The Prospect Ahead.
The war has filled the country with prophets.--But since their prophecies are various and directly conflicting it is clear that they cannot be truthful scers of the future.
Some of them will probably hit the truth; but it will be more an accident than any gift of presence.
Ordinarily, men reasoning from existing facts may anticipate certain effects or results with more or less accuracy, according to their wisdom or their sagacity.
But this war involves such a world of interests, such a variety of passions and prejudices, that it is impossible for human wisdom and foretaste to form a conclusion that bears upon its face one whit more of probability than many others deduced from the same promises.
The general proposition that the war would not be a long one.--which appeared to be that most entertained at the beginning of the struggle.--seemed plausible, upon the simple ground that such was the magnitude and costliness of the modern enginery of war that no nation could long maintain one.
But this has been rendered somewhat less plausible by the progress of the struggle; and now many who entertained the opinion two years since have abandoned it, or feel that there is less force in it than they first accorded to it.
Of one thing, however, we may all feel satisfied, and that in, that the war must have an end. A witty gentleman has remarked that "nations never go to war but to make peace" Of course, to that complexion the most bitter antagonist expects to come in good time before he threws down the wager of battle.
The Yankee is the last man in the world to enter a contest upon any other expectation.
No kind of man would consent to enter upon a ceaseless war if he could help himself, and that man of all others who keenly sororities all speculations and enterprises to see whether they will "Pat
" would be the farthest from embarking in a struggle which had no end to it. Such an one would certainly not "pay" If, having entered upon a war, he found that it would have no end unless he at his own motion cut it short, or withdrew from it, he would most assuredly do that.
He is envious and malignant.
He is cruel and revengeful; but he is too selfish, too fond of his own comfort and his own accumulations, to abandon his pursuits altogether, and give himself up entirely to the hardships and horrors of war; above all, to its exhausting effects upon the Treasury, and to its accumulation of debt and taxes.
Therefore, whatever be the course of events otherwise, the Yankees
will not allow this war to assume a permanent character.
What is to be the mode and manner of the termination of the war, no man can foretell.
It is very probable that it will come when least expected.
We believe there are causes at work at the North
that will assist in solving the problem.--How or when they will demonstrate themselves actively remains to be seen.
We are not yet prepared to believe that all the Northern States
have come to the settled purpose of surrendering their entire sovereignty and floating passively into the maelstrom of despotism as a means of crushing the South
We cannot but believe that time will prove that the scheme of consolidating the whole country into one empire, to be ruled by the will of a despot, will be resisted.
The Lincoln Government feared this, and the Congress
put immense powers into its hands to frustrate any demonstration with this purpose.
But even this preparation should have tended to alarm the States and strengthen the resolution to defend their separate existence and sovereignty.
Besides the feeling of hostility to the scheme for ignoring the State
authority, and covering the whole land with the imperial power at Washington
, there are conflicting interests, and the want of sympathy, social and commercial, between important divisions of the Federal Union, which, in the course of this war, if much prolonged, will probably have an important part in shaping its conclusion.
But all speculation aside, it is our duty to ourselves to look upon the war as not to be concluded until we have soundly thrashed the enemy — until we have made it so perilous for him to carry on that robbing and pillaging from our people — which is the great stimulus at present to the Yankee
armies — that it will be found not to pay.
It is not wisdom, it is not policy, to look to any other means of proving to the Yankee
that we can't be subjugated, and that the war "docen's pay
" Indeed, if there are in truth causes at work at the North
which tend to divide the North
and terminate the war, it is only by whipping Lincoln
's army that they can be made available.
To dethrone a tyrant he must be frustrated in battle.
As long as he has powerful and victorious armies in the field he is pulssant at home.
Beat him in the field and opposition pursues and overwhelms him at home.
Let the glorious Southern armies meet the hordes of robbers who serve the lowest and coarsest — the most ruthless and relentless ruler amongst all the civilised nations of the earth — and defeat them, as they have done, and all will be well.
This is our only reliance.
It is our only safety.