to render resistance hopeless, this would have justified a capitulation in order to save a useless sacrifice of life.
Its voluntary abandonment, however, to the Confederacy
, would have gone far toward a recognition of their independence.
The General, in this report, would have President Lincoln
believe, on the authority of a Richmond newspaper, that ‘had Scott
been able to have got these forts in the condition he desired them to be, the Southern Confederacy would not now exist.’
In plain English
, that South Carolina
, which throughout an entire generation had determined on disunion, and had actually passed an ordinance of secession to carry this purpose into effect, and the remaining six powerful cotton States ready to follow her evil example, unless their adjudged rights should be recognized by Congress, and which together have since sent into the field such numerous and powerful armies, would at once have been terrified into submission by the distribution of four hundred troops in October, or one thousand in December, among their numerous fortifications!
Very different must have been his opinion on the 3d March following, when he penned his famous letter to Secretary Seward
In this he exclaims: ‘Conquer the seceded [cotton] States by invading armies.
No doubt this might be done in two or three years by a young and able general — a Wolfe, a Dessaix, a Hoche, with three hundred thousand disciplined men, estimating a third for garrisons, and the loss of a yet greater number by skirmishes, sieges, battles and Southern fevers.
The destruction of life and property on the other side would be frightful, however perfect the moral discipline of the invaders.
The conquest completed, at that enormous waste of human life to the North
and the Northwest
, with at least $250,000,000 added thereto, and cui bono
? Fifteen devastated provinces!
not to be brought into harmony with their conquerors, but to be held for generations by heavy garrisons, at an expense quadruple the net duties or taxes it would be possible to extort from them, followed by a protector or an emperor.’
In view of these fearful forebodings, we are not surprised that he should have despaired of the Union
, and been willing to say to the cotton States, ‘Wayward sisters, depart in peace.’
Nor that he should have fallen back