The Approaching Elections.
--The election for President
, members of Congress, are close at hand.
They take place on the first Wednesday in next month.
With regard to the Presidential election we have nothing to say, except that it is important for every man who has a vote to give it. The Yankees
, with Lincoln
at their head, have been contending all along that the secession of the Southern States
is a mere partizan movement on a small seale, gotten up by discontented politicians, and that the great body of the people not only do not sympathize with it, but are at heart bitterly opposed to it. This is or was one of the pretexts alleged for invading the State of Virginia
It was contended that a reign of terror existed here, and that the people voted under its influence.
It was confidently stated that if freedom of choice were allowed, the large majority would be found opposed to secession, and the Federal
army was designed to set opinion at liberty, and enable the friends of the Union
to express their preference without the fear of bodily harm.--Even now the Yankee
papers, in sketching their programmes for a winter campaign in the South
, reckon largely upon the sympathy of vast bodies whom they suppose to be attached to the old system.
There never was a falser assumption, it is true.
But it has not been without its effect at the North
, where men, if they could be convinced that the whole Southern country was arrayed in heart and soul against the restoration of the Union
, would be apt to see the folly of waging a long and expensive war for so unattainable an object.
It is proper that these men — that Europe
— that the whole world — should be taught the true state of the case, and they can only be taught by the voters of the Southern States
Let the vote be thin, and the people careless and willing to suffer the election to go by default, and they will still have ground for maintaining their present position.
Let the turn out be general, the movement enthusiastic, the vote large, and no ground will be left them to stand upon.
We therefore hope that there will be no remissness in this respect.
Let every man who can get to the polls deposit his vote.
Let none think that because there is no opposition, there is no danger, and therefore no occasion for exertion.
A large vote, we tell all persons disposed to indulge any chimerical notion to the contrary, is more important now than it ever was before.
We must show the world, who are watching us with the deepest interest — we must show our friends abroad, who are watching us with the deepest anxiety — we must show the Yankees
and their Government, who are watching us with the deepest malignity — that we are a great, united people.
That the opposition among us is so small as scarcely to make up that sort of exception which is said to prove a general rule.
That the whole Southern people are united in opposition to the old Government, and in favor of the new. That the crisis, in the midst of which we exist, is a mighty revolution, which it is wanton wickedness, in a supreme degree, to attempt to suppress by means of an armed force.
That it is the strongly expressed desire of a vast country to change its system of government, as every community under the sun has an undoubted right to do.
The Congressional election is, if possible, to Virginia
at least, a matter of still greater importance than the election of Presidential electors.
The soil of Virginia
A powerful army holds a portion of it on the Potomac
, and its very presence there is working immense mischief throughout our State.--The Yankees
, we cannot believe, have any serious hope of conquering the South
But they do hope to hold their present line — to make Maryland
a Yankee State--to keep a firm grasp upon Alexandria
— to run the kingdom of abolition deep into the heart of Virginia
— to make Virginia
the border State, in any negotiation for peace which they may hereafter present — to render negro property valueless in that portion of the State
--to drive slavery gradually back, according to the plan of Col. Hugh Forees
, as developed after John Brown
's unsuccessful attempt to produce an insurrection — to render Virginia
a Yankee State, and to clear it entirely of negroes, as they will do in less than thirty years, if they be allowed to make it a frontier State There lies our great danger, and we deem it highly proper to point it out. It is the fear of this consummation that renders the whole population of Virginia
It is this which induced them to hope — while there was yet room for hope — that an advance would be made upon Maryland
It is this consideration which should forbid them to vote for any man who could be supposed capable, under any difficulties, under any danger, to consent to any treaty establishing that line as a boundary.
Let it be understood at once, through this election, that Virginia
never will lay down her arms as long as there is a Yankee soldier on her soil, or on the condition that Maryland
is to be the Yankee
We trust, that in the multitude of candidates before the people, they will make their choice with an eye single to the great object now presented to them all. The successful conduct and triumphant conclusion of the war is the only question now at issue.
It is like the rod of the prophet.
It swallows up all other questions and all other considerations.--Settle that first, and settle all others afterwards.
Let all the energies of the people and the Government
be directed to that point, and to that point exclusively.
This is no time for quarreling — no time for splitting hairs — no time for wrangling about small matters.
We are thankful for small things in the day of small things; but this is no such day. We hope.
therefore, no man will be voted for who is not a man of energy — who will not go to the greatest extent in forwarding the military operations of the Government
— who is not enlisted heart and soul in the cause.
We say to the people, forget ancient distinctions, bury party animosities, vote for the man who will push forward the war, no matter what his sins, no matter what his proclivities, no matter what his party.