“The rebellion is in a fair way to be crushed – the rebels will soon be driven from their strongholds;” thus we are all inclined to reason. It is true the rebels are being driven from their entrenched positions, but so wide-spread is our country that it requires an immense force to guard all points from Maryland along the Atlantic coast to Cape Sable, thence following the coast of Mexico to the Southern corner of Texas, thousands of miles in extent, do we sail along the shores of the rebellions States. Leaving the point from which we started we follow the sinuous boundary of the state of Virginia, as it runs northwest and west and then dips to the southwest until it reaches Tennessee, where in pursuing the line of that rebellions State our course is more uniform until it strikes the Mississippi river, following its serpentine course it runs northerly until it meets our own State of Iowa. The line of rebellion thence follows the boundaries of the State of Missouri until it strikes the southern boundary of Kansas, whence pushing toward the setting sun, it is lost in the immense prairies of the boundless West, leaving the vast country embraced in the area south of this line, comprehending hundreds of thousands of square miles, the theatre of the rebellion.
In our dispatches of yesterday was an account of a terrific battle between the undaunted boys of the west and the rude though courageous denizens of Texas, in New Mexico, a territory bordering on California, that State alone separating us on the West from the Pacific ocean. When we view the immense extent of territory to be conquered, and consider the character of the desperadoes with whom we have to contend, we feel inclined to repudiate the sentence with which we commenced this article, pulling up the stakes we planted long ago fixing the conclusion of the rebellion in May, and sticking them down some months beyond.
– Published in The Davenport Daily Gazette, Davenport, Iowa, Saturday Morning, March 15, 1862, p. 2