It is doing indifferent justice to Yankee capacities of invention to accuse them simply of lying in their accounts of battles and other events of this war.--It falls as far short of their merits as to say of Tom King
that they are men of pugnacity, and to take no note of their science.
are great artists.
They not only lie, but know how to do it. They not only lie generally, but lie in detail, and they so manipulate and color the details that scarcely any one, not an eye-witness of the events they relate, can question the truth of the narrative.
In their account of the fight at Reame's station they manifest inventive genius of the highest order.
It is the testimony of our plain, unimaginative Confederate soldiers that, on that occasion the enemy fought with much loss spirit than usual.
The Yankee account is spirited enough, if the fight was not. It gives, as usual, many circumstances, clothing the dry bones with such an illusion of flesh and blood that anybody might imagine it a living thing.
We hear of repulse after repulse of our troops, and all the minutiæ are given, so that there can be no mistake about it. The conduct of their new levies is made an object of apparent censure and indirect praise.
They were too rash at first and too timid at last.
Their native bravery requires the chastening hand of time and discipline.
Their inexperience, and the overwhelming numbers of the Confederates
, lost the battle.
There must be always somebody to blame; either negro troops or new levies.
The "overwhelming numbers" of the Confederates
is another point, never to be omitted, from the battle of Manassas
Notwithstanding all we have heard of the depleted condition of the Confederates
, the rebellion on its last legs, &c., it makes its appearance in the fourth year of the war in the same "overwhelming numbers" which have gained all our victories.
This is the only defect in the otherwise artistic excellence of Yankee accounts of battles.
Either the rebel armies are not so short of men as they represent, or the "overwhelming numbers" cannot even seem to be true.
The Northern masses will ask if, after losing a million of men, and fighting three years and a half, the Confederacy
can still bring into the field "overwhelming numbers," how long must the war go on, how many more multitudes be slaughtered, before the Confederate armies will cease to have this advantage !
But this is only one blemish in many beauties.
Perfection is not to be expected in any work of man. In general, the Northern
lies are consummate achievements, the work of great masters, who have elevated lying to the highest place among the fine arts.
The Devil, the Father
of all Liars, never begat such a creditable progeny as the Yankee
scribes.--He has had plenty of stupid offspring, who inherited his disposition to deceive, without his talent.
But the Yankee
letter-writers reflect renown even upon their illustrious parentage.
Their countrymen do not appreciate highly enough these men, who are literally making their history.
Perhaps it is because talent like this is so common in the nation.--But let them not be disheartened.
If they do not have their reward here, they are sure of it hereafter.