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SOME ACCOUNT OF BOTH SIDES OF THE AMERICAN WAR.

If there be one characteristic mon that we are excluded from all which, more than another, distin- reliable intelligence of the position guishes the intelligent portion of and prospects of the “rebels ;" the British public, it is the desire to and we cannot help rejecting the draw its own conclusions. It loves marvellous tales, derived from Northto be furnished with full and constant ern sources, of hard-won victories information of current events, but is against heavy odds, and of the daily suspicious of such accounts as bear slaughter of the enemy in hand-tothe evident impress of partisanship. hand conflicts, which never lead to There is probably no newspaper any appreciable results. writer whose letters have become Under these circumstances, a stateso popular and so generally read as ment, comparative of both sides of Mr Russell's; and, if we mistake not, the position, and derived from rethey owe their popularity as much cent personal observation, which to the spirit of close criticism which the facilities afforded by the milipervades them, as to the remark- tary commanders enabled the writer able powers of graphic description to make, may not be unacceptable for which their author is famous. to our readers, at a time when the His exposure of pretensions and impressions of writers in magazines fallacies alike in his letters from and newspapers on the subject of the South at the outset, and in the American war, all along uncerthose from the North during the tain and fluctuating, appear to be progress of the war of Secession, affected by recent accounts of the have rendered him unpopular with imposing preparations of the North. both parties engaged, but have The disparity of the resources of the gained for his statements a degree contending communities appears to of reliance; while the strong North- be assumed, and a deduction is ern bias of the l'imes' New York made that, as the Times not long correspondent deprives his repre- since said, "the tide may be too sentations of that effect which their strong even for the obstinacy of ability would deserve.

the Southern race to resist." It may be observed in passing, It is not indeed surprising, if, as that in no respect is the contrast the correspondent of the Times has more strongly marked between Eng- owned, Englishmen at Washington lish and “ American”

and New York be led insensibly, by than in the different style and tone the boastful language of the newsof the newspaper press of the re- papers and of public men, almost to spective countries. For, however a conviction of the strength of the eagerly educated and refined per- community amongst which they are sons on the other side of the Atlantic living. Every one must be conmay disclaim the tone of their Press scious of having received such imas a true indication of public opin- pressions _under similar circumion, the record of events would not stances. But it is surprising to find be uniformly garbled and inflated existing a gross misapprehension, did simplicity and accuracy suit the on the part of those who might be appetites of those for whom the presumed to be well informed, of journalists cater. They read con- the distribution and numbers as tentedly every day accounts of well as of the condition of the Convictories and successes gained by federate forces. From the blindthe Northern forces, by which it is ness with which, in the few enhardly conceivable that they can be gagements of the war, Federal misled. On the other hand, among generals have fallen into well-laid us at present the complaint is com- traps, and, if their despatches can

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1861.] Some Account of Both Sides of the American War. 769
be believed, have uniformly found Potomac, there can be no doubt
themselves confronted by superior that, for its size, it is one of the
numbers, when the disparity of best equipped which any nation
force between their army and that has set on foot. Its transport is
opposed to them is their daily superb ; its artillery numerous, well
boast and demonstration,-it is im- appointed, and of the best descrip-
possible to doubt that the Federal tion;* the physique of its men un-
generals are much worse served surpassed. It is, moreover, at the
in respect of information than the disposal of a Government virtually
Confederates, and that the latter drawing at will upon the accumu-
must possess some

lated capital and the entire credit
reliable than the statements of of the nation. For practical pur-
deserters or spies. If, then, the poses, the President and his minis-
want of intelligence suffered by ters are all-powerful. Such as the
those in authority be so great, that army is, and in so far as they can
each advance of ten or fifteen miles depend upon its good conduct, it is
into a country quite familiar to at their absolute disposal; and upon
them exposes them to damaging the use they are able to make of it
and demoralising defeat, how much depends the solution of the great
greater must be the ignorance of the question at issue. We have enu-
general public, dependent for South- merated, as belonging to it, elements
ern news on what filters through most valuable to its efficiency, and
these clouded sources. It may be highly creditable to those who have
useful to present to our readers employed so judiciously the resour-
some facts as to the position and ces at their command. We shall
strength of the Southern Confede- presently refer to its value in re-
racy which, though they may be at spect of certain military qualities,
variance with received notions, we which neither the most competent
give either from personal observa- war minister nor the most overflow-
tion, or on the authority of those we ing treasury can so quickly infuse
consider most trustworthy; and our into its character.
facts are at least, we hope, untinged But before doing so, we cannot
by what is called in America“ sec- leave unnoticed the action of causes
tional ” spirit. We must, however, of weakness to the North, of which
premise, that while we endeavour the effects, though not yet fully ex-
to give a correct statement of facts, perienced, can hardly be averted
we abstain altogether from pro- but by some signal military success.
phecy. He would be a bold specu- 1. The strife of parties in the
sator who risked an opinion upon North is reviving. Republicans
the result of a war of conquest, de- and Democrats are charging each
pendent for its prosecution upon other with culpability in the origin
the resolution of a most versatile of the war, and differ widely as
people, and upon the achievements to its objects and limits. The for-
of armies as yet newly organised, mer, avowedly or secretly, desire
which are operating over a vast the subjugation, or at least the
area, and for the most part in a permanent restraint, of the Slave
country so wooded and impassable, States; the latter, that the war shall
except by infrequent roads, as to be prosecuted only so long as may be
be unsuited to extended military necessary to induce the seceded
movements.

States to accept of terms of comproWith regard, in the first place, mise; and they would gladly give to the main Federal army of the terms vastly more favourable to

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* Military men may be interested to hear that great inconvenience is said to have been caused to the Northern army at the battle of Manassas by the field batteries being composed entirely of rifled guns-superb for long range, but useless for shrapnel at close quarters. The Confederates avoided this error.

the South than those proposed the Treasury would, on its part, have by Mr Crittenden with their con- opened a war loan to the public on sent, but contemptuously refused terms which would have diverted by Mr Lincoln.*

from the banks the investments esIt may not be unworthy of re- sential to their stability; while an mark that, in the elections to the appropriation of their bullion for State legislatures now going on, the the necessities of the Union would results, so far as they are known, hardly have been a difficulty to the indicate a great gain to the Demo- Government which has found the crats, even in the New England United States constitution so elasStates; and though Congress itself tic, and would certainly not have will not be actually affected thereby, been cavilled at by the despotic we may fairly anticipate the growth majority. The bank directors proof a feeling averse to the prolonga- bably thought that, as far as they tion of a conflict inevitably crippling were concerned, of two great danto the whole community.

gers, the chances of war were, on the 2. The unpopularity of some of whole, the lesser and more remote. the leading Ministers is extreme 4. But plainly impending are the with the moneyed men of the North, consequences of the present system. on whose support its power so much The safeguards ordained by the depends. In spite of the destruc- authors of the constitution have tion of the liberty of the press, in long been withdrawn. Federal which the constituted authorities Republicanism has become Deand the mob have vied with each mocratic Absolutism, which has other,+ and the establishment of borne its natural fruits - the exthe "American Bastille," I a very tinction of personal liberty, a fetgeneral feeling seems to be making tered press, a reckless expenditure. itself apparent, that great changes An inconvertible currency cannot in the constitution of the Cabinet be remote ; and meanwhile the are necessary, and will be forced proved and alleged dishonesty of the upon the President.

departments produce general dis3. The immense advances made trust, which goes thelength of a belief by the banks of New York have that some members of the Governbound up the fortunes of their pro- ment would plunge the country inprietary in the war, but do not, as to foreign war from personal and has been supposed, prove the confi- selfish considerations. Worst of dence of their heads in its success. all, the widespread distress which It is commonly believed, and was must attend upon the collapse of understood by the parties concerned, all foreign trade, if we except the that had the banks not afforded to export of corn from the West the Government the supplies neces- the stagnation of manufactures, exsary for the prosecution of the war, cept such as serve the devouring

* Mr Crittenden, a venerable and honoured citizen of Kentucky, which he has during many years represented in Congress, made an earnest attempt to avert the dissolution of the Union, by proposing that the Constitution should revert from the law that a new State shall be Slave or Free according to the votes of the majority of the residents in its “Territory,” to one resembling that of the “Missouri Compromise," by which all new States were to be Slave or Free as they were formed north or south of the Southern line of Missouri prolonged to the Pacific Ocean. This proposal, made by a Republican, appears very honourable to him, as involving, for the common good, a large sacrifice of the "platform" of his party. He has since proved that his willingness to concede so much arose from no lack of loyalty to the Union, having cast in his lot with it when his fine State became at last involved in the war, and was torn to pieces by its divided opinions.

+ Up to the end of last montă, eighty-nine newspapers are said to have been suppressed in the Northern States since the secession of South Carolina.

a pamphlet under this title, lately published by Hardwicke, Piccadilly, London.

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jaws of war—the rapid absorption time essential to their military eduby the war of capital withdrawn cation has been wanting. Of the from investments — the additional soldiers who can properly be called liability of the North, in the event American, we believe that many of Southern independence being joined their regiments from a bemaintained, for those portions of lief that Washington was threatenthe war debt which the Government ed with capture, and their native pretend to allocate to the seceded States with invasion. It is curious States,-must give the governing, that in the North by many the because the most numerous class, a awakening of the military spirit is motive terribly forcible for pressing ascribed to the ill-judged speech of on their delegates financial mea- Mr Walker, then Confederate Secresures the most unscrupulous and tary of War, who promised to the most ruinous to their country, seceding States that “ their banner

Such are some of the elements of should wave over the Capitol ; early difficulty which beset America; while in the South, men who forbut for the present the question is merly, and up to a late date, were one of war, and we proceed to con- stout Unionists, declare that Mr sider how far the new Confederacy Lincoln's proclamation, in which may be expected to maintain its posi- he called for war upon the South, tion asa de facto Government, against alone alienated their loyalty. It is the great armaments of the Federal much to be doubted whether many Government. The Government has of the American-born soldiers caldrawn without stint upon the na- culated on or desire the invasion of tional resources, and the news- the Southern States. papers are never tired of declaring It is evident too, that, though that the country possesses a “mag- the confidence expressed by the nificent” and overwhelming army, Northern newspapers in the invinthe onset of which we continue to cible character of the army is unawait.

abated, it is hardly shared by the But we must not, like the Ameri- commanders. Their measures withcans, in their sanguine anticipations, in their lines on the right bank of forget that of the rank and file of the Potomac are rather calculated this grand army the chief part is for defence, or for a secure retreat, little more experienced than it was than for the advance of an eager at the battle of the 21st July—that and “ imposing army.” Every road its officers are taken from the same is commanded by powerful batteries class as they were on that day, and and breastworks — every hillock elected in the same manner-and that crowned with a redoubt – every of all the causes to which the rout of mile to which the retreating enemy Manassas has been attributed, none encourages the advance of their is better proved than the incapacity outposts is marked by fresh fieldof the regimental officers. The un- works of the strongest description. fitness of the great mass of the gene- The Northern army may probably ral officers for their position is a ne- consist, according to the most circessity. Moreover, a large, and we cumstantial statements, of about believe the most trustworthy part 360,000 men, for the larger estiof the Federal army is composed of mates evidently include, among foreigners; and although the Ger- those raised by the various States, mans are valuable for their apti- the "three months'men,” afterwards tude for drill, and the Irish for their disbanded. Frequent complaints courage, their services cannot be the reach us as to the slackness of the offspring of a patriotic spirit, which recruiting in New York and other might compensate for a defective eastern States. Many of the 360,000 discipline. They are just such must be as yet very little drilled, troops as high pay will attract to and few have seen four months' any service in the world; but the service. There must be also a considerable daily diminution by casu- Missouri, Fremont was unable to alties. A gentleman who professed prevent the capture of a town, imto be well informed, but who was portant because held by a compehimself bound by no official reserve, tent garrison, and containing large stated that he had an exact account stores of arms, ammunition, and of the arrival of troops at Washing- treasure ; and that since he took ton from the date of the battle of the field he has been unable to Manassas to the middle of October, prevent the junction of Price and and that their numbers did not ex- M'Culloch. It may indeed happen ceed 60,000. It is likely, therefore, that Kentucky and Missouri will that Mr Russell's recent estimate be lost to the North. And if the of the “ Army of the Potomac” at statements of the generals, who 100,000 is not much below the mark, almost uniformly report that they including probably about 150 pieces have been opposed by vastly supeof artillery. Yet, if the Federal rior forces, are to be relied on, the general has such a force at his conclusion is irresistible that either command on the line of the Poto- the numbers of the Northern army mac, we should fall into a grave are grossly exaggerated, or that its mistake were we to conclude from generals are woefully inferior to experience of European or of any their enemy in the important art regular troops that he is in a posi- of bringing their troops to the points tion to advance far into a difficult at which they are required. and hostile country, held by a wary The conditions of the contest will and resolute enemy.

appear still more altered if the state We have seen it assumed by the of the South be understood. That Times in one of its speculative mo- its army is inferior to that of the ments, that “ without sending a North in equipment, in military man from the army destined to material, in the command of Europrotect Washington and to advance pean supplies, has been correctly into Virginia, the Federal Gover- assumed. It is not uniformly clad; ment can direct expeditions upon its train is less regular and splendid; other points which they may judge its field artillery probably less numeassailable.” It is true that, as they rous; and the supply of rifled ordhave just done, the Government can, nance and gunpowder must neceswith the command of the sea, direct sarily be difficult. expeditions to any point, and that But the spirit which has created they have in other quarters large and maintained hitherto the Southforces in the field ; but, besides ern Confederacy, has also found having to leave some 30,000 men means to supply many of its wants. to maintain the quasi-Venetian Formerly neglectful of manufacoccupation of Maryland, it must be tures, even of the simplest kind, the remembered that their forces have blockade has called forth many as yet failed to gain one real suc- which were before hardly known in cess (in the European sense), if we the South. At Nashville a factory except the capture of Cape Hatteras has been established, from which under the guns of men-of-war, and half a million of copper caps are from thence they have failed to turned out daily. The Navy Yard advance ; that they have sustained at Norfolk furnished numerous several serious defeats, one of heavy guns, which are supplemented which resulted in a three months' by factories at Richmond and elsesuspension of hostilities at the where. It is worthy of note that most important point; that they the Federal officers failed to destroy helplessly see the navigation of the the valuable machinery at Norfolk Potomac closed ; that from Ken- before they retreated, though they tucky the most sanguine bulletin dealt fire and destruction upon the announces that Louisville may wooden sheds. The arms found in now be considered safe ;" that in the Federal arsenals, or purchased

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