The situation at Mobile.
When the Yankee
fleet was approaching this city in the spring of 1862, at the same time that McClellan
was advancing from the Peninsula
— before Drewry's Bluff
had spoken in thunder to the ironclads, and while it was still in doubt whether the river could be sufficiently obstructed in time to prevent the enemy from reaching a point from which he could shell the city — a meeting of citizens was held at the City Hall to decide upon the best thing to be done under the circumstances.
After several persons had spoken, Governor Letcher
was called on. He responded, and his words were full of encouragement: "We were told that if we did not surrender the city the Yankee
fleet would shell it. Let them shell and be d — d," said the Governor
— This brief and energetic, although profane, exclamation, operated like a whole shower of electric sparks.
The crowd burst into a perfect storm of applause.
The whole- city caught the contagion.
The Legislature, to their eternal honor, determined by a vote (unanimous, we believe,) that the Capital
should not be given up. The tide became overwhelming, and surrender was no longer dreamed of by any but the timid and the Yankee
- hearted.--The profanity of Governor Letcher
saved the capital.
Sternes tells us that when the recording angel entered the oath of "My Uncle Toby" on his book he shed a tear upon the page and blotted it out forever.
If ever oath deserved a similar reception, it was that of Governor Letcher
In a day or two came tidings, from Drewry's Bluff
had tried their best and had been signally foiled.--From that day to this they have not only never been able to take Richmond
, but they have not succeeded even in placing her in bodily terror.
The mightiest armaments of modern times have been tried against her in vain.
Two hundred thousand ferocious scoundrels have lost their lives in attempting to take her, and now lie buried beneath the soil of Virginia
She is more accessible by water than any city, not built directly on an arm of the sea, in the whole Confederacy.
Yet the mightiest fleets, in combination with the most powerful armies, have been unable to reach her, where she sits, in proud security, throned upon her magnificent hills.
From the moment that the Governor
, the people and the Legislature resolved that she might be destroyed, but never surrendered, she was safe.
And the city of Mobile
may likewise be saved, if her defenders will only determine that she shall not be surrendered!
If they have the moral courage to stand a shelling, as Charleston
has been doing for more than twelve months, as Petersburg
has been doing for two months, and as Atlanta
has been doing for the last thirty days, the Yankees
may kill a few unarmed citizens — they may knock down or burn up a certain number of houses — they may compel the women and children to take to the cellars for the security of their lives — they may furnish fine food for Harper
's wood-cuts and the army correspondents of the Yankee
newspapers — but they can no more take Mobile
than they can take Richmond
True, the outer defences have been taken or rendered useless.
Fort Powell has been blown up, and Fort Gaines
has been surrendered, with strong suspicions of treason.
True, Fort Morgan
, isolated and surrounded, may be taken or blown up. But there are still formidable defences and obstructions before the shelling point can be reached, and then, and not till then, Mobile
will be put upon her mettle and afforded an opportunity to rival the glory of Charleston
, of Petersburg
, and of Atlanta
Then she will have an opportunity to show, what has been so often shown in this war, that a bold heart is superior to all mechanical contrivances, and that determined courage and a resolution to win or die, are more than equal to the largest physical odds.
For the present, she is not so badly off as Richmond
was two years ago, when Norfolk
had been taken, when York
had been abandoned, when the Merrimac
had been blown up, and when the James
gave access to the Yankee
fleet almost up to her very doors.
Fortunately, too, it is understood to be the policy to give up no more cities.
The case of New Orleans will not be repeated.
If the Yankees
— unless there be more treason brewing — they will be compelled to fight for it. A few shells, or a great many of them, will not do the work.
They must land and storm our batteries — must crack the nut before they can get possession of the kernel.
With regard to the alleged treason of Colonel Anderson
, we prefer to wait for fuller accounts before we express our opinion.
The case is a very ugly one certainly, as stated by the telegraph.
But there may
be extenuating circumstances of which we know nothing.
, by-the-bye, is not a native of Alabama
, as we stated yesterday, but of South Carolina
He entered West Point
, but remained only two years, and, of course, did not graduate.
He was appointed Second Lieutenant
in the old army in 1856, and being stationed in the South
, joined the Confederate army at the commencement of the war.