« FöregåendeFortsätt »
Additional Military Force.
And resolved in the affirmative—yeas 118, mays 2, | Smith of Maryland, Smith of New York, Smith of TenAdditional Military Force.
as follows: YzAs—Messrs. Alexander, W. Alston, L. Alston, Bacon, Bard, Barker, Bassett, Blackledge, Blake, Blouni, Boyd, Boyle, Brown, Burwell, Butler, Calhoun, G. W. Campbell, Champion, Chittenden, Clay, Clopton, Culr, Cutts, Davenport, Dawson, Deane, Desha, Durell, 2lliot, Ely, Findley, Fisk, Franklin, Gardner, Garnett, Gholson, Goodwyn, Gray, Green, Harris, Heister, Helms, Holland, Holmes, Howard, Humphreys, Ilsley, J. G. Jackson, R. S. Jackson, Jenkins, Johnson, Jones, Kelly, Kenan, Key, Kirkpatrick, Lambert, Lewis, Lloyd, Love, Macon, Marion, Masters, McCreery, Milnor, D. Montgomery, N. R. Moore, T. Moore, Jeremiah Morrow, John Morrow, Moseley, Mumford, Nelson, Newbold, Newton, Nicholas, Pitkin, Porter, Quincy, Randolph, Rea of Pennsylvania, Rhea of Tennessee, J. Richards, M. Richards, Russell, Say, Seaver, Shaw, Sloan, Smelt, Smilie, J. K. Smith, J. Smith, Southard, Stanford, Stedman, Storer, Sturges, Taggart, Tallmadge, Taylor, Thompson, Trigg, Troup, Upham, Van Allen, Wan Horn, Wan Rensselaer, Verplanck, Whārton, Whitehill Wilbour, Williams, A. Wilson, N. Wilson, and Winn. NArs—Messrs. Gardenier and Hoge. The report of the Committee on our Foreign Relations, positively declared, that there were but three alternatives left to the United States by the belligerents: embargo, submission, or war. Of course the resistance mentioned in the resolution, was intended to be resistance by force—not by commercial restriction. Look forward at the infidelity manifested to the principle of this resolution; and reflect upon its disastrous consequences. Attempts are now industriously making to cast the public odium upon those, who could not be driven from this wise, manly and pledged policy. Do they deserve it? Why are such attempts made 3
Ix SENATE–Feb. 20, 1809.
The bill “to interdict the commercial intercourse between the United States and Great Britain and France, and their dependencies, and for other purposes,” was read the second time, and considered as in Committee of the Whole, and the President reported the bill to the House amended. On motion by Mr. REED, to strike out of the 11th section, the following words: “And to cause to be issued, under suitable pledges and precautions, letters of marque and reprisal against the nation thereafter continuing in force its unlawful edicts against the commerce of the United States:” It was determined in the negative—yeas 11, nays 14, as follows: YEAs—Messrs. Condit, Franklin, Gilman, Goodrich, Hillhouse, Lloyd, Mathewson, Parker, Pickering, Reed, and Sumter—11. NAxs—Messrs. Anderson, Crawford, Gaillard, Giles, Gregg, Howland, Milledge, Moore, Robinson, Smith of Maryland, Smith of New York, Smith of Tennessee, and Turner—14. . -
nessee, Thruston, and Tiffin–21.
NAys—Messrs. Bayard, Crawford, Gilman, Good'rich, Hillhouse, Lloyd, Parker, Pickering, Reed, Sumter, Turner, and White—12.
House of REPREs ENTATIves–Feb. 24, 1809.
On the question, that the House do concur with the Committee of the Whole in striking out of the eleventh section of the above-mentioned bill the following words: “and to cause to be issued, under suitable pledges and precautions, letters of marque and reprisal against the nation thereafter continuing in force its unlawful edicts against the commerce of the United States:” It was resolved in the affirmative, as follows: Yeas 74, nays 33: YEAs—Messrs. Alexander, W. Alston, Bacon, Barker, Bibb, Blackledge, Blake, Blount, Boyd, Butler, Champion, Cook, Culpeper, Dana, Durell, Elliot, Ely, Eppes, Findley, Franklin, Garnett, Gholson, Goodwyn, Harris, Helms, Humphreys, Ilsley, R.S. Jackson, Jones, Kelly, Kenan, Lambert, Lewis, Livermore, Lloyd, Lyon, Macon, Marion, Masters, Milnor, John Morrow, Moseley, Mumford, Newbold, Pugh, Quincy, Randolph, Riker, Rowan, Sloan, J. K. Smith, S. Smith, Southard, Stanford, Stedman, Storer, Sturges, Swart, Taggart, Tallmadge, Thompson, Upham, Van Allen, Wan Cortlandt, Van Dyke, Van Rensselaer, Verplanck, Whitehill, Wilbour, Williams, and Wilson—74. NAxs—Messrs. Bard, Bassett, Boyle, Brown, Calhoun, Clay, Cutts, Deane, Desha, Fisk, Green, Holland, Holmes, Johnson, Love, McCreery, John Montgomery, Nicholas R. Moore, Thomas Moore, Newton, Nicholas, Porter, Rea of Pennsylvania, Rhea of Tennessee, J. Richards, Matthias Richards, Say, Seaver, Smilie, John Smith, Taylor, Wilson, and Winn—33.
IN SENATE–Feb. 28, 1809.
The Senate proceeded to consider the amendments of the House of Representatives to the bill, entitled “An act to interdict the commereial intercourse between the United States and Great Britain and France, and their dependencies, and for other purposes.” On the question to agree to the amendment of the eleventh section, as follows: Strike out the words, “And to cause to be issued, under suitable pledges and precautions, letters of marque and reprisal against the nation thereafter continuing in force its unlawful edicts against the commerce of the United States:” It was determined in the affirmative—yeas 17, nays 11, as follows: YEAs—Messrs. Anderson, Bayard, Bradley, Condit, Franklin, Gregg, Howland, Kitchell, Mathewson, Meigs, Mitchill, Parker, Pope, Reed, Sumter, Tiffin, and White. NAys—Messrs. Gaillard, Giles, Gilman, Goodrich, Hillhouse, Leib, Lloyd, Milledge, Moore, Pickering, Smith of Maryland, Smith of New York, Smith of Tennessee, and Turner. Mr. Erskine's instructions were given on the 23d of January, 1809, and his arrangement proclaimed by the President of the United States on the 19th of April, 1809. This arrangement was disavowed by the British Government on the 24th of May, 1809. The French Rambouillet decree took place on the 23d March, 1810. When Mr. Giles had concluded, Mr. ANDERson rose and addressed the Senate as follows: Mr. Anderson said, he was not a little surprised to hear the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Giles)
say, that he was unprepared to oppose a very unexpected motion, when he, Mr. A., had two days before, whilst the bill was under consideration, suggested his intention, in his place, to make the motion he had now made; upon which the honorable member expressed a wish to postpone the consideration of the question, and immediately moved the postponement of the bill, which was not opposed, and of course prevailed. Mr. A. said, that the motion was not, therefore, made without due notice, and, he would add, without due consideration. He had consulted with a number of the members of this honorable body, for whose judgment and opinions he had great respect, and with whose approbation, and he might indeed add, at whose instance, the motion had been made. He was, however, himself ready and willing to meet all the responsibility that might attach to it; notwithstanding the surprise of the honorable member as to the quarter from which it had come. Mr. A. said, he should not pretend to reply to all the various observations *. gentleman had thought proper to make, very many of which he considered altogether irrelevant to the question under consideration, but which might, perhaps, answer some other purpose, which the honorable member might have in view. Mr. A. said, he was as strongly impressed with the necessity of a sufficient force, for the invasion of Canada, as the gentleman from Virginia could possibly be, and not a single expression had escaped him to induce a belief that he should be unwilling to vote a proper and ample force for that service; but he differed greatly with the gentleman as to the kind of force we ought immediately to employ. The honorable member appeared to place his sole dependence upon the regular troops; and yet, if he understood his argument, he was decidedly in favor of making a descent upon Canada early in the Spring. As to the time, Mr. A. agreed with him ; but as to the means, he certainly differed very greatly from him. The number of regulars contemplated by the gentleman could not possibly be raised within the time; he was therefore of opinion, that a less number ought to be inserted in the bill. It should be recollected that we had very recently authorized the regiments on the Peace Establishment to be filled; they would require at least 6,000 men; add thereto 25,000 more, the number proposed by, the honorable member, and he would ask him to answer candidly, whether he really believed that so great a number of regular troops could be enlisted within the time required for the service to be performed. Mr. A. said, impressed, as he was, with a firm belief that not more than half the number proposed by the honorable member could be enlisted within the time they must take the field in order to act efficiently against Canada, he could not see the propriety of retaining the whole number contemplated by the bill. Mr. A. said, it must be well known to every gentleman, that the invasion of Canada must necessarily take place before the breaking up of the ice in the river St. Lawrence; otherwise, twice 25,000 would be required—because large reinforcements,
as soon as an opportunity presented, would most certainly be thrown into that country. Mr. A. said, upon a fair view of the whole subject, as it presented itself to him, he was decidedly of opinion that the number of regular troops to be raised by that bill ought not to exceed. 16,000; and he had no hesitation in saying, that in his opinion, as efficient a force would be raised under such a provision within the time limited for taking the field, as would be raised were the present number in the bill retained—and in the former case, we should prove to our enemies, that we were able to raise such a number of regular troops as might be wanted upon a sudden emergency; but in the latter, we should not be able to make the same exhibit. What then would be the consequence 7 . You would give a most mortifying proof that your means were not commensurate to your ends; that your plan had been badly digested, and worse executed. And surely the gentlemen can have no desire to present such a state of things, at the very moment when all the energies of the nation seem to be required. Mr. A. said, to avoid this extraordinary exhibit was also one of his objects; and this, in his opinion, could be done by taking the course he had contemplated ; reduce the number of regulars, and supply the deficiency by volunteers. This, he firmly believed, was in our power. Combine the two corps; take nearly an equal number of each ; and the object intended could be effected. Mr. A. said, }. was convinced that it was the mode the President had contemplated, and he entirely approved it; and if the honorable member had attended to another part of the President's Message where it speaks of volunteers, he must himself have been convinced, that the President did not mean to make the descent upon Canada with the 10,000 regulars only; which had been understood, as the gentleman had stated, to be the auxiliary force referred to in the Message. The object of the President cannot be better explained than by referring to the Message itself. He says—“I recommend, accordingly, ‘that adequate provision be made for filling the ranks and prolonging the enlistments of the regg‘lar troops; for an auxiliary force, to be engaged for
“a more limited time; for the acceptance of vol
‘unteer corps, whose patriotic ardor may court a g roo in urgent services.” . The manner in which the President speaks of the volunteers, can leave no doubt upon the mind of any one as to the service in which they were to be employed—they are evidently intended to be united with the regular troops, to perform, urgent services, according to the express language of the Message. Mr.A. would ask the honorable member, what was the urgent service meant by the President? Most certainly, a descent upon Canada, in which the regulars and volunteers were equally to participate. Why then, the honorable member had taken so much pains to prove that the 10,000 regulars were the only military force with which the President had intended to erform the urgent service referred to in his Mo, Mr. A. was at a loss to comprehend;
for he understood the Message and the object of it very differently ; and he should have expected that the candor of the honorable member would have induced him to have given the Message a fair interpretation. That he had not done so, must be supposed to proceed from this recent but very strong attachment to a regular military force. However anti-republican this doctrine had formerly been, it seemed now to be viewed through a different medium by the honorable member from Virginia. Mr. A. said, that having, as he thought, to: by a fair interpretation .#. President’s Message, that he intended to unite the volunteers, (that might be thought requisite) with the regular troops, to perform the urgent services of which he speaks, he would endeavor to present a fair and impartial view of the course recommended by the President, and compare it with the course which had been taken and so strenuously sup#. by the honorable member from Virginia. he President had recommended the raising of volunteers; and it was incidentally made known, that the auxiliary force spoken of was 10,000 regular troops. If then provision had been immediately made by the law for raising 10,000 regular troops, and also for raising volunteers, those troops now would be in a state of preparation; a considerable number of the regular troops would ere now have been enlisted, and the chance of getting the whole number greatly increased. If time had been afforded, as it ought to have been, the laws passed within two or three weeks after Congress met, which might have been done, a sufficient regular force would, in all probability, have been in a state of readiness in all the month of April; and the number of volunteers which might have been required to make up the necessary force, would no doubt long since o: offered their services, and the whole have been in a state of preparation to take the field in time to have performed the arduous service, contemplated by the President. But, instead of that course having been pursued, what has been done? Your first military bill, reported only a few days ago, is now under consideration; the session now, almost half expired; and, at this late period, the honorable member, to whom, as chairman of the committee, &c., the whole management of the military business was referred, insists upon raising 25,000 regular troops, whose duty it shall be to make a descent upon Canada, in all the month of May. Can the gentleman be serious? Does he believe it practicable 2 If he does, Mr. A. said, he should be obliged to believe, that the honorable member was in earnest some days ago, when he assured the Senate that he knew very little of military affairs. Mr. A. said, from the proofs we have repeatedly had, of the difficulty of obtaining men by enlistment for so long a time as five years, and the want in our country of those kinds of materials of which regular troops are made, he did not believe that one-half the number proposed to be raised by the bill could be enlisted within the time required. Mr. A. said, although he was, not as much in, the habit of prophesying as the honorable member, he would,
under all circumstances, adventure to predict, that the scheme of now raising twenty-five thousand regular troops, to perform the arduous service contemplated in the President’s Message, would entirely fail, and that the course pointed out by the President must at last be adopted; that is, to unite volunteers with regular troops. Mr. A. said he trusted that the honorable member and himself had in view the same object, but differed as to the means of carrying it into effect. The means proposed by the honorable member were regular troops only. If then the bill should pass to raise 25,000, entire dependence would, in all probability, be placed upon the regular troops, ordered to be raised; the consequence, as he had before said, would be, that the whole object must fail. He was, therefore, for taking the regular troops' that could be raised in time, and supplying the additional number of men, which might be wanted, by volunteers—fifteen or twenty thousands of whom could, he had no doubt, be brought into the field, before ten thousand of the regular troops, contemplated by the bill, could be j. By this mode (notwithstanding so much time had been lost) an efficient army might be yet provided in time to carry into effect the objects of the Government, which, Mr. A. said, he did not believe could or would be done, if dependence were placed upon the regular troops. Notwithstanding the little confidence which the honorable member seems disposed to place in the volunteers, Mr. A. said, he had no hesitation in giving it, as his most decided opinion, that at least as much dependence might be placed upon the volunteers, as upon the newly raised regular troops. The volunteers would have the same chance of discipline that the new regulars would have. A sufficient number of those who offered their services might be called into the field, as early as the season would admit, and placed under strict discipline: to which for their own honor they would readily submit-nay, require, if left to their own choice; for the first object they would have in view would be to acquire military skill; and they would not only be very soon prepared to perform field duty, but might entirely be depended upon for any other service. Witness the prowess of the volunteers at the battle of the Wabash, and these had not been disciplined at all. Mr. A. said, he expected the honorable member would admit, that the materials of which the volunteers would be composed, would be at least equal to those of which the regular troops would be formed; and the officers of the volunteer corps being appointed by the President, would, he had no doubt, faithfully perform their duty. Those, said Mr. A., are completely in our power; and he considered it our best policy, as well as our duty, to bring them into action. Mr. A. said in addition to the efficiency of the means which he proposed to bring into the field, it would have one very considerable advantage over the regular army of the honorable member. It would be more conformable to the true principles of the Constitution, and would consequently be more acceptable to the nation. The confidence with which he
Additional Military force.
had spoken of volunteers, was not founded upon
visionary theory, but practical experience; he had often, in the Revolution, had opportunity to witness their military ardor and persevering firmness; on two occasions in particular, the one at Connecticut Farms, the other at Springfield, in the
Spring of 1780. The enemy had advanced, in
force about two thousand, to a place called Connecticut Farms, about four miles from Elizabethtown, in New Jersey. The only troops that were within striking distance to oppose this force, was the brigade of Jersey Regulars, containing then about a thousand men; many volunteers, however, flocked to their standard—the enemy were met by this force—a battle ensued—the American army had the advantage of the ground; but the right wing of the enemy extended so far, that if not suddenly checked, it would have enabled them to have flanked our left. It was necessary to prevent it—services of this kind must be promptly rendered; four hundred regulars and two hundred ... were ordered to execute it; no more could be spared from the line. A good position alone could have justified the attempt, with the
disparity of numbers. It was first made by man
ouvre, but it was soon found it could only be done with the bayonet. A determined charge was made, and it was successful; the enemy were repulsed; the volunteers were, upon the left; not a man broke his ranks. Some brave fellows fell, but their places were immediately filled; all be. haved with the firmness of veterans. The next day, those troops had the thanks of General WAshingtoN in general orders. The volunteers had only joined the regulars a few days before the action. In about two weeks after, the enemy advanced in greater force—about five thousand—the troops who had been in the former action had kept their position where the battle had been fought; it was advantageous for an inferior force; it was a defile, covered for some distance on the right by a morass; on the left it was not well protected. Against; this position, the enemy again advanced; and, by their increased numbers, they were enabled to extend their right wing so far as completely to turn our left. e were obliged to retreat; but not without having kept the enemy a considerable time in check. You know, Mr. President, there is no situation so trying to the bravery and firmness of troops, as a retreat (for even you, sir, I believe, had to retreat sometimes.) The volunteers, upon this occasion, behaved like themselves; a sullen, indignant step, marked their movements; and from the mouths of their guns they spoke to the enemy the language of defiance; the enemy did not advance one mile, before a fortunate position, supported by determined
bravery, enabled the united force of the regulars.
and volunteers to arrest their progress for the remainder of the day. This day's action began with the dawn of the morning, and continued until the setting of the sun, when the enemy fell back to take a secure position against the expected attacks of the night. During the whole of this day's action, the volunteers kept the stations assigned them, which they sustained with as much
firmness as the regular troops. Many of them were killed and wounded. Among the number, were said to be seven of one family connexion, brothers, brothers-in-law, and cousins; several of whom he had himself seen after the action. Scenes like this, Mr. President, (said Mr. A.) of which he had been an eye-witness, and in which he claimed some participation, had given him that confidence in volunteers, which he had evinced to the Senate in the course of his observations, and which, he said, should never cease but with his existence. They are, sir, the best military
materials in your country—they are the flower of
your forests; they ought not to be thrown into the back-ground, the better to enable the honorable member from Virginia to present his regulars in front. Mr. ANDERson said, I have stated, Mr. President, perhaps with some warmth, the grounds upon which my confidence in volunteers has been founded; and be it remembered, said Mr. A., that they were militia volunteers. He said, he ought to have stated, that the enemy they had encountered, was composed of regulars and Hessians— the whole under the command of the Hessian General Knyphatisen. Mr. A. said the volunteers he now proposed raising he would have engaged for nine or twelve months, from the time of their reaching the place of general rendezvous.' They should be engaged by officers to be appointed by the President, under such regulations (of course) as might be provided by law; but which could not now be well detailed. Mr. A. said, he should now offer some observations upon the number of troops that ought to be employed. He said that the invasion of Canada was not now contemplated for the first time—it had often been a subject of conversation, wheneyer there had been any prospect of a war with ngland. It has been considered as the most convenient means upon which we could make reprisal, and thereby obtain some small reparation for the many losses and injuries, which have been sustained from the depredations committed upon the honor-and interests of the nation. Mr. A. said, that upon different occasions, he had always given it as his opinion, that a descent upon Canada ought never to be attempted with a force of less than twenty-five thousand men; that such a force would make an awful impression—and would, in all probability, save many valuable lives; as no opposing force, in the usual state of the country, would be able to meet it in the field. Mr. A. said, he repeated, that no expression had escaped him, either in public debate or in private conversation, to justify the insinuations made by the gentleman, that he was unwilling to vote a sufficient force for the invasion of Canada. On the contrary. he believed that no man who had seen active military service, and who had any knowledge of the situation and state of that country, would say that it would be prudent or safe, to make a descent upon Canada, with a force of less than twenty-five thousand men; peculiar circumstances might, however, render it necessary, to attempt with a smaller number, and depend December, 1811.
upon immediate supplies being furnished, to sustain the ground that might be acquired. Mr. A. said, the honorable member had intimated that he had not taken into consideration the peculiar situation of the United States in relation to the Floridas, and the other parts of the Southern and Western froßtiers. He said he was much indebted to the honorable member, for evincing so much interest for those sections of the Union; but, Mr. A. said, he considered those already provided for, by the provision made to fill up the regiments on the establishment, which, when complete, would amount to ten thousand men; this number will be quite competent to all the objects suggested by the honorable member, and it had not been contemplated, that he had heard, to remove any of these troops from the South or West; consequently the situation of those parts of the Union can have no relation to the number of men to be raised by the bill under consideration. These troops are understood to be exclusively for the Northern section—and with that express view they are to be raised. Mr. A. said, before he quitted the subject of the Southern and Western frontier, he felt himself constrained to take notice of some very extraordinary language, used by the honorable member in relation to the intentions of the late and present Presidents, respecting the city of—Orleans, in the event of a war with England. It was extremely painful to doubt the correctness of any gentleman's statement; but this was of so very extraordinary a character, that in duty to the section of the country he represented, and from the respect due to those distinguished characters, Mr. A. said he considered himself bound to take notice, in a particular manner, of the assertions made by the honorable member from Virginia.
Mr. A. said, the words had very much surprised
him when he heard them uttered; and he had immediately written them down. The honorable member has said, that he did know. that in the event of a war it was the intention of the late President to let the English take Orleans without opposition, and leave it to the Western people to retake it themselves; and he did believe that it was the intention of the present Administration to act in the same way. [Mr. Giles attempted to explain; but Mr. A. insisted that the words, as he had taken them down, were correct, for which he appealed to the House. Mr. G. desisted from making any further attempt at explanation, and Mr. A. proceeded.] If, sir, said Mr. A.. I could believe the late President of the United States capable of such an act; capable of so deliberate an infringement of the letter and spirit of the Constitution, and all the moral and political obligations by which he was bound to his country and to his duty, I should not hesitate to say, that all his well-earned fame ought to be forever merged in such an atrocious contemplated act. But, said Mr. A., knowing, as I do, the motives and views by which the late President had been uniformly actuated with respect to the whole Western country, I have very solid reason to believe he never contemplated, nor was he capable of committing so daring an outrage on the rights
and interests of the whole Western section of the Union. What, Mr. President, would any one of the old States say, at thus being thrown out of the protection of the Union ? Nay, what would be the impulse of the nation were the President capable of declaring, that in the event of a war with an enemy, no matter whom, he would leave either Philadelphia, New York, or Boston, without of. fering any defence, to be taken possession of by the army of the enemy, and leave it to the citizens of the State whose town should be thus occupied, to retake it themselves? Sir, the indignation of those people, and of the nation, "...# rise to such a height, that whatever respect, esteem, or veneration they may have had for him, all would be instantly swept from their bosoms, and he would be hurled from their confidence forever. But, said Mr. A., the well-earned fame of our late illustrious Chief, is his shield and his buckler, as well upon this, as it has been upon many other occasions; and an elucidation of facts will test the correctness of the assertion made by the honorable member from Virginia. If, Mr. President, there was any one part of the United States dearer to the late President than any other, in a national point of view, Mr. A. said, he should naturally suppose it was New Orleans. It was, as it were, his own begotten child; he had nursed it in its infancy, and had almost reared it to manhood. Sir, he could never forsake it; much less could he voluntarily surrender it, to be sacked and plundered, as it most certainly would be, by a mercenary foe. I will now, Mr. President, examine some facts, said Mr. A., which have a strong bearing upon the assertion made by the honorable member from Virginia. It would be recollected by every honorable member upon this floor, that some few years ago, when it was understood that General Prevost, with a body of troops, had sailed from Halifax, with intent, as it was expected, for the mouth of the Mississippi, the then President apprehended the movement might possibly be to
ssess Orleans. What was the conduct of the
resident upon that occasion? Did he leave it defenceless for the enemy to take 7 No, sir; he immediately gave orders for all the troops that
could be collected within almost any reasonable
distance, to march immediately for the protection of the place; and those that were near the seaboard were instantly transported by water; and every exertion was made to throw a sufficient force into Orleans and its vicinity, to afford it the most ample protection. This, sir, happened shortly before the President went out of office; and no other occasion presented itself of evincing his good disposition towards that portion of the Union, until he was succeeded by the present Chief Magistrate, who has also been measurably implicated in the same charge, by the honorable member; but of this he has only expressed his belief; he has not, however, told us upon what that belief is founded. Inasmuch then, Mr. President, as the charge exists only in the belief of the honorable member, it is fair to presume purity of intention on the part of the Executive
until the contrary shall appear; and this, Mr. A