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political ally of the "States Rights" men of the South, he, on the first overt act of Southern rebellion, proved his loyalty to the Union by coming forward among the earliest to offer his services in its defence. Governor Andrew, of Massachusetts, though always his political opponent, was glad to welcome so spirited and able a co-operator in the common cause of national unity, and appointed him commander of the Eighth Massachusetts Regiment. Leading this corps to the defence of the capital, he found his progress suddenly obstructed; and an occasion offering for the exercise of those energies which characterize him, he exerted them with a spirit and a success which won for him the gratitude of the whole nation.
General Butler is a man in the prime of life, being forty-three years of age. Though somewhat unwieldy in appearance, he is possessed of great physical activity. His expression, disfigured by a cast in his left eye, might be thought severe and even sinister by the casual observer, but by his friends he is esteemed as an amiable companion, and by his subordinates readily obeyed as a popular commander.
With his acknowledged energy in action, fertility of resource, and coolness in danger, there is reason to believe when his natural impulsiveness of character has been duly tempered by military experience, that he will become one of the most efficient leaders in the present war.
As proof of his coolness and intrepidity in danger, the following incident
is told. It occurred in Lowell, Massachusetts, in 1856.
"It was during the Presidential contest, and Hon. Rufus Choate had been invited to address the conservative citizens. The largest hall of the city was crowded to excess; the audience was wild with enthusiasm, as the brilliant orator swayed them by his eloquence; but in the midst of the applause a jar was felt, a crash was heard, and every face save one turned pale as the cry went forth, 'The floor is sinking!' The man whose cheek knew no pallor was General Butler. He sprang up and calmed the fears of the multitude by telling them that he did not apprehend the least danger; that the architect was present; but to allay any misgiving, he would go with the architect and examine the building. An immediate investigation showed that the edifice was in the greatest possible danger, and a sudden movement, a rush on the part of the assembly, would result in the slaughter of thousands. Forgetful of himself, he bravely pushed through the dense crowd. He did not shriek—he showed no marks of trepidation—but with a bland countenance whispered a few apparently pleasant and assuring words to Mr. Choate. Mr. Butler then turned to the audience, and in a calm, clear voice remarked: 'My friends, there is no present danger; but as the house is overcrowded, it will be better to quietly adjourn to the open air; and I therefore invite you to the front of the Merrimack House.' The whole thing was accomplished in a few moments. It
CHARACTER OF GENERAL BUTLER.
was only by Mr. Butler's self-possession that the catastrophe was avoided. On this occasion he showed more cool courage than any battle will ever call into requisition. In the life of Mr. Choate we find what the words were that blandly fell, sotto voce, from Mr. Butler,
viz., 'Mr. Choate, I must clear this house, or we shall all be in h—11 in five minutes!'"* Before the close of this history, there will be many other more memorable incidents to record, in which Butler will have given proof of his characteristic energy and courage.
Perplexities of President Lincoln and his Cabinet.—Humiliating Expedients.—The Governor of Maryland and the Mayor of Baltimore summoned to Washington.—The Conference with the President.—Opinion of General Scott.— The Federal Authority agrees not to bring Troops through Baltimore.—End of the Conference.—Another Interview.—Troops Recalled from Cockeysville.—The continued Movement of Troops to Washington.—The Route by Annapolis kept open by General Butler.—Opposition from Maryland.—A Protcst from the Governor.—Response of Butler.—Another Letter from Butler.- A pertinent Question as to the Loyalty of Maryland.—A Rebuke to tho Governor.—Another Protest from Governor Hicks.—The Legislature of Maryland convened.—A Home-thrust from Butler.—Fastidious regard for Maryland.—Offer to suppress a Slave Insurrection.—The oft'er declined.—The Legislature of Maryland meets at Frederick.—The Message of the Governor.—Amiable Rhetoric.—Gentleness, Peace, and Neutrality.—The Secession tendencies of the Legislature.—Hesitation.—Union Meetings.—A forcible Appeal to Loyalty.—Movement of Butler to the Relay House.—Indirect Action of the Legislature.—The "Board of Public Safety."—Its purpose.—Defeated by the Conservatives.—Animosity of the Legislature.—Expression of Opinion in regard to the Re-opening of Communications.—A quasi Justification of the violence of the Maryland Rioters.— Guarantees demanded from the Federal Government.—Commissioners sent to the President.—Their Report.— Sympathy with Secession manifested.
The President and his cabinet, beset by a rebellion the extent of which it was impossible to measure, and unprepared to meet it with the scattered resources of a government they were so suddenly called to administer, were naturally perplexed. Surrounded with dangers, the greater as they were undefined, and prevented from the exercise of powers which, however great, were yet beyond their control, the Federal authorities were obliged to resort to the humiliating expedient of temporizing with the insurgents of Maryland. The President accordingly summoned the Governor of Maryland and the Mayor
of Baltimore to Washington to \prii "consult" with them for "the pres- 21. ervation of the peace of Maryland."
"Governor Hicks not being at hand, Mayor Brown, with several notable citizens, proceeded without him to the capital in obedience to the summons of the President. An audience was immediately granted by President Lincoln, accompanied by all the members of his cabinet and Lieutenant-General Scott. A long conversation and discussionf en
° Harper's Weekly.
f The occurrences at this interview are related as reported in the " statement" of Mayor Brown, National Intelligencer, April 22.
sued. The President recognized the good faith of the city and State authorities of Maryland, and insisted upon his own. He admitted the excited state of feeling in Baltimore, and his desire and duty to avoid the fatal consequences of a collision with the people. He urged, on the other hand, the absolute, irresistible necessity of having a transit through the State for such troops as might be necessary for the protection of the Federal capital. The protection of Washington, he asseverated with great earnestness, was the sole object of concentrating troops there, and he protested that none of the troops brought through Maryland were intended for any purposes hostile to the State or aggressive as against the Southern States. Being now unable to bring them up the Potomac in security, the Government must either bring them through Maryland or abandon the capital.
"General Scott being called upon for his opinion, said that troops might be brought through Maryland, without passing through Baltimore, by either carrying them from Perryville to Annapolis and thence by rail to Washington, or by bringing them to the Relay House, on the Northern Central Railroad, and marching them to the Relay House, on the Washington Railroad, and thence transporting them by rail to the capital. If the people of Maryland would permit the troops to go by either of these routes uninterruptedly, the necessity of their passing through Baltimore might be avoided. If, however, the General declared, the people would not
allow them to take this circuitous route, the soldiers would be obliged to select their own best course, and, if need be, fight their own way through Baltimore, a result which he most earnestly deprecated.
"The President expressed his hearty concurrence with the desire of the General to avoid a collision, and said that no more troops should be ordered to pass through Baltimore, if they were permitted to go uninterruptedly by either of the routes suggested by General Scott. The secretary of war, Cameron, gave his assent to the decision of Mr. Lincoln.
"Mayor Brown assured the President that the city authorities would use all lawful means to prevent their citizens from leaving Baltimore to attack the troops in passing at a distance; but he urged at the same time the impossibility of their being able to promise anything more than' their best efforts in that direction. The excitement was great, he told the President; the people of all classes were fully aroused, and it was impossible for any one to answer for the consequences of the presence of Northern troops anywhere within the borders of Maryland. He reminded the President, also, that the jurisdiction of the city authorities was confined to their own population, and that he could give no promises for the people elsewhere, because he would be unable to keep them if given. The President frankly acknowledged this difficulty, and said that the Government would only ask the city authorities to use their best
efforts with respect to those under their jurisdiction.
"The interview terminated with the distinct assurance on the part of the President, that no more troops would be sent through Baltimore, unless obstructed in their transit in other directions, and with the understanding that the city authorities should do their best to restrain their own people.
"The Mayor and his companions, before departing, urged upon the President in the most earnest manner a course of policy which would give peace to the country, and especially the withdrawal of all orders contemplating the passage of troops through any part of Maryland."
The Mayor had, however, just as he was about leaving the capital, received a dispatch informing him of the march of Pennsylvania troops to Cockeysville, in Maryland, only distant fifteen miles from Baltimore. This appeared to him as a threatening approach, and he hurl-ied with his dispatch to the President, who expressed great surprise at its purport, and immediately summoned General Scott and the secretary of war, who at once appeared, in company with the other members of the cabinet. The dispatch containing intelligence of the movement of the Pennsylvania troops was now submitted to the whole conclave. Mr. Lincoln having declared that he had no idea that a force was to move on that day to Cockeysville, urged emphatically the immediate recall of the troops, to avoid the slightest suspicion of bad faith on his part in summoning
the Mayor of Baltimore to Washington, and allowing troops to advance toward the city during his absence. The President then expressed his desire that the troops might, if practicable, be sent back at once to York or Harrisburg.
General Scott warmly concurred, and immediately issued an order to that effect and delivered it to an aid-de-camp, who departed on the instant. At the same time assurances were given that the troops at Cockeysville were not intended to march through Baltimore, but to the Relay House, on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.
The military activity, however, of the free States was quickly relieving the Government from its position of perplexity and humiliation. The militia regiments already organized, and the volunteer corps forming with wonderful rapidity, kept daily moving on toward the capital. Some reached Annapolis by the way of Philadelphia, while others were transported directly thither from Northern ports on steamers chartered by the Government for the purpose. The route from Annapolis to Washington, through a disaffected State, was kept clear by the energetic action of General Butler, who continued to hold the chief command in that quarter.
This spirited officer met with great opposition in Maryland from the authorities of that State, either intimidated by the rebellious, or disposed to sympathize with their disloyalty. Governor Hicks had repaired to Annapolis, the capital of Maryland, and remonstrated against Butler's landing of the troops: April "I would most earnestly advise," 20. he wrote, "that you do not land your men at Annapolis. The excitement here is very great, and I think that you should take your men elsewhere. I have telegraphed to the secretary of war, advising against your landing your men here."
To this communication Butler merely answered, in the first pjace, that the arrival of his command at Annapolis was the result of circumstances beyond his control, and that their landing was a necessary part of the performance of his duty to the Federal Government. Receiving no reply, he wrote another communication to the Governor, demanding a direct answer to a question very perApril tinent to the loyalty of the State 22. of Maryland: "I desire of your Excellency an immediate reply," wrote Butler, "whether I have the permission of the State authorities of Maryland to land the men under my command, and of passing quietly through the State on my way to Washington, respecting private property, and paying for what I receive, and outraging the rights of none—a duty which I am bound to do in obedience to the requisitions of the United States." At the same time General Butler took occasion to object to the sectional character the Governor had attributed to the State troops, summoned to the defence of the Union: "I beg leave," he said, "to call your Excellency's attention to what I hope I may be pardoned for deeming an ill-advised designation of the men under my command. They are not Northern
troops; they are a part of the whole militia of the United States, obeying the call of the President."
Governor Hicks withheld his consent to the landing of the troops, but contented himself with a protest against the movement, declaring, that "in view of the excited condition" of Maryland, he considered it an "unwise step on the part of the Government."
In the mean time, Governor Hicks, though hitherto he had firmly refused, summoned the Legislature to meet at Annapolis. This was a timid con- April cession to the secessionists, who 26. were believed to control that body. Butler having, in spite of protests and threatened resistance, landed his troops, had, in order to secure their transit, taken possession of the Annapolis and Elk Ridge Railroad. The Governor protested against this seizure of the railroad, declaring that its military possession would prevent the members of the Legislature from assembling at Annapolis, the capital. He, however, thus exposed his secession proclivities, if not his complicity with the rebellious, which he had vainly attempted to conceal, but which had caused his ready compliance with their demands. Butler, in his answer to the Governor's protest, thrust this charge of prevarication home to him:
"headquarters, Third Brigade,U. S. Mil., | Annapolis, Md., April 23, 1861. f
"To His Excellency Thos. H. Hicks, GovErnor Of Maryland:
"You are credibly informed that I have taken possession of the Annapolis