The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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of all Gen. Lane's military operations at this period. In authentic histories of the war and official documents filed in the archives of government, the reader will find the record of his achievements--his long and toilsome marches by night and by day over a wild and rugged country, full of narrow defiles and dangerous passes; his frequent surprises of the enemy; his sudden incursions far away into remote valley and plain; his fierce combats and glorious victories. At Tlaxcala, Matamoras, Jalapa, Tulancingo, Zacuataplan, as at Huentla and Olintla, Mexican valor yielded to the force of his impetuous and well-directed assaults. On every field the ranks of the enemy went down before the thundering charge of his cavalry, the fierce onset of his resistless infantry. The fame of his achievements soon spread through Mexico, and the terror with which the enemy was inspired by his death-dealing blows and almost ubiquitous presence, was equaled only by the unbounded confidence and enthusiasm infused into his followers by his gallant bearing, and the prestige of a name ever relied on by them as the sure guarantee of victory. For one quality as much as any other, perhaps more than even his dauntless courage, Gen. Lane was distinguished throughout the war--Humanity to the vanquished. His bright fame was unsullied, his escutcheon untarnished by a single act of wanton outrage or cruelty during the whole time he bore a commission in the American army. When the fight was over and the victory won, the field of carnage where a short time before foeman had met foeman in deadly conflict, presented the spectacle of stern and swarthy warriors imbued with the humane spirit of their leader, bending over the heaps of the dying and the dead, selecting now a friend and now a foe, from whom the vital spark had not yet fled, staunching his wounds, and if the sufferer had not yet passed beyond the power of human aid to save, restoring him by their kind ministrations to life and health, family, home and friends. An officer thus distinguished for courage and humanity; unyielding fortitude under the severest privations; an originality and promptness in the formation of his plans, surpassed only by the boldness and rapidity of their execution; a celerity of movement which annihilated time and distance; with a power of endurance that defied hunger and thirst, heat and cold--such an officer, never for a moment relaxing his exertions, and daily adding some new name to the list of his conquests, could not fail to attract the attention and excite the admiration of the army, and win the approbation and applause of his countrymen in all parts of the United States. There was a tinge of romance in his exploits which possessed on irresistible attraction, and captivated the imagination of all classes of admirers. But imagination has had little to do with the final judgment which his countrymen have pronounced upon his conduct. The parallel traced at the time between his deeds and character and those of an illustrious hero of the Revolution, suggested to his countrymen a suitable way of testifying their appreciation of his services and admiration of his character; and they have, with a unanimity which shows that the parallel is not altogether imaginary, bestowed upon him a title, prouder than any ever conferred by a patent of nobility from prince or potentate--the title of "The Marion of the Mexican War."

        On March 10, 1848, the treaty of peace between the United States and Mexico was ratified by the Senate. General Lane remained some months in Mexico after peace was concluded, directing the movements and superintending the embarkation of troops returning home.

        Returning to the United States in July, a few days after he reached home he was appointed by President Polk Governor of the Territory of Oregon. This appointment, entirely unsolicited, General Lane, against the wishes of many of his friends, concluded to accept; and having made the necessary preparations, started across the plains in September, with an escort of twenty men. After a journey across the plains and mountains, full of peril and hardship, he arrived in Oregon in March, 1849, and immediately organized the Territorial Government.

        Of the ability with which he performed the duties of Governor, no better testimony could be given than is furnished by the fact that when superseded by Governor Gaines, on the accession of General Taylor to the Presidency, he was elected by the people of Oregon Delegate in Congress, a position which he long held.

        The military career of General Lane did not close with the termination of hostilities between the United States and Mexico. In Oregon he was destined to add other laurels to those already won. The Indians of that territory gave the whites much trouble, destroying lives and property, and thereby greatly impeding the progress and retarding the settlement of the country. In 1853 occurred a formidable outbreak on Rogue river, in the southern part of
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