The Yankee newspaper correspondents who accompany the ‘"Grand Army"’ are by no means the most insignificant part of the complicated machinery employed for the overthrow of Southern independence.
If the Northern
public and the outside world were dependent upon the official dispatches of their Generals
for the scones and incidents of the invasion, it would vote the whole thing an insufferable bore and refuse any further supplies.
give professional reports merely, and, though the dryness of such productions is relieved in their case by a fertility of invention peculiar to their race, the filling up of the outlines, the grouping and coloring, as well as creation of facts, are the peculiar provides of the newspaper correspondents.
When Gen. McClellan
ordered them to be expelled from the army, he showed his miserable jealousy of a genius for Monochasium superior even to his own. To find his most mendacious reports transcended by the exaggerations of a newspaper letter was more than he could bear.--Thus, for example, when he declared that if the battle of Chickahominy
had begun two hours earlier he would have been in Richmond
by night, he might naturally have felicitated himself upon the production of a lie which the invention of Gulliver
would despair of rivalling.
And yet, scarcely had he time to flatter himself upon this unapproachable achievement, before a letter appeared in one of the Northern
newspapers, in which the writer declared that the rebel troops were actually chased into Richmond
at the point of the bayonet!
must have blushed and sickened at seeing himself thus beaten at the only weapons by which he has distinguished himself during this whole war!
Why had he never thought of rounding off his dispatch with that most beautiful and transcendent fiction?
No wonder that he raves at the sight of a newspaper correspondent like a mad dog at the sight of water.
should remember that every man has his trade, and that no one will think the less of him for being surpassed in a branch of art to which he was not educated, by those who have made it the study and business of their lives.
was trained at West Point
, where his associates were generally men of chivalry, who regard truth as a virtue.
History teaches us that in the early times truth was always the attribute of a hero, and it remained a principle of honor among soldiers when McClellan
was at West Point
Hence, it is obvious that he could not be expected to enter the lists of fiction with Yankee newspaper correspondents, and come off the victor.
These men have been educated from their childhood to the art and mystery of manufacturing lies, a vocation which is now regarded and honored by all intelligent and depraved Yankees as one of the fine arts.
To take a naked lie and give it the shape and coloring of truth, or to produce a composite creation of truth and falsehood, so as to be in effect an entire and unmitigated tie, and yet have such proportions and air of reality as to impose upon the unwary, are regarded as achievements worthy to take rank with the productions of Canova
It is the highest ambition of the votaries of this art to make their work resemble nature as much as possible.
We may depend upon it that no bungling member of the profession has been sent by the Northern
None but the very elite
of the world's liars, men who would despise themselves if they had ever breathed a truthful breath, men who would manu facture the largest amount of falsehood out of the smallest material of fact, would be permitted to accompany an expedition in which everything depended on magnifying numbers, underrating enemies, misrepresenting public opinion, and deceiving the whole world.
Justice compels us to admit that the newspaper correspondents of the North
have fully warranted the confidence reposed in them by their employers.
It is impossible that men could be more fertile, unscrupulous, audacious, and defiant of truth and honor than these thoroughbred liars; artists, who have roused the jealousy-even of McClellan
who, considering the disadvantages of an education among gentlemen, had proved himself no mean proficient in their school.