A Straw That Shows the Wind: Harper’s Weekly, December 31, 1870, page 850

A Straw That Shows the Wind.

The resolution of Senator M‘Creery, of Kentucky, was properly characterized by Senator Sumner as an illustration of what may be expected if the Democratic party should return to power. The resolution proposed substantially that the remains of seventeen thousand Union soldiers should be removed from the Arlington estate, in order that the widow of Robert E. Lee should live there. Such a proposition was the grossest insult to the patriotism and good sense of the country, and therefore to the Senate, their representative, and the Senate almost unanimously resolved that it should not be received. The Democratic Senators were greatly confused by the motion of Mr. M‘Creery. As partisans they saw its effect. It was an unnecessary revelation of the real spirit of the party, and the party leaders know that the country is at least loyal, and that they can hope to succeed only by persuading the people that the party has renounced its sympathy with the spirit and the principles which produced the rebellion. Some of his Democratic friends, therefore, rebuked Mr. M‘Creery, who assumed all the responsibility of the resolution, and tried to withdraw it. But Senator Edmunds held him fast to the rules, and by the vote of fifty-nine to four the Senate refused to receive the resolution.

The Democratic press does not openly defend the resolution. But the manner in which it alludes to it shows how gladly it would defend it if it dared. The death of General Lee gave that press an opportunity to show the tendency of its sympathy, which it zealously improved. The extravagant eulogies which were heaped by the Democratic papers upon a man whose only claim to the notice of history is that he tried to destroy the government of the United States in order to establish a slave empire upon its ruins were very suggestive. And the fact, which is constantly refreshed in the public mind by such incidents, that the Democratic party is the next friend and mourner of the lost cause, should impress upon the country the great and controlling truth of the political situation. That truth is that the nation has entered a new epoch, with new principles and a new policy; that the principles are those of the Republican party; while the Democratic party is the representative of the era and the principles which have passed away. There is no evidence of any disposition upon the part of the Democratic party to accept the new situation, or to acquiesce in what has been accomplished. Its last national declaration was that the new order is unconstitutional and void, and its conduct, wherever it has the ascendency, shows an undiminished sympathy with a spirit which the country abhors.

And even were this not so—even had the same policy which led to the Delaware Democratic Senators to censure Senator M‘Creery‘s resolution persuaded the party to profess sympathy with the regenerated Union—it would still be impossible to say why a party of such composition and such a history should be intrusted with the administration of a policy which it had always opposed, and which is founded upon political principles which it has always derided. After the Revolution the government of the new Union was confided to the friends of the principles upon which it was established—the men whose convictions and ability had opened the new era to the country. After the war of 1812 the government was controlled for many a year by the party which had made the war, and which was in full harmony with its spirit. And now, the country having entered upon a new era more glorious than any in its history, and under the auspices of the Republican party, that party is the one which will deal with all questions in the spirit of the new time, and with the sympathy of profound conviction.

A party whose newspapers hate to speak with decency of Abraham Lincoln, but which quiver with adulation of Robert E. Lee, and from one of whose Senators proceeds the astounding proposition that the bones of Union soldiers shall be removed almost from under the shadow of the Capitol, that the widow of Lee may not be offended—a party which still believes the war to have been an outrage upon the “South,” and which would undo all of its great work that it can—is a party which does not comprehend the new America, which is not inspired by its faith, and whose restoration to power would be the sorest of national calamities.

Old Slave Block Used for Sale and Hire of Slaves at Fredericksburg, Va. postcard

Old Slave Block Used for Sale and Hire of Slaves at Fredericksburg, Va.Old Slave Block Used for Sale and Hire of Slaves at Fredericksburg, Va. Linen postcard. Unused and undated, but probably ca. 1930s. The back of the card reads:

Old Slave Block

In the days before the Civil War, it was used for the sale and annual hire of slaves.

Albert Crutchfield, shown in picture was sold from the block about 1859, at which time he was a boy about 15 years old.

The President’s Proclamation: Washington Evening Star, July 19, 1864, page 2

The President’s Proclamation.

The call by the President for 500,000 men, though not to be enforced by a draft until the 5th of September, will, by accelerating enlistments, undoubtedly serve to put a large additional force at the command of our military authorities almost immediately. A wall of despair comes up from Richmond that Atlanta must fall because of the want of men to defend that city and Richmond at the same time. This shows how low the Confederate resources in the way of fighting material has been drained.

An addition to our force of 500,000 men, or the half of that number, will enable us to finish the war this summer and crush out the last vestige of the rebellion.

By the provisions of the call those localities where an excess of troops has been furnished under previous calls will be credited with that excess on this. Until the 5th of September is allowed for filling up quotas by volunteering—the term of service to be at the option of volunteers for one, two, or three years. At the end of fifty days a draft will take place for men to serve for one year, to supply any deficiency in the quota.

Capture of Blockade Runners: Washington Evening Star, July 19, 1864, page 2

Capture of Blockade Runners.

Admiral Dahlgren, writing from on board his flagship Philadelphia, in Stono river, S. C., under date of July 10, informs the Navy Department that on the 8th instant the U. S. steamer Sonoma, Lieut. Commander Matthews, captured the samll side-wheel steamer Ida, which vessel left Sapelo the night before, bound to Nassau. The Ida had on board at the time of her capture, fifty-four bales of cotton, ten men, and a captain named Postell, who, it is said, was formerly a midshipman in the U. S. navy.

Admiral Dahlgren also reports the capture of the rebel schooner Pocahontas, on the night of July 7th, by the U. S. steamers Azalea and Sweet Briar, while attempting to pass out of Charleston harbor bound to Nassau. The Pocahontas had on board fifty-three bales of cotton, and two hundred and twenty-nine boxes of tobacco.

The New Enrollment Law: Gallipolis Journal, July 14, 1864, page 1

The New Enrollment Law

The following is the Enrollment act, as passed by both Houses of Congress:

An Act

Further to regulate and provide for the enrolling and calling out of the national forces; and for other purposes.

The President of the United States may, at his discretion, at any time hereafter, call for any number of men as volunteers, for the respective terms of one, two, and three years, for military service, and any such volunteer, or, in case of a draft, as hereinafter provided, a substitute, shall be credited to the town, ward, or city precinct, or election district of a county, toward the quota of which he may have volunteered or engaged as a substitute, and every volunteer who is accepted and mustered into the service for a term of one year, unless sooner discharged, shall receive and be paid by the United States, a bounty of $100, and if for a term of two years, unless sooner discharged, a bounty of $200, and if for a term of three years, unless sooner discharged, a bounty of $300; one-third of which bounty shall be paid to the soldier at the time of his being mustered into the service, one-third at the expiration of one-half of his term of service, and one-third at the expiration of his term of service, and in case of his death while in the service, then the residue of his bounty unpaid shall be paid to his widow, if he shall have left a widow; if not, to his chidren, or if there be none, to his mother, in case she be a widow.

In case the quota or any part thereof, of any town, township, ward of a city, precinct or election district, or of any county not so sub-divided, shall not be filled within the space of fifty days after such call, then the President shall immediately order a draft for one year to fill such quota or any part thereof, which may be unfilled; and in case of any such draft, no payment of money shall be accepted or received by the Government as commutation to release any enrolled or drafted man from personal obligations to perform military service.

It shall be lawful for the Executive of any of the States to send recruiting agents into any of the States declared to be in rebellion, except the States of Arkansas, Tennessee and Louisiana, and to recruit volunteers under any call under the provisions of this act, who shall be credited to the State and to the respective subdivisions thereof, which may procure the enlistment.

Drafted men, substitutes and volunteers, when mustered in, shall be organized in or assigned to regiments, batteries, or other organizations from among those of their respective States which at the time of their assignment may not be filled to their maximum number.

The twentieth section of an act entitled “An act to amend an act entitled an act for enrolling and calling out the national forces,” approved February 24, 1864, shall be construed to mean that the Secretary of War shall discharge minors under the age of eighteen years under the circumstances and on the conditions prescribed in said section; and hereafter if any officer of the United States shall enlist or muster into the military service any person under the age of sixteen years, with or without the consent of his parent or guardian, such person so enlisted or recruited shall be immediately and unconditionally discharged upon the repaym of the bounty received; and such recruiting or mustering officer who knowingly enlists a person under eighteen years of age shall be dismissed the service, with the forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and shall be subject to such further punishment as a court martial may decide.

Sixth—Section three of an act entitled “An act to amend an act entitled an act for enrolling and calling out the national forces and other purposes,” approved Feb. 24, 1864, shall be and the same hereby is amended so as to authorize and direct district provost marshals, under the direction of the Provost Marshal-General, to make a draft for one hundred per centum in addition to the number required to fill the quota of any district as provided by said section.

Seventh—That instead of travelling pay, all drafted persons reporting at a place of rendezvous, shall be allowed transportation from their places of residence, and persons discharged at the place of rendezvous shall be allowed transportation to their places of residence.

Eighth—All persons in the naval service of the United States, who have entered said service during the present rebellion, who have not been credited to the quota of any town, district, war or State, by reason of their being in said service, and not enrolled prior to February 24th, 1864, shall, on satisfactory proof of their residence, made to the Secretary of War, be enrolled and credited to the quotas of the town, ward, district or State, in which they respectively reside.

Ninth—If any person, duly drafted, shall be absent from home in the prosecution of his usual business, the Provost Marshal of the district shall cause him to be duly notified as soon as may be, and he shall not be deemed a deserter, nor liable as such, until notice has been given him, and reasonable time allowed for him to return and report to the Provost Marshal of his district; but such absence shall not otherwise affect his liability under this act.

Tenth and Eleventh.—Nothing contained in this act is to be construed to alter or in any way affect the law relative to those conscientiously opposed to bearing arms, or to affect the rights of persons to procure substitutes.