We were told by an esteemed city contemporary last week, in a tone which we took to be semi-official, that the manner of conducting the war was to be changed.
Already we have symptoms of the truth of this revelation.
Our troops appear to be in motion everywhere, and a brisk campaing seems to have been inaugurated, from the Mississippi
to the Atlantic
That the effect will be favorable, we have not a doubt.
Our troops desire nothing more than to be led against the enemy.--That is the universal sentiment everywhere.--They have a noble confidence in themselves — a confidence quite distinct from that rash presumption which is accustomed to underrate the enemy, and is too often the precursor of defeat.
They know this well the mettle of the Yankees
, for they have tested it on many a field.
They know that they are brave, and that they will nowhere leave them a bloodless, or even an easy victory.
They are well aware that they are superior in arms and equipage, and that they greatly outnumber them in men and horses.
Yet they have a steady and ra- tional confidence in their own prowess, and do not believe that they will be overcome on the trial of strength.
This is the proper temper for soldiers, and it is the surest harbingers of success.
Their countrymen — and what is more, their countrywomen — have reposed equal trust in them.
They believe their cause to be safe in their hands, and they resign themselves to hope, unmixed with fear for the event.
Yet it must not be imagined that the war is to be short, or that it is to be decided by a few violent, spasmodic efforts.
It promises, on the other hand, to be a long and deadly struggle — a struggle that may last for years, and call for all the courage and all the fortitude of which we are masters.
Many a bloody field must be stricken before we can arrive at the conclusion which all desire, but which is not yet within the view of any. We shall still, doubtless, he often called on to exercise the virtues of fortitude and perseverance.
We shall often meet with reverses, and trials of faith.
But so surely as we are a firm and united people, so surely will our success be complete in the end. The worst is over.
We have been tried in the furnace of affliction and we have been found equal to the task of enduring the worst that can be put upon us. Our sufferings hereafter will be less, because they will be borne with less effort.
We have never entertained a doubt that we were more than a match for the Yankees
on land, at a distance from their boats.
We have seen nothing, so far, to shake this conviction in the slightest degree.
In the Peninsula
not less than in the Valley
, and on the Mississippi
, we shall now have constant opportunities of testing his strength at a distance from these formidable auxiliaries.
Already fortune begins to turn, and she will remain with us if we continue true to ourselves.