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[154] of our cause, not then as superior with inferior, but as friend with friend. I disclosed to Jackson the grounds of the apprehensions which I always harboured in secret, but which I made it my duty to conceal, after the strife was once unavoidable, from every mortal save him. He defended his more cheerful hopes. He urged the surprising success of the Confederate government in organizing armies and acquiring material of war in the face of an adversary who would have been deemed overwhelming, and especially the goodness of Divine Providence in giving us, so far, so many deliverances. I re-asserted my apprehensions with a pertinacity which was, perhaps, uncivil. I pointed out that the people were not rising as a whole to the height of the terrible crisis. That while the minority (all honor to them) were nobly sacrificing themselves in the breach, others were venal and selfish, eager to depute to hireling substitutes the glorious privilege of defending their own homes and rights, and to make a sordid traffic out of the necessities of the glorious martyrs who were at the front dying for them. That it was at least questionable whether such men were not predestined slaves. That the government was manifestly unequal to the arduous enterprise and entangled in the plodding precedents of dull mediocrity, instead of rising to the exertion of lofty genius and heroism. Witness, for instance, the deplorable military policy which left our first critical victory without fruits; a blunder which no government would be allowed by a righteous Providence to repeat often, with impunity; because it is as truly a law of God's administration, as of His grace, which is expressed in the fearful question: ‘How can ye escape who neglect so great salvation?’ That neither government nor people seemed awake to the absolute necessity of striking quickly in a revolutionary war like ours; but they were settling down to a regular protracted contest, in which the machinery of professional warfare would gradually, but surely, abolish that superiority of the Southern citizen-soldier over the Yankee mercenary, which the honor and courage of the former gave him while both were undrilled; a routine-war in which we should measure our limited resources against their unlimited ones, instead of measuring patriotic gallantry against sluggishness. That the final issue of such a struggle must be the exhaustion of our means of resistance by gradual attrition, which would render all our victories unavailing. At length, as I enlarged upon the points, Jackson turned himself upon his saddle towards me and said, with a smile which yet had a serious meaning in it: ‘Stop, Major Dabney; you will make me low-spirited!’ He then rode in silence for some moments, and said,

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