A Review of the position by the times.
The London Times
has an article reviewing the situation of affairs in America
We make some extracts from it:
The extraordinary energy of the Confederates
has been proved by several advantageous conflicts with a naval force which was supposed to be irresistible.
still possesses overwhelming superiority at sea, but the possibility of maintaining a blockade along two thousand miles of coast is becoming questionable.
On the coast of Texas
a few river steamers, without guns, sank one Federal man of war, captured another and put the rest of the squadron to flight.
In the immediate neighborhood the Alabama
, shortly afterwards, decoyed the Hatteras
away from her consorts and immediately sank her. On the last day of the year five or six steamers from Charleston
attacked the blockading force of thirteen vessels, and, after sinking or destroying about half the number, drove the rest to sea. A ship of eleven guns had the day before surrendered to one of the forts in Charleston harbor
. Gen. Magruder
, at Galveston
, and Gen. Beauregard
, at Charleston
, acting probably under instructions from their Government, took advantage of the temporary opening of the ports to proclaim the removal of the blockade; and the partisans of the, Confederate cause argue that no capture can be legally effected until a fresh blockade has been formally notified. * * *
No important event has taken place on land, though the various campaigns are still prosecuted with unremitting vigor.
The Federal hope to turn the Mississippi
into a channel where ships will be out of range of the guns of Vicksburg
, and although the project formerly failed, it can scarcely involve any insuperable engineering difficulty.
The military possibility of success probably depends on the question whether the works are commanded by the fire of the gunboats.
One Federal iron clad gunboat has successfully passed in front of the Vicksburg
batteries to a position below the town.
There are no tidings of decisive attacks on Charleston
, on Wilmington
, or on Savannah
and if the correspondent of the Times
in the South
can be trusted, Charleston
at least ought to resist all the efforts of the invaders.
The Confederates can scarcely hope to repel all the expeditions which are directed against their Eastern coasts.
The ill-fated Army of the Potomac is waiting for fine weather, and for the disclosure of the new General
's plan for marching upon Richmond
is probably a brave soldier, and he may possibly be an able commander; but he will understands that popularity is more certainly attained in the North
by talking than by acting.
Admiring biographers record with enthusiasm his persistent testimony to his own military qualities.
He is said to have obtained his first command during the war by assuring the President
, with an oath, that he was better than any other General in his service.--As a Brigadier he informed his friends that he ought to be Commander in-Chief
; and he has loudly boasted of the victory which he would if it had so happened, have won at Antietam
are strangely constituted, and perhaps a bragging General may succeed in keeping up the courage of his troops.
Both for personal and political reasons, Gen. Hooker
will probably attempt a forward movement as soon as the roads are open. --The Federal Government has evidently resolved to put forth its strength in a final effort at all points of the line, before the pressure for peace becomes irresistible.
The financial condition of the North
becomes daily more embarrassed and more unintelligible. --No provision has yet been made for the necessities of the war, but the amendments introduced by the Senate into the Finance bill as passed by the House
will probably be adopted.
wisely declined the offer of powers to issue £60,000.000 of additional notes, and he has apparently been more anxious to carry his scheme for superseding the bank circulation than to obtain authority for the large loan which he recommended.
The premium which bank notes now command in comparison with Treasury paper may perhaps hereafter serve as an argument in favor of Mr. Chase
's project; but, for the present, the Senate passes over both the plan for taxing the banks and the proposal of the House
for a large issue of demand notes.
Two loans, amounting in the whole to £260,000.000 are to be contracted at the discretion of the Secretary of the Treasury
in two different forms.
If the money can be obtained American capitalists must be endowed with superhuman confidence.
The arrobas due to the army have been discharged by the last issue of Treasury notes, and the contractors are perhaps willing for the present to furnish supplies on credit; but all parties feel that, after the present spring, the proportions of the war must be largely reduced, as the consequences either of victory or of defeat.
As there will be fewer men to feed and to pay, the Treasury will be relieved; nor is it necessary to provide for the cost of the negro army, which is to be levied only as a menace, or as an expression of spite.
The Democratic majority in the incoming Congress will correct the grosser errors of its opponents, and the Republicans indulge in factions violence with less reserve, because they know that their factions votes will be reversed before they have done irreparable mischief.
For the present both parties affect to desire the continuance of the war, and to believe in the possibility of conquest but the Western States
are beginning to hint the expediency of peace, and the extreme Abolitionists, to the annoyance of their moderate allies, almost invite European
The Confederates, their part, decline all conceivable negotiations which might purport to restore the Union
The naval, military, and financial prospects of the war appear, to calor and impartial observers, to deserve closer attention than its protects or even its merits.
If the North
cannot conquer the South
, it is a waste of time to discuss the reasons which might justify conquest, or the purposes which the Federal
triumph might subserve.
Philanthropy is pleasant and lendable, but it provides neither men nor money.
All thinking Europe
has long since foreseen that secession would succeed, and it watches the fulfillment of its calculations with curiosity rather than with sympathy.
The singular class which habitually amuses itself with religious and secular meeting has no concern with actual events.
If Exeter Hall thought that it was wrong for animals to have variegated coats, it would meet to applaud a proclamation that the leopard should lay aside his spots.
Modest protests on behalf of possibility and the nature of things would be denounced as malignant heresies, and the world would be called to take notice that the middle classes and the dissenting preachers were exempt from the odious prejudices of their responsible countrymen.
The brawlers of the Emancipation Society
have gratified their own love of noise and clap trap, but they have not stirred English opinion, and they have even failed to impose on their friends in the United States
perfectly understands that a cause which cannot find half a dozen members of Parliament to support it is powerless in England
although it may command the cheers of crowded assemblies.
The philanthropists have got hold of a truism which no one disputes, and they can easily persuade an ignorant audience that a profession of faith in the American Government
is a demonstration against slavery.
It is fortunate that their insignificance is fully appreciated in a country which will shortly be controlled in its policy, if not in its administration, by the habitual and persistent allies of the Southern
Democratic agitators would not be slow to complain that England
was demanding the violation of the Constitution
, and promoting a policy which must be utterly inconsistent with the restoration of the Union
It is well to be provided with the answer that all Englishmen claim and exercise the right of talking the idlest nonsense.
Professional spouters cannot be legally prevented from assuring intolerant mobs that those who dispute the expediency of continuing the American
war are actuated by a disinterested passion for negro slavery.