Hurry up the Navy.
There is, perhaps, on parallel in history to the city with which the Southern
mind has rebounded from the downward pressure of the late calamities.
Every man acts as though all depended upon his own individual exertions.
Every man is prepared to lend his best endeavors towards, repairing our losses.
Every man is willing to risk his all — his fortune, his life, his sacred honor — in a cause which has become the dearer to him for the disasters which it has encountered.
The whole country is united as one man, and it is animated by a spirit which possibly might not have been brought out with such intensity had we been always fortunate.
They are resolved never to submit to the invader; they will conquer their independence, or they will die in the attempt.
We need not say that a people thus determined will never be subjugated.
The man that always rises superior to misfortune — us the giant s gathered fresh strength from every fresh contact with his mother ear — is superior to late.
And so it is with a nation, which, after all, it but an assemblage of men. And such is precisely the case with the people of the South
at this moment.
They have risen from their late disasters, reinvigorated by the fall.
So far from being abashed or discouraged, they learn to recover their ancient prestige.
We hear not a murmur of fear, and we observe not a token of despondence.
All are firm, resolute, and defiant.
They are prepared to go to the extremest limit that their Government will allow them, and it is a matter of vast concern that the Government
should not be outstripped by the people.
In revolutionary times the Government
must lead the way. It must anticipate the people.
It must take care not to repress their ardor, but stimulate enthusiasm in all possible ways.
Thus, and thus only, can it hope to guide and direct the storm of the revolution.
We have every hope that our Government, prodigious as were the mistakes it made in this direction last year, in determined to pursue a different policy now, and will prove itself equal to the trying emergency that the day has brought forth.
At any rate, it may be assured that it can never recover the ground which has been lost by lagging in the rear-of public opinion.
They must go along with; or go before, the revolution, if they wish to control and direct it.
Public opinion has decided that we must, reinforce our armies powerfully for the contest in which we are involved.
This we believe is in process of fulfillment as rapidly as can be expected, or perhaps desired.
At least, we know it is so in this State, and we venture to hope that we are not much in advance of our neighbors.
Public opinion dictates a powerful addition to our navy.
This we hope is also in a fair way to be accomplished.
We have been it statedly — we know not how truly — that the officer of the Government
whose duty it is to superintend that branch of the service said, last summer, that we had no need of a navy because we had no commerce.
Recent events have shown that the protection of commerce is not the only use to which a navy can be applied.
The enemy has done us more injury with his navy than with anything else.
And it seems strange to us that his capacity for mischief in this particular should have been overlooked, when our country is intersected by so many navigable rivers.
Land batteries seem to be no longer capable of stopping the advance of gunboats and steam batteries.
The Virginia and Monitor have rendered fortifications on the bay, river, or seashore, utterly worthless.
The heaviest guns can scarcely make an indentation in their armor.
We must take care that the magnificent success of Capt. Buchanan
do not prove a snare to us, as the victory of Manassas
was. We slept after that, victory and gave the enemy's time to organize and discipline one of the largest armies known to modern history.
We proved to them that we were a fighting people, which previously they did not believe, and they profited by the knowledge.
We have let them see what the Virginia
can do, and already, we have no doubt they are imitating, her. Let us not, for God's make, if it be possible, be left behind, but let us build as many steam batteries as we can, and the faster the better.