Our army in Maryland.

The intelligence which we have received, thus far, from our army in Maryland, is meagre, unsatisfactory, and made up from Yankee papers. The mortal terror of the Yankees, however, affords ample proof that the blow has been struck in the proper place, and that, if properly followed up, it will not fail to tell. What course General Lee designs to pursue; whether he will proceed immediately into Pennsylvania, or advance upon the Relay House, or at once march upon Baltimore, we have, of course, no means of determining. To us it appears, however, that the first-named enterprise would be that which a General would be most likely to undertake.

  1. 1st. The road lies most invitingly open. There are no regular soldiers on the route, and it would be a task of little difficulty to disperse the rabble of militia that might be brought to oppose him.
  2. 2d. The country is enormously rich. I abounds in fat cattle, cereals, horses, and mules. Our troops would live on the very fat of the laud. They would find an opportunity, moreover, to teach the Dutch farmers and graziers, who have been clamorous for this war, what invasion really is. If once compelled to take his own physic, which is a great deal more than he has ever bargained for, Mynheer will cry aloud for peace in a very short time. For our own part, we trust that the first proclamation of Pope, and the manner in which his army carried it out, will not be forgotten. We hope the troops will turn the whole country into a desert, as the Yankees did the Piedmont country of Virginia. Let not a blade of grass, or a stalk of corn, or a barrel of flour, or a bushel of meal, or a sack of salt, or a horse, or a cow, or a hog, or a sheep, be left wherever they move along. Let vengeance be taken for all that has been done, until retribution itself shall stand aghast.--This is the country of the smooth-spoken, would be gentleman, McClellan. He has caused a loss to us, in Virginia, of at least 30,000 negroes, the most valuable property that a Virginian can own. They have no negroes in Pennsylvania. Retaliation must therefore fall upon something else. And let it fall upon everything that constitutes property. A dutch farmer has no negroes; but he has horses that can be seized, grain that can be confiscated, cattle that can be killed, houses that can be burnt. He can be taken prisoner and sent to Libby's warehouse, as our friends in Fauquier, and Loudoun, and Culpeper, and Stafford, and Fredericksburg, and the Peninsula, have been sent to Lincoln's dungeons in the North. Let retaliation be complete, that the Yankees may learn that two can play at the game they have themselves commenced.
  3. 3d. By advancing into Pennsylvania with rapidity, our army can easily get possession of the Pennsylvania Central Railroad, and break it down so thoroughly that it cannot be repaired in six months. They have already possession of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and the York Railroad. By breaking down these and the railroad from Philadelphia to Baltimore, they will completely isolate both Washington and Baltimore. No reinforcements can reach them from either the North or West, except by the Potomac and the bay.
One effect which the invasion of Pennsylvania would have we have not yet alluded to, and it is the most important of any. It would compel McClellan to follow Lee and to fight a battle outside of his entrenchments. General Lee would have his own choice of ground and his own time to fight. He could lead him so far off that he could not get to his burrow.--He would inevitably rout him, and probably destroy his whole army. It was in this way that Hannibal brought the Consul Flaminius to battle at Thrasymene, and destroyed his whole army. The Carthaginian General passed through the rich district of Perugia, ravaging and burning as he went, and still directing the head of his columns towards Rome. The allies of Rome called aloud for assistance, and the Roman General was compelled to afford it.--He followed the track of his enemy, who kept before him until he found a position in which he cold give battle with advantage, and then he halted. By pursuing a similar course in Pennsylvania, Gen. Lee can compel McClellan to pursue him and fight him on his own terms. Whether such be the design of the movement into Pennsylvania, we know not; but, most assuredly, there is scarcely any severity which the laws of war would not justify in retaliation for the excesses in which the Yankees indulged while they were in Virginia. They deliberately went to work to starve the population; their soldiers, when captured, not hesitating to avow the object they had in view.

As yet information is so scanty that we cannot tell whether the incursion into Pennsylvania is to be supported, or whether the main object of the Confederates, at present, is to get possession of the Relay House. That position is naturally strong, and is strongly fortified; but we presume it would offer no insurmountable obstacle to men who carried the enemy's positions by storm at Mechanicville and Gaines's Mill. Once taken, and the railroad communication north of Baltimore being cut off, that city must fall and the enemy be compelled to evacuate Washington. Whether the enemy would carry into execution his threat of burning Baltimore, in the event of its falling into our hands, it is difficult to say. He is savage enough and villain enough, beyond a doubt. But he knows that we have it in our power to retaliate, and it is to be hoped the authorities would not hesitate to do it.--He knows, besides, that a very large proportion of the population — among them many persons of great wealth — are friends of the Yankee Government. Sooner than disoblige these, we are inclined to think that Lincoln would give up the city, and trust to fortune for regaining it at some future day. The same thing may be said of Washington City. We cannot bring our minds to the belief that the Yankees, when compelled to evacuate it, will destroy even the public buildings, since such a measure would amount to a confession that the game was entirely up with them. Nevertheless, all the public buildings are, or were, undermined.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Robert Lee (4)
McClellan (3)
Lincoln (2)
Stafford (1)
John Pope (1)
Libby (1)
Hannibal (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: