English opinion of Affairs in America.
We find in the London Herald,
of March, 14th, an editorial on the war in America
, some extracts from which, taken from Northern papers, have already been published here.
The article will well repay perusal, and therefore we copy it entire:
[From the London
Morning Herald, March 14,]
Affairs in America
have lately taken a turn which we have long-regarded as more than possible.
The tide of victory has set in favor of the North
The Federal have effected a lodgment at Roanoke
, in North Carolina
; they are driving before them the Confederate armies in Missouri
, and Tennessee
The capture of 15,000 men, together with the strong position on the Cumberland river
, is the greatest advantage that they have yet gained in the war. Having now the victory at Donelson
to point to as a set off to the great disaster at Manassas
, it is a pity, we think, that they do not make use of the first auspicious occasion for concluding terms with the so called rebels.
They have it now in their power to retire from a desperate strife with something like honor.
If the Northerners and Southerners can only agree to an equitable partition of territory, a strife may be ended of which no one can foresee the end. Years of bloody war, with advantage sometimes to one, sometimes to the other party, the lives of thousands of brave men, the desolation of ten thousand homes, may be saved by such timely arrangement.
When they have doubled the sum of their debt, already enormous, entailed on their posterity forever the burden of a taxation which even the wealthier Englishman
cannot bear without chafing; when they have thrown their hardly-won liberties, one after another, into the crucible of a military rule, which will reduce them to ashes, they will have paid all toe dearly for the honor which the raw schoolboy can teach them as the moral of their own history — that it is impossible to reduce to subjection ten millions of freemen determined on a separate government.
In the revolutionary war the English
armies for a time carried all before them.
Every city was occupied, every battle was won by the Royalists.
But the determination of the Colonists remained — a power mightier than armies and superior to the fatal accidents of a hundred campaigns.
The power that, though strong in the field, was weak in the hearts of the people, found it necessary to succumb in the end. Should the Federal
, and make prisoners of all that remains of the Confederate army of the West; should Johnston
be routed on the Potomac
, and Virginia
overrun by the conquerors; should the Northern
flotilla steam down the broad Mississippi
and burn New Orleans; should Savannah
, every stronghold of the South
be lost, the Unionists will be no nearer to the end than now. The resolve of the South
to remain no longer in the Union
is fixed and irrevocable.
If the Union
conquests carried along with them Union sentiment, we might admit that a restoration of the Union
was not yet impossible.
It would then be a question of arms, dependent on the accidents of war; it is now becoming more and more a question of feeling.
Every advantage gained by the North
but adds to the bitter hostility of their kinsmen in the Southern States
, who already hate them as intensely as ever Englishmen hated Frenchmen in the long wars of Europe
Let us quote on this point the evidence of Dr. Russell
, a man certainly not prejudiced against the Northern
"A gentleman who had a good deal of conversation with the Confederate
prisoners at Roanoke
says they spoke with unanimous bitterness of the North
, and that he could not detect a trace of ' Union sentiment,' though they were in captivity.
's expedition has failed to elicit any ' Union sentiment' in North Carolina
, which was said to be bubbling up with it, and sent a ' bogus senator' to represent it in Congress.
two-thirds of the inhabitants fled on the approach of the Federal
, and with rare exceptions the flight of the people and the firing of their property by their own hands, as at Edenton
, have been the usual modes of expressing their joy at the sight of the Stars and Stripes."
We doubt if there be really any such thing as a Union party at the South
It must be noted that it is in the border States that this absence of sympathy for the North
is signalized by the special correspondent of the Times.
If the secession feeling is so strong in the territory which is still the bone of contention between the rival armies, how much stronger must it be in the States that first seceded, and that still form the head and front of the Southern
Dissensions are, indeed, spoken of in the ranks of the Confederates
, but when we come to inquire into them we find that the dissentients are so far from the thought of making terms that they reproach the Government
of President Davis
for not carrying on offensive war, for confining its military operations to the defence of Southern territory.
In fine, we are persuaded that the rule of the men of New England
is at an end forever in the countries that lie to the south of the Ohio
and the Missouri
If the Union
is ever restored, it can only be constituted on the basis of voluntary suffrage, and that consent will never be given by any of the slaveholding States.--Victory after victory to the North
will not after our conviction as to the inevitable denouncement
of this profitless strife.
Years ago the Northern Abolitionists
foresaw, in the separation of the free from the slave States, the only possible solution to the slavery question.
Their arguments were as unanswerable then as now, but in times of popular excitement the still small voice of reason is seldom heard.
will not resign its extravagant claims at the moment when victory crowns its arms — we suppose it will go on to receive another lesson of defeat.
As far as we can see, that is not likely to belong delayed.
in the West
, flushed with unhoped for successes, are acting on their own responsibility, and altogether without authority, either of General McClellan
or the Secretary of War
We are informed on this very singular feature in the conduct of the war by no less an authority than Mr. Stanton
If these unwary gentlemen should be encouraged to push on into Alabama
, they and all their forces will not improbably be surrounded and made an end of, in the same manner as a daring fish that has invaded the mouth of a polyp.
The tide of battle, if fortune be too much tempted, may be expected to turn and the North
will then wish, when it is too late, that it had held its hand when the cards seemed all in its favor.
If a great man struggling with adversity is a spectacle for the gods, Mr. President Davis
, delivering his inaugural address, almost on the morrow of the signal disaster of Donelson
, may, perhaps, claim something of our sympathy.
In this speech there is no sign of hesitation, no recreant craving for terms with a triumphant enemy.
It is such an address as Washington
himself might have penned — strong in the belief of the unanimous feeling of his countrymen — firm in the faith of the success of what he believed to be the right.--These brave and yet temperate words will resound through both hemispheres, and convince those who yet may doubt that the men of the Confederate States
are not made of the metal that gives in at the first shock.
describes to us the causes and the progress of the war, which, he says, was reluctantly accepted by the South
‘"The tide,"’ he admits, ‘"is for the moment against us, but the final result in our favor is not doubtful."’ ‘"We have had our trials and difficulties.
That we are to escape them in future, is not to be hoped.
It was to be expected, when we entered upon this war, that it would expose our people to sacrifices, and cost them much both of money and blood.
But we knew the value of the object for which we struggled, and understood the nature of the war in which we were engaged.
Nothing could be so bad as failure, and any sacrifice would be cheap as the price of success in such a contest.
But the picture has its lights as well as its shadows.
This great strife has awakened in the people the highest emotions and qualities of the human soul.
It is cultivating feelings of patriotism, virtue, and courage.
Instances of self sacrifice and of generous devotion to the noble cause for which we are contending, are rife throughout the land.
Never has a people evinced a more determined spirit than that now animating men; women and children in every part of our country.
Upon the first call, the men fly to arms, and wives and mothers send their husbands and sons to battle without a murmur of regret."’ They had, he says, a right to resist the tyranny of an unbridled majority.
Believing that human help is insufficient for their need, he fixes his hope in God, whose favor is ever vouchsafed to the cause which is just.
This is not the language of a leader, these are not the sentiments of a people whom disaster can terrify, or defeat turn aside from a choice deliberately taken.