At the commencement of this war Halleck
advised his Government never to acknowledge a defeat, no matter how disastrous, and always to claim a victory, no matter how badly defeated!
The Yankee Generals have acted persistently upon this advice throughout the war, but until the present campaign lying as an institution was not regularly organized by the Government
Since that time the Secretary of War
himself has been in the field fighting imaginary battles and gaining imaginary victories with the telegraph with such rapidity, that most people have wondered why he does not order his Generals
to confine their operations to the telegraph, and leave the field entirely, since by the former they never fail to triumph, whereas by the latter they generally come to grief.
The example of their chief has infused new energy into the Generals
, whose mission it was to destroy the Central Railroad, and afterwards to unite with Hunter
and assist in taking Lynchburg
, telegraphs that he has completely succeeded"that he has beaten Hampton
— and has lost only 160 men — whereas, 487 of his men were carried through the streets of this city prisoners of war, and he himself was routed, turned from his course, and hunted through half a dozen counties to the protection of his gunboats, but for which protection not a man of his command would have escaped.
It is gravely announced in the North
, from "the Army of the Potomac," that Petersburg
has been taken, and even the troops that most distinguished themselves in the assault are named and applauded.
, or somebody else, telegraphs that 4,000 prisoners were taken in the assault of June 17th, when the Yankees
were repulsed with a loss acknowledged by themselves to have reached 8,000 killed and wounded, and well known by us to have exceeded that figure by more than half.
These, and many other falsehoods equally enormous, are the results of the new organization, and might have been expected.
The Yankee Government resolved to make this a desperate campaign.
They chose a desperate fighter to head their armies, and a desperate liar to write their bulletins.
Their General has fought desperately, and their Secretary
has lied accordingly.
All this is official, and might have been expected.
But, as is usual in other cases, private enterprise is in a fair way to get the advantage of Government patronage.
made a mistake in not putting his lying out to the highest bidder, instead of having it done by a Government employee.
The desperate energy with which certain liars, on their own hook, prosecute the trade, in spite of the monopoly he is attempting to establish, abundantly proves what we say to be true.
Most conspicuous among the adventurers of this class is the correspondent of the New York Times
, who writes from the army before Petersburg
Of this man it may be truly said, as Phillips
, with a slight degree of amplification, said of Napoleon
He is a man "without a model and without a shadow. " His sagacity exceeds all human bounds and all rational calculation.
Of course, he is a strategist and a tactician.--No man can associate with the "little villain" without catching the Solferino fever.
This man has discovered that Gen. Grant
, from the moment he entered upon this campaign, had determined to make the Southside
the scene of his future operations, and, of course, that when he said he was determined "to fight it out on this line if it took him all summer," he was perpetrating one of those grave jokes of which we have had so many examples in his dispatches to Stanton
Apparently anticipating the very natural inquiry why, if such were the fact, he did not at once proceed to that quarter by water, seeing that he could have done so without losing a man, he is ready with an answer.
wanted to try all plans — he tried the straight road and found that would not do, and so he took a circumbendibus, and came over here, where he meant to come at first.
In this little experiment, which cost him a trifle of 100,000 men, he had that object constantly in view.
While in the battle of the 3d June, in which 15,000 men are shot down like dogs, instead of being in the field, at their head, he is holding high consultation with his most trusted officers, and when the news arrives of the disastrous result of the day's work, he has but to turn on his heel and say, it has turned out as I expected — I was sure it would be so — the works are too strong — we must go to the Southside
, it is said, could never get Saratoga
out of his head, and when he went to the South
, expected to serve Cornwallis precisely as he had served Burgoyne
can never forget Vicksburg
, any more than poor old Scott
can forget Lundy's Lane
, although everybody except himself has ceased to think about it, for more than forty years.--Vicksburg
is to be repeated at Richmond
, upon a large scale.
There are, it is true, slight shades of difference, in the relative condition of the two places, and of the armies entrusted with their defence.
is a little town of five or six thousand inhabitants, surrounded by a very strong country, with a river eight hundred feet deep, and three quarters of a mile wide flowing in front of it. On the occasion allunded to, a powerful fleet lay in the river, an army of 85,000 invested it on the land side, while it was defended by but 18,000 men, which had lately been beaten in half a dozen battles, and was dispirited and distrustful of its officers.
, on the contrary, is a city of 30,000 inhabitants, is surrounded by works reaching out so far that it would take half a million of men to lay it under siege, will always be open through two-thirds of its circumference, is unapproachable by a naval force, and has an army now nearly equal in strength to Grant
's, which moreover it has beaten until it has become an object of sheer compassion.
We venture to suggest to the astute tactician of the Times,
that it is impudence to talk of besieging a city thus situated.
An army must first beat another army in the field before it can besiege it; but the strategist of the Times
would have the beaten army improve its position by besieging the victorious army.
A notable device, truly; almost as wise in the conception as that recorded of Marie Antoinette
, who, when told that her people lacked bread, recommended Queen
cake as a substitute.
There is some little difference, too, between the situation of Richmond
now and that of Paris
in 1814, though this military correspondent does not appear to recognize it. When Paris
surrendered to the allies, they were already on the heights of Montmartre, with 200,000 men and 600 pieces of cannon.
Nevertheless, the surrender was owing to treachery on the part of Marmont
, who had never forgiven Napoleon
for depriving him of the command of the army of Spain
, after he had been disastrously defeated in the battle of Salamanca
Had he kept his faith, Paris
would have been the grave of the Allied army; for he had 40,000 men, who, with the assistance of the citizens, had repulsed them in repeated at tacks, and Napoleon
was approaching upon their rear with 70,000 more.
Such was the opinion, at least, of Sir Robert Wilson
, who was in the Allied army, and was, during the whole time of Napoleon
's ascendancy, the most persistent of all his enemies.
Here, again, we venture to suggest, is some difference, though too slight, possibly, to derange the theories of a paper strategist.
There are no traitors in command here, nor are there likely to be any. Besides, Paris
was not fortified, and Richmond
All this braggadocio is but whistling to keep up the spirits on the part of the Yankees
They see that Grant
, after unheard of losses, is in a situation from which he cannot retreat without absolute ruin to the vile cause he was sent here to sustain, and that it is impossible for him to advance as long as Gen. Lee
's army is in his front.
Their dependence now is upon destroying the railroads on the Southside
That failing, their whole scheme fails.
That succeeding, they succeed in putting our soldiers on short rations, probably for two or three weeks, until the damage can be repaired.
If they fight, we shall beat them; if they sit still, the lever will do our work for us. Either way their job is a desperate one.
If, in the meantime, Grant
, baffled on that side, shall lead his army back to this, we shall be told that that
too had always been his intention.
There is no end to Yankee invention, when invention is employed only to fabricate a lie.