previous next

[383] a certain applicability to the present moment: “Availing himself of fortuitous advantages, our enemy is aiming with his undivided force a deadly blow at our growing prosperity, perhaps at our national existence.” “He has avowed his purpose of trampling on the usages of civilized warfare, and given earnest of it in the plunder and wanton destruction of private property.” “He strikes with peculiar animosity at the progress of our navigation and our manufactures.” “From such an adversary, hostility in its greatest force and worst forms may be looked for. The American people will face it with the undaunted spirit which, in our revolutionary struggle, defeated all the unrighteous projects aimed at them. His threats and his barbarities will kindle in every bosom, instead of dismay, an indignation not to be extinguished but by his disaster and expulsion.” “In providing the means necessary, the national Legislature will not distrust the heroic and enlightend patriotism of its constituents. They will cheerfully and proudly bear every burden of every kind which the safety and honor of the nation demand. We see them rushing with enthusiasm to the scenes where danger and duty call. In offering their blood, they give the surest pledge that no other tribute will be withheld.”

There is as much patriotism in the country now as in the Revolution, or in 1814. The traitors of the South are no more formidable than were the tories of the Revolution, who, at one time, aided by the British, had complete possession of the States of Georgia and the Carolinas, with an invading army in Virginia; while, in contrast to the war of 1812, the people of the North, and we may say of the Union, are united as one man.--N. Y. Tribune.

So far as the late reverses by the Federal troops in Virginia may give one an idea of the actual damage done the cause of the Union, perhaps Wall street affords as good an index as any thing else — when it is summed up at about “four per cent.,” as indicated in our last issue. The material losses, the arms and munitions of war uselessly sacrificed, are, of course, but a mere trifle when we take into consideration the immense resources of the Government. That it will have a bad effect on the prestige gained previously by the prompt action of the Government, cannot be doubted. But then, one battle gained, with whatever brilliant results, will not cause the great powers of Europe to take sides with the Confederates; nor will it cause any fears of such a result on the part of those sustaining the Government. That it will vastly inspirit the secession States is perfectly certain. Previous to the battle, the utterances of such papers as the Charleston Courier and Mercury, and the Delta of New Orleans, prove that they entertained gloomy apprehensions in view of the mighty preparations for the campaign put forth by the Government, and, naturally more excitable than their opponents, their losses will prove to be terrible indeed if they do not shout over their successes to the very echo; and if, inspired by fresh hopes, they do not put forth renewed exertions to sustain their cause.

But, as we have already said, this one battle will settle nothing. The closely-populated communities in the great States north of us are becoming newly stimulated by the pressure of events, and are pouring their thousands upon thousands toward the seat of war, so that probably in ten days or thereabouts an overwhelming force will be at the capital, and prepared anew to try the chances of the battle-field. How far the new general ordered to the command may be able to gain their confidence and inspirit them with fresh enthusiasm, remains to be seen; but it is evident enough, from proofs afforded on all hands, that in the late contest, the Federal troops may be said to have been without a general, in fact. One newspaper correspondent tells his readers that in the heat of one of the desperate conflicts, he met the ostensible general of the forces “three miles” from the scene of the combat, in a carriage, and that he had the honor of reporting to him how affairs were going. Another statement is made that in a whole day's conflict the general in command was not able to communicate with one brigade at all — of course, did not know where it was.

Without assuming any of that profound knowledge of strategy, and of military matters generally, which has made the New York major-generals of the printing-offices so famous, it strikes us that such leadership as has thus been exhibited is not what soldiers would expect who are sent under the fire of masked batteries, each corps to act, in truth, as a forlorn hope; nor is it such as the country will hold the Government responsible for when a deliberate verdict has to be rendered in the solemn inquest over the slain.

Disclaiming, as we have said, all knowledge, as a military critic, that knowledge so abundant now amongst that numerous class who, as Byron says, are “the prophets of the past,” we yet should be glad to know wherein is the great necessity of leading men, except they were made of wrought iron — cast-iron would not do — right up to the front of a net-work or checquer-board of masked batteries, constructed months before, and awaiting the advance of the simple-hearted but brave thousands who were expected to present themselves as victims? With the whole of Virginia to outflank these batteries in, with a shorter base of operations by Fredericksburg or Yorktown to Richmond, why were the gallant thousands precipitated on this deadly trap, so carefully laid for them at Manassas? A sacred proverb says: “Vainly is the snare laid in the sight of any bird,” but it was not so in this case.

Again: There is an incident in the life of the great Napoleon, that life so fruitful of suggestions, that would seem to have a bearing upon the matter in question. It is long since

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Yorktown (Virginia, United States) (1)
Georgia (Georgia, United States) (1)
Fredericksburg, Va. (Virginia, United States) (1)
Europe (1)

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Byron (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1814 AD (1)
1812 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: