previous next

[371] of the other States. They conscientiously believed that the South was right, and that she was fighting for constitutional liberty against most dangerous revolutionists. Such being their convictions, the members of this party necessarily could not sympathize with the successes of the northern armies, nor deplore the victories of the southern troops. From this state of affairs arose very bitter personal and political animosities between the advocates of the prosecution of the war and the opposers of it. The result was frequent violent quarrels between near relatives, and the angry disruption of many life-long and hereditary friendships. Believing themselves right, only wishing to put a stop to bloodshed, and to preserve liberty and law for both sections, yet these people were constantly denounced by their opponents as traitors of the deepest dye, plotting with armed rebels for their country's ruin. As they had been after the commencement of the war in a minority, they were debarred politically from preferment, and their exertions in private pursuits were much handicapped by the ostracism of the greater number of their neighbors. Meantime battle succeeded to battle, usurpation to usurpation, an endless, hopeless night of misery seemed to envelope the entire land. Altogether the Peace-party had a wretched time of it; their only consolation being their conviction that they were right. Had it been a foreign war, their hearts would have been with their countrymen — right or wrong — for “blood is thicker than water;” but it was a civil war; the southern armies were composed of men of the same blood as themselves, worthy descendants of the grand liberty-loving, hard-fighting, Anglo-Saxon race. How then could they glory in their sufferings? And yet, for not doing so, they were stigmatized by the War-party as traitors.

To this Peace-party I belonged, enthusiastically, devotedly adherred. I clung to the hope that forcible opposition at home might eventually compel the Revolutionists at Washington to stop the wild orgy of war. I longed to draw my maiden sword on the soil of my native State, to do, or die for her dear sake, striking for civil liberty. Months passed by and weariness in waiting was well nigh succeeded by despair. Daily would friends meet, discuss the situation, and groan at their inability to effect any good. One large hotel was the chief rendezvous for meeting. Here at any hour of the day you could find acquaintances who would tell you the latest current news, and also in mysterious whispers impart the gossip from Dixie, the hopes and fears, the joys and sorrows, or stories of mutual acquaintances, who were there.

At length the time came when the Government at Washington found the volunteer system (though supplemented by enormous bounty-giving)

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.

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.
Saxon (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: