The letter of General Scott
to Mr. Seward
, published in this paper of Friday, will go far to redeem the reputation of the old soldier for military wisdom and judgment, and to place his character in a snore amiable light than it has recently occupied.--This letter, written March 3, 1861, is, in its sagacity and general tone, far above anything that we ever conceived General Scott
to be capable of, and groves him to have been, at the time of its writing, both a statesman and a soldier.
He seems to have been the only man in the United States
who at all appreciated the magnitude of the enterprise which Mr. Lincoln
has since undertaken in endeavoring to subjugate the Southern States
, and yet that even he underestimated its difficulties, is shown from the fact that, large as was the amount of treasure and force which, in his opinion, was necessary for Southern subjugation, that amount has been already quadrupled, and the United States
is as far from its objects as ever!
The conciliatory spirit of the letter, which not only recommends compromise and forbearance, but goes so far as to suggest as one of the means of meeting the exigencies of the times--‘ "Say to the seceded States, wayward sisters depart in peace,"’ exalts General Scott
from the abyss into which he has been dragged by Seward
, and makes us regret the more that he had not the moral courage to be guided by the clearness of his perceptions and the dictates of his conscience.
With such a letter as this before the Lincoln Administration
, what will their own people think of the madness of their Government is precipitating a war upon the country the end of which no man could or can see?
What of Mr. Seward
's repeated predictions that the war would end in thirty or sixty days, when he had before him the declaration of the most experienced military man in the United States
that even under the best military guidance a war of invasion would be a war of years, attended by frightful destruction of life and property, and ending, if successful, in the destruction of a free form of Government?