Изображения страниц

of English platforms, and the superficial exhortations of the home press, have had no deceptive effect upon these growers. They know their position perfectly. They may realize a good deal of money while the sun shines, but it is an April gleam only of warmth and brightness, soon to be overcast. The complaints to which vent has been given in England, with regard to the slowness of the Indian cultivator in taking up the cotton agriculture, rather show the ignorance or selfishness of those that make them, than stupidity on the part of the ryots, who are sufficiently alive to their own interests, and have acted with a rational caution in the extent to which they have changed the character of their crops.

The anxiety of the Confederate youth to enter the army is so great that it has been necessary to forbid them from joining the ranks at an immature age. Far from being run to the last extreme for lack of fighting material, the Southern government say they can keep their armies recruited up to their present strength for several years. If the worst comes to the worst, they will arm the negroes. They are prepared for any sacrifice. One of their generals declared to Colonel Fremantle lately that they would prefer the supremacy of the Emperor of China to that of the Federal President. That author's observation led him to think that the Confederates can, if they choose, convert a large number of the negroes into soldiers, who, "from the affection which undoubtedly exists, as a general rule, between the slaves and their masters," would prove more efficient than "black troops under any other circumstances." But this will be a last resort, partly from the value of the negroes for their labour, and partly from a fear that when the passions of the blacks were aroused, they would commit excesses. The Southerns, however, have contrived to economize their men to an important extent, by employing negroes in the service of the army-in raising fortifications, conveying supplies, and manufacturing implements and ma


The Southern armies have always been outnumbered immensely in their battles. Altogether, the Southern forces do not tot up more than 400,000,

and, until lately, Lee had never above 60,000 effective men under his command.

But no Confederate soldier receives his discharge on being even badly wounded. He is attended by ladies, who voluntarily undertake the duty, and employed, as soon as he has become convalescent, in whatever labour in the public service he may be able to perform. The slightly wounded return to the ranks as soon as possible. Colonel Fremantle saw a fine-looking man, of Polk's corps, both of whose hands had been blown off at the wrists, by unskilful artillery practice in one of the early battles. A currycomb and brush, however, had been fitted to his stumps, and he was engaged in grooming artillery horses with considerable skill. Clerks, orderlies, and railway servants, are, for the most part, mutilated soldiers.

The Confederates were surprised on the third day of the memorable struggles at Gettysburg, when their last invasion of Maryland failed. They fought desperately, as Colonel Fremantle's account of the battle shows, but the original error of unpreparedness was never recovered, and Meade's reputation was made by a Federal victory. But the admirable organization of the Southern army was never more seen than in the orderliness of their retreat, and the coolness of the bearing of their officers under a crushing disappointment, for they had supposed that Washington was theirs. Of all the Northern generals, Rosecranz is the most esteemed in the South, both for the qualities of gallantry and discretion. Banks is despised; but a subordinate officer in the Federal service, a German, named Weitzel, has a high character among the Confederates. Next to their own principal generals, the Southerns seem most to value General Stuart, the famous


raider." Jeb Stuart, as they call him, on account of his initials, is, in fact, the darling of the rustic populations. It is curious that so dashing a guerilla leader, whose enterprises are usually characterized by singular daring, should be a sort of fop; yet so it is. He is very fond of popular applause, and was lifted to the third heaven on an occasion when he was conducted through a Virginian town, his horse covered with garlands of roses.

Not the least remarkable of the

Southern leaders is that "Bishop" Polk, to whom his parents, with the passion of Americans for imposing Christian names, have given the pagan, but illustrious, prefix of Leonidas. He is cousin to President Polk, with whom he has been sometimes confounded by English writers. Like most of the chiefs of the Confederacy he is in the prime of life, being only fifty years of age. His appearance indicates a man of good average capacity, who has all his powers well in hand, and ready at any moment for any duty. A certain air of command is the only soldierly feature about him; otherwise he still looks more of the churchman than the warrior. The military instinct, however, appears to have been always strong in him, and when the war broke out he conceived the defence of his country to be his primary duty. He has proved himself no less zealous as the commander of an army than he was as a prelate, and though never entrusted with military tasks as important as those committed to Lee, Jackson, or Beauregard, he has distinguished himself repeatedly in the field, and acquired a character second to that of no other Confederate general for organizing and disciplining an army.

The previous career of this individual is not less interesting than that of Jefferson Davis or Stephens. Leonidas Polk has Irish blood in his veins. His grandfather took part in the siege of Derry. His father distinguished himself in the American revolutionary war. Polk himself is a North Carolinian, and was educated for the military profession, first at the university of his native city, and subsequently at West Point Academy, where he went through the full course,

and afterwards received a commission in the artillery. He remained in the army, however, for a few months only. Influenced powerfully by religious feelings, he offered himself as a candidate for holy orders, and after a proper probation, became assistant minister in an Episcopal church in Richmond. Soon after he travelled, and visited England. His property, inherited partly and partly acquired by marriage, being in Tennessee, he subsequently settled down there, and laboured with much enthusiasm for the spiritual improvement of his VOL. LXIII.-NO. CCCLXXIV.

slaves. It was the success of these efforts which pointed him out as the divine best suited for the office of a missionary bishop, whose territory was to be of an extent so vast, comprising as it did part of seven States, that he could not conclude his visitation-for the American prelate did really visit his clergy and not the clergy him--in less time than half a year. He afterwards became Bishop of Louisiana, and in his new sphere, it has been stated that he has been the most active agent in the erection of no less than fifty churches, church extension being his passion. When the war is concluded he means to resume his mitre, and prosecute more earnestly than ever the work in which he has been interrupted. What he considers dire necessity has made him for the time a soldier.

There is an adventure of this soldierbishop, which possesses considerable interest, as related modestly by himself, and confirmed by his officers. The story, indeed, is one of the martial feats destined to figure in the early history of the Confederacy.

"Well, sir," said the quondam Bishop, "it was at the battle of Perryville, late in the evening, in fact it was almost dark, when Liddell's brigade came into action. Shortly after its arrival I observed a body of men, whom I believed to be Confederates, standing at an angle to this brigade, and I said, 'Dear me, this is very sad, and must firing obliquely at the newly arrived troops. be stopped,' so I turned round, but could find none of my young men, who were absent on different messages; so I determined to ride myself and settle the matter. Having cantered up to the colonel of the regiment which was firing, I asked him in angry tones what he meant by shooting his

own friends, and I desired him to cease He answered with sur

doing so at once.

prise, I don't think there can be any mis

take about it; I am sure they are the enemy.' 'Enemy!' I said, 'why I have only just left them myself. Cease firing, sir! what is your name, sir?' My name is Colonel

of the

[ocr errors]

Indiana. And pray, sir, who are you?' Then, for the first time, I saw, to my astonishment, that he was a Yankee, and that I was in the rear of a regiment of Yankees. Well, I saw that there was no hope but to brazen

it out, my dark blouse and the increasing obscurity befriended me, so I approached quite close to him, and shook my fist in his face, saying, 'I'll soon show you who I am, sir; cease firing, sir, at once!' I then turned my horse, and cantered slowly down the line, shouting in an authoritative man


ner to the Yankees to cease firing; at the same time I experienced a disagreeable sensation, like screwing up my back, and calculating how many bullets would be between my shoulders every moment. I was afraid to increase my pace until I got to a small copse, when I put the spurs in and gallopped back to my men. I immediately went up to the nearest colonel, and said to him, 'Colonel, I have reconnoitred those fellows pretty closely, and I find there is no mistake who they are; you may get up and go at them.' And I assure you, sir, that the slaughter of that Indiana regiment was the greatest I have ever seen in the war."

The personal sacrifice made by Bishop Polk in joining the army is only a type of the spirit which has animated the whole Southern nation since the conflict began. Rich planters have entered the ranks as privates. Others have subscribed to the extent of one-third of their whole means to aid the Government. Some have equipped and supported companies throughout the campaign of the last two years at their own sole expense, in remarkable contrast with the selfishness of their Northern opponents, and the vicarious patriotisin which fights battles with German and Irish mercenaries. To this patriotic selfdenial among the wealthier inhabitants of the Confederacy, more than any other non-physical cause, are the military aptitudes developed by the Southern people in the course of the war owing. Such a temper is infectious. It extends from the higher classes of society to the lower, and unites all in a common bond of sympathy and suffering. Thus it was that in a wonderfully short period of time scores of thousands of soldiers were brought together, drilled, and raised to a high point of efficiency in the South; and the same influences have recruited their numbers and preserved their discipline. Badly uniformed from the first, badly shod, often condemned to harassing marches that must have seemed to them without object, fighting for the most part on the defensive, and stinted not unfrequently in food, the Southern troops have never succumbed to the vices such a state of things generally produces in an army, but have won several of their greatest fields, and added the highest lustre to their reputation, when literally ragged, hungry, worn out by fatigue,

and in number inferior to those opposed to them.


It has been said, indeed, that the patriotism of the planters did not exhibit itself in any very remarkable Way until Mr. Lincoln had issued his Emancipation edict. That document, it is true, added fuel to the flame. It left the Secessionists no retreat. It proclaimed a war ad internecionem. As an incitement to servile insurrection, it maddened all classes of the Southern population, and did more to recruit the divisions of Mr. Jefferson Davis than any expenditure of money in bounties the planters could have attempted. Nevertheless, it is incorrect to refer the origin of their enthusiasm to that circumstance. had a much earlier date. When the "children of a heavenly Mars," as John Brown, of Harper's Ferry, called the Northern troops in his almost prophetic doggrel-" set apart, sealed, and anointed"--had invaded the South, with the view of stimulating the slaves to massacre as the means of victory, the South rose as one man, and the scabbard was thrown away, but long before that time the flower of the Southern chivalry had fallen gloriously on well-fought fields, and the people, high and low, had shown that a reunion of the shattered Republic was impossible. As an illustration of the heroic temper of the Southerns even of the humbler class, Colonel Fremantle states that having slept, on a certain occasion, in the tent of General Polk, that officer told him, before going to rest, the story of an humble widow, who had lost three sons in the war, and had only one left, a boy of sixteen. Commiserating her in her bereavement, General Polk went to offer her some consolation. She looked steadily at him, and when he had finished his condolences, said, quietly-"As soon as I can put a few things together, you shall have Henry, too." The tears filled General Polk's eyes, as he added, "How can you subdue such a nation as this?"

Mr. Stephens, the Vice-President of the Confederacy, who made the unlucky speech at an early stage of the war, in which slavery was described as the "corner-stone" of the Southern nation-a sentiment understood to be repudiated by many of his fellow statesmen--is about fifty-two years of age. His father, a

planter of moderate means, having died when the future politician was young, and his affairs being embarrassed at the time, Stephens became indebted for the means of entering the University of Georgia to a benevolent lady in the neighbourhood where his family had resided. When he graduated in 1832 he was at the head of his class, and having been soon after called to the bar, almost immediately took a leading position. His eloquence is striking, his language being simple and direct, but his manner fervent and effective. He entered political life in 1837 as a member of the State Legislature of Georgia, and in 1843 became a member of Congress. He was always a vigorous working representative, and among the most useful of her delegates to the South. Immediately after the Secession he was pitched upon as the man most fitted to stand at the right hand of Jefferson Davis, to whom he is inferior in knowledge of the world, powers of organization, and the governing faculty, though superior in all points of scholarship and in the class of gifts commonly called popular. Mr. Samuel Phillips Day has given a graphic account of the personal appearance and mental characteristics of one who ranks high among the celebrities of the South, and has vastly served the young nationality, though his duties have not brought him often before the public.

"Mr. Stephens (says Mr. Day) suffers from an organic derangement of the liver, which gives him a consumptive appearance. He has never weighed over ninety-six pounds, and to see his attenuated figure bent over his desk, his shoulders contracted, and the shape of his slender limbs, visible through his garments, a stranger would never select him as the modern John Randolph, more dreaded when in the United States Congress as an adversary, and more prized as an ally in a debate, than any other member of the House of Representatives. When speaking, he has at first a shrill, sharp voice; but as he warms with his subject, the clear tones and vigorous sentences roll out with a pleasing sonorousness. He is witty, rhetorical, and solid, and has a dash of keen satire that puts an edge upon every speech. He is careful student, but so very careful that no trace of study is perceptible as he dashes along in a flow of facts, arguments, and language, that to common minds is almost bewildering."

It is not improbable that Mr. Ste

phens, if he lives, will be President of the Confederacy after Mr. Davis has laid down the rod of office. Mean as his presence is when he is at rest, the people who are familiar with his impassioned utterances entertain for him an affectionate regard. He is understood to enjoy the confidence of the slaveholding section of the Southern community in the fullest degree. And in this connexion it may be useful to correct the erroneous idea of some persons with respect to the supposed predominance of the slaveowners' interest in the South. It appears by the census of 1850, the last available, that among a white population of about seven millions there are only 347,525 slaveholders, and not more than 37,662 of these hold more than twenty slaves each. This fact it is obviously of the greatest importance to remember when speculations are entered into with respect to the future position to be held by the negro in an independent Southern nation. Those who think that the tendency under the circumstances of the State would be to emancipate, will find support for their views in the circumstance that the slaveholding interest is comparatively so small; and its influence will be greatly restricted by the development of manufactures in the South as a consequence of the long continuance of the war and the vigour of the blockade. When the time of peace arrives, and the Southern people set about the organization of their political system, the planters will probably be found in a very small majority in the Confederate Congress, and it is remarkable that there exists already the nucleus of a party in the South whose principle it is that the Southern Republic will best consult for its permanence and prosperity by a gradual mitigation of the institution of slavery, with a view to its ultimate abandonment at no distant date.

Such an emancipation would obviously be better for the negro than that of the North, which means nothing more than the declaring of men free who cannot find their next meal otherwise than by clinging to their masters. An experienced and cautious Scotchman, writing with the fullest knowledge of what slavery is and necessitates, has lately said, 'Any sudden and wholesale manu


mission would be at once dangerous to the master and disastrous to the slave. The deliverance of the South must be a growth-a gradual progress towards enlightened and efficient industry. No philanthropic juggle or legislative sleight of hand can transform a horde of helots into a nation of noble workers." The Southern people have before them this great task. Internal necessities will probably coerce them to take it in hand soon after their independence has been fully secured; and there is, happily, every likelihood that the people who have displayed such temper and capacity during protracted and trying campaigns will find ways of dealing wisely with this gigantic problem. In the efforts they may make to free the negro, without ruining him in every moral and material respect, they ought manifestly to receive the special sympathy of Englishmen, since it was under our rule in America that the slave institution grew up.

It need hardly be added, that there is ample room within the borders of the Southern States to carry out any plan that might be adopted for emancipating and resettling labour, or otherwise, for developing and extending slavery, if such a policy should unfortunately be adopted instead. The Southerners, however, it is to be borne in mind, have solemnly pledged themselves against the slave trade. Virginia is 270 miles long, and 200 broad, and contains above 61,000 square miles of territory. North Carolina comprises 45,000 square miles, and South Carolina 28,000; Georgia is 300 miles long and 240 broad; Florida is 385 miles long, and though its breadth varies more than other States, it has an average width of over 150 miles wide. Alabama has 50,672 square miles of territory; Louisiana is 240 miles long, and 216 broad; and Texas includes no less than 325,000 square miles; whilst the State of Tennessee is 400 miles long, and that of Mississippi 339; Arkansas being 240 miles long. It will give a better idea of these figures to say, that Virginia and Tennessee united are considerably more extensive than France; that Georgia alone is somewhat larger than Denmark-the succession to whose sovereignty threatens to convulse Europe; and that Texas

is more than twice the size of the British Isles, and of greater extent than the whole of Germany, which contains 43,712,174 inhabitants ; whilst Texas has only 605,950, including slaves.

After the Southerners had selected Mr. Jefferson Davis and the Hon. Alexander H. Stephens as their principal officers, they chose for the other chief posts, namely, the Secretaryship of State, that of the Treasury, and that of War, their three best remaining men, Messrs. Toombs, Memminger, and Lee. Two changes affecting this arrangement have since taken place. General Lee's duties in the field have rendered it necessary to supply his place, and Mr. Toombs has given way to Mr. Robert M. T. Hunter, a man of great sagacity and industry. Memminger's management of the Southern finances has been masterly, and it is entirely owing to him that the nation occupies a pecuniary position much more favourable than that of the North. As against their enormous responsibilities the Southern Government have an immense quantity of cotton, purchased from the planters with their bonds. In the absence of information as to the amount and value of it, however, no estimate can be made of their liabilities in comparison with those of their rivals, but it is probable that their real debt is a good deal less than that of the Federals.


Mr. Hunter is also a financier. is a man of about fifty-four years old, and, like Stephens, a lawyer. From the year 1837, the date of his first speech, till the present time, he has been a consistent and energetic freetrader. He has also at all times shown himself to be a man of cool judgment. In the great Oregon dispute he was on the side of reasonable and equitable compromise; in 1846 he resisted the incorporation of the Mexican States with the Union, already labouring under a plethora of territory. In 1847 he became a member of the United States Senate, and afterwards was chairman of its finance committee. In 1858 he was re-elected senator for the third time, only ten out of one hundred and sixty members having voted for other candidates. Thus, all the leading men of the Confederacy served their full time to the duties of the adminis

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »