Such are specimens of the Northern letters wherewith Southern states-men were misled into the belief that the North would be divided into hostile camps whenever the South should strike boldly for her “rights.” It proved a grievous mistake; but it was countenanced by the habitual tone of “conservative” speakers and journals throughout the canvass of 1860, and thence down to the collision at Sumter. Even then, the spirit which impelled these assurances of Northern sympathy with, and readiness to do and dare for, “the South,” was not extinguished, though its more obvious manifestations were in good part sup, pressed for a season. A very few persons — hardly a score in all — of the most uncontrollable Southern sympathies, left the North to enter the Confederate armies; but many thousands remained behind, awaiting the opportunity, which disappointment and disaster were soon to present, wherein they might take ground against the prosecution of the “Abolition War,” and in favor of a “compromise” that was not to be had — at all events and on any terms, of “Peace.” There is, or has been, a quite general impression, backed by constant and confident assertions, that the people of the Free States were united in support of the War until an anti-Slavery aspect was given to it by the Administration. Yet that is very far from the truth. There was no moment wherein a large portion of the Northern Democracy were not at least passively hostile to any form or shade of “coercion;” while many openly condemned and stigmatized it as atrocious, unjustifiable aggression. And this opposition, even when least vociferous, sensibly subtracted from the power and diminished the efficiency of the North. XIV. Whether there was greater unanimity at the South or at the North in sustaining the Union or the Confederacy in the prosecution of their struggle, will, perhaps, never be conclusively determined. There were moments during its progress when the South appeared almost a unit for Secession, while the disheartened North seemed ready to give up the contest for the Union; as there were crises wherein the Rebellion seemed to reel on the brink
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