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We publish at full length to-day the orders of Sherman on taking possession of Savannah. They are remarkable in one respect. They are all mildness and conciliation, evincing, on the part of Lincoln, either a change of policy with regard to what he considers a conquered city, or a determination to profess a desire to conciliate, in order to justify himself in the eyes of the world for the employment of harsh measures hereafter. His policy may be even more profound than that. Having tried severity, having tried cruelty, having tried oppression everywhere else, and having found that it has nowhere succeeded, he may wish to blind the eyes of the rest of the Confederation by the appearance of lenity, in order that they may be the more easily induced to submit to his mercy. Be the design what it may — and that some design, and a very deep one, is concealed under these orders, does not admit of a doubt — Sherman seems to have changed his character as completely as the serpent changes his skin with the approach of spring. Formerly he laid it down as an axiom not to be disputed than a rebel had no right — that the very air he breathed was his, not by right, but by permission — that his life was forfeited, and that its prolongation depended entirely upon the will of the conqueror. The cruel answer which he gave at Vicksburg when the starving inhabitants applied to him for some relief will long be remembered by them, and will form a damning record of atrocity against him and the Government that employed him in the pages of the future historian. The cruelty which he exercised at Atlanta, and the ferocity with which he desolated Georgia along a path measuring sixty miles in width, have no parallel in European history, and more closely resembles the career of Hyder Ali when he invaded the Carnatic than any other occurrence of modern times. But all this is changed. Sherman, without opposition, has come into possession of a large and rich city. There is no circumstance to irritate him. His march was unopposed, his entry triumphal, his reception flattering, and everything conspiring to put him in a high, good humor with himself and with those over whom he now extends his sceptre. His repose, however, is the repose of the tiger. Let him once taste blood — let him once meet with opposition — let the planters of Georgia once fail to send in their cotton — or the people at large decline to trade with the enemy in possession of their capital — and they will soon find that his heart is not softened or his savage instincts changed. Apparently, Mayor Arnold is of this last opinion. The name of Arnold, highly respectable as it is in Europe, where it has been borne by more than one person of distinction in arms, in literature, and in science, seems, on this continent, destined to be linked with perpetual infamy. An Arnold was the solitary traitor of the old revolution. An Arnold is the first person in office of this who has basely gone over to the enemy. We publish this man's address to-day. We believe that the people of Georgia are as brave and as high-spirited as any people whatever. No troops have fought better in this war than her's, and none have shown higher and greater qualities. The names of her officers are household words in Virginia. Hardee and Gordon, and a hundred others — where are there prouder names? The heart of the people is right, and they will spurn, we are persuaded, the recommendation of the Mayor of Savannah. As for the meeting, it has been said to have consisted of seventeen men — Englishmen, Yankees, owners of cotton, and speculators generally. If it consisted of ten times as many, it would be no argument to prove a disloyal disposition in Georgia. It was the very thing that it was to be presumed the enemy would do. Having full possession, what was easier for him than to get up a meeting, and to put precisely such sentiments in the months of its members as he wished? And what could help his cause so much as to make the Confederacy believe that they had been deserted by so large a population? This meeting, then, proves nothing, except what all knew before; that there are traitorous and weak kneed people in Savannah, as there are here, and in every other Confederate city. We shall not believe that Georgia means to slink out of the Confederacy in this shameful way. We shall not believe it for the sake of her brave soldiers and the noble officers that lead them. Sherman has made the Mayor of Savannah slander the people of the State. That is all.
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