previous next
[288] their power, were asserting it in aggressiveness upon capital, trembling for its safety; whilst the South in the conservatism of union of labor and capital in laborer, was exempt from disturbance by enfranchised socialists. Such was the ‘irrepressible conflict,’ in which the South was blameless of this crisis, but must suffer for its existence. Congress was powerless, the president was without authority, but the negroes must be made the equals of the whites in the South to engender animosities of her laborers against her former owners, of employes against employers, through the instrumentality of the privilege of suffrage. War was the only means by which such result could be achieved, and ‘military necessity’ was the shameless expedient.

War was the desperation of the North in her extremity to despoil the South of her advantage in controlling her labor.

May it not, then, be logically concluded that had the South sooner realized the situation and precipitated the issue, she would now be entrenched in the glory of independence!

General Payne replied to the imputation that Virginia fought to maintain the institution of slavery, and vigorously contended that her resistance to invasion was repetition of the struggle of our fathers for liberty to govern themselves. He would have given all the slaves of the South for disunion had he been their owner, and he advocated freedom to all who would enlist in the ranks of our army.

Virginia, though her slaves were hers by purchase and not by piracy, in the intensity of her worship of independence, the jewel beyond all price to her when our sinews of the war were strained to the uttermost through her legislature by a special committee to President Davis, offered to emancipate her slaves by an act of the general assembly if such a measure could hell our cause. Any sacrifice for Anglo-Saxon liberty was the tender of her soul. Her spirit stifled the thought of subjugation. Here was ‘the courage that mounteth with occasion.’ Hers the knighthood that felt that

Hope, howe'er he fly
For a time can never die.

Robert E. Lee recommended the enlistment of negroes in our

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)
William H. Payne (1)
Robert Edward Lee (1)
Jefferson Davis (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: