Mr. Russell's last letters to the London times.
The latest foreign arrival brings us another batch of Mr. Russell
's letters to the London Times
We copy the following:
The Southern Potomac.
Washington, Oct. 25.
--The brigade ‘"Sickles
,"’ is stationed on the Maryland
shore, and reenforcements of infantry and two batteries were sent off on Thursday to the Brigadier
, whose force had been undergoing some shelling from the saucy Confederate cruiser.
To all intents and purposes the river is now closed, and the project of establishing mortar batteries on the Maryland
side to shell the Confederates
out of their works is not likely to be realized without some hard fighting.
As affairs stand, it would be impossible for the latter to send over an army into Maryland
without interruption, but the arrival of the flotilla from New York and Baltimore
at Fortress Monroe
, may tempt the Federalists to divert it, or part of it, to make a descent and turn the batteries, covered by the fire of their shipping.
It may easily be imagined there is a general impression here that ‘"something must be done;"’ but it is not so clear what the thing is to be, for the plain, straightforward way of solving all difficulties by fighting and beating the enemy is not in favor at present.
No one is afraid, and every body is anxious for an action; but somehow there is a notion that everybody is not to be depended upon ‘"yet,"’ and that the preparations are not sufficiently complete; and, as it is often the case while there is some impatience on the one side on account or delays occasioned by reverses and deficiency of organization, there is on the other side an impatience, because considerable successes in much of what they attempted are not absolute success in all they, (the confederates) boasted they would accomplish.--The vaunting three months men who came down from the North
, filling the air with their promises to be in New Orleans in a few days, disappeared with the 21st of July, and there are now a more sober set of men in the army, who would be content to compromise with Richmond
before winter is over.
On the other hand, the Confederates
, who wished to dictate peace in Philadelphia
and ‘"old Fannies"’ itself, would, perhaps, be glad to put up with Washington
as a base of negotiations, although the Richmond papers are beginning to groan over a long war in prospect, arising, as they think, from the defensive attitude assumed by the Southern
Suppression of intelligence.
There is a profound ignorance in the various public departments respecting the events which occur daily, which is satisfactory proof that the inventions of telegraph and steam do not contribute largely to the diffusion of general information in- the official world.
‘"All is quiet along the lines,"’ may be taken as the perfect formula of bureaucratic belief at present, and that faith is not to be disturbed by reverses or battles.-- ‘"No Confederates have crossed into Maryland
, that we are aware of."’ ‘"There has been, we hear, some skirmishing at Leesburg
, of which we have no particulars."’ The rumors of batteries closing the river have reached the Department, but we are not quite ready to give them credence.
These and such euphemisms are the powerful mantlets by which officials resist the musketry of questions and the riflemen of the press.
The spirit of the North--Why Gen. McLellan does not move.
Washington, Oct. 25.
--There is no use in giving advice to an angry man. The North
is very angry just now, and all the counsels which are addressed to it from Europe
in the interests of moderation and peace are disregarded, or employed to incite it to fury as affording proof that the great Powers are determined to interfere with the blockade, or that their sympathies are with the South
It is certainly difficult for the North
, or for the Government
of the United States
, to listen to such advice as long as the South
is in arms.--Defeat exasperates the Northerner
, but does not intimidate, and it will be long before he can believe the Southerner
is able to meet and beat him in the open field.
If two large armies are assembled, at vast expense, to look at each other for indefinite periods, the people on both sides will become tired of paying for an empty and enormously expensive pageantry; and it is of some moment to see which is likely to show the first symptoms of weariness.
I have already pointed out the difficulties in Gen. McClellan
's position here.
The last thing he would like to do would be to attack the lines at Manassas
in his present state.
And yet he cannot venture much beyond his present lines without bringing on an engagement which would lead him to that very point; nor can he debouch his columns on either flank without incurring similar danger and risk, which the results of the action on Monday will not induce him to encounter.
But there is impatience breaking out now and then.
It shows itself North and South.
The latter will show greater self control and greater qualities than their enemies will give them credit for if they bear the depressing effects of inaction better than the Northerners.
Any offensive movement would be an indication that their leaders were obliged to yield to popular pressure, for in a defensive attitude they are infinitely stronger; it is, in fact, the exponent of their whole case, and the best representation of their strength.
It fortifies the arguments of their friends, and furnishes excuses for the lukewarmness of those who would be forced into the ranks for the Union
if any invasion of the free States were attempted.
On the other hand, the North
is bound, by its declarations and by the nature of the war, to invade the Southern States
The Unity and strength of the South.
If, as I am assured by the Baltimore
papers, the great bulk of the people of Maryland
, particularly of the landed gentry, are strong Unionists
, and it nevertheless requires martial law, Gen. Dix
, Federal Hill
, Fort McHenry
, fortified camps, and some 25,000 men to keep down the miserable minority of Secessionists — if their violence is so great that in order to keep them from walking Maryland
out of the Union
it is absolutely necessary to break up the Legislature by armed force, and commit the members of it to prison without a chance of appealing to a jury — what, I ask, must be done with the States in the South
, where, it must be admitted, the Union
sentiment is so sound asleep, it is to all appearance stone dead?
The Northern papers are beginning to find out the whole South
is in earnest in the matter — nay, more, they are actually holding up their unanimity, their sacrifices, their resolution, as examples to be imitated by the Unionists.
In proportion as the time when England
was to be suffering the extreme pangs of want from the exclusion of cotton draws night without any exhibition of the dangerous symptoms, the North
renews its invective against our neutrality, and the South
reiterates its assurances that France
and Great Britain
must recognize the Confederation.
Tobacco is the prop of the French
throne, as cotton is the base of the English
But cotton has a good deal to say to the destinies of the part, dynasty also.
It is largely used, not only in the factories of and the of the but it is essential to the manufacture of numerous fabrics mixed with silk, made by the dangerous people who live in that terrible city of Lyons
, whose visit to the Charleston Convention is said to have been attended with such direful results, has had a severe lesson in the seizure of his tobacco at Richmond
, and may now feel that his quondam friends are very sincere enemies.
But beyond the personal question there is a real conviction that France
must have tobacco and cotton from America
or perish; and I am assured, if the Northerners succeed in landing at any port on the South
, the planters, as a proof of their determination, and as a punishment for non-recognition, will lay their cotton in flames on every acre of their soil threatened by an enemy.
I, who have seen the fierce beatings of that fervid Southern heart, can well believe in a cotton Moscow
— nobody here does.
They all believe in dollars; they are satisfied the planters will yield to so many cents per pound for cotton.
Stand by and let us see.
In spite of the animosity which exists, the efforts of the regular officers to abolish the savage practice of sentry-stalking have met with success, and the war is now conducted in a more civilized manner.
It is, however, lamentable to witness the degradations committed by the troops in Virginia
, and I shall have occasion in a few days to describe what I have seen over there lately as illustrations of the excesses of the contest between North and South.
The debatable land between the outposts must be indeed a land of grief and mourning — of dreadful suspense — days of feat and nights of torture.
The policy of Gen. M' Clellan.
Checked in this demonstration, it remains to be seen if another will soon be made.
The movements of the Confederates
have caused a concentration of troops to be made on the Maryland
shores, opposite their batteries down the river, but no inclination is visible to make an offensive movement towards Manassas
, whither the enemy have evidently retired.
It is more than a month since the Federalists advanced to Munson's Hill, and they have since advanced at the rate of some 100 yards a day. It looks as if Gen. McClellan
was not disposed to expose his infantry to the action of the enemy till he has procured an enormous preponderance of artillery, and that he hopes to beat the Confederates
out of their position by a prodigious fire of shot and shell, under cover of and after which his columns may hope to advance on the lines of Manassas
with every chance of success.
There is much trouble caused by refractory officers.
Several have been arrested; some have been forced to retire; others have voluntary resigned, unwilling to appear before the Board for examination as to fitness for duty.
It is dangerous to meddle with some of these Colonels
, as they are active politicians, and they can do a great deal of mischief in the large cities, where their popularity procured them the command of regiments, by inveighing against the injustice they have received, and the management of affairs.
The Navy Department is also agitated by unruly members.
Here is Captain Scott
, of the Keystone State
, to be arrested, because he left his cruising ground to take his prize Salvor into Philadelphia
He behaved with some disregard of the amenities and proprieties to the United States Marshal at Key West
, and would not pay any need to the warrant of the Judge
at that place, who desired to arrest him for his conduct.
Two officers of high rank in the army, one a General and one a Colonel in the West
, have been frequently named in the journals as men of notoriously intemperate habitue--one being occasionally seen ‘"drunk in the gutter."’ It is not wonderful, if such statements be true that the New York Times
should have to say of such affairs as Edwards's Ferry, that ‘"the retreat was made after the Bull Run
pattern, with slight improvements, the men rolling, sliding, and almost turning somersaults down hill, to escape the galling fire which now assailed them from all points."’ I am assured that the Massachusetts
regiment behaved well, but that Tammany
was not quite so becomingly represented.
As to the courage of the Confederates
They were seen to form a line and come into action under fire with great steadiness.
If their finances were as sound as their fighting, there would be immense chances on the side of the Southerners; but Mr. Memminger
's scheme of cotton bonds is tumbling, an eruption or small paper covers the States, and a forced loan of ready money is in the distance.