Eight Months' campaigning and the result.
--The season for active military operations has so nearly closed that we can now estimate the results of the first year's struggle between the North and South.
If we take as the standard of comparison what the aggressive section proposed at the outset and have endeavored to accomplish, the case is clear that its campaign has been a complete failure.
was to have overrun the South
in two months; it was to have taken Richmond
, New Orleans, and a dozen other cities; and its armies were to have wintered in our seats of wealth, luxury, and fashion.
In no part of this brilliant and luxurious programme have they succeeded. --They have not a single city of any size in the South
; nor do they hold a single county of the whole Confederacy in undisturbed possession, except where the inhabitants themselves, by their own disloyal agency, secured them possession.
It is a remarkable fact, developed at the close of a campaign in which the North
have put forth its most strenuous exertions, that they hold no portion of the Southern
territory except such as was virtually surrendered to them by disloyal Southern people.
In every other respect, but in reference to this striking fact, the campaign has been a complete failure.--Whenever they have attempted to penetrate our country in force, they have been driven back with ruin and slaughter.
Nowhere, where the people have in mass opposed them, have they been able to establish themselves upon a firm footing.
This great fact cannot fail to have its proper effect upon the public opinion of the world.
Four hundred millions of dollars have been expended; from three to four hundred thousand troops brought into the field; eight months of strenuous campaigning has been performed; and the grand result is, the possession of a half-Yankee fled and exposed portion of Virginia
; of a part of Kentucky
voluntarily surrendered to them by the treachery of a act of disgraced politicians and timid property holders; and of those regions of Missouri
where the ‘"Union"’ sentiment was strong enough to prevent the military organization of the true Southern people.
They have conquered nothing.
They hold no part of our soil, except that which our people surrendered into their hands.
They have won no victories.
They have gained no glory or renown.
They came into the war, proud of their strength, and confident of their prowess, expecting to frighten us by their mere approach.
They go out of the campaign smarting under repeated defeats, the laughing-stock of the world, and feeling in their hearts their utter inferiority to us in all the qualities of warriors.
The worst spent four hundred millions that ever slipped out of a public treasury, have been the millions which the North
has paid for eight months of campaigning, which has resulted in nothing but in teaching them that their volunteers are cowards, and cannot be trusted in the field.
It reminds us of the vast pains and expense which Xerxes
, Darius, and those Eastern commanders of myriads, were at, to learn experimentally the same sad truth of their armies.
A nation may have wealth in its exchequer, arms in its arsenals, supplies in unbounded profusion, and it may have troops by the million, and yet, unless those men have the true pluck of warriors, and be capable of fighting bravely in the field, these grand appurtenances of military power are butas sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal.
They can effect no more in the field, against brave men, than a Chinese army with a hundred thousand gongs against a brigade of British regulars.
have brought a vast concourse of men into the field.
They have expended an ocean of money.
They have planned stupendous campaigns.
They proposed to accomplish long triumphant marches; to utterly subjugate eleven sovereign States; to take possession of wealthy and luxuriant cities; to apportion vast landed properties among their troops; to set several millions of negroes free and to establish the Federal Government
throughout the old Union in such impregnable strength, that nothing could shake it, and none dispute its supremacy, forever more.--They proposed to do all this in a very few months.
A man in their midst who had hinted a doubt of its accomplishment in less than four months from the date of Lincoln
's call for seventy-three regiments, would have been instantly bastiled in Fort Lafayette.
But nothing of all this splendid programme has been accomplished.
Their money is gone, the prestige of their troops lost, and footing is obtained nowhere in the South
, except where treachery and deception have accomplished for them what their valor could not. Nay, they have lost ground; for whereas they felt secure of Kentucky
, that State, after hard fighting, is sure now to be ours; and whereas they thought they had effectually overrun Missouri
, they find the indomitable spirit of that people unconquerable, and that they have suffered their severest reverses in the very State which they thought most surely their own.
The South, on the other hand, commenced the campaign, proposing nothing but self defence; and that defence she has successfully made.
At the outset of a war for which she was not prepared, and which she did not expect, she was incapable of undertaking offensive warfare.
She planted herself upon the defensive; and she has succeeded in whipping the North
and baffling all their grand designs.
She has inspired her soldiers with the prestige of victory, and will, in another campaign, be ready to avail herself of this prestige, and of her more perfect state of preparation, to make her adversaries feel her power with a vengeance.
They are already aware that we are their masters; and in another campaign we will assert that character upon them with a strong hand.