- 05 Jul 2019 15:39
July 5, Friday
In the message sent to Congress (dated July 4 but read to Congress July 5) the President outlines events since March 4, including the suspension of functions of the Federal government in areas of secession. Mr. Lincoln says he has exhausted all peaceful measures to solve the difficulties, and the Administration vows to hold all public places and property. The President reviews the Fort Sumter crisis and points out that to “abandon that position, under the circumstances, would be utterly ruinous....” He denies that the South needed to assault Fort Sumter, as it was not an aggressive threat to them. The issue “presents to the whole family of man, the question, whether a constitutional republic, or a democracy—a government of the people, by the same people—can, or cannot, maintain its territorial integrity, against its own domestic foes.” And thus war came. The President then outlines the action instituted to mobilize and fight the war. He indicates that some measures taken were perhaps beyond the power of the President but since they were a public necessity he trusts Congress will ratify them. Mr. Lincoln then recommends “that you give the legal means for making this contest a short, and decisive one; that you place at the control of the government, for the work, at least four hundred thousand men, and four hundred millions of dollars.” The President goes on to make a strong case for the indivisibility of the Union and denies that secession is possible. He praises the quality of the men filling the ranks on both sides of the conflict, and offers that as further proof of the undesirability of breaking up the Union: “So large an army as the government has now on foot, was never before known, without a soldier in it, but who had taken his place there, of his own free choice. But more than this: there are many single Regiments whose members, one and another, possess full practical knowledge of all the arts, sciences, professions, and whatever else, whether useful or elegant, is known in the world; and there is scarcely one, from which there could not be selected, a President, a Cabinet, a Congress, and perhaps a Court, abundantly competent to administer the government itself. Nor do I say this is not true, also, in the army of our late friends, now adversaries, in this contest; but if it is, so much better the reason why the government, which has conferred such benefits on both them and us, should not be broken up.” He argues that this is “a People’s war. On the side of the Union, it is a struggle for maintaining in the world, that form, and substance of government, whose leading object is, to elevate the condition of men—to lift artificial weights from all shoulders—to clear the paths of laudable pursuit for all—to afford all, an unfettered start, and a fair chance, in the race of life.... Our popular government has often been called an experiment. Two points in it, our people have already settled—the successful establishing, and the successful administering of it. One still remains—its successful maintenance against a formidable [internal] attempt to overthrow it. It is now for them to demonstrate to the world, that those who can fairly carry an election, can also suppress a rebellion—that ballots are the rightful, and peaceful, successors of bullets; and that when ballots have fairly, and constitutionally, decided, there can be no successful appeal, back to bullets; that there can be no successful appeal, except to ballots themselves, at succeeding elections. Such will be a great lesson of peace; teaching men that what they cannot take by an election, neither can they take it by a war—teaching all, the folly of being the beginners of a war.” He ends with the sorrowful statement of his duty and a call for Congress to join him: “It was with the deepest regret that the Executive found the duty of employing the war-power, in defense of the government, forced upon him. He could but perform this duty, or surrender the existence of the government.... He sincerely hopes that your views, and your action, may so accord with his, as to assure all faithful citizens, who have been disturbed in their rights, of a certain, and speedy restoration to them, under the Constitution, and the laws. And having thus chosen our course, without guile, and with pure purpose, let us renew our trust in God, and go forward without fear, and with manly hearts.” For the most part the President’s message is met with enthusiastic approval of congressmen.
In southwest Missouri with the itinerant government, Governor Claiborne Jackson, Confederate, is concerned about Nathaniel Lyon and the Federal troops in his rear. Now he discovers that Franz Sigel and his Germans are near Carthage in front of him. The Federals have around 1,100 men to some 4,000 partly unarmed Confederates. The governor’s force, largely in civilian clothes, forms a line of battle and awaits Sigel’s attack. The nondescript Missouri Southerners are hard pressed at first until their cavalry flanks both ends of Sigel’s line. This forces the Federals judiciously to retreat, although the Northerners use their artillery to advantage. The Germans retire through Carthage and the Confederate pursuit ends at dark. Union losses are put at 13 killed and 31 wounded, and Confederates report 40 to 50 killed and 120 wounded. At any rate, the Federal advance into southwest Missouri has received a setback. Sigel moves back to join Lyon at Springfield. Governor Jackson marches southward to meet Sterling Price’s army.
In Virginia there is a small skirmish near Newport News.
We are all ignorant, only in different ways, and no one is as ignorant as an educated man outside his own field.
To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.