On October 21, 1861, a body of Union troops, 2000 strong, was beaten by a large force of Confederates at Ball's Bluff on the Potomac, and on August 10 of the same year General Lyon was defeated and killed at the battle of Wilson's Creek, Missouri.
LEADING FACTS OF AMERICAN HISTORY
Early in November (1861) the Confederacy undertook to send two commissioners or agents -- Mason and Slidell -- to Europe to get aid for the Southern cause and also to endeavor to persuade England and France to acknowledge the Independence of the Confederate States.
Captain Wilkes of the United States navy stopped the British mail steamer Trent, on which Mason and Slidell had embarked for England, and took them both prisoners. England at once
RUNNING THE BLOCKADE,--UNION CRUISER IN PURSUIT
demanded that the national government should give them up. The North protested, but President Lincoln said: "We fought Great Britain in 1812 for doing just what Captain Wilkes has done. We must give up the prisoners to England." It was done, but Mason and Slidell never succeeded in accomplishing anything of importance for the Confederacy.
330. The Merrimac destroys the Cumberland and the Congress; the Monitor. At the beginning of the great struggle the Confederates seized the navy yard at Norfolk, Virginia, and got
THE "MONITOR" AND THE "MERRIMAC"
possession of the United States ship of war Merrimac. They plated the vessel with railway iron and sent her out to destroy the Union war vessels at the mouth of the James River off Fort Monroe. (Map, p. 288.) The Union ships were of wood, and the balls from their guns could no more penetrate the iron shell of the monster which now attacked them than a sparrow's bill could penetrate the back of an alligator. The Merrimac sunk the Cumberland, which carried down with her many sick and wounded men;1 she then destroyed the Congress. The next day (Sunday, March 9, 1862) the Merrimac returned to complete the destruction of the fleet; suddenly a strange little craft appeared, looking like a "cheese box on a raft." This was the Monitor,2 new Union war vessel built of iron and commanded by Lieutenant Worden. The Merrimac now found that she had got her match. After a terrific battle the Confederate vessel hurried back to Norfolk.
Lieutenant Worden's "Little Giant" had won the day. If the Merrimac had gained the victory, she might next have gone up the Potomac and destroyed the national capital. In that case European nations might have acknowledged the independence of the South, and demanded that the blockade be raised and the ports of the Confederacy thrown open to the commerce of the world. The United States now built more monitors, and by the end of the year had a fleet of several hundred effective war vessels of different kinds, both on the ocean and on the western rivers.
1 See Longfellow's poem on the loss of the Cumberland.
2 The Monitor was built by Captain Ericsson, the inventor of the screw propeller for steamships, and of the hot-air engine. She was an iron vessel of small size, sitting so low in the water that scarcely anything of her hull was visible. In the center of her deck stood a revolving iron turret, which carried two cannon, sending solid shot weighing one hundred and sixty-six pounds. The success of the Monitor stimulated the construction of iron or steel war vessels throughout the world. Eventually they entirely superseded wooden ships of war.