Press enter after choosing selection

Message Of Gov. Blair

Message Of Gov. Blair image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

FeLLOW CtTIZENS OF THE SeNATE AND I House op Rupkksentatives : - Under the authority vested in the Exeoutive i by the Constitution ol the State, I bavc i summoned you together in extra sesston i upon the most extraordinary occasion which has had exiatence aince tho i raatiod of the Federal Government. i African slavery, tho great and only i disturbing element ia our institutions, i after havíng rulad tho country for KXty yoars, and during that time driven i tho" free States írom one humiliating i eoncession to another, until they had i fairly reached the wall, and from the i mere instinct of self-preserVation i fused to go farther, has dropped tho maak and taken up arms. Grown i bearing from its fonner successes, and insoleut through its long cherished i pride and disregard of the rights of I men, it now seeks to mako its power prudominant over the whole country by torce. Havingbeen beaten in an i tion, it deliberately nullifies the i tution, defies the laws, confederates in i a pretended form ef government, raises i armies, basieges, and takes a fortress, marches boldlv upon tho National ital to unaeatthe lawfully elected Presidont of the Eepublic, and makes its final appeal to the arbitrament of battle. It has left us no choice but to surrender our free government or fight for ita preservation. In that choice a brave and loyal people could not hesitate. Tho President of tbo LTnitod States, occupying the chair of Wash ington, by the samo vight and under the samo solemn forras by which the Father ol nis Country held it, has ac cepted theissuj. He has unfurled the flag under which all our history has been made, and summons the lo_yal sons of the heroic founders of the Government in order to defend it. He will fight to maintain the Constitution and ihe Union, and the whole peöpleof the loyal States with one voice have affirmed the wisdom, the justice, and the patriotisrn of that determination. In this sacred war, for it is nothing less, the people of Michigan desire to do their whole duty, and it is for us, their chosen reprosentatives, to próvido the means and leud the vvay. On ihe evening of the.löth of April last, I received a telegram from the War Department at Washington, that a cali was made upon me, as Commander-in Ohief, for one regiment of the militia ot the State lor immedjate service. On the next day, however, I was informed from the same source, that if the quota of Michigan should be ready by the 20th of May, that would suffice. Immediately upon receiving these dispatches, I issued my proolamation to the people of the State for volunteers to form two regimenis of infantry, in pursuauce of the law oí your late session, authorizing the organization ot two regiments to meet such a cali. - That law had this strange omission, that whilo it provided for raising the regiment8 and paying the voluuteors and officers at certain fixed prices, it did not appropnate so much as one dollar to meet the expenses to be incurred by virtue of its provisions. It, there fore, beoame necessary to seek, outside of the statutes, means to defray the expenses of recruitiug, arming, equipping and uniforming the regiment. - Thia was done by an appeal to the riotic people of the State to advaoee he money as a temporary loan, trustng to tho justice of the Legislatura or its prompt repayment. That reource was found arnply sufficicnt, and '. desire now, on behalf of the whole eople of the State, in this public manier to thank those publie-spirited genlemen who came forward with suoh iromptness to aid me with their money md their advice in that emergeney. - Ton, gentlemen of the tvvo Houaes, vill take care that no man suffers' in the mallest degree in consequence of his r, nerosity in that respect. The people answered the cali for volinteers with such enthusiasm and alac ity as wil! forcver be an honor both to hem and the government uoder which ve live. In just nine days from the ime when the cali of the President vas received, the ten cornpanies, eorn wsing the first regiment, were full, and he officers commissioned ; and in one Jay more the second regiment was in ike manner organized. On the 80th iay of the same rnonth of April, both ,be regiments wero in camp in Detroit, ind in fine condition. VVhcn it 9 taken into account that at ,he time the President called for one ■egiment ol Iníantry from Michigan liere was not anything like a full reginent in the State, nor even a single jornpany with the full complement of nen required by the cali, and that there was no mouoy in the Treasury that jould be used for military purpoaes, I im more than satisfied with the progress made. For a more detailed account oí tho present condition of tho military i'orces, [ refer you to the report of tho Adjutant-General, John Robertson, which will be laid before you, and of whose affioiency I have occasion to speak in the highest terms. In the ohoice of companios to corapose the first and second regiments, sotne ernbarrassmont was feit in consequence of tho great competition between them, to be included thorein, ariMiigchiefly from tho fact that many of our fellow-citizons either did not understand the statute undor which we were acting, or ir, their zeal rcfused to rocognize its justice. The statute left me no discretion, but absolutely roquired me to select first such comprimes of tho uniformed rnilitia of tho State as might be ofterod, and these were nearly suilicient to answer tho entire cali. The people, howover, will not be satisfied with the two regiments provided for by law, and already iull coinpanies enoLgh have boen formed to fill at least three moro rogiments, whíle the business of rocruiting still goos on as luiskly as at first. They rocognizo the iact that the etruggle is imminent and great, - ihat the existence of the governmeut is invblved in its success. It has not been roally belioved by our countrymen oí the Freo States that such a government as tbis could be brokon up by thoso who liad growu great and rich under its benign proteetion ; but tho attack upon Fort Sumter, and the fall of that stronghold, roused thora like tho shock of an earthquake ! All previous politicul difforences wero j at once forgotten, party lines ( ted, and the wholo basa of the poople havo seized their arms and demand to ] be at once led forlh to battle against this most foul and (innatural rebellion. j They are not satisfied with an army of 75,000 men, and they mean to f ruple it. They cali npon the President of the United Stal es to abandon at onco i and forever the policy oí mere defense i of tho national lorts and property, and i immediately to take the leid to punish the traitors who are in arms against ' their country, and reduce rebellious ' States to unconditiooal obedionco. A dishonored flag and a gal'ant little band i driven forth wíth íire and sword from a i national fortress, cali for a speedy i dreefc, and the people of the country declare that they shall get it. It has been thought best in all : spects, that the troops to go from Michigan into tho service of the United States, should be fully armed, equipped ; and unifortned bofore they leave the State. So far, this has been, I believe, wel] and economically done, and the i two regiments are prepared to march to tho assistanco of tho National Government, in a condition immediately to ; take the field, and if need bo, to fight a ; battle. ïhoy are under tho command of the most intelligent and thoroughly : educated oílicers, several of whora have een previous and honorable service in : he army of the United States. Both officers and men are purfecting i selves in military drill and war-like i cience. Thev are gallant citizens from : all tho walks "of like, who go forth to ; ight, not for conquest, but for liberty, ecurity and peace. I look to see them i return,' beariag the laurel wreath of vietory. ' ' Though tho President has, thus far, i called for but one regiment from this State, there can be little doubt that he vill finally ask for several inore, and it ; will bsyour duty to provide amply iq j ill respects, for meeting promptly and efficiently such a demand. I i mend, therefore, that ihe law of your ate session, authorizing the raising of :wo regimenté be so amonded as to autborize calling immediately into the field íor drill, and placing on a war footing, four more regitnents, rnaking in all six, with power, in case of emergency, to raise the number to ten. It would seem proper alsc, to pay the voluuteers while in the service of the Sti.te, preparatory to being called into the service of the United States, at the same rate that they will be entitled to after being rnustered into that service. The great addition to the duties of the offices of Adjutant and Quartcrmastor General, occasioned by calling nto active service so large a body of tho militia. has rendered it necessary for these officers to devote the whole of their time to the business of their respective offices. The salaries allowed them by tho present law are wholly inadequate as a compensation, having been provided solely in view of their dutits during the time of peace. I recoimncnd, thereforé, such au increase of the salaries of these officers as will be a fair compensation ; such increase to continue during the present national troubles. I also recommeiid that all subsequent enlistments be for the term of three years, or until discharged from service by the governmont of the United States ; and that authority be given to order the volumeers so cnlisted to any poiut out of this State, in aid of the General Government, or of any loyal State that may be invaded by the arniie of the Confedérate States, or anv other mob. - filis seeuis necessary for the present, and íntil CoDgruss shall conferupon the Presiident sufficient authoriti" to cali voluneers iuto service for a much longer term lian thrce months. In many instances, the cornpanies of rolunteer uniformed militia have been nustered into the service of the United ïtates, and other cases will oecur, while hese companies stilldesire to retain thoir iosition in the ordinary volunteer force f the State. I recommend that these ïompanies bo authorized to organize reierve corps of their coinpanies, which m:iy yo officered temporarily, in order that Jiey may continue their praetice and drill. [ recomniend also that the companies of ;he uniformed militia now limited to for;y, be allowed to be increased to sixty. Considerable expenses have already Deen incarred and paid from the volunta■y loan of citizens to the State, and large jxpciises have been incurred in recruitíng by individuáis, which thore is now no luthority oí law for paying, while very iieavy outlays will bccome necessary in the future, in putting the State into a conlition to meet such calis aá inay hereafter be made by the government of the United States for troops. I recoramend the necessary amouut to meet every exigency, by a loan. As to what may be the inanner of eflecting such a loan must be left entirely to jour diserction. I think, bowover, it will be wise to consider that the suddeness with which this war has been thrust upon the country, has taken nearly every loyal State of the Union by surprise, ao'd they are all, like ourselves, borrowers iu the market. It will, therefore; be found essential that the loan be issued in such form as to eüable our own pcople to take it, to a very great extent and thereby avoid going abroad into mar kets where we should meet the active competition of other States. Eor this parpóse it seems evident that to issue a large portion of it in bonds or other seeurities, moderate in amount, with intcr est at seven per cent., payable annually at some point within the State, will be most likoly to effect the object. If this course is taken, I have reason to believe that by far the greater portion of the loan will be taken in Michigan, and thus wc should have the satisfaction of knowing that the patriotism of our own people wa found a sufficient resource iu the vorj greatest cmergency. The whole amoun to be raised, I think, should not bo les than ono million of dollars, to be issued and used as the neecssitics of the State, may requiro. .. üf the power of the Legislature to au thorize such a loan, I entertain no doub whatever, and therefore do not stop tt disctíBs it. We are in the midst of war The very existence of the government i imperilled, and we cannot stop to lev and collcct taxes before forces are raised nor would it be wise, if we could, to adc to the calamities of war those oi hcav taxation. That belongs properly to th the times of peace and business prosperity It is ouly the dictate of humanity aiu justice to make provisión for the eupport of the families of such as voluntoer to i íiglit the battlcs of the country in case any occasion should arise for such port. I therefove recommend that you cuact a law authorizing the towns and cities of the Stato to levy taxcs for that i purpose. ] Gentlemen of the two Houses : We are , just cnteriug upon a war, the exact sult of which no man can foreseo. The sudden and splendid outburst of popular ] onthusiasm which has illumined lts . menccment, will shortly, in a grcat ure, disappear, and must be replaced by , calm detcrmination and resolute vigor. - . ïhere will be calamitics aud disasters ] which havo not boou looked for. He who went forth joyously singing the natioual anthem, will somutimo bo brought back in a bloody shroud. The uational resourees will be rapidly consuined, ; ness will suffer and ordinary avocations , be sadly broken up. Tliis is to bc no sis weeks' campaign. I do not under-estimatc the gallantry of Southern men, and : they will tind it a grave error that they have under-estimated ours. The sectional prido and bitter remeinbrance of previous taunts, whioh enter into this cuutcst will make its battles tiercé and bloody. We are all sprung from a race in which cowardice is almost uuknown. Although we have been mainly #at peace for thirty-five years past-, yet oufs is naturally a martial people. Lt will, therefore, bc wise for us to proceed very calmly and deliberately in our preparations to meet a very grcat occasion. Mere outbursts of patriotic fervor will not avail. Now that we .have entcred the war, we must patriotically accept its inevitable couditions. To whatever of calamity and disaster it inay bring us, we muse cheerfully submit ; and whatever of self sacrifico it may rerjuire, must be cheerfully borne. The war is just and righteous because it is waged in bahalf of the laws and the constituted authorities of our country ; a country which has never, in the smallest particular, oppressed those who are ir. arms against it. It is our plain duty, thercfore, to support and uphold, to the utmost of our ability, the National admiuistration at Washington. It is for the time beiug the goeernment, and neccssarily bas eutire charge of hostilities. That they will be wisely conducted for the common interest and glory of the nation, wo may safely belicve. All captiousness or fault finding should be discouraged. It is not pOSsible for all to know at once the reasons for evcry act or even the act itself. Kesults are the only true tests of adminif:tration and for these we must patiently wait. Time is essential to créate great armies and to conquer States, as it is to accomplish any other grand result. It is only two mouths since Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated President of the United States, and during that time events have been so precipitated upon oach other that it bas seeined well mgh impossible to avoid sorae confusión. Aud yet, I do believo there is not nmch to complain of, and abundance to approve. The power of the National government beo-ius to show itself unmistakably, and I takc it for granted, that the time has uow arrived when that government means to take the offensive, and will foll'ow the traitors to their strong holds and severely punish them. It cannot longer confine itself to more defense of the national domain and property- it must strike treason wherever it is to bo fouud- all the delusivo pratenses of the rebels about coerción aud the invasión of States must be thrown to the winde, and the full right of the troops of the Federal government to march at pleasure over every inch of the territory of the United States must be put beyond question'. There eau be no neutrals in this coutest. That State which rcfuses to aid on the ïawful cali ot the President is as much guilty of treason as the ono" which, like South Carolina, makes actual war upon the Federal armies, and must be treated in the same manner. ' " To aid in the accomplishmcnt of this oreat task, let us put Micnigau w a uation to be able promptly aud vigorousy to answer any cali the President may ïiake upon us ; and in doiog this we must reineinber that ouc trained soldier is vorth more than two untrained ones. To second the National Adinimstration is our whole. province ; and to do it effectually must be our great endeavor. Aud while I do not expect the grand result immediately, nor that it will be attamed without great sacriüccs, yet I cannot doubt the ünal issue. It cannot be that this wicked rcbellion will eucceed. Utterly without cause, basod upon unchastened ambition and lust of power alone, ifrcan have neithcr the sympatlnes of nankind nor the favor of God. In point of material power the odds are greatly w;th the Government ; and these must finally prevail in a just cause, whieh enlists in its bchalf the enthusiasm of all loval citizcns, aud the sympathies of the just and good everywhere. I look eouiideutly, then, to see tka complete triumph of the Constitution and Government ot the United States in this great contest, and the final and firm establishment in this country of the doctrines of the dectrines of the Declaration of Independenec. They who have taken tha sword will perish by the sword, and this war. ïnaugurated to establish slaveholding deapotism forever on this continent, will result m its total aud speedy destruction. Our freo and ever to be revered iorm of governinent, tried in this fieroe furnaco ofrovolution, will prove itsolf equal to every occasion, aud will be doubly strenffthened and securcd in the hearts ot our own people, whilo its power and respectability abroad will be umnensely enhanccd. The famc of Washington and his compatriots will glow with a brighter lustre, aud the hopes of men everywhere will be cheered and stvengthencd. Li. erty, the great aiiu of mankind, will, in tho triumph of the Great llepublic, senrfl a home UDon earth forever.


Old News
Michigan Argus