Abraham Lincoln, Volume I eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 286 pages of information about Abraham Lincoln, Volume I.
East; yet Halleck and Buell needed it and got it more than once.  The Western commanders, like those at the East, and with better reason, were importunate for more men and more equipment.  The President could not, by any effort, meet their requirements.  He wrote to McClernand after the battle of Belmont:  “Much, very much, goes undone; but it is because we have not the power to do it faster than we do.”  Some troops were without arms; but, he said, “the plain matter of fact is, our good people have rushed to the rescue of the government faster than the government can find arms to put in their hands.”  Yet, withal, it is true that Mr. Lincoln’s actual interferences at the South and West were so occasional and incidental, that, since this writing is a biography of him and not a history of the war, there is need only for a list of the events which were befalling outside of that absorbing domain which lay around the rival capitals.

Along the southern Atlantic coast some rather easy successes were rapidly won.  August 29, 1861, Hatteras Inlet was taken, with little fighting.  November 7, Port Royal followed.  Lying nearly midway between Charleston and Savannah, and being a very fine harbor, this was a prize of value.  January 7, 1862, General Burnside was directed to take command of the Department of North Carolina.  February 8, Roanoke Island was seized by the Federal forces.  March 14, Newbern fell.  April 11, Fort Pulaski, at the mouth of the Savannah River, was taken.  April 26, Beaufort was occupied.  The blockade of the other Atlantic ports having long since been made effective, the Eastern seaboard thus early became a prison wall for the Confederacy.

At the extreme West Missouri gave the President some trouble.  The bushwhacking citizens of that frontier State, divided not unequally between the Union and Disunion sides, entered upon an irregular but energetic warfare with ready zeal if not actually with pleasure.  Northerners in general hardly paused to read the newspaper accounts of these rough encounters, but the President was much concerned to save the State.  As it lay over against Illinois along the banks of the Mississippi River, and for the most part above the important strategic point where Cairo controls the junction of that river with the Ohio, possession of it appeared to him exceedingly desirable.  In the hope of helping matters forward, on July 3, 1861, he created the Department of the West, and placed it under command of General Fremont.  But the choice proved unfortunate.  Fremont soon showed himself inefficient and troublesome.  At first the President endeavored to allay the local bickerings; on September 9, 1861, he wrote to General Hunter:  “General Fremont needs assistance which it is difficult to give him.  He is losing the confidence of men near him....  His cardinal mistake is that he isolates himself;... he does not know what is going on....  He needs to have by his side a man of large experience.  Will you not,

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Abraham Lincoln, Volume I from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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