Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Decided Mistake

The fire-eating seceders believed without doubt that the General Government was powerless to put down the rebellion.  Through Cobb, Floyd, Thompson, and Toncey, they had done all they could to make it impotent, and they fancied they had succeeded.  It was under this mistake that the confederates undertook more than they had power to achieve – the Federal Government was powerless.

Had Mr. Lincoln been less resolute than he was, their chances would have been better. – Had their revolutionary plot succeeded in the assassination of Mr. Lincoln on his way to the capital, and the seizure of the treasury and archives of the Government, their cherished enterprise would have been half achieved on the 4th of March 1861.  If those in the North who had pledged their aid, had been able as they were willing, to redeem those pledges, the rebellion might have attained at least a temporary triumph.

How they regarded the ability of the Federal Government may be seen in the following passage for the Charleston Mercury, a little more than a year ago:

“The coercive power of the Federal Government, so long vaunted as adequate to suppress the secession of a State, is rapidly proving itself to be – what  it has long been supposed and said to be – a wretched humbug – a scarecrow – a dirty bundle of red rags and old clothes!” – {St. Louis Democrat.

– Published in The Burlington Weekly Hawk-Eye, Burlington, Iowa, Saturday, April 5, 1862, p. 3

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