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Page) the left of the Second Corps, but was severely repulsed.
An illustration on
representing a charge made by the First Division of the Fifth Corps, refers to
an action which occurred on the morning of the 7th.
The result of the movement, on
the whole, has been favorable to us. Our line has been extended a few miles
westward, and Petersburg is menaced more seriously than before. We still hold
the line of Hatcher's Run.
By WILLIAM ROSS WALLACE.
[" When I, an American, living
under the Government founded by the immortal WASHINGTON, visit his tomb, let me
not stand there, a stranger, an alien, by the consent of a government founded by
rebels and traitors."—From a Union Speech, delivered in Union Square, New York,
by the Hon. Chauncey Shaffer.)
WORDS of beauty, power, glory,
How through all the land they
ring, Broad and mighty as the music
Rolling from our eagle's wing
As he battles with the tempest,
Scatters clouds that veil the
plain, So the glorious sun may sparkle
On its hallowed homes again !
What ? Americans be aliens
Where his native forests bloom?
Beg permission for an hour
By their mighty father's tomb?
What ? resign our rights to
treasure Worshiped by a whole wide world? See another nation's banner
On the sacred spot unfurled?
Sooner shall exultant Heaven,
When the very noon is won,
Let the tempest fiends of chaos
Rob her bosom of the sun!
No ! ye impious rebels, traitors,
Ye who rend the very Trust
Left by him no, never, never
Shall ye only own that dust !
All Americans shall guard it
Even ye when Battle's fires
Shall have burnt out of your
bosoms Their disloyal, vile desires!
Words of beauty, power, glory,
Ring along the loyal sod!
Loudly ring as when archangels
Smite the thunder-bells of God B
ells of warning to the peoples
Who in Truth's white castles
dwell, When en their ramparts are assaulted
By the rebel hosts of hell !
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 1865.
THE PRESIDENT AND HIS CRITICS.
THAT the President knew exactly
what Mr. BLAIR wished to say to JEFFERSON DAVIS that he is at the bottom of all
the movements for peace that he will flinch and falter when it comes to the
point are assertions made and emphasized by some ardent friends of the Union.
The one person they are not sure of is the President. The one thing they doubt
is his fidelity, or if not that, then his sagacity. They fill the air with
grumblings and growlings, and the newspapers with insinuations, and when they
have done all they can to depress and discourage the popular heart they sigh and
groan with renewed vigor at the want of persistence which the public displays.
If these gentlemen had but a
little of the President's unswerving faith and cheerful good sense if they had
but their own moderate share of the steady earnestness of the people, they would
spare themselves much dismal croaking and their friends an incessant
indignation. What was probably true upon a consistent view of the President's
whole course is now proved by his own word. In his Message upon the conference
he says distinctly that he did not know what Mr. BLAIR wished to say to the
rebels. His word disposes of that assertion. The correspondence he transmits
shows exactly how much he flinched or was disposed to falter, and effectually
annihilates the idle slander that he will betray the national honor in the least
Indeed, nothing but the foolish
assumption of four years ago, that
Mr. LINCOLN was unfit for his office, can
excuse such aspersions and reflections upon his honesty and capacity as are
implied in the kind of twaddle of which we are speaking. Those who cling to that
assumption reveal their incapacity to judge of public men and affairs. If there
is any man in the country who comprehends the scope of the war more fully than
the President, who is he? If any man in the country has shown greater skill and
sagacity in dealing with the rebellion, where is he? If there is any public man
now living in the United States whom the gossips of which we speak would place
in Mr. LINCOLN'S chair, what is his name ? We venture to say that there is no
man in our history who has shown a more felicitous combination of temperament,
conviction, and ability to, grapple with a com-
plication like that in which this
country is involved than ABRAHAM LINCOLN.
When the war began there were
impatient people who cried, " Oh, for an hour of JACKSON !" But does any man who
truly comprehends the character and antecedents of this great struggle, and the
infinite patience and wisdom which the settlement of its various questions
demands, really think that ANDREW JACKSON'S qualities were those which the
situation requires ? Is the great fact of no significance that the vast and
threatening opposition to the policy of the Administration has crumbled away
before the steady development of that policy, and crumbled without the least
yielding of the Administration ? Is it an incident of no meaning that, in the
week of the passage of the emancipation amendment by Congress, S. S. Cox, a
representative of a kind of " war Democracy," moves the thanks of Congress to
the President, and in the same week the notorious
FERNANDO WOOD, the most
unscrupulous demagogue and " peace" apostle in the country, declares for
strenuous war ? Is it nothing that the shrewdest journals of the Opposition,
which, from the first shot of the war, cried out with
HORATIO SEYMOUR that to
touch slavery was to destroy the Constitution, now complacently announce that
the Constitutional amendment was always a "Democratic" measure, and that the
Democratic party was always an anti-slavery party ? Does any body mean seriously
to assert that the active head of an Administration which, in a country like
this, frenzied with party-spirit like ours, torn for four years with a vast
sectional civil war, and incessantly menaced with foreign interference, has
directed public affairs until the army and navy are every where victorious, and
the most malignant opponents of the war now openly advocate it and thank the
President, who has carried steadily forward a policy which they have steadily
denounced does any one mean gravely to assert that such a head is a shiftless,
undecided man, ready to sacrifice any principle, forever mousing round for
peace, and anxious to buy it at any price ?
There is no man of us all
probably who wishes for peace more earnestly than the President. There is
certainly no man who is so little likely to surrender any essential point to
secure it. The purpose in the war, which he understands the people to cherish,
he has plainly iterated and reiterated. The conditions upon which peace is
possible, and without which it is impossible, he has as often repeated. Peace
can not be made upon the sly or in a corner. Shall we not say plainly, what
every loyal citizen sees with pain, that it is the Tribune, which has so long
and nobly fought the good fight against the subversion of the Government by the
slave power, that now speaks of peace in a strain of cringing obsequiousness to
the slave lords in rebellion, which inevitably suggests that it would be willing
to make peace upon terms of concession to those lords which the President and
all faithful citizens would reject with scorn?
explosion of the mine before
Petersburg at the end of last July was, in its results, one of the real
disasters of the war, because it discouraged the public mind to a degree
foolishly disproportioned to the event. It will be remembered that the month of
August was one of so general depression that the
Chicago Convention felt
emboldened to try to carry an election by an appeal to the cowardice of the
country. This action at Chicago and the fall of
Atlanta dissolved the temporary
spell, and the public mind resumed its natural tone of patience and confidence.
The scape goat of the failure at
Petersburg and of the petulance of the country was General BURNSIDE. Forgetting
his brilliant and distinguished services in North Carolina and East Tennessee;
forgetting the developments in regard to the
battle of Fredericksburg, which
certainly did not leave him culpable forgetting the history of the intrigues in
the Army of the Potomac, in the midst of which the one thing steadily clear was
the character of BURNSIDE; the disappointment of the mine betrayed the country
into an injustice, and the General was most sharply and impatiently condemned.
Those who knew him bided their
time. Those who knew his good sense, his soldierly character, his perfect
integrity, and who remembered his services, were very sure it would at last
appear that, however severe and deplorable the misfortune, it could not be
justly charged upon his sheer incapacity, and that the hero of Newbern and
Knoxville had not suddenly become "a blunderer and a butcher." As for the
General himself, he was no more daunted by calumny than by canister, and he
stood as firm and calm amidst the peltings of popular misrepresentation as in
the storm of shot and shell. " Some of us must lose our lives in this war," said
he, " and some of us our reputations. Perhaps a few must lose both." And when he
was urged to publish some explanation of the circumstances, he replied
smilingly, "When the war is over there will be plenty of time to clean damaged
But the war is not yet ended and
reputation is purged. The
Committee on the Conduct of the War have reported upon the failure of the mine.
Their conclusion is, that the failure is mainly attributable to the fact that
the plan of General BURNSIDE, carefully matured, was set aside at the last
General MEADE, "who had evinced no faith in the successful prosecution
of the work, had aided it by no countenance or approval, and had assumed the
entire direction and control only when it was completed and the time had come
for reaping any advantages that might be derived from it."
General BURNSIDE wished to put
colored troops in front, as they were the raw soldiers. General MEADE
General GRANT supported MEADE'S objection; but now, with the simple,
manly honesty that marks all his conduct, he declares that he believes he was
mistaken, and that if General BURNSIDE'S plan had been adopted success would
have been secured. The truth is, that General BURNSIDE knew his own corps better
than any other commander could know it ; he had made the most careful
dispositions he had faithfully drilled his men to their various duties ; he and
they had a mutual faith in themselves and in the work. At the very last moment
the whole plan was deranged. Disaster was invited and came. There was a sharp
cry of disappointment. Dejection followed disaster ; and the fame of a gallant
soldier and noble man was obscured. We sincerely congratulate him and the
country that the cloud is entirely scattered. And we shall all be the gainers if
hereafter we do not hasten to demand the sacrifice of a reputation for every
reverse that we may encounter.
THERE is a present end of
political parties in the country. There is a body of representatives, indeed, in
Congress and in the State Legislatures, which votes and talks in favor of human
slavery, jeers at negroes, insults the Government, and virtually justifies the
rebellion. But these individuals do not form a great political party. They are
merely a faction ; a band of adventurers the roving, marauding remains of an
army, holding together until they can advantageously ally themselves to some
other organized and effective force. Single individuals like LONG and PENDLETON
can not claim the name of Democratic for a political body with which GRISWOLD,
GANSON, and ODELL, for instance, do not act. The position of these latter
gentlemen shows that the late Democratic party no longer exists. The name will
belong here after to those leaders who are most skillful in perceiving the
principles upon which a party can be rallied.
Of the parties that existed when
the war began the name "Democratic" alone remains. The Constitutional Union
party survives only in JOHN BELL drinking success to the rebellion in bad
whisky. The Republican party, as such, has secured its great object of limiting
the extension of slavery. The necessities of the case, in a nation waging a
civil war, divide us all into two bodies , those who support the Administration
in its war policy, and those who do not. But the old party lines do not separate
us. The party of the Administration is composed of men as different as the late
EDWARD EVERETT, General BUTLER, JOHN A. GRISWOLD, THURLOW WEED, and
SUMNER, who were respectively leaders of the BELL EVERETT, the BRECKINRIDGE, the
DOUGLAS parties, and both wings of the Republican party, before the war. We are
at the end of parties. Upon what grounds are they to be reconstructed?
There are various speculations
upon this point, but they all seem to us to be premature. Parties in a free
government divide upon the policy of administration. But until the
administration of the Government is secure, it is too early to discuss policies.
There may be differences as to the means of securing the authority of the
Administration. That is to say, the friends of the war may differ as to how it
may be made most effective. But that is not a division into political parties.
Nor is it easy to infer from the
previous history of the country what the division will be. The political
struggle of this country from the beginning has been that between the Southern
policy and the essential principles of the Government. But now that the latter
have triumphed absolutely, and have destroyed the foundation of that policy,
there must be entirely new issues. These are likely to arise, in the first
place, from the peculiar structure of our Government ; and, in the second, from
the methods necessary to carry it on. The relative rights and powers of the
States and the nation, and the fundamental question of protection and free
trade, are the probable grounds of future party division.
The Evening Post, one of the
oldest old fashioned Democratic organs in the country, is of opinion that if the
proposition of universal free trade as the permanent national policy had been
made to the rebel agents in Hampton Roads, it would have seriously tempted Mr.
HUNTER, an old free trader. But however probable it may be that this question
may hereafter divide the country politically, it would certainly have been an
extraordinary suggestion from the President to the rebels. Nobody knows better
Post that there is the utmost
radical difference upon that very point among loyal men, and all that the
President could have said would be no more than an expression of the probability
that there would be a large free trade party hereafter. But whether free trade
would be adopted as a permanent national policy the President could no more tell
than Mr. HUNTER. If he had chosen to indulge in political speculation of that
kind the President might have added, that, in his opinion also, the doctrine of
supreme State sovereignty would be effectually exploded. But such topics would
hardly have been timely or judicious. What the President could officially do,
was one thing. What Mr. LINCOLN Supposed the popular decision upon a vital point
of difference might be, was quite another.
In the present situation of the
country there are no grounds upon which to construct great parties ; but there
was never a more favorable moment for the discussion of the causes which have
brought us to this condition, that we may not only win victories but secure
their fruits. The great fruit will be the establishment of the Government upon
its original principles. When that is accomplished, parties will naturally
THROWING IN PITCH.
GENERAL GRANT has extended his
lines before Petersburg toward the Southside Railroad, and
General SHERMAN has
seized a point which destroys the railroad communication of Richmond with the
Southwest. SHERMAN'S advance is like NAPOLEON'S in his Austerlitz campaign. It
shows no rashness, no confidence in chance ; but is rapid and resistless. Every
movement he makes writes his name more deeply in history as a truly great
Simultaneously with his success,
simultaneously with the deadly blow at the vitals of the rebellion, a shrill cry
of rage bursts from its lips. At about the moment when SHERMAN'S victorious
columns occupied Branchville, in their march of deliverance of the Southern
people from the fierce despotism at Richmond, the leaders of that despotism were
frantically haranguing the people, declaring that the vile Yankees had insulted
them beyond endurance, and that they must fight to the last gasp, or see their
country desolated, their homes ruined, and their family peace violated.
The wild fury of the speeches of
the rebel chiefs from Davis downward the venomous spite and eagerness of the
newspapers show how profound is the conviction that only a convulsive energy can
save the rebellion. The rebel forts are falling the rebel ports are closing; the
rebel lines are shrinking before our steady advance. We occupy the rebel cities
we calmly invite the people to renounce their resistance to a Government which
they confess has never injured them, or to suffer the consequences of refusal.
Every where the national authority asserts itself. Every where the rebel power
succumbs; and its leaders, foreseeing their doom, raise a yell of frenzy to
General LEE is reported to have said that all was well for
the rebels if they would not yield to causeless despondency and foolish despair.
General LEE is not a wise man, but he might have asked himself the reason of the
general despondency around him.
A few years ago the people of his
section were told. that they had a right to leave the Union ; that if it were
disputed they had merely to show their swords, and they could march out over the
prostrate necks of the caitiff tinkers called Yankees ; that, when they moved,
the North would fight the battle at home if any were to be fought; that Europe
would hasten to acknowledge their independence, and treat with the new nation;
that cotton would coerce the world to the whims of " the South ; " and that
every gallant and chive alric Southron would have the satisfaction of beholding
the Yankees wanderers upon the earth, and " the South" graciously condescending
to be the foremost nation of the globe.
Four years have passed, and those
people see exactly what we see, what the world sees, and what General LEE sees,
And thereupon that Captain says, if they only would not yield to despondency all
would be well. "My dear Sir, why are you in the stocks ?" asked a sympathetic
friend of the unfortunate incumbent. "For stealing eggs," was the reply. "Pooh!
they can't put you in the stocks for stealing eggs," said the cheerful friend. "
Can't they ? Well, they have done it," dolefully answered the victim. If you
only would not yield to despondency, says General LEE. How can we help it ? his
fellow rebels might justly retort. If you only wouldn't scorch the soles of your
feet, a spectator might say to a martyr at the stake. Will you then please to
remove the fire ? would be a very natural response. General LEE can remove the
despondency in one way only. Not by wondering at it, and expostulating with it,
but by winning victories.
The loud cries and fierce
execrations of the rebel orators and editors tell the people of the Southern
States nothing new. Those people have always known that the war was waged by the
rebel chiefs for separation and by the Government of the United States for the
restoration of its authority over the whole Union. They knew it before STEPHENS
and HUNTER went to Hampton Roads. They knew it, after they re- (Next