blockading fleets and armies, that our protest, if we attempt any, dies away in silence too. It is the simple fact, let us take it as we will, that those enemies against whom we fondly believe we are waging an honorable war, as nation against nation, are carrying on against us the very same sort of warfare that English armies think good enough for the revolted Sepoys and mutinous hill-tribes. If they can surprise, by any sort of artifice, our kraal of Richmond, and deliver it over to the mercy of their troops, and hold in it one good carnival of lust and rapine, they will write their names in imperishable letters on the hearts of their countrymen. This situation of affairs was always well known to us; but it was doubted or denied by many confederates of feeble brain. Do they believe it now, understand it now, that we have it under the hand of Federal officers charged with the task of breaking up this “hateful” den of Richmond, burning and robbing our houses, stripping and violating the virtuous and often refined Christian women of this place, shooting, stabbing, hanging the highest civil officers of the law, and massacring indiscriminately the population? This is a wholesome kind of reflection for our own countrymen. We believe it will sting them. We think it highly probable that they will peremptorily demand of their government some practical, unmistakable assertion of our full determination to be treated as honorable enemies and civilized people. And what — some may ask — what then would you have our government do?--turn the war into a war of extermination? Certainly, certainly; it is already a war of extermination, of indiscriminate slaughter and plunder on the part of our enemies. Their sparing the lives of prisoners and occasional exchanges, form but a temporary suspension of the rule, necessitated by our holding prisoners also; but the true animus, the authentic Yankee theory of the war, is manifest in the actual proceedings of our enemy wherever he has the power, and especially, and most signally, in this code of instructions for sack and massacre in Richmond. Our government owes it to its own army and to its own people, if it cannot at the moment retaliate such atrocities in kind, at least to bring to condign punishment the robbers who, in the guise of soldiers, and under pretence of war, have been caught lurking about Richmond with their oakum balls and turpentine, and their written programme for murdering the chief magistrate and setting fire to all the houses till the city is burnt in a hundred places at once, and then inviting eight thousand bloodthirsty, lustful ruffians to gut the blazing mansions, rape the mistresses, and knock the masters in the head, in the dreadful confusion. But if we hang these wretches, then the enemy will select an equal number for the gallows? Not while we hold sixteen thousand hostages. But if we shrink from that, there is another alternative, and the only one left us — hanging and massacre all on one side. We can choose between the two; other choice there is none.
Richmond, March 7.Presuming the documents found on the body of Dahlgren to be authentic, the whole question of the recent attempt to invade Richmond, burn and sack it, (with all the other horrible concomitants of such a scene,) can be stated and disposed of in a few words. It requires no fine disquisition to see our way clear as to what should be done with those of the banditti who have fallen into our hands. But it does require nerve to execute the palpable convictions of our judgment — a judgment which will be promptly sustained by the civilized world, including China, the most truculent of nations; nations not uncivilized. Are these men warriors? Are they soldiers, taken in the performance of duties recognized as legitimate by the loosest construction in the code of civilized warfare? or are they assassins, barbarians, thugs who have forfeited (and expect to lose) their lives? Are they not barbarians redolent with more hellish purposes than were ever the Goth, the Hun or the Saracen? The consentaneous voice of all Christendom will shudderingly proclaim them monsters, whom no sentimental idea of humanity, no timorous views of expediency, no trembling terror of consequences, should have shielded from the quickest and the sternest death. What more have we to dread from Yankee malice or brutality than we know now awaits us, if success attend them? What have we to hope from their clemency? Will justice meted out to these poor creatures stimulate either the brutality of the Yankees on the one hand, or increase their capacity and means for diabolism on the other? Both are now in fullest exercise. If these men go unpunished, according to the exceeding magnitude of their crimes, do we not invite Yankees to similar, and, if possible, still more shocking efforts? If we would know what we ought to do with them, let us ask what would ere now have been their fate, if, during a war, such a body of men, with such purposes and such acts, had made an attempt on and were taken in London or Paris? The English blow fierce and brutal Sepoys, who disregard and exceed the just limits of war, from the mouths of cannon; the French fusilade them. If we are less powerful, have we less pride and self-respect than either of these nations! These men have put the caput lupinum on themselves. They are not victims; they are volunteers for remorseless death. They have rushed upon fate, and struggled in voluntary audacity with the grim monster. Let them die, not by court-martial, not as prisoners, but as hostes humani generis by general order from the President, Commander-in-Chief. Will the Cabinet and President have the nerve to do what lies palpably before them? This is the question in all mouths. What concerns the