Stragglers from the army.
We have just gained a series of brilliant victories.
Our enemy lies prostrate beneath the powered blows which we have inflicted upon him.--It is of the almost consequence to maintain the ground we have gained, and, of course, in order that we may do so, to retain our present force in full.
Under such circumstances, we appeal to the public to frown down those soldiers who have straggled from their colors, and care now wandering through the country, whose defence they have abandoned, and to whose cause they are a disgrace.
We call upon all men, who love their country, and who desire to see it emerge from its present difficulties with honor, to unite in this duty of every patriot.
Let them show the straggler no quarter.
Let their houses be closed against them.
Let them not approach their firesides.
Let them be banished from their society, as foul and loathsome lepers, whose very breath is pestilence, whose lightest touch is contamination.--Turn your backs, fellow citizens, upon the wretches who desert their country in the hour of her peril — upon the coward who leaves his comrades to face the enemy in the field of battle, while he is skulking in safety — upon the villain who, for a mean of passage in willing to surrender, like of old, the precious inheritance bequeathed to him by his fathers, and by them won on many a field of death.
You do not reflect, fellow of when you take these men to your houses, and extend to them the right hand of fellowship, what it is that you are encouraging.
Of all felons that it is possible for the low to describe, there is none so dark, so loathsome, so steeped in disgrace, as the coward who deserts his colors when his country calls for his services.
Yet the crime of which this man is guilty, in the crime which you unwittingly encourage, when you receive him in your houses and entertain him as an honest man.
To our country women — more especially to the younger portion of them — we appeal, to treat the with the scorn they deserve; to drive them back to their colors with the scorn which nobody but a woman knows how to manifest.
Women are all powerful in this matter, as they are in everything else.
They are the truest of patriots, and though their physical strength be weak, their souls are infinitely stronger than those of the men. They all hate cowards and renegades.
Let them show it in the plainest manner that they can possibly fall upon.
Let them not speak to or honor with so much as a look, (unless it be a look of contempt,) the recreant who skulks in the chimney corner when his country's banner is in the field, and his country's foe is striving to tear it down.--The country ewes a debt to its woman which it can never repay.
Let them add this one other obligation, and they will find that it is the greatest of all. They have everything in their power, What renegade dare stand before the united scorn of all the women he knows.
We do entrust the people of the country to take this matter up, if they ever expect to beat the Yankees
— if they ever expect to be free — if they do not wish their homes to be pillaged, their daughters to be outraged, their sons to be made bond slaves, by the most detestable race that God eyes permitted to breathe the air of life.