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Robert E. Lee Portrait
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 20, 1862.
COST OF THE WAR.
THE Report of the Secretary of
the Treasury at length places us in possession of the war bills which we have to
pay. During the fiscal year ending on 30th June last, the war cost $437,042,976,
or about $1,200,000 a day. During the fiscal year ending on 30th June next, it
is estimated that the war will cost $829,537,333, at about 2 1/4 millions a day.
During the fiscal year ending on 30th June, 1864, it is estimated that the war
will cost $807,086,401—a trifle less than the cost during the previous year. But
as the increased cost of the war during the current fiscal year includes the
outfit of a million of armed men and the construction of a fleet of iron-clad
vessels—expenses which it is to be hoped will not be repeated—there is reason to
believe that the war bill in 1863-4—if the war lasts so long—will fall short of
the Secretary's liberal estimate by a very large sum of money. Should we succeed
in suppressing the rebellion by 1st July, 1863, the war will have cost the North
in round figures $1,300,000,000, or about $60 per head of our total population.
Should it last another year, the total cost may be increased to $100 a head. The
debt of Great Britain amounts to about $154 per head of the British people: that
of France to about $48 per head. We, in this country, are probably better able
to pay $100 than the British $50 or the French $30.
To pay this war bill the nation
has a revenue which
Mr. Chase estimates at $223,000,000 for the
year 1863-4; that is to say, as soon as the internal revenue Act goes fairly
into operation. There are those who believe that the Secretary has
underestimated the receipts from internal duties, and that they alone will
amount to $225,000,000, swelling the aggregate income to $300,000,000. Assuming
the official figures, however, to be accurate, they would give an annual tax of
about $10 50/100 per head of our population—counting out the rebels and the
slaves. The revenue of Great Britain ranges from $300,000,000 to $350,000,000,
and will probably average $12 25/100 per head of the British people. The revenue
of France may be set down at $350,000,000, and thus averages about $10 per head
of the population. The revenue of Spain, which has a debt of less than
$800,000,000, is about $60,000,000, say $4 25/100 of the population. It thus
appears that in proportion to our debt our national revenue is larger than that
of any of the other great nations, and consequently our credit and the price of
our national securities should stand higher than theirs. It likewise appears
that the burdens which will be laid upon our people by this war will be lighter
than those which are borne by the people of England, who have no virgin soil and
unoccupied land, and whose material prosperity has always been much less than
On 1st December, 1862, the total
debt of the United States—exclusive of bills unaudited and troops
unpaid—amounted to $636,343,000, of which $222,932,000 consisted of legal tender
notes, $79,789,000 of deposits on call, and $87,363,000 of certificates of
indebtedness maturing in one year from date. The total amount of funded debt was
only $143,750,000. It was Mr. Chase's hope, when he began to issue legal tender
notes, that they would soon be funded into his 5.20 bonds. But the very
convertibility of these bonds has checked their free circulation, and prevented
their being funded. People have hoarded them, knowing that they could fund them
at any time; and they have become scarce, just like the convertible treasury
notes which were issued in the year 1814. It is evident that whatever amount of
these convertible issues be floated people will not be in any hurry to fund
them, and though the evils incident to such a policy—in the advance of prices
and the disturbance of values—are inevitable, its benefits may never be
The net deficit for the current
year 1862-3 is set down in the Treasury Report at $200,000,000: the precise sum
is $276,000,000, less $50,000,000 to be derived from bank issues, and
$25,000,000 from temporary deposits. To raise this sum two plans are suggested.
One, which emanates from Mr. Chase, proposes the sale in open market of $7.30
notes, convertible into long bonds. The other, which is proposed by Mr. Stevens,
Chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means, contemplates the issue of
$200,000,000 more treasury notes, coupled with the compulsory withdrawal from
circulation of all bank-notes in excess of one half of the capital of the bank
which issues them. When this issue of $200,000,000 is exhausted Mr. Stevens
proposes to authorize Mr. Chase to sell long bonds bearing twenty years'
interest, in the open market, at whatever he can get for them. It is not very
likely that the project for "driving in" the redundant circulation of the banks
will meet with much favor in Congress. Of all interests the bank interest is the
most powerful, and it is pretty sure to command a party in Congress strong
enough to defeat a measure which is aimed at its very existence.
On the other hand, the
speculative interest, which is likewise influential, and which has its adherents
in Congress, is bent on obtaining further issues of paper at any cost to the
nation at large. Between the two, the people at large, who are already suffering
from the high prices caused by the issues of irredeemable paper, and whose
interest is in favor of a return to legitimate financial methods, may not obtain
a fair hearing. Mr. Chase may succeed in carrying his point against the
speculators. But he will evidently have a close fight of it.
WAR IN THE SOUTHWEST.
WE have reason to believe that
the highest military authorities at Washington are of opinion that within ninety
days the valley of the Mississippi and the bulk of the cotton-growing regions of
the South will be under the control of the forces of the United States. We know
that General Hovey is at Grenada, and Generals
Sherman not far behind him; that
General McClernand with a very powerful
military column, supported by a fleet of iron-clad gun-boats, is slowly
descending the Mississippi to operate against Vicksburg, while the remainder of
the loyal army of the Southwest is moving upon
Jackson; and there is now no further use in
concealing the probability that
General Banks has gone to Mobile, where
Farragut's fleet already awaits his arrival.
These combined armies will constitute a force of fully 175,000 men, considerably
more than can be opposed to them, and amply sufficient, in the opinion of
competent military judges, to take and to hold the entire Mississippi Valley,
including Mobile, Jackson,
Little Rock, and both shores of the river from
New Orleans to
General Beauregard, in an intercepted dispatch
which has been published in the papers, declared that the loss of the
Mississippi Valley would be the ruin of the Confederacy. And he was right. The
recovery of that tract of country, in the first place, bisects the Confederacy
and cripples it as the ligature of the main artery would cripple an individual.
It isolates Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas from the Atlantic States, deprives
the former of arms and munitions of war, and the latter of beef and supplies. It
gives us possession of cotton enough to revolutionize the manufacturing trade
throughout the world, and stop the mouths of foreign enemies of the blockade.
And, more important than all, it enables the Northwest to pour down the great
river abundant supplies of food to the starving denizens of the lower
Mississippi Valley, who are now kept in a state of unparalleled misery by the
military despotism of Jeff Davis's lieutenants.
If our Generals succeed, by 1st
March next, in reconquering the Mississippi Valley and holding it, the
insurrection will then be confined to parts of Virginia and North Carolina, the
uplands of South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama, and the mountain districts of
Rosecrans fulfill the expectations which people
entertain respecting them, the rebels may not hold as much territory as this.
But even if nothing substantial be achieved by the armies of the Potomac and the
Ohio, the rebellion will still have shrunk, on 1st March, into such narrow
proportions that it will baffle the ingenuity of even such pro-slavery partisans
as Mr. Gladstone and
Lord John Russell to find an excuse for its
What may be the condition of the
slaves in the South on 1st March next no one can yet tell. Events are
progressing very rapidly, and facts, incredible a year ago, are now undoubted.
General Butler has a reliable brigade of black
troops. General Brannan has several regiments of escaped slaves, who have fought
valiantly in South Carolina. General Sherman—who commenced his career by
offering to maintain slavery in South Carolina—now notifies his officers at
Memphis that they must receive all fugitive slaves, feed, and set them to work
on wages. General Butler compels the planters in the Lafourche district in
Louisiana to pay their slaves regular wages. On New-Year's Day every slave in
Secessia becomes entitled to claim that the United States protect him or her in
the enjoyment of freedom. Whatever happens, it is pretty clear that the sun of
the 1st March next will shine on a very different condition of society in the
rebel States from that which existed on 1st March, 1862.
OUR wayward sisters, the rebels
at the South, and their bottle-holders at the North, keep up a lively game.
Here, for instance, is the wayward sister whose trump card is, "Let 'em go;" he
has been kindly patting the Government upon the back, and saying, "There, you
poor, miserable thing, you shall try to totter on a little longer, so you
shall!" Sister Van Buren says: "So long as the Government goes on in strict
conformity to the Constitution and the laws they will be allowed to linger out a
sickly existence until the close of their official term; but the moment they
overstep the Constitution, the moment they depart from well-ascertained
principles of right, they resolve society into its original elements. They give
notice to us, who
have the physical force, not only
that physical force resides with the governed, but that resistance to tyrants is
obedience to God!" Loud cheers from Captain Rynders and Company.
This is "Conservative"
speech-making, as at present practiced in the city of New York. This is the
expression of a "sound public sentiment" and "returning reason." The
Democratic party, it appears, as represented by
Vallandigham, and not by Dickinson, Holt, Andy Johnson, and others somewhat
known to fame, is the natural ruler of the country. But it has no national force
whatever except as a bob to the tail of Slavery. Consequently, the Slave
Interest is the natural supreme power of the land. By some absurd mistake it
fell out of its place two years ago, but will not take it again by force unless
the present holders of power violate the Constitution. That interest will
determine what the Constitution is, and what is a violation of it: and when it
happens to think that it is violated it will turn things upside down, and
reorganize them by physical force.
Conservatism of the wayward
sister school as thus expounded is in its own terms this: The Democratic party,
when Fernando Wood tells it that the Constitution is violated, is justified in
rising against the Government.
Sister V. B. is so extremely
wayward as to be generally thought a jester; but his words mean exactly that, if
they mean any thing at all. Now he and all the rest of his school ought to
understand that as that kind of "physical force," bluster and general plantation
rhetoric, utterly broke down in Congress, and did not captivate the country,
even when reinforced by the "physical force" of Brooks's bludgeon, so it breaks
down contemptibly in the face of a civil war produced by its spirit. The
"physical force" of the New York mob may be at the beck of Sister Wood or Sister
Van Buren, or any other of the wayward family; but that of the country at large
obeys the command of its Government.
The very core and pith of the war
is the settlement of the question whether the Slave masters, with their obedient
sisters at the North, are the natural supreme power of the country. We are
fighting to determine whether our Government shall be administered to protect
Slavery or to defend Liberty; whether Slavery may upset the Government by
"physical force" to suit its own purpose, or whether it shall take its
constitutional chances. All the vapors of all the wayward sisters in the land
will not for a single moment confuse the national perception of this point.
Meanwhile let Sister V. B.
continue in his own wayward manner to shake his valiant fist at the Government,
and call upon the "physical force" to spurn and resist the blind and reckless
despotism of the bloated old tyrant who dares to defile the house consecrated by
the exalted memories of Buchanan. It is a pity, but the "physical force" does
not hear. It is engaged in finishing another despot whose destruction will
release a clever but wayward sister like Mr. Van Buren from the political
necessity of talking such melancholy stuff as his recent speeches.
WILL the Lounger, asks a friend,
give us a short sermon upon Political Preaching? It seems that a worthy
clergyman was urged to make some recognition of the fact that the country was
rent with a fearful war for the most atrocious of objects, and he declined upon
the ground that he would have no political preaching in his pulpit. There are a
good many shallow-pates who, without the clergyman's real worth, will think that
he made an exceedingly clever reply. Why, they ask, can't we have religion
preached in church? The basest newspapers and the most dishonest politicians in
the land clamor incessantly to have, as the eminent conservative Vallandigham
says, Christ and not the niXXer preached. The zeal of people who hold that
Christianity is a vast religious justification of injustice, to have pure
Christianity preached, is most edifying. The interest that Rynders and other
conservative saints take in a pure gospel is touching and amazing. Let us see
then what political preaching is.
A sermon is the application of
the divine law to the condition and wants of a particular parish. The law is
general; the object of preaching is to make it special. For instance, the law is
to love our neighbor as ourselves. The preacher takes that text to apply to us,
his congregation. How can he do it but by showing us who our neighbor is, what
it is to love him, and how we can prove our love? To reiterate the text
indefinitely is not to preach. To say that of course we ought to love our
brethren, and that if we don't love them we are very naughty, and the bad place
will get us in the end, is not preaching. But to say that as God made all men of
one blood, and as Christ loved all equally, therefore every man of every country
and race and condition is our brother, and is to be treated as we would be
treated, that is evidently preaching. Or to repeat the law of love, and then to
insist that love requires us to seize the weaker brother and shut him up and
lash him freely and wear him out in seven years by making sugar, that also is
preaching, for that is a practical application of the divine law.
But what is there political in
all this? Because, in the first case, we have supposed a preacher advocates
equal justice as the proof of neighborly love, and it happens that a political
party is trying to do injustice by law, is it a political sermon? If a minister
urged that the tariff on foreign books ought to be nine instead of ten per cent.
upon their value, there would be some sense in complaining that he preached
politics. But if he says that lying is a sin, and that we as a nation, and his
hearers as part of it, have lied to the Indians and ought to be ashamed of
themselves, and, if they don't repent and mend their ways, will be punished, he
is doing exactly what he was ordained to do.
The friend who requested this
knows that the talk about
political preaching proceeds from people whose party discipline requires the
support of slavery, and who therefore insist that because politics have touched
the subject it has ceased to be a moral question. Do they object to hear
preaching against swearing, or lying, or thieving, or profaning the Sabbath day
by reading novels? Oh no; that is legitimate preaching. But if old Rum Puncheon
hears a clergyman denounce drunkenness and the makers of drunkards he rises, and
thumps down the aisle, and bangs out at the door, and wishes that the parson
wouldn't preach those d—d political sermons.
It is remarked that horses always
spring if you touch them on the raw.
AMONG the men who have deserved
well of the country during the last two years no one is more eminent than
General Butler. One of the first citizens to march at the call of the
Government, he was not rebuffed by delays, but carried his regiment to the
nearest practicable point to Washington. While other generals and conflicting
councils higgled and delayed about investing Baltimore, or reducing Baltimore,
or parleying with Baltimore, General Butler quietly moved with two regiments and
took Baltimore, so that we have held it fast ever since. Sent to
Fort Monroe, he was, as chief in command,
popularly held responsible for the disaster of Great Bethel; but that he was
truly accountable for it has not yet clearly appeared. Later, in company with
Stringham, he was heard of at Hatteras.
There followed a few months in
which, under a kind of roving commission, he was engaged in collecting a great
force. There were long and loud debates. The Governor of Massachusetts and the
General differed. There were infinite delays. But at last his expedition sailed.
It did not take with it unquestioning public confidence. The public was anxious
to hear rather than sanguine. But when it did hear it heard the most striking
and splendid news of the war—the capture of New Orleans by Farragut and Porter,
and its occupation in concert by Butler.
From that moment he has held
New Orleans like a nut in his hand. He has
played no foolish and wicked game of olive branches and swords. He knew that he
had his foot in the den of the most malignant enemies. There might be friends
also; but his duty was by saving himself to save them. And he has ruled the city
with a rod of iron. Any staff less stern would have snapped in his hand, and
struck back fatally upon the country. He has been hated and abused by the enemy
with a ferocity that showed how firm and faithful his hold upon them was.
England and Europe have shrieked at his "inhumanity"—as old women squall when a
policeman seizes a thief. Be found an ordinance of the city which sent to the
calaboose all loose women actively soliciting upon the street, and he put it in
force against all women who could not contain their angry passions sufficiently
to forbear from insulting and reviling loyal soldiers. Every other measure of
his administration has shown the same comprehension, sagacity, and resolution.
Neither consuls, nor foreigners, nor bankers, nor rich semi-traitors who wished
to be "neutral," have for a moment confused his perception or delayed his
action. His hand and his head have worked together promptly, vigorously,
incisively. If every General who is equally loyal had been equally perceptive,
rapid, and resolute, there would have been fewer dismal passages in our history.
Had his system and spirit in managing New Orleans been those of the nation in
dealing with the rebellion, its military importance would already have
Theodore Winthrop was General
Butler's aid and Military Secretary at Fort Monroe at the time he fell. Just
before leaving upon the sad expedition to
Great Bethel, he had been writing a paper upon
the life there. In that he says: "When I arrived Fort Monroe and the
neighborhood were occupied by two armies. 1st, General Butler's; 2d, About six
thousand men here and at
Newport News—making together more than twelve
thousand men. Of the first army, consisting of the General, I will not speak.
Let his past supreme services speak for him, as I doubt not the Future will."
The Future has spoken.
How long the system of courses of
miscellaneous Lyceum lectures would continue without change has always been a
speculation among those who are interested in it. The number of additions to the
corps of lecturers in the country is so slight, being usually made up of the
last successful author, who is taken upon trial to determine if he sounds as
well as he reads, that it was evident how strong was the tap-root of the system
which fed upon much the same nourishment from year to year.
There are lately symptoms of some
modification. The tendency is to combine the charm of dramatic with literary
attraction, which is not essentially a new thing, but is newly developed here.
Charles Matthews and Albert Smith were the extreme representatives of this style
in London; and Edmond. Yates and Harold Power, the latter the sou of Tyrone
Power, and the former, we believe, of the Edmund Yates who incensed Thackeray,
are following Albert Smith with sketches of life in Australia. Mr. Glaisher,
also, the aeronaut, is telling his story of balloon ascents "in a popular form."
To the same general range, although of course, very different in itself, belongs
Dickens's reading of his own works. This author takes his little book after
dinner; puts it in his pocket; puts on his hat; walks a little way to the hall;
emerges upon the platform before a most crowded and brilliant audience; reads to
their rapturous delight for a couple of hours; rises and makes his bow; as he
passes out is handed a little sum of seven or eight hundred, or a thousand
dollars; walks home, takes (Next