A year of trials.
has now passed through nearly a year of the greatest trials ever experienced in all the other years of her history put together.
She has been the great battle-ground of the most gigantic was that was ever waged on the American
Her borders have been encircled with a belt of fire, and her coast harassed by hostile squadrons.
A vast portion of her territory has been in the enemy's hands, and the seizure of that which remains has been and is the object of the most tremendous efforts.
The children of every household are in the battle field, and who can tell what tortures of suspense have succeeded every battle, and what pangs of agony bereavement has struck to many hearts?. It has been a year of fiery trial, but the character of our people has come out of it like pure gold.
The year began with clouds of doubt and apprehension, then followed a brilliant succession of victories which swept every cloud from the horizon, and then a sky darker and stormier than ever before.
Alternate hopes and four, successes and reverses, have and men have lived in the last twelve months half a century of ordinary life.
It has been a year which has windowed the wheat from the chaff, silted the good from the evil, revealed the most extraordinary virtues and the most astounding selfishness.
We were once accustomed to think that the American Revolution
had exhausted the crop of patriotism, but in its best days it never displayed more of self sacrifice, generosity, and heroism among all ages and all sexes, nor, we grieve to say it, did it ever exhibit among its baser spirits a greedier and grosser crew than the ravenous and heartless speculators of the present era. It has been a year decisive of the fate of what was once the American Republic
.--Whatever be the issue of great battles now imminent. --and we look to them with the most hopeful confidence,--there can never be a restoration of the links of the old Union, which were formed not of bayonets and force, but of the mutual affections of the people.
We rejoice that Virginia
has thus for passed through the fiery ordeal with no stain upon her shield, no spot upon her honor, no deed of oppression and barbarity to mar the prestige of her valor, with new devotion to the principles of liberty, and increased determination to preserve and vindicate her pride and independence.