We continue our extracts of Northern news taken from the New York Herald, of the 25th inst., received a day or two ago by the Norfolk Day Book:
intelligence from the North.
The New York Herald on President Davis's message.The New York Herald, of the 25th instant, publishes a long editorial severely criticising President Davis's last message to the Confederate Congress. The following extracts will give the general drift of the whole article: We published yesterday in extenso, by telegraph from Washington, the message of Jefferson Davis to the rebel Congress, now in session at Richmond. Those of our readers who have perused it need not be told that it is a weak and inflated document, and that notwithstanding some ‘"whistling to keep his courage up,"’ the Confederate President betrays evident signs of fear and trembling at the spectres which haunt his guilty soul.--He is weak in the knees, and weak in the back; but it his policy to put on the appearance of strength and cool courage. He has read History. The grand motto of Danton--one of the most formidable leaders in the French Revolution — was ‘ "audacity."’ It is essential to success in all revolutions, and Jefferson Davis knows how to assume a virtue if he has it not. On the whole the message may be regarded as a caving in of the rebel Confederacy, the first decided symptom of which was exhibited recently by Gen. Polk, at Columbus, when he said to a correspondent of a Northern paper, ‘"Let your man, Lincoln, come out and say that the Dred Scott decision is right, and that the South shall have equal rights in the Territories, they (the rebels) would lay down their arms and return to their homes."’ As Mr. Lincoln has already declared his purpose to respect the Constitution and the supreme laws of the land, including the decisions of the Supreme Court, which gave slaveholders equal rights with non-slaveholders in the Territories; as he even swore by a solemn oath at the time of his inauguration to carry them into execution, what further ‘"coming out"’ can the Bishop-General require? [We should infer, from the particular pains taken in the concluding sentence of the above paragraph to answer Gen. Polk's request, that Sawney Bennett is about as anxious for a cessation of hostilities as any one.--Eds Dis.] It is worthy of remark, that while the rebel President is jubilant over a succession of glorious victories at Bethel, Bull Run, Manassas, Springfield, Lexington, Leesburg and Belmont, he takes good care to make no mention of the defeats in Western Virginia, the recent subjection of two counties in Eastern Virginia, the defeat of his arms at Fort Hatteras, North Carolina, and at Port Royal, South Carolina, the effect of which is to deprive his buccaneers of their places of refuge and to render them harmless in future on the ocean, besides the acquisition by the Ohio army of such important strategical points. This message is a dying kick of the Confederacy. Though Davis pretends that his bogus money freely passes everywhere at the South, as if it were gold; that there is an abundant supply of food; that the rebels can now manufacture for themselves not only arms and the munitions of war, but clothing and all that they need, and that, therefore, there is ‘"no limit" ’ to the length of time they will be able to carry on the war against the North, yes it is evident that this is but the game of bluff, so well known down the Mississippi, and that his last desperate hope is in the intervention of European powers, to whose interests and fears he adroitly appears. He reminds them that if the war and the blockade should continue much longer, the planters may cease to cultivate cotton for exportation; and a supply of that staple may be permanently cut off from Europe; further, that the blockade, throwing the Southern people on their own resources, and compelling them to manufacture for themselves, the Southern trade may be lost forever to the manufacturing nations at the other side of the Atlantic, Indeed, he is particularly savage that they have not already broke, the blockade, hinting mysteriously at some breach of faith.
Government has come to with regard to the retaliatory treatment to which Messrs. Mason and Slidell are to be subjected, will no doubt have the effect of checking the prosecution of barbarous measures against Col. Corcoran and the other officers whom the rebel leaders threaten with condign and inglorious punishment. When it becomes known that the law of retaliation will be strictly carried out with regard to the reading rebels now at Fort Warren, it is not likely that the gallant officers of our army, now lying in Southern prisons, will be treated to the hatter, as is threatened in the case of Col. Corcoran. We only Lord Mason, Slidell and Faulkner now out of the list of Southern states statesman; but we may soon have a larger number of hostages; perhaps in the course of coming events, Mr. Jeff. Davis himself may be held to answer for the uncivilized conduct of his co-rebels. ’
The decisive battle of the campaign.From the following paragraph, which we take from the Herald, it is evident that Northern sentiment will insist upon another great battle on the Potomac. McClellan must fight, or he, too, will be ousted from his high position: ‘ The student of history must have remarked that a single decisive battle has ordinarily brought to a close every great war in which the nations of the world have been engaged. A work has even been written, entitled the ‘"Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World,"’ to illustrate this theory. Such a conflict has yet to take place between the respective armies of the North and South. Napoleon once remarked, ‘"show me where the enemy is strongest, and there I will attack them."’ Now, the victory at Port Royal has not diminished the effective strength of the Confederate army at Manassas, and there is very little question that Gen. McClellan, aware of the vital importance of a blow in Virginia, will, ere long, strike treason to the ground there, where, for so many mouths, it has been the most rampant. The impending battle on the right bank of the Potomac will be decisive of the fate of the rebellion, and signalize to the world that the back of treason is broken forever. ’
The Real Blockading fleet.From the Herald, of the 25th inst. we take the following: ‘ The fleet of twenty-five old whalers, that sailed on the 20th inst., is the effective blockading squadron of the Atlantic coast. A blockade of such a description did not enter the minds of those who framed the treaty of Paris, but the populations of Charleston Savannah, Mobile, and other rebel seaports will find that it completely answers the purpose of preventing ingress and egress to their respective harbors. In the beginning of the present century, the patriotic fathers of the Republic of the United States presented nearly every one of the practical points that have since occupied the attention of international legislatures for the consideration of the civilized world. It has taken the powers of Europe about a half a century to develop them, and to reduce them to their present shape; but just as rapidly as foreign Governments come up to our ideas, we go ahead, and leave them far behind, in the wake, after us. Hence it is that the delusion so prevalent in the South that the blockade is a mere dead letter, and in England and France that it cannot be rendered effectual, will be rendered absurd when the quarter of a hundred vessels that have just been dispatched from Northern ports shall have fulfilled their mission; rebel channels and rebel harbors will be hermetically sealed up before the close of another month. ’
Clothing and blankets to be furnished the Union prisoners in Virginia.A few weeks ago the Secretary of War authorized General Wool to ascertain whether clothing, and other articles necessary to the comfort of United States citizens, now prisoners of war, could be sent to them. The following letter shows that the consent for that purpose has been given:
Headq'rs Department of Norfolk, November 9th, 1861.
The Quartermaster General of the United States will provide blankets and clothing for the prisoners of war, and forward them. through Gen. Wool, in accordance with the terms of the letter from Gen. Huger.
It is further ascertained that this arrangement has been accomplished without compromising the Government whatever.