The "Army Worms"--their Unholy Crusade, &c.
Wylliesburg, Charlotte Co., Va., Nov. 19, 1861.
In the whirl of events it seems a viperous worm, ‘ "such as gnaw the bowels of a Commonwealth,"’ has coiled itself in the heart of our cause.
A heartless class of individuals, whom the press have appropriately denominated ‘"the Army Worm
."’ are profaning our noble cause with their foul touch.
The eye of grave disapprobation, it is true, has been levelled at such a practice, with singular unanimity, and yet its vitality is active and vigorous.
With what deep concern do patriot hearts behold such exactions laid upon a gallant soldiery, whose arms are raised in defence of those who impose them.
No portion of our embryo republic is entirely free from this plague.
Within the extremely short space of eight months, it has wound its form not only through the pores of Government and the great city, but its oppressive weight is being felt by the country people.
The unprecedented price of $20 per sack for slat, is realized with frightful discontent.
Apprehensions of the future swell to immeasurable proportions.--Nor is this the child of necessity, when the exorbitant price is traced to its primal origin.
Far from it. With the limited facilities for manufacturing salt in the Confederate States
, the supply will be unequal to the demand at present.--But with less prodigality than heretofore, and a relief from unprincipled speculators, who raised that article to such high figures by a monopoly of the trade, the people could be supplied at more reasonable rates.--Nor are such extravagant extortions confined to any particular character of trade.
It is their business to watch for desperate openings.
In all haste is each and every opportunity improved; the soldier's pocket is rified, and the public bureau cozened with the same heartless indifference that the farmer's substance is destroyed.
To such a shameful extent has this spirit of avarice been encouraged already that it threatens the most disastrous consequences to our cause.
Such a practice cannot be judged otherwise than with the most harsh indignation, No act which comes within the comprehension of the human mind can deservedly call forth anathemas more severe.
However so much one may presume to justify such a course, its baseness is tripled.
Such a practice is not confined alone to our own country, in its heinous insults, but its influence will stamp an impress upon foreign soil.
Nor is it prudent that such a dishonorable traffic should be longer sanctioned.
It is the people's right as much as their duty to purge our country and our army of all such impurities.
Desperate times like these call for desperate action.
Such a violation of human right and justice can only be effectually checked by the popular voice in its native majesty.