The Abolition of the cartel.
No person can read the correspondence between Commissioners Ould
without becoming convinced, if he had any doubt before, that the Yankee Government
acted in bad faith in the matter.
, in fact, does not hesitate to make the charge in direct terms, and he is borne out so fully by the facts of the case that even the New York World
--a paper not very friendly, it is true, to Lincoln
's Administration, yet still as warmly in favor of reconstructing the Union
by force as Seward
himself — is obliged to admit it. The whole transaction is eminently characteristic of Seward
, and not less so of the Yankee
nation, whose peculiarities have become proverbial all over the world.
It was, in a word, an elaborate attempt to take an advantage — a thorough Yankee trick — an exhibition of contempt for good faith when it stood in the way of a low scheme for getting the better in a trade — a substitution of low cunning for genuine ability — a mistake of policy common to knaves, who cannot be taught to look beyond their noses or to see that rascality, though successful for the moment, puts an extinguisher upon all future hope of advantage by the distrust which it engenders.
A large number of prisoners was taken at Gettysburg
and paroled by the officer to whom they surrendered, as had always been the practice under the cartel.
They were passed through our lines and into those of the enemy.
It struck Meade
that they would be very useful in the battle then raging, and he made them fall into the ranks.
An apology had already been provided for him. The Yankee Government, in view of this very thing, had decided that paroles to be binding must be signed by the Commander-in-Chief
An honorable man would have scorned to profit by such knavery.
is not an honorable man. He is a Yankee.
He took advantage of it, and put the men to work at once.
It so happened that a very few days after Port Hudson
surrendered to the Yankees
The officer commanding had heard nothing of the new interpretation put upon the cartel.
He paroled the prisoners; he was not the Commander-in Chief
; and so by the rascality of the Yankees
themselves we recovered a brave army of seven thousand men. Knavery thus reacted upon itself, and recoiled upon the heads of those who first set it in motion.
The cunning Yankees
were too "smart" for themselves.
The reasons why the Yankee Government
put an end to the cartel are obvious enough.
They believe their own supply of men to be inexhaustible.
The degeneration, therefore, of the prisoners they lose can easily be cured by fresh recruits.
At the same time, they think our means of recruiting are exhausted.
Every man they retain, therefore, they regard as a drain to that extent which cannot be made up. They think it is the same thing as killing the like number in the field of battle.
At the same time they hope to gain another advantage by leaving their men with us. They think they will assist them in their favorite policy of starving us out. They are mistaken in this, but that is the true interpretation to be put upon their conduct.
The whole transaction is genuine Yankee--utterly base, as everything originating with the Yankee
is — wretchedly short sighted, as knavery always must be — miserably awkward and bungling, as all things originating in falsehood must be. Dean Swift
says he never heard more than three well constructed lies in his life, and he was the most acute of observers.--Meredith
's defences of the rascally conduct of his Government are certainly not among the most ingenious of inventions.
There is no evil out of which good may not come.
Our troops have been in the habit of surrendering too easily heretofore.
The object, in too many instances, has been to get exchanged, and pay a visit to their homes.
Under the present system they will have no chance to see home during the war if they are taken prisoners.
Besides, the Yankees
are preparing to make their prisoners more unendurable than they have ever been.
Our men in future will not be taken so easily.