Front Matter The Beginning of the U.S Franklin's Return Troubles After the War The Constitution The First President Washington's Troubles A Wonderful Invention Death of Washington The U.S. Buys Land War With African Pirates Death of Somers The First Steamboat The Gerrymander The War of 1812 "Don't Give Up the Ship" The Star-Spangled Banner Clinton's "Big Ditch" More Land Bought Jackson Stories Jackson's Presidency New Inventions Whitman's Ride The Mormons The First Telegraph The Mexican War The Slavery Quarrel Daniel Webster's Youth Webster's Speeches Early Times in California Discovery of El Dorado Rush to California The Underground Railroad The First World's Fair John Brown's Raid Lincoln's Youth The First Shot The Call to Arms The President's Decision Admiral Farragut The Monitor and Merrimac The Penninsular Campaign Barbara Frietchie Lincoln's Vow The Battle of Gettysburg The Taking of Vicksburg Riots, Raids, and Battles The Burning of Atlanta The March to the Sea Sheridan's Ride The Doings of the Fleet Lee's Surrender Decoration Day Lincoln Stories Lincoln's Rebukes A President's Son A Noble Southerner Hard Times in the South The Atlantic Cable Best Way to Settle Quarrels Our One Hundredth Birthday Gold for Greenbacks A Clever Engineer Death of Garfield The Celebration at Yorktown The Great Statue A Terrible Flood Lynch Law The Great White City The Explosion of the Maine The Battle of Manila Hobson's Brave Deed Surrender of Santiago The Hawaiian Islands The Annexation of Hawaii The Philippine War Assassination of McKinley The Panama Canal Roosevelt's Administration Two Presidents German Views The World War Since the World War

Story of the Great Republic - Helene Guerber

Riots, Raids, and Battles

Until 1863 the President had been able to secure enough soldiers by calling for volunteers; but the time now came when Lincoln had to resort to drafts. That is to say, all the able-bodied men in the country between certain ages were forced to register their names, and from them a certain number in each state were selected by lot. These were obliged to join the army in person, or hire men to take their places.

The fact that the President issued such orders, although Congress had given him the right to do so, made some of the people so angry that there were draft riots in several cities. The worst of all, however, was in New York, where the rioters took possession of the city, attacked and brutally murdered some poor negroes, destroyed much property, and behaved so lawlessly that troops had to be called out to restore order. During those terrible days the excitement was intense; but the law-abiding citizens behaved so nobly that the mob was quelled after some bloodshed.

Drafts, which created such an uproar in the Union states, were also made in the South, where boys, and even old men, were made to serve, until it was said that "the Confederate army robbed both the cradle and the grave.'? There, too, paper money was used; but as the war dragged on, Confederate bills were worth less and less in coin. Owing to this, and also to the strict blockade, it took at one time about fifteen hundred dollars to buy a barrel of flour, and several thousand for a suit of common clothes. After the war was over, Confederate bills were worth nothing at all.

All through the war, Southern and Northern women proved equally ready to work night and day for the soldiers on their side. Some of them raised money by fairs; others made garments or delicacies for the sick; and many served as nurses in the hospitals or on the battle field. Even small children helped, and while the little girls knit stockings, the boys made lint, or picked berries which were made into jellies for the use of convalescent soldiers. The whole country suffered from the effects of the war, but while many families north and south were in deep mourning for their heroic dead, the worst suffering was borne by the Southern states, where most of the fighting took place.

The North knew very little of the actual hardships of warfare; for, with the exception of Antietam in Maryland and Gettysburg in Pennsylvania, there had been no great battles on its soil. It is true that General Bragg, the hero of Buena Vista, had made a raid in Kentucky, but he had been driven by General Buell back into Tennessee. Besides, several other daring raids, mostly for plunder, had been made by John Morgan, a guerrilla chief. He had been with Bragg in Kentucky in 1862, and had even threatened the city of Cincinnati.

In 1863 this same Morgan raided Kentucky, and, crossing the Ohio, went into Indiana and Ohio, where he hoped that many men would join him. His quick movements and his fearlessness enabled him to do much damage and to get away again before any troops could be collected to crush him. During this expedition his men took horses, plundered mills and factories, and made the people pay large sums of money to save their buildings from being burned down.

The people were so exasperated by his invasion that they made a determined effort, and finally hemmed him in and made him a prisoner. He and six of his officers were locked up in the penitentiary at Columbus, Ohio, whence they managed to escape a few months later. Cleverly making their way through the enemy's country, these men contrived to get back to their own people, and joined the Confederate army in Georgia.

Morgan's Raiders


Some very funny stories are told about this Morgan and his men, who often indulged in harmless frolics. When the people did not oppose them, they generally took only from the rich or well to do, leaving the poor alone, and sometimes even astonishing them by giving them some of the plunder.

While Grant was besieging Vicksburg, Bragg was in Tennessee, where General Rosecrans drove him from Chattanooga to Chickamauga Creek: Here a desperate battle took place, and the Confederates were victorious; but General Thomas with his part of the Union army made such a firm and brave stand that he won the name of "Rock of Chickamauga." Some of his officers showed equal courage, for when one was asked how long he could hold a certain pass, he firmly answered: "Until the regiment is mustered out of service."

When the battle was all over, Thomas retreated to Chattanooga, where Bragg followed and besieged the Union army. Now began a hard time for the Union troops, for they had hardly enough food for the men. Besides, forage was so scarce that most of the mules died. Indeed, one soldier described a march near Chattanooga, saying: "The mud was so deep that we could not travel by the road, but we got along pretty well by stepping from mule to mule as they lay dead by the way."

There was so much danger that the army might retreat or surrender, that Thomas was put in command at Chattanooga, and Grant sent him orders to hold fast till he came. Thomas nobly answered: "We will hold the town till we starve." In a few days Grant reached Chattanooga, and soon after the army was re-enforced by Sherman and Hooker.

Battles were now fought near Chattanooga, first at Orchard Knob and the day after on Lookout Mountain. As lowering clouds cut off all view of the summit during the greater part of this engagement, you will often hear it called the "Battle above the Clouds." The next day, the Union troops won a great victory on Missionary Ridge, so that at the end of three days' fighting the Confederates were driven away.

[Illustration] from Story of the Great Republic by Helene Guerber


The next move made by Union forces was Sherman's raid across Mississippi, from Vicksburg, early in 1864. His aim was to destroy bridges and railroads over which supplies could be sent to the Confederate army, and to burn mills and factories. He did this so thoroughly, and left so little standing at Meridian, that one person remarked: "Sherman didn't simply smash things, but he just carried the town off with him."