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the terrible contest was that Lee was compelled to retreat across the Potomac. McClellan followed, but he did not move rapidly enough to suit the government authorities, and the command of the army was taken from him and given to General Burnside.
336. Battles of Fredericksburg and Murfreesboro.- General Burnside set out to march on Richmond, but found the Confederates strongly fortified on the hills around Fredericksburg, on the Rappahannock. In the battle which ensued (December 13, 1862) he was defeated with heavy loss and forced to fall back toward Washington. General Hooker — "Fighting Joe Hooker," as his men called him now received the command of Burnside's army.
This was the last battle of the year in the East. In the West (December 31, 1862) the Confederate General Bragg attacked General Rosecrans at Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Each had about forty thousand men. The contest raged for three days, and resulted in a slight advantage to the Union forces.?
337. President Lincoln's Proclamation of Emancipation ; its Results. - President Lincoln had entered office resolved, as he then said, not to interfere with slavery. But the progress of the contest had convinced him that slavery was not only the real cause, but also the main strength of the war against the Union. He believed that the time had now come when it was his duty to strike that cause and that strength a decided blow. On New Year's Day, 1863, the President issued a proclamation, freeing all the slaves in those states of the South which were still at war against the Union. Thus by a single stroke of the pen, over three millions of negroes received (so far as the government could then
1 Burnside had about 125,000 men; Lee had 80,000 strongly entrenched on and near the hills. Burnside lost 12,000 men, and Lee not quite half that number.
2 Union loss, 14,000; Confederate, 11,000.
3 President Lincoln issued a preliminary proclamation of emancipation on September 22, 1862, giving one hundred days' warning to the South. In case any state chose to return to the Union within that time its slaves were not to be set at liberty by the final proclamation. When the President had been repeatedly and strongly urged to liberate the slaves at an earlier period of the war, he declared,“My para
Anaky vintern of the power, ance for the purpose of nereid, I as order and declare that all persons hela as slaves within sana dengnation Stater, ano parts of Stater, and, and hence forwanoo shall be frew; Ando
wprow act, sinceres believed to ho on act of justico, wenanted by the Constitution of on militan necessit, I invoke the considerats guay: ment of mankins, and the gracion favor of H. might Good
L. S. J
Independence of the United States of America the eighty-seventh
REDUCED COPY OF A PART OF THE EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION
(Jan. I, 1863).
LINCOLN'S PROCLAMATION OF EMANCIPATION.
give it) that most precious, yet most perilous of all rights — the ownership of themselves. No greater event is recorded in the pages of American history. After the expiration of nearly a hundred years the nation at last made good, without exception, the words of the Declaration of Independence, which declare that “all men are created equal”; that is, with equal natural rights to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Many thousands of negroes were now enlisted in the Union army ; but the greater part remained quietly at work on the Southern plantations. The freedom of the whole body of slaves in the country was not accomplished until after the close of the
Then an amendment to the Constitution' declared that slavery should no longer exist in the United States. That final act of emancipation has proved to be as much an advantage to the white race, both North and South, as to the negroes themselves. Free labor has brought a greater degree of prosperity than any section of the country ever obtained under slave labor. Now that the South is no longer hampered by having to hold the negroes in bondage, it has found its real strength and its true and lasting prosperity.
338. Summary of the Year, April, 1862, to April, 1863. - The one great military success of the year on the part of the Union forces was the taking of New Orleans. In the East, if McClellan and his successors did fail to reach Richmond, Lee, on the other hand, failed just as completely and far more disastrously in his attempted invasion of the North. The Proclamation of Emancipation gave the war a new character. Before, the North had been fighting simply to restore the Union as it was ; but now, it was to restore the Union without slavery — to make the nation wholly free.
mount object is to save the Union, and not either to save or destroy slavery." Again he said: “If the Union can best be saved by emancipating all the slaves, I am willing to emancipate them all; if it can best be saved by emancipating part, I am ready to emancipate a part; and if it can best be saved by not emancipating any, I will emancipate none."
1 See Amendments to the Constitution, page xvii, Article XIII.
THIRD YEAR OF THE WAR, APRIL, 1863, TO APRIL, 1864. 339. The War in the East; Battle of Chancellorsville. In the spring of 1863, General Hooker crossed the Rapidan, intending to advance on Richmond. But he had no sooner started than General Lee, with “Stonewall” Jackson, met him at Chancellorsville. Here a two days' battle was fought (May 2–3, 1863). Hooker had twice as many men as the Confederates, but he was badly beaten. Possibly, he might have gained the victory ; but at a critical moment he was stunned by a cannon-ball and lay senseless for many hours. During all that time his army
was without a head.” Lee, with “Stonewall” Jackson's efficient help, not only won the battle, but drove the Union forces back across the river. It was, however, a dearly bought triumph to the Confederates, for Jackson was accidentally shot by some of his own
He died soon after. It was the heaviest loss of the kind which the South suffered during the war. Chancellors
ville was the last victory gained by the Gettysburg
Confederates in Virginia in the open field.? Soon after this the command of the army was given to General Meade.
340. Battle of Gettysburg. – A month after the battle of Chancellorsville Lee
made a second : attempt to enter the free LROUND TOP
states and conquer a peace. He moved
down the Shenandoah Valley with about seventy thousand men, crossed the Potomac the first week in
" Stonewall " Jackson.
1 Union forces in the battle, 90,000; Confederate, 45.000. Union loss, 17,000; Confederate, about 12,000. General Lee gave Jackson all the credit of the victory.
2 See the Comte de Paris, “ History of the War," III. 102. 3 See Paragraph 335.