Archive for November 28th, 2012

Emancipation Proclamation

In the wake of the Battle of Antietam, Abraham Lincoln issued this proclamation. Read it carefully to see exactly WHERE it applied.

By the President of the United States of America:

A Proclamation.

Whereas, on the twenty-second day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, a proclamation was issued by the President of the United States, containing, among other things, the following, to wit:

“That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.

“That the Executive will, on the first day of January aforesaid, by proclamation, designate the States and parts of States, if any, in which the people thereof, respectively, shall then be in rebellion against the United States; and the fact that any State, or the people thereof, shall on that day be, in good faith, represented in the Congress of the United States by members chosen thereto at elections wherein a majority of the qualified voters of such State shall have participated, shall, in the absence of strong countervailing testimony, be deemed conclusive evidence that such State, and the people thereof, are not then in rebellion against the United States.”
Now, therefore I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by virtue of the power in me vested as Commander-in-Chief, of the Army and Navy of the United States in time of actual armed rebellion against the authority and government of the United States, and as a fit and necessary war measure for suppressing said rebellion, do, on this first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and in accordance with my purpose so to do publicly proclaimed for the full period of one hundred days, from the day first above mentioned, order and designate as the States and parts of States wherein the people thereof respectively, are this day in rebellion against the United States, the following, to wit:

Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, (except the Parishes of St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James Ascension, Assumption, Terrebonne, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin, and Orleans, including the City of New Orleans) Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, (except the forty-eight counties designated as West Virginia, and also the counties of Berkley, Accomac, Northampton, Elizabeth City, York, Princess Ann, and Norfolk, including the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth[)], and which excepted parts, are for the present, left precisely as if this proclamation were not issued.

And by virtue of the power, and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States, and parts of States, are, and henceforward shall be free; and that the Executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons.

And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain from all violence, unless in necessary self-defence; and I recommend to them that, in all cases when allowed, they labor faithfully for reasonable wages.

And I further declare and make known, that such persons of suitable condition, will be received into the armed service of the United States to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, and to man vessels of all sorts in said service.

And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution, upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind, and the gracious favor of Almighty God.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the eighty-seventh.

By the President: ABRAHAM LINCOLN
WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

Excerpt- Anti-Treason Law, 1862

Congress faced an extraordinary circumstance with the outbreak of actual warfare during the period known as the Civil War. Below is an excerpt of a law Congress passed specifying the penalty one could expect if engaged in the rebellion or even if just supporting it.

As you read, consider the following questions:
1. Would Southerners have agreed that they were engaged in treason? Explain why or why not.

An Act to suppress Insurrection, to punish Treason and Rebellion, to seize and confiscate the Property of Rebels, and for other Purposes.
July 17, 1862

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That every person who shall hereafter commit the crime of treason against the United States, and shall be adjudged guilty thereof, shall suffer death, and all his slaves, if any, shall be declared and made free; or, at the discretion of the court, he shall be imprisoned for not less than five years and fined not less than ten thousand dollars, and all his slaves, if any, shall be declared and made free; said fine shall be levied and collected on any or all of the property, real and personal, excluding slaves, of which the said person so convicted was the owner at the time of committing the said crime, any sale or conveyance to the contrary notwithstanding.

SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That if any person shall hereafter incite, set on foot, assist, or engage in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States, or the laws thereof, or shall give aid or comfort thereto, or shall engage in, or give aid and comfort to, any such existing rebellion or insurrection, and be convicted thereof, such person shall be punished by imprisonment for a period not exceeding ten years, or by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars, and by the liberation of all his slaves, if any he have; or by both of said punishments, at the discretion of the court.

SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That every person guilty of either of the offences described in this act shall be forever incapable and disqualified to hold any office under the United States.

SEC. 4. And be it further enacted, That this act shall not be construed in any way to affect or alter the prosecution, conviction, or punishment of any person or persons guilty of treason against the United States before the passage of this act, unless such person is convicted under this act.

SEC. 5. And be it further enacted, That, to insure the speedy termination of the present rebellion, it shall be the duty of the President of the United States to cause the seizure of all the estate and property, money, stocks, credits, and effects of the persons hereinafter named in this section, and to apply and use the same and the proceeds thereof for the support of the army of the United States, that is to say:

First. Of any person hereafter acting as an officer of the army or navy of the rebels in arms against the government of the United States.

Secondly. Of any person hereafter acting as President, Vice-President, member of Congress, judge of any court, cabinet officer, foreign minister, commissioner or consul of the so-called confederate states of America.

Thirdly. Of any person acting as governor of a state, member of a convention or legislature, or judge of any court of any of the so-called confederate states of America.

Fourthly. Of any person who, having held an office of honor, trust, or profit in the United States, shall hereafter hold an office in the so-called confederate states of America.

Fifthly. Of any person hereafter holding any office or agency under the government of the so-called confederate states of America, or under any of the several states of the said confederacy, or the laws thereof, whether such office or agency be national, state, or municipal in its name or character: Provided, That the persons, thirdly, fourthly, and fifthly above described shall have accepted their appointment or election since the date of the pretended ordinance of secession of the state, or shall have taken an oath of allegiance to, or to support the constitution of the so-called confederate states.

Sixthly. Of any person who, owning property in any loyal State or Territory of the United States, or in the District of Columbia, shall hereafter assist and give aid and comfort to such rebellion; and all sales, transfers, or conveyances of any such property shall be null and void; and it shall be a sufficient bar to any suit brought by such person for the possession or the use of such property, or any of it, to allege and prove that he is one of the persons described in this section….

APPROVED, July 17, 1862.

U.S., Statutes at Large, Treaties, and Proclamations of the United States of America, vol. 12 (Boston, 1863), pp. 589-92.

The ironclad USS Cairo

The USS Cairo

The USS Cairo was designed by James Eads (of Eads Bridge fame here in St. Louis) and launched from Mound City, Illinois, which is on the Ohio River in extreme southern Illinois, just across from Cape Girardeau. It was part of a fleet of ironclad that patrolled the Missisippi and its tributaries in the western theatre.

It was sunk by  a mine in 1862, but was recovered in 1964 and now sits in The Vicksburg National Military Park.

Native Americans and the Civil War

Your book implies on page 465 that the Five Civilized Tribes actively supported the Confederacy. Here are some important facts:

Soldiers from the tribes fought on both union and Confederate sides.

Stand Watie, a Cherokee, owned over 100 slaves, and fought on the side of the South as a general. In fact he was one of the last Confederate generals to surrender after Lee’s surrender at Appomattox. He was installed as Cherokee chief after the then- chief, John Ross, was captured by the Union.

John Ross, chief of the Cherokees since before removal from the East, attempted to keep the tribe neutral, but after Confederate general and diplomat Albert Pike came to Indians territory, with a threat of an invasion by Confederate forces from Arkansas and civil war within the Cherokee nation by those affiliated with Stand Watie, Ross reluctantly signed a treaty with the Confederacy. However, a federal force invaded Indian territory in the summer of 1862, and Ross was captured and paroled to Philadelphia, where he pointed out that many Cherokee had fled to Kansas as refugees rather than affiliate with the pro-Confederate faction.

The Creek Indians also split during the Civil War, with a faction signing a treaty with the Confederacy while those who did not wish to do so fled north toward Kansas in the dead of winter, pursued by the fellow tribesmen. The refugee Creek maintained that they were loyal. Most Creek Indians attempted to maintain loyalty to the Union.

The Seminole Nation also maintained loyalty to the Union.

The Choctaw and Chickasaw from southern Indian territory were predominately pro-Confederate.

For the story of the Sioux uprising in Minnesota in 1862, go here:

For more information, see Laurence M. Hauptman, Between Two Fires: American Indians in the Civil War (1995)

The Plains Indians

For more info see:

Submarine warfare in the Civil War: the CSS Hunley

The first submarine ever used in warfare was named The Turtle, appropriately enough. Take a guess when it was used– would you say 1914, or 1899 or even 1864? You would be wrong.

The Turtle was a one-man- human powered sub– used against the British in 1776. It was designed by American David Bushnell during the Revolutionary War. It failed to damage any British ships, but it made the British a lot more vigilant about security for their ships.

Robert Fulton, of steamboat fame, built a submarine named the Nautilus in France in 1801. It even had a sail for propulsion when it was on the surface.

The Confederate States of America first tried to use a submarine-like ship when it lauched the David in 1862. Its smokestack and breathing tube stuck up above the waterline, so it wasn’t completely submersed, but it was close to being a submarine. It used a spar torpedo (an explosive charge attached to a pole on the bow of the vessel) to punch a hole in a Union ironclad, but the ship did not sink. The Confederacy built 20 more Davids, but none of them managed actually to sink an enemy ship.

Click on the above black box to see an artist’s rendering of the Hunley.

So along came the Hunley. Forty feet long and only 4 feet wide, it was a converted boiler. It carried a nine man crew, and eight of them turned a crankshaft to propel the ship forward. The goal was to implant the explosive canister from a spar torpedo again. Yet this was a very dangerous assignment. The men sat hunched over in the darkness, their only light a candle– which also would warn them that their oxygen was depleted when it sputtered out. Several crews died, but eventually, on July 17, 1864, the Hunley sank the USS Housatonic near Charleston harbor. But the sub and its crew were never seen again.

The sub, in fact, was lost completely, until it was discovered by divers in 1995. In 2000, it was carefully brought to the surface. The remains of its crew were examined and later laid to rest. The Hunley is now being restored so that it can go on permanent display.

The Union made its own sub, name the Intelligent Whale, but it was never used in battle. They also bought a sub from the French, the Alligator, but it was lost at sea in 1862. Submarines would not be used again in battle by Americans until the 20th century.

Links for further information:
David Bushnell and the first American submarine
Who were the crew of the Hunley?
Civil War submarines