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[725] reenforced to the utmost, suddenly, unexpectedly, upon Sherman, as he struggled through the gloomy forests and treacherous quicksands of eastern Georgia, or the flooded swamps of South Carolina. Had Lee's effective force (by his muster-rolls, 64,000 men — but suppose the number available for such a campaign but 50,000), swelled by such reenforcements as Hardee, Beauregard, Wheeler, and Hoke, might have afforded him, been hurled upon Sherman, as he confidently approached Savannah, Columbia, or Fayetteville, it is indeed possible that the blow — so closely resembling that dealt to Cornwallis at Yorktown by Washington and Rochambeau — might have been effectively, countered (as theirs was not) by the hurried movement southward by water of corps after corps of the Army of the Potomac; yet the necessity of stopping Sherman's career was so indubitably manifest and vital that it seems strange that every thing was not staked on a throw where success would have kindled new hope in so many sinking hearts, while defeat could only have been what inaction was — ruin. But any suggestion of the abandonment of the Confederate capital was met with such a deafening clamor by the Richmond journals — by which it was pronounced synonymous with surrender at discretion — that Davis and Lee must have been strong men indeed to have chosen to defy it. It does not appear, however, that they ever seriously inclined to an expedient which, even if desperate, was neither so hopeless nor so mortifying as that to which they were actually driven in their grudging, eleventh-hour attempt to recruit their wasted ranks by freeing and arming such slaves (only) as were deemed fit for military service. Had they met Lincoln's first Proclamation of Freedom to such slaves (only) as were not then within his jurisdiction, by an unqualified liberation of every slave in the South and a proffer of a homestead to each of them who would shoulder his musket and help achieve the independence of the Confederacy, it is by no means unlikely that their daring would have been crowned with success; since the passions of their adherents had, by this time, been so thoroughly aroused that they would have welcomed any resort that promised then a triumph over the detested ‘Yankees’; while the Blacks must have realized that Emancipation, immediate and absolute, at the hands of those who had power not only to decree but to enforce, was preferable to the limited, contingent, as yet unsubstantial, freedom promised by the Federal Executive. Unmeasured vituperation of President Lincoln's edict as unwarranted, outrageous, and designed to whet the assassin's knife for the throats of the mothers and sisters of the heroes who had hurled back his armies from the banks of the James and the Tennessee, would have sweetened its bitterness to the Southern Whites, without being especially obnoxious to the emancipated Blacks. But, after having so fiercely reprobated emancipation as essentially a wrong to both races, utterly unjustified by any conceivable exigency of war, and denounced the enlistment on our side of Black soldiers as at once a crime, a futility, and a confession of defeat, and after having mercilessly ridiculed the suggestion that negro slaves could ever be transformed into effective soldiers,

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