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nor involuntary servitude, except in the punishment of crimes whereof the party shall have been duly convicted ; that the General Assembly may make such provisions for the freed people as shall recognize and declare their permanent freedom, and provide for their education, and which may yet be construed as a temporary arrangement suitable to their conditi as a laboring, landless, and homeless class; that said election shall be held on the 28th of March, 1864, at all the usual places of the State, or all such as voters may attend for that purpose; that the voters attending at 8 o'clock in the morning of said day may choose judges and clerks of election for such purpose; that all persons qualified by said Constitution and laws, and taking the oath presented in the President's proclamation of December 8, 1863, either before or at the election, and none others, may be voters; that each set of judges and clerks may make returns directly to you on or before the-th day of next; that in all other respects said election may be conducted according to said Constitution and laws; that on receipt of said returns, when 5,406 votes shall have been cast, you can receive said votes and ascertain all who shall thereby appear to have been elected; that on the —th day of next, all persons so appearing to have been elected, who shall appear before you at Little Rock, and take the oath, to be by you severally administered, to support the Constitution of the United States, and said modified Constitution of the State of Arkansas, may be declared by you qualified and empowered to immediately enter upon the duties of the offices to which they shall have been respectively elected.
You will please order an election to take place on the 28th of March, 1864, and returns to be made in fifteen days thereafter.
Upon the return of the delegation to Arkansas, they issued an address to the people of the State, urging them to avail themselves of the opportunity thus afforded for restoring their State to its old prosperity, and assuring them, from personal observation, that the people of the Northern States would most cordially welcome their return to the Union. Meantime a convention had assembled at Little Rock, composed of delegates elected without any formality, and not under the authority of the General Government, and proceeded to form a new State Constitution. Upon learning this fact, the President wrote the following letter to one of the most prominent members :
To WILLIAM FISHBACK:
When I fixed a plan for an election in Arkansas, I did it in ignorance that your convention was at the same work. Since I learned the latter fact, I have been constantly trying to yield my plan to theirs. I have sent two letters to General Steele, and three or four dispatches to you and others, saying that he (General Steele) must be master, but that it will probably be best for him to keep the convention on its own plan. Some single mind must be master, else there will be no agreement on any thing; and General Steele, commanding the military and being on the ground, is the best man to be that master. Even now citizens are telegraphing me to postpone the election to a later day than either fixed by the convention or me. This discord must be silenced.
The Convention framed a Constitution abolishing Slavery, which was subsequently adopted by a large majority of the people.
The military movements of the year 1864 thus far call for no special notice in this place. Three enterprises of considerable magnitude have been undertaken, but neither of them was attended with results of any great importance.
As early as the 15th of December, 1863, Gen. Gillmore, commanding the Department of the South, applied to the Government for permission to send an expedition into Florida, for the purpose of cutting off supplies of the enemy; and in January, in urging the matter still further upon the attention of Gen. Halleck, he suggested that measures might be also inaugurated for restoring the State of Florida to her allegiance under the terms of the President's Proclamation. Gen. Gillmore was authorized to take such action in the matter as he should deem proper,—and he accordingly organized an expedition, which left Port Royal on the 5th of February, under General Seymour, and was followed soon afterwards by General Gillmore himself—to whom, on the 13th of January, the President had addressed the following letter :
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, Jan. 13, 1864. Major-General GILLMORE: I understand an effort is being made by some worthy gentlemen to reconstruct a legal State government in Florida. Florida is in your department, and it is not unlikely you may be there in person. I have given Mr. Hay a commission of Major, and sent him to you, with some blank books and other blanks, to aid in the reconstruction. He will explain as to the manner of using the blanks, and also my general views on the subject. It is desirable for all to co-operate, but if irreconcilable differences of opinion shall arise, you are master. I wish the thing done in the inost speedy way, so that when done it be within the range of the late proclamation on the subject. The detail labor will, of course, have to be done by others; but I will be greatly obliged if you will give it such general supervision as you can find consistent with your more strictly military dutics.
The advance portion of the expedition reached Jacksonville on the 8th of February. Gen. Gillmore returned to Port Royal on the 16th, leaving the coinmand of the expedition to Gen. Seymour. The first operations were successful. Near Jacksonville one hundred prisoners, with eight pieces of serviceable artillery, fell into our hands, and expeditions were pushed forward into the interior, by which large amounts of stores and supplies were destroyed. On the 17th General Seymour, with 5,000 men, was on the Florida Central Railroad, about forty-five miles from Jacksonville. Here they remained until the 20th, when the preparations for a movement toward Lake City were completed. The enemy was found in force, a little before reaching Lake City, at Olustee, a small station on the railroad. The engagement was commenced between the enemy's skirmishers and our advance. The fire directed against our men was so hot that they were compelled to fall back; then we brought two batteries to bear on the enemy, and our whole force became engaged with more than twice their number of the enemy, who occupied a strong position, flanked by a marsh. Again we retreated, taking another position; but it was impossible to contend with a force so greatly superior, and, after a battle of three hours and a balf, General Seymour retreated, leaving his dead and
severoly wounded on the field. Five guns were lost, and about a thousand men killed, wounded, and missing.
On the 3d of February, General Sherman, with a strong force, set out from Vicksburg, in light marching order, and moved eastward. Shortly after, a cavalry expedition, under General Smith, set out from Memphis, to work its way southeastward, and join Sherman somewhere on the borders of Mississippi and Alabama. By the 18th Smith had accomplished nearly one-half of his proposed march, but soon after found the enemy concentrated in superior force in his way. Finding it impossible to proceed, he fell back, destroying the bridges on the Memphis and Ohio Railroad in his retreat. There was continual skirmishing, but no decisive battle during the retreat, which lasted until the 25th, when the expedition accomplished its return to Memphis. Much damage was done to the enemy by the destruction of property, but the main object of making a junction with Sherman failed. Sherman went as far east as Meridian, almost on the borders of Mississippi and Alabama, and after destroying large quantities of the rebel stores, and breaking their means of communication, he returned to Vicksburg.
The other enterprise to which reference is made above, was a raid upon Richmond, made by a large cavalry force under General Kilpatrick. Leaving his camp on the 28th of February, he crossed the Rapidan, gained the rear of Lee's army without being discovered, and pushed rapidly on in the direction of Richmond. A detachment under Colonel Dahlgren was sent from the main body to Frederick's Hall, on the Virginia Central Railroad. The road was torn up for some distance, and then the James River Canal was struck, and six grist-mills destroyed, which formed one of the main sources of supply for the Confederate army. Several locks on the canal were destroyed, and other damage done. Dahlgren's main body then pressed onward toward Richmond, and came. within three miles of the city, when, encountering a Confederate force, it was compelled to withdraw, Dahlgren himself being killed, and a large part of his force captured. Kilpatrick, meanwhile, pressed onward to Spottsylvania CourtHouse, and thence to Beaver Dam, near where the two lines of railway from Richmond, those running to Gordonsville and Fredericksburg, cross. Here the railway was torn up, and the telegraphic line cut, and the cavalry pushed straight on toward Richmond. They reached the outer line of fortifications at a little past ten on the morning of the 1st of March, about three and a half miles from the city. These were fairly passed, and the second line, a mile nearer, was reached, and a desultory fire was kept up for some hours. Toward evening Kilpatrick withdrew, and encamped six miles from the city. In the night an artillery attack was made upon the camp, and our troops retired still farther, and on the following morning took
their line of march down the Peninsula toward Williamsburg. Several miles of railway connection of great importance to the enemy were interrupted, stores to the value of several millions of dollars were destroyed, and some hundreds of prisoners were captured, as the result of this expedition.
The relations of the war which is carried on to maintain the Republican Government of the United States, against the efforts of the slave-holding oligarchy for its overthrow, to the general interests of labor, have from time to time enlisted a good deal of the thoughts of the President, and elicited from him expressions of his own sentiments on the subject. On the 31st of December, 1863, a very large meeting of workingmen was held at Manchester, England, to express their opinion in regard to the war in the United States. At that meeting an address to President LINCOLN was adopted, expressing the kindest sentiments towards this country, and declaring that, since it had become evident that the destruction of Slavery