previous next

To the Non-Combatants.

Editors Dispatch: A word, only, to those who have remained at home, quiet, comfortable, and happy, while we, month after month, have encountered mud and rain, heat and cold, disease and death, separated from our wives and children. Are you not under as much moral obligation to try your hand at ‘"soldiering"’ as we? Are you any better than we, ‘"either by nature or by practice?"’ You have shown remarkable aptitude at finding fault with us for what we have not done; suppose you now give us an illustrating of how the thing ought to be done. It would not take you long. Trust, you might suffer a little; you could not wear purple and fine linen; you would be compelled to lay aside your sleek ‘"stovepipes;"’ you could not ‘"fare sumptuously everyday"’ to any considerable extent; you might take fever, or pneumonia, or measles, or mumps, or even smallpox, or you might get shot at, and hit, and killed, or at least desperately wounded. But what of all that? We have gone through it all, and you are not a whit better, handsomer, or wiser than we Neither are your families any dearer to you than ours to us, nor are you dearer to yours than we to ours.

Have you no pride of character? Are you not ashamed? If you are not, have you no wife, no sitter, no father, no mother, to be ashamed for you? Do you want us to go out and keep off the ‘"Yankees"’ another twelve months. Are you getting ready to fill the old poles, ‘"can't leave my family?"’ Have your family any special use for a gentleman who is not willing to take up arms and march to the field to arrest and maintain the most sacred rights? Chimney-corner valor and chimney-corner patriotism, may do in ‘"piping times of peace,"’ but they will not answer now when the thunder of hostile cannon disturb the slumber of your innocent and defenseless babes. This is the time for deeds, not words. You have killed Yankees for twelve months by your fire-sides; suppose you try your hand in the field.--Come, we will go along with you. Alas! we have reason to fear that many of you think crinoline a better protection from musket balls than sand-banks.

And, as for you, young gentlemen, who finger downy moustaches, twirl ivory-headed canes, smoke cigars, and lounge about barrooms, suppose you step out and set yourselves up, along-side of better men, as target to be-shot at, and occasionally hit. The country can as well afford to lose you as any class we know of.

All Old Volunteers.

Richmond, Va., Feb. 23, 1862.

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)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
February 23rd, 1862 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: