April 22.—I so often meet men pushed into the background of affairs; men young, intelligent, active, clear-sighted, in one word, fitted out with all mental and intellectual requisites for commanders, leaders, pilots and helmsmen of every kind; and nevertheless twenty times a day I hear repeated the question: "Whom shall we put? we have no men."—It is wonderful that such men cannot cut their way through the apathy of public opinion, which seems to prefer old hacks for dragging a steam engine instead of putting to it good, energetic engineers, and let the steam work. Young men! young men, it is likewise your fault; you ought to assert yourselves; you ought to act, and push the fogies aside, instead of subsiding into useless criticism, and useless consideration for experienced narrow-mindedness, for ignorance or for helplessness. In times as trying as ours are, men and not counterfeits are needed.
April 22.—In Europe, they wonder at our manner of carrying on the war, at our General-in-Chief, who, in the eyes and the judgment of European generals, acts without a plan and without an ensemble; they wonder at the groping and shy general policy, and nevertheless a policy full of contradictions. The Europeans thus astonished are true friends of the North, of the emancipation, and are competent judges.
April 22.—I hear that Hooker intends to make a kind of feint against Lee. Feints are old, silly tricks, almost impossible with large armies, and therefore very seldom feints are successful. Lee is not to be caught in this way, and the less so as he has as many spies as inhabitants, in, and around Hooker's camp. To cross the river on a well selected point, and, Hooker-like, attack the surprised enemy is the thing.
April 22.—"Loyalty, loyalty," resounds in speeches, is re-echoed in letters, in newspapers. Well, Loyalty, but to whom? I hope not to the person of any president, but to the ever-living principle of human liberty. Next eureka is, "the administration must be sustained." Of course, but not because it intrinsically deserves it, but because no better one can be had, and no radical change can be effected.
April 22.—The English Cabinet takes in sails, and begins to show less impudence in the violation of neutral duties. Lord John Russell's letter to the constructors of the piratical ships. Certainly Mr. Seward will claim the credit of having brought England to terms by his eloquent dispatches. Sumner may dispute with Seward the influence on English fogies. In reality, the bitter and exasperated feeling of the people frightened England.
April 24.—It is repulsive to read how the press exults that the famine in the South is our best ally. Well! I hate the rebels, but I would rather that the superiority of brains may crush them, and not famine. The rebels manfully supporting famine, give evidence of heroism; and why is it in such disgusting cause!
April 23.—Senator Sumner emphatically receives and admits into church and communion, the freshly to emancipation converted General Thomas, Adjutant General, now organizing Africo-American regiments in the Mississippi valley. Better late than never, for such Thomases, Hallecks, etc., only I doubt if a Thomas will ever become a Paul.
April 24.—Our State Department does not enjoy a high consideration abroad. I see this from public diplomatic acts, and from private letters. I am sure that Mr. Dayton has found this out long ago, and I suppose so did Mr. Adams. Of course not a Sanford. If the State Department had not at its back twenty-two millions of Americans, foreign Cabinets would treat us—God, alone, knows how.
April 24.—I hope to live long enough to see the end of this war, and then to disentangle my brains from the pursuits which now fill them. Then goodbye, O, international laws, with your customs and rules. England handled them for centuries, as the wolf with the lamb at the spring. When I witness the confusion and worse, here, I seem to see—en miniature—reproduced some parts of the Byzantine times. All cracks but not the people, and to —— I am indebted that my brains hold out.
April 24.—What a confusion Burnside's order No. 8 reveals; the president willing, unwilling, shifting, and time rapidly running on.
April 24.—Senator Sumner, without being called as he ought to have been—to give advice, discovered the Peterhoff case. The Senator laid before the President, all the authorities bearing on the case, showed by them to the President, that the mail was not to be returned to the English Consul, but lawfully ought to be opened by the Prize Court. The Senator so far convinced the President, that Mr. Lincoln, next morning at once violated the statutes, and through Mr. Seward, instructed the District Attorney to instruct the Court to give up the mail unopened to England.
Brave and good Sumner exercises influence on Mr. Lincoln.
April 24.—Every one has his word to say about civilized warfare, about international warfare, laws of war, etc. In principle, no laws of public war are applicable to rebels, and if they are, it is only on the grounds of expediency or of humanity. Laws of international warfare are applicable to independent nations, and not to rebels. Has England ever treated the Irish according to the laws of international warfare? Has England considered Napper Tandy and his aids as belligerents? The word war in its legal or international sense ought to have been suppressed at the start from the official, national vocabulary; to suppress a rebellion is not to wage a war.
April 25.—When the bloody tornado shall pass over, and the normal condition be restored, then only will begin to germinate the seeds of good and of evil, seeds so broadcast sown by this rebellion. All will become either recast or renovated, the plough of war having penetrated to the core of the people. Customs, habits, notions, modes of thinking and of appreciating events and men, political, social, domestic morals will be changed or modified. The men baptized in blood and fire will shake all. Many of them endowed with all the rays of manhood, others lawless and reckless. Many domestic hearths will be upturned, extinct, destroyed; the women likewise passing through the terrible probation. Many women remained true to the loftiest womanhood, others became carried away by the impure turmoil. All this will tell and shape out the next generations.
I ardently hope that this war will breed and educate a population strong, clear-sighted, manly, decided in ideas and in action; and such a population will be scattered all over this extensive country. Men who stood the test of battles, will not submit to the village, township, or to politicians at large, but will judge for themselves, and will take the lead. These men went into the field a common iron ore, they will return steel. The shock will tear the scales from the people's eyes, and the people easily will discern between pure grain and chaff. I am sure that a man who fought for the great cause, who brought home honorable wounds and scars, whose limbs are rotting on fields of battle; such a man will become an authority; and death-knell to the abject race of politicians; the days of shallow, cold, rhetors are numbered, and vanity and selfishness will be doomed. Non vobis, non vobis—sed populo....
April 25.—Mr. Seward is elated, triumphant, grand. Emigration from Europe, evoked, beckoned by him is to replace the population lost in the war.
What is to be more scorned? Seward's heartless cruelty or his reckless ignorance, to believe that such a numerous emigration will pour in, as to at once make up for those of whom at least one third were butchered by flippancy of Mr. Seward's policy to which Lincoln became committed.
April 26.—The people are bound onwards per aspera ad astra: the giddy brained helmsmen, military and civil chiefs and commanders may hurl the people in an opposite direction.
April 26.—Whoever will dispassionately read the various statutes published by the 37th Congress; will speak of its labors as I do, and the future historian will find in those statutes the best light by which to comprehend and to appreciate the prevailing temper of the people.
April 27.—Rhetors and some abolitionists of the small church—not Wendell Phillips—still are satisfied with mistakes and disasters, because otherwise slavery would not have been destroyed. If they have a heart, it is a clump of ice, and their brains are common jelly. With men at the head who would have had faith and a lofty consciousness of their task, the rebellion and slavery could have been both crushed in the year 1861, or any time in 1862. Any one but an idiot ought to have seen at the start, that as the rebels fight to maintain slavery, in striking slavery you strike at the rebels. The blood spilt because of the narrow-mindedness of the leaders, that blood will cry to heaven, whatever be the absolution granted by the rhetors and by the small church.
April 27.—Mr. Seward went on a visit to the army, dragging with him some diplomats. The army was not to forget the existence of the Secretary of State, this foremost Union-saviour, and the candidate for the next Presidency. Others say that Seward ran away to dodge the Peterhoff case.
April 27.—How the politicians of the Times and of the Chronicle lustily attack—NOW—McClellan. If I am well informed, it was the editor of the Chronicle, himself a leading politician, and influential in both Houses, who instigated Lovejoy, Member of Congress, to move resolutions in favor of McClellan for the battle at Williamsburgh, where McClellan did what he could to have his own army destroyed.
April 28.—Mr. Seward elaborated for the President a paper in the Peterhoff case—and, horribile dictu, as I am told—even the President found the argument, or whatever else it was, very, very light. The President sent for the chief clerk to explain to him the unintelligible document—and more darkness prevailed. Bravo, Mr. Seward! your name and your place in the history of the times are firmly nailed!
April 28.—The time will come, and even I may yet witness it, when these deep wounds struck by the rebellion will be healed; when even the scars of blows dealt to the people by such Lincolns, Sewards, McClellans, Hallecks, the other minor gens, will be invisible—and this great people, steeled by events, will be more powerful than it ever was. Then the Monroe doctrine will be applied in all its sternness and rigor, and from pole to pole no European power will defile this continent. The so-called Americo-Hispano-Latin races humbugged by Europe, will have found how cursed is any whatever European influence. The main land and the Isles must be purified therefrom. Will any European government, power, or statesman permit the United States to acquire even the most barren rock on the European continent? The American continent is equal, if not more to Europe, and the degrading stigma of European colonies and possessions must be blotted from this American soil.
April 29.—The President appoints a day of fasting and prayer. Well! it is not for the people to fast and to pray, but for the evil-doers. Lead on, Mr. Lincoln, attended by Seward and Halleck—all in sackcloth and ashes.
April 29.—The President's and General Martindale's proclamations officially recognize the existence of God. It is consoling, and knocks down the far-famed Deo erexit Voltaire.
April 29.—To the right and to the left I hear praise of Mr. Chase as the great financier. Well he may be praised, having in his hand thousands and thousands of cows to be milked. The financier is the people, and prevents Chase from ruining the country.
April 29.—A Richmond paper calls McClellan a compound of lies and of cowardice. McClellan, the fetish of Copperheads and of peace-makers. The Richmond paper must have some special reasons which justify this stern appreciation.
April 30.—The World, a paper born in barter, in mud and in shamelessness, condemns General Wadsworth's name to eternal infamy. What a court of honor the World's scribblers! The one a hireling of the brothers Woods, and sold by them in the lump to some other Copperhead financier; the other a pants and overcoats stealing beau. The rest must be similar.
April 30.—The abomination of slavery makes such a splendid field to any rhetor attacking that curse. Were it not so, how many rhetors would be abolitionists?
Advance — Crossing — Chancellorsville — Hooker — Staff — Lee — Jackson — Stunned — Suggestions — Meade — Swinton — La Fayette — Intrigues — Happy Grant — Rosecrans — Halleck — Foote — Elections — Re-elections — Tracks — Seward — 413 — etc., etc., etc.
May 1.—General anxiety about Hooker. If he successfully crosses the river, this alone will count among the most brilliant actions in military history. To cross a river with a large army under the eyes, almost under the guns of an enemy, concentrated, strong, vigilant, and supported by the population, would honor the name of any world-renowned captain.
May 2.—Mr. Seward forces upon the Department of the Navy, instructions for our cruizers that are so obviously favorable to blockade-runners, that our officers may rather give up capturing. Mr. Seward's instructions concede more to England, than was ever asked by England, or by any neutral from a belligerent of a third class power.
May 2.—How could Mr. Adams to that extent violate all the international proprieties, and deliver a kind of pass to a vessel loaded in England with arms and ammunition for Matamoras. It is an offence against England, and a flagrant violation of neutrality to France. Not yet time to show our teeth to them. And all this in favor of that adventurer and almost pickpocket Zermann, this mock-admiral, mock-general, whom twice here they put up for a general in our army. But for me they would have made him one, and disgraced the American uniform. This police malefactor was patronised by some New Yorkers, by Senator Harris and from Mr. Seward may have got strong letters for Mr. Adams. It is probable that Zermann sold Mr. Adams to secessionists who may have wished to stir up trouble by this passport business. I am sure the affair will be hushed up and entirely forgotten.
May 2.—Glorious! glorious. Hooker crossed—and successfully. The rebels, caught napping, disturbed him not. Now at them, at them, without loss of an hour! The soldiers will perform wonders when in the hands of true soldiers for commanders, when led on by a true soldier.
O heaven! Why does Hooker publish such a proclamation? It is the merest nonsense. To thank the soldiers, few words were needed. But to say that the enemy must come and fight us on our own ground. O heaven! Hooker ought not to have had time to write a proclamation, but ought to pitch into the rebels, surprise and confuse them, and not wait for them. What is the matter? I tremble.
May 3.—Rumors, anxiety. The patriots feverish. One might easily become delirious.... Copperheads, Washington secessionists, spread all kinds of disastrous rumors. The secessionists here in Washington, are always invisible when any success attends our arms; but when we are worsted, they are forth coming on all corners, as toads are after a shower of rain.
May 4.—Confused news, but it seems that Hooker is successful. Still not so complete as was expected. Hooker's manoeuvring seems heavy, slow.
The Copperheads more dangerous and more envenomed than the secessionists. And very natural. The secesh risks all for a bad cause and a bad creed. But the World has no conviction, only envy and mischief, and risks nothing.
May 5.—Nothing decided; nothing certain. From what I can gather, the new generation or stratum of generals fights differently from the style of the Simon-pure McClellan tribe. They are in front, and not in the rear according to regulations.
Halleck digs, digs entrenchments around Washington. I meet battalions with spades. Engineers show their poor skill! and Mr. Lincoln is comforted to be strongly defended!
May 5.—Night, storm, rain. News rather doubtful. Stanton said to me that he believes in Hooker, even if Hooker be unsuccessful. Bravo! Not want of success condemns a general, but the way and manner in which he acted; and how he dealt with events.
May 6.—Seward is bitterly attacked by the World, and by other Copperheads. I could not unite with a World and with Copperheads to attack even a Seward. They are too filthy.—Arcades ambo.
May 6.—Hooker retreats and recrosses the river. Say now what you will to make it swallow, at the best it is an unsuccessful affair, if not an actual disaster. I believe not in the swelling of the river. Bosh! in three days these rivers fell. Have any generals Franklinized? I dare not ask; I most wish not to know anything.
May 7.—Nocte pluit tota (not) redeunt spectacula mane; grim, dark, cold, rainy night. Are the Gods against us? Or has imbecility exasperated even the merciful but rational Christian God to that extent, that God turns his back upon us?
May 7.—Hiob's news come in, confused to sure, but still one finds something like a foothold. I am thunderstruck, annihilated. I listened to Hooker's best friends but can hardly help crying. Hooker is a failure as a commander of a large army. Hooker is good for a corps or two, but not for the whole command and responsibility. From all that I can learn, Hooker fights well, courageously, but he, like the others, has not the greatest and truest gift in a commander: Hooker cannot manoeuvre his army. All that I hear up to this moment strengthened my conclusion, and I am sure that the more the details come in, the stronger the truth will come out. Hooker can not manoeuvre an army. Hooker may attack vigorously, stand as a rock, but cannot manoeuvre.
Hooker seems to have committed the same faults and mistake as his predecessors did. He kept more men out of the fire than in the fire. And this from Hooker who accused his former chiefs of that very fault. But poor Hooker was unsupported by a good staff. This check may turn out to be a great disaster. At any rate, a whole campaign is lost, and one more commander may go overboard. Hooker will raise against him a terrible storm. God grant that Hooker could be honestly defended.
—La critique est aisee, mais l'art est difficile is perhaps again illustrated by Hooker. If Hooker is in fault, then he ought not to survive this disaster. After all that he said, after all that we said and repeated in his favor, to turn out an awful mistake!
May 8.—Worse and worse. I do not learn one single fact exculpating Hooker. I scarcely dare to look in the people's faces. The rain is no justification. Hooker showed no vigor before the rain. After he crossed, and had his army in hand, instead of attacking, he subsided, seemingly trying to find out the plans of the rebels instead of acting so as not to give them time to make plans or to execute them.
Tel brille au second rang qui s'eclipse au premier, is almost all to be said in Hooker's defense. I tremble to know all the minute details. A paroled prisoner returned from Richmond said to me that terror was terrible in Richmond—that Lee and his army had no supplies. No troops in Richmond—Stoneman cut the bridges. The rebels were on the brink of a precipice, and extricated themselves.
May 8.—Boutwell, Member of Congress, told me that the district of St. Louis paid more new taxes to January than any other district in the United States. Bravo, Missourians. That is loyalty.
May 8: Evening—More details about this unhappy Chancellorsville. Lee and the rebel generals have been decidedly surprised—in the military sense—by the crossing of the river, and by Hooker coming thus in part in their rear. But we lost time, they retrieved and manoeuvred splendidly; better than they ever have done before. Lee showed that he has learned something. Lee showed that, by a year's practice, he has at length acquired skill in handling a large army. The apprenticeship on our side is not so successful; our generals have no experience therein, and McClellan was worse at Harper's Ferry in November than at Williamsburg in the spring. McClellan learned nothing. Will it be possible to find among our Potomac generals one in whom revelation will supply experience?
The more I learn about that affair the more thoroughly I am convinced that Hooker's misfortune had the same cause and source as the misfortunes of those before him. No military scientific staff and chief-of-staff. Butterfield was not even with Hooker, but at Falmouth at the telegraph. If it is so, then no words can sufficiently condemn them all.
If Kepler, or Herschel, or Fulton, or Ericcson had violated axioms and laws of mathematics and dynamics, their labors would have been as so much chaff and dust. War is mechanism and science, inspiration and rule; a genuine staff for an army is a scientific law, and if this law is not recognized and is violated, then the disasters become a mathematically certain result.
May 8.—The defenders of Hooker call the result a drawn battle. Mr. Lincoln calls it a lost battle. I call it a miscarried, if not altogether lost, campaign.
May 9.—The poorest defence of Hooker is that the terrain was such that he could not manoeuvre. If the terrain was so bad, Hooker ought to have known it beforehand, and not brought his army there. The rebels have not been prevented from marching and manoeuvring on the same ground, and not prevented from attacking Hooker, all of which ought to have been done by our army.
May 9.—All is again in unspeakable confusion. All seems to crack. This time, more than ever, a powerful mind is necessary to disentangle the country. If all is confirmed concerning Hooker's incapacity, then it is a crime to keep him in command; but who after him? It becomes now only a guess, a lottery.
The acting Chief-of Staff on the battle-field was General Van Alen. Brave and devoted; but Van Alen saw the fire for the first time, and makes no claims to be a scientific soldier.
May 10.—I wrote to Stanton to call his attention to, and explain the reasons of Hooker's so-called miscarriage. The insufficiency, the inadequacy of his staff and of chief-of-staff. Hooker attempted what not even Napoleon would have dared to attempt, to fight an army of more than one hundred thousand men, literally without a staff, or without a thorough, scientific and experienced chief-of-staff. I directed Stanton's attention to evidences from military history. Persons interested in such questions read Battle of Ligny and Waterloo, by Thiers.
Cobden, Cobden the friend of the Union, can no more stand Mr. Seward's confused logomachy, and in a speech sneers at Mr. Seward's dispatches. The New York Times dutifully perverts Cobden's speech; other papers dutifully keep silent.
May 10.—To extenuate Hooker's misconduct, his supporters assert that he was struck, stunned, and his brains affected. Hooker was stunned on Friday, and his campaign was already lost on Tuesday before, when he wrote his silly proclamation, when he subsided with the army in a semi-lunar (the worst form of all) camp, and challenged Lee to come and fight him. Lee did it. Hooker was intellectually stunned on Tuesday. Further: the results of the material stunning on Friday could never have been so fatal if the army had been organized on the basis of common sense, as are all the armies of intelligent governments in Europe. The chief-of-staff elaborates with the commander the plan of the action; he is therefore familiar with the intentions of the commander. When the commander is disabled, the chief-of-staff continues the action. At the storming of Warsaw, in 1831, Prince Paschkewitsch, the commander, was disabled or stunned, and his chief-of-staff, Count Toll, directed the storm for two days, and Warsaw fell into Russian hands.
No more effective is the defence of the defeat, by throwing the fault on the Eleventh Army Corps. The Eleventh Corps was put so much in advance of a very foggishly—if not worse—laid out camp, that it was temptingly exposed to any attack of the enemy. The Eleventh Corps was separated from the rest of the army, as was Casey's division in the Chickahominy. The laying of a camp, the distribution of the corps, in a well organized army, is the work of the staff and of its chief; but Butterfield was not even then in Chancellorsville. Lee, who if caught napping, quickly awoke, wheeled his army as if it were a child's toy, cut his way through woods which amazed Hooker, and arrived before Hooker's semi-lunar camp. We, all the time, as it seems, were ignorant of Lee's movements. A good staff, and what Lee did, we would have accomplished. Lee quietly found out our vulnerable point; and struck the blow. That, if you please, was a stunner. Finally: the Eleventh Corps was eleven or twelve thousand strong. The weakest in the army, equal to a strong division in a European army of one hundred thousand men. The breaking of a division or of twelve thousand men posted at the extreme flank, ought not and could not have been so fatal to the whole campaign. A true captain would have been prepared for such eventuality. Battles are recorded in history when a whole wing broke down and retreated, and nevertheless the true captain restored order and fortunes, and won the battle.
I am told that the rebels attacked in columns, and not in lines. The rebels learn and learned, and are not conceited. The terrain here in Virginia is specially fit for attacks in columns, according to continental European tactics. We will not learn, we know all, we have graduated—at West Point.
May 11.—I have it from a very reliable source, that Mr. Lincoln considers Sumner to be not very entertaining.
May 11.—The confusion is on the increase. Statesmen, politicians, honest, dishonest, stupid and intelligent, all huddled together. Their name is legion—and what a stench. It is abominable! And many think, and many may think, that I find pleasure in dwelling on such events, on such men as are here. When I was a child, my tutor ingrained into my memory the Cum stercore dum certo, etc. But at any cost, I shall try to preserve the true reflection of events, of times, and of the actors.
May 12.—Jackson dead. Dead invincible! and therefore fell in time for his heroic name. Jackson took a sham, a falsehood, for faith and for truth—but he stood up faithfully, earnestly, devotedly to his convictions. Whatever have been his political errors, Jackson will pass to posterity, the hero of history, of poetry, and of the legend. His name was a terror, it was an army for friend and for enemy. For Jackson
O selig der, dem er in Siegesglantze, Die blutigen Lorbeer'n um die Schlaefe windet.
May 12.—Sewardiana. Lord Lyons, or rather the English government, objects and protests against the instructions given to our cruisers, which instructions are intrinsically faultless. Mr. Lincoln jumps up and writes a clap-trap dispatch, wholly contrary to our statutes. Mr. Seward promises what he cannot perform, and this time the upshot is that his dispatch came before the Cabinet and was quashed, or, at least, recast.
The Morning Chronicle, of Washington—magnum Administration's excrementum—attacks SCHALK and his military reasonings. Oh! great politician.
Sus Minervam docet.
May 13.—The defenders of Hooker affirm that Sedgwick was in fault, and disobeyed orders.
1st. I have good reasons firmly to believe that Sedgwick heroically obeyed and executed orders sent to him. No doubt can exist about it.
2d. The orders written by such a staff as Hooker's might have been written in such a way as to confuse the God Mars himself. Marshal Soult could fight, but as a chief of Napoleon's staff at Waterloo, could not write intelligible orders.
3d. Setting aside Sedgwick's disobedience of orders, it does not in the least justify Hooker in hearing the roar of cannon, and knowing what was going on, and at the head of eighty thousand men allowing Sedgwick to be crushed; and all this within a few miles. Fitz-John Porter was cashiered for a similar offense. Hooker's action is by far worse, and thus Hooker deserves to be shot.
May 13.—Rumors that Halleck is to take the command of the army, together with Hooker. I almost believe it, because it is nameless, and here all that is illogical is, eventually, probable.
Poor Hooker. Undoubtedly, he had a soldier's spark in him. But adulation, flunkeyism, concert, covered the spark with dirt and mud. I pity him, but for all that, down with Hooker!
If Hooker or Halleck commands the army, Lee will have the knack to always whip them.
May 14.—Wrote a paper for Senators Wade and Chandler, to point out the reasons of Hooker's failure. Did my utmost to explain to them that warfare to-day is not empiricism, but science, and that empiricism is only better when sham-science has the upper hand. Hooker's staff was worse than sham-science, and was not even empiricism.
I explained that such evils, although very deeply rooted, can, nevertheless, be remedied. An energetic government can, and ought to look for and find, the remedy. The army, as it is, contains good materials for every branch of organization; it is the duty of the government to discover them and give them adequate functions.
Further: I suggested to these patriotic Senators that as in the present emergency, it is difficult to put the hand on any general inspiring confidence, the President, the Secretary of War and the Senators, ought immediately to go to the army, and call together all the commanders of corps and of divisions. The President ought to explain to the difficulty, nay, the impossibility of making a new choice. But as the generals are well aware that there must be a commander, and that they know each other in the fire, the President appeals to their patriotism, and asks them to elect, by secret ballot on the spot, one from among themselves.
May 14: One o'clock, P. M.—The President, Halleck and Hooker in secret conclave. Stanton, it seems, is excluded. If so, I am glad on his account. God have mercy on this wronged and slaughtered people. No holy spirit will inspire the Conclave.
May 15.—The English Government shelters behind the Enlistment Act. The Act is a municipal law, and a foreign nation has nothing to do with it. We are with England on friendly terms, and England has towards us duties of friendly comity, whatever be the municipal law. To invoke the Enlistment Act against us, is a mean pettifogger's trick.
A good-natured imbecile, C——, everybody's friend, and friend of Lincoln, Seward and the Administration in the lump, C—— asked me what I want by thus bitterly attacking everybody.
"I want the rebellion crushed, the slaves emancipated; but above all I want human life not to be sacrilegiously wasted; I want men, not counterfeits."
"Well, my dear, point out where to find them?" answered everybody's friend.
May 15.—On their return from Falmouth, the patriotic Senators told me that they felt the ground for my proposed election of a commander by his colleagues, and that General Meade would have the greatest chance of being elected. Va pour Meade. Some say that Meade is a Copperhead at heart. Nonsense. Let him be a Copperhead at heart, and fight as he fought under Franklin, or fight as he would have fought at Chancellorsville if Hooker had not been trebly stunned.
May 15.—Much that I see here reminds me of the debauched times in France; on a microscopic scale, however; as well as of the times of the Directoire. The jobbers, contractors, lobbyists, etc., here could perhaps carry the prize even over the supereminently infamous jobbers, etc., during the Directoire.
May 15.—"Peel of Halleck, Seward and Sumner," exclaims Wendell Philips, the apostle. Wendell Samson shakes the pillars, and the roof may crush the Philistines, and those who lack the needed pluck.
May 16.—The President visited Falmouth, consoled Hooker and Butterfield, shook hands with the generals, told them a story, and returned as wise as he went concerning the miscarriage at Chancellorsville. The repulse of our army does not frighten Mr. Lincoln, and this I must applaud from my whole heart. It is however another thing to admire the cool philosophy with which are swallowed the causes of a Fredericksburgh and a Chancellorsville—causes which devoured about twenty thousand men, if not more.
May 16.—Strange stories, and incredible, if any thing now-a-days is incredible. Mr. Lincoln, inspired by Hitchcock and Owen, turns spiritualist and rapper. Poor spirits, to be obliged to answer such calls!
May 17.—A high-minded, devoted, ardent patriot, a general of the army, had a long conversation with the President, who was sad, and very earnest. The patriot observed that Mr. Lincoln wanted only encouragement to take himself the command of the Army of the Potomac. As it stands now, this would be even better than any other choice. I am sure that once with the army, separated from Seward & Co., Mr. Lincoln will show great courage. If only Mr. Lincoln could then give the walking papers to General Halleck!
On the authority of the above conversation, I respectfully wrote to the President, and urged him to take the army's command, but to create a genuine staff for the army around his person.
I submitted to the President that the question relating to a staff for the Commander-in-chief of the Army and Navy [the President] and for the commander-in-chief of the Army, Major-General Halleck, has been often discussed by some New York, Boston and Washington dailies, and the wonted amount of confusion is thereby thrown broadcast among the public. The names of several generals have been mentioned by the press as a staff of the President. I doubt if any of them are properly qualified for such an important position. They are rather fitted for a military council ad latus to the President. Such a council exists in Russia near the person of the emperor; but it has nothing in common with a staff, with staff duties, or with the intellectual qualification for such duties. The project of such a council here was many months ago submitted to the Secretary of War. A Commander-in-chief, as mentioned above—one fighting and manoeuvring on paper—making plans in his office, unfamiliar with every thing constituting a genuine military, scientific or practical soldier—to whom field and battle are uncongenial or improper—to whom grand and even small tactics are a terra incognita—such a chief is at best but an imitation of the English military organization, and certainly it is only in this country that obsolete English routine is almost uniformly imitated. Such a Commander-in-chief might have been of some small usefulness when our Army was but thirteen thousand to sixteen thousand strong, was scattered over the country, or warred only with Indians on the frontier. But all the great and highly perfected military powers on the continent of Europe consider such a commander a wholly unnecessary luxury, and not even Austria indulges in it now.
During the campaign against Napoleon in 1813-14 the allies were commanded by a generalissimo, the Prince Schwartzenberg; but he moved with the army, actively directed that great campaign.
The Continental sovereigns of Europe are born Commanders-in-chief of their respective land and naval forces. As such, each of them has a personal staff; but such a personal staff must not be confused with a general, central staff, the paramount necessity of which for any military organization is similar to the nervous system and the brain for the human body. Special extensive studies as well as practical familiarity with the use of the drill and the tactics of infantry, cavalry and artillery, constitute absolutely essential requirements for an officer of such a staff. The necessary military special information also, as well as the duties, are very varied and complicated (see "Logistics" by Jomini and others.) This country has no such school of staff. West Point neither instructs nor provides the Army with officers for staff duties; and of course the difficulty now to obtain efficient officers for a staff, if not insurmountable, is appalling, and is only to be mastered by a great deal of good will, by insight and by discernment.
Many months ago, I pointed out, in the press, this paramount deficiency in the organization of the Federal Army. The Prince de Joinville ascribes General McClellan's military failures to the paramount inefficiency of that General's staff. Any one in the least familiar with military organization and military science is thunderstruck to find how the Federal military organization deal with staffs, and what is their comprehension of the qualification for staff duties.
It deserves a mention that engineers and engineering constitute what is rather a secondary element in the organization of a special or of a general central staff.
Plans of wide comprehensive campaigns are generally elaborated by such general staffs. In the campaigns of 1813-14, the sovereigns of Russia and Prussia were surrounded by their respective general, and not only personal staffs. With the Colonels Dybitsch and Toll, of the Russian general staff, originated that bold, direct march on Paris, whose results changed the destinies of Europe. Other similar, although not so mighty facts are easily found in general military history.
Finally, I pointed out to the President, the names of Generals Sedgewick, Meade, Warren, Humphries, and Colonel J. Fry as fit for, and understanding, the duties of the staff.
May 17.—I record a rumor, which I supposed, and found out to be, without much foundation; it is nevertheless worth recording.
The rumor in question says that the President wished to dismiss Stanton and to take General Butler; that Mr. Seward was to decide between the two, and that he declined the responsibility. Seward and Butler in the same sack! Butler would have swallowed Seward, hat, international laws and all—and of course Seward declined the responsibility.
But now a story comes, which is a sad truth. William Swinton, military reporter for the Times, a young man of uncommon ability and truthfulness, prepared for his paper a detailed article about the whole of Hooker's Chancellorsville expedition. Before being published, the article was shown to Mr. Lincoln; and it was telegraphed to New York that if the article comes out, the author may accidentally find himself a boarder in Fort Lafayette. Almost the same day the President telegraphed to a patriot to whom Mr. Lincoln unbuttoned himself, not to reveal to anybody the conversation. Both these occurrences had in view only one object—it was to keep truth out of the people's knowledge. Truth is a dangerous weapon in the hands of a people.
May 19.—The President repeatedly refuses to make General Butler useful to the country's cause, notwithstanding the best men in the country ask Butler's appointment. I am only astonished that the best men can hope and expect anything of the sort; for, when a Butler will come up, then Sewards and Hallecks easily may go down—but—pia desideria.
May 20.—From many, many and various quarters, continually unholy efforts are made to excuse Hooker and Butterfield; the President seemingly listens and excuses. Well, I know what a Napoleon, or any other even unmilitary sovereign, would do with both.
May 21.—O, for light! for light! O, to find a man! one to prize, to trust, to have faith in him! It is so sickening to almost hourly dip the pen in—mud! I regret now to have started this Diary. I go on because it is started, and because I wish to contribute, even in the smallest manner, towards rendering justice to a great people, besides being always on the watch, always expecting to have to record a chain of brilliant actions, accomplished by noble and eminent men. But day after day passes by, page heaps on page, and I must criticise, when I would be so happy to prize.
As a watchdog faithful to the people's cause, I try to stir up the shepherds—but alas! alas....
May 22.—Wrote a letter to Senator Wade explaining to him how incapable is Hooker of commanding a large army, how his habits and associations are contaminating and ruinous to the spirit of the army, and that Hooker is to return to the command of a corps or two.
May 23.—Vainly! vainly in all directions, among the helmsmen, leaders and commanders I search for a man inspired, or, at least, an enthusiast wholly forgetting himself for the holiness of the aim. Enthusiasm is eliminated from higher regions; is outlawed, is almost spit upon. Enthusiasm! that most powerful stimulus for heart and reason, and which alone expands, purifies, elevates man's intellectual faculties. Here the people, the unnamed, have enthusiasm, and to the people belong those noble patriots so often mentioned. But the men in power are cold, and extinguished as ashes. Jackson the President, Jackson the general, was an enthusiast. Enthusiasts have been the founders of this Republic.
Whatever was done great and noble in this world, was done by enthusiasts. The whole scientific progress of the human mind is the work of enthusiasm!
May 24.—Grant and the Western army before Vicksburgh unfold endurance, and fertility of resources, which, if shown by a McClellan and his successors, having in their hands such a powerful engine as was and is the Potomac Army, would have made an end to the rebellion. Happy Grant, Rosecrans and their armies! to be far off from the deleterious Washington influences and adulations. Influences and adulations ruined the commanders and many among the generals of the Potomac army. Adulations, intrigue, and helplessness fill, nay constitute the generals atmosphere. In various ways every body contributes to that atmosphere—participates in it. Every body influences or intrigues in the army. The President, the various Secretaries, Senators, Congressmen, newspapers, contractors, sutlers, jobbers, politicians, mothers, wives, sisters, sweethearts and loose crinolines. Jews, publicans, etc., and the rest of social leprosy. All this cannot thus immediately and directly reach the Western armies, the Western commanders, when it reaches, it is already—to some extent—weakened, oxygenated, purified. Add to it here the direct influence and meddling of the head-quarters. I pity this fated army here, and at times I even pity the commanders and the generals.
May 25.—Grant is an eminent man as to character and as to capacity. To Admiral Foote and to him are due the victories at Fort Henry, of Donelson, and the bold stroke to enter into the interior of Secessia. Had Halleck not intervened, had Halleck and Buell not taken the affairs in their hands, Foote and Grant would have taken Nashville early in the spring of 1862, and cleared perhaps half of the Mississippi. After the capture of Fort Donelson, Foote demanded to be allowed at once to go with his gunboats to Nashville, to clear the Tennessee; but Halleck caved in, or rather comprehended not. Grant and Rosecrans restored what Halleck and Buell brought to the brink of ruin.
May 28.—Mr. Seward, omnipotent in the White House, tries to conciliate the public, and in letters, etc., whitewashes himself from arrests of persons, etc. Mr. Seward is therefore innocent, thereof, as a lamb. But who inaugurated and directed them in 1861? I know the necessities of certain times, and am far from accusing; but how can Seward attempt to throw upon others the first steps made in the direction of arrests?
May 28.—Hooker still in command, and not even his staff changed. I am certain that Stanton is for the change in the staff.
May 28.—I am assured that the Blairs (I am not sure if General Blair is counted in) are the pedlars for Mr. Lincoln's re-election, as stated by the New York Herald. If Mr. Lincoln is re-elected, then the self-government is not yet founded on reason, intellect, and on sound judgment.
May 31.—I am assured by a diplomat that four hundred and thirteen is the last number of the correspondence between the Department of State and Lord Lyons. Oh, how much ink and paper wasted, and what a writing dysentery on both sides. The diplomat in question added that it was only from January first—of course it was a joke.
Banks — "The Enemy Crippled" — Count Zeppelin — Hooker-Stanton — "Give Him a Chance" — Mr. Lincoln's Looks — Rappahannock — Slaughter — North Invaded — "To be Stirred up" — Blasphemous Curtin — Banquetting — Desperate — Groping — Retaliation — Foote — Hooker — Seward — Panama — Chase — Relieved — Meade — Nobody's fault — Staffs, etc., etc., etc.
June 1.—For some time Banks seems to move in the right direction. Banks no more intends to destroy slavery, and not thereby to hurt the slave-holders. So Banks has become himself again, and the Sewardean creed is evaporated. Banks has under him very good officers, and intelligent, fighting generals; some of them left by Butler, others, as for instance, Generals Augur, Stone, etc., who embarked with Banks.
June 2.—I hear it reported that Hooker maintains that he has worsted and crippled the enemy more than if he had taken Richmond.
If the enemy in reality was worsted to that extent, it was not in the least done by Hooker, Butterfield & Co.'s generalship, but this time, as always, it was done by the bravery of the troops, notwithstanding the bad generalship, not by, but in spite of, that bad generalship.
June 3.—Count Zeppelin, an officer of the staff and aide to the King of Wurtemberg, came here to observe and to learn how not to do it! The Count visited the army at Falmouth. He was horror-struck at the prevailing disorder, and at the general and special miscomprehension of the needed knowledge and of the duties prevailing in the staff of the army. The Count says that if this confusion continues, the rebels may dare almost every thing. Count Zeppelin is what would be called here, a thorough Union man. He revolted greatly at witnessing the nonchalance with which human life is dealt with in the army, and the carelessness of commanders about the condition of soldiers; the latter he most heartily admires, and therefore the more pities their fate. He assured me that rebel agents scattered in Germany tried their utmost to secure for the rebel army officers of the various arms. This explains the organization and the brilliant manoeuvrings of the celebrated Stuart's cavalry, the novel rebel tactics in the use of artillery, and the attack by columns at Chancellorsville.
June 3.—Hooker, they say, waits to see what Lee will do. In other words, we are on the defensive, after such efforts and so much blood wasted. O, Ezekiel! O, Deuteronomy! help me to bless the leaders and the chiefs of this people.
I am told by a very good authority, that Mr. Lincoln takes a special care of his fellow-townsmen in Springfield. What a good, honest, neighborly sentiment, provided always that the public good is not suffering by it!
June 3.—A senator, who urged Mr. Lincoln to dismiss Halleck, was answered, that "as Halleck has not a single friend in the country, Mr. Lincoln feels himself in duty bound to stand by him." Admirable, but costly stubbornness.
June 3.—Poor Hooker! He is now the laughingstock of Europe. I wish he may recover what he has lost or squandered. But alas! even now Hooker makes no attempt to surround himself with a genuine staff.
I wrote to Stanton, imploring him for the country's and for his own sake, to compel Hooker to reform his staff, and not to allow science to be any longer trodden under foot. I implored Stanton that either the President or he would select and nominate a chief-of-staff for Hooker, or rather for the Potomac army, as it is done in Europe. Stanton understands well the disastrous deficiency, and if he could, he would immediately go at it and change. But, first, the statutes or regulations, obligatory here, leave it with the commander to appoint his own staff and its chief. Stupid, rusty, foggyish and fogyish regulations, so perfectly in harmony with the general ignorance of what ought to be the staff of an army! Second, Stanton must yield to another will, and to what is believed here to be the higher knowledge of military affairs.
June 3.—"Give to Hooker one chance more," says Mr. Lincoln, and so say several members of the Cabinet; "McClellan had so many."—Because they allowed McClellan to waste human life and time, it surely is no reason to repeat the sacrilegious condescension. A general may be unfortunate, lose a battle, or even lose a campaign; all this without being damnable when he has shown capacity, when he did his utmost, but could not conciliate fatum on his side. But such is not the case with Hooker, and such emphatically was not the case with McClellan and with Burnside.
June 3.—During these last fourteen days, the big men have been expecting a raid on Washington. More fortifications are constructed, and rifle pits dug. This time the Administration is perfectly right. All is probable and possible when capacity, decision, and lightning-like execution are on the one side, and on the other sham-science, want of earnestness, slowness and indecision.
June 5.—A very reliable and honorable patriot tells me that grandissimo Chase looks down upon any advice, suggestion, or warning. O, the great man! A time must come when all these great men will be held to a terrible account, will shed tears of blood, and their names will be scorned by coming generations, and the track to the White House may become also the track to the Tarpeian rock.
June 5.—I often meet Mr. Lincoln in the streets. Poor man! He looks exhausted, care-worn, spiritless, extinct. I pity him! Mr. Lincoln's looks are those of a man whose nights are sleepless, and whose days are comfortless. That is the price for a greatness to which he is not equal. Yet Mr. Lincoln, they say, wishes to be re-elected!
June 5.—Mr. Seward makes a speech to the volunteers of Auburn. All the same logomachy, all the same cold patriotism, all the same I, and all the same squint towards the next presidential election.
June 6.—Lincoln cannot realize to what extent Seward is and has been his evil spirit. Even the nearest in blood and heart to Lincoln know it, feel it, are awe-struck by it, warn him, and he is insensible.
June 7.—How I sympathize with Stanton, and admire his rude—others call it coarse—contempt of all that is said about him. That impure, lying, McClellan-Copperhead motley crew, accuse Stanton of all the numberless criminal mistakes committed in the conduct of the war—committed by the generals, etc. Stanton never interferes with Mr. Lincoln nor with Halleck in matters that exclusively relate to pure warfare, as where and how to march the respective armies, how and in what way to attack the enemy, etc.
Reliable patriots coincide with me, that Stanton as clearly sees every thing to-day, as he saw it when entering on his thorny duty. I only wonder that he holds out in such an atmosphere. Stanton's energy is indomitable. Blair's party says that "Stanton goes off at half-cock." It is not true; but even if true, better to go off at half-cock than not at all. Many say that Stanton ought to retire, if he is hampered by others in the exercise of his duties. But if he were to retire, he could not at this moment reveal to the people the causes of such a step, and by remaining at his post, Stanton prevents still greater disasters and disgraces. He never asks any of his friends to say or to write a word in his defence, or rather to dispel the lies with which McClellanites and copperheads poison the atmosphere all around them.
June 8.—Alexandria fortified, rifle-pits dug, etc. The third year of the war is the third terror upon Washington, and upon those counterfeit penates.
June 8.—What for—for heaven's or devil's sake—Hooker throws a division of cavalry across the Rappahannock, right in the dragon's jaw! All the rebel army is on the other side, and this, our division, can never be decidedly supported. It cannot be a reconnaissance—of what? It cannot be a stratagem to surprise Lee. If Lee wants to march anywhere north or west, this demonstration of Hooker's will not for a minute arrest Lee.
June 9.—The great Henry Ward Beecher emigrates for a time to Europe. His parish richly supports him for the trip, and the preacher sells his choice, and as it is said, beloved picture gallery. It is not for want of money. Strange! What a curious manifestation of patriotism!
June 10.—The demonstration over the Rappahannock turned out to be a slaughter of the cavalry. What! Was Hooker again stunned, to make such a deliberate mistake—nay, crime? Such a demonstration never could prevent Stuart from moving, even if our troops had defeated or worried him—even if victorious, our cavalry would have been forced to recross the Rappahannock, and Stuart, having behind him Lee's whole army, which could easily reinforce him, would then move again. Our force of nine thousand men, distant from support, attack a superior force of fifteen thousand, who besides have within supporting distance a whole army! This demonstration prevents nothing, decides nothing, beyond the worst, the most damnable generalship. General Hooker and his chief-of-staff are personally responsible for every soldier lost there.
June 11.—Again visitings to the army. Senators, ladies, magnifico Chase leading on. O, if the guerrillas could sweep them!
June 12.—Crippled men are to be met in all directions, on all the streets. One-third of the amputated limbs undoubtedly could have been saved by the Medical Department, were it in better hands, and above all, if surgeons had been called in from Europe—the domestic surgeons not being sufficient for the demand.
June 13.—The principle of election, the only true one, a principle recognized and asserted as well by antiquity as by the primitive Church, recognized by rationalists, by Fourier, by radical, or any democracy whatever—that principle must undergo an immense improvement before it shall act in all its perfection. The elector must be altogether self-governing, and not governed or influenced by anybody in his choice and vote. The elector himself must stand on an elevated level before by his vote he raises one or several above that level. When the people's vote confers the highest trust to one rather below than in the level, and still less one above the level, then even the most intelligent people in the world, being thus misdirected, misconducted, confused, in a very short time become almost enervated, and, so to speak, loses its self-possession, and its sense of duty and of right becomes shaken, its intellectual light dimmed. Exempla sunt odiosa.
June 14.—The cavalry expedition over the Rappahannock was to arrest any further offensive movements of the rebels. But lo! the rebel army, so to speak, spreads in all directions, and takes the offensive. We do not even know positively where Lee is going, where he will appear and strike. We are shaking in, and for, Washington.
"Weh, Messina! wehe, wehe, wehe!"
Mr. Lincoln is unshaken in his confidence in Hooker and Butterfield.
June 15.—By a bold and rapid manoeuvre Lee has thrown his troops over the valley, over the Potomac, into Maryland, and God alone knows where Lee will stop. Lee's advance must have been already on the Potomac when the slaughter of our cavalry over the Rappahannock was planned at the various head-quarters. How splendidly Lee's movements have been arrested by that demonstration! Lee is on the Potomac, and it seems that his movements have been ignored. His armies, to be sure, have not been surrounded by a cloud, as the Jews were in their exodus from the land of bondage, but the cloud was hanging over the head-quarters in the army and in Washington.
June 16.—The North invaded—threatened, shaken to the marrow! The audacity of the rebels is stimulated by our sluggishness. If the accounts in the War Department are true, then from Fortress Monroe to the Potomac, including Baltimore and Maryland, we have about two hundred thousand men, and the rebels dare! O, the rebels! what a desperate conception, what a lightning-like execution! Dutifully re-echoing the words uttered by their masters, the partisans of the Administration console themselves by saying that "this invasion of the North will have the effect of stirring up the North from its lethargy." O, you blasphemers! worse blasphemers than ever have been stoned or burned alive! Is the North not pouring forth its blood and its treasures, and are they not all squandered by counterfeits?
June 16.—The draft is not put in motion, because for weeks and months Mr. Lincoln adjusts the appointments to be made under this law, adjusts them to the exigencies of politicians. Jeff Davis executes the draft with an iron hand. Mr. Lincoln thus gives time to the Copperheads, to the disciples of the Seymours, of the Woods, of the World, to organize a resistance. Bloodshed may come!
June 16.—This invasion of Pennsylvania ought to be investigated. Light must be brought into this dark, muddy, stinking labyrinth. Weeks ago, honest, clear-sighted, patriotic Governor Curtin asked authority to arm the militia of his State, and was snubbed in Washington. Will this new disgrace serve to strengthen the Administration? Quite possible.
June 16.—Pennsylvania invaded, the country disgraced, and our helmsmen, our Secretaries of State and of the Treasury, give banquets! O, what a stoicism! a stoicism sui generis. The homes of the farmers whose sons bleed on fields of battle, are invaded, their hearths threatened with desolation, and the helmsmen sip Champagne, paid for by the people!
June 17.—Halleckiana. Rosecrans telegraphed to head-quarters that he cannot send any troops to Grant, and that if he, Rosecrans, is to attack Bragg, he must have reinforcements. Answer: "Do what you like, on your own responsibility."
June 17.—Hooker seems to have lost his former dash. He must have known that the rebels extended from Gordonsville to Pennsylvania, and he, moving in almost a parallel direction to that line, ought to have cut it, or at least its tail.
General Ewell at Winchester. Hooker seems to doubt what he can do. The soldiers of his army can do anything ever done by any soldiers in the world—but lead them on, O Generals! Hooker has ninety-four thousand men, and, McClellan-like, waits for more; laments that he is outnumbered. A good general, having such a number, and of such troops, would never hesitate to attack an enemy numbering one hundred and twenty thousand, and the more so, as Hooker's command is massed, while Lee's is not. And I'll risk my head that Lee's whole army, all over the valley, and over Pennsylvania, and over Maryland, is smaller than Hooker's. It is the same old trick of the rebels and of their friends, to throw dust in our eyes by magnifying their numbers. The trick is always successful, because on our side it is wished to extenuate incapacity by the supposed large numbers of the rebel armies.
June 18.—The North rises. New York sends its militia. The people fails not, but how about the helmsmen?
The Democrats—the Copperheads roar for McClellan. Well! the like Democrats glorifying McClellan, show their patriotism, their metal and their judgment. These Copperhead-Democrats may insist upon calling McClellan a captain and a hero, but history will give another verdict, and history will credit to the Democrats the fact that they have adroitly poisoned and perverted the good faith of the honest but credulous Democratic rank and file.
June 18.—The Administration's simon pure echoes, politicians, etc., try to persuade everybody that the invasion of Pennsylvania is nothing, a mere tempest in a tea-pot. Whom do they hope to humbug in this way? The disgrace is nameless, only they are callous enough not to feel it. Their cheeks can no more redden.... However, Stanton is not so optimist. It would look so farcical if it were not so deadly to witness. Hooker groping his way after Lee; Lincoln and the all-knowing head-quarters in the utmost darkness about Lee, his army, his movements, and his plans. And all this while the country, the people, is kept officially ignorant of its honor, of its fate. All publicity and communication is suppressed—not to inform thereby the enemy of our movements. How idiotic, how silly! As if the march and the movements of an army of one hundred thousand men could be kept secret from a vigilant and desperate enemy, and the enemy wanted to read the papers for it. Good for us!
I cannot hope against hope, and expect that Hooker, Butterfield, Lincoln, Halleck will out-manoeuvre Lee, bold, quick, and desperate as he is.
June 19.—The jobbers, the contractors, the gold, stock, and exchange speculators wish for the prolongation of the war. For this reason, disasters are rather welcome to them. Oh! to crush those ignoble and demoniac monsters.
June 20.—I cannot comprehend how Lee could have dared such a desperate movement, even if relying on the confusion and senselessness prevailing in our military movements. Lee must have had some kind of encouragement from the Copperheads before he risked a step, which ought to end in his utter destruction, even with a Halleck, Hooker and Butterfield as our commanders.
June 20.—Hooker has more than ninety thousand men in hand—his rear, his supplies, his depots covered by Heintzelman, and by the defences of Washington. This alone is equal to fifty thousand more. And with all this, the treble head-quarters, in the White House in G street, and in the army cannot find Lee, and therefore the rebels are not attacked, and lay Pennsylvania waste. O, staffs, O, staffs!
June 20.—More than any other army in the world, the American army requires to have a thoroughly organized staff, with very intelligent staff officers. Such staff officers carry orders to generals and to colonels who, although brave and devoted, may often not altogether comprehend certain sacramental technicalities of an order delivered by mouth, or written briefly in the saddle.
The officer ought to be able to explain the order. Think of it, you wiseacres and organisers of American armies.
June 21.—Small cavalry skirmishes without signification. The curtain is not rended, and the enemy rolls towards the heart of Pennsylvania. How will it end?
June 22.—Nobody of the various upper and lower Chiefs can find Lee. Give twenty thousand men to a bold man even not a general, and in twenty-four hours he will bring you positive news about Lee's army.
June 23.—It seems that Lee waits, if we divide our army, to strike a blow on Washington. Thus he will be baffled; there is a limit even to our military blunders.
June 24.—Incorrigible Seward. France invites our Government to participate in the diplomatic coercion against Russia. Of course, Americans refuse. Mr. Seward, in harmony with the feeling of the people politely snuff off France. But O, Mr. Seward, why pervert history or show your ignorance, even of the national events and of Congressional records. The United States, Adams II., President, sent commissioners to the Congress of Panama, and the United States Congress did it after a discussion of several days. What is the use to deny it now? Then Mr. Seward is insincere to both parties. Speaking of "a temporary transient revolt here" he seemingly insinuates, that but for this transient revolt he would perhaps try his hand at the European game. It would look so grand to be in company with the Decembriseur. Then the only impediment would be the people's will different from yours, oh, Seward! The refusal in the dispatch re-echoes the convictions of the American people; its shilly-shally conditionality is exclusively Sewardism and only fit to catch a Russian diplomat in Washington.
June 25.—Hooker crosses to Maryland with nearly one hundred thousand men. Lee is still on both sides of the Potomac. By a blow Hooker could cut Lee's army, break it, and retrieve what he lost at Chancellorsville. Oh, how I wish he may do it. But since Hooker has refused to mend his staff, all hope is lost. Stanton sees the condition very clearly, but Butterfield is in good odor in the White House.
June 26.—Lee's movements and invasion puzzle me more and more. The raid into Pennsylvania is the move of a desperate commander, almost of a madman, playing his whole fortune on one card. If Lee comes safe out of it, then doubtless he is the best general of our times, and we the best nincompoops that ever the sun looked upon and blushed for.
June 26.—The reports give to Lee an army of two hundred thousand men. Impossible! Where could the rebels scrabble together such a number? The old trick to frighten us. If, however, Lee should have even only from one hundred to one hundred and fifty thousand, then relying on the high capacity of our various head-quarters, the rebel chiefs may have gathered what they could take from Charleston and from Bragg, and massed it to try a decided blow on Washington. But this cloud, this dust cannot last long; whatever be our head-quarters, light must come, and the cloud burst with blood and thunder.
One meets in Washington individuals praising sky-high Mr. Lincoln's military capacity, and saying that he alone embraces all the extensive line of military operations, combines, directs them, etc. Pretty well has all this succeeded, and why cannot the younger generation seize the helm in this terrible crisis? How I ardently wish to see there an Andrew, Boutwell, Coffey, and more, more of those new men.
June 27.—From a very reliable, honest, and not conspiring secessionist in Washington, I learn that a Northern Copperhead visited Jeff Davis in Richmond, and stimulated the rebel chief to carry into the north a war of retaliation by fire and sword, but that Jeff Davis refused to instruct Lee for devastation. I instantly told Stanton my news; and now I doubt not in the least that the invasion is concerted with Northern Copperheads.
June 28.—The following is this morning the military condition of the city with the forts and defences: Hooker took all he could and all he met on his way. To defend the works around Washington Heintzelman has six thousand infantry, and not two hundred cavalry. The rebels have cavalry all around, within six or eight miles. A dash of twenty thousand infantry, and Washington is done!
June 28.—Admiral Foote dead. Irreparable loss. Foote was of the stamp of Lyon, of the stamp of patriot-heroes. He died of exhaustion, that is, of devotion to the country. Foote was an honor to the navy and to the American people.
June 28.—Yesterday, Friday, the candidate for presidency, splendid Chase, stood up mightily for Hooker. Oh, Mr. Chase! you may be a great or a doubtful financier, but keep rather mute on military matters. You know as much about them as this d—— mosquito that is just now biting my nose.
June 28.—At last, Hooker relieved. I pity Meade to receive a command at such a critical moment. But now or never, to show his mettle, his capacity! The army thinks very highly of Meade. Will Halleck soon be sent to California? Then the country's cause will be safe.
June 29.—Yesterday a rebel cavalry raid captured an immense train of provisions, cattle, etc., worth about five hundred thousand dollars, and within eight or twelve miles of Washington! Of course, it is nobody's fault. In other armies and countries, such a large train would have a very strong convoy—here it had scarcely a small squadron of cavalry. The original fault is, first, with Hooker's chief-of-staff, who is responsible for providing the army, and for the security of the provision trains. So at least it is in European armies. Second, with the head-quarters at Washington, who ought to have known that the enemy, ant-like, spreads in the rear of Hooker. The head-quarters ought to have informed the quartermaster thereof, and provided a strong convoy. This train affair is the younger brother of the Fredericksburg pontoons.
Third, the head-quarters of the army and the quartermasters ought to have inquired at the head-quarters of the defenses of Washington, if the roads are safe. But of course it was not done, as the big men here possess all the prescience, and need no valuable information. All of them appear to me as ostriches, who hide their heads and eyes, not to see the danger.
June 29.—General Heintzelman is as thorough a soldier as any to-day in Washington—a soldier superior to head-quarters of the army. Heintzelman commands the military district which south, west and north touches on the theatre of the present campaign. In similar conditions and circumstances, any other government, sovereign, commander-in-chief, etc., would consult with the commander of the defences of the capital and of the military district around the city; here Heintzelman is not noticed.
June 30.—How will Meade compose his staff? All depends on that. In the present positions of Meade's and Lee's armies, even a Napoleon could not do much without a very good staff.
Were the staffs of the American armies organized as they are in Europe, no difficulty would exist. In Europe the staffs of the armies are independent from the persons of their commanders. When a commander is changed, the staff and its chief remains, and thus the new commander at a glance and in a few hours can become thoroughly familiar with the position and condition of the army, and with the plans of his predecessor, etc., etc. Often such commanders are changed and sent from one end of the country to the other. In 1831, PASCHKEWITSCH was ordered from the Caucasus to Poland, to supersede DIESBITSCH.
June 30.—Since Calhoun, the creed of the simon pure Democratic party intrinsically marked a degradation of man and of humanity. Its logical, unavoidable and final outlets must have been secession, treason, and copperheadism; its apotheosis, South, the rebels; North, the Woods, the Seymours, the Vallandighams and the World. The creed of the Republican party is humane. The simon pure democratic rank and file, North and South, intellectually and morally constitute the lowest stratum of American society. Progress, civilization, intellectual, healthy activity principally are embodied in the Republican rank and file. True men, as a Marcy, a Guthrie, and some few similar, throw a pure and bright light on the Democratic party; many from among the official and political Republican notabilities throw a dismal and dark shadow on the intrinsically elevated and pure principles of the party.
Eneas — Anchises — General Warren — Aldie — General Pleasanton — Superior mettle — Gettysburgh — Cholera morbus — Vicksburgh — Army of heroes — Apotheosis — "Not name the Generals" — Indian warfare — Politicians — Spittoons — Riots — Council of War — Lords and Lordlings — Williamsport — Shame — Wadsworth — "To meet the Empress Eugenie," etc., etc., etc.
July 1.—It is worth while to ascertain if the Administration is prepared to run. During last year's invasion of Maryland, at the foot of C street a swift vessel was, day and night, kept under steam—(in the greatest secrecy)—to carry away the American gods. Eneas-Seward was to carry on his shoulders ANCHISES-LINCOLN. I was told that certain gallant secretaries promised to certain gallant ladies to take them into the ark.
July 1.—Meade makes General Warren his chief-of-staff. For the first time in this war, in-doors and out-doors, a man for the place. I never saw Warren, but have heard much in his favor. Then he is young. Then he is not conceited. Then he is no intriguer. Then he is fighting always and everywhere. Then he speaks not of strategy. A brighter promise. Genuine science and intelligence dawn on our muddy, dark, ignorant horizon.
Four weeks ago Meade might have been already in the command of the army. (See after Chancellorsville.) Perhaps Lee would have been to-day shut up in Richmond instead of laying waste Pennsylvania.
July 1.—The people will never know to what extent Mr. Lincoln-Halleck are stumbling-blocks in all military affairs. If Lincoln had even a Carnot for Secretary of War, the affairs would not go better than they go now.
July 1.—General Meade is the pure, simple result of military necessity. His choice is not adulterated by any party spirit. Success may be probable, if Meade is in reality what his colleagues suppose or assert him to be.
July 2.—The property of the great patriot THADDEUS STEVENS destroyed by the rebels. I am as sure as of my existence, that the rebel hordes were urged by the Copperheads and by Northern traitors, by the disciples of the World, etc.
July 2.—Copperheads and their organs scream to have McClellan at the head of the armies. This enthusiasm for McClellan soon will be a burning shame. For many it is a mental disease, and almost unparallelled in the history of our race. A man of defeats and of incapacity to be thus worshipped as a hero! To what extent sound intellects can become poisoned by lies! O, Democrats! what a kin and kith you are! The stubborn, undaunted bravery of the people keeps the country above water, when McClellan and his medley of believers dragged and drags her down into the abyss. Soon infamy will cover the names of those who wail for McClellan's glory, the names of these deliberate betrayers of the people's good faith.
July 2.—Count Zeppelin was at the cavalry fight at Aldie. In his appreciation, General Pleasanton is almost the ideal of a general of cavalry, in the manner in which he fought his forces. The Count says that our soldiers are by far superior to the rebels, that our regiments, squadrons, showed the utmost bravery, that in single-handed meles our soldiers showed a superior mettle, and that during the whole fight he did not see a single soldier back out or retire.
Count Zeppelin spent three weeks with Hooker. The Count never saw Hooker intoxicated, but nevertheless, he does not believe Hooker to be the man for the command of a large army. The Count, an educated officer of staff, deplores the utter absence of that special science in the heads of the staff.
The Count was with the army during its march from Falmouth to Frederick. He admires the endurance, the good spirit, and the cohesion shown by the army marching under great difficulties, such as bad roads, heat, &c.
July 2.—News of fight at Gettysburgh. It seems that this time a plan was boldly conceived, and carried out with rapidity and bravery. It seems that now a general commands, and has at his side a chief-of-staff.
July 2.—A crystalized section of abolitionists has, it seems, dispatched to England a Rev. Dr. Conway, who put on airs, began a silly correspondence with Mason the traitor, and has thrown ridicule on the cause and on the men whom he is supposed to represent.
July 3.—Some details from Gettysburgh. Most sanguinary and stubborn fighting. General Reynolds, the flower of our army, killed. The unblemished patriot, General Wadsworth, fought most splendidly, and is reported to be wounded. His son was beside Reynolds. Mark this, you world's offals in the WORLD. Nothing like you can be found in the purlieus of the most stinking social sewers.
July 3.—Whoever wishes to know how, in Mr. Seward's mind, right and law are equipoised, should read the correspondence between the State Department and the Attorney-General in the case of a criminal runaway from Saxony. Astraea-Themis-BATES is always bold and manly when right, justice, when individual or general human rights are questioned. BATES' official, legal opinions will remain as a noble record of his official activity during this bloody tornado.
July 3.—Most contradictory news and rumors. To a great extent, the fortunes of the Union may be decided at Gettysburgh. Copperheads alias Peace-Democrats more dangerous than the rebels in arms. The Copperheads poisoned and paralyzed the spirit of the people; the Pennsylvanians look on, and rise not as a man in the defence of their invaded state.
July 4.—General Wallbridge the orator of the day. O tempora Lincolniana!
It is fortunate for the country and for General Meade that no telegraphic communication exists between Washington and his camp.
July 8.—July 4th, in the evening, I was struck with cholera morbus. In two hours I was delirious, and the end of the DIARY and of myself was at hand. Those who may be interested in the DIARY, be thankful to fatum and to my friend in whose house I was taken sick. I am up and again on the watch.
July 8.—However, I have lost the run of events. I have lost the piquant of observation how the events of Gettysburgh affected the big men here. I may have lost the echo of some stories told on the occasion at the White House.
Vicksburgh taken! No words to glorify GRANT, FARRAGUT, PORTER, and the army of heroes on land and on the waters.
I wake up and open a paper. Apotheosis! Yesterday evening Mr. Seward made a speech and glorified himself into CHRIST. Why not? At the beginning of this internecine war, Mr. Seward repeatedly played the inspired, the prophet, and even the SPIRIT, having the polyglotic gift. In illo tempore Mr. Seward advised the foreign diplomats to bring to him their respective dispatches received from their respective governments, and he, Seward, would explain to each diplomat the meanings of what the dispatches contain. Perhaps the spirit was an after-dinner spirit!
In the above-mentioned speech Mr. Seward exclaimed, "If I fall!" O, you will fall, and you will be covered with ... I shall not stain the paper. Plenty of lickspittles glorifying Lincoln-Seward.
July 8.—The battles at Gettysburgh will stand almost unparalleled in history for the courage, tenacity, and martial rage shown on both sides, by the soldiers, the officers and the generals. This four-days' struggle may be put above Attila's fight in the plains of Chalons; it stands above the celebrated battle of giants at Marignan between the French and the Swiss. No legions, no troops ever did more, nay, ever did the same. At Waterloo one-third of the French infantry was not engaged in the previous days of Ligny and of Quatres-bras, and three-fourths of the Anglo-allied army were fresh, and not fatigued even by forced marches. I am sure that no other troops in the world could fight with such a stubborn bravery four consecutive days; not the English, not even the iron-muscled Russians.
I learn that during the invasion of Pennsylvania, and above all, during the last days, all the country expected something extraordinary from the army at Fortress Monroe, under General Dix's command. But the affair ended in expectations.
A few days ago the President declared in a speech that he dares not introduce the names of the generals. Not to name the victor at Gettysburgh, the undaunted captor of Vicksburgh! The people repeat your names, O heroes! even if the President remains dumb.
Already a back-fire against Meade. I cannot believe that his heart fainted, and that other generals kept him from breaking before the enemy. But Meade is the man of their own kith and kin, and they ought to have known him.
It is now so difficult to disentangle truth from lies, from stories and from intrigue. It will not do, however, to uphold Hooker—it will not do. Hooker is a brilliant fighter, but was and always will be stunned when in command of an army. It is a crime to put up Hooker as a captain.
Somebody put in the head of the patriotic but mercurial Senator Wilson that the terrible onslaught of the rebel columns is not the result of their having adopted European, continental tactics, but that the rebels are formidable because they have adopted the Indian mode of warfare. God forgive him who thus confused my friend's understanding! Indian tactics or warfare for masses of forty, fifty, or one hundred thousand men!
I learn that Christ-Seward wishes to force the hoary, but brave, steady, and not at all fogyish Neptune WELLES, to recognize to Spain or Cuba, or to somebody else and to all the world, an extension of the maritime league. It is excellent. Such extension is altogether advantageous to the maritime neutrals—all of them, Russia excepted, our covert or open ill-wishers.
Mr. Seward, as a good, scriptural Christian, minds not an offense, and is not rancorous. The Imperial Decembriseur, and all the imperialist liveried lackeys, look with contempt on the cause of the people, side with secessionists, with copperheads, etc., etc., and Mr. Seward insists on giving a license for the exportation of tobacco bought in Richmond for French accounts. Again Neptune defends the country's honor and interests.
In proportion as the presidential electioneering season approaches, Mr. Seward repeatedly and repeatedly attempts to impress upon the people's mind that he will not accept from the nation any high reward for his services. Well, it is not cunning—as by this time Mr. Seward ought to have found in what estimation he is held by nine-tenths of the people.
This is all that I caught in one day, after several days' interruption.
July 9.—Lee retreats towards the Potomac. If they let him recross there, our shame is nameless. Will Meade be after Lee l'epee dans les reins.
Halleckiana, minus. Nobody in Washington, not even the head-quarters, has any notion or idea what means Lee has to recross the Potomac.
Halleckiana, plus. I am told that Halleck refused to telegraph to Meade Mr. Lincoln's strategical conceptions.
July 9.—Chewing and spitting paramount here, require incalculable numbers of spittoons. The lickspittles outnumber the spittoons.
July 10.—The politicians already begin to broadly play their game. I use the sacramental expressions. What a disgusting monstrosity is a thorough politician! Not even a eunuch! There is nothing in a politician to be emasculated: no mind, no heart, no manhood. In what a galere I got—not by personal contact—but by intellectually observing the worms on the body politic of my—at any rate heartily adopted—country.
July 11.—Repeatedly and repeatedly certain newspaper correspondents announce to the world that Senator Sumner exercises considerable influence on the supreme power. All things considered, I wish it may be so, but I see it is not. Sumner's influence ought to have produced some palpable results. I see none.
The international maritime complications are watched and defeated by Welles.
Drapez vous, messieurs, drapez vous—in the statesman toga, history and truth will take it off from your shoulders.
July 12.—Mr. Seward is very ardently at work—Weed marshaling Seward—to reconstruct slavery and Union, to give a very large if not a general amnesty to the rebels, to shake hands with them, in pursuance of the Mercier-Richmond programme, and to be carried into the White House on the shoulders of the grateful Union-saviours, Copperheads, and blood-stained traitors. The Herald, the World, the National Intelligencer and others of that creed will sing gloria in excelsis to Seward.
July 13.—What is Meade doing? It is exciting to know why a blow is not yet dealt on the head of retreating rebels. Or is it that though West Point generals—on both sides—tolerably understand how to fight a battle, they subside when the finishing stroke is to be dealt. Oh for a general who understands how to manoeuvre against the enemy!!!
I hear from a very reliable source, that during the excitement brewing before the day of Gettysburgh, the honorable Post Master General by a special biped message insinuated to the honorable governor of New York that the governor may ask the removal of Stanton for the safety of the country and of patriots of the Postmaster's and the governor's species.
July 13.—Besides what Meade has in hand, there must be a considerable number of troops in Baltimore, in Fortress Monroe and the volunteer militia. Why not, Lincoln-Halleck! mass them on the south side of the Potomac under such generals as Heintzelman, Sigel, etc., and take the enemy between two fires?
July 14.—Bloody riots in New York. The teaching of the Woods, of their former hireling, the World, and of those who pay that offal now. Seymour's democracy; mob, pillage, massacre.
July 14.—Lincoln has nominated so many Major-Generals who are relieved from duty, so many of them, that the Major-Generals ought to be formed into a squadron, and, Halleck at the head, McClellan at the tail, make them charge on Lee's centre. In such a way the major-generals would be some use.
July 14.—I meet many who attempt to exculpate Mr. Seward from this or that untruth which he is accused having told to the President. Such Seward's men often contradict not the fact, but attempt to insinuate that somebody else might have told it. To all this I answer with the Roman Praetor:
Ille fecit cui prodest
July 14.—GRANT has overpowered men, soil—and elements. GRANT, PORTER, FARRAGUT, and their men overpowered land and waters. They overpowered the Mississippi, hear: the Mississippi's and its mighty affluents as the Yazoo, the Red River, and others. McClellan caved in before a brook, as the Chickahominy. McClellan had the most gigantic resources in men and material ever put in the hands of a commander, and caved in. O, worshippers of heavy incapacity, take and digest it if you can.
July 16.—Lee re-crossed the Potomac! Thundering storms, rising waters and about one hundred and fifty thousand at his heels! What a general! And our brave soldiers again baffled, almost dishonored by domestic, know-nothing generalship. We have lost the occasion to crush three-fourths of the rebellion. But where is the responsibility? Foul work somewhere, but, as always, it will be nobody's fault.
July 15.—Stanton in rage and despair. Riots everywhere. All these riots must be the result of a skillfully laid mine. They coincide with the invasion by the rebels. At the best, these riots are generated by Fourth of July Seymourite speeches and by the long uninterrupted series of incendiary articles in New York papers, like World, etc., and in Boston, where emasculated parasites as Hilliard, a Cain Curtis etc., soothingly tried their hands to disgrace their city and to mislead the people. All the Lincoln-Seward-Halleck actions cannot excuse these riots and their matricidal, secret inciters.
July 15.—The Administration ought to recall Wool and put Butler in New York. Butler understands how to deal with riotous traitors.
July 15.—Good news from Banks. Now he comes out and will recover the confidence of all good men.
July 15.—If it is true that Meade convoked a council of war, and that the generals decided not to attack Lee, then whoever voted and decided so, ought, at the best, to be sent to the hospital of mental invalids, and the army put in the hands of fighting men. Lee's escape will henceforth occupy the cardinal place in the annals of disgraceful generalships of the Potomac army.
July 16.—One of the truest men and citizens in this country, George Forbes, of Milton Hill, returned from England. Forbes says that aristocracy and the commercial classes (with few exceptions) are generally against us. But the people at large are on our side.
Oh! that some method may be found to separate the interests of the good and noble English people, from the interests of the other classes; then to have intercourse only with the people; and towards the other English fulfil:
Vos autem o Tyrii prolem gentemque futuram,
and that not one of those lords, lordlings, of inborn snobs and flunkeys, that not one of that English social sham may ever be allowed to tread the sacred American soil. And if such an Englishman ever touches these shores, then be he treated as leprous, and as carrying in him the most contagious plague, and let the house of any American that shall be opened to such an Englishman, be torn down and burned, and its ashes scattered to the winds; and the curse of the people upon any American harboring those snobbish upstarts of liberty.
July 16.—The incendiaries and murderers in New York cheered McClellan and came to his house. Bravo! Can, now, any honest man who is not an idiot, doubt where are the main springs and the animus of those New York blood-thirsty miscreants, and who are those of whose hearts McClellan got hold? What a nice Copperhead combination for saving the Union. Very likely Seymour, Dictator or President, McClellan Commander-in-chief, or Secretary of War, some of the Woods or Duncans or Barlows in the Treasury, their hireling any Marble for Foreign Affairs, and with them some others from among the favorites of the New York blood-thirsty incendiaries.
I read in one of the New York poison-dealers, alias Copperhead newspapers, that McClellanites was ruined by politicians. So-called honest, but idiotic conservatives sanctimoniously repeat that lie. It was McClellan, who, inspired by Barlow, by the Herald and by his aristocratic West Point pro-slavery friends, introduced democratic politics into the army at a time when the army was yet in an embryo state, already in September and October, 1861. O, impudent liars! history will nail your names to the gallows, together with the name of your fetish and of his military tail.
July 16.—In that fated, cursed council of war which allowed Lee to escape, my patriot WADSWORTH was the most decided, the most out-spoken in favor of attacking Lee. Wadsworth never fails where honor and patriotism are to be sustained. Warren with Wadsworth. So Humphries, Pleasanton and Howard. Those names ought to coruscate as the purest light of patriotism for future generations. Meade's vote is of no account. He, the commander, ought to have acted up to his vote. If only Meade had imitated Radetzky. In 1849 after the denunciation of the Armistice of Milan, Radetzky called a council of war to decide whether the Po was to be crossed and Piedmont invaded. All the best Austrian generals—Hesse with them, voted against the proposition. Radetzky quietly listened, then rose and give orders to cross immediately.
The result was the battle of Novara and the temporary humiliation of the house of Savoy. That was a model for Meade. And this General French who advised to entrench! To entrench in pursuit of a retreating enemy! This French honors West Point and engineering. The generals who voted to entrench and not to attack Lee, and Meade with them, they can never, never retrieve. Whatever be their future or eventual success it will not heal the wound given to the country by thus allowing Lee to escape. O, God! O, God!
Such Frenches and others asserted that "Lee will attack before he crosses." Oh what Marses! Lee's position at Williamsport was on heights, etc., etc., assert those braves.
When a country is hilly and undulating there will always be found one point or hill commanding the others. I shall risk my head on the fact, that around Lee's entrenchments at Williamsport, there exist other elevations which command Williamsport, and are within artillery distance. Natura semper sibi consona. I am sure that better positions than that selected by Lee could easily have been occupied by our troops or artillery. The same must have been the case at Hagerstown. And if the generals were afraid to fight Lee's whole army they ought to have more vigilantly watched his crossing. There was a time when a part only of the rebel army was facing us, and at least this part ought to have been attacked and crippled, if not destroyed. Sound common sense teaches it. But it seems that no will to fight Lee, or to impede his safe recrossing, no such will animated the majority of the council of war. It seems that some of the West Point nurslings are still awe-struck at the sight of their slavocratic former companions, as they were at the time of their studies at West Point.
I was told by an officer coming from the army that the soldiers are exasperated. The soldiers say that the generals did not wish to destroy Lee's army and finish the rebellion, because their "stars were to set down." Who knows how far the soldiers are right?
July 17.—In New York the unterrified democracy went to arson and murder, hand in hand with the immense majority of Irishry. Meagher, Nugent, Corcoran and thousands like you, are exceptions. The O'Connors, O'Gormans, etc., are the unterrified. For these bloody saturnalia the wedding was consecrated by the Iro-Roman priesthood. As the unterrified Democrats pollute the sacred name of genuine Democracy, so the Irishry stain even the Catholic confession. The Iro-Roman Church in this country is not even a Roman-Catholic end. This Iro-Romanism here is a mixture of cunning, ignorance, brutality and extortion. A European Roman-Catholic at once finds out the difference in the spirit, and even to a certain extent, in the form. The incendiaries and murderers in the New York riots are the nurslings and disciples of the Iro-Roman clergy and the Iro-hierarchy.