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HYMN FOR THE NORTHERN
SEPTEMBER 11, 1864.
GREAT God of Battles, lift we
unto Thee A people's voice in gratitude and praise, Thou, who, unsearchable in
all Thy ways,
To Thee we bow, lend unto us
Thine ear, Clothe us, 0 Lord ! with thy protecting power, And unto us in this
our thankful hour,
Great God in Heaven, draw near !
Bend down upon us Thine
all-seeing eyes, Thou who in ages past Thy throne didst set With myriad stars,
and see our altars wet
With blood of sacrifice!
Reach unto us, 0 God ! Thy
bounteous hand, Full of all blessings with the closing year, And scatter them
like good seed far and near,
Throughout our bleeding land !
Forgive our foes, restore to them
their sight, Who in blind wrath unsheathed the cruel sword, And in Thy boundless
mercy, 0 good Lord !
Reveal to them the light!
Forgive our sins—so were we
taught to pray—Cleanse us from guilt; allay our many fears ; Wipe from the
people's eyes the scalding tears,
0 turn our night to day !
Announce Thy coming, Lord ! show
us that sign Seen in the prophet's vision long ago;
How long. 0 Lord! from out the
press must flow The nation's blood-red wine?
Give unto them, the rulers of our
A love of Truth, of Justice, and
May they be upright in Thine own
pure sight :
Give each a firm right hand!
Let War, and Pestilence, and
Famine cease From off the earth ; Great God ! we fain would hear, Ere yet the
Christmas chimes sound sweet and clear,
The voice of Christ say "Peace!"
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 1864.
THE SIMPLE ISSUE.
THE Presidential election turns
upon a question as simple as it is momentous. Shall the American people
relinquish the effort to maintain the authority of their Government, or shall
they concede that it is destroyed ? 'That is the question, and it has but two
sides. Whoever believes that the Union and Government should be unconditionally
maintained will vote for LINCOLN and JOHNSON, all others will vote for
The Chicago Convention resolved "
that after four years of failure to restore the Union by the experiment of war,
* * * * justice, humanity, liberty and the public welfare demand that immediate
efforts be made for a cessation of hostilities with a view to an ultimate
Convention of all the States, or other peaceable means, to the end that at the
earliest practicable moment peace may be restored on the basis of the Federal
Union o the States." In other words, the slave-system having risen in
insurrection against the American people, they are to confess themselves
conquered and to believe that justice, humanity, and liberty require that
slavery should have increased security. That is the platform of
The Baltimore Convention resolved
" that it is the highest duty of every American citizen to maintain against all
their enemies the Integrity of the Union and the paramount authority of the
Constitution and laws of the United States; and that, laying aside all
differences and political opinions, we pledge ourselves as Union men, animated
by a common sentiment and aiming at a common object, to do every thing in our
power to aid the Government in quelling by force of arms the rebellion now
raging against its authority, and in bringing to the punishment due to their
crimes the rebels and traitors arrayed against it." In other words, the American
people have not failed, and do not intend to fail, in the conflict with the
insurrection of Slavery. Justice, humanity, and liberty require not that it
shall be strengthened, but that it shall be destroyed by every constitutional
moans. That is the platform of
ABRAHAM LINCOLN. Which has the true ring? Which
speaks the resolution of a great and brave people, and which the base submission
of a cowed and craven nation ? Which is the spirit of Bunker Hill and Saratoga,
of PERRY and DECATUR, of
Vicksburg, of the Weldon Railroad,
SHERMAN; and which that of BENEDICT
ARNOLD, whose treacherous heart told the same people in 1780, after four years
of war, that their Government was a tyranny that deluged the land with blood,
and that he, BENEDICT ARNOLD, wished to lead Americans to peace ?
THE victory at Atlanta crowns one
of the most daring and extraordinary military campaigns in history. " Since the
15th of May," quietly says General SHERMAN on the 3d of September, "we have been
in one constant battle or skirmish, and need rest." A glance at the
map shows what these words mean.
It shows the point from which he moved and that which he has gained; the first
was long considered impregnable, and became ours a year ago ; the second was
held by the rebels as scarcely less precious than
Richmond, and is now lost to
them. But these great results have been obtained only by great sagacity, the
most incessant labor, and invincible bravery. The steady advance by direct
assault and masterly flanking of unassailable points; the protection of an errormous line of communications ; the safe crossing of rapid rivers; the
pushing an enemy to his fortified base; the repulse of all his fierce assaults,
and the final severing of his army, with his defeat and flight with an army that
can not but be terribly demoralized—all these show that we have at last learned
to make war, and that at the West, as in the East, we have "a great captain."
It was mainly to General SHERMAN,
said General GRANT in his report of the
battle at Shiloh, that I owe the
victory. At Vicksburg he was the right hand of the Lieutenant-General ; and at
Atlanta he fulfills the highest expectation of his senior and the gladdest hopes
of his country. The fall of Atlanta is a confirmation, in thunder tones, of his
noble words written in January, 1861, to the Governor of Louisiana, when he was
Superintendent of the State Military Academy, and began to be convinced that
rebellion and war were at hand. That letter, recently republished, has the clear
ring of his late dispatches. General SHERMAN knew what was coming. He knew that
secession would be war, and that the war would be vast and terrible. With the
prescience of genius he said when in command in Kentucky, " We need here two
hundred thousand men ;" and the Secretary of War at that time thought him crazy,
and relieved him of his command out of regard to his disordered wits.
But surely we may rejoice that we
have emerged from the dark days of doubt anal inefficiency. Surely we may offer
thanksgiving that the great armies of the American Union are now commanded by
leaders who are not only the most skillful, daring, rapid, tenacious of
soldiers—whom neither mud nor
Quaker guns appall—but also men who are devoted in
every fibre of their frames and drop of their blood to the faith that the
experiment of war to restore the Union is not a failure ; and that no other
effort for an immediate cessation of hostilities should be made by the loyal
American people except renewed and overwhelming vigor in the war to confirm the
absolute supremacy of the Government.
THE EFFECT OF THE NEWS
THERE is not a man who did not
feel that McCLELLAN'S chances were diminished by the glad tidings from Atlanta;
nor any one who does not know that if SHERMAN had been defeated, the friends of
the Chicago candidate would have felt surer of his success. When people solemnly
resolve, as the party which has nominated General McCLELLAN did at Chicago, that
" the experiment of war" to maintain the Government and restore the Union is a "
failure," how can they be glad to hear of a great and vital victory which belies
their theory ? No unconditional Union man could have asked a more significant
commentary upon the true character of the Chicago movement. For suppose the
great McCLELLAN ratification meeting had taken place upon the Saturday the news
of SHERMAN'S glorious victory was received, how like a soaking storm it would
have fallen upon an assembly whose cardinal principle is a " demand that
immediate efforts be made by a cessation of hostilities !" SHERMAN has done
more, in his capture of Atlanta, for a cessation of hostilities than
VALLANDIGHAM and his Convention could do in twelvemonths of abuse of the
Administration and of the war.
If the American people were
craven ; if they were so utterly humiliated and prostrated that they could hear
of the success of our soldiers only with abject regret; if they were really
willing to surrender the victory of their Government and laws in the hour of its
approaching triumph : if they truly thought that the men who managed the
Convention at Chicago were more sincerely patriotic than GRANT and SHERMAN, than
FARRAGUT, GRANGER, and
SHERIDAN, then we too could almost be sorry for the
glorious news ; for it would be clear that such a people were not worth saving,
and that the life of every devoted soldier who had fallen was wasted in the
cause of those who were too contemptible to respect themselves.
IT is very possible that the
friends of General M'CLELLAN may persuade him to put something into his letter
or speech accepting the nomination which will help conceal the bald surrender of
the Government contained in the Chicago Platform. But the effort will be vain.
The character and intention of that Convention can not be hidden. It was, as Mr.
FERNANDO WOOD predicted it would be, "harmonious." It was
harmonious in its desire of peace at any price. It was harmonious
in saying that it was
faithful to the Union, and in declaring that the war to maintain it had failed.
It was harmonious in refraining from the slightest censure of the rebellion, and
in declaring that it is the loyal citizens, and not the rebels, who have defied
and disregarded the Constitution. It was harmonious in the tone of all the
resolutions, which imply that the responsibility for the war rests with those
who approve the maintenance of the Government. It was harmonious in. its spirit
of abject submission to insolent treason.
There is no escape for the
candidate. If he kicks over the platform he kicks over his party, and upon his
party he depends ; for does any body suppose that this country is so stark mad
as, under any circumstances, to make General McCLELLAN President upon the
strength of his own performances, or of confidence in the persons who most
influence him ? If unshrinking vigor in the war is desired by the people, would
they naturally turn to the General of the
Chickahominy campaign? If a true
appreciation of the political condition of the country is necessary, is it found
in the letter to Judge WOODWARD ? If sincere patriotism in support of a
nomination is demanded, will it probably be discovered in the " peace" and
The candidate may write what he
will, but he can not escape the necessity of his position. He can not shake off
his platform, his advocates, his party, or his own antecedents. When he was
relieved of his command in the field he accepted the post of chief of a party.
That party prescribes his principles ; that party nominates him ; that
nomination he accepts ; and with the party policy he stands or falls.
THE " Conservative" campaign has
opened in a perfectly characteristic manner. At the meeting of exultation in the
Park, on the evening that the news was received, one of the orators of the
gentry who are so anxious that the laws shall be respected and personal rights
secured, urged his " Conservative" friends
"....to form White-boy' clubs in
every ward, and protect the freedom of the ballot-box. If there should be
opposition to the freedom of election, he hoped they would put all who opposed
them where they belonged, and hang them. He had heard, he said, that General
Bum. was to be sent here to overawe New York ; but he thought if he was sent
here with such a purpose he would never be allowed to get far up Broadway."
Another of those "Conservative"
gentlemen who are profoundly concerned at the suppression of free speech, and
who are opposed to fanatical appeals to passion, remarked that It has been facetiously stated
that in hot weather niggers smelled badly; and it was about time to learn that in
this country white men had their rights, and that the Constitution was made for
white men, and not for the nigger. You have come together now to take action to
restore those liberties which that secession scoundrel and traitor,
has taken from you the rights of the poor man, and we have selected GEORGE B. McCLELLAN, the man who held the white man above ABE LINCOLN and his niggers.
"Once a poor man could walk the
streets free and speak his mind, but under the rule of that ignoramus, ABE
LINCOLN, he can not. Bear in mind, gentlemen, that you are the Government, and
not that scoundrel at Washington.
" Will you desert the hero of
South Mountain, whom Ace LINCOLN has sought to degrade, that he might make you
and I lower than his nigger ? [Cries no, no.] No. God tells me you won't; your
honest faces tell me you won't. When you meet your Abolition friends in the
street they belch out their secession talk at you, as old ABE and his crew have
done (for I hold old ABE today to be a bigger secessionist than JEFF DAVIS)."
Of course where such things are
openly said in public meetings it is evident that free speech has been totally
abolished ; as when an Iowa paper calls the President " a bloody monster," it is
clear that a free press has ceased to exist.
These "Conservative" speeches in
favor of the election of General McCLELLAN have been promptly supported by the "
Conservative" papers, one of which says :
"We will strip from ABRAHAM
LINCOLN the false garb of honesty he has worn so long! We will, if need be, show
up, among other things, the infamy—yes, that's the word, infamy—of the White
House ! If necessity requires, we. will call Senators and tradespeople, in this
city and elsewhere, to attest the truth of what we say. We have no heart to
expose such public and personal infidelity as, since Mr. LINCOLN'S advent, has
festered there, because of the disgrace it would bring upon so many innocent
Here is that freedom from
personality and decorous discussion of principles which are always sure to be
found in the mouths and on the pens of the " Conservative" party, and this is
the most obvious and natural course of those who wish to go on their knees to
rebels and ask upon what terms they will allow this Government to be carried on.
" Conservatism" naturally calls JEFFERSON DAVIS " President DAVIS," and the
President of the United States a scoundrel, traitor, and ignoramus, because it
hates the cause represented by one and loves that of the other. Are not these "
Conservative" arguments and appeals such as every true hearted American citizen
sees to be most welcome to every enemy of the Union and the country ? Is a "
Conservatism" whose only resource is an appeal to the basest passions of the
most ignorant and brutal men, very likely to , save the dignity and honor of
IF any one had been in doubt of
the real significance of the policy which General McCLELLAN represents in this
canvass, he was relieved by reading the New York Daily News on the day after the
nomination. That paper is the Northern organ of the rebellion, whose policy at
the North is " peace." A " peace man" is well understood to be a friend of the "
Confederacy," and the "peace" organ says: "We accept the platform adopted by the
Convention as a great triumph for the peace party The nominees of the Chicago Convention stand committed to a course that is undisguisedly
and unequivocally traced in accordance with the popular sentiment of opposition
to the war." The News will support General McCLELLAN because he stands upon a "
peace" platform, and by the side of GEORGE H. PENDLETON, who " is the man of all
men" whom the News would have nominated, because he is " a consistent champion"
of the "peace" sentiment.
Does any man, however friendly he
may have been in his judgment of General McCLELLAN, believe that the New York
Daily News has at heart the true honor and dignity or the permanent, because
just, peace of the country ? Can such a man forget that Mr. VALLANDIGHAM moved
to make McCLELLAN'S nomination unanimous? General McCLELLAN was nominated by a
peace convention, and though he were the most resolute war man in the country,
if he were elected he could not escape the policy of the party which elects him.
No voter who wishes the war vigorously prosecuted until the rebels ask to be
heard will vote for General McCLELLAN, because he knows that he is the candidate
of those who wish to stop and ask the rebels what they want. Every opponent of
the war in the land will vote for McCLELLAN, and his election would be a sign of
the popular will that immediate efforts be made for a cessation of hostilities.
That is the policy which he can
not escape, should he be elected ; and no one who does not favor that policy can
honestly vote for him.
ON A LATE LOUD NOISE.
THE loud buzz and hum and clatter
of the Chicago Convention, and of the McCLELLAN ratification meetings, might
induce a heedless observer to believe that they truly represented the opinion of
the American People, and that we all supposed we had been deprived of our
liberties without knowing it, and had yielded to a tyrannical despotism under
the delusion that we were maintaining our own lawful Government. Such a chatter
about despotism and despots might make an observer imagine that the misfortune
of the country is not that a desperate conspiracy is striving to overthrow the
Government, but that the Government has the unblushing effrontery not to yield
to its assassins. The noise of the politicians at Chicago, contrasted with the
settled patriotism of the American people, recalls the famous figure of BURKE :
" Because half a dozen grasshoppers under a fern make the field ring with their
importunate chink, while thousands of great cattle, reposed beneath the shadow
of the British oak, chew the end and are silent, it is not to be imagined that
those who make the noise are the only inhabitants of the field ; that, of
course, they are many in number or that, after all, they are other than the
little, shriveled, meagre, hopping, though loud and troublesome insects of the
AN EVIDENT TRUTH.
THE Copperheads, who insist that
this war is a war waged by the President for the sake of emancipation, now
assert that he is pledged to continue it for that purpose even after the
submission of the rebels. But when the rebels have submitted against whom can
war be carried on ? It is useless to speculate, to affirm or deny that the
President will or will not continue the war after the rebel submission—simply
because he can not.
The war is prosecuted for the
maintenance of the Union and Government. When the rebels yield, they submit to
the Constitution and all laws and executive acts in accordance with it. Whether
the emancipation proclamation so accords is a question which the President has
himself left to the Supreme Court.
It is impossible honestly to
mistake the President's position upon the Slavery question. His letters to
GREELEY and to Mr. HODGES, and his various messages and speeches express it as
plainly as words can. "I am naturally anti-slavery," he writes to Mr. HODGES. If
slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong. I can not remember when I did not so
think and feel. And yet I have never understood that the Presidency conferred
upon me an unrestricted right to act officially upon this judgment and feeling.
And I aver that to this day I
have done no
official act in mere deference to my abstract judgment and feeling on
So in the manifest—" To whom it
may concern"—the President states what he understands to be the condition upon
which a permanent peace is possible. In that paper he takes the initiative, and
says that whoever is authorized by a power which can control the rebel armies