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[for the Richmond Dispatch.]

the La Vendre of the Southern Confederacy and the proper policy for its conquest.


To this time, in every conflict of arms between the Northern and Southern forces, the balance of victory and of glory, and also of solid advantages, has been on the side of the Southern Confederacy--with one class of exceptions only. These exceptions have been presented in the several skirmishes and some important conflicts, and other defeated movements, in the Northwestern part of Virginia. In this region, beginning with the earliest and most culpable neglect by our State authorities, by which the enemy was permitted to take and keep possession of the two great railroads entering that region from the Ohio — through the consequent disastrous defeats of our forces under the imbecile Porterfield, and still worse under the brave and capable Pegram and Garnett — to the latest event, the unavoidable retreat of Gen. Wise--all have been one unchanging series of disasters. And various in kind as have been these disasters, and their immediate or special causes, there is one great and abiding cause for all — in the disaffection of a large portion of the residents to the Southern cause, and the natural features of the country, which enable the zealous and active residents successfully to oppose and to overcome any inactive military force to which they are heartily and earnestly opposed.

Instead of continuing to oppose by military invasion, and attempting to crush, this rebellion of the Virginia tories and traitors, (who give all the strength of the Northern armies,) I would respectfully suggest a different policy, which would serve, safely and effectually, to assail, and gradually and surely to extinguish, (unless in the ‘"Pan-Handle,"’) the existing disposition of the residents to favor the desposic and oppressive Northern power, and to oppose, as now through ignorance, the benefits of union with Virginia and the Southern Confederacy.

The policy proposed is the withdrawing of our armies and armaments from the whole of the disaffected and contaminated region between the Alleghany Mountains and the Ohio River — to guard the Alleghany passes, and constantly to threaten the region in question, but without seriously assailing it, so as to compete the Lincoln Government to retain therein some thirty thousand or forty thousand men, as costly and burdensome garrisons of their temporary conquest. These garrisons, by their military license and outrages, would oppress the whole occupied country, and their friends as well as foes. The heavy system of taxation now about to be imposed on all the possessed dominions and subjects of the Northern power would be intolerable to this community of heretofore independent and generally poor inhabitants. Their entire loss of trade, and of all other prior great advantages, then terminated by separation from, and the hostile relations with, the remainder of Virginia, and of all the other States of the Southern Confederacy, would be not less injurious and burdensome than the heavy taxation and military requisitions of the Northern Rump Government. It thus let alone, under the operation of these several influences, before half a year would pass these now servile Submissionists and Tories, and even many now active traitors, would become heartily sickened with Northern rule and fraternization, and be more ready to break out in insurrection against the Northern power than to aid, or even to submit to it. Then would be our time to aid the popular impulse, instead of vainly opposing it by arms, as heretofore. Then, supporting, and supported by the restored proper understanding of self-interest of the now deceived inhabitants — and the always sound patriotism of the loyal and true — it will be as easy and cert in to subdue and subject the persistent tories and traitors of the Northwestern counties, as it has been, and still will be, difficult, by the military and yet impotent policy heretofore pursued by the authorities of Virginia and of the Confederate States. Then will be the time for us to crush and to punish the unyielding traitors and rebels — to pardon the repentant, and to reward the always true and previously suffering patriots.

Peter the Hermit.

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