February 28, 1863
Why the Officers want the war to continue
The republican papers have of late treated their readers to the resolves of a meeting of officers, somewhere in Tennessee. These officers resolve very fiercely against all efforts to stop the war and restore the Union. They are very determined against the restoration of the Constitution and the authority of the Government over the Southern States, by peaceful means, and they become hoarse in shouting “traitor” at all men in the North who favor a speedy settlement of the troubles and the restoration of peace. Why these men should oppose a speedy and honorable peace, and the return of our soldiers to their homes, was probably more than some persons could imagine. But the secret is out at last – the motive for their condemnation of the peace men has been revealed. – The Chicago Tribune tells the story, and it must certainly be taken as good evidence against its own friends. A late number of that paper says:
“Whole divisions of the army have been held and wielded solely as a guard for cotton buyers, and scores of officers wearing the federal uniform have used the men and means of transportation entrusted to them, for uses solely to their personal aggrandizement. These men have been willing that the war should wait until they could reap their share of the cotton crop, and to further this what enormities some of them have stooped to let the page elsewhere in this issue tell.”
There you have it! The reason why an honorable peace is opposed by Brigadiers and Colonels is, that “the war should wait till they can reap their share of the cotton crop.” What matters it if hundreds of our brave soldiers die daily in the swamps and by the pestilence – what matters it that men are maimed for life and families impoverished and homes desolated – what matters all these, so that the officers can “reap their share of the cotton crop”? These officers – many of them unable to earn an honest living at home – we are told will steal niggers and then trade them off for cotton, making the soldiers do guard duty over the niggers first and the cotton afterwards. The wagons and boats and railroads, that should supply the famished and sick soldiers with food and medicines are used “solely for their personal aggrandizement.” That means that sick and wounded soldiers are left by the wayside, while the cotton bought with stolen negroes is sent to market. And yet the men who are guilty of these villainies are impudently talking about “traitors at home who want to stop the war and restore the Union.” The patriotism of such officers is bound by the amount of their pay and their ability to steal niggers and cotton. Stop the war and their opportunities to get rich by stealing and plundering will be destroyed. – Therefore they want the war to continue till the last nigger is stolen and the last cotton bale sent to market. – The threats of such unmitigated scoundrels will not deter the honest people of the country from aiding all honorable schemes to end this bloody war.
The Democrats of the counties around us are forming county and township clubs, for the discussion of the questions of the day, and for the better understanding of their rights and duties in this government. They are stimulated to do this, because the republicans are forming secret associations to aid the disunionists at Richmond and Washington in their joint efforts to destroy every vestige of constitutional liberty and to deprive every citizen of his rights purchased by the blood of the Revolution. While the republicans are forming secret societies in the interest of the monarchical administration, the Democrats should hold their meetings and make their organizations openly. We have no despotic purposes to subserve, and therefore court the light on all our transactions. We suggest that township meetings be called for the organization of constitutional societies, and that all be invited to take part who are in favor of the Constitution and the Union formed by the fathers of the Republic.
The Extremes Assist Each Other.
The Lincoln administration and the Jeff Davis administration are both opposed to a pacification of the troubles that afflict the country. It is hard to tell which opposes a restoration of the Union as it was with the most virulence, the Lincoln papers or the Davis papers. Each party seems to be bent on the humiliation or destruction of the people opposed to them, and are alike deaf to all terms of adjustment. They likewise cordially agree in calling the friends of peace and Union traitors to their respective sections. This agreement is not surprising, when we consider that foolish and fanatical men, who consider their own political popularity as of more importance than the welfare of the whole country, now bear rule in the land. How long shall such miserable imbeciles keep millions of people at the sword’s point who want to be, and ought to be, friends?
The Biggest Fool Yet.
The biggest fool we have heard of for a long time was in town last Saturday. As a matter of course he came to attend the “Union meeting” of the republicans. He had large bills posted up all over town, offering $40 for recruits in a branch of the cavalry service. He doubtless thought that a republican unconditional Union meeting would be a good place to get recruits for the army – men who bluster so much about saving the country would certainly do a big thing in the way of volunteering. What a simpleton he was! We cannot learn that he obtained a single volunteer, even with a $40 inducement. Perhaps he will learn from this, what every sensible man knew before, that all this republican bluster about saving the Union and giving the last man to die for it, is the sheerest political braggadocio – the paltriest gassing of broken down politicians. They talk huge things, but they are not filling up the ranks to any extent just now.
Fox Chase. – We understand there was a fox chase a few miles west of town last Saturday. Notwithstanding the inclement weather and the bad condition of the roads, the attendance of men and animals was large. The fox run will while he did run, and there was fine sport in following the cry of the dogs. Reynard took a tree rather early, and then fell a victim to the pursuers. The attendance would have been larger, probably, had it not been for a blacksnake meeting at the Methodist church in town the same afternoon. It might be difficult to determine which place of amusement presented the strongest inducements to sensible men. The blacksnakes, however, kept up the chase till after night and got no game at last. The church building is supposed to need purifying.
Aquarium. – Among the attractions at Keefer’s Drug House is a small aquarium. The happy family therein consist, at present, of gold and silver fishes; but we expect soon to see an addition of various other inhabitants of the water. It is a very pretty sight.
→ A republican last Saturday hoisted a flag with twenty-eight stars. Does that mean New England or the cotton States left out of the Union?