The last letters from the correspondent of the London times.
's last letters to the London Times
contain some interesting observations upon affairs as they are on the American
We select several extracts:
Cabinet Animosities at Washington.
I do not attach any importance whatever to rumors, but it is within my own personal knowledge that serious personal dislikes exist between the members of the Cabinet
The President, in the main, cultivates the intimacy, and perhaps approves the councils of Mr. Seward
, but he is exhibiting a rude vigor of his own — rude because it is displayed openly — which proves that he can reduce his Cabinet to what it really is according to the American
theory — a mere board of heads of departments who may be asked their opinions of any matter as amici curia
by the President
, or who may be put on one side if he pleases.
, wise in his generation, confines his attention to the onerous business of his own department; but others of his colleagues distinguished themselves by an unlucky assiduity in tormenting themselves with the affairs of departments which do not belong to them, and ‘"everything by turns and nothing long"’ are the teredos of every plank in the ship of State.
, who has a right to go everywhere, (and do everything he likes apparently,) evinces a solicitude natural enough in all that is going on in the army, the navy, and the other branches of the public service, and has lately turned his attention to the subject of big guns and ordnance.
It would surprise an Englishman, whose notions of the functions of a President, founded on the popular idea that they were those of a milder sort of chief magistracy than that which we have the happiness to possess, probably restricted his powers to that of veto or approval, by signature, of acts of Parliament and the sending of messages, to be told that Mr. Lincoln
is not only head of the army and navy, but that, in such questions as the propriety of relieving Fort Sumter
by a military and naval expedition, the Illinois
lawyer studied books, heard arguments on both sides, and finally determined on the course to be pursued.--Pray observe with what subtlety the Southerners have acted, in the language they have used in familiar correspondence and in the press, when speaking of the United States
They never mention the name of the ex-great Republic.
The United States Army is to them ‘"Lincoln
's mercenaries;"’ the United States Navy is ‘"Lincoln
's war ships,"’ and so on through all the varieties of Lincoln
's ‘"hordes,"’ ‘"barbarians,"’ ‘"Yankees,"’ ‘"savages,"’ &c. They endeavor to fix on the President
the direct personal responsibility of the whole conflict, and to restrict the agents he uses in waging it to the Yankees
of the New England
The mass of the South
are fighting for a Union of their own, to which they have insensibly transferred their loyalty and their national feeling, which unquestionably is great, in the old flag, and believe they are fighting against an alien enemy--one Abraham Lincoln
— who is aided and abetted by the powers of darkness and their Yankee coefficients.
And yet I have reason to believe Mr. Lincoln
is one of the most moderate men in the section of his own Cabinet which looks to internal politics, and that, in the present distracting discussions, he generally inclines to the view that the North
is not making a war against slavery, and that the results of her success need not be the liberation of the negro.
, who is a downright covenanter of the American
sort, and with whom the Southern
slaveholders are sons of Belial--‘"a sword of the Lord
"’ man, who could smite Philistines hip and thigh from the rising to the going down of the sun — and several hours after — with a grim satisfaction in being a chosen instrument — I speak, of course, metaphorically, and not physically — has a great influence, derived from the clearness of his head, his persistency, and the rigidity of his principles among his party; but his doctrines would most likely end in confining the United States
to the original New England
settlements, or in establishing a dictatorship resting on bayonets.
What prelacy, popery, and monarchy were to the men of the first covenant, Southern rights, slaveholding included, are to Mr. Blair
Nor are they less so to Mr. Chase
, who possesses, after all, the largest and most solid brain in the Cabinet
, but who had no objection at one time to let the South
go if it liked, believing that the system on which it was founded must be in the end, and that not distantly, the means of inflicting a punishment and vengeance on the seceding States far more terrible than any, either the army or navy of the North
Speculations on the policy of the Contestants.
All that can be seen or heard leads to the belief that the Confederates
are preparing for some great effort, and that they have retired portions of their force from before Washington
, either as a device to blind their antagonist while making it, or to co-operate with the rest of the army by a serious demonstration above and below the city.
If the Confederates
have moved they mean to do some chief.
They can scarcely retire and hope to make a better leap by doing so. Inactivity on both sides, coupled with prodigious expenditure, are the best if not the only chance of compromise and peace.
Successes on either side revives the hopes of complete ultimate triumph of the one, and stimulates the animosity and the display of the resources of the other.
There is one thing to be taken into consideration as an element of peace.
During the winter the armies must go into quarters.
Even so far south as Virginia
the weather is frequently very severe; snow lies many feet deep on the ground for weeks at a time.
is occasionally frozen over completely.
The roads always indifferent, become rivers of mud and slush through which it would be nearly impossible to move men, and guns, and baggage.
When the armies are in winter quarters, will the politicians work for peace or for war?--Or will the leaders of divisions be permitted to carry on operations in the ice and snow, remembering the great success of Washington
after the traject, which is so often represented in bad engravings all over North America
It is obviously the interest of Beauregard
to strike a great blow before winter sets in, and thus strengthen the base for negotiations; but Gen. McClellan
, I am satisfied, will not move a man if he can help it until the very end of this month or the beginning of October.
About that time there will be kind inquiries about the second fifty millions of the loan, and no doubt increased vigor on the part of those who are opposed to the war. But if Gen. McClellan
obtains any very considerable victory, and is able at the first stroke to break through the shell with which the Confederates
have covered their soft parts in the interior of the States, some measure short of secession and independence may satisfy them; and when they are menaced with destruction they may put up with an offer to live on fair terms with their conquerors.
It is to be seen whether the latter will then offer them what they might have easily obtained at an earlier stage of hostility.
The Northern army.
Slovenliness of dress and gait, when off duty, long locks, unbuttoned, coats, unpolished boots and equipments, mark many of the men, and the practice of saluting officers, even of high rank, is rather exceptional.
But things are vastly improved, Gen. McClellan
knows that he has a number of brave and intelligent men in his hands; they are not an army, but they are the making, as we say, of a splendid one.
They have been formed into brigades and divisions; but that is for the convenience of commands, as the brigades are not in a condition to act in that initial capacity.
The drills to which the men are subjected are still of the most elementary character, but their marching is very good indeed, and some attempts recently made to direct brigades from point to point, and to shift them from one camp to another, with orders as to the observance of time, have been satisfactory.
The cavalry force is now augmented, and one smart corps, dressed in blue tunics, with yellow braid, like our Seventh Hussars, passed through the other day in very good order.
There are Polish and Hungarian Colonels raising a regiment of Lancers and another of Hussars, which will make the squadrons in the field reach a respectable figure.
Some of the regiments are sent into the field from their States in excellent style, and I was very much struck by the completeness of the way in which the 18th Massachusetts Regiment was turned out, with baggage wagons, tents, uniforms, horses, commissariat transport, so that it was ready for a campaign in all respects, except that the men — fine, stout, hardy-looking fellows — were not acquainted with their drill.
The Vermont Regiment was provided with splendid attelege, and on Saturday we had a splendid battalion from Pennsylvania
But there is still great inequality in the arms, equipments, and efficiency of the line.
, now promoted to the rank of Brigadier General
, is appointed to take charge of all the regiments on their arrival, and to get them into working order before they are sent across the river.
Everything is done that can be effected by the superior officers, but the men still indulge in grumbling, and now and then shoot each other.
Eventually, however, and in no long time, there will be a new spirit among them.
's order, in which he congratulates the army on the prospect of being paid in paper instead of gold, has not produced any marked effect on the troops, but at the same time they do not complain of it. The veteran chief of the American
army speaks of retiring in another month to enjoy an honored re-
pose. Ill fare they who serve a Republic!--Washington
's estate is a wilderness — his monument unfinished.
's name has fallen out of men's memory in a few weeks.
There are great expectations of the new General Halleck
, a most distinguished West Point
officer, long connected with the Government
, and who has come out of private life in that State in order to lead the troops of the United States
The Navy Department is making prodigious efforts to procure cannon, and several English firms, regardless of the Queen
's proclamation, have sent over their representatives here to make offers for contracts to supply steel and other ordnance.
The beginning and the end of the war.
No one of the great pit can rejoice in the sight of the people of this mighty Confederacy — that had once a future which the eye of speculation tried in vain to pierce, but which must now be sought for by the eye of faith alone — turning their grand forests and mountains, their cities and villages, their glorious plains and prairies, their rivers and seas, into scenes of bloodshed, rapine, and blind rage; but unless in this hour of peril some voice is heard which no man yet can hear, and some hand is felt which is as yet covered with clouds and darkness, the prospects before us, which, black as they were a month ago, have been charged with additional gloom by the evidences of a disturbed unity in the North
, cannot be regarded without terror and dismay.
‘"Wait till we are ready,"’ cry the professional gentlemen, who are preparing their batteries and sharpening their tools for the great operation. "Have a little patience and you will see what a cure will be effected.
Alas! it will all end in mutilations — in wooden legs and arms for the body politic.
And meantime the expense — the fees!
One million two hundred thousand dollars a day!
The people have come forward to the loan office with their tribute.--As yet they have subscribed in New York about three-fourths of one day's expenditure; and the banks are to be re-paid their advances.
If they do not see a great national impulse in support of the Government
, there is little chance indeed in that other advance of $50,000,000 in October, not to speak of the further sum in prospective.
Boasts of the North--the spirit of the South.
Of the ultimate power of the Northern
and Western States to subjugate the seceded States in the South
, if they put forth all their strength and means by sea and land, I have no doubt whatever.
The South must die of atrophy after a time, if every channel of line is shut to it. By the end of this month the United States
will have a large fleet on the coasts and on the rivers, and I have reason to think that an expedition will be organized also to attack the Texan Secessionists
from the West
--far as that is away.
A naval officer said to me the other day: it seems as if the moment an American sees an Englishman, he thinks the latter is going to say something about cotton: ‘"You need not be afraid of any want of cotton in England
By October we will have a few good ports down South
, and plenty of cotton for all the world."’
may possibly go soon; there is an eye on Pensacola
also, and New Orleans is by no means safe.
The condition to which the blockade has reduced many classes in the South
is bad enough — it will become worse.
Tea, coffee, and clothing, are nearly exhausted, or have, as the American
phrase has it, ‘"given out,"’ because there is none to give out at all. Lead, sulphur, and salt, are very scarce.
Shoes, flannel, quinine, beef and butter, cloth, tin, and leather, are in the same category.
If the blockade be enforced, the distress and want of all things, save natural produce, will be intense.
The mass of the South
are fighting for a Union of their own, to which they have insensibly transferred their loyalty and their national feeling, which unquestionably is great, in the old flag, and believe they are fighting an alien enemy--one Abe Lincoln
, who is aided and abetted by the powers of darkness and their Yankee co-efficient.