Destroying cotton and tobacco.

The burning of the cotton and tobacco is a weapon in Southern hands more powerful for retribution, than an army of a million of men. There is no exaggeration whatever in this statement. We could do no such damage to the enemy, we could not so disappoint and baffle him, by any number of victories, as by the annihilation of cotton and tobacco, rather than permit it to fall into his possession.--From defeats in arms he could rally, as he has rallied; but the loss of cotton and tobacco would be an irreparable loss. It is not the ‘"glorious Union"’ he is fighting for; he is not trying to shoot and bayonet us back from love of us; he must have cotton and tobacco, or his commerce and manufactures tumble to the dust, and with them, in one grand crush, the whole Yankee nation. When Jonathan says he is fighting for the principles of his forefathers, he simply means the interests of their posterity. To seize the tobacco and open a cotton-port are the darling objects of his soul. He has a soul that is so constructed as to take especial delight in appropriating that which is not his. It is just the sort of speculation that fascinates a Yankee imagination, this seizing cotton, tobacco, and other things obtained and garnered by other people's labor, without any trouble or expense on his part.--Like a bear that devours the store of honey that the bee has been a year in laying up, or a wolf that ravens in the sheep-fold, or a mink in the chicken coop, he is all the more delighted with the spoil, that he has to make no compensation. But if the bee had the power of destroying its honey, the bear would probably go home in a very enviable mood, and the shepherd and the farmer would show themselves as silly as their own sheep and chickens if they did not kill them themselves, rather than permit them to fall into the clutches of beasts of prey.

We feel sure that the sagacious and spirited people of the South will not sit quietly and permit the Northern bears to break into the Southern hive and stuff themselves with the grand stores of honey. Let us never forget that no earthly power but ourselves can prevent us from defeating the Yankees in the grand object of the war, and in visiting Retribution upon them, and the very kind of retribution which, of all others, they most dread and will most keenly feel. They have brought themselves financially to the verge of destruction by this war, and the only balm that can heal their wounds, the only plaster that can soothe as inflammation which will otherwise run into gangrene is the cotton and the tobacco. Shall we apply the balm and the plaster? Shall we restore to life the wounded serpent which is seeking to sting us to death?

We have a higher opinion of the Southern people. If they should be overrun by these Northern hordes, they will apply the torch to every pound of tobacco and to every bale of cotton. And in that glorious readiness for self-sacrifice lies their salvation. Such a people cannot be conquered. Let us stand serene, self-possessed, immutably resolved, with the sword in one hand and the torch in the other.

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