willingness or ability to assert their right to a place for the deposit of their produce near the mouth of the Mississippi River, began to look with growing favor to the transferring of their allegiance to the Spanish Crown, then holding the outlet of that river.
I am conscious that if something is not soon done to reopen that great highway that a new party will spring into existence, which will favor the recognition of the independence of the so-called Confederate States, with the view to eventual arrangements, either by treaty or union, for the purpose of effecting that object.
The resentments of the people will be inflamed by demagogical appeals designed to array the people of the West against the people of the East upon the pretended ground that the latter are in favor of continuing the war and the blockade of the Mississippi, as a means of fostering the interest of their trade, their manufactures, and their capital invested in both. This sentiment is reprehensibly wrong; nay, criminal. Our first and highest duty under Heaven is to preserve the Union and the Government. This we must do; yet wise statesmen will not overlook the difficulties and dangers which surround them, but will avoid them by timely precautions.
In short, delay may bring another separation, and another separation will entail endless collisions, which, after wasting all the States, must sink them in anarchy and wretchedness, like that which drapes Mexico in misery and mourning.
Hence, in conclusion, let me appeal to you, and through you to the President, to do something, and that something quickly, to avert the rising storm, and insure a safe passage to our good and beloved Ship of State through the strait that now threatens her in the distance.
If I have spoken too freely, pardon my boldness. If I have said too much, charge it to an honest zeal for the welfare of my country, and forgive it.
Your obedient servant,
JOHN A. MCCLERNAND,
Major-General, U. S. Volunteers.
Springfield, Ill., November 10, 1862.
Major General H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief:
I received the order of the Secretary of War on the 21st ultimo at Washington to proceed to Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa and take measures for the preparation of the Mississippi expedition.
Leaving Washington on the morning of the 22nd I arrived at Indianapolis on the 23d, and on the same day had an interview with Governor Morton, who responded cordially to the project of the proposed expedition.
Leaving Indianapolis on the 24th I arrived at this place on the morning of the 25th, and immediately sought an interview with Governor Yates, who also responded with similar assurances.
As soon as the necessary dispatches could be prepared I immediately sent Major Scates, assistant adjutant-general, to Iowa, to see and confer with Governor Kirkwood, who also entered zealously into the project.
When I reached here the impendency of the late election in this State, and the interest felt in it by State officials, in some degree impeded my efforts to forward the troops remaining within the State.
I should also state in further explanation of the tardiness attending enlistments that the scarcity of necessary labor caused by the very great number of troops sent from this State has hardly left any of the