Wartime Republican Lt. Gov. of Ohio, Benjamin Stanton, severely criticized Generals Grant, Prentiss and Sherman after the Battle of Shiloh, concluding that the first two should be court-martialed and shot. Massachusetts-born, Ohio Senator Benjamin Wade was a prewar Whig and one of the most radical of Republicans by 1861. However, they both were of the opinion in early 1861 that the American South’s independence should be recognized.
Bernhard Thuersam, www.Circa1865.com
“I am Disposed to Recognize That Independence”
“Mr. Speaker, when there were fifteen slaveholding States acknowledging allegiance to the Federal Government, and therefore, having in their hands the power to protect themselves against any invasion of their rights on the part of the Federal Government, it was a matter of very little consequence whether such an amendment as that was incorporated into the Constitution or not.
But the state of the country is now radically and essentially changed. Seven or eight States now deny their allegiance to this Government, have organized a separate Confederacy, and have declared their independence of this Government.
If they shall maintain their position, and sustain the authorities there for a year or two to come, so as to show that nothing but a war of subjugation and conquest can bring them back, I, for one, am disposed to recognize that independence.”
(Ohio Republican Lt. Governor Benjamin Stanton (Congressional Globe, February 23, 1861, page 1285)
“You Cannot Hold Men Forcibly in This Union”
“And Southern gentlemen stand here, and in almost all their speeches, speak of the dissolution of the Union as an element of every argument — If they do not feel interested in upholding this Union, if it really trenches on their rights, if it endangers their institutions to such an extent that they cannot feel secure under it, if their interests are violently assailed by means of this Union, I am not one of those who expect that they will long continue in such a Union.
It would be doing violence to the platform of the [Republican] party to which I belong.
We have adopted the old Declaration of Independence as the basis of our political movement, which declares that any people, when their government ceases to protect rights, when it is so subverted from the true purposes of government as to oppress them, have the right to recur to fundamental principles, and if need be, to destroy the government. I hold that they have this right.
I will not blame any people for exercising it, whenever they think the contingency has come. You cannot hold men forcibly in this Union, for the attempt to do so, it seems to me, would subvert the first principles of the Government under which we live.”
(Senator Benjamin Wade of Ohio, Congressional Globe, third session, 34th Congress, page 25)