previous next

The true Path to independence.

It is not alone by chivalrous and gallant deeds that the independence of our country is to be secured. If it were we should have no double of the future. There never has existed yet a people who surpassed the South in its hero's and self sacrificing devotion to country. But it must be admitted that we are too fond of ease and pleasure, and it has been even doubted whether we should not now be in a better condition if the glorious victory of Manassas had never been achieved. That wonderful tempted us to lie on our laurels, and it was only when routed from our perilous repose by the sharp sting of adversity that we recovered our equanimity and put forth the full one glass which the of the contest and the persevering and implacable character of the enemy demanded.

If we will consider in what the strength of the enemy lies we shall derive some instructive lessons for ourselves, for it is lawful to learn from an enemy That strength does not consist in his numbers alone nor even principally, great as those numbers are; nor, still less in any superiority of fighting qualities. We do not question the courage of the Yankees, or any other race of men, but we do not believe that they have the military aptitude of the Southern people, and we know that they have not as lofty and inspiring motives in this contest as our own. --But there are qualities by which they have always been distinguished — system caution, labor, thorough attention to details, and dogged perseverance. They are made more vindictive and persistent by defeat; and their revenge seems to sharpen their families and clear their understanding, whilst they make the most of their victories, and turn them at once to practical account. Mechanical labor in in abundance among them, and they are employing all its appliances in the present war. It is undeniable that we need more system and practicality in all the departments of our Government, and in every field of operations. We must make a business of war, and conduct it with the same thoroughness and attention to detail that a successful business man exhibits in the conduct of his business affairs.

The South could not have a better model to fashion itself after, both in war and peace, than the illustrious founder of its civilization, Captain John Smith. In him we see how the loftiest chivalry and the most infallible common sense may be united in the same person. The present war, fruitful as it is in examples of the most magnificent courage, has not produced a more glorious warrior than Capt, John Smith, nor has Yankeedom ever boasted a mind more practical, energetic and patiently laborious. Europe and America resounded with the praises of his chivalry, and yet no man, reared to labor with his own hands, ever more highly appreciated mechanical industry, or had a more exalted estimate of the dignity and value of labor. His letters to the London Commissioners were full of indignant denunciation of the indolence and effeminacy of men who expected to lay the foundation of a State with gloves on their delicate hands. If the South would ever fulfill her grand destiny she must not upon the maxims of this truly great man. She is at this moment suffering from the absence of manufacturing industry — a misfortune, and not altogether a fault — for, though fond of ease and leisure, she has been deprived by the policy of the Federal Government of those inducements and advantages for manufacturing and commercial enterprise which have been extended to the Northern States. But under these disadvantages she no longer labors.--With the establishment of her independence she will no longer be forced to pay tribute to Northern taskmasters. Her noble harbors will be available for her own commerce, and her unrivalled advantages in estimate, and water power for manufacturing purposes, will then be at her own disposal. It depends upon her use of these advantages whether the glories achieved by her arms will be of practical value and her independence be established in fact as well as in name.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
John Smith (2)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: