Friday, June 3, 2011

The War - its Dreadful Results (a prediction)

The Covington Journal of June 1, 1861 republished this piece from the Baltimore Republican.

It is rather interesting. It does resort to some pro-Southern phrases and clearly favors that section, but its discussion about how horrible the war would turn out was rather accurate, though the prediction about the lasting effects of the war - on the nation and the people - proved to be a bit too dire. (I split it up into paragraphs to make it a bit more readable - it was all one paragraph in the newspaper.)

There can no longer be any doubt as to the determination of the Lincoln Administration to devastate the country with all the horrors of a bloody civil war. When we look at the spirit which animates the two sections of our country - the bitter, vindictive and unmerciful spirit of the North, and the firm, defiant and determined attitude of the South - we may form some faint ideas of the horrors of that contest which the madness of fanaticism is about to force upon the country. All the fiery and vengeful passions of human nature will be unloosed, and this war will be one of the most bloody which history ever recorded. The North has determined to subjugate or exterminate the South, and the South will fight with an energy and determination which nothing but extermination will subdue. We do not believe the South can be subjugated or exterminated by the North; but the whole country North and South will be subjected to shame and suffering and horror too dreadful to think upon. 

Years of devastation and misery will leave the country impoverished and involved in a debt from which it can never be freed. The expenditures now incurring by the Washington Administration are such as were never thought of in this country before. The gigantic army called for by Mr. Lincoln's proclamation will, if assembled and maintained in the usual manner, involve a debt the first year of hundreds of millions of dollars. With such a large proportion of the productive labor of the country drawn from industrial pursuits, with our foreign commerce destroyed, and all interchange of commodities between North and South prohibited; the whole country will groan and languish under a burden of taxation and exaction too grevious to be borne.

And what is to be gained by all this incalculable amount of suffering and horror? Will is restore the Union? Will it bring back the love of the alienated States? No man can believe it. Those, who survive the horrors of the contest, will only be more intensely bitter against each and the future can have no hope of peace or Union for either party. Does not humanity and reason and every motive of interest combine to demand a peaceful settlement of the difficulties between the two sections? 

If they can no longer live together in peace in the name of our common humanity and all that of which is holy and dear to us, let them part in peace and not with bloody and fratricidal hands destroy each other and make our country a desolation and a curse. Let every friend of peace and humanity, from every quarter of the land, raise up his hand and his voice against this unholy and inhuman war. It is too monstrous to be tolerated in a land calling itself Christian.

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