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where advance was impossible and retreat almost as disastrous. The repeated occurrence of these misfortunes has not led to any change of system which would have prevented them, but merely to the removals and changes of officers, like the scenes of a phantasmagoria ; and to increased interference by the President (himself wholly ignorant of war) with the few generals of talent and experience capable of combining and executing any judicious military operations.
It is, therefore, no marvel that hitherto nearly all the triumphs by land have been with the Confederates, possessing the advantages of far more able generalship and better drilled and disciplined troops than their opponents, with wisdom to avoid the fatal error of expecting to purchase victory by employing unwieldy masses in place of compact, well-appointed bodies of men.
In their naval operations the Federal States may justly claim the merit of enterprising vigour. The despatch with which large fleets have been created and fitted for sea is almost marvellous; and the efficiency with which their blockade of a long line of difficult coast has now for a long time been uninterruptedly maintained, reflects great credit upon their cruisers. Though, considering their disadvantages, the Confederates have shown much energy and done wonders with their limited means, both on the rivers and open seas, yet the naval superiority of the Federal States is manifest; and has, by means of entire command of the sea coast and penetrating along rivers into the very heart of the country, inflicted upon the South the only damaging defeats they have yet received.
Both by sea and land, the Federal cause has all along suffered grievously from the divisions above noticed, amongst the conflicting interests and parties urging on the war—the incompetence of those who have often been allowed to direct or command operations—the interference of civil powers in military affairs, and the fraud, waste, and jobbery, for which the gigantic scale of their operations has afforded fatal facilities.
Yet, hitherto, there has been no slackening or relenting in the determination of the Federal States to make everything for the time subordinate to carrying on the war. The endurance with which a despotic dictatorship has been allowed to trample under foot all civil laws and rights, abolishing at will every vestige of freedom, is, to observers on this side of the Atlantic, not the least marvellous part of this deplorable conflict; and increases our anxiety for its close. There seems too much cause to fear that, between the tyranny of the mob and military despotism, the citizens of the great Republic may lose all enjoyment of real liberty, and even forget what it is; adding another mournful example to the many already recorded in history, how free states lose their best institutions by long internecine wars. . On the murders and cruelties which have too frequently disgraced both combatants in this terrible struggle—too often, we fear, commencing with the Federal States, -and on the treatment of women, in many instances, by the Federal Government and military authorities in Washington, New York, and New Orleans since it came into their power, we will not here dwell. The mention of
these things is unavoidable in reviewing the war; but we feel too painfully the dishonour thus reflected upon the Anglo-Saxon race by our. American kindred-hitherto so chivalrous in their deference to the weaker sex, to look calmly on this worst feature of their envenomed strife.
Next to be reviewed in the conduct of the war by the Federal States are the financial operations whereby the sinews of war have been supplied. These prove too mournfully the sad truth that contractors and jobbers have the prevailing control and thạt the men (for such men there must be) who honestly love their country, and can foresee whither their present course is fastleading them, are wholly powerless to direct the current of events. Were the Federal States invaded by the most relentless enemy, all the resources of the land could not be more ruthlessly pillaged than they now are by their own citizens. The system of flooding the country with worthless paper money, once begun, must, by its very nature, extend daily until all property is consumed, depreciated, or destroyed. But of this the end must come one day; and from the rapid fall in the purchasing power of notes, and rise in all prices, measured by the increasing premium of gold, we see that this end is fast drawing near. It is true that Great Britain, in the last two hundred years, has contracted double the debt which it is computed that the Federal States will owe if the war be continued for a short time longer. But whilst we borrowed in round numbers eight hundred millions sterling, we raised double that amount by taxation; and thus continually keeping our credit and finances sound, have been
enabled to redeem our inconvertible paper currency. And our loans were really made by bonâ fide subscriptions of the capital of the country, and were not, as in the United States, mere votes for irredeemable notes daily declining in value. The Federals cannot, or will not, endure any burden of taxation to raise funds to meet the expenses of the war. First they borrowed all that their citizens could be prevailed upon to lend; and having spent that, they now literally depend for their resources from day to day upon the speed with which worthless paper can be printed. But rapid decline in the value of these notes threatens to overtake the speed of the press. By the time that 50 per cent has been added to the existing issues, each 150 dollars in notes only purchases as much as 100 dollars bought before. Thus the last addition has not added one cent to the purchasing power of the government, but barely for a brief time filled up the hourly increasing gulf. Hence it will before long be impossible to overtake the arrears of unpaid sums by any increase of the note currency, unless notes or bonds are issued, each of large amounts, specially to discharge government debts. Before long even these will be refused as worthless, and national bankruptcy will come with universal ruin. It is barely possible that, seeing this, government may have the infatuation to attempt forcibly to arrest this downward progress by arbitrary enactments, fixing the value of the note, and forbidding the export of gold. But it is surely almost needless to point out that these measures cannot postpone the catastrophe; but would, on the other hand, hasten it by the panic caused by such a manifest proof of national insolvency.
Whether this rapid fall in the value of paper money, or the impossibility of raising recruits to fill the gaps widening in the ranks of their armies from the numbers deserting or perishing daily and the departure of the short-service men, will be the first means of causing the Federal States to end this unhappy war, it is not easy to say. Either way, the crisis is near at hand, and we entreat all of our American kinsmen, who have at heart the welfare and prosperity of their country, to reflect upon these things; and, instead of waiting to be overwhelmed by the catastrophe, to secure, whilst it may yet be possible, some power of controlling events for their country's good.