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onized England, as England has colonized Botany Bay. They know the venal ruffianism of the fist and bludgeon, as well as that of the press. Fortunately, they arc short of funds, or Mr. Beecher might have disappeared after the manner of Romulus, and never have come to light, except in the saintly fashion of relies, — such as white finger-rings and breastpins, like those which some devotees of the Southern mode of worship are said to have been fond of wearing.
From these dangers, which ho faced like a man, we welcome him Kirk to a country which is proud of his courage and ability and grateful for his services. The highest and lowest classes of England cannot be in sympathy with the free North. No dynasty can look the fact of successful, triumphant self-government in the face without seeing a shroud in its banner and hearing a knell in its shouts of victory. As to those lower
classes who are too low to be reached by the life-giving breath of popular liberty, we cannot reach them yet. A Christian civilization has suffered them, in the very heart of its great cities, to sink almost to the level of Du Chaillu's West-African quadrumana. But the thoughtful, religious middle class of Great Britain, with their enlightened leaders and their conscientious followers among the laboring masses, have listened and will always listen to the voice of any true and adequate representative of that new form of human society now in full course of development in Republican North America. They have never listened to a nobler and more thoroughly national speaker than the minister, clothed with full powers from Nature and bearing the authentic credentials from his Divine Master, to whom, on his return from his successful embassy, we renew our grateful welcome.
THE BEGINNING OF THE END.
A GREETING FOR THE NEW YEAR.
We are at the close of the third year of the Secession War. It is customary to speak of the contest as having been inaugurated by the attack on Fort Sumter, April 12, 1861; but, in strictness, it was begun in December, I860, when the Carolinians formally seceded from the Union, which was as much an act of war ns that involved in firing upon the national flag that waved over the strongest of the Federal forts at Charleston. Even those who insist that there can be no war without the use of weapons must admit that the act of firing upon the Star of the West, which vessel was seeking to land men and stores at Sumter, was an overt act, and as significant of the purpose of the Secessionists as anything since done by them. That occurred in January, 1861; and because our Government did not
choose to accept it as the Iwginning of those hostilities which had been resolved upon by the Southern ultras, it docs not follow that men are bound to shut their eyes to the truth. But we all took the insults that were offered to the flag in President Buchanan's time as coolly as if that were the proper course of things, while the attack on Sumter had the same effect on us that the acknowledgment of the Pretender as King of Great Britain and Ireland by Louis XIV. had on the English. War was then promptly accepted, and has ever since been waged, with that various fortune which is known to all contests, and which will be so known while wars shall be known on earth,— in other words, while our planet shall be the abiding-place of men. We have hail victories, and we have had defeats, which "a the common lot; but, taken as a whole, we have but little reason to complain of results, if we compare our situation now with what it was at the close of 1862. Great things have been done in 1863, such as place the military result of the war beyond all doubt, and permitting us to hope for the early restoration of peace, provided the people shall furnish their Government with the human material necessary to inflict upon the enemy that grace stroke which shall put them out of their pain by putting an end to their existence ; and that Government itself shall not be wanting in that energy, without which men and money are worse than useless in war, — for then they would be but wasted.
The year opened darkly for us; for not even the success of General Rose.'.-.>• i - on tho well-contested field of Murfreesboro' — a success literally extorted from a brave and stubborn and skilful foe — could altogether compensate for the Union defeat at Fredericksburg, a defeat that gave additional force to the gloomy words of those grognards who had adopted the doctrine that it was impossible for the Army of the Potomac to accomplish anything worthy of its numbers, and of the position and purpose assigned, to it in the war. Months rolled on, and little was done, the mere military losses and gains being not far from equally shared by the two parties; but that was positively a loss to the enemy, whose position it has been from the first, that they must have so large a proportion of the successes as should tend to encourage their people at home and their advocates abroad, and so compensate for their inferiority in numbers and in property. Nothing has tended more, all through the war, to show the vast difference in the parties to it, than the little effect which serious reverses have had on the Unionists in comparison with the effect of similar reverses on the Confederates. No blow that we have received — and many blows have been dealt upon us — has been followed by any loss of territory, any decrease of the means
VOL. XIII. 8
of warfare, or any diminution of our purpose to carry on the contest to the last piece of gold and the last greasy greenback. The enemy have taken of our men, our cannon, our stores, and our money, more than once, but not one of their victories produced any " fruit" beyond what was gleaned from the battle-field itself. Our victories, on the contrary, have been fruitful, as the position of our forces on the enemy's coast, and on much of their territory, and in many of their ports, most satisfactorily proves. As an English military critic said, the Rebels might gain battles, but all the solid advantages were with their opponents. A Union victory was so much achieved toward final and complete success; a Confederate victory only operated to postpone the subjugation of the Rebels for a few days, or perhaps weeks. We could afford to blunder, while they could not; and the prospect of the gallows made the brains of Davis and Lee uncommonly clear, and caused them to plan skilfully and to strike boldly, in order that they might get out and keep out of the road that leads to it, — the road to ruin.
The movement in April, under Genral Hooker, which led to the Battle of Chancellorsville, was a failure, and for some time the country was much depressed in consequence; but our failure, there and then, proved to be really a great gain. Had General Hooker succeeded in defeating General Lee in battle, the latter would, it is altogether probable, have succeeded in retreating to Richmond, behind the defences of which he would have held our forces at bay, and the Peninsular campaign of 1862 might have been repeated; for we had not men enough to render the capture of Richmdnd certain through the effect of regular and steady operations. The death of Stonewall Jackson, one of the incidents of the April advance, was a severe loss to the enemy, and promises to be as fatal to their cause as was that of Dundee to the hopes of the Home of Stuart . General Lee's success was really fatal to him. It compelled him to make a movement in his turn, in .June, and at Gettysburg we had ample compensation for Chancellorsville; and the capture of Morgan and his men, in Ohio, following hanl upon Lee's retreat from Pennsylvania, put an end to all attempts at invasion on the part -of the Rebels, while we continued to hold all that wo had acquired of their territory, and soon added more of it to our previous acquisitions. At the same time that General Meade. was disposing of the main Rebel army, General Grant was taking Vicksburg, and General Banks was triumphing at Port Hudson. Generals Pemberton and Gardner had defended those Southern strongholds with a skill and a gallantry that do them great credit, considering them merely as military operations; but the superior generalship of General Grant at and near Vieksburg compelled them to surrender, and to place in Union hands posts the possession of which was necessary to maintain the integrity of the Confederacy. General Grant's least merit was the taking of Vicksburg. The operations through the success of which he was enabled to shut up a large force of brave men in Vicksburg, and to cut them off from all hope of being relieved, were of the highest order of military excellence, and justly entitle him to be called a great soldier; and no man can be only a great soldier, for that intellectual rank implies in its possessor qualities that fit him for any department of his country's service. General Grant was admirably seconded and supported by his lieutenants and their subordinates and men, or he must have failed before such courageous and stubborn foes. He was also supported by the naval force commanded by Admiral Porter, whose heroic exploits -and Bcienti6c services added new lustre to a name that already stood most high in our naval history. He commanded men worthy of himself and the service, and whose deeds must be ever remembered. General Banks and his associates were not less successful in their undertaking, and had been as well seconded as Gen
eral Grant. The Mississippi was placed at our control, and the enemy were deprived of those supplies, both domestic and foreign, which they had drawn in so large quantities from the trans-Mississippi territory. Through Texas, which had contrived to keep up a great commerce, the supplies of foreign materiel had been very large; and from the same rich and extensive State came thousands of beeves, sheep, and hogs, that were consumed by Southern soldiers in Virginia and the Carolinas. Generals Grant and Banks put an end to this mode of supplying the Rebels with food and other articles; and at a later period the success of General Banks near the Rio Grande was hardly less useful in putting an end to much of the Texan foreign trade, whereby the Rebels beyond the Mississippi must find their powers to do mischief very materially lessened. . In th-e mean time, Charleston, whencs rebellion had spread over the South, had been assailed by a large force, military and naval, commanded by General Gillmorc and-Rear-Admiral Dahlgren. General Gillmore had become famous as the captor of Fort Pulaski, under circumstances that had seemed to render success impossible; and hence it was expected that he would quickly take Charleston. It is not believed that that very able and modest officer ever said a word to give rise to the popular expectation. He knew the gravity of the task he had undertaken, and we believe, that, if all the facts connected therewith could be published, it would be found that he has accomplished all that he ever promised to do or expected to do. He has done much, and done it admirably; and not the least of the effects of his deeds is this,—that the report of his guns reached to Europe,-and caused the intelligent military men of that dominating quarter of the world to doubt whether their respective countries were militarily prepared to support intervention, even if to intervention there existed no moral or political objections. He has demolished Sumter, and that fortress which was the scene of our first failure has
to exist. He has completed the blockade of Charleston, which was almost daily violated before he brought his batteries into play. We have the high authority of no less a personage than Mr. Jefferson Davis himself, — a gentleman who never "speaks out" when anything is to be made by reticence,— that Wilmington is now the only port left to the Confederacy; and this is the highest possible compliment that could be paid to the excellence of General Gillmore's operations, and to the value of his services. Since he arrived near Charleston, that port has been as hermetically sealed as Cronstadt in December; whereas, until he began his scientific and most useful labors, Charleston was one of the most flourishing seaports in the whole circle of commerce. As to the taking of Charleston, our opinion is, and has been from the first, that the history of the War of the American Revolution demonstrates that the Carolina city can be had only as the result of extensive' land-operations, carried on by a power which has command of the sea. Sir Henry Clinton failed before the place in 1776, his attack being naval in its character; and he succeeded in taking it in 1780, when he had control of the main-land, and made his approaches regularly. Even after he had obtained command of the harbor, and Fort Moultrie had been first passed and then taken, and no American maritime force remained to oppose his fleet, he had to depend upon the action of his army for success. We fear that the event will prove that we can succeed at Charleston only by following Sir Henry's wise course. "The things which have been are the things which shall be."
Late in the summer, General Rosecrans resumed operations, and marched , upon Chattanooga, while General Burnnde moved into East Tennessee, and obtained possession of Knoxville. General Burnside's march was one of the most difficult ever made in war, and tasked the powers of his men to the utmost; but all difficulties were sur
mounted, and the loyal people of the country which he entered and regained were gladdened by seeing the national flag flying once more over their heads. Both these movements were at first brilliantly successful; but the enemy were impressed with the importance of the points taken or threatened by our forces, and they concentrated great masses of troops, in the hope of being able to defeat our armies, regain the territory lost, and transfer the seat of war far to the north. The Battle of Chickamauga was fought, and a portion of General Rosecrans's army was defeated, while another portion, under General Thomas, stubbornly maintained its ground, and inflicted great damage on the enemy. The eflcct of General Thomas's heroic resistance was, that the enemy's grand purpose was baffled. Their loss was so severe, and their men had been so roughly handled, that they could not advance farther, and the time thus gained was promptly turned to account, by General Rosecrans in the first instance, and by Government. The Union army was soon reorganized by its energetic leader, and placed in condition to mako effectual resistance to the enemy, should they endeavor to advance. The Government's action was rapid and useful. General Grant was placed in immediate command of the army, which was largely reinforced, and preparations were quickly made for the resumption of offensive operations. In the mean time, General Bragg had sent General Longstreet to attack General Burnside; and as Longstreet has been looked upon, since the death of Jackson, as the best of the Rebel fighting generals, great hopes were entertained of his success. Apparently taking advantage of the absence of so large a body of Rebel troops under so good a leader, General Grant resumed the offensive on the twenty-third of November, and during three days' hard fighting inflicted upon General Bragg a series of defeats, in which Generals Thomas, Hooker, and Sherman were the active Union commanders. The Unionists were completely victorious at all points, taking several strong positions, forty-six pieces of cannon, five thousand muskets, valuable stores, and seven thousand prisoners, besides killing and wounding great numbers. All these successes were gained at a cost of only forty-five hundred men. The skill of General Grant and his lieutenants, and the valor of their troops, were signally displayed in these operations, the first assured intelligence of which reached the North in time to add to the pleasures of the National Thanksgiving, as the first news of Gettysburg had come to us on the Fourth of July.
The November victories put an end to all fear that the enemy might be able to carry out their original project, while it seemed to be certain that the scene of active operations would be transferred from East Tennessee to Northern Georgia. General Burnside still held Knoxville, and it was supposed that General Longstreet would find it difficult to escape destruction. General Bragg had retreated to I i '11. -n. which is about a hundred miles from Atlanta, and is reported to have summoned General Longstreet to rejoin him. The Army of the Potomac, which had borne itself very gallantly in some of the autumnal operations consequent on Lee's advance, had followed the army commanded by this General when it retreated, inflicting on it considerable loss, and crossing the Rapid Ann.*
Victories have been gained by the Unionists in other quarters,—in Missouri, in Arkansas, in Louisiana, and in Mississippi,—whereby the enemy's numbers have been diminished, and territory brought under the Union flag that until recently was held by the Rebels, and from which they drew means of subsistence now no longer available to them.
* Since the above was written, intelligence has been received of the defeat of General Longstreet, the losses experienced by the enemy being great. This disposes of the remains of the great army which Mr. Davis had assembled to reconquer Tennessee, and to reSstablish communications between the various parts of the Southern Confederacy on this side of the Mississippi. The Army of the Potomac has retimed to its former ground, near Washington.
The effects of all the successes which have been mentioned are various. AVe have deprived the enemy of extensive portions of territory, in most of their States. Tennessee is rescued; Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri are placed beyond all danger of being taken by the Rebels; in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas we hold places of much political and military importance; Mississippi is practically ours; Alabama yields little to our foe; Georgia is invaded, instead of remaining the basis of a grand attack on Tennessee and Kentucky ; the Carolinas, greatly favored by geographical circumstances, are barely able to hold out against attacks that arc not made iu force, and portions of their territory are ours; Virginia is exhausted, and there the enemy cannot long remain, even should they meet with no reverses in the field; and, finally, as General Grant's successes at Vicksburg halved the Confederacy, so have his Chattanooga successes quartered it . The Rebels are no longer one people, but are divided into a number of communities, which cannot act together, even if we could suppose their populations to be animated by one spirit, which certainly they are not. Of the inhabitants of the original Confederacy probably two-fifths are no longer under the control of the Richmond Government; and of the remainder a very large proportion are said to be massed in Georgia, a State that has hitherto suffered little I> "in the war, but which now seems about to become the scene of vast and important operations, which cannot be carried on without causing sweeping devastation. The public journals state that there are two million slaves in Georgia, most of whom have been taken or sent thither by their owners, inhabitants of other States. This must tend greatly to increase the difficulties of the enemy, whose stores of food and clothing are not large in any of the Atlantic or Gulf States.
Much stress has been placed on "the starvation-theory," and it is probable that there is much suffering in the Confederacy; but this does not proceed so much from tke positive absence of food