The South impregnable to invasion.
It is a noteworthy fact that the South
has never been successfully invaded.
It is also remarkable that during no attempted invasion has the negro population manifested any disposition to side with the enemy.
During the whole of the war of 1812, Southern territory remained untrod by hostile foot, except in hasty raids extending a few miles from the shore.
The occupation of a narrow portion of Maryland
between the Bay
and the Potomac
was but for a few weeks, when the enemy found it proper to disembark.
The hasty descent upon Washington city
and the march across Maryland
ending in discomfiture, is the only semblance of invasion which the South
suffered during the war. The brief career of Packenham
, ending in his signal catastrophe at New Orleans, was but a disastrous attempt at invasion.
During the Revolution the case was very little different.
Owing to the meagerness of our population, the British
got possession of Charleston
, and made successful raids into Virginia
and others, while her troops were fighting in the Carolinas and up-holding Washington
at the North
; but these were but rapid plunder excursions, attended by none of the results of successful invasion.
The British campaigns in the South
more nearly approached the character of such invasions than any other that the South
has ever encountered; but these campaigns partook more of the nature of civil war than of foreign intrusion.
Tories from all parts of the Colonies had in the early years of the struggle sought security in the seclusion of the Western Carolinas
; and when the war was transferred to that quarter, the invading
column consisted of but a regiment or so of British regulars, supported by many regiments of Tories.
But for the domestic aid which thus rallied to the British
standard, history would never have had to record the important events of the Southern Revolutionary
Despite of these campaigns, the proposition remains true that the South
has never been the theatre of a successful invasion.
The mere climate and distances traversed destroyed utterly the magnificent column of De Soto
It is a remarkable fact that the only wars against the Indians which cost the whites regular and protracted campaigns were those in the South
How many years of fighting, how many thousands of lives and millions of dollars did the Seminole
war cost the United States
It required all the genius of Jackson
and all the skill and hardihood of his brave Tennessee
and Kentucky riflemen, exerted for some years, to put down the Indians of Georgia
What was the Black Hawk
war in the Northwest
to the Seminole
and Creek wars in the South
It would have required the slow genius of Scott
as many years to conquer the Southern
tribes as it took him days to end the little affair of Black Hawk. The difficult, arduous, costly, and protracted campaigns against the Southern Indian
tribes, teach the impracticability of Southern invasion, even when conducted by Southern Generals
The impregnability of the South
is partly owing to the climate, which makes summer campaigning as impracticable as winter; but chiefly to the large distances requiring to be traversed, to the sparseness and warlike character of the people, to the incorruptible fidelity of the slaves, and to the many large water courses lying athwart every road and highway.
The South --such is the character of her sea-board, and such the breadth of swamp and sand-barren lining its whole extent — can only be invaded from the Chesapeake
, from Charleston
, from New Orleans, or from the Upper Mississippi
From the Chesapeake
only Eastern Virginia
can be assailed; for any attempt to reach North Carolina
or distant parts of the interior would require long lines of communication, crossing wide rivers which could readily be broken up. Charleston
is now closed by impregnable forts.
New Orleans is protected by its distance, its miasma, and its boundless and fathomless swamps.
The Mississippi above Memphis
is securely guarded by swamps, by canebrakes, and by batteries of columbiads.
All the South
is secure from invasion except Eastern Virginia
All the South
can, therefore, afford to concentrate its forces in our State.
These forces are pouring in upon us in formidable numbers, and we think the cause is safe.
The presence of the Confederate Government is equivalent to a host of men. The excellent generalship of President Davis
will soon infuse system, order and confidence in every division and corps.
When our forces are got well ‘ "in hand,"’ and all things are ready for the fray, we shall then see what fate awaits the invaders of Virginia
While the South
is closed, the North
is very open, to invasion; and if the war last a year, it will be waged upon Northern soil.
The Virginia campaign will make veterans of the Southern
It will then be for us to assume the offensive and to plan campaigns.--We shall carry the war into Africa
; we shall commend the chalice prepared for us to their own lips