(From the Richmond Enquirer January 27.)
If the plans of McClellan are indeed now developed, and if he has been placing a military cordon around us, with a view to crush us by a simultaneous constriction as the anaconda crushes its victim, there is one element of resistance the force of which he has not allowed for.
The very difficulties with which our enemies hope to surround us – the very danger with which they urge us on every side – will add to the heroism of our fighting and the energy of our movements. Press the war home upon us, cut off all retreat and all temporizing, cause every man to see and feel that his immediate safety depends upon the instant success, and it will add vigor to our blows and an endurance to our courage that will make every soldier count at least double. Pent up even a coward and he will fight. Make a brave man desperate and he is irresistible.
* * * In the threats that fall upon our ears, and the great fleets that they are sending to our various frontiers, our enemies are giving us a call to arms that should rouse every spirit in the land. Their great boasts and small performances heretofore, in the true style of Mexican grandiloquence, have tended to make us careless and almost lethargic. We have learned to despise our enemy – always a source of danger. We have heard his battle sound so often when there has been no battle, that we have ceased to notice it. There is peril in this. The enemy knows that what they purpose to do they must now do quickly. Their own people are dividing. Some are weary of an inglorious and fruitless war. Others are in despair at the dilatory proceedings. The funds are fast failing. Europe, too is weary of waiting and will soon interfere in behalf of the interests of commerce. The appearance of vigor is absolutely necessary to keep the cotton manufacturers from outbreak.
Hence McClellan is moving his legions, and probably in earnest. Are we ready? The war drum should sound throughout our confederacy.
The war spirit must be revived. We want war speeches at our court houses and crossroads. Our people should rouse up and organize as one man, and prepare for the most determined war. See ye not the circle of fire that is uniting around you? Here ye not the tramp of the enemy’s advancing lines and the rush of his coming steps? The shock of tremendous strife is upon us. As a free and independent people we have either to conquer or to die, and we are resolved not to die. The time is come when every one who has the spirit of a man must show it.
“The men who carried me to Mexico, are the men who kept me back from Richmond,” – as Scott is reported to have said to Lincoln. – Let McClellan’s experience be made as bitter. Scott is a traitor to his State, McClellan is a traitor to the principles he formerly avowed. – Companions in infamy, let them be consigned to the fellowship of defeat.
– Published in The Burlington Weekly Hawk-Eye, Burlington, Iowa, Saturday, February 8, 1862, p. 2