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As the facts in connection with the evacuation of Atlanta gradually unfold themselves the public mind becomes reassured. It is already ascertained that there was no disaster, that the spirit of our men is unimpaired, and that they are as defiant now as they were the day before the evacuation took place. General Hood never believed that he could hold Atlanta permanently. His great object was to hold it as long as he could, and to make the possession of it by the enemy cost him as much as possible. This object has been fully attained. The enemy has been delayed in his progress towards the South upwards of two months, and within that time has lost more men than the English portion of the expedition lost at the siege of Sebastopol — probably as many as both English and, French lost. Atlanta had done its share of the duty assigned to it, and when it was no longer tenable it was evacuated. It was taken at last by a flank movement — it never could have been taken by direct assault. Sherman has passed through an immense tract of country, and he has conquered as much of it as lies within the range of his guns. His course has been like that of a ship through the sea. The waves give way before it and close around its stern. The population of the country through which Sherman has advanced yielded as he came on to the mere weight of his colossal force. It scattered from his front to reunite in his rear. West Tennessee has already slipped from his grasp, and there is every indication that East Tennessee may shortly follow. In Kentucky a civil war is actually raging at this moment. The people of that unhappy land submitted to save their property from confiscation or destruction under the hope that they would be allowed to remain neutral in the conflict. They never contemplated the probability of being forced to bear arms against their own countrymen. If they were compelled to fight, there were few of them who would not have preferred to fight on the Confederate side. But they hoped to avoid the necessity of fighting altogether. They have now become — not too late, we hope, --fully aware of the folly of their choice. They have not been able to preserve their property, for which they had sacrificed their honor, nor have they secured an exemption from military duty by submission. Lincoln's emancipation proclamation has swept off their slaves into the ranks of the Yankee army. Their fat cattle have become the prey of Yankee commissaries; their blooded horses have served to mount Yankee cavalry; their fine crops have been pressed for the wants of the Yankee army. As for that neutrality which Mr. Crittenden exhorted them to maintain, it has turned out to be as unsubstantial as moonshine in the water. Their country is subject to the Yankee draft, and they are expected to assist in slaughtering and enslaving their neighbors and brothers. A portion of that spirit which distinguished Kentucky in other days still seems to be slumbering in the bosoms even of the Union men. They evince a disposition, since fight they must, to fight against, rather than for, the Yankees, and they are said to be flocking to the standard with a zeal which no efforts of the Confederate armies themselves could arouse. The Yankees have done for us what we could not do for ourselves. They have made every Kentuckian who has a spark of spirit and honor remaining detest them as if each man of their nation was a personal enemy. It is clear that, in passing so long a distance through the country, Sherman has conquered nothing but the ground his army occupies for the time, and that on which the forts he has left in his rear are built. Instead, therefore, of being depressed by the evacuation of Atlanta, we have every cause to exult in the progress of our cause generally. The enemy has evidently undertaken more than he can do. He cannot hold the country over which his armies have marched. He is compelled to concentrate to prevent disaster, and when he concentrates he abandons some portion of the country. His force is not sufficient — no force that ever marched under the banner of created man would be sufficient — to hold down the enormous country he has undertaken to subjugate. This has become more apparent during the progress of the present campaign than it ever was before. The enemy found from the experience of the three preceding campaigns that he could not hope to subdue the rebels unless he concentrated his forces. Accordingly, concentration has been the order of the day, and it has cost him nearly all the territory he had previously overrun. Our prospects are far brighter now than they were this time last year, for then we had not yet recovered from the severe blow inflicted by the capture of Vicksburg. This year we have received no severe blow. On the contrary, we have been almost always victorious. Our victories, in fact, have spoiled us by making us too sensitive to a reverse. And yet, in the nature of things, reverses must come sometimes. We are but too happy that the present is so inconsiderable.
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