--The weather for the last two weeks has been splendid.
The earth, saturated heretofore by an unusual quantity of rain, has become thoroughly dried.
The streams have resumed their usual channels, or shrunk within their usual borders.
The atmosphere is exceedingly brilliant, reminding us of that purest of American seasons, the Indian Summer
There never was more propitious weather for military operations.
And we are reminded by the date at the head of this day's issue, that the equinox is upon us, unaccompanied by its usual concomitants of clouds, rain, and storms.
It seems as though Nature herself had espoused our cause, and invited us to move forward.
We cannot always calculate upon her favors.
In a few days she may shroud herself in clouds and drench the earth once more by rain.
We hope our Generals
will take advantage of the opportunity, and seize the initiative.
Time in military matters is victory, is triumph, is everything; and we learn from the old adage that Time is bald behind.
He must be seized by the forelock, or be will forever elude the grasp.
We have not in this journal presumed to criticise the movements of our Generals
We could not but see, what all the world must have seen, that a movement in advance one day, or one week, or even two weeks, after the battle of Mannassa, would have resulted in advantages to our cause, which it is almost impossible to conceive, far less to estimate with mathematical precision.
We could not resist the belief that men, who had fled as the Yankees
had fled from that field, could not be made to stand behind any fortifications, how formidable soever they might be, if attacked by strong arms and resolute hearts.
We could not be induced to think that the respect due to tried veterans ought to be paid to these routed, terrified, discouraged, panic-stricken relies of a military mob, whom no persuasion of their officers, and no sentiment of honor, bad induced to stand and look our army in the face.
We felt confident that the best way to deal with such men was to assail them boldly, no matter what their numbers might be, without waiting a moment to count the cost of the assault.
We ure they would never stand the test, for ew that they were disbanding daily, that they were totally regardless of military discipline, that they were strewed all over Washington
, lying drunk in the rum shops, on the cellar doors, in the gutters, and thinking of nothing but getting back home.
We were satisfied then, we are satisfied now; that Washington
might have been taken by a handful of men, almost by a charge of cavalry.
We could not understand the advantages of delay.
We knew nothing of military tactics; but the modicum of common sense with which we were gifted by our Creator, enabled us to doubt the policy which left to a conquered and dispirited enemy the leisure to recover from his terror, to restore discipline, recruit his forces, to drill his men, to erect gigantic fortifications.
But we said nothing of all this, because our Generals
had the matter in their own hands, and best knew what they were capable of performing.
When, therefore, we learned that their reason for not following a panic-stricken enemy twenty-five miles was that they had not provision and transportation sufficient to carry them that distance, we thought the public ought to be satisfied.
We had read, nevertheless, that Cæsar had pursued Pompey from the plains of Thessaly to the sea beach of Alexandria
, after the battle of Pharsalia, although previously to that battle he had been on the point of breaking up his camp for want of provisions.
We had, moreover, read the first proclamation of Gen. Bonaparte
to his army in Italy
, in which he tells them that in the course of fourteen days they had gained six victories and destroyed two armies; that they had ‘"gained battles without cannon, crossed rivers without pontons,
made forced marches without shoes, and watched all night under arms without brandy, and sometimes even without provisions"’--that they had been ‘"bereft even of necessaries at the commencement of the campaign,"’ but that now (at the date of the proclamation) ‘"they enjoyed plenty,"’ for that ‘"the magazines taken from the enemy were numerous."’ Still the public, deeply as they were chagrined at the disappointment, acquiesced in the apology for the Generals
, that they had not transportation and provisions for so short a distance, and we felt no disposition to disturb its verdict.
We have already said that the advantages which would have ensued to the Confederate States
from an advance at that period, were not to be estimated by any process known to arithmetic.
Some of them, however, lie so palpably on the surface that we cannot forbear to notice them in passing.
We should have captured the city of Baltimore
, and purged it of the foul vermin who have converted it into a nest for their tribe.
We should have prevented the abduction and incarceration of our friends, who have been abducted and incarcerated only because they were our friends.
We should have captured the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and by throwing a strong body of troops upon the rear of the Yankee
marauders in Western Virginia
, have rendered their capture and destruction inevitable.
We should have protected North Carolina
We should have arrested the progress of the Yankee
arms in Missouri
, and placed that gallant State in her true position.
We should have enabled Kentucky
to purge off the vile locusts that infest her. We should have entered the Yankee
territory, and made them tremble for their own capital.
We should have taken Philadelphia
, and held it as a pledge for the withdrawal of Lincoln
's scoundrels from Fortress Monroe
, and of his fleet from the blockade of our ports.
In a word, we should have gone into the midst of the Yankees
, broken up their military organization, laid Boston
and New York at our feet, compelled them to sue for terms, and exacted ample indemnity for all their robberies, all their injuries, and all their insults.
Another opportunity now offers itself.
We have a numerous army on the Potomac
— it burns for distinction, and pants for the hour that is to call it into action.
If its ardor be not restrained, before Christmas
it can plant the colors of the Confederate States
upon Fanueil Hall.
It will have battles to fight; but that is what it most eagerly longs for. It will have rivers to cross; but Col. Napier
tells us that rivers, so far from being an insuperable barrier, do not even form a good position.
If they cannot be crossed at one place, they can at another.
When did the Rhine
ever constitute an insuperable object to an army wishing to invade France
, or the Po
to an army wishing to invade Lombardy
When did any great river offer an insuperable obstacle to a resolute General and a brave army?
In the name of the united South
, then, let our armies advance while the weather is fine and everything propitious.