Russell on the Situation.
[From the London Army
and Navy Gazette, July 13, 1864.]
Lieutenant-General Ulysses Grant
seems to us to be in what he would most probably term, in his own nervous diction, "a very tight place." It is quite true that in his present position he must give much anxiety to the enemy, and that he menaces the Confederate
capital with a greater danger than any the tenacious and valiant Southerners have yet had to encounter from Federal foes; but it is scarcely possible that he can retain that position under the fire of the July and August sun; and as yet any attempt to improve it by advancing has not been attended with encouraging results.
As a line is length without breadth, and as a circle is bounded by a line, General Grant
may maintain that he has not departed from his pledge to fight out the possession of Richmond
"on this line" by moving round the capital, but it is difficult to perceive what advantage he has gained by approaching it now from the south side if he fails in his purpose of cutting the Confederate
That the combination on which he relied for that purpose has signally failed cannot be doubted.
may have done damage to the western lines, but he has suffered dearly for his interference, and the injury was speedily repaired.
The cavalry, in which the Federal
seem to have established a decided preponderance, have failed to effect a permanent destruction; and an attempt made by an expedition under Wilson
to break up the line between Richmond
, via Petersburg
, must have ended badly, if it be true that the Confederates
intercepted the horsemen and forced Meade
to march a whole corps and a division to their assistance, with results yet unknown to us. Sheridan
, from whom a good deal was expected, has not turned out to be a Zeidlitz, a Murat, or even a Paget.
He failed in a very feeble effort to reach Hunter
, and he has since lost, we are told, one thousand men in a scamper across the Peninsula
, south of Richmond
, with the view of getting his corps across the James river
to aid the cavalry force belonging to Grant
The next great Federal army, on which the hopes of the North
have so long been fixed, promises to become a source of fearful anxiety.
, if not retreating, is certainly not advancing; and if the Confederates
can interfere seriously with his communications, he must fall back as soon as he has eaten up all the supplies of the district.
all is quiet, and Mobile
has ceased to care for Farragut
The blockade cannot keep out arms, supplies and special correspondents, or keep in cotton in the South
On every point of the ragged circle which the Federal
seek to penetrate, they are encountered by skillful, resolute and successful opponents.
All the enormous advantages possessed by the Federal
have been nullified by want of skill, by the interference of Washington
civilians, and by the absence of an animating homogeneous spirit on the part of their soldiery.
Some fight for pay, others because they can't help it; some fight for the Union
, others for abolition; some for confiscated land, others because they dislike a slave-owning aristocracy.
Every Southerner fights because, conscript though he be, he hates his enemy, and is striking for the principle of State rights, which converts the land of his birthplace into a fatherland for him against all the world.
Who can be a native of a Union?
A native of Georgia
has something tangible to point to when he is asked where is his country.
If the Union
were destroyed formally to-morrow, as we believe it has been practically long ago, the man of Maine
could go back to his home, not much damaged in any way, except in a certain windy pride, and in the happiness derived from the contemplation of excessive size, which rendered him a disagreeable companion to the rest of the world.
New York, indeed, would lose some trade, and tariffs would be modified in some States; but there the mischief would cease.
Far otherwise would it be with Georgia
If the South
were crushed he would become an outcast, a pariah, the scorn of bitter enemies.
Therefore, the Southerners fight to the death against the invading revolutionary North and all their hordes, sustained by such a spirit as would have animated the people of England
had the First Consul thrown himself on their shores at the head of a Republican and Jacobin army.
That, all things considered, the North
had the elements of military superiority to such an extent as justified an impartial observer in predicting they would obtain possession of the principal strategic points, the ports, arsenals, large cities, railway termini and rivers in the South
, cannot reasonably be denied.
It is true they are very far from the attainment of their object now, after all their losses in money and men; nor does it look as if Grant
were going to achieve it.--Even if Richmond
fell, the South
would fight long and desperately.
bars the way, and Grant
is still sitting in front of the Confederate
earthworks whittling sticks, as is his wont, filling the hospitals with the living, and fattening the rank soil with his dead.