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as from other causes. The first of these causes is undoubtedly the loss of all faith in the Southern currency. That currency has not yet fallen so low as the Continental currency fell, when it required a bushel of it to pay for a peck of potatoes, but it is at a terrible discount, and the day is fast coming when it will bo regarded as of no more value than so many pieces of brown paper; and its depreciation, and the prospect of its soon becoming utterly worthless, are among the chief consequences of the triumphs of our arms. Men see that there will be no power to make payment, and they will not part with their property for rags so rotten. They may wish success to the Confederate cause, but "they must live," and live they cannot on paper that is nothing but paper. The journal that is understood to speak for Mr. Davis recommends a forced loan, the last resort of men the last days of .whose power are near at hand. Another cause of the scarcity of food in the South is to be found in the condition of Southern communications. If all the food in the Confederacy could be equally distributed, now and hereafter, we doubt not that every person living there would get enough to eat, and even have something to spare, — civilians as well as soldiers, blacks as well as whites; but no such distribution is possible, because there are but indifferent means for the conveyance of food from places where it is abundant to places where famine's ascendency is becoming established. The Southern railways have been terribly worked for three years, and are now worn out, with no hope of their rails and rolling-stock being renewed. Our troops have rendered hundreds of miles of those ways useless, and they have possession of other lines. Southern harbors and rivers are held or commanded by Northern ships or armies. The Mississippi, which was once so useful to the Rebels, has, now that we control it, become a "big ditch," separating their armies from their principal source of supply. It is that "last ditch" in which they are to die. That wide extent of Southern territory, which
has so often been mentioned at home and abroad as presenting the leading reason why we never could conquer the Rebels, now works against them, and in our favor. Food may be abundant to wastefulness in some States, while in others people may be dying for the want of it. The Secessionists are now situated as most peoples used to be, before good roads became common. The South is becoming reduced to that state which was known to some parts of England before that country had made for itself the" best roads of Christendom, and when there would be starvation in one parish, while perhaps in the next the fruits of the earth were rotting on its surface, because there were no means of getting them to market. With a currency so debased that no man will willingly take it, while all men readily take Union greenbacks, — with railways either worn out or held by foes, — with but one harbor this side of the Mississippi that is not closely shut up, and that harbor in course of becoming closed completely, — with their rivers furnishing means for attack, instead of lines of defence, — with their territory and numbers daily decreasing, — with defeat overtaking their armies on almost every field, — with the expressed determination of the North to prosecute the war, be the consequences what they may, — with the constant increase of Union numbers, — and with the steady refusal of foreign powers to recognize the Confederacy, or to afford it any countenance or open assistance, — the Rebels must be infatuated, and determined to provoke destruction, if they do not soon make overtures for peace.
It is all very well for the "chivalrous classes" at the South, whoever they may happen to be, to talk about "dying in the last ditch," and of imitating the action of Felayo and his friends; but common folk like to die in their beds, and to receive the inevitable visitant with decorum, to an exhibition of which ditches are decidedly unfavorable. As to Pelayo, he lived in an age in which there were neither railways nor rifled cannon, neither steamships nor Parrott guna, neither Monitors nor greenbacks, — else he and his would eilher have been routed out of the Asturian Mountains, or have been compelled to remain there forever. The conditions of modern life and society are highly unfavorable to those heroic modes of resistance and existence in which alone gentlemen of Pelayo's pursuits can hope to flourish. We Saracens of the North would ask nothing better than to have Pelayo Davis lead all his valiant ragamuffins into the strongest range of mountains that could be found in all Secessia, there to establish the new Kingdom of Gijon. We should deserve the worst that could befall us, if we failed to vindicate the common American idea, that this country is no place for lovers of crowns and kingdoms.
As to the guerrillas, we know that they are an exasperating set of fellows, but they must soon disappear before the advance of the Union armies. A guerrillade on an extensive scale and of long continuance is possible only while it is supported by the presence of large and successful regular armies. Had Wellington been driven out of the Peninsula, the Spanish guerrillas would have given little trouble to the intrusive French king at Madrid. Defeat Lee, and Mosby will vanish. After all, the Southern guerrillas arc not much worse than other Southrons were at no very remote period. It is within the memory of even middle-aged persons, that the southwestern portion of our country was in as lawless a state as ever were the borders of England and Scotland, and with no Belted Will to hang up ruffians to swing in the wind. As those ruffians were mostly removed by time, and the scenes of their labors became the seats of prosperous and well-ordered communities, so will the guerrillas of to-day be made to give way by that inexorable reformer and avenger. Order will once more prevail in the Southwest, and cotton, tobacco, and rice again yield their increase to regular industry, —an industry that shall be all the more productive, be ;ause exercised by free men.
The political incidents of 1863 are as encouraging as the incidents of war. The discontent that existed toward the close of 1862 — a discontent by no means groundless — led to the apparent defeat of the war-party in many States, and to the decrease of its strength in others. But it was an illogical conclusion that the people were dissatisfied with the war, when they only meant to express their dissatisfaction with the manner in which it was conducted. Their votes in 1863 truly expressed their feeling. In every State but New Jersey the war-party was successful, its majority in Ohio being 100,000, in New York 80,000, in Pennsylvania 15,000, in Massachusetts, 40,000, in Iowa 32,000, in Maine 22,000, in California 20,000. And so on throughout the country. The popular voice- is still for war, but for war boldly, and therefore wisely, waged.
The improvement that has taken place in our foreign relations is even greater than that which has come over our domestic affairs; and for the first time since the opening of the civil war, it is possible for Americans to say that there is every reason for believing that they arc to be left to settle their own affairs according to their own ideas as to the fitness of things. This change, like all important changes in human affairs, ia due to a variety of causes. In part it ia owing to what we considered to be among our greatest misfortunes, and in part to those successes which changed -the condition of affairs. Our failure at Frcdcricksburg, at the close of 1862, strengthened the general European impression that the Rebels were to succeed; and as their defeat at Murfrecsboro' was not followed by an advance of our forces, that impression was not weakened by General Bragg's failure, though that was more signal than was the failure of General Burnside. If the Rebels were to succeed, why should European governments do anything in aid of their cause, at the hazard of war with us? Our defeat at Chancellorsville, last May, tended still further to strengthen foreign belief that the Secessionists were to be the winning party, and that they were competent to do all their own work; but if it had not soon been followed by signal reverses to the Rebel aims, it is certain that the Confederacy would have been acknowledged by most European nations, on the plausible ground that its existence had been established on the battle-field, and that we could not object to the admission of a self-evident fact by foreign sovereigns and statesmen, who irere bound to look after the welfare of their own subjects and countrymen, whose interests were greatly concerned with the trade of our Southern country. Fortunately for all parties but the Rebels, those reverses came suddenly and with sueh emphasis as to create serious doubts in the European mind as to the superiority of the South as a fighting community. In an evil hour for his cause, General Lee abandoned that wise defensive system to which he had so long and so successfully adhered, and made a movement into the Free States. What was the immediate cause of his change of proceeding will probably never be accurately known to the existing generation. On the face of things no good political reason appears for that change being made; and on military grounds it was sure to lead to disaster, unless the North had become the most craven of countries. So bad was Lee's advance into the North, militarily speaking, that it would have been the part of good policy to allow him to march without resistance to a point at least a hundred miles beyond that field on which he was to find his fate. A Gettysburg that should have been fought that distance from the base of Southern operations could have lsad no other recult that: the destruction of the main Southern army ; and that occurring at about the same time that Port Hudson and Vicksburg surrendered, the war could have been ended by a series of thunder - strokes. Not a man of Lee's army could have escaped. But the pride of the country prevented the adoption of a course that promised the
most splendid of successes, and compelled our Government and our commander to forego the noblest opportunity that had presented itself to effect the enemy's annihilation. Gettysburg wa» made immortal, and Lee escaped, not without tremendous losses, yet with tho larger part of his army, and with much booty, that perhaps com penciled his own loss in materiel. He was beaten, on a field of his own choosing, and with numbers in his favor; and his previous victories, the almost uniform success that had attended his earlier movements, made his Pennsylvania reverses all the more grave in tho estimation of foreigners. Immediately after news was sent abroad of his defeat and retreat, tidings came to us, and soon were spread over the world, that the Rebels had experienced the most terrible disasters in the Southwest, whereby the so-called Confederacy had been cut in two. These facts gave pause to those intentions of acknowledgment which had undoubtedly been entertained in European courts and cabinets; and nothing afterward occurred, down to the day of Chickamauga, which was calculated to. effect a change in the minds of the rulers of the Old World. But when intelligence of Chickamauga reached Europe, England had taken a position so determinedly hostile to intervention in any of its many forms and stages that even a much greater disaster than that could have produced no evil to ourcanse abroad. For it is to be remembered that the whole business of intervention has lain from the beginning in the bosom of England, and that, if she had chosen to act against us in force, she could have done so with tho strongest hope of success, if merely our humiliation, or even our destruction, had been her object, and without any immediate danger threatening herself as the consequence of her hostile action. The. French Government, not Franco, or any considerable portion of the French people, has been ready to interfere in behalf of the Rebels for more than two years, and would have entered upon the process of intervention long since, if it had not been held back by the obstinate refusal of England to unite with her iu that pro-slavery crusade which, it is with regret we say it, the French Emperor has so much at heart; and without the aid and assistance of England, the ruler of F ranee could not and durst not move an inch against us. Not the least, nor least strange, of the changes of this mutable world is to be seen in the circumstance that France should be restrained from undoing the work of the Bourbons and of Napoleon L by England's firm opposition to the wishes and purposes of Napoleon IIL The Bourbon policy, as well in Spain aa in France, brought about the early overthrow of England's rule over the territory of the old United States ; and the first Napoleon sold Louisiana to us for a song, because he was convinced, that, by so doing, he should aid to build up a formidable naval rival of England. The man who seeks to undo all this, to destroy what Bourbon and Bonaparte sacrificed so much to effect, is the heir of Bona parte, and the expounder and illustrator of Napoleon's ideas; and the power that places herself resolutely across his path, and will not join in his plot to erase us from the list of nations is — England! In a romance such a state of things would be pronounced too absurd for mvention; but in this every-day world it is nothing but a commonplace incident, extraordinary as it may seem at the first thought that is bestowed upon it.
That England governs France in this matter of intervention in our quarrel is clear enough, as also are the reasons why Paris will not move to the aid of the Rebels unless London shall keep even step with her. France asked England to unite with her in an offer of mediation, which would have been an armed mediation, had England fallen into the Gallic trap, but which amounted to nothing when it proceeded from France alone. England withdrew from the Mexican business as soon as she saw that France was bent upon a course that might lead to trouble with the United States, and left her to create a throne in that country.
As soon as England put the broad arrow upon the rams of that eminent pastoral character, Laird of Birkenhead, France withdrew the permission which she had formally bestowed upon MM. Arman and Vorney to build four powerful steamships for the Rebels at Nantes and Bordeaux. France would acknowledge the Confederacy to-day, and send a minister to Richmond, and consuls to Mobile and Galveston and Wilmington, if England would but agree to be to her against us what Spain was to her for us in the days of our Revolution. But England will not join with her ancient enemy to effect the ruin of a country of the existence of which she should be proud, seeing that it is her own creation.
Why, then, is it that there is so much ill-feeling in America toward England, while none is felt toward France,—England being, as it were, our shield against that French sword which is raised over our head, upon which its holder would bring it down with imperial force? Principally the difference is due to that peculiarity in the human character which leads men to think much of insults and but little of injuries. We doubt if any strong enmity was ever created in the minds of men or nations through the in-, diction of injuries, though injuring parties have an undoubted right to hate their victims; and we are sure that an insult was never yet forgiven by any nation, or by any individual, whose resentment was of any account. Now, England has poured insults upon us, or rath-er Englishmen have done so, until we have become as sore as bears who have been assailed by bees. English statesmen and politicians have told us that we were wrong in fighting for the restoration of the Union, violating our own principles, and literally committing the grossest of crimes, — taking care to add, that our sins would provide their own punishment, for we could not put down the Rebels. Even moderate-minded men in England have not hesitated to condemn our course, while admitting that our conduct was natural, on the ground that we had no hope of success, and that useless wars are simply horrible. Our English enemies have been fierce and vindictive blackguards, — as witness Roebuck, Lyndsay, and Lord R. Cecil, — while most of our friends there have deemed it the best policy to make use of very moderate language, when speaking of our cause, or of the conduct of our public men. Englishmen of distinction, some of whom have long been held in high esteem here, have not hesitated to express a desire for our overthrow, because we were becoming too strong, though our free population is not materially different, as regards numbers, from that of the British Islands, and is as nothing when compared with the number of Queen Victoria's subjects. They were not ashamed to be so thoroughly un-English as to admit the existence of fear in their minds of a people living three thousand miles from their country: a circumstance to be noted; for your Englishman is apt to err on the side of contempt for others, and as a rule he fears nobody. Others have so wantonly misrepresented the character of our cause, — Mr. Carlyle is a notable member of this class, — that it is impossible not to be offended, when listening to their astounding falsehoods. But it is the British press that has done most to array Americans against England. That press is very ably conducted, and the most noted of its members a.«-'. displayed a degree of hostility toward us that could not have been predicted without the prophet being suspected of madness, . or of diabolical inspiration. All its articles attacking us are reproduced here, and are read by everybody, and the effect thereof can be imagined. Toward us British journalists are playing the same part that was played by their predecessors toward France sixty years since, and which converted what was meant to be a permanent peace into the mere truce of Amiens. Insolent and egotistical as a class, though there are highly honorable exceptions, those journalists have done more to make their country the object of dislike than
has been accomplished by all other Englishmen. Their deeds show that the pen is mightier than the sword, and that its conquests are permanent. It has been said that France has been as unfriendly to us as England, and that, therefore, we ought to feel for her the same dislike as that of which England is the object. But, admitting the assertion to be true, we know little of what the French have said or written concerning us. The difference of language prevents us from taking much offence at Gallic criticism. Not one American in a hundred reads French; and of those who do read it, not one in a thousand, journalists apart, ever sees a French quarterly,monthly, weekly, or daily publication. Occasionally, an article from a French journal is translated for some one of our newspapers, hut it is oftener of a friendly character than otherwise. The best French publications support the Union cause, at their head standing the "De"bate," which is not the inferior of the "Times" in respect to ability, and is far its superior in all other respects. Besides, judging from such articles from the French presses devoted to Secession interests as have come under our observation, they are neither so able nor so venomous as those which appear in British Secession journals and magazines. Most of them might be translated for the purpose of showing that the French have no wish for our destruction, while the language of the British articles indicates the existence of an intense personal hostility, and an eager desire to see the United States partitioned like Poland. We should be something much above, or as much below, the standard of humanity, if we were not moved deeply by such evidences of fierce hatred, expressed in the fiercest of language.
In assuming a strictly impartial position, England follows a sense of interest, which is proper and praiseworthy. She cannot, supposing her to be wise, be desirous of our destruction; for, that accomplished, she would be more open than ever to a French attack. Let Napoleon IIL accomplish those European purposes to