After three days of the most desperate fighting ever witnessed on this continent, (so declares a veteran regular officer,) the most desperate fighting against the most tremendous-odds, in which day after day the multitudinous host of invaders was driven back past their own camp, our glorious Spartan band, from sheer exhaustion, has been borne down by a new avalanche of reinforcements piled upon the already enormous weight against which they have hitherto struggled with complete success, and has suffered one of those misfortunes which are common to war, but which entail no dishonor on our cause, and which will only animate to the most stern and undying resistance every true Southern heart.
If these bloody barbarians, whose hands are now soaked to the elbows in the life-blood of men defending their own homes and firesides, dream that they are now one inch nearer the subjugation of the South
than when they started on their infernal mission, they prove themselves to be fools and madmen as well as savages and murderers.
They have taught us a lesson, we admit, they have admonished us to be more wary and circumspect, to husband with greater care our limited resources, and not to underrate our enemy.
If they have also placed between them and on a gulf that can never be crossed by their arts or arms, and a universal determination to die, if die we must, for our country, but never permit her to be subjugated by the most malignant, the most murderous, the meanest of mankind, whose name is at this very moment such a by-word of scorn and reproach throughout Europe
, for their combined cruelty and cowardice, that their own ambassadors cannot stand the storm of the world's contempt, and are all anxious to fly back to the United States
Their success at Fort Donelson
, gained only by vast superiority of numbers, will only have the effect of converting the whole population of the South
--men, women and children — into an immense army, who will resist them at every step, and everywhere ‘"welcome them with bloody hands to hospitable graves."’ The glorious valor of our troops at Fort Donelson
is not dimmed in the slightest degree by their inability to hold their ground against overwhelming odds; but, on the contrary, shines through the black clouds of disaster with a radiance which will kindle the whole South
into a blaze, and surround their own names with a halo of imperishable venom.