The news from America.
[From the London Times, July 3]
The present state of the campaign in America
has been expected by every reasonable observer on this side of the ocean.
The event may prove to the Northern
people that the English
are not such prejudiced judges and ignorant commentators as has been asserted at Washington
Ever since the beginning of this unhappy conflict, the crowning victory which was to restore the South
to Federal supremacy has always been dancing like a Will o'-the-Wisp before the eyes of the Northerners.
It has led them through a boundless waste of blood and money, it has caused them to stir up batches which a century perhaps will hardly appease, and it now glimmers before them as deceptively as ever, while they are sinking slowly but surely into the slough of national disorganization and bankruptcy.
When Mr. Lincoln
called out his first 75,000 men, the 4th of July, 1861, was fixed for the termination of the rebellion, which was declared to be reprobated by a majority in every State but one.
That 4th of July came and went, and at no time since has the fail of the Confederacy
been fixed for a later date than three months from the time of speaking; and now another 4th of July is upon us, and the South
is still unbroken in strength and determination.
All the power of the Federal Government
has been put forth; a debt which no man accurately known, but which all suspect to be vastly greater than admitted, by the Government
, has been contracted; men have been raised by the hundred thousand; Europe
has been put under contribution to furnish arms and stores and all the apparatus of conquest; four main armies have advanced into the Confederate
territory; half a dozen expeditions have fastened themselves on the coast, and yet the South
It is demonstrated that the Federates can only effect their purpose by a campaign far more gigantic and by an expenditure far more lavish than that of the past twelve month.
The present result of their immense exertions is that their gunboats control the great rivers of the continent, with the cities on their banks, and that their armies, besides securing Kentucky
, have military possession of certain parts of Virginia
But it may, we think, be said with complete accuracy, that in these two States the Federals
hold only the ground they stand upon.
The hostility of the population in the neighborhood both of McClellan
is admitted by every soldier in the two armies.
In an enemy's country, which is desolated by the Confederates
themselves, the Federals
find themselves brought to a stand-still by the obstinacy of the Southerners, or, by the heats which begin their intensity about the time of the solstice.
The operations before Richmond
contribute nothing remarkable to the present news.
We are told of skirmishes which evince the boldness of the Confederates
, of their cutting the telegraph wires and carrying off prisoners, of the reinforcements which continually arrive, and of the menacing attitude which they consequently assume.
On the other hand, it is beyond a doubt that Gen. McClellan
urgently demands fresh troops, which the Washington Government
is unable to supply in numbers sufficiently large.
Although the North
, with the help of the Irish and Germans, has been able to raise an army truly enormous, yet these levies have been so scattered in distant expeditions, and in penetrating at so many distinct points into the great Southern territory, that the army of the Potomac, as Gen. McClellan
's force is so called, is, in all probability, inferior numerically to the army which defends Richmond
; while the reserves at the disposal of the Northern Government
are more scanty.
The Federal Secretary of War
was, according to report, about to call on the Governors
of the various States for fresh troops; and this fact, taken in connection with the season of the year, and the inactivity of McClellan
, seems to show that the Virginia
campaign is likely now to languish until both sides have gathered fresh strength in the fall of the year.
The harvests of the South
are likely to be reaped in peace by the Confederates
, and large supplies of food obtained for their armies as a reward for the policy which has led them, since secession, to substitute grain for cotton over a great extent of country.
From the West
all the news still has something of mystery.
We heard first of Beauregard
's masterly retreat, his carrying off all his sick and wounded, all his munitions and stores, and his disappearance no one knew whither.
Then we heard that this masterly retreat was a disorderly flight; that Gen. Pope
was in pursuit, and had captured ten thousand men and fifteen thousand stand of arms; that twenty thousand more men had deserted; so that, in fact, the Confederate army of the West was no longer in existence.
It is difficult to suspect Major Generals
and Brigadiers of absolute falsification, and we have so little knowledge of the facts that we cannot criticise their statements; but it is sufficient to say that Beauregard
, according to the latest accounts, still has an army of eighty thousand men at Okolona, in Mississippi
, about fifty miles from the frontier of Alabama
, and that the Confederate
force altogether exceeds one hundred thousand men. These numbers are, of course, merely guessed at. The Confederate armies may be exaggerated, or they may be understated, but it is beyond a doubt that they are strong enough to hold that part of the country against the invasion of the North
It is now reported that the Federals
will form a defensive line from Memphis
, and abandon active operations during the summer months.
This state of affairs must cause deep reflection among men of every class, both in England
Happily, the people of this country, with the exception of an insignificant minority, have long formed their opinion of the war. They can see that if the South
is to be subjugated and held by force of arms, this consummation must be preceded by the most savage and relentless contest in the history of mankind, and followed by a political condition to which even war might be considered preferable.
To impress this on the minds of the Northern
people has been the object of the English
press from the beginning, and the unanimity of English opinion may at length produce some effect.
We have been right and the North
has been wrong in so many things, that our opinion is, at any rate, entitled to consideration.
We would, then, once more raise our voice against the indefinite prosecution of this horrible war. While the scorching sun is filling the camps with fever and cholera; while the youth and strength of the country are being hurried to the common frontier in preparation for a new feast of blood in the autumn; while the North
is burdening itself with a debt concerning which even its rulers fear to speak plainly, and while the great staples of the South
are being given to the names, we would ask the Federals
, with whom the whole matter really rests, where is their conscience, where is their common humanity, or their boasted worthily prudence!
They are in arms to enforce on men of their own blood submission to a rule that the latter detest.
Although, for months after secession, the most eminent men among them, including the late President
and the present Secretary of State
, declared that the subjugation of one part of the Union
by another was a scandal not thought of, and that separation, though deplorable, could never be opposed by arms, yet the North
now talks of conquest, and confiscation, and military colonies, with all the readiness of an Austrian commandant.
What becomes of the famous Declaration of Independence
What becomes of the theory that Government derives its powers from the consent of the governed, if the populations of seven or eight great States, which, rich and poor, bond and free, white
, are proved by events to be all of one mind, are now to be invaded, conquered, and kept down by a standing army in the name of Republican freedom?
These things must at last become apparent to the American
They are not so unlike the rest of mankind, so unlike their former selves, as to dispute what is clear to the whole world.
That the South
, if it wishes to go, should be allowed to depart peaceably, is the only policy which is agreeable to justice and wisdom.
Unless the North
can learn to see this, it must bring evils untold on itself, on us, and on every European