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Robert E. Lee Portrait
Page) shipping in the vicinity caught
fire but experienced no serious damage. We give in the illustration a
representation of the boats towing out the Russian frigate from the point of
danger. The entire loss, merely considering the contents of the warehouses, sums
up to nearly a million of dollars. Large business houses and private cottages in
the vicinity were seriously damaged. When the explosion commenced there was a
panic on Furman Street which it is impossible to describe. Mothers were running
about with their babies, and the street was filled with furniture, and the
greatest excitement prevailed.
THE sky is brass, the lordly sun
Looks down with a fiery eye, The
shallow rivers scarcely run,
The streamlet's bed is dry.
The meadow's crust is stiff and
hard, The trees have a sombre hue,
The threadbare coat of the rusty
sward Needs patching with verdure anew.
Still bearing down, still staring
down, The remorseless rays are cast,
And scorching hamlet and seething
town Both swoon in their fiery blast.
The dust lies thick in the
village road, The cattle crowd to the muddy pool,
The swarming flies high revel
hold—Drowsily buzzes the village school.
Oh heavily droops the bearded
grain, The summer flowers wilt and die,
And stretch their tiny stems in
vain To the clouds for tears of sympathy
None come ; but the sound men
ache to hear
Is the hurtling rush of the arrowy rain
Hurling its cohorts from far and
near On roof-tree and window-pane.
A thousand tongues for its coming
A thousand hearts for its advent
long: Oh come and chase our gloom away--
Descend, and fill the land with
July 20, 1864.
SATURDAY, JULY 30, 1864.
THE Government calls for more
men. The call has been long expected, and will be greeted with satisfaction by
every loyal citizen. True wisdom consists in reinforcing ourselves upon every
point at the very moment that the rebellion is straining its utmost strength
against us : nor should any man forget for an instant the greatness of the work
in which we are engaged.
We are fighting with a section
which has no other thought or interest than the war. Every man who can bear arms
or do any work whatever is dragged into the service. As a resident of the South
writes to the Hartford Press : "The infirm even are not exempt from the
practical operation of the conscription. The lame, the halt, and the blind,
almost, are taken. They are food for cannon, and a diseased man fills a ditch as
well as another The reign of terror
keeps down in a great measure home opposition ......There is no instance in
history of a
more centralized despotism than that of the so called
whole rebel region eats, drinks, and thinks war. It has no commerce; it has no
trade. It raises its own food, and it agrees to consider brown paper money. Its
soldiers are seized and forced to fight as long as the war lasts, at small wages
or none. Its disaffected, the men who tacitly oppose the rebellion as our
Copperheads favor it, are hunted and tortured and shot and hung. The rebellion
has the fierceness, the unity, and the tyranny of a savage despotism.
It is very clear that we shall
not put down such a rebellion by swinging our heels and grumbling at the
Government. We shall not do it by counting our superior numbers and calculating
our greater resources. We shall do it only by bringing those numbers and
resources to bear. At this moment, when the rebellion is playing its most
strenuous and desperate game, the Government wants men. Why do we not see that
they are supplied, instead of sneering that we ought to have them ? The rebels
dash over the border into
Maryland. " Why does the Government allow it ?"
somebody indignantly asks. The chances are that the somebody who says so has
neither been to the war, nor sent a substitute, nor tried to do so, and that he
pays his income-tax with a groan or an oath.
Our business is not to sneer and
grumble at the Government, but to help it. If somebody stops in his growling to
say that it is useless to trust men or money to such a Government, then somebody
merely reasons in a circle. For why grumble at a Government for not doing what
you will not give it the means to do? But besides reasoning in a circle,
somebody implies that the men are not put to good service. But if serving with
FARRAGUT and WINSLOW is not good service,
Those eminent philanthropists,
the " Conservatives," who massacred negroes last summer, declare that the wicked
Government is piling up hecatombs of our fellow-citizens to glut its fierce lust
of political power. But is an armed rebellion, of the scope of this, to be
gently patted down with olive branches or extinguished with smooth drivel?
The Government asks us all to
stand by it in this great war, with men and money. While the armies penetrate
Georgia and Virginia it asks an army for the frontier—an army of reserves. To
make assurance sure it must have the great reserve of the country to call upon
at any moment. Every arm-bearing man in the free States who cares enough for his
country to fight for it at need should be enrolled and drilled every week. When
Captain WINSLOW'S crew shipped in the Kearsarge twenty-five of them could
scarcely stir the eleven-inch Parrotts. After a season of steady drill they
whipped them about like marline-spikes. Let us be drilled, and our raw militia
becomes the skillful crew. The
pirate SEMMES says he hoped to board the Kearsarge. The brave tars of that glorious ship were trained for exactly that
attempt, and longed for the rebs to try it. Let us be trained, and when the rebs
try boarding the free States we shall show them, likewise, that we have them
just where we want them.
The tortoise outran the hare
because he meant to win. Our enemy is equally in earnest. Let us be in earnest,
and not go to sleep again in Pennsylvania and Maryland, and we shall take the
victory that belongs to us.
THE gentlemen who ardently
sustained the Administration of which the late lamented General JOHN B. FLOYD,
and Mr. JACOB THOMPSON, and Mr.
HOWELL COBB, and Mr. ISAAC TOUCEY were members
and ornaments, and of which Messrs. WIGFALL, SLIDELL, JEFFERSON DAVIS, and
TOOMBS were eminent supporters, are lost in horror at the corruption and
treachery of the present Administration. There was such fidelity to the Union,
such impartial love of country, such devotion to the Constitution among the
gentlemen who received the pay of a government they were conspiring to destroy,
that their friends and supporters can see little hope of the Union or of the
Government except in the immediate return to office of their old associates and
allies. " Conservative" doctors, especially, are extremely despondent over the
fact that the political sympathizers of Mr. JEFFERSON DAVIS are not likely to be
triumphantly put at the head of the Government by the loyal American people, and
loudly bewail official corruption and the degenerate times.
That there are great frauds upon
the Government, trials and convictions like that of KOHNSTAMM clearly establish.
That there are gentlemen in uniform who take pay and play " old soldier" is
undeniable. That there are rogues still abroad, and even sometimes in the employ
of the Government, is as true as it was when FLOYD and DAVIS were Secretaries of
War. That there are weak spots in the revenue service is as true as in the days
when names which it would be painful to specify gave that service its
reputation. And finally, that public abuses and corruptions are proportionably
much less now than they have been for many years is as true as that liberty is
nobler than slavery.
When so immense a war burst upon
the country, involving the raising, equipping, and supplying of an enormous army
and navy, the opportunity of swindling and plunder was increased ten thousand
fold. No Government could possibly prevent it. The only hope of escaping it lay
in the universal honesty of the people; and if that failed—if it chanced that
the people were not entirely honest—the rogues would have their game. The duty
of the Government was to expose and punish the gamesters as fast as it could
find them ; and this duty has not been omitted, but has been faithfully and
constantly performed. The public commission that sat in the Western Department,
where a vast system of frauds was alleged, and the incessant private
watchfulness of special agents, show that there has been no disposition to slur
this duty; while the personal character of the gentlemen who have permanently
composed the Administration has been such as to persuade every honest man in the
land that, at least, corruption had not its head-quarters in the Cabinet itself,
as in the regime of rebels and their friends, whose return is so naturally
desired by the pure and "Conservative" patriots who had no objection to Mr.
FLOYD, but who find Mr. STANTON altogether culpable.
If any loyal man, therefore, is
pained by the discovery of dishonesty among contractors, soldiers, agents, or
ostensible friends of the Government, let him remember the circumstances of the
country, and reflect that such things are inevitable under any administration
whatever during a war. JOHN HOOK hoarsely bawling beef, beef, beef, through the
Continental camp in the Revolution, shows that even the times that tried men's
souls could not destroy selfishness. Let every good citizen, therefore,
strenuously demand and support the investigation of all charges of corruption,
wherever they may be laid and upon whomsoever they may fall. But at the
same time let him discriminate.
When he hears any ancient ally of FLOYD & Co. piously decrying corruption, let
him suggest to the critic that the characters of the men and of the policy which
he has always unshrinkingly supported make his criticisms suspicious. When
Robert Macaire accuses his neighbor of stealing, Master Robert must not be
surprised if people feel of his own pockets before they touch his neighbor's.
THE duration of the war and its
cost in life and money incline some quiet souls, who would never consent to
disunion, to ask whether we had not better try to find a shorter road to peace
than fighting. But is there any such road? Is there any so short a way out of
the war as through it? Suppose that the Government should order General GRANT to
send in a flag of truce and propose an armistice. What should follow?
Should we ask the rebels upon
what terms they would agree to return to the Union? But they do not wish to
return. They have done with the Union. The error of the honest peace men is that
they do not see the rebellion to be the expression of a determination of the
rebel leaders to found a separate government. They know, if we do not, that a
system of free labor and of slavery can not coexist in a political society like
ours. It has been tried from the beginning of our Government, and was
practicable for seventy years only because during that time the interest of
slavery constantly overbore that of freedom. The moment it was clear that
freedom was to prevail, the friends of slavery tried to withdraw to form a new
nation. They did not question the fairness or constitutionality of the election.
They did not even wait to see if any illegal acts were to be attempted. They
said simply, as Mr. RHETT expressed it, that " it is nothing produced by
LINCOLN'S election or the Fugitive Slave Law. It is a matter which has been
gathering head for thirty years."
The rebels armed, then, in the
firm conviction that freedom and slavery were incompatible in the same Union.
They were willing to risk war with an established Government, with a much
greater population, with infinitely superior resources. For three years they
have maintained the contest, although they have been steadily reduced in
territory and power. And if now they were asked what terms they would accept,
they must needs answer " disunion." They would say, ' Let us part in peace. You
want liberty ; we want slavery. We said so before we began to fight. After these
three years we certainly say nothing less."
But if we should reply that they
might dictate terms, would they be more pliable ? If we should say that we would
agree to tolerate slavery in any State, and in all the Territories ; that its
discussion should be a penal offense ; that any body who denied its humane and
religious and civilizing character should be imprisoned for life, and that the
mention of the word should be a capital crime, would they return ? Certainly
not. They would say, and with perfect truth, that we were promising more than we
could perform. They would say, and truly, that they knew the sincere sentiment
of the loyal States was averse to slavery, and that consequently the mind and
heart and conscience of the North would inevitably break any such agreement.
They would say that they originally rebelled not because of any violation of
law, but because of a difference of conviction ; and they would add, that while
any kind of material interest might be adjusted a radical moral difference could
never be permanently compromised.
What arguments could we offer
them that would break the force of such convictions ? What more could we do than
promise to let them have their own way ? When they declined such terms, what,
would remain but either to consent to disunion, or to compel them to submission
to the Government ?
SINCE " Conservatism" culminated
bloody riots of last summer it has not paraded its name very
conspicuously. But of late we have observed that it begins to plume itself a
little, " Conservative" men are invited to do this and that. Certain movements
are described as " Conservative." "Conservative" opinions are warmly commended.
Let us see, then, what Conservatism truly is, and test the claims of that which
just now in our history endeavors to assume the name.
The inevitable and eternal
activity of the human mind tends constantly to draw society into ceaseless
progress. This is the spirit we call Reform. It is the wind that forever fills
the sails and moves the ship. Conservatism is the rudder which holds the moving
ship to its course. The happy progress of society is achieved by the harmonious
co-operation of both. Reform stimulates; Conservatism directs. In this true
sense young men are reformers, old men are conservatives ; or, as was anciently
said, youth for action, age for counsel. But both are for progress ; for without
movement society, like the individual, dies.
Each of these tendencies, of
course, has its extremes. There is an extravagance of reform which blows upon
the sails with a fury that splits them, and a foolishness of Conservatism which
deserts the rudder for the anchor. Both produce the same result ; they stop the
Apply these plain truths to our
own situation. We are maintaining a Government founded in impartial liberty
against a rebellion for the destruction of the Government and the perpetuity of
Slavery. What is true Conservatism in such a contest ? It is that course which
steadily and strongly promotes the success of the Government and the overthrow
of the rebellion. A true Conservatism aims first and always to preserve the
vital principle of the Government.
Are then the ignorant, drunken
brawlers who lustily denounce " niXXers," or the better dressed and educated who
accuse the Executive of pure despotism; who destroy public confidence in the
management of the finances, of the army, of the navy ; who sneer at all measures
proposed; who exaggerate our military misfortunes ; who extol rebel successes ;
who charge the guilt of beginning the war upon the loyal States, and that of
continuing it upon the Constitutional authorities; and who deny the valor of
soldiers if they are negroes, in the face of the plainest facts—are these
persons, who in every way embarrass the Government, dishearten the people, and
favor the triumph of the rebellion and slavery " Conservatives ?" Yet there is
not a single journal or orator or convention which now calls itself "
Conservative" that does not do some or all of these things.
To such dull folly does this kind
of " Conservatism" naturally fall that recently one of its organs deliberately
declared the assault of the colored troops upon Fort Wagner, a year ago, to be a
fiction. Anxious to pander to the meanest prejudice that ever imbruted any
portion of a civilized people, and fearing lest slavery should become more
revolting in the light of the glorious heroism of men of the enslaved race, a
newspaper peculiarly fond of calling itself " Conservative" denies that there
was any such assault. It might as well deny that there was any Fort Wagner or
any battle ; and it may hope to be believed when it can heal the hearts that
ache and break because of that battle ; when it can restore the brave youth who
led his heroes to the parapet, fell with them, and was " buried with his
niXXers" by the enemies of God, of man, and of the country, whose cause this "
Conservatism" obsequiously serves.
Just as true, just as loyal, just
as patriotic, just as humane, generous, and noble as this statement is the
spirit that calls itself " Conservatism." It is the same spirit which formerly
denounced the lawful opposition of the country to the encroachment of the slave
power—first as fanaticism, and then as sectionalism. It is the same spirit which
toadied the leaders of rebellion when they were in power, and called JAMES
BUCHANAN and JEFFERSON DAVIS "national" men. It is the same spirit which beheld
with equanimity the annihilation of free speech and the overthrow of the
Constitution in all the slave States, and denied the moral right of citizens in
the free States to discuss slavery. It is the same spirit of folly, which,
despising human nature and history, was incarnated in the monseigneur of France,
and produced the French Revolution : in CHARLES and JAMES STUART of England, and
convulsed the kingdom for fifty years : in GEORGE III., and occasioned our great
Revolution ; and, finally, in the devotees of human slavery at the North and
South in this country, who have plunged us into this bloody war.
The true Conservatism of our
Revolution protested with OTIS, ADAMS, and WASHINGTON against the encroachment
of parliamentary power. The false cried, with Dr. JOHNSON, " taxation no
tyranny." The true persisted, tried every legal form of redress, and, when it
failed, was deluded by no siren song of peace and quiet and prosperity, but
declared the independence of America and fought for six years. The false
Conservatism decried the true, then as always, as radical, revolutionary, and
incendiary. And the same spirit today, despising the real significance of the
word it misuses, opposes a dull resistance to every form of progress and
development which an enlightened people necessarily makes under free
institutions. Consequently it is at once impotent, ridiculous, and contemptible.
The Lamia, in the Greek story, smiled like a lovely woman ; but the eye of the
philosopher saw what she was, and brought her writhing to the ground a loathsome
snake. The modern Lamia will find the common sense of the Yankee as terrible as
the philosopher's eye.
FIGHTING FOR OUR FOES.
IT is only gradually that the
facts appear which illustrate the terrorisrn under which the people of the
rebellious States have long suffered. Thus we find in a MS. letter now in our
possession, written and sent from New York by a "friend of the South" in
January, 1861, less than two months after the secession of South Carolina, the
" I find much money from the Gulf
States is seeking investment here. I see letters from South Carolina bitterly
denouncing the forced collection of money. One gentleman writes that he was
Visited the day he wrote by 25 (Next