The declaration of Gen. Jackson
in the beginning of the war in favor of raising the Black Flag
, recently mentioned by Governor Letcher
in his speech in Danville
, so far from detracting from his reputation for humanity, was unquestionably dictated by the conviction that such a course would bring the war to a speedy termination, by striking terror to the foe and compelling the interposition of foreign powers to put a speedy termination to the contest.
No man more thoroughly understood the character of this contest as waged by the North
, and the character of the people by whom it is waged, than Gen. Jackson
He looked upon it as essentially a John Brown
raid, headed by a man who resembled John Brown
in everything but courage.
If the perpetrators of the John Brown
raid deserved death, so did the Black Republican
gang who took up their enterprise, almost on the spot where they atoned for it with their lives.
If there was any difference in the criminality of the enterprise, it was not in favor of Lincoln
and his Myrmidons, who had in view the same objects of universal devastation and robbery, hid under the convenient pretext of vindicating the laws, and who committed outrages at the very start more hideous and abominable than any John Brown
, we say, thoroughly understood the purpose of this war, and the character of the people by whom it is carried on. The confiscation acts of Congress, the proclamation of Lincoln
, and the legal exposition of the case by Mr. Solicitor Whiting
, show what that purpose is. Elated by temporary successes, all disguise is now thrown off, and instant submission, or death and universal confiscation, are the avowed objects of the Government
There has never been any other design from the beginning.
Having plundered the South
by banks, tariffs, and fishing bounties, the North
deliberately resolved to cut open the goose that had laid the golden eggs, and therefore drew the sword.
It was tired of living in its cold climate and barren soil; it had cropped short the herbage of the Western
prairies; it had looked long enough upon our uninterrupted enjoyment of a moderate climate and comfortable homes, and it resolved to walk in and take possession.
It must have a pretext, of course; there always is a pretext for great national crimes, and abolition and Union saving were reasons enough to rouse the Northern
masses of all political complexions.
But since the irruption of the Northern
hordes, upon the plains of Europe
there has been no clearer case of national highway robbery and murder than this North American invasion of the South
, and Gen. Jackson
, who saw this from the beginning, proposed to treat them as highway robbers and murderers deserve to be treated.
It was, in point of fact, the North
that, by the inauguration of such a war, had first raised the Black Flag
, and Gen. Jackson
only proposed to fight with their own weapons a nation which had deliberately discarded all the laws of civilized warfare.
What flag is it — certainly not the flag which Christian nations of modern times carry in their combats — which waves over the houses of peaceful citizens burned to the ground, of agricultural implements
destroyed, of helpless women insulted and outraged, of non-combatants dragged from their homes and thrust into noisome dungeons?
What flag is it which waves over those Northern Bastiles where our gallant Confederate soldiers pine in wretchedness, to which death is a relief; and where they are plied with cruelty to compel them to take an accursed oath?
What is that but the Black Flag
in its most infernal form?
What difference between killing the soldier outright on the field of battle and putting him to death by inches in the horrid prisons of Chicago
, Fort Delaware
, Fort McHenry
, and Point Lookout
, except that the latter is the more cruel, wicked, and devilish?
What but the Black Flag
is the policy determined upon by the Black
Republican Congress, of arming the slaves against the South
; of seizing the property, real and personal, of every man and woman in the South
who does not instantly bow the knee and cry for pardon; which resolves to seize every acre of land in the South
, every article of household furniture
, every horse, cow, sheep — everything of every kind that belongs to every white human being in the Confederacy
, and turn them, their owners, out of doors, homeless, helpless, hopeless beggars; to consign their children to the same fate, and to erect a gallows in every city, town, and cross roads, from which to swing such rebels as have made themselves conspicuous in resisting "the most mild and merciful Government under the sun?" Gen. Jackson
, whose keen sagacity was equal to his heroism, saw at the very outset this blackest of all Black Flags flying, as we see it now, and therefore he was in favor of meeting it with another Black Flag at the threshold, and showing the robbers and murderers at once that if they gained their blood and booty they would have to do it at the peril of every man's life who engaged in that Satanic undertaking.
With equal clearness of insight, the great departed patriot detected the weak points of the enemy, and the most efficient mode of operating upon their intense selfishness.--They had long represented the Southern
people as high-tempered, ferocious, and bullying race, who could only be controlled by fighting them as men would fight wolves and tigers.
When they found the South
, in the face of the most unparalleled outrages, steadily refusing to retaliate, they ascribed it at once to cowardice and redoubled their atrocities.
They scouted the idea that the South
held back from committing the same crimes as themselves on account of her higher tone of morality, justice, and benevolence, for these were precisely the qualities which they had been always taught to believe she never possessed.
No! It was cowardice, the cowardice of the bully, who only requires to be met with determination to make his craven soul quail within him — this it was, they felt sure, which kept the South
And so, safe from any possibility of punishment, the Yankees
went on, robbing, murdering, torturing, and so they intend to go on to the bitter end, just as Gen. Jackson
saw from the first they would do, unless the Black Flag
they have been really fighting under from the beginning was met by a Black Flag our side.
Let no one, therefore, impeach the humanity of Gen. Jackson
because he advocated a mode of resistance which, in all probability, if adopted at the commencement of the war, would have brought it to a speedy termination.