The New "On to Richmond."
have for three years endeavored to capture Richmond
by conquering the Confederate army in its front, but they have now changed their tactics, and are endeavoring to conquer Gen. Lee
's army by capturing Richmond
Their present policy is based upon the repeated, prolonged, and total failures of every other means of accomplishing their purposes.
, and Meade
have all failed to overthrow the living bulwarks of the Confederate
soldiers in open field fighting, and the Grand Northern
Army of the Potomac, shorn of its original strength and glory, is only too happy if it can secure the capital at Washington
from a Confederate advance.
The public men and public speakers of every grade, in and out of the Federal Congress, argue that nothing can be done towards "crushing the rebellion" till the rebel armies are crushed.
But how to do it — that's weak point, and think they have found it, in our general tendency to be surprised, and in our particular deficiency, as they suspect, of adequate means for the protection of Richmond
from a sudden raid.
They are of opinion that the vigilance of Confederate soldiers is not at all equal to their courage, and that the capital of the Confederacy
is left in a condition which admits at almost any time of a successful attempt at surprise.
If, they argue, they can capture and destroy by a sudden dash Richmond
, and the railroad connections of Gen. Lee
with the South
, they starve out Gen. Lee
's army as well as the people, whose crops and agricultural implements
can be ruined by the same raids which have in view the capture of the capital.
Starvation is the weapon they now rely upon rather than the sword, the sword being used now chiefly to accomplish starvation.
If the late raid of Kilpatrick
had been successful in its chief object; if Richmond
were now a heap of smoking ruins, its bridges burned, and railroads demolished, who can think without a shudder of the possible fate of Gen. Lee
's army and of the Confederate
We have received a warning which we will do well to heed.
The enemy must no longer be permitted to imagine that Richmond
is defenceless, and ready to be made the victim of any adventurous race.
Nor can the surrounding country be left open to impoverishment from such desolating incursions.
He must be made to fight our armies instead of seeking to starve them, or else to retire from a contest which he is no longer able to wage, except as a midnight assassin and highway robber.