Correspondence of the Richmond Dispatch.
Outrages upon Virginia Citizens — Instances of Determination not to Submit to the Tyranny of Lincoln
's Minions — Old Ape's Message Yorktown,
July 11, 1861.
You will recollect, Messrs Editors
, that in my last I stated, as a generally believed rumor, that the citizens around Old Point
, were forced into the Fort
at the Point
of the bayonet and made to take the oath of allegiance.
I could not then vouch for the truth of this rumor, though such conduct on the part of the vandals was perfectly characteristic.
Since then, I have learned from an entirely reliable source, that what I stated as rumor, is literally true.
As soon as it was known at the Fort
that the militia were to be called out, the redoubtable Butler
sent out a large body of soldiers, who went from house to house at midnight and took every man and boy, forced them into the Fort
and compelled them to take the oath or remain in prison.
His treatment of Messrs Ratcliffe
, of Baltimore
, fully explains how to influences our citizens voluntarily
to take the oath.
‘"No compulsion, no compulsion, sir,"’ is his cry.--Every thing of this sort must be voluntary. --But it is ‘"take the oath or be hung as a spy;"’ no compulsion,
The old tyrant tried the same game with some citizens of Hampton
In some cases he succeeded; in others he met with noble and patriotic refusals.
Among the latter, I understand, is old Mr. George Massenburg
, who, on being required to take the oath, stood up and bared his aged bosom, and told the oppressor to shoot him, if he chose, for he would sooner die than take the oath.
M. is upward of 60 years of age, and so infirm as generally to walk on crutches, yet I saw this old man, when the rumor was first started that the enemy were coming to Hampton
, take his double barrelled shot-gun, and, forgetful of his age and infirmities, walk down to the bridge and express his determination to drive back the foe or perish in the effort.
Among others who have resisted threats and persuasions to force them to take the oath, are Col. Wilson Jones
, Mr. Fowkes
, and some others.
Such instances of true patriotism, on the part of men who are compelled by circumstances to remain among the enemy, are worthy of all praise.
The losses of our citizens in the perishing of their crops and the loss of their negroes throughout Elizabeth City
counties are beyond all calculation.
When Horace Greeley
promulgated, as a part of the programme of the war, the liberation of the slaves and the general desolation of the country, many of us were incredulous as to the authorities at Washington
adopting such a course.
We looked upon it as mere gasconade on the part of the editor of the Tribunes
to frighten the Southerners, not supposing that the Administration would really condescend to anything so low and so characteristic of barbarism.
But facts have opened our eyes to the truth, that Horace was well posted in advance, and that there is no act of vandalism too mean for the powers at the once national capital to adopt or sanction.
The destruction of property, the insults repeatedly offered to ladies, the imprisonment of unoffending citizens, and the gross outrages offered to them while held in duress, have been so great and so continuous that except in actual butchery of women and children, it is doubtful whether the treachery and cruelty of Nana Sahib in India
have exceeded those that have been practiced by the Northerners since their invasion of lower Virginia
Well, these things will open the eyes of our people, and show the true character of our foes, and the true object of this war. The cause is working out its legitimate effects.
Hundreds and thousands of our citizens, who were earnest Union men, have by such means been changed to thorough and equally earnest Secessionists, and as the war progresses, the work will go on. Men will think and reason for themselves.
They will see that the object of the war is to compel them to have fellowship with their own destroyers; that in the Union
that was, they must give their sanction to a war that has no other apparent object but to uphold a military despotism and legalize a system of indiscriminate plunder and destruction.
Such a condition of things, too, must ultimately convince many, if not all the people of the North
that, in carrying on the war, they must sanction and pray for what in their hearts they cannot but despise.
This influence will spread and increase, and when they fled their Government-loaded with a debt of five or six hundred millions, and their manufacturing and commercial interests utterly destroyed, and the moral influence of the civilized world arrayed against them, and the South
still unsubdued — everything lost and nothing gained — will they not be brought to their senses, and cease to furnish the means of carrying on so unjust and profitless a warfare?
From the present Congress at Washington
we have nothing to hope for. Let not the South
be deceived at this point.
They will, doubtless legalize not only the palpable violations of the Constitution
, confessed by the Administration, but no one need to be surprised to see their President
clothed with dictatorial powers, and authorized to go on with his work of plunder and destruction ad libitum.
The South, in the meantime, will go on, developing her own resources, manufacturing all she needs, and imbibing more and more the spirit of true and manly independence.
I have just read President Lincoln
To criticise such a tissue of misrepresentations of historic truths and such a combination of political sophistry.
I leave to school boys.
It may not be amiss, however, to pause and make a little arithmetical calculation on the demand for $400,000,000 deemed necessary to carry on the war. Of course this money will have to be raised by loans.
Now, if $9,000,000 could not be had except at the ruinous discount of 12 or 15 per cent., and hardly at that, what capitalists in Europe
will invest their funds at any discount to the amount required by the President
The debt of the United States
is already about $200,000,000; the present requisition will increase it to $600,000,000. The interest on this will be, at six per cent., $36,000,000 Add to this the ordinary expenses of the Government
, say $60,000,000, and we have a continuous drain at least of $96,000,000. Now the usual revenue of the Government
even before the dissolution rarely if ever exceeded its expenses, $60,000,000. Suppose that amount still to flow into their treasury, notwithstanding the Morrill Tarriff
and the loss of that portion of the revenue which came by way of the Southern
ports, we find a deficit of $36,000,000 to be met by direct taxation or to go unpaid.
Can such an amount be raised?
Will sober men submit to such double taxation for the name of a Union, which exists but in name?
And will shrewd capitalists invest with such a prospect of losing both principal and interest?
I cannot but regard this financial feature of Lincoln
's scheme as one eminently favorable to Southern independence, it being a virtual confession of the inability of the enemy to pursue his purpose of subjugation.