Bombshells and aristocracy.
We see it stated that Admiral Porter
, during the bombardment of Vicksburg
, availed himself of the agency of bombshells to transmit a large number of handbills inside, addressed to the private soldiers of Vicksburg
, endeavoring to excite their prejudices against their officers as aristocrat, who would get all the glory while they did all the fighting, and who would never permit their names to be given to the world, no matter how great their valor and self sacrifice.
We had supposed that Admiral Porter
was an honest fighting sailor, and not a dirty demagogue; but it seems we were mistaken.
We should like to know if he ever heard of an army or a navy in which it was possible to publish all the names of the rank and file, and if so, why he, the aforesaid Admiral,
has never published the names of the sailors under his command, or Grant
those of the rank and file of his army?
He must think the soldiers of the South
are dolts and idiots.
He don't know the men he is fighting against.
They are not mercenaries and agrarians, but patriots, and many of them persons of education and wealth, who had a higher motive for taking up arms than to get their names in the news papers.
They took up arms to deliver their country, not for glory and emolument.
As to aristocracy, we have yet to see the country where an aristocracy does not exist, and the only question is what it shall consist of — men endowed by the Creator with qualities which fit them to become leaders of society, or whether they shall be a vulgar pinchbeck imitation of good society.
Nowhere is there a more tyrannical and heartless aristocracy than that of the North
, and, as to their officers, the men have often complained of the contrast which their brutal tyranny presents to the gentlemanlike conduct of Southern officers to soldiers.
No great merit is due Southern officers for this, for many of the privates are gentlemen by birth and station as much as their officers, and all are hold in as high esteem by their country.
All are engaged in the same holy cause, and if either class as a class have won superior honors, it is the privates, because they have no conceivable motive but patriotism to govern their conduct.
The reproach of aristocracy is an old one against the South
; but it comes with a poor grace from the stiff and starched upstarts of Yankee society.
The gentlemen and ladies of the South
, like true gentlemen and ladies everywhere, are kind and unpretending in their manner to all, and not afraid of compromising their dignity by courteous treatment of all classes.
The Northern aristocrat, on the other hand, can be told a mile off by his stiff and icy demeanor, and his ridiculous attempts to be lofty and exclusive.
Such people cannot generally go back many generations without stumbling over some of those mechanical callings which he professes to hold in such supreme contempt.
From such aristocrats may the South
long be delivered!
will have to send a good many more handbills before he can undermine the confidence which our rank and file have in their officers and the respect which they have for themselves.