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The defences of James river.

We shall not be disappointed if McClellan — that is, if he be permitted — should defer his contemplated assault upon the Peninsula till the completion of the iron gunboats now being rapidly prepared at the North for the ascent of our rivers. In view of this probability, what are we about? Are we strengthening the defences of our rivers as we ought? If we are not availing ourselves now of the bitter lessons taught by experience, we are simply courting our own destruction. The enemy's right arm is his gunboats; he can accomplish nothing away from the rivers, but we have it in our power now to make our rivers impassable. Shall we employ the golden moments still remaining to us, or permit them to escape forever?

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