Character and Results of the War

LOYAL PUBLICATION SOCIETY. 863 BROA9WAT. No 7. CHARACTER AND RESULTS OF THE WAR. How to Prosecute and How to End It. A THRILLING AND ELOQUENT SPEECH BY Major-General B. F. BUTLER. Reported by A. F. Warburton. Before the return of Gen. Butler from the Department of the Gulf, some of the leading citizens of New York, anxious to testify their admiration of his administration of that Department, and their appreciation of his distinguished services on other fields, united in tendering him a public dinner, addressing him the following letter : “New York, Thursday, Jan. 8, 1863. "Major-General Benjamin F. Butler, UnitedStates Army: “ Dear Sir,—At a meeting of citizens of this city, held at the Fifth Avenue Hotel on the evening of the 5th instant, for the purpose of expressing the sense of this community in reference to the public services rendered by you to the country, the following resolution was unanimously adopted: . “ Resolved, That the loyal patriotism, indomitable energy, and great administrative ability shown by Major General Benjamin F. Butler, in the various commands held by him in the service of the country, and especially in his civil and military administration of the duties pertaining to his command of the Department of the Gulf, eminently entitle him to an expression of approbation on the part of the citizens of New York. “ In furtherance of the views thus expressed it was also res-.lved, that, in addition to such action as may be taken by our municipal authorities, in extending to you the hospitalities of this city, a public dinner be tendered to you by the citizens, and the undersigned were appointed a committee to communicate with you upon the sub ect. “ We have now the honor to apprise you of the action thus taken, and to ask that you will meet with our citizens at a public dinner at such time, to be appointed by you, as may be consistent with your official duties and your personal convenience. “ In conveying to you this invitation, intended as a tribute of personal respect and esteem, we are well assured that it will not be the less acceptable to you as marked by a still higher significance. “The citizens of New York, watcbing the events of the war with a degree of vigilance and anxiety proportioned to the vast interests and influences which converge toward and radiate from this great commercial centre, have recognized

rr 973.7 In the course pursued by you in the service and support of the Government, the principles which they deem most essential and indispensable to its triumph. They share with you the conviction that there is no middle or neutral ground between loyalty and treason; that traitors against the Government forfeit all rights of protection and of property; that those'who persist in armed rebellion, or aid it less openly but not less effectively, must be put down, and kept down by the strong hand of power and by the use of all rightful means, and that, so far as may be, the sufferings of the poor and the misguided, caused by the rebellion, should be visited upon the authors of their calamities. We have seen with approbation that in applying these principles, amidst the pe* culiar difficulties and embarrassments incident to your administration in your recent command, you have had the sagacity to devise, the will to execute, and the courage to enforce the measures which they demanded, and we rejoice at the success which has vindicated the wisdom and the justice e your official course. In thus congratulating you upon these results, we believe that we express the feeling of all those who most earnestly desire the speedy restoration of the Union in its full integrity and power; and we trust, that you will be able to afford us the opportunity of interchanging with you, in the manner proposed, the patriotic sympathies and hopes which belong to this sacred cause. “We are, General, with high respect, your friends and obedient servants, Chas, King, 0. H. Marshall, L. Bradlsh, George Opdyke, Geo. W. Parsons, P. Perit, Horace Webster, Peter Cooper, Hamilton Fish, Robert Bayard, Isaac Ferris, Jolin A. King, Fred. De Peyster, Chas. H. Russell, E. D. Morgan, B. W. Bonney, Jonathan Sturges, L. B. Woodruff, John Paine, Geo. Griswold, Murray Hoffman, W. F. Havetneyer, I. N. Phelps, Wm. A. Booth, John J. Cisco, Hiram Barney, David Hoadley, John J. Phelps, Denning Duer, John E. Williams, D. Dudley Field, Morris Ketehum, E. E. Morgan, Geo. W. Blunt, R. H McCurdy, Wm. Allen Butler, Ed. Minturn, Ambrose Snow, G. S. Robbins, 8. B. Chittenden, Alex. W. Bradford, Marsh. 0. Roberts, Elliot C. Cowdin, Wm. G. Lambert, J.D. Beers, Ed. Learned, Ros. D. Hitcheock, B. H. Hulton, Morris Franklin, Pros. M. Wetmore, Geo. Folsom, E. Nye, Henry H. Elliott, J. F. Gray, M. D., H. K. Bogert, M. II. Grinnell, Russell Sturgess, H. A. Hurlbut, Amos R. Eno, Charles Butler, Geo. Stevenson, Jno. a. C. Gray, G. T. Strong, Hobart Ford, Seth B. Hunt, J, Burns, Chas. Gould, R. G. White, R. A. McCurdy, Frank E. Howe, Henry W. T. Mall, Panl Spofford, N. Sands, E. P. Janies, S. Draper, A. Bierstadt, L. B. Wyman, M. B. Field, F. S. Winston, R .F. Andrews, Jno. Slosson, C. H. Ludington, Isaac Dayton, J. A. Pullen, Hamlin Blake, J. H. Almy, Wm. C. Noyes, Joseph Rudd,- W. Parker, M. D., John Jay, J. Wadsworth, Wm. V. Brady, N. Hayden, Wm. Orton, T. G. Churchill, Wm. 0. Bryant, D. Drake Smith, Parke Godwin. Isaac Sherman, T. T. Buckley, E. C. Benedict, Shepherd Knapp, E. D. James, W H. L. Barnes, C. A. Bristed, John B. Hall, R. W. Weston, Geo. Dennison, C. R. Robert, Joseph Hoxie, T. H. Skinner, D. N. Barney, To this, Gen. Butler, at the earliest moment consistent with his official duties, made the following reply : REPLY OF GENERAL BUTLER. “Loweel, Thursday, March 26, 1863. “Gentlemen,—The necessities of my position have rendered it exceedingly inconvenient for me earlier to reply to your exquisitely courteous and too kind letter of approval of the administration of my command of the Department of the Gulf, asking me to fix a day when I could meet you as therein proposed. “ With every expression of profoundest gratitude for your invitation to partake of a public dinner with the citizens of New York, allow me to suggest that while I am waiting orders to join my brave comrades in the field, it would not be consonant with my sense of duty to accept your flattering hospitalities. “To you, gentlemen, at home bearing your share of the burdens and expenses of this unholy war, forced upon us by treason, the tendering of such an expression of approbation of the conduct of a public officer was fit and proper, as it was natural and customary, but my acceptance of it would trench upon a different feeling. I too well know the revulsion of feeling with which the soldier in. the field, occupying the trenches, pacing the sentinel’s weary path in the blazing beat, or watching from his cold bivouac the stars shut out by the drenching cloud, bears of feasting and merry-making at home by those who ought to bear his hardships with him,^and the bitterness with which he speaks of those who, thus engaged, are wearing his uniform. “ Upon the scorching sand, and under the braintrying sun of the Gulf coast, I have too much shared that feeling to add one pang, however slight, to the discomfort which my fellow-soldiers 76-69 73

3 Buffer doing the duties of the camp and'field, by my. own act, while separated momentarily from them by the exigencies of the public service. “You will pardon, I am sure, this apparent rudeness of refusal of your most generous proposal, but, under such circumstances, I have spoken too bitterly and too often of the participation by absent officers on such occasions to permit myself to take part in one, even when offered in the patriotic spirit which breathes through your letter, desiring to testify approval of my services to the country. u It would, however, give me much pleasure to testify my gratitude for your kindness by meeting you and your fellow-citizens in a less formal man. ner, ‘ interchanging the patriotic sympathies and hopes which belong to this' sacred cause.’ Perhaps, by so doing we may do something in aid of that cause. Whatever may strengthen the purpose, deepen the resolution, and fix the determination never to yield this contest until this rebellion, in its roots and branches, in its causes, in its effects and designs, is overthrown and utterly annihilated forever, and the power of the National Government—with its democracying influences and traditional theories of equality of rights, the equality of laws, and equality of privileges for all, as received from the fathers of the Republic —is actively acknowledged upon every inch of the United States territory, is an aid—nay, a necessity—to the cause of the country. To prepare the public mind by doubts, or fears, or sug. gestions of compromises, or hopes of peace, to be satisfied with any thing less than these demands, is treason to country, humanity, and God—more foul, because more cowardly than rebellion. “ Let, then, every loyal man join hands with his neighbor, sinking all differences of political Opinion, which must be minor to this paramount interest, and pledge himself to the fullest support of the Government, with men and means to crush out this treason, and then, and not till then, am I willing to hear anything of political party. “ Again and again returning you my grateful thanks for the courtesy done me by your action, allow me to say that I shall be in New York during the coming week, and shall be happy at any time to meet you, gentlemen, and my fellow-citi- uens, in such manner as they may think fitting. “ Most respectfully, your obedient servant, “ Benjamin F. Butler, “ Major-General U, S. V.” In compliance with Gen. Butler’s preferences, as expressed in the above, a public reception was arranged, and took place at the Academy of Music, Thursday evening, April 2d. The welcome then extended to the gallant soldier, was, in all respects, one of the most enthusiastic and significant ever extended to any honored servant of any people. Long before the hour of commencement, the house was filled in every part, our loyal women alone almost filling the balcony and upper circles. Mrs. Butler and Mrs. Banks were present, sitting in the private boxes, and upon the stage were General Wool, General C. M. Clay, and a large number of our well-known citizens. Previous to the opening of the meeting, Major-General Wool and several officers of his staff entered upon the stage. His appearance was greeted with tremendous cheers;. Gen. W etmore came forward and said: I am happy to see that this immense audience recognizes one of our noblest heroes, Major-General Wool. [Cheers.] The applause having subsided, Gen. Woon advanced to the footlights, and said; SPEECH OF GEN. WOOL. I thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for the honor of this recognition. I am not prepared to make a speech on this occasion. You will have those who can speak to you better than I can do., But permit me to say what you already know—I am for putting down this rebellion nolens volens, and will never concede to any compromise until that is accomplished. [Tremendous cheers.] The orchestra having concluded a beautiful introductory overture, the Union Glee Club came forward and sang, in an excellent manner, “ The Sword of Bunker Hill.” A loud and long encore being given by the audience, the Club sang: “ Columbia, we love thee, Land of the free." The orchestra soon struck up the enlivening strains of “Hail to the Chief,” which gave sure indication that MAJ.-GEN. BUTLER was approaching. Soon the General made his appearance, and was received with long and loud continued cheers, the ladies waiving their handkerchiefs, while the men strained their

throats to give the gallant hero the reception which was so justly due him. The coup d'oeil presented on the General’s appearance was superb. Parquet, dress circle, and galleries united in most uproarious cheers, and men seemed almost beside themselves with demonstrative zeaL Handkerchiefs and hats were waved, and the uproar continued for several minutes. Silence being restored, Senator Morgan introduced Maj.-Gen. Butler to His Honor Mayor Opdyke, as follow*: SPEECH OF SENATOR MORGAN. Mr. Mayor,—It affords me the greatest pleasure to introduce to you the most efficient officer in the United States service, Maj.-Gen. Benjamin F Butler. [Loud and continued cheers.] Gen. Butler advanced towards the Mayor, who cordially took his hand and then addressed him as follows : SPEECH OF THE MAYOR. General Butler,—The gentlemen upon whose invitation you are here, have charged me with the agreeable duty of bidding you welcome to our city, and expressing to you the warm-hearted greeting, not merely of those present, but of every loyal heart in this loyal metropolis. Our citizens have long desired the privilege of testifying to you personally their great respect for your character, and their high appreciation of your public services. In their name I thank you .for having now accorded them this privilege. They have watched your public career during the present ■war with a constantly increasing interest and admiration. They saw you among the first to abandon an honorable and lucrative profession, and voluntarily take up arms in defence of a government you loved, although it was administered by those whose election you had earnestly opposed. They felt that ‘no stronger evidence could be adduced of an exalted patriotism. Your first theatre of military service was in Maryland, a State then trembling in the balance between loyalty and treason, and in whose metropolis soldiers of the Union had been assassinated on their way to the protection of the capital. At that critical period you were fortunately placed in command, first at Annapolis and afterward at Baltimore; and it is, perhaps, not too much to say that it was owing to your judicious management, in which you wisely blended moderation with firmness, that Maryland escaped the criminal folly of secession. At air events, you prrmipny subdued the outbreaks of treason in that State, and thus rendered it safe for our troops to pass through the city of Baltimore without molestation* You were next placed in command at Fortress Monroe, where you made the sagacious discovery that slaves were contraband of war. In view of the tenderness with which our Government and its military commanders had up to that time treated the institution of slavery, this discovery must be regarded as one of the most valuable of the war, and therefore one which entitles you to the public gratitude. It quietly but most effectively divested the ” divine institution ” of all its sanctity in the presence of war. From Fortress Monroe you were transferred to a wider field of usefulness, by being placed in command of the Department of the Gulf. Your friends knew that in a position so environed with difficulties as this, no ordinary commander could hope to acquit himself with credit. You soon found yourself, with a handful of men, remote from your base of supplies and from succor, in the metropolis of the Confederacy, where the population, with few exceptions, was intensely hostile to the National Government; and the moment they discovered the fidelity and ability with which you upheld the interests of the Government, all their intensity of hatred was transferred to you personally. They grossly misrepresented your acts; they wilfully misinterpreted your language; they heaped on you the vilest epithets, and in every conceivable way labored to cover your name with infamy. The rebel government and the rebel presa throughout the Confederacy took up the theme and repeated thes'e slanders with every variation that ingenuity could suggest. The rebel chief, in his annual message, even went so far as to brand you as an outlaw, and to decree your execution in case you should fall into the hands of his military forces. They also conferred on you, I believe, the exclusive honor of offering a large reward for your head. Nor were the malignant slanders I have referred to uttered only by the rebels. Their sympathizers at the North and throughout Europe joined in the refrain, and reechoed their bitter denunciations. Abuse from the bad, like praise from the good, affords presumptive evidence of merit. Hence, if our Government or its true friends had been ignorant of your policy, they might

5 the unbridled reign of treason and the vices engendered by slavery. By your wi:e sanitary regulations you also kept the material atmosphere pure, and thus excluded pestilence. As a former resident of New Orleans, I know that to have accomplished this in a city so unhealthy, and where all previous efforts in that direction had failed, must be regarded as one of your noblest achievements. I have little doubt that among its beneficial results was the preservation of the lives of at least one- half of your command. Your troops were all unacclimated. The yellow fever prevailed at nearly all the neighboring ports oa the Gulf and in the West Indies, and, but for your vigorous quarantine and strict sanitary regulation within the city, would have become epidemic in New Orleans. In that event, your whole army would have been attacked by it —for none of the unacclimated escape—and it is known that at least fifty per cent of the cases prove fatal. By means like these you husbanded your small command and slender means in such a masterly manner that during eight months service you did not call upon the Government for a dollar, except for the pay of your soldiers; and you turned over to your successor two thousand more troops than you had received from your Government, with military lines embracing two-thirds of the population, and nearly that proportion of the territory of the State of Louisiana. The brief sketch I have thus given of your achievements in the Department of the Gulf might be indefinitely extended. But I have said enough to show that you have made a record of which any commander, however distinguished, might justly feel proud, and which the present and future generations will not fail to appreciate. We, sir, glory in the fact that our country and our institutions can, in an emergency, produce from private life ready-made, military commanders, statesmen and jurists of the highest type, and all combined in a single individual. In your late command you have been called upon to exercise the functions appertaining to each of these, and it must be conceded that you acquitted yourself admirably in all. As a commander, you did not prosecute war in the spirit of peace, but with the iron-handed rigor which its necessities demand and its usages justify, and which is an indispensable element of success. As a jurist and lawyer, you proved yourself a perfect master of every have safely inferred, from this clamor of its bitter enemies, that that policy was just and Wise. But, eir, the loyal people of the North were not ignorant of your acts or your policy. They saw that your capacious and fertile mind, your resolute will, your dauntless courage, and your earnest patriotism, rendered you master of the situation, and fitted you, above all other men, for the difficult position in which you were placed. They saw that you fully comprehended your duty as a military commander, as a legislator, as a judge, as an executive officer, and as a tamer of rebel madmen and mad women—for your sphere of duty embraced all these; and they saw that your firm will stood ever ready to execute what your judgment dictated and your conscience approved. In thus acting, you strengthened the cause of your Government, which is the cause of justice and right. But you at the same time weakened the cause of its enemies, which is the cause of oppression and wrong. For this they hate and revile you; for that we esteem and praise you. But, sir, you shocked the sensibilities of Se- cessia and all its partisans in the outer world by that terrible decree, called Order No. 28. That order, as I understand it, was simply intended to extend a salutary police arrangement, which had long existed in New Orleans, so as to bring within its jurisdiction and restraint the improper conduct of those aristocratic dames who gloried in heaping insults on the soldiers of the Union. It had the desired effect. It improved their manners and their modesty; for which, sir, I doubt not, they will in due time return you thanks instead of execrations, as now. The presence of our wives and daughters here to-night proves that the ladies of New York regard that far-famed order, both in its intention and effects, as proper and salutary. You gave lessons equally usefhl to the sterner sex. You taught them to respect the authority of the United States, and to fear its power. You treated as enemies of your country all who avowed themselves as such, and, in strict accordance with the usages of war and the laws of the United States, you confiscated their property and appropriated it to the support of their own poor, and in providing for the wants of your army. By these and kindred measures you purified the jnoral, social, and political atmosphere of a city in which each had been rendered most noxious by

6 code that could be applied to the novel legal ques- tions presented for your decision. In truth, your legal acumen was quite an overmatch for that of the leading rebels and their sympathetio consular allies. But, sir, it is for the statesmanlike qualities evinced by you in this contest that your friends are disposed to award you the highest praise. You seem to them to comprehend most perfectly all the principles involved in the present contest, as well as the best means of bringing it to a successful issue. Your pioneer mind, like Daniel Boone, among the border men of the West, seems to keep in advance of all others. You are familiar with the causes that produced the war; you have shared in its progress, and have had leisure sinceyour return from active service to take a dispassionate survey of its present status and its probable future. We shall feel greatly obliged if you will give us your views on such of these topics as may be agreeable to you, feeling well assured that whatever you may say will be marked by your accustomed originality of thought and breadth of knowledge, and must therefore prove both interesting and instructive. Without detaining you longer, General, permit me to renew my assurance of welcome, and then present you io an assemblage worthy of such a guest. The Mayor, at the conclusion of the address, again took the General cordially by the hand, and presented him to the assembly as one of the best specimens of the volunteer army of the United States. [Prolonged cheers.] General Butler acknowledged the courteous reception, and spoke as follows : SPEKCH OF GBN. BUTLER. Mr. Mayor,—With the profoundestgratitude for the too flattering commendation of my administration of the various trusts committed to me by the Government, which, in behalf of your associates, you have been pleased to tender, I ask you to receive my most heartfelt thanks. To the citizens of New York here assembled, graced by the fairest and loveliest, in kind appreciation of my services supposed to have been rendered to the country, I tender the deepest acknowledgments. [Applause.] I accept it all, not for myself, but for my brave comrades of the Army of the Gulf. [Renewed applause.] I receive it as an earnest of your devotion to the country—an evidence of your loyalty to theConstitution under whichyou live, and under which you hope to die. In order that the acts of the Army of the Gulf may be understood, perhaps it would be well, at a little length, with your permission, that some detail should be given of the thesis upon which we fulfilled our duties. The first question, then, to be ascertained is, what is this contest in which the country is engaged ? At the risk of being a little tedious, at the risk even of calling your attention to what might seem otherwise too elementary, I propose to run down through the history of the contest to see what it is that agitates the whole country at thia day and thia hour. That we are in the midst of civil commotion, all know. But what is that commotion ? Is it a riot! Is it an insurrection ? Is it a rebellion ? Or is it a revolution ! And pray, sir, although it may seem still more elementary, what is a riot ? A riot, if I understand it, is simply an outburst of the passions of a number of men for the moment, in breach of the law, by force of numbers, to be put down and subdued by the civil authorities; if it goes further, to be dealt with by the military authorities. But you say, sir, “ Why treat us to a definition of a riot upon this occasion ? Why, of all things, should you undertake to instruct & New York audience in what a riot is ? ’’ [Laughter.] To that I answer, because the Administration of Mr. Buchanan dealt with this great change of affairs as if it were a riot; because his Government officer gave the opinion that in Charleston it was but a riot; and that, as there was no civil authority there, to call out the military, therefore, Sumter must be given over to the rioters ; and that was the beginning of this struggle. Let us see how it grew up. I deal not now in causes, but with effects—facts. _ Directly after the guns of the rebels bad turned upon Sumter, the several States of the South, in Convention assembled, inaugurated a series of movements which took out from the Union divers States; and as each waa attempted to be taken out, the riots, if such existed, were no longer found in them, but they become insurrectionary; and the Administration, upon the 15th of April, 1861, dealt with this state of affairs as an insurrection, and called out ths militia of the United States to subdue an insurrection. I was called at that time into the service to administer the laws in putting down an insurrection. I found a riot at Baltimore. They had burned bridges; but the riot had hardly arisen to the dignity of an insurrection, because «he

State had not moved as an organized community. A few men were rioting at Baltimore; and as I marched there at the head of United States troops, the question came up, What have I before me ? You will remember that I offered then to put down all kinds of insurrections so long as the State of Maryland remained loyal to the United States. Transferred from thence to a wider sphere at Fortress Monroe, I found that the State of Virginia, through its organization, had taken itself out of the Union, and was endeavoring to erect for itself an independent government; and I dealt with that State as being in rebellion, and thought the property of the rebels, of whatever name or nature, should be dealt with as rebellious property, and contraband of war, subject to the laws of war. [Great applause.] I have been thus careful in stating these various steps, because, although through your kindness replying to eulogy, I am here answering every charge of inconsistency and wrong of intention for my acts done before the country. Wrong in judgment I may have been; but, I insist, wrong in intention or inconsistent to my former opinions, never Upon the same theory by which I felt myself bound to put down insurrection in Maryland, while it re’ mained loyal, whether that insurrection was the work of blacks or whites, by the same loyalty to the Constitution and laws, I felt bound to confiscate slave property in the rebellious State of Virginia. [Applause.] Pardon me, sir, if right here Isay that I am a little sensitive upon this topic. I am an old-fashioned Andrew Jackson Democrat of twenty years' standing. [Applause. A voice: “The second hero of New Orleans.” Renewed applause culminating in three cheers.] And so far as I know, I have never swerved, so help me God, from one of bis teachings. [Great applause.] Up to the time that disunion took place, I went as far as the farthest in sustaining the constitutional rights of the States. However bitter or distasteful to me were the obligations my fathers had made for me in the compromise of the Constitution, it was not for me to pick out the sweet from the bitter ; and, fellow-democrats, I took them all [loud cheers] because they were constitutional obligations [applause]; and sustaining them all, I stood by the South and by Southern rights under the Constitution until I advanced and looked into the very pit of disunion, and into which they plunged, and then, not liking the prospect, I quietly withdrew. [Immense applause and laughter.] And from that hgur we went apart, how far apart you can judge when I tell you, that on the 28th December, 1860, 1 ehook hands on terms of personal friendship with Jefferson Davis, and on the 28th of December, 1862,1 had the pleasure of reading his proclamation that I was to be hanged at sight. [Great applause and laughter.] And now, my friends, if you will allow me to pause for a moment in this line of thought, as we come up to the point of time, when these men laid down their constitutional obligations, let me ask, what then were my rights, and what were theirs ? At that hour they repudiated the Constitution of the United .States, by vote in solemn Convention; and not only that, but they took arms in their hands, and undertook by force to rend from the Government what seemed to them the fairest portion of the heritage which my fathers had given to you and me as a rich legacy for our children. When they did that, they abrogated, abnegated, and forfeited every constitutional right, and released me from every constitutional obligation, so far as they were concerned. [Loud cheers.] Therefore when I was thus called upon to say what should be my action thereafter with regard to slavery, I was left to the natural instincts of my heart, as prompted by a Christian education in New England, and J dealt with it accordingly. [Immense applause.] The same sense of duty to my constitutional obligations, and to the rights of the several States that required me, so long as those States remained under the Constitution, to protect the system of slavery,—that same sense of duty after they had gone out from under the Constitution, caused me to follow the dictates of my own untrammelled conscience. So you see—and I speak now to my old Democratic friends—that, however misjudging I may have been, we went along together, step by step, up to that point; and I claim that we ought still to go on in the same manner. We acknowledged the right of those men to hold slaves, because it wasguaranteed to them by the compromise of our fathers in the Constitution; but if their State rights were to be respected, because of our allegiance to the Constitution and our respect to State rights, when that sacred obligation was taken away by their own traitorous acta, and we, as well as the negroes, were disenthralled, why should not we follow the dictates of God’s law and humanity ? [Tremendous applause, and cries of “ Bravo, Bravo.”] By the exigencies-of

8 the public service removed once more to another sphere of action, at New Orleans, I found this problem coming up in another form, and that led me to examine and eee how far had progressed this civil commotion, now carried on by force of arms. I found under our complex system of States, each having an independent government, with the United States covering all, that there can be treason to a State and not to the United States, revolution in a State and not as regards the United States, loyalty to a State and disloyalty to the Union, and loyalty to the Union and disloyalty to the organized Government of a State. As an illustration, take the troubles which almost lately arose in the State of Rhode Island*, where there was an attempt to rebel against the State Government and to change the form of that Government, but no rebellion against the United States. All of you are familiar with the movements of Mr. Dorr; in that matter there was no intent of disloyalty against the United States, but a great deal against the State Government. I therefore in Louisiana found a State Government that had entirely changed its form, and had revolutionized itself so far as it could; had created courts and imposed taxes; and put in motion all kinds of governmental machinery; and I found so far as this State Government was concerned, Louisiana was no longer in and of itself one of the United States of America. It had, so far as it could,, changed its State Government, and by solemn act had forever seceded from the United States of America and attempted to join the Confederate States. I found, I respectfully submit, a revolutionized State! There had been a revolution, by force ; beyond a riot, which is an infraction of the law; beyond an insurrection, which is an abnegation of the law; beyond a rebellion, which is an attempt to override the law by force of numbers; and, further, I found a new State Government formed, that was being supported by force of arms. Now, I asked myself, upon what thesis shall I deal with those people ? Organized into a community under forms of law, they had seized a portion of the territory of the United States; and I respectfully submit I had to deal with them as alien enemies. [Great applause.] They had forever passed the boundary of “wayward sisters,” or “erring brothers,”-unless indeed they erred toward us as Cain did against his brother Abel. They had passed beyond that and outside of it. Aye, and Louisiana had done this in the' strongest possible way, for she had seized on territory which the Government of the United States had bought and paid for. Therefore I dealt with them as alien enemies. [Applause.] And what rights have alien enemies, captured in war I They have the right, so long as they behave themselves and are non-combatants, to be free from personal violence; they have no other rights; and therefore, it was my duty to see to it, (and I believe the record will show, I did see to it,) [great applause and loud cheers,] that order was preserved, and that every man who behaved well, and did not aid the Confederate States, should not be molested in his person. I held, by the laws of war, that everything else they had was at the mercy of the conqueror. [Cheers.] Permit me to state the method in which their rights were defined by one gentleman of my staff. He very coolly paraphrased the Dred Scott decision, and said they had no rights which a negro was bound to respect. ‘ [Loud and prolonged laughter and cheers.] But, dealing with them in this way, I took care to protect all men in personal safety. Now I hear a friend behind me say: “ But how does your theory affect loyal men !” The difficulty in answering that proposition, is this : in governmental action the Government, in making peace and carrying on war, cannot deal with individuals, but with organized communities, whether organized wrongly or rightly [cheers] ; and all I could do, so far as my judgment taught me, for the loyal citizen, was to see to it that no exaction should be made of him, and no property taken away from him, that was not absolutely necessary for the success of military operations. I know nothing else that I could do. I could not alter the carrying on of the war, because loyal citizens were, unfortunately, like Dog Tray, found in bad company [laughter], and to their persons, and to their property, even, all possible protection I caused to be afforded. But let me repeat—for it is quite necessary to keep this in mind, and I am afraid that for want of so doing, some of my old Democratic friends have got lost, in going from one portion of the country to the other, in their thoughts and feelings—let me repeat that, in making war or making peace, carrying on governmental operations of any sort, governments and their representatives, so far as I am instructed, can deal only with organized communities, and men must

9 fall or rise with the communities in which they are situated. You in New York must follow the Government as expressed by the will of the majority of your State, until you can revolutionize that Government and change it; and those loyal at the South must, until this contest comes into process of settlement, also follow the action of the organized majorities in which their lot has been cast, and no man, no set of men, can see the possible solution of this or any other governmental problem, as affecting States, except upon this basis. Now, then, to pass from the particular to the general, to leave the detail in Louisiana, of which I have run down the account, rather as illustrating my meaning than otherwise, I come back to the question : What is the contest with all the States that are banded together in the so- called Confederate States ? Into what form has it cornel It started in insurrection; it grew up a rebellion ; it has become a revolution, and carries with it all the rights of a revolution. Our Government has dealt with it upon that ground. When the Government blockaded Southern ports, they dealt with it as a revolution; when they sent out cartels of exchange of prisoners, they dealt with these people no longer as simple insurrectionists and traitors, but as organized revolutionists, who had set up a government for themselves upon the territory of the United States. Sir, let no man say to me, “ Why, then you acknowledge the rights of revolution in these men I” I beg your pardon, sir, I only acknowledge the fact of revolution—that which has actually happened I look these things in the face, and I do not dodge them because they are unpleasant; I find this a revolution, and these men are no longer, I repeat, our erring brethren, but they are our alien enemies, foreigners [cheers] carrying on war against us, attempting to make alliances against us, attempting surreptitiously to get into the family of nations. I agree that it is not a successful revolution, and a revolution never to be successful [loud cheers],—pardon me, I was speaking theoretically, as a matter of law,—never to be successful until acknowledged by the parent State, Now, then, I am willing to unite with you in your cheers, when you say, a revolution, the rightfulness oi* success of which we never will acknowledge. [Cheers.] Why, sir, have I been so careful in bringing down with great particularity these distinctions ! Because, in my judgment, there are certain logical consequences following from them as necessarily as various corollaries from a problem in Euclid. If we are at war, as I think, with a foreign country, to all intents and purposes, how can a man here stand up and say he is on the side of that foreign country and not be an enemy to his country? [Cheers.] A man must be either for his country or against his country. [Cheers.] He cannot, upon this theory, be throwing impediments all the time in the way of the progress of his Government, under pretense that he is helping some other portion of his country. If any loyal man thinks that he muA do something to bring back his erring brethren, if he likes that form of phrase, at the South, let him take his musket and go down and try it in that way. [Cheers.] If he is still of a different opinion, and thinks that is not the best way to bring them back, but he can do it by persuasion and talk, let him go down with me to Louisiana, and I will set him over to Mississippi, and if the rebels do not feel for bis heart-strings, but not in love, I will bring him back. [Cheers, loud and prolonged. “ Send Wood down first!”] Let us say to him: Choose ye this day whom ye will serve. If the Lord thy God be God, serve him; if Baal be God, serve ye him. [Cheers.] But no man can serve two masters, God and Mammon. [“ That’s so.”] Again, there are other logical consequences to flow from the view which I have ventured to take of this subject, and that is with regard to our relations from past political action. If they are now alien enemies, I am bound to them by no ties of party fealty. They have passed out of that, and I think we ought to go back only to examine and see if all ties of party allegiance and party fealty as regards them are not broken, and satisfy ourselves that it is your duty and mine to look simply to our country and to its ‘service, and leave them to look to the country they are attempting to erect, and to its service; and then let us try the conclusion with them. Mark, by this I give up no territory of the United States. Every foot that was ever* circumscribed on the map by the lines around the United States belongs to us. [Applause.] None the less because bad men lave attempted to organize worse government upon various portions of it. It is to be drawn in under our laws and our Government as soon as the power of the United States can be exerted for that purpose, and, therefore, my friends, you sea the next set of logical conse-

10 quenccs that prove our theory; that we have no occasion to carry on the fight for the Constitution as it was. , I beg your pardon, the Constitution as it is. Who is interfering with the Constitution as it is! Who makes any attacks upon the Constitution ! We are fighting with those who have gone out andrepudiated the Constitution, and made another Constitution for themselves. [Cheers.] And, now, my friends, I do not know but I shall use some heresy, but as a Democrat, as an Andrew Jackson Democrat, I am not for the Union as it was. [Great cheering. “ Good 1” w Good!”] I say, as a Democrat, and an Andrew Jackson Democrat, I am not for the Union to be again as it was. Understand me; I was for Union, because I saw, or thought I saw, the troubles in the future which have burst upon us ; but having undergone those troubles, having spent all this blood and this treasure, I do not mean to go back again and be cheek by jowl with South Carolina as I was before, if I can help it. [Cheers. “ You’re right.”] Mark me, now, let bo man misunderstand me, and I repeat, lest I may be misunderstood—there are none so slow to understand as.those who do not want to—mark me, I say I do not mean to give up a single inch of the eoil of South Carolina. If I had been alive at that time, and had had.the position, the will, and the ability, I would have dealt with South Carolina as Jackson did, aud kept her in the Union at all hazards, but now she has gone out, and I will take care that when she comes in again, she comes in better behaved [cheers], that she shall no longer be the firebrand of the Union—aye, and that she shall enjoy what her people never yet have enjoyed—the blejsings of a Republican form of Government. [Applause.] Therefore, in that view, I am not for the reconstruction of the Union as it was. I have spent treasure and blood enough upon it, in conjunction with my fellow-citizens, to make it a little better. [Cheers.] I think we can have a better Union the next time. It was good enough if it had been left alone. The old house was good enough for me, but as they have pulled down all the L part, I propose, when we build it up, to build it up with all the modern improvements. [Prolonged laughter and applause.] Another of the logical sequences, it seems to me, that follow with inexorable and not to-be-shunned sequence upon this proposition, that we are dealing with alien enemies, is with regard to our duties as to the cun- fi scat ion of their property, 'and that question would seem to me to be easy of settlement under the Constitution, and without any discussion, if my first proposition is right. Has it not been held from the beginning of the world down to this day, from the time the Israelites took possession of the Land of Canaan, which they got from alien enemies—has it not been held that the whole property of those alien enemies belonged to the conqueror, and that it has been at his mercy and his clemency what should be done with it! For one, I would take it and give the loyal man who was loyal in the heart of the South, enough to make him as well as he was before, and I would take the balance of it and distribute it among the volunteer soldiers who have gone— —[the remainder of the sentence was drowned in a tremendous burst of applause.] And so far as I know them, if we should settle South Carolina with them, in the. course of a few years I would be quite willing to receive her back into the Union. [Renewed applause.] That leads us to deal with another proposition : What shall be done with the slaves ? Here again the laws of war have long settled, with clearness and exactness, that it is for the conqueror, for the government which has maintained or extended its jurisdiction over the conquered territory, to deal with slaves as it pleases, to free them or not as it chooses. It is not for the conquered to make terms, or to send their friends into the conquered country to make terms for them. [Applause ] Another' corollary follows from the proposition that we are fighting with alien enemies, which relieves us from another difficulty which seems to trouble some of my old Democratic friends, and that is in relation to the question of arming the negro slaves. If the seceded States are alien enemies, is there any objection that you know of, and if so, state it, to our arming one portion of the foreign country against the other while they are fighting us J [Applause, and cries of “No!” “No!”] Suppose that we were at war with England. Who would get up here in New York and say that we must not arm the Irish, lest they should hurt some of the English! [Applause.] And yet at one time, not very far gone, all those Englishmen were our grandfathers’ brothers. Either they oe we erred; but we are now separate nations. There can be no objection, for another reason, because there is no law of war or of nations,—no rule of governmental action that 2

11 nations, than that the recognition of them is an act of war. They have no more right to recognize them, because we say, “ We will deal with you as belligerent alien enemies,” than they would have to deal with them if we dealt with them simply as rebels; and no country is more sternly and strongly bound by that view than is England, because she held the recognition by France of our independence to be an act of war and declared war accordingly. [Applause.] Therefore, I do not see who would lose any rights. We do not allow that this is a rightful rebellion—we do not recognize it as such—we do not act toward it except in the best way we can to put it down and to re-revolutionize the country. But what is the duty, then, of neutrals, if these are alien enemies ? We find them a people with whom no neutral nation has any treaty of amity or alliance; they are strangers to every neutral nation, and, for example, let us take the English. The English nation have no treaty with the rebels —have no relations with the rebels—open rela- tions I mean, [laughter,] none that are recognized by the laws of nations. They have a treaty of amity and friendship with us, and now what is their duty in the contest between us and our enemies, to whom they are strangers I They claim it to ba neutrality, such neutrality as they would maintain between two friendly nations with whom they have had treaties of amity. Let me illustrate: I have two friends that have got into a quarrel—into a fight, if you please; I am on equally good terms with both, and I do not choose to take a pari with either. I treat them as belligerents, and hold myself neutral. That is the position of a nation, where two equally friendly nations are fighting. But I have a friend again who is fighting with a stranger, with whom I have nothing to do, of whom I know nothing that is good, of whom I have seen nothing except that he would fight—what is my duty, my friends, in that case? To stand perfectly neutral ? It is not the part of a friend, as between men, and it is not the part of a friendly nation as between nations. And yet, from some strange misconception, our English friends profess to do no more than to stand perfectly neutral, while they have treaties of amity with us and no treaty which they acknowledge' with the South. [Applause.] And, therefore, I say it is a much higher duty on the part of foreign nations toward u» when we are in contest with a nation with which know of,—which prevents a country from arming finy portion of its citizens; and if the slaves do not take partin the rebellion, they become simply our citizens residing in our territory which is at present usurped by out enemies. [ Applause.}-. At this waning hour, I do not propose to discuss, but merely to hint at these various subjects- [Cries of “ Go on.”] There is one question I am frequently asked, and most frequently by my old Democratic friends:—" Why, Gen, Butler, what is your experience! Will the negroes fight 1” To that I answer, I have no personal experience, because I left the Department of the Gulf before they were fairly brought into action. But they did fight under Jackson, at Chalmette. More than that Let Napoleon III. answer, who has hired them to do what the veterans of the Crimea cannot do—to whip the Mexicans. Let the veterans of Napoleon I., under Le Clerc, who were whipped by them out of St. Domingo, say whether they will fight or not. What has been the demoralizing effect upon them as a race by their Cantact with white men, I know not; but I cannot forget that their fathers would not have been •laves, but that they were captives in war, in their own country, in hand to hand fights among the several chiefs. They would fight at some time; and if you want to know any more than that, I can only advise you to try them. [Great applause.] Passing to another logical deduction from the principle that we are carrying on war against alien enemies, (for I pray you to remem- bec- that I am only carrying out the same idea upon which the Government acted when it instituted the blockade,) I meet the question whether we thereby give foreign nations any greater rights than if we considered them as a rebellious portion Of our country. We have heretofore seemed to consider, that if we acknowledged that there was a revolution, and there were alien enemies in this fight, that, therefore, we should give to foreign nations greater right to interfere in our affairs than they would have if they were rebels, con- Bidered and held by us as rebels, only in the rebellious part of our own country. The first answer to that is this : that, so far as the rebels are concerned, they are estopped to deny that they are exactly what they claim themselves to be, alien enemies; and, so far as foreign nations concerned, while they are alien to us, yet they are upon our territory, and until we acknowledge them, there is no better settled rule of the law of

12 they have no treaty of amity To illustrate how this fact bears upon this question: the English Bay, “Oh! we are going to be neutral; we will not sell you any arms, because we should have to sell the same to the Confederates.” To that I an- Bwer: You have got treaties of amity and commerce with us by which you agree to trade with us. You have got no treaty of amity or commerce with them by which you agree to trade with them. Why not, then, trade with us ? why not give us that right of preference, except for reasons that I will state hereafter ? I have been thus particular upon this, because in stating these views to gentlemen in whose judgment I have great confidence, they have said to me, “ I agree to your views, Mr Butler, but I am afraid you will involve us with other nations, in the view that you take of that matter.” But I insist, and I can only state the proposition—your own minds will carry it out familiarly—I insist that there is a higher and closer duty to us—treating the rebels as a strange nation, not yet admitted into the family of nations—that there is a higher duty from our old friendship, from our old relations toward Great Britain, than there is to this pushing, attempting-to-get-into-place member of the family of nations. There is still another logical sequence which, in my judgment, follows from this view of the case. The great question put to me, my friends, and the great question which is now agitating this country, is, How are we to get these men back ? how are we to get this territory back ? how are we to reconstruct the nation ! I think it is much better answered upon this hypothesis than any other: There are but two ways in which this contest can be ended; one is by re-revolutionizing a portion of this territory, and have them come to ask to be admitted into the Union ; another is, to bring it all back, so that if they do not come back in the first way, they shall come back bound to our triumphal car of victory. [Applause.] Now, when any portion of the South becomes loyal to the North and to the Union, or, to express it with more care, when any portion of the inhabitants of the South wish to become again a part of the nation, and will throw off the government of Jefferson Davis, erect themselves into a State, and come and ask us to take them back with such a State Constitution as they ought to be admitted back again under, there is up difficulty in its being done. There is no witchery about this. This precise thing has beeb done in the case of Western Virginia. She went out—stayed out for a while. By the aid of our armies, and by the efforts of her citizens, she re-revolutionized, she threw off the government of the rest of the State of Virginia; she threw off the Confederate yoke; she erected herself into a State, with a Constitution such as I believe is quite satisfactory to all of us, especially the amendment. [Applause.] She has asked to come back, and has been received back, and is the first entering wedge of that series of States which will come back that way. But suppose they will not come back! We are bound to subjugate them. What, then, do they become ! Territories of the United States—[great applause]—acquired by force of arms—[renewed applause]—precisely as we acquired California, precisely as we ac- quired Nevada, precisely as we acquired—not exactly, though—as we acquired Texas—[laughter] ; and then is there any difficulty in dealing with these men? Was there any difficulty in dealing with the State of California, when our men went there and settled in sufficient numbers so as to give that State the benefits of the blessings of a republican form of government ? Was there any difficulty in obtaining her, beyond our transactions with Mexico ? None whatever. Will there be a'ny difficulty in taking to us the new State of Nevada when she is ready to come and ripe to come ! Was there any difficulty in taking any portion of the Louisiana purchase, when we bought her first ? Will there be any difficulty, when her people get ready to come back to the United States, of our taking her back again, mors than, perhaps, to carry out the parallel a little further, to pay a large sum of money besides, as we did in the case of California after we conquered it from Mexico! These States having gone out without cause, without right, without grievance, and having formed themselves into new States, and taken upon themselves new alliances, I am not for having them come back without readmission. I feel, perhaps, if the ladies will pardon the illustration, like a husband whose wife has run away with another man, and has divorced herself from him; he cannot take her to his arms until they have come before the priest and been remarried. [Laughter.] I have, I y, the same feeling in the case of these people that have gone out; when they repent, and ask to come back, I am ready to receive them; and I am