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PERIODICALS: A HISTORY OF THE CIVIL WAR: SECTION ELEVEN Back to Previous Location


CHAPTER XXI.

Partisan Opposition to the Government - Knights of the Golden Circle - The Draft Riots in New York - Colored Troops in New York - Morgan's Great Raid - Meade and Lee in Virginia - Operations of the Two Armies in Virginia - Raid in Western Virginia - Rosecrans and Bragg in Tennessce - Streight's Great Raid - Bragg Driven to and from Chattanooga - Burnside in East Tennessee Battle of Chickamauga - The Army at Chattanooga - Division of Mississippi - Battle at Wauhatchie - The Mule Charge - Events in East Tennessee - Battle on Lookout Mountain and on Missionary Ridge - Operations against Charleston - Robert Small - Death of General Mitchel.

While the loyal people were rejoicing because of the great deliverance at Gettysburg, and the Government was preparing for a final and decisive struggle with its foes, leading politicians of the Peace-Faction, evidently in affiliation with members of the disloyal organization known as Knights of the Golden Circle, were using every means in their power to defeat the patriotic purposes of the National Administration, and to stir up the people of the free-labor States to engage in a counter-revolution.

The association called Knights of the Golden Circle was organized, it is said, as early as 1835, by some of the leaders who were engaged in the nullification movements in South Carolina two or three years before. Its chief objects were the separation of the Union politically, at the line between the free-labor and slave-labor States; the seizure of some of the richest portions of Mexico and the Island of Cuba, and the establishment of an empire whose corner - stone should be Slavery. The bounds of that empire were within a circle, the centre of which was at Havana, in Cuba, with a radius of sixteen degrees of latitude and longitude, reaching northward to the Pennsylvania border and southward to the Isthmus of Darien and even beyond. It would include the West India Islands and those of the Caribbean Sea, with a large part of Eastern Mexico and the whole of Central America. The limits of this empire the projectors called "The Golden Circle," and the members of the association, "Knights of the Golden Circle," who formed the soul of all the "filibustering" operations before the breaking out of the Civil War, from 1850 to 1857. When these failed, their energies were put forth for the destruction of the Union. "Castles" or "lodges," with a secret ritual, were formed in various Southern States, and their membership included many active politicians north of the Ohio River, in 1863.

These disloyal men in the northern States, countenanced by the unpatriotic Peace-Faction, became very vehement in their opposition to the Government when, in the summer of 1863, a draft or conscription to fill up the ranks of the army, which had been authorized by Congress, was put into operation by the President. This act, the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, the arrest of seditious men, and other measures which the Government deemed necessary for the maintenance of the National authority, were denounced by the leaders of the party opposed to Mr. Lincoln's administration, as


PERIODICALS: A HISTORY OF THE CIVIL WAR: SECTION ELEVEN Back to Previous Location Forward to Next Page


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