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Page) immense bomb proofs, about sixty feet long, fifty
feet wide, and twenty feet high seventeen of them in all being on the
northeast face. Between each traverse or bomb-proof are one or two heavy guns.
The fighting lasted until ten o'clock
at night, the
Ironsides and Monitors firing through the traverses
in advance of our troops, and the level strip of laud called Federal
Point being enfiladed by the ships to prevent reinforcements reaching the
At four o'clock one half the fort was in our possession. This position was
maintained until the arrival of
reinforcements, when another charge was made at nine o'clock. This drove
the garrison toward the end of the Point, making here and there a stand at the
water batteries, until they were pushed to the extremity, when they surrendered.
At that time both General
WHITING and Colonel
LAMB, who conducted the defense of the fort, were lying wounded in one of
the bomb proofs of the water batteries. Our losses had been great
how great it is impossible now to say with accuracy.
It has been estimated at 900, but this includes the naval loss also, as
well as the casualties from the explosion of the magazine the next morning. The
naval brigade lost one hundred and seventy men. In the military division every
one of the three commanders of the brigades engaged in the assault
CURTIS, PENNYBACKER, and
BELL were wounded. The last of these has died.
The scene which followed upon the surrender was
brilliant beyond description. The hearty cheer from the captured fort was echoed
from the entire fleet. From every vessel rockets were thrown up into the air,
filling the sky with brightness. No one had escaped from the fort to tell the
tale of disaster. Nineteen
hundred prisoners were taken and seventy two guns. The fort had been manned with
2300 men, 400 of whom were killed or wounded.
The next morning after the capture of the fort a
terrible accident occurred, which somewhat marred the cheer of victory.
By some most culpable negligence the soldiers were allowed to approach the
magazine of the fort with lighted candles. This occasioned an explosion at 8 o'clock
A.M., which resulted in a loss of about 200 men. This loss fell
chiefly upon three regiments the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth and One
Hundred and Fifteenth New York, and the Fourth New Hampshire. Colonel
ALONZO ALDEN, of the One Hundred and Sixtyninth, had both his legs
broken, and is reported dead.
Later advices from Admiral
PORTER confirm the report that Fort Caswell, on Oak Island, had been
blown up by the enemy. This work commanded the Old Inlet, was built of granite,
and mounted a
4 large number of guns. The rebel steamers
Chickamauga had also been blown up.
PORTER states his loss at 21
officers killed and wounded, and 309 men.
In his report the Admiral says " I have since visited Fort Fisher and its
adjoining works, and find their strength greatly beyond what I had conceived. An
engineer might be excusable in saying
they could not be captured except by regular siege. I wonder even now how
it was done. The work, as I said before, is really stronger than the Malakoff
Tower, which defied so long the combined power of France and England ;
and yet it is captured by a handful of men, under the fire of the guns of the
fleet, and in seven hours after the attack commenced in earnest."
" The success," he adds, " is so great that we
should not complain. Men, it seems, must die that this Union may live ;
and the Constitution under which we
have gained our prosperity must be maintained. We regret our companions
in arms, and shed a tear over their remains ; but if these rebels should succeed
we would have nothing but regret left us, and our lives would be spent in terror
has added another to his well won laurels by the success of his assault on Fort
Fisher. At the capture of Fort Pulaski, at the battle of Pocotaligo, in the
operations which led to the capture of Morris Island and Fort Wagner, in the
tedious campaign of last summer upon the James, he has taken a
distinguished part. And now the country resounds over his last and most
brilliant achievement at Fort Fisher. Although not a graduate of West Point, he
was in youth a military student, and entered the war with as much thorough
knowledge of the art of war as his peers from West Point. He is about six feet
and two inches high, slender, with
bright hair and blue eyes, and a grave but gentle expression of
countenance. As modest as he is brave, he well merits Admiral
enthusiastic praise as " the beau-ideal of a soldier and a general." Connecticut
has given to the war
LYON, SEDGWICK, MANSFIELD, FOOTE, and
but of none may she be more justly proud than of the hero of Fort Fisher.
BEHOLD, along the
Freedom with yet another trophy comes ; Comes joyously, 'mid blare of throbbing
drums, And trumpets pealing jocund notes of praise.
Missouri's free ! No more shall lash and chain
Her symbols be the sisterhood among;
No more the shadow of her shame be flung Along the North-tides hurrying to the
No more shall Ruin bar the poor man's gate,
Or wasted fields in ghastly silence lie;
No more shall murdered souls for vengeance cry,
Or bondmen for the purple morning wait.
No more ! Already on each drowsy height,
And through the age-locked, rusted prison-doors,
That promised dawn its golden splendor pours, Expelling all the shadows of the
Missouri's free ! God bless her hair of gold
Last, fairest daughter of dear Freedom's flock
all feet at last upon the Rock The Fathers found in the brave days of old
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 1865.
MORE " BLESSINGS IN DISGUISE"
enters upon his new campaign the enemy in the region toward which he will
probably advance begins the same cry that it did in Georgia. When he moved out
Atlanta he was saluted in two hostile keys, one of rage, the other of
ridicule. The horrible things that he meant to do, the hopeless slavery to which
the people were to be subjected, the desolation which was to blight
the country, these were made the spurs to frantic appeals to hem him in, to hunt
him down, and destroy the savage and his hosts. On the other hand, he was a
cornered fox obliged to run into a trap. The hopelessness of his undertaking
showed his desperate condition. His march was an ignominious retreat which must
end in his destruction, etc., etc.
Somehow he arrived comfortably and sat down in Savannah after an agreeable
journey. He came neither like
nor TIMOUR THE
TARTAR, but as the firm supporter and restorer of an equal and benign
Government, against which those who
were anxious that others should " hunt" him had causelessly rebelled.
There was never a march of so large an army through so hostile a country that
devastated so little and was so little molested. After resting at Savannah the
invincible General now turns his face northward, and the cry that greeted him
before again breaks forth.
Here is a specimen of the frenzied effort to excite the South Carolinians
against him. It is a letter written to a
Charleston newspaper, from Pocotaligo,
just before SHERMAN
occupied it :
and his thieves and robbers have sworn that South Carolina shall be annihilated.
His corps commanders
have spoken it to the wife of one of our generals unavoidably
left at Savannah from whose
lips I heard it. And it has been reiterated from the mouth of every prisoner
brought into our lines. Not a chip, they say, is to be left behind them
unconsumed. Neither will respect be paid to youth, beauty, or age. ' Booty and
beauty,' the original war cry with which South Carolina was threatened,
is to be re-echoed upon her soil. Unless our people have submitted themselves to
be Yankee task masters and slaves, these fiends incarnate will be driven howling
from their borders. Let youth and age alike prepare for the conflict. Let the
march of the enemy upon our own soil be
rendered perilous by the crack of the unerring rifle
from the midst of every thicket and swamp which lies in his pathway ; and let
our women, instead of exhibiting timidity, nervousness, and panic, prove
representatives of those of '76. The tree of liberty must be watered by the
blood of its martyrs, and the fair hand
and gentle but fearless soul of woman must nurture
and strengthen it."
We had all this two months ago in Georgia, and what do we now see? We see that
this kind of talk is not believed by those whom it is intended to affect. When
SHERMAN marched from Atlanta the people of Georgia were summoned to take
shot guns and assemble for "a
grand hunt." They did not come. Now that he moves from Savannah, the Carolinians
are exhorted to do the same thing. But they will not come. The soldiers will
fight, but the people will not destroy their stores or desolate their country.
Georgia offered the most eligible opportunity for the last ditch, and it was not
accepted. Savannah surrendered. Why? Because the people disbelieved just such
rhetoric as we have quoted. They knew that
not "Booty and beauty," They knew he and his men were not thieves and
robbers ; and "youth and age" had no stomach for useless slaughter. They knew
hand was stronger than theirs. They would not have their city battered down
about their ears. They differed from
DAVIS, and preferred Yankees to hyenas. So Savannah surrendered. " Amen
!" sighed the papers that had urged
the hunt, " it is a blessing in disguise."
There is no reason to suppose that
task will be more difficult in Carolina than in Georgia, except from the greater
number of veteran troops which will possibly be concentrated against him. It is
understood, however, that he is no weaker, to say the least, than he was in
Georgia ; and as his movement is but a part of
combined operations, the enemy will be perplexed where to weaken his line, when
every point is equally important.
SHERMAN is a
blessing who disguises himself so impenetrably that the rebels are in the most
delightful doubt at what precise point the benediction will burst upon them.
THE CONSENT OF THE GOVERNED.
THE friends of the
rebellion are not yet quite weary of asking, with a plausible calmness, whether
it is not the fundamental principle of our system that governments justly exist
by the consent of the governed.
by the distant random gun
That the foe were
And since they are not weary of asking we must not falter in answering.
It is the American doctrine, then, that government justly exists by the consent
of the governed. And in this country
who are the
erned? Are they
the citizens of
any State or section, of any county or city ? Obviously not ; they are the whole
people of the country. No part of the population has any more right to call
itself the people and claim the privileges of the people than the tailors of
Tooley Street had to call themselves the people of England.
The Government of the United States exists by the consent of the people of the
United States. It is the same people which spoke of itself in the Declaration of
Independence in saying, " When in the course of human events it becomes
one people to dissolve the political bonds," etc. This people is the
united population of all the States ; and those of them who live in the State of
Maine or in all the New England States combined, or in Ohio or all the Western
States, or in Maryland or the Middle States, or in the Carolinas or the Southern
States, can not assume to speak for the people of which they are a small
portion. The Constitution provides for any necessary expression of the popular
will, and by referring the government every two years to the people provides, if
its guarantees are observed, against the necessity of revolution.
This being so, the only persons in the Southern States who had a right to plead
the fundamental doctrine of the government as an excuse for taking up arms were
the slaves. They had an undoubted right to say to us, "You proclaim that
government justly exists by the consent of the governed. But our consent was
never asked, and is disregarded without reasonable hope of peaceful redress. If
you will give us our share in the government, well ; if not, we shall take it by
force if we can." The slaves were the only people in the country who could
justly use this language. But how could a body of American citizens living in
the Southern States, who had exactly the same privileges as all others, and who
had held possession of the Government almost uninterruptedly from the beginning,
rush to arms after an election in which they had taken part, and refuse to obey
the laws, under the pretense that governments justly exist by the consent of the
Our enemies in England are very fond of this argument ; but if the supporters of
the Chicago platform and candidates at the late election should declare
themselves dissatisfied with the result, refuse their consent to
election, and justify resistance to the laws upon the ground that governments
exist by the consent of the governed, would our English cavilers say that upon
our own principles we could not complain ? Such objectors will agree that there
is a British people, and that they have certain rights. Let them understand that
there is also an American people, or a people of the United States, and that it
is their consent, constitutionally expressed, which is the basis of the
government of this country. The city of New York may, without an opposing voice,
resolve to disobey the laws of the country, but the result will merely be that
the city will conquer the nation, or will be conquered by it. The inhabitants of
the city of New York are not the people of the United States, neither are the
inhabitants of South Carolina or of Georgia. The Yorkshire men are not the
British people, neither are the Londoners. And governments derive their just
powers from the consent of the governed.
MR. FRANCIS P. BLAIR has been for a few weeks a very conspicuous personage. His
movements have been telegraphed through the country, and his name has been
persistently associated with peace. If he can give us peace by persuading the
rebels to lay down their arms and submit to the Government, his name will be
sweet forever in the memory of a grateful people. Any thing else that he may do
is entirely unimportant in itself, but greatly to be deplored as exciting
foolish hopes and filling the popular ear with wind.
But the Tribune takes a different view. We mention the name because we do not
remember to have seen so extraordinary a remark in any other journal as the one
we are about to quote. The honest loyalty of the Tribune is not to be questioned
of course. But its performances upon the subject of peace are truly remarkable.
A series of extracts from its columns, containing an expression at various times
of its pacific expectations and prophecies, would be almost incredible.
But all of them are comparatively unimportant by the side of its remark a few
days since that, even if Mr. BLAIR should fail to effect a pacification, which
It said it did not much expect, " he will yet have done his country a signal
service by assuring the South that our Government is not vindictive, and does
not insist on an unconditional
surrender, but is ready and eager to co-operate in the restoration of an
honorable and lasting peace."
If this means any thing whatever, it means that the Government of the United
States is willing to make a conditional peace with armed rebels. In other words,
when citizens, displeased with the result of an election, take up arms, they are
to understand that the Government will yield. They need not unconditionally obey
the laws and submit to the Government, but they shall prescribe the terms of
The Tribune, in the words we quote, substantially says that, if Mr. BLAIR can
persuade the South that the Government will concede the success of the
rebellion, he will have done his country a signal service. But how can he serve
his country by announcing a premium upon rebellion ?
The pernicious folly of such talk is beyond calculation. The Government does
insist on an unconditional surrender. That was the exact issue before the people
in the late election. There was to be no compromising, no compounding, no
convention, no waving of olive boughs, but the authority of the Government was
to be unconditionally maintained. The whole country understood it. The rebels
understood it. The world understood it. And, accordingly, in his Message to
Congress, a month after the country had almost unanimously declared for an
unconditional surrender of the rebels, the President said, " They can, at any
moment, have peace simply by laying down their arms and submitting to the
national authority under the Constitution." By what authority does the Tribune
immediately say that the Government does not insist on an unconditional
The question of the conditions of peace is perfectly simple. There is no need of
supposing or of arguing that any thing is to be accomplished by mysterious
missions. There is nothing to be concealed. The Government can have nothing to
say to any rebel that it has not already said to the country; and if it should
have, it can not say it so effectively as by declaring it publicly and by an
authorized minister. As for humanity and fraternity, they are both most truly
served by a quiet insistence upon the only means which can secure a humane and
fraternal and permanent peace ; while those who think that we do not show a
disposition for peace unless we constantly ask JEFFERSON DAVIS whether he will
give it up, are those who really think the Government ought not to make war. Nor
need we indulge a visionary hope of widening any breach among the leading
rebels. How can that be done by any man who merely repeats what the leading
rebels already know? and if any body says more than that he takes a different
ground from that of the President in his Message.
One thing is indisputable ; if any agent or private visitor to Richmond tells
any rebel that the Government of the United States does not insist upon an
unconditional surrender, he does all he can to disgrace his country and to
pro-long the war.
"NATIONAL" OR "FEDERAL,"
IN civil war words are things. This war of ours is to determine whether we are a
nation, with national sovereignty and powers ; or merely a league, covenant, or
federation of separate sovereign States. To every loyal man this proposition has
very much the air of a truism. But there is a curious and frequent heedlessness
of its truth in practice. Many of our officers and orators and editors
constantly speak of the Government as the Federal Government, and the army and
navy as the Federal army and navy. The national cause itself is often described
as the Federal cause.
Now a federation and a confederation are historically very much the same thing.
The states of Greece were leagued, or federated, or confederated, like the
German monarchies and the Dutch provinces. The terms of federation were
different, but the federative principle in history is the union of separate
sovereignties for common safety. The absolute sovereignty of the state remained,
except so far as it was expressly limited as in the old Dutch republic, where
any one of the federated provinces could not make an alliance without the
consent of all the others.
But the precise difference between the action of States surrendering their
separate sovereignty to form a nation and that of sovereign States uniting in a
federation, or confederacy, is fully illustrated in the comparison of the
preamble of the United States Constitution and that of the Rebel Constitution.
The first establishes a Union such as history had not recorded, and which is a
nation. The other aims to found a Federation, or Confederacy. Thus in our
Constitution it is written and by the very words used the prospective existence
of a nation is assumed, which even in the fundamental act of its creation speaks
in its national character " We, the People of the United States, in order to
form a more perfect union," etc., etc., "do ordain and establish this
Constitution for the United States of America."
On the other hand, the rebels who repudiate the national existence, and assert
that the Union is only a League, or Confederacy, or Federation involuntarily
abandon their interpetation of the Constitution in forming their League. For if
the Constitution of the United States is evidently merely a federative bond
between sovereign States, why change the phraseology in forming a similar bond
for some of the same States ? The rebel argument is weakened by the change, for
it seems to show not only a doubt, but a tolerably strong conviction, that their
interpretation is wrong. Thus in the Montgomery Constitution of the so called "
Confederate States of America" the preamble reads : " We, (Next