Our late Brilliant Victor.
--This community was electrified the day before yesterday, by the news from Leesburg
It was reported, at first, that General Evans
, with four regiments, had defeated a heavy force of twelve Yankee regiments, with six batteries, he himself having only five pieces engaged and that he had driven the enemy into the river, killing many, and capturing two hundred.
For once, the first report fell far short of the truth.
Later in the day intelligence was received, that the actual less of the enemy was at least six hundred killed, wounded, and drowned — that we had taken six hundred prisoners, and six pieces of artillery.
This we hold to be an achievement, at least, equal to any of the war thus far. The enemy was four to one--his artillery at least five to one--his confidence high — his officers the best in the Yankee
But one week before the battle, the Washington Star
said, ‘"we are in expectation of hearing that the disunion troops will all drop out of Leesburg
and that vicinity, so soon as McClellan
may advance any portion of his force a mile further than his present position.
Any such advance on McClellan
's part will make it necessary for Johnston
to evacuate Leesburg
in double-quick time."’
Well the advance was made--more
than a mile in front was passed over from one portion of McClellan
's position — and our troops did
drop out of Leesburg
But it was such a drop as a panther makes when a deer comes under the tree in whose boughs he is crouching.
It was a spring upon the enemy, altogether a different kind of dropping from any they had anticipated.
We should be glad to know how the Star
likes this kind of dropping.
The day on which this battle was fought had already become immortal in history.
It was the anniversary of the battle of Trafal gar, (21st of October,) the most memorable sea-fight of modern times, that of Lepanto
has given it an additional claim to be remembered.
His achievement, though on a smaller scale, may rank with Cressy
. The odds against which the two great English monarchs contended on those memorable occasions, were not so great as the odds against which Evans
had to contend on Monday last.
Nor was the victory of the latter less decided.
He seems to have routed the enemy entirely — to have driven them headlong into the river — to have drowned large numbers — to have killed many, to have wounded many, and to have captured a number equalling the combined aggregate of killed, wounded and drowned — Even the last circumstance of decided defeat did not fail — the capture of a largely proportionate number of the enemy's guns.
It is wrong to exult over the death of any man. It is appointed to all men to die, and we must all make up our minds to meet the inevitable hour.
But we cannot resist the impression that there was something very much like the retribution which awaits all men, either on this side of the grave or the other, in the death of Col. Baker
. He was an Englishman by birth, but had been in the United States
He had fought bravely in Mexico
, us his countrymen, with very few exceptions' have always done, wherever they have served.
In the last Congress he made the most violent speech that was made, even in that assembly of blood-hounds.
He was in favor of making Lincoln
a Dictator, as if he were not already one.
He wished him to have the name as well as the substance of power.
He was not content with his being merely CÆ--he wished him to be king.
He desired to place a thousand million at his disposal.
He would give him a million of men to enslave the revolted States.
He would subjugate them completely, though it could only be done by exterminating the whole population.
He would set Yankee taskmasters over them.
He would hold them as colonies, subject to the laws of the power which had them.
Even handed justice has returned the chalice to his own lips, in a space of time so short, that the finger of a higher power than any of this earth, is clearly seen in it. He sleeps his last bloody sleep on the soil he would have polluted--
-- -- -- "So perish all,
Who would man by man enthral."
The splendid success of Gen. Evans
against a force four times as numerous as his own, clearly indicates the policy which ought to have been pursued by the Confederate forces from the beginning.
cannot stand before our men. They beat them where-ever they come in collision with them, let the odds be what they may against them.
Is it not, then, the height of folly to treat them as though they were veterans — to halt before equal numbers, and commence throwing up dirt, instead of rushing upon them at once with the bayonet, and driving them off from our soil?
What is the end of war?
Is it not peace, as soon as it can be obtained on favorable terms?
And how can it be obtained so soon as by beating the enemy?--Defensive war is always adopted by the party who is weakest in men or discipline.
We have been at least equal
to the enemy in both throughout this campaign, and yet we have taken advantage of neither.
The slow, protracting movements adopted by our Generals
have borne very hardly on Virginia
A large portion of her territory is in possession of the enemy, and it is of the utmost importance to get him out of it. This cannot be done by letting him alone, and waiting for him to come after us. The people of Virginia
think the more hardly of it because they see that the enemy never stands before our forces.
They believe that they could have been driven out months ago if our Generals
had tried to do it, and they cannot be made to believe anything else.