Our volunteer army notice be disbanded.
The appeals of the country to the volunteers now in the service, are making a profound impression.
It could not be otherwise.
The men in the field are the choice spirits of the land.
They came forward at the first call of the country.
Their patriotism was prompt.
They rushed into the breach at the first note of alarm, and they have withstood the hardships and trials of the service with a patience and cheerfulness never witnessed before.--More than one of our General have borne testimony to the uncomplaining temper of their troops under long and trying hardships.
No country in the world has ever possessed a nobler or braver army of men than ours.--Their victories over the enemy are the least of their triumphs.
Their military career has been a continued series of victories over worse foes to the soldier than an armed enemy.
They had been reared in the comforts and luxuries of our abundant and wealthy country.
They had been strangers to hardship and privation.
They had been little used to labor, and had known nothing of discipline and restrain.
They left comfort, wealth, luxuriant homes, and habitual case, to encounter the labor, fatigue, privation, discipline, disease, and danger of the camp; and they have not only proved to be brave men, but obedient, patient, and uncomplaining soldiers.
They have served their country efficiently and faithfully, and they have done honor to patriotism and the name of Southern volunteer.
Much as the country desires to obtain a continuation of their services, every suggestion that has been made to secure this end by compulsion has met with universal remonstrance and rebuke.
To the natural indignation that has been expressed by the volunteer himself, has been added the universal protest of the country, which resents every indignity to the heroic men who came forward last spring
to enlist under the Confederate
banners with so much alacrity, and who so bravely drove back the invader with loss and disgrace.
It is clear that compulsion will not be tolerated either by the army itself or by the country, which loves its volunteers as a mother her first born.
The safest and surest compulsion to employ in this case is that of the volunteer's own patriotic impulses and reflections.
The case of the country was submitted to the same noble monitors last spring, and the country was saved.
A similar appeal now will meet a like response; for it is not in the nature of the Southern
patriot to become lukewarm in a cause in which his kindred and country have so great a stake, and to betray all by forsaking the post of duty.
are capable of disbanding in the face of an enemy; but that shame has not yet disgraced the Southern volunteers.
Upon the volunteers of Virginia
are all eyes now turned.
The question will soon be put to them in their camps, what example the men of this Commonwealth will set to their compatriots of the other States.
It is easy enough for Virginia
to draft from her militia an army of raw recruits double as large as that of her trained and veteran volunteers now in the field.
The question is not as to the number of men our Commonwealth shall place in the field, but as to the kind of troops it most behooves the country to have in face of the enemy.
A very large additional force will be brought into the service, whatever the volunteers may do. A man will be found for every gun in possession of the Government
, and another man be held in readiness to take it in case of sickness or accident.
It is not a question of numbers; but it is, whether our present organized, drilled, and well tried army shall be disbanded, and a new, undrilled unorganized multitude put in its place at a critical period of the campaign.
That is the question which the volunteers of Virginia
will be called on to decide.
They have been long enough in the service to know the superiority of the trained veteran and the organized army, to the raw recruit and the crudely formed mass and multitude.--They know their own value as soldiers too well to believe that raw recruits would do as well.
Even if this conviction of superiority did not prevail, their pride would insist that an army of fifty thousand trained men is better than a mob of a hundred and fifty thousand raw recruits.
Seeing these facts so plainly, it is not to be supposed that the volunteers will disappoint the hopes of their country in the present critical juncture of affairs.
To abandon the post of duty now, would bring a worse stain upon their reputation than if they had never volunteered.
In all after time it would be recollected with regret and spoken of with reproach.
Under all these circumstances, we are not surprised to hear of the growing feeling in the camps in favor of another long pull, strong pull, and pull altogether, for the country.