Can the war go on !
[From the London
Morning Post, July 28.]
On Monday night Mr. Lindsay
inquired if it was the intention of the Government
, in concert with the other powers of Europe
, to use their endeavors to bring about a suspension of hostilities in America
, and Lord Palmerston replied that, in the present state of things, it was not thought there would be any advantage in such a step.
This incident forces us to ask how long it is really probable that this impracticable, aimless, hopeless war will last.
Is it all likely that it will survive the present campaign?
It cannot seriously be supposed that the Northerners will go on fighting forever at the cost of national bankruptcy and universal ruin and the desolation of their homes, not only without any tangible profit or advantage at present, but even without any prospect of possible benefit in the future.
We speak of the desolation of Northern homes, because, as the loss in killed and wounded is at least thrice as great on their side as on that of the Confederates
, there must soon be not a single family in the Federal States
but what will have to mourn the death of one or more of its members or to witness the sad spectacle of a husband, a brother, a son, painfully dragging himself about a cripple for life.
Is it creditable, is it conceivable, is it even possible, that the Federals
should continue such a war much longer ! Their doing so really seems to be inconsistent with the nature of man and of things.
Man is not given to ruin himself systematically for nothing.
War cannot be carried on upon national bankruptcy.
The mountains of debt which the Federals
are pilling up, like Pelion upon Ossa
, must are long fall with a tremendous crash, and bury the Government
under their ruins.
From the number of regiments which are continually marching home on the expiry of their term of service, and leaving the armies in the very crisis of a battle, it is evident enough that those who have had one taste of the war will not enter the ranks a second time.
Those who have not served may, by the bribe of high bounties, by kidnapping, by enlisting them when drunk, and other notable American device, be induced to go forth as food for powder.
But at this rate, all the male population having gone through the ordered, either as "hundred days men" or for a longer term, there will be no inexperienced civilians left to bring within the net of the conscription.
This leads to an important conclusion.
Even the civilians themselves, who have had no taste of the realities of war, and have been accustomed to view it on its bright and romantic side, have resisted the draft by force in more than one locality.
What, then, will be the effect when it is attempted to press trained soldiers who are thoroughly sick of campaigning?--There will be another civil war in the North
It has been lightly said that immigrants from the Old World will fill the Northern
armies, but this will not bear serious examination.
If the North
is to depend upon mere foreign mercenaries, the war will come to an end very speedily indeed; and if it could be carried on by such means, it would be far more formidable to the Government
than to that at Richmond
But, at all events, mercenaries or patriots, foreigners or natives, there must be money to pay the troops; there must be money to satisfy the contractors, whose war this has now really become.
That a financial collapse is imminent does not admit of the shadow of a doubt.--No soldiers, American born or aliens, will fight; no soldiers can fight without money for the necessaries of war. No contractor will supply these necessaries without money.
When the crash comes, and come it must, and at no distant period, soldiers and contractors, American enthusiasts and foreign mercenaries, will leave the war to take care of itself.