War Power of the President

9 in the way that wars are always carried on, in the way that wars 'must be carried on, if they are wars at all; i. e., by power more or less despotic. And, with the constitutional limitations and responsibilities, as hereinbefore stated, I think there is not the slightest danger that these war powers will be permanently fixed in the ordinary administration of the government. They are in the President’s hands for iise upon disloyal persons, and nobody else ; they exist during tlie war, and at no other time ; and for the purpose of suppressing the rebellion, and for no other purpose. Can any man with professions of loyalty to his government on his lips, object to this? Any objections to it are objections to suppressing the rebellion at all. Say ye that these are dangerous powers to concede to a President, with a million or so of soldiers at his back ? No, the use of these powers can, in any event, be dangerous only to the rebellion and the rebels, for they reach not an inch beyond them. If, however, you will have it that our liberties are just now7 endangered in this behalf, the danger results not from the-existence or the exercise of these powers to suppress the rebellion, but from the constitutional fact that the President has command of the army of the nation, and the possibility that he may overreach these powers, and thus rob us of .our liberties. To a tyrant chieftain, however, with an invincible army to do his bidding, it matters not where you draw the line of his lawful powers. Draw it where you will, it will not retard his advance to the goal of his ambition. But, after all, if you must insist that our present proverbially honest and patriotic Chief Magistrate is bent on the subversion of the liberties of his country, we have a certain security in the army that he commands ; an army not of mercenaries fighting for a master and for their bread, but an army made up of our own citizens, a part of the great constituency of the Republic, from every nook and corner of the land, our sons, our brothers, and our neighbors, representing the sovereignty of the nation in the field ; fighting, not for Abraham Lincoln, or for any other man, fighting, not to destroy theii' own government and their own liberties, but fighting only to crush out this rebellion, for the Constitution and the Union, for their own liberties, as well as ours. In an army such as this we have all the safety that a rebellion, such as this, admits of. In conclusion, therefore, the Constitution is sufficient for any emergency of national danger. It invests the government with ample power to preserve and perpetuate itself, without impairing the rights, or endangering the liberies of the people. Let all the people of the ' /o 2