The population and vast resources of the Northern States in 1861 made the claim of “military necessity” by Lincoln fall on many deaf ears. By late 1862 the military situation was critical and Lincoln withheld Northern casualty numbers at Fredericksburg from the public. Lincoln’s emancipation proclamation — patterned after that of Lord Dunmore in 1775 and Vice Admiral Sir Alexander Cochrane in 1814 – was to encourage insurrection and race war behind Southern lines, and put black men in blue uniforms as white Northern soldiers resisted enlistment.
Bernhard Thuersam, www.Circa1865.com
Lincoln’s Cry of Military Necessity
“On January 1, 1863, another proclamation was issued by the President of the United States declaring the emancipation [of slaves] to be absolute within the Confederate States, with the exception of a few districts. The closing words of the proclamation were these:
“And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind and the gracious favor of Almighty God.”
Let us test the existence of the military necessity here spoken of by a few facts.
The white male population of the Northern States was then 13,690,364. The white male population of the Confederate States was 5,449,463. The number of troops which the United States had called to the field exceeded one million men. The number of troops which the Confederate government had then in the field was less than four hundred thousand men.
The United States government had a navy which was only third in rank in the world. The Confederate government had a navy which at the time consisted of a single small ship on the ocean. The people of the United States had a commerce afloat all over the world. The people of the Confederate States had not a single port open to commerce.
The people of the United States were the rivals of the greatest nations of the world in all kinds of manufactures. The people of the Confederate States had few manufactures, and those were of articles of inferior importance.
The government of the United States possessed the treasury of a union of eighty years with its vast resources. The Confederate States had to create a treasury by the development of financial resources. The ambassadors and representatives of the former were welcomed at every court in the world. The representatives of the latter were not recognized anywhere.
Thus the consummation of the original antislavery purposes was verbally reached; even that achievement was attended with disunion, bloodshed, and war.
It is thus seen what the United States government did, and our view of this subject would not be complete if we should omit to present their solemn declarations of that which they intended to do. In his proclamation of April 15, 1861, calling for seventy-five thousand men, the President of the United States government said:
“In any event, the utmost care will be observed, consistently with the objects aforesaid, to avoid any devastation, and destruction or interference with property, or any disturbance of peaceful citizens in any part of the country.”
On July 22, 1861, Congress passed a resolution relative to the war, from which the following is an extract:
“That this war is not waged on our part in any spirit of oppression, or for any purpose of conquest or subjugation, or purpose of overthrowing or interfering with the rights or established institutions of those [Confederate] States; but to defend and maintain the supremacy of the Constitution, and to preserve the Union with all the dignity, equality, and rights of the several States unimpaired; and that, as soon as these objects are accomplished, the war ought to cease.”
(The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government, Jefferson Davis, Volume II, D. Appleton & Company, 1881, pp. 187-189)