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[591] battle. Several hundred of this last marauding gang are now in the confederate prisons at Richmond. They are not chained up in a penitentiary for felons, not handed over to be dealt with by the outraged laws of Virginia. Why not? Perhaps this State government at Richmond is not the true government of Virginia; perhaps the true government is the one at Wheeling, or at Alexandria, or at Norfolk, and these raiders and robbers have committed no offence against that government or against the people of the real State of Virginia--that is, the “loyal” State. This is the theory at Washington; those in “rebellion” have no rights; and to do by those caitiffs as was done by Morgan, in Ohio, would not there be regarded. as the legitimate retaliation of belligerents, but as a new outrage by rebels; and, doubtless, if the wretches were hanged, an equal number of confederate officers of the highest rank they have got would swing; and our government knows it, and in its humanity and Christian charity submits.

Again, two Yankee officers are solemnly designated by lot to be executed in retaliation for two of ours most foully murdered. But, in the eyes of our enemies, we have no rights of retaliation, nor any other rights, so they coolly inform us that if we do as we have threatened, they will not regard it as retaliation, but as a new crime, to be severely punished. They choose out two officers of rank--one a Brigadier-General--and inform us that their lives shall answer for the two whom we propose to execute. Well, this governmont, after months of hesitation, gives way, yields all, confesses that it has no rights, and lets the condemned men go. In other words, it accepts for us, and in our name, the position of rebels and malefactors.

But “we are to consider,” it seems, “not what wicked enemies may deserve, but what it becomes us, Christians and gentlemen, to inflict.” O hypocrisy, and thou forty-parson-power which alone can sound its praise through thy forty noses! What cant is this? We wonder whether Mr. Davis is aware of what many honest people begin to mutter and murmur.

They say, can this man be saving up for himself, in case of the worst, a sort of plea in mitigation of punishment? If the cause for which a hundred and fifty thousand of us have died, be borne down at last, is this Christian meekness of his intended to save his own life? They say; what comfort are these fine sentiments to the houseless families who have been driven from their homes in Tennessee or Virginia, when they find that our armies, even on the enemy's soil, are withheld from giving the invaders a taste of real war in their own quenched hearths and blazing barns? For what have we set over us a government at all, if it be not to protect us against our enemies; to avenge us of our enemies when need is; to uphold our cause in all its fulness and grandeur, and to keep our banner flying high? But this is lowering the cause and dragging the banner through the dust this is encouraging, inviting our invaders to ravage and pillage us at pleasure, sure that they will not be visited with the like in their turn.--Richmond Sentinel.


Richmond, March 7.
Perhaps the people — perhaps even the government of the confederate States--are now at length awakened to the true nature of the struggle in progress. We have been in the habit of regarding it as a war between nations; our enemies have all along looked upon it as a military execution upon a mutinous crew. The means by which their soldiers are desired “to write their names in ineffaceable letters on the hearts of their countrymen,” are by rushing at night upon a populous city, burning it down with turpentine and oakum in “soaked balls,” turning loose some thousands of ruffian prisoners, brutalized to the deepest degree by acquaintance with every horror of war, who have been confined on an island for a year, far from all means of indulging their strong sensual appetites — inviting this pandemonium to work their will on the unarmed citizens, on the women, gentle and simple, of Richmond, and on all their property — in a word, to sack, with the usual accompaniments attending that operation — to kill Jefferson Davis and his mutinous crew, and slip away as they came; to burn not only houses and bridges, but every thing else which might be of use to the rebels, barns, boats, stores, provisions, and to slaughter all horses and cattle which they could not carry away with them.

The results, indeed, of this tremendous intention of ravage and butchery, were contemptible. The “picked command, selected from brigades and regiments” for the thieving and murdering expedition, was not quite up to the mark. “The braves who were to have swept though Richmond” were very easily swept away from before Richmond; and their balls of oakum and turpentine, instead of hissing and flaming in our dwellings and amidst terrified women and children, as. was expected, had to be thrown into the Pamunkey for the present. Nevertheless, the minute programme of that piece of business cannot fail to be instructive. After our government has existed for three years, and has all that time maintained large armies to meet and baffle their far greater armies in fair fight in the field, they think it still an allowable, nay, a virtuous and glorious proceeding, to steal upon our Chief-Magistrate and his Cabinet in their beds, and, after burning their houses, to hang them up on the next tree, just as the French in Algiers would do to a Kabyle chief and his encampment in the desert, or the English in India to some Nena Sahib or Ghoorka marauder.

Now — it is as well to look our position straight in the face — we are barbarians in the eyes of our enemies. Our way of life is, according to the dictum of one of these philosophers, “the sum of all barbarism.” Against us every thing is fair. We also, though we have newspapers and orators, and a certain command of the English language, are yet so hemmed in for the present by


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