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[for the Richmond Dispatch.]
conduct of the War and Complaints against it.
by George Fitzhugh.

Never in the history of the world has so large an army been recruited, brought together from distant points, provisioned, armed, and disciplined in so short a time, as that of the South. Never, have raw levies behaved so well in camp or on the march, or distinguished themselves so much in battle. Praise, great, is due somewhere. We think it is the great mass of our people who have uprisen in a body to vindicate their rights and their country's honor, and to defend their homes and their families, who deserve most praise. But without brave and skillful officers — without energetic, efficient, and able State Governments, and more than all, without a wise, a prudent, practical, circumspect, provident, and vigorous Confederate Administration, the uprising of our people would have been of no avail. Our soldiers, our women, our boys, and old men; the officers of our army, our State authorities, and our Confederate Government, have zealously, patriotically, and harmoniously combined to bring about the present glorious results. We have won victory after victory, are besieging the enemy in his capital, cutting off his water communication from the North, and daily approaching and threatening to bombard Washington; Maryland, that belonged to the North, or at worst was neutral when the war began, is now ready to join us, so soon as our armies cross the Potomac; Missouri is up in arms, has checked the progress of the invader, and is fast driving him from her soil; last of all, Kentucky has raised the standard of revolt.

We went into the war a few months since, without men or money, without munitions of war, or clothing or provisions for our soldiers, and with a new and but half-organized Confederate Government. As if by magic, an army of a quarter of a million, or more — well officered, well armed, well provisioned, well clothed, and well disciplined — has sprung into existence. In that short time we have increased our territory one-fourth, and subjected the enemy to many disgraceful and disastrous defeats. But our brave, skillful, and able Generals, panting themselves for the battle, have restrained the ardor of their troops, pursued the Fabian, the Washingtonian, and Wellingtonian policy, and fought only when they were prepared and could fight on equal terms. Such has been the policy and practice of Beauregard, of Jolinston, of Magruder, of Lee, McCulloch, Wise, and Floyd; and our President, a distinguished scientific and practical soldier, and wise civilian, has concurred in, approved of, and directed this safe, prudent, humane, Fabian strategy. His Secretary of War, and the rest of his Cabinet, have agreed with him and were a unit on this subject. Everybody who knows anything about military affairs — everybody who is acquainted with the numbers, position, and all the surrounding circumstances of the opposing armies — speaks in terms of admiration and eulogy of the conduct of the war. Our enemies admit the vast superiority of our officers, and of our legislative and Executive Departments. Foreign nations — calm, impartial observers of the contest — see nothing to condemn in the military movements of the South--nothing to approve in those of the North.

Yet whilst all who are qualified to judge, and who have opportunities to form correct opinions, speak in glowing terms of admiration of the conduct of our affairs, civil and military, State and Confederate, too many of our home-keeping citizens, who are not behind the curtain, and if they were would not comprehend the machinery behind the curtain, that keeps in harmonious and efficient motion the vast and intricate affairs of the nation — these home-keeping people carp at and censure everything.--Our armies have been furnished with munitions of war and provisions, and brought into position with unprecedented speed; yet, these croakers say there is something wrong and rottenly the War Department, and that's Quartermasters are wholly inefficient. Our Post-Office Department, just come into existence in a time of war and confusion, extending over an enormous surface, and but half organized, is severely censured because it does not feed fast enough the gluttonous appetite for news; and yet, the men who thus find fault at the same time complain that the Postmaster-General is too exacting, too formal and precise, too rigid in requiring performance of duties. In the next breath these men will probably declare that we have a first-rate Postmaster-General, and the best Secretary of War in the world; and if anybody questions it, will pounce down upon him and denounce him as a traitor to the South.

Worst of all, however, in the opinion of these men, is the dilatory conduct of our officers. They could take Sevastopol with a pop gun, or storm Gibraltar with a pocket pistol: and what are Fort Pickens, and Fortress Monroe, and the broad Potomac, and Arlington Heights, and the other many fortifications around Washington, and superior numbers, and better armed men, and a powerful fleet, to men so bellicose in speech or in print. All these disadvantages and inequalities they would wipe off with a dash of the pen, or send post haste to the devil by the potency of a tremendous oath.

Uncle Toby's soldiers in Flanders didn't swear harder than they do; and after cursing our own dictatory army and inefficient Executive out of existence, they will turn round and send such volleys of oaths at the Yankees that they will be glad to flee for safety north of Mason's and Dixon's Line. The fortifications of Washington will fall before their colloquial imprecations as suddenly and disastrously as the walls of Jericho at the sound of Joshua's ram's horns; or if oaths won't conquer the North, some flippant editor, with goose quill in hand, will demolish her in less than no time.

It is often the professed friends of the Administration, the men who enjoy its patronage, and who have grown fat, saucy, old impertinent by feeding or filching from the public crib, who now undertake to advise and rebuke the President, his Cabinet, our officers and our army. Having, like feeclas, fastened themselves on the Government, their insatiable appetites cannot be satisfied, until they turn round and betray the Government, and the people . ‘"The people, to paurre people,"’ say they, in whining, hypocritical, canting, Jacobitical, Puritanical phrase, ‘"the people say our armies are the dilatory, that they should advance, invade the North, take Cincinnati and Philadelphia, and lay waste all the Northern, Border States."’

If we have such a people, or rather such, a senseless and silly mob, who having delegated power to men who know how to exercise it, now turn round and attempt to advise, dictate to, and control their own chosen rulers — if we have, we repeat, such a fickle and worthless people, it is time, high time, for every sensible, prudent, honest, conservative or respectable man to quit the South. Better any rule than that of the mob urged on by unprincipled demagogues. The world loves scandal, and these demagogues, with one hand in the public treasury, are gathering their ‘"slut"’ with the other from an honest but deluded people. The official, whether civil or military, who would conduct a campaign according to the dictation of stump orators, partisan editors, or county meetings, is either a coward or a scoundrel. It will be in vain to attempt to revive the ‘"reign of terror"’ in the South. Her Christian, moral, and conservative people, have selected their rulers, confide in those rulers, confide in those rulers, and will not harass them, and paralyze their action by impertinent interference or silly dictation.

The people! what have the people to do with the conduct of the war, now that they have delegated its conduct to others, except to obey orders? Shall we hold county and corporation meetings, instruct our Generals in the strategy of war, and advise them what movements to make? The most disgusting part of this matter is, that the very men who profess to be the friends of the President, the friends and admirers of his administration, of his army and of his officers, who have grown fat and saucy and presumptuous from feeding on Treasury pap, are often they who call loudest off ‘"Le panvre peuple"’ to resolve all Government into mob rule, and take the conduct of affairs into their own hands.

Every school-boy and school-girl, every tyro in history, well knows that the sure way to conquer an invading enemy, is to exhaust it by delays. Thus was Pyrrhus and his army overcome and ruined by the Romans. Thus was Hannibal, the greatest of warriors, after many victories, repulsed from Italy, and thus did Carthage perish. A nation that invades another, if repulsed abroad, is easy to conquer at home. The citizens of France made little or no resistance to the allied armies who invaded her territory. The defence, on the first invasion, was made by the remnant of Napoleon's veteran soldiers. In the last invasion, there was no defence at all. So Carthage, powerful in offensive warfare, became cowed and subdued in spirit by her frequent defeats in Italy, and fell an easy prey to Roman armies.

When Crœsus, king of Lydia, about to invade Persia, consulted the Oracle at Delphi as to his chances of success, the Priestess informed him that ‘"if he proceeded with his undertaking; a great kingdom would be destroyed."’ Lydia, not Persia, was conquered. Such has been the fate of many invading nations, and if we will exhaust the spirits, and the army, and the treasury of the North by a protracted defensive warfare, then, and not until then, we may conquer the North, and she will scarce offer resistance.

In conclusion, we suggest to those who can see nothing right in the conduct of our affairs, civil or military, that it is their duty, If they honestly believe what they would have others believe, at once to start an opposition party and an opposition tickes.

Backing their friends as they do, is worse than open enmity and undisguised assault.--The President is responsible for the conduct of his officers, civil and military, and should be openly, not covertly assailed, for the errors and short-comings of his subordinates.

If in fair, open, undisguised controversy, it can be shown that the Administration is either treacherous or incompetent, why, let us hurl it from power. But we suspect and distrust men who, under the guise of pretended friendship, are wielding the envenomed shafts of misrepresentation and detraction.

The people may rely on it that an army and an Administration that with little means or preparation have effected so much in the last six months are not dilatory, imbecile or inefficient; and that now that they are strong and well prepared, they will effect much more in the next six months.

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