Burn the cotton and tobacco.
Owing to the crowded state of our columns, we have been unable to give the proper notice to the important proceedings of the cotton and tobacco planters on the question of burning such portions of the cotton and tobacco in the Southern Confederacy as may at any time be in danger of falling into the hands of the Federalists.
Upon the main question of doing this the Southern
sentiment is unanimous.
As to that proposition of making the Government
the purchaser of all these staples in the country, there will be a difference of opinion.
There can be no doubt, however.
that some plan may readily be adopted to accomplish the object of keeping these staples out of the hands of the enemy.
It is proper that some plan should be concerned in by the planters and the Government
; but of one thing we are satisfied, and that is. that, even in the absence of any plan, there is patriotism enough amongst the people to burn up all the cotton and tobacco that is likely to fall into the enemy's hands.
It would be the most suicidal folly to permit the Yankees
to get a single bale of cotton or a pound of tobacco that can be burned before he gets it — The people are all convinced of this, and will destroy all, if necessary.
They will burn as the enemy approaches, and if he overruns the country, they will burn it all. But this noble spirit is the best sign that the enemy cannot overruns the country.
A people ready to make such sacredness cannot be conquered — their country cannot be overrun by an invading army.
Independent of the spirit of resistance such a people must exhibit, the fact that the enemy will only seize ashes and smouldering ruins, instead of the millions of dollars he expects to acquire by overrunning the land, will have a potent chest upon him. Nothing could be so delightful to his expectations as the appropriation to his own use of so much wealth that did not belong to him
--nothing could a grieve and sadden his heart as to be deprived of it.
The burning of our staples will have another good effect.
It will teach the people of Europe
how much in earnest we are. They will understand from it that the South
will never give up these staples to the Yankees
, and that through their invasion the foreign manufactories can never be supplied with cotton.
They will learn what a mistake they have made in respecting a blockade that is not efficient; but one that has deprived them of that cotton which may now be destroyed, and the destruction of which must greatly prolong and increase commercial and manufacturing embarrassments and distresses.
Elsewhere we give a sketch of the action of the planters.