[Transcriber's note: Obvious printer's errors have been corrected. Hyphenation and accentuation have been standardised, all other inconsistencies are as in the original. The author's spelling has been maintained.
Page 94: The word "of" has been added in "If the Army of the Potomac".]
NOVEMBER 18, 1862, TO OCTOBER 18, 1863.
Carleton, Publisher, 413 Broadway.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1864,
By GEO. W. CARLETON,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Of all the peoples known in history, the American people most readily forgets YESTERDAY;
I publish this DIARY in order to recall YESTERDAY to the memory of my countrymen.
WASHINGTON, October, 1863.
NOVEMBER, 1862. 11
Secretary Chase — French Mediation — The Decembriseur — Diplomatic Bendings.
DECEMBER, 1862. 22
President's Message — Political Position — Fredericksburgh — Fog — Accident — Crisis in the Cabinet — Secretary Chase — Burnside — Halleck — The Butchers — The Lickspittle Republican Press — War Committee Patriots — Youth — People — Ring out.
JANUARY, 1863. 61
Proclamation — Parade — Halleck — Diplomats — Herodians — Inspired Men — War Powers — Rosecrans — Butler — Seward — Doctores Constitutionis — Hogarth — Rhetors — European Enemies — Second Sight — Senator Wright, the Patriot — Populus Romanus — Future Historian — English People — Gen. Mitchel — Hooker in Command — Staffs — Arming Africo-Americans — Thurlow Weed, &c.
FEBRUARY, 1863. 119
The Problems before the People — The Circassian — Department of State and International Laws — Foresight — Patriot Stanton and the Rats — Honest Conventions — Sanitary Commission — Harper's Ferry — John Brown — The Yellow Book — The Republican Party — Epitaph — Prize Courts — Suum cuique — Academy of Sciences — Democratic Rank and File, etc.
MARCH, 1863. 159
Press — Ethics — President's Powers — Seward's Manifestoes — Cavalry — Letters of Marque — Halleck — Sigel — Fighting — McDowell — Schalk — Hooker — Etat Major-General — Gold — Cloaca Maxima — Alliance — Burnside — Halleckiana — Had we but Generals, how often Lee could have been destroyed, etc.
APRIL, 1863. 182
Lord Lyons — Blue Book — Diplomats — Butler — Franklin — Bancroft — Homunculi — Fetishism — Committee on the Conduct of the War — Non-intercourse — Peterhoff — Sultan's Firman — Seward — Halleck — Race — Capua — Feint — Letter-writing — England — Russia — American Revolution — Renovation — Women — Monroe Doctrine, etc.
MAY, 1863. 215
Advance — Crossing — Chancellorsville — Hooker — Staff — Lee — Jackson — Stunned — Suggestions — Meade — Swinton — La Fayette — Happy Grant — Rosecrans — Halleck — Foote — Elections — Re-elections — Tracks — Seward — 413, etc.
JUNE, 1863. 238
Banks — "The Enemy Crippled" — Count Zeppelin — Hooker — Stanton — "Give Him a Chance" — Mr. Lincoln's Looks — Rappahannock — Slaughter — North Invaded — "To be Stirred up" — Blasphemous Curtin — Banquetting — Groping — Retaliation — Foote — Hooker — Seward — Panama — Chase — Relieved — Meade — Nobody's Fault — Staffs, etc.
JULY, 1863. 257
Eneas — Anchises — General Warren — Aldie — General Pleasanton — Superior Mettle — Gettysburgh — Cholera Morbus — Vicksburgh — Army of Heroes — Apotheosis — "Not Name the Generals" — Indian Warfare — Politicians — Spittoons — Riots — Council of War — Lords and Lordlings — Williamsport — Shame — Wadsworth — "To meet the Empress Eugenie," etc.
AUGUST, 1863. 286
Stanton — Twenty Thousand — Canadians — Peterhoff — Coffey — Initiation — Electioneering — Reports — Grant — McClellan — Belligerent Rights — Menagerie — Watson — Jury — Democrats — Bristles — "Where is Stanton?" — "Fight the Monster" — Chasiana — Luminaries — Ballistic — Political Economy, etc.
SEPTEMBER, 1863. 310
Jeff Davis — Incubuerunt — O, Youth! — Lucubrations — Genuine Europe — It is Forgotten — Fremont — Prof. Draper — New Yorkers — Senator Sumner's Gauntlet — Prince Gortschakoff — Governor Andrew — New Englanders — Re-elections — Loyalty — Cruizers — Matamoras — Hurrah for Lincoln — Rosecrans — Strategy — Sabine Pass, etc.
OCTOBER, 1863. 338
Aghast — Firing — Supported — Russian Fleet — Opposition — Amor scelerated — Cautious — Mastiffs — Grande Guerre — Manoeuvring — Tambour battant — Warning, etc.
Secretary Chase — French Mediation — the Decembriseur — Diplomatic Bendings.
November 18.—In the street a soldier offered to sell me the pay already several months overdue to him. As I could not help him, as gladly I would have done, being poor, he sold it to a curb-stone broker, a street note-shaver. I need not say that the poor soldier sustained a loss of twenty-five per cent. by the operation! He wanted to send the money home to his poor wife and children; yet one fourth of it was thus given into the hands of a stay-at-home speculator. Alas, for me! I could not save the poor fellow from the remorseless shaver, but I could and did join him in a very energetic cursing of Chase, that at once pompous and passive patriot.
This induced me to enter upon a further and more particular investigation, and I found that hundreds of similar cases were of almost daily occurrence; and that this cheating of the soldiers out of their nobly and patriotically earned pay, may quite fairly be denounced as rather the rule than as the exception. The army is unpaid! Unspeakable infamy! Before,—long before the intellectually poor occupant of the White House, long before any civil employe, big or little, the ARMY ought to be paid. Common humanity, common sense, and sound policy affirm this; and common decency, to say nothing about chivalric feelings, adds that when paymasters are sent to the army at all, their first payments should be made to the rank and file; the generals and their subordinate officers to be paid, not before, but afterwards. Oh! for the Congress, for the Congress to meet once again! My hope is in the Congress, to resist, and sternly put an end to, such heaven-defying and man-torturing injustice as now braves the curses of outraged men, and the anger of God. How this pompous Chase disappoints every one, even those who at first were inclined to be even weakly credulous and hopeful of his official career. And why is Stanton silent? He ought to roar. As for Lincoln—he, ah! * * * * The curses of all the books of all the prophets be upon the culprits who have thus compelled our gallant and patriotic soldiery to mingle their tears with their own blood and the blood of the enemy!
Nov. 18.—Again Seward assures Lord Lyons that the national troubles will soon be over, and that the general affairs of the country "stand where he wanted them." Seward's crew circulate in the most positive terms, that the country will be pacified by the State Department! England, moved by the State papers and official notes—England, officially and non-officially, will stop the iron-clads, built and launched in English ports and harbors for the use of the rebels, and for the annoyance and injury of the United States. England, these Americans say, England, no doubt, has said some hard words, and has been guilty of some detestably treacherous actions; but all will probably be settled by the benign influence of Mr. Seward's despatches, which, as everyone knows, are perfectly irresistible. How the wily Palmerston must chuckle in Downing Street.
The difference between Seward and a real statesman, is this: that a statesman is always, and very wisely, chary about committing himself in writing, and only does it when compelled by absolutely irresistible circumstances, or by temptations brilliant enough to overrule all other considerations; for, such a statesman never for one moment forgets or disregards the old adage which saith that "Verba volant, scripta manent." But Seward, on the contrary, literally revels in a flood of ink, and fancies that the more he writes, the greater statesman he becomes.
At the beginning of this month, I wrote to the French minister, M. Mercier, a friendly and respectful note, warning him against meddling with politicians and busybodies. I told him that, before he could even suspect it, such men would bring his name before the public in a way neither pleasant nor profitable to him. M. Mercier took it in good part, and cordially thanked me for my advice.
Nov. 19.—Burnside means well, and has a good heart; but something more is required to make a capable captain, more especially in such times as those in which we are living. It is said that his staff is well organized; God be praised for that, if it really is so. In that case, Burnside will be the first among the loudly-lauded and self-conceited West-Point men, forcibly to impress both the military and the civilian mind in America, with a wholesome consciousness of the paramount importance to an army of a thoroughly competent and trustworthy staff.
The division of the army into three grand corps is good; it is at once wise and well-timed, following the example set by Napoleon, when he invaded Russia in 1812. If his subordinate generals will but do well, I have entire confidence in Hooker. He is the man for the time and for the place. As a fighting man, Sumner is fully and unquestionably reliable; but I have my doubts about Franklin. He is cold, calculating, and ambitious, and he has the especially bad quality of being addicted to the alternate blowing of hot and cold. Burnside did a good thing in confiding to General Siegel a separate command.
The New York Times begins to mend its bad ways; but how long will it continue in the better path?
Nov. 20.—England stirs up and backs up rebellion and disunion here; but, in Europe, for the sake of the unity of barbarism, Islamism, and Turkey, England throttles, and manacles, and lays prostrate beneath the feet of the Osmanli, the Greeks, the Sclavi, the heroic Montenegrins. England is the very incarnation of a treachery and a perfidy previously unexampled in the history of the world. The Punica fides, so fiercely denounced and so bitterly satirized by the historians and poets of old Rome, was truthful if compared to the Fides Anglica of our own day.
Nov. 22.—Our army seems to be massed so as to be able to wedge itself in between Jackson in the valley and Lee at Gordonsville. By a bold manoeuvre, each of them could be separately attacked, and, I firmly believe, destroyed. But, unfortunately, boldness and manoeuvre, that highest gift, that supreme inspiration of the consummate captain, have no abiding place in the bemuddled brains of the West-Pointers, who are a dead weight and drag-chain upon the victimised and humiliated Army of the Potomac.
Nov. 25.—The Army is stuck fast in the mud, and the march towards Fredericksburgh is not at all unlikely to end in smoke. There seems to be an utter absence of executive energy. Why not mask our movements before Gordonsville from the observation of Lee? Or, if preferable, what is to hinder the interposition of un rideau vivant, a living curtain, in the form of a false attack, a feint in considerable force, behind which the whole army might be securely thrown across the Rappahannock, by which at least two days' march would be gained on Lee, and our troops would be on the direct line for Fredericksburg, if Fredericksburg is really to be the base for future operations. In this way, the army would have marched against Fredericksburg on both sides of the river. Or, supposing those plans to be rejected, why not throw a whole army corps at once, say 40,000 to 50,000 strong, across the Rappahannock. On either plan, I repeat it, at least two days' march would have been stolen upon Lee; three or four days of forced marches would have been healthy for our army, and a bloodless victory would have been obtained by the taking of the seemingly undefended Fredericksburg. A dense cloud enveloped this whole enterprise, and it is not even improbable, that the campaign may become a dead failure even before it has accomplished the half of its projected and loudly vaunted course. But bold conceptions, and energetic movements to match them, are just about as possible to Halleck or Burnside as railroad speed to the tedious tortoise.
Nov. 25.—Oh! So Louis Napoleon could not keep quiet. He offers his mediation, which, in plain English, means his moral support to the South. Oh! that enemy to the whole human race. That Decembriseur. Our military slowness, if nothing else is the matter, our administrative and governmental helplessness, and Seward's lying and all-confusing foreign policy have encouraged foreign impertinence and foreign meddling. I have all along anticipated them as an at least very possible result of the above mentioned causes. [See vol. I of the Diary.] Nevertheless, I scarcely expected such results to appear so soon. Perhaps this same impertinent French action may prove a second French faux pas, to follow in the wake of the first and very egregious faux pas in Mexico. The best that we can say for the Decembriseur is, that he is getting old. England refuses to join in his at once wild and atrocious schemes, and makes a very Tomfool of the bloody Fox of the Tuileries. My, Russia—ah! I am very confident of that—will refuse to join in the dirty and treacherous conspiracy for the preservation of slavery. Well for mediation. But Mr. Decembriseur, what think you and your diplomatic lackeys; what judgment and what determination do you and they form as to the terms and the termination, too, of your diabolical scheme? Descend, sir, from your shilly-shally generalities and verbal fallacies. Is it to be a commercial union, this hobby of your minister here? What is it; let us in all plainness of speech know what it is that you really and positively intend. Propound to us the plain meaning and scope of your imperial proposition.
[Footnote 1: The men who, in the great French revolution, and under the leadership of Danton and of the municipality of Paris, massacred the political prisoners in September, 1792, are recorded in history under the name of Septembriseurs. Louis Napoleon may no less justly be called the Decembriseur, from that frightful massacre on the 2nd of December, from which he dates his despotism.]
Nov. 27.—Lee, with his army, marches or marched on the south side of the river, in a parallel to the line of Burnside on the north side of the river, and Jackson quietly, but quickly follows. They are at Fredericksburg, and our army looms up, calm, but stern; still, but defiant and menacing. I heartily wish that Burnside may be successful, and that I may prove to have been a false prophet. But the great Fatum, FATE, seems to declare against Burnside, and Fate generally takes sides with bold conceptions and their energetic execution.
Nov. 28.—The French despatch-scheme reads very like a Washington concoction, and does not at all bear the marks of Parisian origin. I find in it whole phrases which, for months past, I have repeatedly heard from the French minister here. Perhaps Mr. Mercier, in his turn, may have caught many of Mr. Seward's much-cherished generalities, unintelligible, very probably, even to himself, and quite certainly so to every one but himself. Perhaps, I say, Mr. Mercier may have caught up some of them, and making them up at hap-hazard into a macedoine, a hash, a hotch-potch, has served up the second-hand and heterogeneous mess to his master in Paris. The despatch expresses the fear of a servile war; this may very well have been copied from Mr. Seward's despatch to Mr. Adams, (May, 1862,) wherein Seward attempted to frighten England by a prophecy of a servile war in this country.
Nov. 30.—Mr. Seward semi-officially and conveniently accepts the French impudence. Computing the time and space, the scheme corresponds with McClellan's inactivity after Antietam, and with the raising of the banner of the Copperheads. I spoke of this before, (see Diary for November and December, 1861, in Vol. I.) and repeatedly warned Stanton.
Nov. 30.—Mercier, the French diplomat, rapidly gravitates towards the Copperheads—Democrats. Is he acting thus in obedience to orders? After all, some of the diplomats here, and especially those of what call themselves the "three great powers," almost openly sympathize and side with secessionists, and patronize Copperheads, traitors, and spies. The exceptions to this rule are but few; strictly speaking, indeed, I should except only one young man. Some diplomats justify this conduct on the plea that the Republican Congressmen are "great bores," who will not play at cards, or dine and drink copiously; accomplishments in which the Secesh was so pre-eminent as to win his way to the inner depths of the diplomatic heart. The people, I am sure, will heartily applaud those of its representatives for thus incurring the contempt of dissipated diplomats.
Some persons maintain that Stanton breaks down, perhaps that he suffers, physically as well as mentally, from his necessitated contact with his official colleagues and his and their persistent, inevitable and inexorable hangers-on and supplicants. I do not perceive the alleged failure of his health or powers, and I do not believe it; but assuredly, it were no marvel if such really were the case. It must be an adamantine constitution and temper that could long bear with impunity the daily contact with a Lincoln, a Seward, a Halleck, and others less noted, indeed, but not the less contagious.
President's Message — Political position — Fredericksburgh — Fog — Accident — Crisis in the Cabinet — Secretary Chase — Burnside — Halleck — the Butchers — The Lickspittle Republican Press — War Committee patriots — Youth — People — Ring out.
Grammarians may criticize the syntax of the President's message, and the style. It reads uneasy, forced, tortuous, and it declares that it is impossible to subdue the rebels by force of arms. Of course it is impossible with Lincoln for President, and first McClellan and then Halleck to counterfeit the parts of the first Napoleon, and the at once energetic and scientific Carnot. Were the great heart of THE PEOPLE left to itself, it would be very possible and even quite easily possible.
The message is written with an eye turned towards the Democrats; they are to be satisfied with the prospect of a convention. Seward puts lies into Lincoln's pen, in relation to foreign nations. But all is well, in the judgment of our Great Statesmen. Even the poor logic is, according to them, quite admirable.
Contrariwise, Stanton's report corresponds to the height and the gravity of events, and is worthy alike of the writer, and of the people to whom it is addressed.
Dec. 6.—Nearly four weeks the campaign has been opened; the enemy adds fortifications to fortifications before the very eyes of our army, yet nothing has been done towards preventing the rebels from working upon the formidable strongholds.
Does Halleck-Burnside intend to wait until the rebels shall be thoroughly prepared to repel any attack that may be made upon them? Either there is foul play going on, or there is stupendous stupidity pervading the entire management. But no one sees it, or rather few, if any, wish to see it. Stanton, I am quite sure, has nothing to do with the special plans of this enterprise. All is planned and ruled by Lincoln, Halleck and Burnside.
Dec. 7.—The political situation to-day, may be summarily stated as follows: the Republicans are confused by recent electoral defeats, and by the administrative and governmental helplessness, as exhibited every day by their leaders; the Democrats, flushed with success, display an unusual activity in evil doing, and are risking everything to preserve Slavery and the South from destruction. I speak of the Simon-pure Democrats, alias Copperheads, such as the Woods, the Seymours, the Vallandighams, the Coxes, the Biddles, &c. The Sewards and the Weeds are ready for a compromise. The masses of the people, staggered by all this bewildering turmoil and impure factiousness, are nevertheless, stubbornly determined to persevere and to succeed in saving their country.
Dec. 7.—The European wiseacres, the would-be statesmen, whether in or out of power, especially in England, and that opprobrium of our century, the English and the Franco-Bonapartist press, have decided to do all that their clever brains can scheme towards preventing this noble American people from working out its mighty and beneficent destinies, and from elaborating and making more glorious than ever its own already very glorious history. As well might the brainless and heartless conspirators against human progress and human liberty endeavor to arrest the rotation of a planet by the stroke of a pickaxe.
Ah! Mr. Decembriseur, with your base crew of lickspittles, your pigmy, though treacherous efforts, even contending with those of the English enemies of light, and of right, your common hatred of Freedom and Freemen will end in being the destruction of yourself.
Dec. 7.—Burnside complains of the manner in which he is victimised, and explains his inactivity by the fact that the War Department neglected to furnish him with the necessary pontoons. How, in fact, was Burnside to move a great army without pontoons? But it was the duty of Halleck, and his lazy or incompetent, or traitorous staff, to have seen to the sending on of the pontoons. However, supposing Burnside and his staff to have as much wit as an average twelve-year-old school boy, they could have found in the army not merely hundreds, but even thousands of proficient workmen in a variety of mechanical trades, who would have constructed on the spot, and at the shortest notice, any number of bridges, pontoons, &c. Oh, how little are those wiseacre generals, the conceited and swaggering West Pointers; oh, how very little, if at all are they aware of the inexhaustible ingenuity and resources, the marvelous skill and power of such intelligent masses as those of which they are the unintelligent, the unsympathising and the thoroughly unblessed leaders!
On a Sunday, exactly four weeks back from the day which I wrote these lines, McClellan was dismissed, and was succeeded by Burnside. But, after the established McClellan fashion, the great, great army was marched 30 to 50 miles, and then halts for weeks up to its knees in mud, and occupies itself in throwing up earthworks. And this is called making War! and the Hallecks are great men in the sight of Abraham Lincoln, and of all who profess and call themselves Lincolnites, and the rest stand around wondering and agape:
Conticuere omnes intentique ora (asinina) tenebant.
Stanton's magnificent report states that there are about 700,000 men under arms; yet this tremendous force is paralysed by the inactivity of most of the generals; those in the West, however, forming a bright and truly honorable exception. But, to be candid, how can activity and dash be expected from generals who have at their head, a shallow brained pedant like Halleck? Napoleon had about 500,000 men, when, in between four and five months, he marched from the Rhine to Moscow. Yet he had the aid of no railroad, on land, no steam, that practical annihilator of distance, no electric telegraph, with which to be in all but instantaneous communication with his distant generals, and had not similar material resources.
Dec. 10.—Mr. Seward's long correspondence with Mr. Adams shows to Europe that Mr. Seward imitated the rebels, and tried to frighten England with the bugbear of King Cotton; and also that he has no solid and abiding convictions whatever. Now, he preaches emancipation, yet, at the beginning of his great diplomatic activity, he openly sided with slavery; aye, he is still willing to save it for the sake of the Union, and, above all, and before all, for his own chances for the next Presidency.
Dec. 10.—Burnside has finally crossed the Rappahannock. Of course I do not know the respective positions. But I am sure that if the rebels have not a perfectly enormous advantage of position, and if the leading of the generals be worthy of the courage of their men, the victory must be ours. Oh! were all our generals Hookers, and not Burnsides!
General McDowell's Court of Inquiry produces some strange revelations. The inquiry will not end in making a thorough general of McDowell. He may have been somewhat unfortunate, no doubt; but his want of good fortune was at least equalled by his want of good generalship. I, and many others besides, were quite mistaken in our early estimate of McDowell. He should not so easily have swallowed the second Bull Run. He should at least have been wounded, if only ever so slightly; his best friends must wish that. But to be defeated, and come out without even a scratch! What a digestion the man must have for the hardest kinds of humiliation! But neither the President nor that curse of the country, McClellan, has great reason to plume himself much upon his share in the revelations that are made in the course of this Inquiry. McDowell himself seems to have been intended, by nature for a scheming and adroit politician. * * * *
Dec. 10.—The Congress feels the ground, hesitates, and apparently lacks the necessary energy to come to a determination. Lincoln, even such as he is, contrives to humbug most of the Congressmen. Well! The first of January is close at hand, and Seward, the Congressional cook, will concoct unpalatable and costly dishes for Congressional digestion. Seward is the incarnation of confusion, and of political faithlessness.
I have only now discovered certain of the reasons why the Battle of Antietam, so bravely fought by our army, had no ensemble and such marvelously poor results. Burnside, with his corps, got into line many hours too late. The rebels were thus enabled to concentrate on the wing opposed to Hooker and Sumner, the right wing and centre of the rebels being for the time unthreatened. And that is generalship! The blame of a blunder so glaring, and in its effect so mischievous, attaches equally to Burnside and to McClellan. The victory, such as it was, was due to the subordinate generals, and to the heroic bravery of the rank and file of the army.
When Burnside was invested with the command of the Army of the Potomac, he for nearly twenty-four hours retained McClellan in camp, with the intention of returning the command of the army to him if the rebels had attacked, as it was expected they would, during Sunday and Monday.
Dec. 13.—Night. Fight at Fredericksburgh. No news. O God!
Dec. 14.—As the consequence of Halleck-Burnside's slowness, our troops storm positions which are said to be impregnable by nature, and still farther strengthened by artificial works.
The President is even worse than I had imagined him to be. He has no earnestness, but is altogether in the hands of Seward and Halleck. He cannot, even in this supreme crisis, be earnest and serious for half an hour. Such was the severe but terribly true verdict passed upon him by Fessenden of Maine.
Dec. 15.—Slaughter and infamy! Slaughter of our troops who fought like Titans, though handled in a style to reflect nothing but infamy upon their commanders. When the rebel works had become impregnable, then, but not until then, our troops were hurled against them! The flower of the army has thus been butchered by the surpassing stupidity of its commanders. The details of that slaughter, and of the imbecility displayed by our officers in high command,—those details, when published, will be horrible. The Lincoln-Seward-Halleck-influence gave Burnside the command because he was to take care of the army. And how Burnside has fulfilled their expectations! It seems that the best way to take care of an army is to make it victorious.
My brave and patriotic Wadsworth has gone in the field, also his two sons; one of them, (Tick,) was at Fredericksburgh, and his bravery was remarkable, even among all the heroism of that most glorious and most accursed day. How many such patriots as Wadsworth, can we boast of? Yet the miserable Halleck had the impudence to say—"Wadsworth may go wherever he pleases, even if he pleases to go to Hell!"
Hell itself, would be too good a place for Halleck; imbeciles are not admitted there!
Dec. 17.—The details are coming in. The disaster of our army is terrible—indescribable; the heroic people bleeds, bleeds! And all this calamity and all this suffering and humiliation, are brought on by the stupidity of Burnside and Halleck, or both of them. The curse of the people ought to rest for centuries upon the very names of the authors of such frightful disaster. They are fiends, yea, worse, even, than the very fiends themselves.
Why, even the very rabble in Constantinople would storm the seraglio after such a massacre. But here—oh, here, it just reminds Mr. Lincoln of a little anecdote.
Dec. 17.—I meet with but few such as Wade, Grimes, Chandler and other radicals in both Houses of Congress, who seem to feel all the heart burning and bitterness of soul at this awful Fredericksburgh disaster. The real criminals, those who ought, in the agonies of a great shame, call upon the rocks and the mountains to fall upon them not, blush not, sorrow not.
In many of the general public, I have no doubt that the feeling of shame and sympathy, are blunted by these repeated military calamities, and by Mr. Lincoln's undaunted i..........
* * * * * and men, Have wept enough, for what? To weep, To weep again.
Dec. 17.—About ten days ago, Mr. Seward again sent forth to Europe and to her Cabinets, one of his stale, and by no means Delphic oracles, predicting the success of Burnside's campaign, and immediately follows a bloody and disgraceful calamity! Such is always the result of Seward's prophecies! A diplomat calls Seward the evil eye of the Cabinet, and of the country. I suggested to some of the senators that a resolution be passed prohibiting Mr. Seward from playing either the prophet or the fool.
Burnside took care of the army, no doubt, but it was of the rebel army. Our soldiers have been brought by him to the block, to an easy slaughter, he himself being some few miles in the rear, and having between him the river, and the intervening miles of land. All this, however, was according to the regulations, and on the most approved Halleck-McClellan fashion of fighting great battles.
Dec. 18.—The disaster was inaugurated by the shelling of Fredericksburgh. One hundred and forty-seven (147!) guns playing upon a few houses. It was the play of a maddened child, exhibiting in equal proportions, reckless ferocity and egregious stupidity; and it is difficult to find one dyslogistic term which will adequately describe and condemn it.
From what I can already gather of the details of the attack, it may be peremptorily concluded that Burnside, Sumner, and above all, Franklin, are utterly incompetent of a skillful and effective handling of great masses of troops. They attacked by brigades, positions so formidable, that if they could possibly be carried by any exertion of human skill and strength, they could only be carried by large masses impetuously hurled against them. Franklin seems especially to have acted ill in not at once throwing in 10,000 men to be followed rapidly and again and again by 10,000 more. In that wise and only in that wise, he might possibly have broken and turned the enemy, and thrown him on his own centre. It is said that Franklin had 60,000. If so, he could easily have risked some 20,000 in the first onslaught. Sixty thousand! Great God! Why, it is an army in itself, in the hands of a general at all deserving of that name. If those great West Pointers had only even the slightest idea of military history! More battles have been fought and won with 60,000 men, and with fewer still, than with larger numbers, and at Fredericksburgh Franklin's force formed only a wing against an enemy whose whole army could number but little more than 60,000. I want the reports with the full and positive details.
The clear-sighted and warlike TRIBUNE discovered in Burnside high, brilliant, and soldier-like qualities—admirably borne out and illustrated no doubt, by the Fredericksburgh butchery! To the hospital of imbeciles with all such imbeciles!
The Times was manly in its appreciation, and flunkeyed to no one under hand, that is, confidentially and for newspaper publication.
Mr. Seward reveals to the world at large, that, besides his volume of 700 pages, containing the last diplomatic correspondence, he has still an equal number of masterpieces as yet not published. What a dreadful dysentery of despatch-writing the poor man and his still more afflicted readers must labor under.
The Lincoln-Seward policy, has rebuilt the awful Democratic party, which was broken up, prostrated in the dust. Lincoln—Seward—Weed, partially emasculated the Republican party, and may even emasculate the thus far thoroughly virile and devoted patriotism of the people.
A helpless imbecile in the hands of a cunning and selfish and ruthless charlatan, is the sight that daily meets our eyes in Washington.
General Bayard, one of the slaughtered at Fredericksburgh, was a true Bayard of the army, and one of the very few West Pointers free from conceit, that corrosive and terribly prevalent malady of the West Point clique.
Dec. 18.—Senators waking up to their duties, and to the consciousness of their power. These patriots have said to Seward, Averte Sathanas, and overboard he goes, after having done as much evil as only he could do.
The most contradictory rumors are in circulation about Stanton. I cannot find out the truth. I do not believe all that is said, but it is necessary to put the rumors on record. It is said then, that Stanton stands up for the butchers and asses in the army and in his department. I believe that in all this, there is not a single word of truth; but if it were true, then I should say, Stanton is ruined by bad company, and down with him and with them!
Quoniam sic Fata tulerunt. But worthy Senators and Representatives, believe still in Stanton, and so do I; only the Seward-Blair-McClellan clique tears Stanton's reputation to pieces. Stanton seems to be, in some measure, infatuated with Halleck, who, perhaps, humbugs Stanton with military technicalities, which Halleck so well knows how to pass current for military science.
Dec. 20.—The American generals, at least those in the Army of the Potomac, for the sake of shirking responsibility, maintain that when once in line of battle, they must rigidly abide by the orders given to them. No doubt, such is the military law and rule, but it is susceptible of exceptions. The generals of the Potomac shun the exceptions, and thus deprive their action of all spontaneity. Perhaps, indeed, spontaneity of action is not among their military gifts. Thus we have from them, none of those coups d'eclat, those sudden, brilliant, and impetuously improvised dashes, which so often decide the fate of the day, and turn imminent defeat and partial panic into glorious and crowning victory. We find none such, if we except some actions of Hooker and Kearney, on a small scale, and at the beginning of the campaign in the Chickahominy, or the Peninsula. The most celebrated coups d'eclat in general military history, have mostly been, so to speak, the children of inspiration, seizing Time by the forelock,—thus using opportunity which sometimes exists but for a few minutes, and thus a doubtful struggle terminates in a brilliant success. At such critical moments, the commander of a wing, or a corps, nay, even a division, ought to have the courage, the lofty self-abnegation, and firm confidence in his star or good luck, and still more in the enduring pluck of his men, and boldly strike for the accomplishment of that which the "Orders" have not mentioned or foreseen. Such a general acts on his own inspiration, and at the same time reports to the Commander-in-Chief, what he has determined upon. If instead of acting thus promptly, he sends and waits for further orders, the auspicious opportunity may pass away; the decisive moments in a battle are very rapid, and a single hour lost, loses the day, or reduces the results of a victory.
I respectfully submit these undeniable but much disregarded truths to the Hallecks, McClellans, McDowells, and other great West Pointers.
Dec. 20.—The political cesspool is deeper, broader, filthier and more feculent than ever. Seward is triumphant, and the patriots have very much elongated countenances.
Dec. 21.—Senator Wilson has learned from Halleck, Burnside, and from some other and similarly great captains, that the affair of Fredericksburgh, and the recrossing of the river, brilliantly compares with the countermarchings of Wagram, and with that celebrated crossing of the Danube. As there is not, in reality, a single point of similitude, the comparison is well selected, and does great honor to the judgment of the military wiseacres. At all events, never was the memory of a Napoleon, a Massena, or a Davoust, more ignominiously desecrated than by this comparison.
Dec. 22.—So, then, Sathanas Seward remains, and Mr. Lincoln scorns the advice of the wisest and most patriotic Senators. To be snubbed by Lincoln and Seward, is the greatest of all possible humiliations. Border-state politicians, Harrises, Brownings and other etceteras of grain, are the confidential advisers. Political manhood is utterly, and to all seeming, irretrievably lost.
Stanton still holds with Seward. Embrassons nous, et que cela finisse.
How brilliantly do even the very basest times of any government whatever, Parliamentary, royal or despotic, compare with what I now daily see here in the capital of the great republic!
Since the earliest existence of political parties, rarely, if ever, has a party been in such a difficult, and, at times, even disgraceful position, as that of the patriots of both houses of Congress. Against the combined attacks of all stripes of traitors, such as ultra Conservatives, Constitutionalists, Copperheads and pure and impure Democrats, the patriots must defend an administration which they themselves condemn, and with the personnel of which, (Stanton and Wells excepted,) they have no sympathy and no identity of ideas. They must defend an administration which opposes even measures which they, the patriots, demand,—an administration which, in the recent elections, either betrayed or disgraced the whole party, and which brought into suspicion, if not into actual contempt, the name, nay, even the principles of the Republicans. And thus the patriots have the dead weight to support, and are wholly unsupported. The narrow-minded and shallow Republican press, has no comprehension of the difficulty of the position in which the patriots are placed; and that press, being in various ways connected with the administration, rarely, if ever, supports the patriots, and even mostly neutralises their best and noblest efforts. Thus, in the move against Seward, and for a reform in the Cabinet, the enlightened and patriotic Republican press of New York, was either persistently mute or hostile to the movement. Every day I am the more firmly convinced that Seward is the great stumbling block alike to Mr. Lincoln and the country at large.
Dec, 22.—Utterly incapable as is McClellan, and absolutely unfitted by nature to be a great captain as is Burnside, yet I think it quite clear that neither of them would have blundered quite so terribly if he had been provided with a really competent, zealous and faithful staff, as the generals of continental Europe invariably are. But it seems that here, neither the generals nor the government even desire to understand the true nature, duty, and value of the staff of an army, or what the chief of such a staff ought to know and ought to do. What, in fact, can we at all reasonably expect from a Halleck! After all, however, and shallow as are his brains, this mock Carnot must have read books on military science; and yet he has not learned either the use or the composition of a staff for an army! Had he done so, he would have organized a staff for himself, and one for each of the commanders in the field. It is true that in this country there is no school of staffs, and West Pointers are generally ignorant on that point. Nevertheless, with a little good will and care, it would be easy enough to find intelligent officers of all grades fit for staff duties as arranged for staff officers in Europe. But then, the necessary good will and good judgment are wanting in the head of this military organization. And this Halleck, this Halleck is a mere mockery, a mere sciolist, a shallow pretender to military science. He may have the capacity to translate a book, but nothing of all that he translates effects any hold upon his brain, or he would, long before now, have done something towards organising the army. A general inspector is the first necessity. Then establish the necessary proportions of each arm of the service, i. e., of infantry, cavalry and artillery for each division. Then organise the cavalry as a body. When you do this, or even a considerable part of all this, oh, sham-Carnot, Halleck! then your chance to be considered a military authority will be established. Oh, science, oh, insulted science! How desecrated is thy name in the high places here, and especially on the right and left of the White House. And oh! you really great and intelligent American PEOPLE, how ignominiously you are cheated of your blood, your time, your money, and most of all, of your so recently magnificent national reputation!
What your military wiseacres show you as an organized army, would actually thrill, as with the death-shudder, any European military organizer.
Dec. 23.—I learn that the day following the butchery at Fredericksburgh, Burnside wished to renew the attack. What madness! The generals protested, and Burnside, greatly exasperated, declared that at the head of his former corps, the 9th, he would himself storm the miniature Torres Vedras. If all this is true, then Burnside is weaker headed than I had judged him to be; but I will not do him the injustice to say that he really intended to play a mere farce. What, in the name of common sense, could he do with a single corps, when the whole army was repulsed?
I am warned by a friend, that the Army of the Potomac is so infected with McClellanism, that is to say, by presumption, intriguing, envy and misconception of what is true generalship,—that the army must undergo the process of strong purification, fumigation, pruning and weeding, (and especially among the higher branches,) before it can ever again be made truly useful and reliable.
Dec. 22.—Burnside's report. I am sure that the great luminaries of the press, and the declaimers, the intriguants and the imbeciles, will be thrown into fits of ecstatic admiration of what they will call the manly and straight-forward conduct of Burnside in assuming the responsibility and confessing his own fault. But what else could he do? And if he acted thus in obedience to the orders of Halleck, then instead of manliness, his conduct is almost treasonable towards the people, for in withholding the truth as to the orders given by Halleck, he gives that incarnation of calamity the power to repeat the butchery and ensure the ill success of our armies.
The report is altogether unsoldierly; it is fussy and inflated; a full blown specimen of the pompously inane. How can Burnside venture to say that after the repulse, during three days he expected the enemy to leave his stronghold and attack him—Burnside? The rebels never did anything to justify such a supposition. They are neither idiots nor madmen, and only from a McClellan, or some bright pupils of the McClellan school, could such imbecility, such gratuitously ruinous playing into the hands of an enemy be expected. A commander ought to be on the watch for any mistake that his antagonist may commit, but he is not justified in setting that antagonist down as an ass. For two days the army was unnecessarily kept under the guns of the enemy, that is the truth, and I will make the truth known, no matter who may try to conceal it. Here, for the present, I stop in sheer and uncontrollable disgust. By and by, however, I will return to the consideration of this report.
Oh! American people! In so very many respects, truly great people! Far, very far beyond my poor powers of expression are the great love and veneration with which ever and always I look upon you. But allow me, pray allow me to use the frank familiarity of a true friend, so far as just plainly to tell you, that even I, your sincere friend, should love you none the less, and certainly should hold you in all the greater reverence, were you not quite so ultra-favorable in judgment of your civil and military rulers and pastors and masters and nincompoops generally!
Further back in this diary, I termed Mr. Secretary Chase a passive patriot. Peccavi. And here let me write down my recantation! Chase exerted himself for the retaining of Seward in the cabinet, and it was by Chase alone that the efforts of the patriots to expel Seward, were baffled. And yet, from the first day of the official assemblage of this cabinet down to the day of the meeting of the present session of Congress, Chase was more vigorously vicious than any other living man in daily, hourly, all the time, denunciation of Seward,—of course, behind Seward's back! Several insoluble problems, no doubt, there are; but there is not one thing, physical or not physical, which so completely defies any comprehension and baffles my most persistent inquiry, as just this.
How, unless Chase has drank of the waters of Lethe, how can he possibly look, now, in the face of, for instance, Fessenden of Maine, to whom he has said so many bitter things against the now belauded "Secretary Seward!" Bah! Chase most certainly must have a forty-or-fifty-diplomatist power of commanding—literally and not slangishly be it spoken!—his cheek, if, without burning blushes he can look in the face of Fessenden, Sumner or any honest man and say,—"I admire and I support Secretary Seward!" God! If all who, during the last two years, have come into contact with Chase, would but come forward and speak out! In that case, thousands would stand forth, a "cloud of witnesses," to confirm this statement. Chase! Faugh! I hereby brand him, and leave him to the bitter judgment of all men who can conscientiously claim to be even half honest.
In merest and barest justice to Seward, greatly as I disapprove of his general course, I must here note the fact that he is by no means addicted to evil speaking about any one. Not that this reticence proceeds from scrupulous feeling or a proud stern spirit. Seward, however, never speaks evil of any one unless to destroy, and to one who sympathises in that same amiable wish. To undermine a rival or to destroy an enemy, Seward will expend any amount of slander; but, in the absence of personal interest, Seward, though officially civilian, is, by nature, far too good and too old a soldier to waste ammunition upon worthless game.
Dec. 23.—Why could not Mr. Lincoln choose for his Secretary of State some man who has a holy and wholesome horror of pen, ink, and paper? Some man gifted with a sound brain, who never is quick at writing a dispatch, and would demand double salary as the price of writing one? Oh! Mr. Lincoln, had you but done this, not only would all America, but all Europe also be truly thankful for great immunity from the curse of morbid attempts at diplomacy and statesmanship.
Dec. 23.—Mr. Lincoln's proclamation to the butchered army! For heaven's sake let us know, pray, pray let us know who was Lincoln's amanuensis? I hope it was not Stanton. The army is defiled. "An accident," says this precious proclamation, "has prevented victory." What accident? Let the country know the precise nature of that same accident, and the manner, time, and place of its occurrence! Burnside talks about a fog! Oh! yes, a deep, dense terribly foul fog—in the cerebellum! Is that the accident of which the precious proclamation so impudently speaks? Lincoln makes the wonderful discovery that the crossing and the recrossing of the river are quite peerless, absolutely unparallelled military achievements.
Happy it was for the army, and happy for the country that at Fredericksburgh, our heroic soldiers gave far other and nobler proofs of more than human courage and fortitude than the mere crossing and recrossing of a river.
The Tribune is either in its dotage, or still worse. Burnside's unsoldierly blundering is compared to the great victorious splendors of Asperm, Esslingen, Wagram, and the tyrant-crushing three days of immortal Waterloo! The Tribune lauds the crossing and the recrossing of the river, as an act of superhuman bravery; and Lincoln sympathises with the heavily wounded, and twaddles extensively about comparative losses. Comparative to what? Oh! spirits of Napoleon and his braves; oh! spirit of true history, veil your blushing brows! And the Tribune dares to make this impudent attempt at befogging the American people, and at the same time dares to tell that people that it is "intelligent."
But let us not forget those comparative losses! Comparative to what? To those of the enemy? What knows he about them?
Dec. 24.—Crisis in the Seward cabinet. The "little Villain" of the Times, repeated what he did after the first "Bull Run." But he did not now confess to his dining with Seward, as formerly he did with the great "anaconda Scott!" The New York Republican press is attracted to Seward by natural affinity of election. Seward, however, holds the honey pot, and the flies are all eager to dip into it.
I wish, yet dread to hear the exact particulars of Stanton's behavior during the crisis in the cabinet. It is so very, very painful to be rudely awakened to distrust of those whom once we have too implicitly, too fondly believed. Lincoln has now become accustomed to Seward, as the hunchback is to his protuberance. What man who has an ugly excrescence on his face does not dread the surgeon's knife, although he knows that momentary pain will be followed by permanent relief?
At the public dinner of "The New England Society," John Van Buren nominated McClellan for next President, and proposed the health of Secretary Seward. Oh! quam pulchra societas!
I am charged with being "dissatisfied with every thing, and abusing every body." The charge is unjust. I speak most lovingly and in most sincere admiration of the millions, of the great, toiling, brave, honest People, and of the hundreds of thousands of the gallant people-militant—the army! But I do censure some thirty or forty individuals who dispense favors and appoint to fat offices, and, quite naturally, every dirty-souled lickspittle is indignant against me therefor! The blame of such people is far preferable to their praise!
I am rejoiced, I am almost proud that Hooker insisted upon crossing the Rappahannock, and marching to Fredericksburgh, and that he opposed the subsequent attack.
But of what benefit to me is this fatal, this Cassandra gift of foreseeing? Alas! Better, happier would it be for me could I not have foreseen and vainly, all vainly foretold, the terrible butchery of a brave people during two long and fatal years!
Dec. 24.—It is impossible to keep cool while reading Burnside's report. Once more this report justifies and corroborates Prince Napoleon's judgment on American generals, i. e., that their plan of campaigns will always be deficient in practice, like the theoretical war-exercises of schoolboys. From this sweeping and terribly true charge, however, we must except the Grants and the—alas! how few!—Rosecranses.
The report says, "but for the fog," etc. All lost battles in the world had for cause some buts—except the genuine but—in the brains of the commander.
"How near we came to accomplishing," etc.—is only a repetition of what, ad nauseam, is recorded by history as lamentations of defeated generals.
"The battle would have been far more decisive." Of course it would have been so, if—won.
"As it was, we were very near success," etc. So the man who takes the chance in the lottery. He has No. 4, and No. 3 wins the prize.
The apostrophe to the heroism of the soldiers is sickly and pale. The heroism of the soldiers! It is as brilliant, as pure, and as certain as the sun.
The attack was planned, (see paragraph 2 of the report,) on the circumstance or supposition that the enemy extended too much his line, and thus scattered his forces. But in paragraph 4, Burnside stated that the fog, (O, fog!) etc., gave the enemy twenty-four hours' time to concentrate his forces in his strong positions—when the calculation based on the enemy's division of forces failed, and the attack lost all the chances considered propitious.
The whole plan had for its basis probabilities and impossibilities—schoolroom speculations—instead of being, as it ought to have been, as every plan of a battle should be, based on the chances of the terrain, by the position of the enemy, and other conditions, almost wholly depending upon which the armies operate. It is natural that martial Hooker objected to it.
Oh! could I have blood, blood, blood, instead of ink!
Constructing the bridge over the Rappahannock, our engineers were killed in scores by the sharp-shooters of the enemy. Malediction on those imbecile staffs! The A B C of warfare, and of sound common sense teach, that such works are to be made either under cover of a powerful artillery fire, or, what is still better, if possible, a general sends over the river in some way, with infantry to clear its banks, and to dislodge the enemy. In such cases one engineer saved, and time won, justify the loss of almost twenty soldiers to one workman. Some one finally suggested an expedition and they did at the end what ought to have been done at the start. O West Point! thy science is marvellous! The staff treated the construction of a bridge over the Rappahannock as if it were building some railroad bridge, in times of peace!
I am told that Stanton took sides with Seward. I deny it; Stanton remained rather passive. But were it true that Stanton, too, is Sewardized,—then, Oh Mud, how powerful thou art!
In Boston, the B.s and Curtises, and all of that kidney, make a great fuss and invoke the name of Webster. If so, they are only excrementa Websteriana.
Dec. 24.—Patriots in both Houses of Congress! your efforts to put the conduct of the national affairs in honorable hands, and on honorable tracks, to prevent the very life blood of the people from being sacrilegiously wasted, to prevent the people's wealth from being recklessly squandered; your efforts to introduce order and spirit in certain parts of a spiritless Administration, to fill the higher and inferior offices with men whose hearts and minds are in the cause, and to expel therefrom, if not absolute disloyalty, at least, the most criminal indifference to the people's cause and welfare; your efforts to make us speak to Europe like men of sense, and not in the senseless oracles which justly evoke the scorn and the sneers of all European statesmen; all these your efforts as patriots rebounded against a nameless stubbornness.
Nevertheless you fulfilled a noble, sacred and patriotic duty. Whatever be to-day the outcry of the Flatfoots, lickspittles, intriguers, imbeciles; whatever be the subserviency or want of civic courage in the public press—when all these stinking, suffocating, deleterious vapors shall be destroyed by the ever-living light of truth, then the grateful people will bless your names, which, pure and luminous, will shine high above the stupidity, conceit, heartlessness, turpitude, selfish ambition, indirect and direct treason darkening now the national horizon.
Dec. 25.—Christmas. The Angel of Death hovers over thousands and thousands of hearths. Thousands and thousands of families in tears and shrouds. Communities, villages, huts and log-houses, nursing their crippled, invalid, patriotic heroes! A year ago, all was quiet on the Potomac—now all is quiet on the Rappahannock.
What a progress we have made in a year! and at the small, insignificant cost of about sixty to eighty thousand killed or crippled, and of one thousand millions of dollars! But it matters not! The quietude of the official butchers and money squanderers is, and must remain undisturbed in their mansions, whatever be the moral leprosy dwelling therein!
A young man from New England, (whom I saw for the first time,) told me that my Diary stirred up the youth. Oh, if so, then I feel happy. Youth! youth! you are all the promise and the realization! But why do you suffer yourselves to be crushed down by the upper-crust of senile nincompoops? Oh youth, arise, and sun-like penetrate through and through the magnitude of the work to be accomplished, and save the cause of humanity!
Dec. 25.—As it was and is in all Revolutions and upheavals, so here. A part of the people constitute the winners, in various ways, (through shoddy names, jobs, positions, etc.) while the immense majority bleeds and sacrifices. Here many people left poorly salaried desks, railroads, shops, &c. to become great men but poor statesmen, cursed Generals, and mischief-makers in every possible way and manner. The people's true children abandoned homes, families, honest pursuits of an industrious and laborious life—in one word, their ALL, to bleed, to be butcherer, to die in the country's cause. The former are the winners, the sacrificers, and the butchers; the second are the victims.
The evidence before the War Committee shows, to a most disgusting satiety, that General Halleck is exclusively a red-tapist, and a small pettifogger, who is unworthy to be even a non-commissioned officer; General Burnside an honest, well intentioned soldier, thoroughly brave, but as thoroughly destitute of generalship; General Sumner an unquestionably brave but headlong trooper; and Hooker alone in possession of all the capacity and resources of a captain. General Woodbury's evidence is that of a man under difficulties, on whom his superiors in rank have thrown the responsibility of their own crime.
Halleck alone is responsible for the non-arrival of the pontoons. Burnside could not look for them; it was the duty of Halleck to order some of the semi-geniuses of his staff to the special duty of seeing to their delivery at Fredericksburgh, to give them necessary power to use roads, steamers, water, animals and men for transportation, and make it a capital responsibility if Sumner finds not the pontoons on the spot, and at the precise day and hour when he wanted them. Then, Gen. Meigs, who coolly asserts that he "gave orders." O yes! but he never dreamed it was his duty to look for their execution. The fate of the campaign depended upon the pontoons, and Halleck-Meigs "gave orders," and there was an end of it. In any other country, such culprits would have been at the least dismissed—cashiered, if not shot; here, their influence is on the increase. Halleck and Meigs are still great before Mr. Lincoln, and before the mass of nincompoops.
Rhetors and sham-erudites are ecstatic about Burnside's conduct. Well! Burnside is good-natured—that is all. They forget the example of Canrobert and Pellisier, in the Crimea. Canrobert, after having commanded the army, gave up the command, and served under Pellisier. Oh declaimers! Oh imbeciles! ransack not the world—let Rome alone, and its Punic wars, its Varrus, etc.—Disturb not history, which, for you, is a book with seventy-seven seals. You understand not events under your long noses, and before your opaque eyes.
When in animal bodies the brains are diseased, the whole body's functions are more or less paralyzed. The official brains of the nation are in a morbid condition. That explains all.
Dec. 27.—I wish I could succeed in bringing about the organization of a good Staff for the army. Etat Major General de l'Armee Stanton seems to understand it, but the Hallecks and other West Pointers have neither the first idea of it, nor the will to see it done.
Dec. 28.—The so-called great papers of the Republican party in New York, as well as some would-be statesmen here, discuss the probability of some new manifestation by Louis Napoleon, or by other European powers, of interference in our internal affairs. The probability of such a demonstration by European meddlers can only have one of the following causes:—Our terrible disaster at Fredericksburg, or, what even is worse than that slaughter, the absolute incapacity of our leaders to cope with such great and terrible events as this last one. The bravery, the heroism of our soldiers will be applauded, admired, and pitied in Europe, but the utter intellectual marasmus, as shown by our administration, will and must embolden the European marplots to attempt to stop what they consider a further unnecessary massacre. General Burnside's report, and the evidence before the War Committee are before the country and before Europe. Therefore Europe and our country are to judge.
During his last visit in summer to New York, etc. the French Minister came in contact with low French adventurers, (Courriers des Etats Unis) with copperheads and with democrats, and now he is taken with sickly diplomatic sentimentalism to conciliate, to mediate, to unite, to meddle, and to get a feather in his diplomatic cap. I am sorry for him, for in other respects he has considerable sound judgment. Mais il est toque sur cette question ci. He is ignorant of the temper of the masses, and considers the assertions of adventurers, of traitors, and of meddlers, as being the expression of the sentiments of the people. But sensible diplomats are rari aves.
Hooker, because he alone is a captain, cannot be in command. Infamous intriguers, traitors, and imbeciles, prevent Hooker from being intrusted with the destinies of our army. Whole regiments claim to serve under him, and above all such regiments as fought under others in the peninsula, and always have been worsted, and who wish once to be led to success and victory, as were always Hooker's soldiers. The Franklins, and other marplotters in the Potomac Army, menace to resign if Hooker is put in command. The sooner the better for the army to get rid of such trash. But the imbeciles and the intriguers in power think not so; and all may remain as it was, and a new slaughter of our heroes may loom in the future.
Dec. 29.—General Butler's proclamation to his soldiers in New Orleans is the best and noblest document written since this war. It is good, because it records noble and patriotic deeds. During those eighteen months General Butler has shown capacity, activity, energy, fertility of resources and readiness to meet any emergency, unequalled by any one in the administration or in command. And for this, Butler is superseded, because Seward promised it to the Decembriseur in the Tuilleries, and because he is a man, and conservative patriots, alias traitors, could not get at him.
Dec. 30.—Angel of wrath, smite, smite! Oh, genius of humanity, take into thy mercy this noble people! Oh, eternal reason, send the feeblest breath of divine emanation and arrest this all-devouring torrent of imbecility, selfishness and conceit that is reigning paramount here. Only the PEOPLE'S devotion and patriotism, only the unnamed save the country!
Dec. 30.—Those foreign caterwaulings against Butler. England, in 1848-9, whipped women in Ireland, and how many thousands have been murdered by the Decembriseur? And the Russian minister joining in this music. A shame for him and for his government!
Dec. 30.—Poor Greeley looks for intervention, mediation, arbitration; and selects Switzerland for the fitting arbitrator! How little—nay—nothing at all, he knows about Switzerland and the Swiss! Stop! stop! respectable old man!
Dec. 31.—Stanton is not at all responsible for the slaughter at Fredericksburgh, or for the infamy of the belated pontoons. Halleck has the exclusive control of all military movements, etc., in the field. But Stanton ought not be benumbed by a Halleck or a Meigs.
The people at large cannot realize the really awful position of patriotic members of Congress, and above all, of such senators as Wade, Grimes, Fessenden, Wilson, Morrill, Chandler and others, or the almost similar position of Stanton, in his contact with the double-dealings or the obstinacy of Lincoln.
Dec. 31.—To-morrow few, if any, shall miss the occasion to shake hands with the official butchers, with men dripping with the gore of their brethren. Oh, Cains! oh, fratricides!
Dec. 31.—Midnight.—Disappear! oh year of disgraces, year of slaughters and of sacrifices.
Tschto den griadoustchi nam gotowit? (Puschkine.)
Ring out the false, ring in the true, Ring out the grief that saps the mind, * * * * * * Ring in REDRESS for all mankind!
Proclamation — Parade — Halleck — Diplomats — Herodians — Inspired Men — War Powers — Rosecrans — Butler — Seward — Doctores Constitutionis — Hogarth — Rhetors — European Enemies — Second Sight — Senator Wright the Patriot — Populus Romanus — Future Historian — English People — Gen. Mitchell — Hooker in Command — Staffs — Arming Africo-Americans — Thurlow Weed, &c.
Jan. 1.—The morning papers. No proclamation! Has Lincoln played false to humanity?
The proclamation will appear. All right so far! Hallelujah! How the friends of darkness, how the demons must wince and tremble.
There! Red-tape commander-in-chief, field marshal (who never saw a field of battle!) parades at the head of victorious generals, of intelligent staffs, of active pontoon providers, and of really and highly qualified quartermasters general. To the White House! They will congratulate Mr. Lincoln. Upon what? Upon Fredericksburgh and other massacres; but especially they will congratulate Mr. Lincoln upon the fact of his being surrounded by such a bright galaxy of know-nothings and do-nothings!
Death-knell to slavery and to the slaveocracy. The foulest relic of the past will at length be destroyed. The new era has a glorious dawn; it rises in the glories of sacrifices made by a generous and inspired people. Yes! The new era rises above darkness, selfishness, and imbecility. The shades of the slaughtered are now at length propitiated; their slaughter is at least in part atoned for; and outraged humanity is, at least in part, avenged! Let rebels and conservatives remain hardened in crime; a just and condign vengeance shall overtake them.
Nunc pede libero Pulsanda tellus.
Jan. 2.—Shallow and brainless diplomats sneer at the proclamation. So did the Herodians sneer at the star of Bethlehem; and where now are the Herodians? Oh! shallow and heartless diplomats, your days are numbered, too!
Jan. 2.—A man inspired by conviction and glowing with a fervent faith, thoroughly knows what he is about. Strong in his faith, and by his faith, he clearly sees his way, and steadily walks in it, while others grope hither and thither amidst shadows and darkness and bewildering doubts! Such a man boldly takes the initiative, marches onward, and is as a beacon-light to a nation, to a people; often, sometimes, even for all humanity. A man who has a profound faith in his convictions has coruscations, fierce flashes of that second-sight for the signs of the times. The mere trimming and selfish politician is ever ready to swim with the stream which he had neither strength nor skill to breast; he never ventures to take the initiative. In issuing the proclamation, Mr. Lincoln gives legal sanction, form, and record to what the storm of events and the loud cry of the best of the people have long demanded and now inexorably dictate.
History will pitilessly tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth; and small credit will history give to Lincoln beyond that of being the legal recorder of a righteous deed, and not even that credit will be given to the countersigner, Seward.
Mr. Seward countersigned both proclamations of freedom. Europe is filled with his despatches, written at first plainly for, then lukewarmly tolerating, and, at length, flatly against, slavery. European statesmen have thus the exact measure of Mr. Seward's political character. They know that to the very last he defended slavery, and then countersigned the decree of its destruction! In Europe, self-respecting statesmen resign rather than countersign a measure which they disapprove or have strongly opposed.
Jan. 3.—Emancipation under war powers. A mistake by a contradiction. Spoke of it before. And nevertheless: under war powers alone, emancipation is palatable to a great many, nay, almost to millions of small, narrow intellects, dried up by the formulas, and who in the Constitution see only the latter, and not the expanding, all-embracing principle and spirit. O, Rabbis! O, Talmudists!
Lincoln is very unhappy in his phraseology. He invites the sympathies of humanity on a measure decided by him to favor the war. It is a contradiction; humanity and war are antipodic.
The papers in the confidence of Seward, such as the Intelligencer (without intelligence,) the border-state friends of Lincoln, and all that is muddy and rotten, even the supposed to be well-informed diplomats unanimously assert that Mr. Lincoln has no confidence in his proclamation. As for Seward—this Lincoln's evil genius—no doubt exists concerning his contempt for the proclamation. Ask the diplomats. But these highest pilots in this administration are bound—as by a terrible oath—to violate all the laws of psychology, of human nature, of sense, of logic and of honor, to make the people bleed and suffer in its honor.
Well, pompous Chase; how do you feel for having sided with Seward?
Gen. Butler's farewell proclamation to New Orleans rings the purest and most patriotic harmony. Compare Butler's with Lincoln's writings. All the hearts in the country resounded with Butler; and because he acted as he did, Lincoln-Seward-Blair-Halleck's policy shelved Butler.
Jan. 3.—By the united efforts of Lincoln-Seward-Blair, of the Herald, and of that cesspool of infamies, the World, of McClellan, and of his tail, by the stupifying influence of Halleck, the Potomac army, notwithstanding its matchless heroism, and equipped as well as any army in Europe; up to this day the Potomac army serves to—establish—the military superiority of the rebels, to morally strengthen, nay, even to nurse the rebellion. Lincoln-Halleck dare not entrust the army into the hands of a true soldier,—Stanton is outvoted. The next commander inherits all the faults generated by Lincoln, McClellan, Halleck, Burnside, and it would otherwise tax a Napoleon's brains to reorganize the army but for the patriotic spirit of the rank and file and most of the officers.
Jan. 3.—What a pity that petty, quibbling constitutionalism alone is understood by Lincoln and by his followers. To emancipate in virtue of a war power is scarcely to perform half the work, and is a full logical incongruity. Like all kind of war power, that of the president has for its geographical limits the pickets of his army—has no executive authority beyond, besides being obligatory only as long as bayonets back it. Such a power cannot change social and municipal conditions, laws or relations (see Vol. I.)
The civil power of the president penetrates beyond the pickets, and in virtue of that civil power, and of the sacred duty to save the fatherland, the President of the United States, and not the Commander-in-Chief, can say to the slaves: "Arise, you are free, you have no servitude, no duties towards a rebel and traitor to the Union. I, the president, dissolve your bonds in the name of the American people."
Jan. 4.—How the tempest of events changes or modifies principles. The South rebelled in the name of State rights, and now Jeff Davis absorbs all States and all parliamentary rights for the sake of salus populi or rather of salus of slavocracy. Jeff Davis nominates officers in the regiments whatever be the opposition of the respective Governors. In the North, the Governors, all of them, (Seymour?) true patriots, insist upon power and the right to organize new regiments, and resist the centralization by the United States Government. Perhaps—as the satraps and martinets assert—thereby the organisation of the army is thrown on a false track. Whether so or not, one thing is certain, but for the States and Governors, Lincoln, Scott, Seward, McClellan, Halleck, or the Union, would be nowhere.
Jan. 4.—They fight battles in the West. Generals, to be victorious, must be in spiritual and in electric communion with the heroic soldiers. So it was at Murfreesborough. Rosecrans, at the head of his cavalry or body guard, dashes in the thickest, and turns the dame fortune, who smiles on heroes, but never smiled on McClellan nor on his tail. Rosecrans sticks not to regulations, and keeps not a few miles in the rear. Franklin, at Fredericksburgh mounted not even his horse but stood in front of his tent. Similar to Rosecrans here was Kearney, the bravest of the brave, more of a captain than any of the West-Point high-nosed nurslings; so is Heintzelman, Hooker, Reno, Sigel and many, many others, whom McClellanism, Halleckism, Lincolnism kept or keeps down.
I positively learned that in the last days of the summer of 1862, a list without heading circulated in the Potomac army, and all who signed it bound themselves to obey only McClellan. The McClellan clique originated this conspiracy, which extended throughout all the grades.
What confusion prevails about the rights of existence of slavery. How they discuss it. How they pettifog. Why not establish the rights of existence of syphilis, of plica in the human body. O, casuists. O, Intelligencers. O, Worlds!
Well, to me, slavery seems to legally (cursed legality) exist in virtue of the special State rights, and not in virtue of the Constitution. But for the State rights, the Africo-American is a man and citizen of the United States—and this under the Constitution which is paramount to State rights. The rebellion annihilates the State rights, and all special constitutions guaranteed by the Union, and at the same time annihilates the relation of the Africo-American to the specific States or constitutions. It restores to him the rights of man guaranteed to him as man by the Union and the Constitution of the United States. The Africo-American recovers his rights, lost and annihilated by specific State rights and municipal, local laws. The president had to issue his proclamation as guardian and executor of the Constitution, and then Africo-Americans recovered their citizenship on firmer and broader grounds than under, or by the war power. Calhoun, the father of the rebellion—as Milton's Satan—and all the rebels now curse or cursed the preamble of the Constitution as Satan cursed the light. I suppose Calhoun's and the rebels' reasons are similar to me. Inde irae.
The commanders in the West bear evidence of the devotion, the heroism and the endurance of the Africo-Americans, sacrificing their lives without hope; martyrs by the rebels as well as by Hallecks and the like.
I met a farmer from Maine. He was rather old and poor. Had two sons—lost them both—they were all his hope. He spoke simply of it, but to break one's heart. He grudged not, (his own words,) his hopes and blood for the cause, and considered it good luck to have recovered the body of one of his boys, and brought it back home to the "old woman," (wife, mother.) I shook hands with him. I ought to have kissed him. Unknown, unnamed hero-patriot! and similar are hundreds of thousands, and such is the true people. And so sacrilegiously dealt with by insane helplessness.
Jan. 5.—The Doctors Constitutionis break their formula brains concerning the constitutionality of the proclamation, and foretell endless complications. If so, if complications arise, the reasons thereof are moral, logical and practical. 1st.—The emancipation was neither conceived nor executed in love; but it was for Lincoln as Vulcan for Jupiter. The proclamation is generated neither by Lincoln's brains, heart or soul, and what is born in such a way is always monstrous. 2d.—Legally and logically, the proclamation has the smallest and the most narrow basis that could have been selected. When one has the free choice between two bases, it is more logical to select the broader one. The written Constitution had neither slavery nor emancipation in view, but it is in the preamble, and the emancipation ought to be deduced from the preamble. Many other reasons can be enumerated pregnant with complications and above all when Lincoln-Seward are the accoucheurs. My hope and confidence is in the logic of events always stronger than man's helplessness and imbecility.
Jan. 5.—European rulers, wiseacres, meddlers, humbugs, traitors, demons, diplomats, assert that they must interfere here because European interests suffer by the war. Indeed! You have the whole old continent and Australia to boot, and about nine hundreds millions of population; can you not organise yourself so as not to depend from us? And if by your misrules, etc., our interests were to suffer, you would find very strange any complaint made on our part. Keep aloof with your good wishes, and with your advices, and with your interference. You may burn your noses, and even lose your little scalps. You robbers, murderers, hypocrites, surrounded by your liveried lackeys, you presumptuous, arrogant curses of the human race, stand off, and let these people whose worst criminal is a saint when compared to a Decembriseur—let this people work out its destinies, be it for good or for evil.
Jan. 5.—Early in December, 1860, therefore soon after Mr. Lincoln's election, a shrewd and clear-sighted politician, Gen. Walsh, from New York, visited Springfield, and made his bow to the rising sun. On his return from the Illinois Medira, I asked the general what was his opinion concerning the new President. "Well, sir," was the general's answer, "in parting, I advised Mr. Lincoln to get a very eminent man for his private secretary."—Sapienti sat.
Jan. 6.—Oh for a voice of thousand storms to render justice to the patriots in Congress, to make the masses of the people know and appreciate them, and to show up the littleness and the ignorance of the pillars of the Republican press. Never and in no country has the so-called good press shown itself so below the great emergencies of the day as are the old hacks semperliving in the press.
Jan. 7.—The great military qualities shown by Gen. Rosecrans, thrilled with joy all the best men in the Potomac Army. The war horse Hooker is the loudest to admire Rosecrans. Happy the Western heroes to be beyond the immediate influence of Washington—of the White House—and above all, of such as Halleck!
Rosecrans has revealed all the higher qualities of a captain; coolness, resolution, stubbornness and inspiration. His army began to break,—he ordered the attack on the whole line, and thus transformed defeat into victory. Not of McClellan's school, is Rosecrans.
Jan. 7.—Senator Sumner who, during the ministerial crisis, ought to have exposed to the country the mischievous direction given by Mr. Seward to our foreign relations, and who ought to have done it nobly, boldly, authoritatively, patriotically, and from his Senatorial chair, Senator Sumner's preferred to keep stoically quiet, notwithstanding that his personal friends and the country expected it from him. Yet next to Chase, Senator Sumner, more than any body, attacks Seward in private conversation! I read in the papers that Senator Sumner's influence on Mr. Lincoln is considerable (nevertheless Seward remained as the greatest curse to the country,) and that he, Sumner, is a power behind the throne. Has Sumner insinuated this himself to some newspaper reporter in extremis for news? Power behind the throne, what a tableau: Sumner and Lincoln! O, Hogarth, O, Callot! Oh, for your crayon! and now—of course—the country is safe, having such Power behind the throne.
Mr. Lincoln's good intentions I hear talked about right and left. Oh, for one sensible, good, energetic action, and all his intentions may go where the French proverb puts them.
Jan. 7.—The city crowded with Major Generals and Brigadier-Generals not in activity. When Mr. Lincoln is cornered, then he makes a Brigadier or a Major General, according to circumstances and in obedience to political or to backstairs influence. From the beginning of the war, no sound notions directed the nominations, either under Cameron, Scott, or McClellan, or now; at the beginning of the war they had Generals without troops, then troops without Generals, and now they have Generals who have not commanded, or cannot command, troops. If, during the war in Poland in 1831, Warsaw, the Capital, had been overrun in such a way by do-nothing Generals, the chambermaids in the city would have taken the affair into their fair hands, and armed with certain night effluvia made short work with the military drones.
Jan. 8.—A poor negro woman with her child was refused entrance into the cars. It snowed and stormed, and she was allowed to shiver on the platform. A so-called abolitionist Congress and President gave the charter to the constructors of the city railroad and the members of Congress have free tickets, and the Africo-American is treated as a dog. Human honesty and justice!
Jan. 8.—Horse contracts the word. Never in my life saw I the horse so maltreated and the cavalry so poorly, badly, brainlessly organised, drilled and used. Some few exceptions change not the truth of my assertions, and McClellan is considered a great organiser. They ruin more horses here in this war than did Napoleon I. in Russia, (I speak not of the cold which killed thousands at once.)
How ignorant and conceited! Halleck solicits Rarey, the horse-tamer, for instructions. O, Halleck, you are unique! Officers who have served in armies with large, good, well-organised and well-drilled cavalry—such officers will teach you more than Rarey. But such officers are from Europe, and it would be a shame for a West-Point incarnation of ignorance and conceit to learn anything from an officer of European experience. Bayard, however, thought not so. Justice to his name.
The rebels are not so conceited as the simon pure West-Pointers. Above all the rebels wish success, and have no objections to learn; they imported good European cavalry officers, and have now under Stuart (his chief of staff is a Prussian officer) a cavalry which has made a mark in this war.
Jan. 8.—O rhetors! O, rhetors! malediction upon you and upon the politicians! You have no heart, no sensibilities. Not one, not one has yet uttered a single word for the fallen, for the suffering, the dying and nameless heroes of our armies. It seems, O rhetors and politicians! that the people ought to bleed that you may prosper. Corpses are needed for your stepping stones! The fallen are not mentioned now in Congress, as you never mentioned them in your poor stump speeches. O, you whitened sepulchres!
O rhetors and politicians! O, powers on, before, and "behind the throne!" In your selfish, heartless conceit, you imagine that the Emancipation is and will be your work, and will be credited to you. Oh yes, but by old women.
The people's blood, the fallen heroes, tore the divine work of emancipation, from the hands of jealously watching demons. To the shadows of the fallen the glory, and not to your round, polished or unpolished phrases. Not the pen with which the proclamation was written is a trophy and a relic, but the blood steaming to heaven, the corpses of the fallen, corpses mouldering scattered on all the fields of the Union.
Jan. 8.—As a rapid spring tide, so higher and higher, and with all parties—even, with the decided Copperheads—rises the haughty contempt toward the crowned, the official, the aristocratic, and the flatfooted (livery stable) part of Europe. Good and just! Marshy, rotten rulers and aristocrats who scarcely can keep your various shaky and undermined seats, you and your lackeys, you take on airs of advisors, of guardians, of initiators of civilization! Forsooth! I except Russia. In Russia the sovereign, his ministers and nine-tenths of the aristocracy are in uni sono with the whole nation; and all are against slavery, against the rebels, against traitors. The Russian government and the Russian nation often are misrepresented by their official or diplomatic agents.
Any well organized American village in the free States contains more genuine, moral and intellectual civilization than prevails among European higher circles, those gilded pasteboards. This is all that you, you conceited advisors, represent in that splendid, all-embracing edifice of civilization! At the best you are ornaments, or—with Wilhelm von Humboldt—you are culture, but not the higher, man-inspiring civilization. A John S. Mill, a Godwin Smith, and those many outside of the would-be-something strata in England, in France, almost the whole Germany, those are the representatives of the genuine civilized Europe.
The freemen of the North, on whom you European exquisites look superciliously down with your albino eyes, the freemen of the North, bleeding in this deadly struggle, are the confessors for the general civilization, and stand on the level with any martyrs, with any progressive people on record on history.
Jan. 9.—Quo, quo scelesti ruitis.........
It is maddening to witness for so many months the reckless waste of men, of time, of money, and of material means, and all this squandered by governmental and administrative helplessness and conceit. In the military part, notwithstanding Stanton's devotion and efforts, that Halleck, excrementum Scotti, as by appointment, carries out everything contrary to common sense, to well established and experienced (Halleck and experience, ah!... military practice, and Mr. Lincoln is as perfectly) charmed by it, as is the innocent bird by the snake.
And thus the sacrifices and the blood of the people run out as does the mighty Rhine—they run out in sand. O, Lincoln-Seward's domestic policy. O, Lincoln-Halleck's war power! You make one shudder as with a death pang.
January 9.—The worshippers of slavery, that is, the Democrats, of the Seymour's, Wood's, and the World's church, call the war waged for the defence of human rights, for civilization and for maintaining the genuine rational self-government, they call it an unholy war. In some respects the Copperheads are right. The holy war loses its holiness in the hands of Lincoln, Seward, Halleck, and their disciples and followers, because those leaders violate all the laws of logic and of reason, this holy of holies. At times I would prefer peace than see devoted men so recklessly murdered by such....
A critique of the first volume of the "Diary" asserts that all my statements are made after the events occurred, ex post. To a very respectable General I showed a part of the original manuscript which squared with the printed book. Often I am ashamed to find that the bit of study and experience acquired by me goes so far when compared with many around me, and in action. I foresee, because I have no earthly personal views, no cares, nothing in the world to think of or to aim at, no charms, no ties—only my heart, my ideas, my convictions, and civilization is my worship. Nothing prevents me, day and night, from concentrating whatever powers and reading I can have in one single focus. This cause, this people, this war, its conduct, are the events amidst which I breathe. Uninterruptedly I turn and return all that is in my mind—that is all. And I am proud to have my heart in harmony with my head.
Almost every event has its undercurrent, and of ten the little undercurrents pre-eminently shape the events themselves. The truth of this axiom is illustrated principally in the recall of the resolute, indefatigable, far and clear-sighted patriot and statesman, General Butler. To jump to a conclusion without much ado, the recall of Butler from New Orleans is due principally, if not even exclusively, to the united efforts—or conspiracy—of Mr. Seward and Mr. Reverdy Johnson. Thirteen months ago Mr. Seward expected, as he still expects for the future, an uprising of a Union Party in the hottest hot-bed of Secessia. That such are the Secretary of State's expectations, I emphatically assert, and as proof, it may be stated that only yesterday, January 9th, Mr. Seward most authoritatively tried to impress upon foreign diplomats the speedy reunion and restoration of the Union as it was, notwithstanding the Proclamation, still considered by the Secretary of State as being a waste of paper. How far the foreign diplomats believe the like oracular decisions, is another question; certain it is that they shrug their shoulders.
But to return to Butler and New Orleans. The patriotic activity by which General Butler won, conquered and maintained the rebel city for the Union, was emphatically considered by Mr. Seward, as crushing out every spark of any latent Union feeling among the rebels. Thurlow Weed, then abroad, urged Mr. Seward to find out the said Union feeling, to blow it into almighty fire and to rely exclusively upon it. Here Reverdy Johnson was and is, the principal Union crony of the Secretary of State, and Seaton of the Intelligencer; but above all, since the murder of Massachusetts men at Baltimore in 1861, Reverdy Johnson was the devoted advocate of all rich traitors, as the Winans and others, who were called by him "misled Union men." When Gen. Butler dealt deserved justice to rich traitors in New Orleans, the Washington Unionists surrounding Mr. Chase and Mr. Seward—some of them from New Orleans—urged an investigation. The Secretary of State eagerly seized the occasion to dispatch to the Crescent City Mr. Reverdy Johnson with the principal secret mission to gather together the elements of the scattered Union feeling in Louisiana and in the South, and to make them blaze—in honor of the Secretary of State. It was a rich harvest in every way for Reverdy Johnson; he harvested it, and on his return fully convinced the Secretary of State, that the Union could not be saved if Gen. Butler remained in his command in the Department of the Gulf.