This resignation took the whole country by surprise.
The gentleman who is the subject of it is one among the most popular men in Virginia
He is a man of decided and acknowledged talent. --His tenure of office was marked by some of the most memorable and most brilliant events, not only in our own short history, but in the whole history of war. When he came into office disaster after disaster had threatened our cause with ruin.
A general feeling of despondency oppressed the country throughout its entire extent.--All the suffering and all the disasters under the effect of which we were laboring were believed to be clearly traceable to the inefficiency of the War office.
A change — a memorable change — a change without precedent, we firmly believe — was immediately perceptible.
The current changed as it were by magic.
Success began to flow in our favor.--We fought battle after battle and gained victory after victory, until the whole earth rang with applause.
Fifteen pitched battles, and double that number of combats have been fought since George W. Randolph
was made Secretary of War
about eight months ago, and in every one of them the Confederate
arms were victorious.
We do not mean to say that Secretary Randolph
fought these battles, or gained these victories; but we do
mean to say, that before he took command of the War office--that office immediately connected with the operations in the field — that office which organizes the means of victory, and supplies the sinews of war — we heard of no such successes as these, while we did
hear of reverses without number — we were almost tempted to say without parallel.
Morceau and Jourdan
gained victories in the field; but Carnot
, who was in the War office, was called the ‘"organizer of victory."’ Without great ability in the War Department there cannot be victory in the field, or, at least, the current cannot long flow in that direction.
It is not necessary to go far for a proof of this fact.
We have only to look at the history of our own War office, under the conduct of Mr.
R's immediate predecessor, to established the fact.
The regret at the resignation of Mr. Randolph
, we are sure, is general; yet if rumor, as to the causes of that resignation, be true, he cannot be censured.
On the contrary, his course will be generally approved.
Who is to take charge of the portfolio of the War Department is not yet known to the public — Rumor has named several.
The position is of such immense importance — the cause depends so much upon the wise and efficient administration of the office — that all must hope that it will be filled by some one competent to discharge its duties.
The period is critical.
The demand for energy, forecast, and wisdom in public affairs, was never greater in the crisis of any people.
In selecting the man, all considerations of a personal, local, or party character, should be sunk, and the good of the country alone remembered.
The best man that can be found should be put in it and kept in it — The country and cause demand it.