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History of Iowa

Volume II

Chapter VII


     On the 5th of February, 1864, Governor Stone issued a proclamation notifying the people that Iowa would be required to furnish 6,000 more men to fill the State’s quota under the President’s recent call for 200,000 additional soldiers; and that a draft was ordered to begin on the 10th of March, if the men were not furnished by that time. The Governor made a strong appeal to the people to fill this quota with volunteers and thus avoid the necessity for a draft. On the 14th, he issued another proclamation, forbidding all persons to cross the Missouri River before the 10th of March for the purpose of avoiding the draft. Guards were placed at all of the crossings of the river below Sioux City to enforce the order. The men required to be furnished by Iowa under the late call of the President were secured by volunteering, and a draft at this time was avoided. A new enrollment act was passed by Congress early in July, 1864, by the terms of which the President was authorized at his discretion to call for any number of volunteers to serve in the army for one, two or three years. It was provided that in case the quota of any township or ward of a city should not be filled within fifty days after the call, the President should immediately order a draft for one year to fill such quota.


    On the 18th of July came another call of the President for 500,000 more volunteers; and if they were not furnished by the 5th of September, a draft was ordered to begin immediately thereafter in any township, or ward of any city that was delinquent. Up to this time, by great exertions, Iowa had been able to furnish volunteers to meet all calls made by the President, but now it became evident that the quota under this call could not be filled without resort to a draft.


  The progress of the war for the past year had, upon the whole, been favorable to the Union cause but the Confederate armies were still formidable, and had won some important victories. One of the greatest battles of the war was fought at Chickamauga on the 19th and 30th of September, 1863, where the Union army under General Rosecrans, had been beaten by the Confederates under General Bragg, with a loss of more than 18,000 men. The redeeming feature of this bloody conflict was the magnificent fight made by the right wing of our army under General Rosecrans with the main body had been driven in confusion from the field. General Rosecrans was soon afterward relieved of command, and was succeeded by General Thomas. On the 11th of October General Grant, who assumed command in person, reached Chattanooga and in November won the brilliant victories of Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge, in which he captured more than 6,000 prisoners and forty pieces of artillery, after inflicting upon the enemy a loss of 3,000 killed and wounded. In Louisiana our army under General Banks was led to a disastrous defeat in the Red River campaign, through the incompetence of the commanders, notwithstanding the brilliant fighting of the Iowa regiments in his army. Banks lost about 5,000 men, and a large part of his artillery, in this campaign, and what little reputation he had as a military officer.


   The Army of the Potomac, under Meade, had accomplished nothing since the Battle of Gettysburg, and was still lying idle on the banks of the Rapidan, watching Lee. At last, the patience of the country became exhausted over the long continued inaction of that great army, and congress took radical action in the premises. The Administration felt grateful to General Meade for the victory at Gettysburg an the country shared this feeling, although there was a general conviction in the North that he had neglected to reap the full fruits of that victory by the extreme caution displayed in failing to make a vigorous pursuit of Lee’s retreating army. As the months passed by until nearly three-quarters of a year had elapsed and his magnificent army had accomplished nothing, the belief became general that Meade lacked the aggressive energy that was necessary in a commander to crush Lee’s forces, capture the Confederate Capital, disperse and destroy its usurping government.


   The initiative for a radical change came from the West. E. B. Washburn of Illinois, on the 1st of February, 1864, in the House of Representatives, introduced a joint resolution to revive the grade of Lieutenant-General of our armies, a rank hitherto held only by George Washington (General Scott being only a brevet). General Garfield moved to lay the resolution upon the table, but the House, by the decisive vote of nineteen to one hundred seventeen, refused to table the proposition, and after amending the resolution by a vote of one hundred eleven to forty-one, recommending Ulysses S. Grant for the post, passed it by a large majority. It passed the Senate by a vote of thirty-one to six. President Lincoln promptly approved the measure, and on the 1st of March nominated General Grant for the place, and he was promptly confirmed by the Senate. This act was almost unanimously approved by the loyal people of Iowa and the West. Iowa and western soldiers had from the first served under Grant, and borne a prominent part in all of his great victories. They had unbounded confidence in his military ability, his untiring energy and his uncompromising fidelity to the Union cause. They hailed his promotion to the command of all of the armies of the Nation, under the President, as the sure harbinger of ultimate success. He was summoned to Washington, accepted the position, and was invested by the President with the command of all of the armies of the United States. Leaving General Meade as commander of the Army of the Potomac in name, General Grant made his headquarters with that army, and thereafter directed all of its movements. From that day it made no more retreats, but slowly and surely with shot and shell crowded the Army of Virginia from one defense to another, until its shattered remnants were compelled to surrender.


   In July, while the Governor and Adjutant-General were putting forth every possible effort to secure volunteers to furnish the quota of the State under the late calls of the President, authority was received from the War Department to raise two new regiments of infantry to serve one, tow or three years, as the recruits might choose. No new regiments were organized under this authority, and a draft was made, beginning in September, 1864, to supply the deficiency then remaining. An excellent class of men were secured, who, as a rule, cheerfully took their places in the ranks, and made good soldiers.


    On the 27th of July, a general order was issued by Adjutant-General Baker for the enrollment and organization of the militia of the State in pursuance of the acts of the Tenth General Assembly. The number of companies apportioned to each county was published in the order. On the 20th of August, the Governor issued a proclamation in which he stated that he was in possession of information that refugees from Rebel armies, guerrillas and bushwhackers, guilty of robbery and murder of Union men in Missouri, were daily coming across the line into Iowa, ostensibly for the purpose of becoming citizens, but with the intent to commit robbery and other crimes.


            “I hereby forbid asylum in this State to this class of people, and all peace officers in the first and second tiers of counties on the southern border, and in the County of Pottawattamie, and all militia officers of the State are commanded to stop and detain suspected persons, and unless they can give satisfactory account of themselves they must be refused permission to remain in the State.”



   In an official letter to the Adjutant-General on the 12th of September, 1864, Governor Stone sets forth at length, some of the serious dangers menacing certain localities from disloyal secret organizations in efforts to organize the State militia. He writes:


            “In several lodges of the ‘Sons of Liberty,’ a treasonable organization which now exists in nearly every county in the State, it was determined by them to unite in organizing military companies under the militia law and use these to cover their movements from public observation. While pretending to drill as a militia company, they could practice the peculiar tactics of their order without being compelled as now to seek concealment. Most of the lodges in the southern part of the State are in constant correspondence with their coadjutors in Missouri, and since and since the first of July last their communications have been characterized by the most unblushing treason, both to the Federal and State Governments. Couriers are now running regularly on both sides of the State line, and much of the extraordinary tide of immigration now pouring in from Missouri is invited here by Iowa conspirators under promise of fellowship and protection.

            “When you reflect that on the first day of August there were over 30,000 members of this secret order enrolled in this State, bound together by oaths which, if obeyed, renders every one of them an active traitor to the Union, and an abetter of civil strife in our State; that large quantities of arms and ammunition are being secretly brought into these counties to be used for disloyal purposes, you may well conceive that the development of their nefarious militia scheme, concocted in midnight conclaves, became with me a matter of serious concern. The sad experience of our Missouri neighbors in their late troubles with disloyal militia, was a sufficient warning for me to carefully guard that point in Iowa. I am informed by anonymous letters that my orders will be disregarded and my authority set at defiance. These orders will remain unchanged and be strictly enforced in every case. Companies which disregard them will not be recognized or treated for any purpose as portions of the State militia. If the conflicts which they seem now desirous of inviting be forced upon us, they may find us prepared at points where they least expect us, and on our part at least there will be no blank cartridges used or shots thrown away.”


     In one case on the Missouri border, a militia company elected as its captain a man who had been dishonorably dismissed from the United States service for the utterance of treasonable sentiments. In another case the captain had been a notorious Missouri guerrilla. In both of these instances the request for commissions and arms were refused by the Governor and Adjutant-General. Through the vigilance of these officers the secret schemes of the disloyal conspirators to secure arms were defeated, but they were able in some of the border counties to seriously embarrass the organization of the militia.


    On the 8th of October, 1864, the Governor announced that the number of men required from Iowa, under all calls up to that time, was less than 4,000 and these were soon after furnished by the draft then in progress. On the 16th of November, the Adjutant-General issued an order requiring all militia companies that had received arms from the State, to meet and drill once a month, or surrender their arms.


    On the 30th of November, Governor Stone issued an address to the people of Iowa, in which he called a special attention to the acts of the last General Assembly requiring the levy of a special tax for the aid of the families of soldiers in the service. He says:


            “With the number of soldiers’ families augmented beyond our anticipations, the necessity for additional public effort in their behalf has been created. The receipts from taxes will prove inadequate to provide for the increased number in many counties, and further appeal to the generosity of our people is imperatively demanded. For this purpose I request that Saturday, the 31st of December, be set apart as a day for general contribution throughout the State. If we could manifest a proper appreciation of the proud name our soldiers have won for us on so many fields, and prove ourselves worthy of it, let us greet them with the assurance that their wives and little ones shall not suffer in their absence. Let us unite in sending them such a token of our love as will cheer them wherever they are around the flag of the Union, whether on the land or on the sea.”


   On the 9th of December, Adjutant-General Baker, upon learning that deserters from Price’s Confederate army were crossing into southern counties of Iowa for the purpose of robbery and murder, issued an order to the State militia in that region to be on the alert, “and if these desperadoes enter the State to rob, steal and murder, and are caught in the act, they are to be treated as outlaws, and shot on the spot, or hung to the nearest tree.” These energetic measures served to protect very generally the border counties.


   The number of militia companies organized under the acts of the last General Assembly, during the year 1864, was nine hundred and seventeen. The returns for that year showed the enrollment of the militia of the State to be 86,000. Of the militia, there had been organized twenty-nine regiments and two battalions.


   While the war was absorbing every energy of the National Administration, and testing to the utmost limit the patience, endurance and patriotism of the loyal people of the country, in this fourth year of the conflict, the time for a Presidential election was approaching. That election was to determine the most important issue ever submitted to a vote of the American people. It was to decide whether the Republic was to endure as one great nation, or be divided into hostile factions, adopting different forms of government, liable to form alliances with foreign nations for selfish purposes, leading to endless danger of civil wars and internal disorders.


   The reelection of President Lincoln would be notice to the Southern Confederacy, to its friends in the North and to foreign nations, that every power of our National Government would be put forth for the suppression of the Rebellion until national authority was restored in every State and Territory in the Union.


    When the Rebellion began, through the influence of such leading Democrats as Douglas, Stanton, Holt, Dix, Butler, Dickinson and Andrew Johnson, there was a general uprising of the loyal people of the country in support of the President in his efforts and measures to enforce the laws and restore the authority of the Government. Partisan strife and conflicts were for a time ignored, and a wave of patriotic fever swept over the Northern States. But as the war progressed, wide differences of opinion arose over the policy to be pursued in dealing with the Rebellion and slavery. The disloyal people of the Northern States were untiring in the organization of the secret leagues before mentioned as the “Knights of the Golden Circle” and the “Sons of Liberty.” These secret gatherings enabled the disloyal to disseminate their doctrines with safety, and this work went on unchecked until in August, 1864, when, as we have seen, Governor Stone stated that the membership of these lodges numbered more than 30,000 in Iowa. These organizations extended throughout the States not engaged in the Rebellion. Their influence was widespread and becoming a serious menace to the Government. I order to counteract their treasonable conspiracies the loyal people devised the “Union League,” a secret organization, which rapidly spread throughout the loyal and border States. The purposes of this league will be best understood by quoting a few passages from the ritual:


            “In times of peril to our Government and the Union it becomes the sacred duty of all true patriots to unite in the preservation of constitutional freedom and in thwarting the designs traitors. It is a strange and sad necessity which compels American citizens to band themselves together in this manner to sustain the Constitution and the Union; but the Government under which we live is threatened with destruction. We claim in no way to interfere with your religious or political opinions, save that you shall at all times and places seek to protect, preserve and defend the Government of the United States. An oath was administered to each member in which he swore “to support, protect and defend the Constitution and Government of the United States and the flag thereof, and aid in maintaining the laws of the United States, and to defend the State of Iowa (or whatever State the member lived in) against invasion, insurrection or rebellion, to the best of my ability. Furthermore, I will aid and assist in electing true and reliable Union men, and none others, to all offices of profit or trust, from the lowest to the highest; and should I ever be called to fill any office, I will there and then faithfully carry out the objects and principles of this League. To defend and perpetuate Freedom and the Union, I pledge my life, my fortune and my sacred honor.”


    As the time approached for the assembling of the National conventions to nominate candidates fro President, there were found to be among Democrats and Republicans, those who were working together for a vigorous prosecution of the war for the Union, a considerable number who were opposed to the re-nomination of President Lincoln for various reasons. This element held a National Convention at Cleveland, Ohio, on the 31st of May, at which about three hundred and fifty persons were present.


   The resolutions adopted declared for a vigorous prosecution of the war for the Union, the prohibition of slavery by amendment of the constitution and a further amendment providing for election of President and Vice-President by a direct vote of the people, limiting the term of the President to four years. The convention then proceeded to nominate John C. Fremont for President and John Cochrane for Vice-President.


    The first political State convention of the year was that of the Rebellion party, held at Des Moines, on the 22d of February, to choose delegates to the National Convention. The convention elected the following delegates for the State at large: Wm. M. Stone, J. T. Clark, Francis Springer and D. D. Chase. The district delegates chosen were: G. W. McCrary, D. P. Stubbs, D. W. Ellis, J. S. Stacey, J. S. Woodward, George Kern, G. D. Woodin, J. M. Hedrick, Cole Noel, Frank Stewart, G. M. Woodbury and Peter Melendy. The resolutions adopted warmly indorsed the Administration and its war policy, and favored an amendment to the National Constitution abolishing slavery.


    The Democratic State convention assembled at Des Moines on the 16th of June, and nominated the following candidates for State officers: J. H. Wallace for Secretary of State; H. B. Hendershott, Auditor; J. B. Larsh, Treasurer; B. D. Holbrook, Register Land Office; T. M. Monroe, Supreme Judge; and C. A. Dunbar, Attorney-General. For Presidential Electors the following nominations were made; D. F. Miller, John Swineforth, I. C. Mitchell, I. M. Preston, B. B. Richards, J. E. Neal, A. Lormier and J. M. Stockdale.


   A Republican State Convention was held at Des Moines on the 7th of July, at which the following candidates were nominated: C. C. Cole for Supreme Judge; James Wright, Secretary of State; John A. Elliott, Auditor; Wm. H. Holmes, Treasurer; Isaac L. Allen, Attorney-General; J. A. Harvey, Register Land Office; C. B. Darwin, W. G. Thompson, J. Van Valkenburg, S. S. Burdette, B. F. Hunt, Dan Anderson, C. C. Mudgett and H. C. Henderson, Presidential Electors.

            The National Republican convention, which was held at Baltimore on the 7th and 8th of June, renominated Abraham Lincoln for President by a unanimous vote, and Andrew Johnson was nominated for Vice President on the second ballot. The resolutions approved the determination of the Administration to make no compromise with Rebels, the offer of no terms of peace other than “unconditional surrender,” and the return to allegiance to the constitution and laws of the United States, and the complete extirpation of slavery from the soil of the Republic by amendment of the Constitution. The resolutions applauded the practical wisdom, unselfish patriotism, and unswerving fidelity to the Constitution and the principles of American liberty, with which Abraham Lincoln had discharge, under circumstances of unparalleled difficulty, the great duties and responsibilities of the Presidential office; approved especially the Proclamation of Emancipation, and the employment, as Union soldiers, of men heretofore held in slavery. They indorsed the Monroe Doctrine and the encouragement of foreign immigration by a liberal and just policy.


   The Democratic National Convention assembled at Chicago on the 29th of August; Governor Seymour of New York was called to preside and, in his opening address, foreshadowed the “peace policy” which was to dominate the convention. Through their secret “orders” the anti-war men had been able to secure a large preponderance of delegates in the convention. From the speeches made during its sessions a few extracts are here given to show the character of the utterances which received the loudest applause. Rev. Chauncey Burr of New Jersey said:


            “The south could not honorably lay down her arms, for she was fighting for her honor. Two millions of men had been sent down to the he slaughter pens of the South, and the army of Lincoln could not again be filled, neither by enlistment nor conscription. If I ever uttered a prayer, it was that no one of the States of the Union should be conquered and subjugated.”


            Henry Clay Dean of Iowa said:


            “For over three years Lincoln has been calling for men, and they have been given. But with all the vast armies placed at his command he has failed. Such a failure had never been known. Such destruction of human life had never been seen since the destruction of Sennacherib by the breath of the Almighty. And still the monster usurper wants more men for his slaughter pens. Ever since the usurper, traitor and tyrant has occupied the Presidential chair, the Republican party has shouted ‘War to the knife, and the knife to the hilt.’ Blood has flowed in torrents; and yet the thirst of the old monster is not quenched. His cry is for more blood.”


            Judge Miller of Ohio said:


            “There is no real difference between a war Democrat and an Abolitionist. They are links of one sausage, made out of the same dog.”


            C. L. Vallandigham wrote the platform adopted by the Convention, which made the following declarations:


            “This Convention does explicitly declare, as the sense of the American people, that after four years of failure to restore the Union by the experiment of war, during which, under a pretense of military necessity of a war power higher than the Constitution, the Constitution itself has been disregarded in every part, and public liberty and private rights alike trodden down, and the material prosperity of the country essentially impaired. Justice, humanity, liberty and the public welfare demand that immediate efforts be made for a cessation of hostilities, with a view to the ultimate convention of all of the States, or other peaceable means, to the end that at the earliest practicable moment, peace may be restored on the basis of the Federal Union of the States.”



     Several other resolutions were passed denouncing tin bitter terms most of the war measures of the Administration, as usurpations, not warranted by the Constitution. General George B. McClellan was nominated for President and George H. Pendleton for Vice-President.


   When the issue was thus squarely made between a vigorous prosecution of the war for the preservation of the Union and a cessation of hostilities for the purpose of attempting a compromise with the Southern Confederacy, the loyal people of the country realized the fearful danger that confronted the Nation. Two attempting a compromise with the Southern Confederacy, the loyal people of the country realized the fearful danger that confronted the Nation. Two attempts had recently been made to ascertain if it were possible to effect any kind of settlement between the Government and the leaders of the Rebellion, by which peace could be made by prominent leaders of the Rebellion who asked leave to come to Washington and enter upon negotiations and to be assured of safety on their journey. President Lincoln made them the following reply:


            “Any proposition which embraces the restoration of peace, the integrity of the whole Union, and the abandonment of slavery, and which comes by and with authority that can control the armies now at war against the United States, and will be met by liberal terms on substantial and collateral points; and the bearer or bearers thereof shall have safe conduct both ways.

(Signed) “Abraham Lincoln.”


    Nothing more came of this attempt at negotiation, which was begun early in July, 1864. Very soon after, two prominent citizens of the North, with the knowledge of the President, but not by any direct authority from him, went to Richmond on a peace errand, being allowed to pass through the lines of both armies. They had a long personal conference with President Davis, after which he presented his ultimatum in the following terms:


    "I desire peace as much as you do, but I feel that not one drop of blood of this war is on my hands. I tried all in my power to avert this war, but I could not. The North was mad and blind; it would not let us govern ourselves, and so the war came and now it must go on until the last man of this generation falls in his tracks, and his children seize his musket and fight our battles, unless you acknowledge our right to self government. We are not fighting for slavery. We are fighting for Independence, and that or extermination we will have. Say to Mr. Lincoln for me, that I shall at any time be pleased to receive proposals for peace on the basis of our independence. It will be useless to approach me with any other.”


     Mr. Vallandigham, when banished to the Confederacy the year before for treasonable utterances, had assured Mr. Ould that, “if you can hold out this year, the peace party of the North will sweep the Lincoln dynasty out of political existence.”


    With a knowledge of all these facts, the Chicago Convention had deliberately resolved in favor of an immediate cessation of hostilities, that peace negotiations might be entered into. Under these circumstances there could be no misunderstanding as to the vital issues involved in the Presidential campaign of 1864. Never before had the fate of the Nation been so clearly at stake in a political campaign. All parties to the war recognized the supreme importance of the approaching election. If McClellan should be elected, it meant an end of the war upon the best terms that could be made with the Southern Confederacy, which had been so clearly stated by its President that there could be no misunderstanding. However much the Democratic party in the North might have desired the restoration of the old Union, due notice had been given by the President of the Confederacy that such a proposition would not even be considered. Peace, then, could only be secured by an abject surrender of all that the Union army had, for more than three years, been fighting to maintain. All of the superb patriotism of the people, the sublime loyalty and heroic deeds of the Union soldiers, the sacrifice of hundreds of thousands of lives and hundreds of millions of dollars, would have been in vain. Or, failing to bring about peace, could the country afford to trust a vigorous prosecution of the war for the Union to McClellan, who, as Commander-in-Chief, was a most conspicuous failure.


    The hope of the election of McClellan and the defeat of Lincoln was the inspiration that sustained Lee’s army in its desperate resistance to Grant’s terrific assaults upon its strong defenses all through the months of the political campaign. No one realized more clearly than the leaders of the Confederacy and its armies that the reelection of President Lincoln would seal their doom. The political campaign was one of unparalleled vigor, bitterness and stern determination. Union sympathizers were firmly possessed of the belief that the only hope of preservation of the Nation as one great undivided Republic, was the strong endorsement of the war measures and general policy of the President and Congress. They did not doubt that the reelection of Lincoln would bring an early end to the Rebellion, the destruction of slavery, and restoration of the Union.


    While the Chicago platform and ticket received the support of the “Copperheads,” and all disloyal elements in the North, as well as in the five slave States, which still remained in the Union, it should not be inferred that it was not supported by thousands of Union men. There were hundreds of thousands of Democrats in these States, who were loyal to the Union, but were opposed to emancipation, and to the employment of negroes in the National army, and who believed it possible to restore the Union with slavery as it existed before the Rebellion. These men also supported McClellan. But, as the campaign progressed, it became evident that the contest was, as tersely stated by that great statesman, William H. Seward, when he said in a public address: “The issue is squarely made up—McClellan and disunion, or Lincoln and union.”


   The country accepted that view, and on the 6th of September, General Fremont withdrew as a candidate of the radical Republicans for President, saying:


            “The policy of the Democratic party signifies either separation or re-establishment with slavery. The Chicago platform is simply separation. General McClellan’s letter of acceptance is re-establishment with slavery. The Republican candidate is, on the contrary, pledged to the re-establishment of the Union without slavery.”


    In Iowa, the campaign was carried on with intense interest and earnestness. Public meetings were held in nearly every school-house, and the spirit of patriotism pervaded every neighborhood. Our State had more than 50,000 soldiers in the Union armies, and they represented a large majority of the families of the entire population. Women how had fathers, brothers, sons or lovers in the field, hospital or Southern prisons, could not restrain their intense interest in the absorbing contest; they turned out to the Union meetings, joined the processions, sang the war songs, and helped to swell the enthusiasm. A “Peace Convention” was called to meet at Iowa City on the 24th of August, which, among its resolutions, declared:


            “That the war now being prosecuted by the Lincoln administration is unconstitutional and oppressive and is the prolific source of a multitude of usurpations, tyrannies and corruptions to which no people can long submit without becoming permanently enslaved.

            “Resolved, That, believing the war to be disunion, and desiring to stop the further flow of precious blood for a purpose so wicked as disunion, we respectfully urge the President to postpone the draft for 500,000 men to be driven like bullocks to the slaughter, until the result of an armistice and a National Convention of the States is known.

            “Resolved, That in the coming election we will have a free ballot or a free fight.

            “Resolved, That should Abraham Lincoln owe his re-election to the electoral votes of the seceded States, under the application of the President’s ‘one tenth’ system and military dictation, and should he attempt to execute the duties of President by virtue of such an election, it will become the solemn mission of the people to depose the usurper, or else be worthy the slavish degradation which submission under such circumstances would seem to be their just desert.”


     It will be seen by the action of this convention that Iowa had its share of citizens who never ceased to do all in their power to instigate resistance to the measures adopted by the Government to overthrow the Rebellion. It was in the midst of this momentous political contest that he draft was taking place to re-enforce the Union armies in the field. The draft at this time was a crucial test of the patriotism of the people, and was watched with intense anxiety by the National and State Administrations, Congress and the army. It was the most critical period of our national existence. Would the Government stand the strain, and would the people sustain the Administration, and , decree in the approaching election, that the war would go on and the army be re-enforced by drafts until the Rebellion was overthrown? These were the problems that the election would settle. There could be no doubt as to the answer that Iowa would give. Every indication pointed to an overwhelming endorsement of the Administration. In the East there was a widespread feeling of apprehension. But the October State elections in Ohio, Indiana and Pennsylvania, relieved the anxiety as all gave large Republican majorities.


    At the November election, twenty-two out of the twenty-five states remaining in the Union gave their electoral votes for Lincoln and Johnson. Of these votes, Lincoln received two hundred and twelve, and McClellan twenty-one. In fifteen of the States, the soldiers in the field were permitted to vote. In twelve of these States the soldiers’ vote was 119,754 for Lincoln, and 34,291 for McClellan. In Iowa, the soldiers’ vote was 16,844 for Lincoln, and 1,183 for McClellan. The total vote in Iowa was 88,966 for Lincoln, and 49,586 for McClellan. On the State ticket the average vote for the Republican candidates was 90,033, and for the Democratic candidates 49,500. The election of the members of the new congress was also an overwhelming approval of the Administration. Of the one hundred and eighty-four Representatives chosen, one hundred and forty-three were Union-Republicans, to forty-one opposition. The Senate, after the election of the following winter stood forty Union-Republicans to eleven opposition. This gave the supporters of the Administration a majority of more than two-thirds in each branch of Congress.


    The result of this election removed all doubt in the minds of the mass of the people, both in the North and the South, as to the final result of the terrible Civil War that had for more than three years desolated the country. The leaders on both sides clearly saw what the end must be. The officers of the Confederate Government and of its armies lost hope in the success of their cause, although they were impelled by their positions to continue the hopeless struggle six months longer. When the news of the overwhelming approval of the prosecution of the war was flashed over the civilized world, it was accepted as the death blow to the Southern Confederacy.


   When Congress assembled on the 6th of December, 1964, President Lincoln, in his message, said:


            “Judging by the recent canvass and its results the purpose of the people in the loyal States, to maintain the integrity of the Union, was never more firm, nor more nearly unanimous than now…In affording the people a fair opportunity of showing to one another, and to the world, this firmness and unanimity of purpose, the election has been of vast value to the National cause.

            “In presenting the abandonment of armed resistance to the national authority on the part of the insurgents, as the only indispensable condition to ending the war on part of the Government, I retract nothing heretofore said as to slavery…While I remain in my present position I shall not attempt to retract or modify the Emancipation Proclamation, nor shall I return to slavery any person who is free by the terms of that Proclamation, or any acts of Congress. If the people should, by whatever mode or means, make it an Executive duty to re-enslave such persons, another, not I, must be their instrument to perform it.

            “In stating a condition of peace, I mean simply to say that the war will cease on part of the Government whenever it shall have ceased on part of those who began it.”


     The President strongly urged the passage by the House of the Constitutional Amendment (which had already passed the Senate by a two-thirds majority) forever prohibiting slavery in the United States.


    These explicit declarations in the message left no uncertainty as to the terms upon which the Civil War would be ended. The House promptly passed the amendment by a majority of more than two-thirds, fifty-six Democrats voting against it. All of the Iowa members, in both House and Senate were warm supporters of the amendment.


   During the winter, an attempt was made by three Confederate commissioners, Stephens, Campbell and Hunter, on the part of the Confederate Government, to secure peace on some basis of separation from the Union. These commissioners were permitted to pass through General Grant’s lines at Petersburg, to meet and confer with President Lincoln and Secretary Seward at Fortress Monroe. A free conference took place, but the President would concede no terms that did not restore the Union of all of the States, and the Confederate Commissioners were not authorized to surrender the independence of the confederacy, and so ended the last effort to establish peace by negotiation.


     In the meantime, Sherman’s great army was sweeping through Georgia and South Carolina with irresistible power. In it were a large number of veteran Iowa regiments. Thomas had won a great victory over Hood at Nashville and driven his army out of Tennessee. Grant was closing the coils around Lee’s veteran army at Petersburg and Richmond.


    In the spring of 1865 the confederate cause was desperate. A most merciless conscription had already dragged almost every able bodied man of the middle and lower classes into the ranks. The wealthy scions of chivalry were holding Government positions or filling the offices in the army. The resources of men and money to be drawn upon were exhausted and all realized that the collapse was near at hand.


    Soon after the inauguration of President Lincoln, in March, it was announced that Senator James Harlan, of Iowa had been invited to a seat in his Cabinet, as Secretary of the Interior. The appointment was especially gratifying to the people of our State. Mr. Harlan was the first Republican Senator from Iowa, having been chosen in the winter of 1855 to succeed General A. C. Dodge. He was a representative of the Antislavery revolution in politics which had just grown into control of the State, abut was not organized into the Republican party until the next year. He was one of the trusted leaders of the party, and had been kept continuously in the Senate, where he now ranked among the ablest members of that body.


    Early in April came the glorious news of the fall of Richmond, the Capital of the Confederacy, and soon after the surrender of Lee and his entire army to General Grant. The rejoicing in Iowa, and throughout the North, was unbounded. The joy that entered the homes of the thousands of Union soldiers cannot be described in human language; neither can it be fully realized by the people of a later generation. No one doubted that it was the last great battle of the four years of war. Peace was coming again to the country, and the National Government was again to be supreme over our vast domain. The fearful list of killed and wounded that had brought woe and desolation to countless homes through the long agonizing years, would come no more.


    Hardly had the news of the crowning victory and the dawning of early peace, reached the distant parts of the country, when, like an awful flash from a clear sky came the startling tidings of the assassination of the President. No pen can describe the shock of horror that paralyzed the hearts of millions of people as the terrible details of the hideous crime were confirmed. They assembled in the churches and school-houses all over the Northern States to give public expression to their deep sorrow. Governor Stone, who was in Washington at the time, issued a proclamation to the people of Iowa, requesting them to assemble in their places of worship on the 27th of April, to testify their sorrow over this National calamity; they were also requested to suspend their ordinary labor on that day, and have all public offices draped in mourning. The day was observed by all classes of people, and for the time partisan differences were forgotten in the shock of a great crime and calamity.


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