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RING out, O bells! a joyous peal!
Wave, Freedom's flag, o'er land
and sea! Above the graves of Freedom's slain
Let living voices shout again
In honor of our victory!
'Tis but a little while ago,
Since, looking on our list of
We marveled Justice should delay:
Thank God! at last has dawned her
The sky is in a blaze of red!
Deep, fiery clouds surround the
Thrice welcome now the storm
'Twill purify our atmosphere,
Once more the pathway shall be
Where walk the sons of liberty.
Ours is no haughty tyrant's glee,
To chain our brothers at our
Over no nation's wrongs we vaunt,
Columbia saved is all we want;
For her sake is our triumph
Then ring, O bells! a joyous
Wave, Freedom's flag, o'er land
and sea! Above the graves of Freedom's slain
Let living voices shout again
In honor of our victory!
SATURDAY, MARCH 8, 1862.
REBEL INAUGURAL ADDRESS.
ON Saturday, February 22, while
the Congress, Judges, and naval and military officers of the United States were
assembled in the
Capitol, listening to the Farewell Address of
Washington, the miserable remnant of the Southern rebels were gathered in the
principal square of Richmond, Virginia, listening to Mr.
Jefferson Davis's last apology for his crimes.
Toward that square and to that
speaker one can well imagine the ruined, heart-broken, panic-stricken, and
despairing people of the South turning an eager ear, in search of consolation
for the past and hope for the future.
Jefferson Davis gave them
Beginning with a false statement
of the causes which led to the rebellion, wholly omitting from view the chief
cause, namely, the greed of the slave-owners, and the truculent ambition of the
Southern aristocracy; failing likewise, for the best of reasons, to assign one
single cause, or enumerate one single event which could justify the plunging of
a continent into savage war; misrepresenting the history of the contest with
diabolical perversity; confessing, as he could not well help doing, that "the
tide of war is against" the rebels, and that the future is pregnant with more
"trials and difficulties," this pretended President can find no consolation for
the unhappy people whom he and his fellow-conspirators have ruined, except in
the hope that the North may not be able to pay its armies much longer, and that
eventually the Powers of Europe may be tempted by the proffer of Southern
produce and Southern free trade to espouse the cause of the insurgents, and
convert the "proud people" of the South into the bastard subjects of some
Well may the South pronounce such
a programme "a mockery," and such a government "a lamentable failure!"
There must have been many even
among the ragged rabble of Richmond gathered round the orator who knew enough to
tell him that if the South, in its poverty, can afford to carry on the war, the
North, with its wealth, is not likely to fail from want of money; and that if,
when the North was helpless and paralyzed, and the South flushed with victory,
foreign nations abstained from meddling in the contest, they are not likely to
do so now, when the gripe of a mighty government is clutched round the throat of
the traitors, and their gurgling death-rattle is already audible.
There was an ominous fitness in
the appearance, during the reading of "the inaugural," of that grim messenger
who bore the news of the FALL OF NASHVILLE-Nashville, the prosperous city of the
rebellion—Nashville, the safe place to which the trembling traitors proposed to
fly from Richmond when that city was deemed insecure—Nashville, the centre of
the vertebral artery of the rebellion. Did it not occur to Jefferson Davis that
so appalling an event happening at such a moment was a warning and a judgment
from that just God whose name this arch-rebel so audaciously blasphemes?
SOME of the leading journals are
rendering a very doubtful service to the country by promoting a feeling of
mutual jealousy among our generals, and instilling into the public mind distrust
of the most distinguished among them. Two prominent newspapers in this city
indulge in daily flings at
General McClellan. Another is very sarcastic
General Buell. Others have no patience with
General Sherman. Others
are furious with General Lane.
General Halleck has survived the storm of abuse
aroused by his famous Order No. 3, and enjoys a temporary respite from newspaper
Every one who has read history
must at once perceive that this sort of thing can hardly fail to do mischief,
and can not possibly do any good. Soldiers are naturally apt to be jealous of
each other; and in this country especially, where every leading man may fairly
be suspected of having his eye upon the Presidency, the danger that our chief
generals may be as anxious to kill each other off as to defeat the enemy is
obvious enough. Under the circumstances, it is clearly the duty of every honest
and patriotic publicist to check rather than encourage envious rivalry among
them. If the friends of
General Fremont succeed in shaking the
confidence of the army in General McClellan, they are much more likely to ruin
the national cause than to help their patron. It is possible that General
Sherman may be as incompetent as his newspaper critics say; but the reiterated
publication of the fact can produce no other effect than to encourage the enemy
General Lee. General Buell may have failed in
his duty in permitting the peaceful evacuation of Bowling Green. But he is
intrusted with the command of the most important operation of the day, and it
can not but dispirit his men, and give heart to his enemy, to publish him a
Generals and, politicians are
only too prone, as we said, to disparage each other, and to suffer their
personal spites to override their zeal for the public interest. People have
read, not without regret, an order from General Halleck, in which General
McClellan is quite needlessly excluded from any share of the glory resulting
capture of Fort Donelson; and a letter from
Secretary Stanton to the Tribune, making light of the plans formed by General
M'Clellan when he assumed command of the army, which are now beginning to be
carried out. Generals and Secretaries make a mistake if they suppose that this
sort of thing injures the party against whom it is directed. The public see
through it at once, and infer simply that General Halleck is envious, and that
Secretary Stanton wants to be the hero of the
war and President.
The American people have sense
enough to understand that it is the interest of the President and the Cabinet to
succeed in suppressing the rebellion as soon as possible; that their means of
forming an opinion with regard to the generals are much superior to those
enjoyed by the public or the newspapers; and that, whatever their wishes may be,
they can not, for their own sake, afford to keep in responsible positions men
who have proved themselves to be incompetent or untrustworthy.
Of General McClellan, against
whom the bulk of these newspaper assaults are directed, the American people know
nothing except that he has impressed every one who knows him—including
President Lincoln and
General Scott—with his capacity for the station
he fills. He has said himself that he has done nothing yet to warrant the fame
he enjoys. To hold him responsible for the slavering adulation which has been
heaped upon him by ignorant flatterers is disgracefully unjust. And the least
that can be said of the sneers and innuendoes which certain journals delight in
printing in connection with his name is that Jefferson Davis could afford to pay
handsomely for such effective endeavors to demoralize the army which McClellan
will shortly lead to battle.
IN his admirable amnesty
proclamation the President assumes that the rebellion has culminated, and will
henceforth steadily decline; and undoubtedly the general feeling is that the
heart of the difficulty has been pierced, and that nothing now remains for it
but to bleed to death. Nor can any reasonable man doubt that such is the fact.
It is impossible, and will long be so, to determine exactly in what time the
full result will be achieved; but the same force and skill which have prevailed
in Kentucky and Tennessee, at
Port Royal, must prevail at all other points.
Sir William Napier is reported to
have said that a soldier is but a slave of chance. But there is undoubtedly a
certain military science and exactly calculable laws of war. A much wiser speech
was that attributed to Frederick the Great, that God is on the side of the
strongest battalions. The rebel General Braxton Bragg repeated it substantially
last spring as applied to our war, that the rebels would beat although the rebel
section was numerically smaller, because their system of
slavery would enable them to bring more
fighting men into the field.
The plan of our campaign
evidently contemplates the inevitable overwhelming of the rebellion by superior
forces. The delay was equally inevitable, for those forces had to be collected
and trained. The old figure of General Scott is recalled to the public memory by
the result—that the traitors would be caught and crushed in the folds of the
anaconda. The coiling has begun, and with it the end is visible. Victory is
logically ours. We must organize it into peace.
But no man ought to be dismayed
by one thing which is now equally inevitable; and that is the apparent
postponement of certain great results which a few months since, in the dark hour
of national peril, we all felt were virtually secured. It
was supposed then, that to save
the Government certain steps, called by Mr. Lincoln in his Message "extreme
measures," would be necessary; but that necessity no longer appears. The war
was, and is, waged solely for the maintenance of the Government. No other
measures than those essential to that result have been or will be taken. And it
is now evident that military force alone will suffice, without the full exercise
of all military rights, such as general confiscation and the release of the
slaves of rebels.
It must not be forgotten that for
the last ten months we have been nationally lifted into the sphere of great
principles. We have lived under the influence of pure emotions. But no nation
can habitually hold to that height. We have been raised upon the tenth wave of a
regenerating public sentiment, and it has made its prophetic mark. It has
touched the point which the waters of national conviction will at last
permanently and surely reach—and we must not be chagrined if the following waves
are lower, knowing, as we now do, that the tide is rising.
question of slavery will not be directly
settled by the military power—and it remains to be seen whether some plan of
territorial government, whereby every man upon our soil recovers his original
rights as a man, will be adopted by Congress and accepted by the country.
If that also fails, those of us
who are and have always been unswerving friends of the Government, because under
the peaceful operations of the Constitution every question is soluble, have only
to gird ourselves for the political debate which will follow the military, and
in which all happy omens point to the calm and speedy triumph of Justice and of
actual, not of nominal, Peace.
THE WAY OF PEACE.
To suppress a rebellion is not
like settling a war with a foreign power. In the latter case, after a series of
decisive blows, there is an appeal for negotiation, an armistice, a
consultation, a treaty, and the withdrawal of troops. But in quelling a
rebellion the way of victory is not necessarily that of peace. You may drive a
riot out of the street—you may restore order—quiet may reign in Warsaw; but is
If we follow our success—if we
drive the rebels from Nashville as we have from Bowling Green—if
Fort Donelson and
Fort Henry have yielded—if Memphis, and
New Orleans fall into our hands—if Richmond is
evacuated by that ghostly Congress of traitors —if the lines of the rebellion
recede before our lines—even then the work is not done.
We are said to hold Kentucky and
even Tennessee and Missouri; but so we have held Maryland for several months. Is
that a success—is that a secure and permanent peace? If our army should leave
Maryland even now, who would feel sure of her position for a month? The secret
of the loyalty of Baltimore is Fort M'Henry. No, no; when we have suppressed
rebellion we are to organize peace. How is that to be done?
Of course it can be done only by
destroying, if possible, the occasion of rebellion. The rule in statecraft is
the same as in agriculture. You must not knock off the leaves of the weeds; you
must dig up their roots. If this rebellion has a root, it is our business to
find it and wrench it up.
Is, then, the root slavery, or
the agitation of slavery? Of course it is one of the two. The whole energy of
the country must therefore be directed first to discover which it is, then to
destroy it. If the difficulty be the agitation, then suppress that if you can.
If the slavery, then end that.
But what does the agitation
spring from? Simply from our humanity, from the fact that we are men. So long as
we are human, so long we shall protest against what seems to us to be wrong. To
suppress that protest requires a despotism of the sternest kind. The effectual
suppression of the agitation of the question could be accomplished only by the
destruction of every principle of our Government and every right of man—in other
words, only at the price of an endless and ferocious civil war.
But to put an end to slavery
requires only thought, care, the preservation of every principle of the
Government, and the vindication of every human right; and it results in
permanent peace and an actual, not a nominal, Union of the people.
It is not even necessary to
invoke the question of right or wrong. We have only to see that in the nature of
things so long as slavery lasts so long the agitation will continue. If, then,
you can not destroy that, and since the object is peace, why not destroy the
other? So long as the right of free discussion lasts the question will be
debated. So long as it is debated we shall be slipping into war, because slavery
can have no effective argument but brute force. The way of peace, therefore, is
inevitably the final settlement of the question.
It is not an occasion for losing
temper, for calling names, and for questioning motives, but for the most
resolute and effective action. We have seen and are seeing what comes of the
question when left to itself. Is it not nearly time we took it in hand, or shall
we wait until the difficulty settles itself and us into another war?
THE WISDOM OF WAITING.
THE great victories which appear
to indicate the approaching triumph of the Government, also vindicate the
sagacity of the General-in-Chief. For nearly seven months General M'Clellan has
been waiting, directly and indirectly attacked for delay, for incompetency, and
almost, by insinuation, for disaffection. He has been patiently maturing his
plans. He had already said, upon receiving the sword from Philadelphia, that the
war would be short and sharp. But he had his army to collect and discipline, he
had to take care that every plan was made proof against failure, and when all
was ready, the word was given and the advance began.
Unquestionably he has taken a
view of the question; but he is a
military man, and his political views doubtless remain unchanged. His duty as a
general-in-chief is to achieve victories. To secure the permanence of the result
is the duty of statesmen.
Nor is it any injury to
Goldsborough, to Buell, to Halleck, to all the
brave and accomplished leaders of the actual movements, that General McClellan
is credited with the plan of the campaign. To execute the plan is a duty of
gallantry, skill, and heroism of which the glory is all theirs. In truth, in
these early days of the victories all along our line, there is no point of it
from the Chesapeake to Kansas that does not challenge our admiration; and one of
the singular felicities of the war is that the great advance, crowned with
entire success, was made both by the army and the navy, upon the sea-board and
at the West; so that every part of the loyal section and each branch of the
service divide the honors of the triumph. This was all happily expressed in the
congratulatory order of the day addressed to the officers, and soldiers, and
sailors at the West and at the East, signed by the President as
Commander-in-Chief of the army and the navy, and counter-signed by the
Secretaries of both Departments.
The result, thus far, in every
way vindicates the wisdom of the long delay. Impatience is a national fault, and
our cause has been imperiled by it. It was desirable for all reasons that our
success should not be too sudden or too easy. Had we been victors at
Bull Run, we should hardly have rightly
estimated the strength and desperation of the rebellion. But we have learned,
and learned well, the lesson of defeat; and the victories of Roanoke, of the
Tennessee, and the Cumberland have altogether another significance than a
victory at Bull Run could have had.
AN OLD FOE VANQUISHED.
THE year is vindicating not only
the strength of our domestic Government, but the justice of our foreign system.
Among our most signal victories let us not forget to remember that over Great
Britain. For, without a blow struck by us, she has surrendered, and totally
renounces her traditional and monstrous system of contempt of neutral rights.
In his final dispatch upon the
Earl Russell writes to
Lord Lyons: "Your own territory, or ships of
your own country, are places of which you are yourself the master. The enemy's
territory, or the enemy's ships, are places in which you have the right to
exercise acts of hostility. Neutral vessels, guilty of no violation of the laws
of neutrality, are places where you have no right to exercise acts of
Now if forcibly detaining a
neutral ship and forcibly removing from her deck persons against whom nothing is
alleged, but whom the captain of the compelling ship chooses to call subjects of
the power he serves, is not an act of hostility, words have no meaning. Mr.
Sumner, indeed, quotes the declaration of George Fourth, of January 9, 1813,
that he can not admit such an act to be a hostile measure; but in the face of
this last dispatch that declaration falls to the ground. No English statesman
would claim that the captain of an English ship could seize in Broadway a person
whom he asserted to be a British subject. It would be a most flagrant act of
war. But by the terms of the dispatch be makes them equal. "Your own territory,
or ships of your own country."
"THE DEGRADED MOB."
THE people of the United States,
who were represented by Russell and by the London papers as a degraded mob who
would force the Government to hold
Mason and Slidell at any cost, have shown the
essential quality of our system in nothing more than in the results of that
We might have remembered, and yet
it was generally forgotten, that the seventy years of our universal popular
education would tell in just such an emergency as this. In reasoning upon the
rebellion, in its relation to the people of the Free States, we have been
naturally, but wrongly, in the habit of considering them as we should consider
the people of England, or France, or Germany, forgetting the essential
differences of our popular training, and the necessary differences of the
If in this country every body who
has a right, and who is bound by his duty to take a practical part in public
affairs, does not do it, yet there is a universal knowledge of them, and a
general sense of responsibility. Hence a clear appeal to that general
intelligence will not often fail, if the occasion be truly commanding. And it is
this which confirms the faith of every thoughtful American in the practical
wisdom of our system.
We have recently had two most
signal instances of this flexibility arising from the general intelligence. The
first was the surrender of the two traitors. Of course a person like Mr.
Russell, who had seen only the working of monarchical or modified feudal systems
of society, and who had the traditional prejudices of an Englishman, or, more
properly, a Briton, against America, could not understand that a whole people
would forego the gratification of their just indignation upon the simple
presentation of a principle. It was not surprising that a man who had
misunderstood every thing in the country from the moment he landed should prove
an utterly false prophet.
For although the public feeling
of satisfaction was almost greater at the capture of the men-stealing traitors
than at any other event of the war which had then occurred, and although the
thinly-masked enmity of Great Britain had alienated entirely (Next