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whole matter was the manner in which the news of this disaster was received throughout the North. No attempt whatever was made to conceal it. The Government made a feeble trial to retard the publication of the news, but in this, as in other respects, they seemed to me to underrate the resolution of the people. The Northern press admitted the facts of the case and the anxieties of the public mind, as fully and as freely as English papers would have done under like circumstances. “Repulse of the Federal Troops” was stuck up on the posters of the newspapers, and shouted about the streets by the news-boys, as boldly and as openly as if intelligence had been received of a great Union victory. The North felt strong enough to know the truth—and there is no better evidence of real strength. The defeat of the army was not apparently so great a mortification to the people as the manner in which the Secretary of War had attempted to hoodwink the nation. Even at the darkest moment, I heard no cry of despair or disheartenedness as to the ultimate result. Other generals might have to be found, more troops supplied, more precious lives sacrificed, and more sufferings endured, but of the final victory there was as yet neither doubt nor question.
It was strange, too, to witness how the result of this defeat was to stimulate the anti-slavery feeling of the public. True or false, the conviction that the Union and Slavery could not any longer exist together seemed
to impress itself more and more deeply on the public mind with every successive delay and disaster. There was a young lad, of whose family I knew something, who was killed fighting in the Federal ranks at the battle of Ball's-Bluff. He had been wounded before, and had returned home on sick leave. On his departure to rejoin his regiment, he told his mother that he knew he should not return. “It needs the lives," he said, 6 of ten thousand such as me to awaken our people to “ the knowledge of the truth.” The knowledge has been learnt, not, I trust, too late.
MASS MEETINGS AND THE LEVY.
As soon as the depression which followed the Peninsula defeat had passed away, an attempt was made throughout all the Northern States to rekindle popular enthusiasm. The President's call for 300,000 additional troops was greeted enthusiastically, as far as the press was concerned. The Tribune was not more ardent than its contemporaries in advocating the duty of volunteering. The following language in which this paper wrote of the call for troops may be taken as a fair specimen of the utterances of the press :
“Patriots, Unionists, lovers of freedom, resolve now " that the needed force shall be raised promptly and “ fully. You that are of proper age and full vigour “must volunteer, while the infirm and superannuated “must contribute freely of their substance to sustain “the families of those who peril their lives for the “ country. Hours are precious; some great disaster “may befal while we are getting ready to divert it. “ You who can possibly be spared and are able to fight, “ let not a day be lost in offering your services to your “ distracted, imperilled country. There have been dis“cussions concerning the proper policy to be pursued “ by the Government in prosecuting the contest with “the rebels, and as to who among the soldiers of the “ Republic are best qualified to lead her armies. We “ have participated in these discussions freely, earnestly, “ faithfully, honestly striving to serve and save our “ country, and to that end alone. Now, discussion “must give place to action, and all must join hands in “ one resolute effort to right the ship of State, and “ warp her off the breakers that roar beneath her lee. “ All hands to the rescue!
“To Republicans, above all, we appeal for the most “ devoted efforts in this crisis. They may wish, as we “ have done, that this or that were different; they may “ hope, as we do, that it soon may be so; but whether " the Government take the course we think best or “ another, let it be seen and felt that, in this hour of “ trial and of darkness, we were true to our duty and “ our loved and honoured country. Let us show that "she was never so dear to us as when aristocrats “and traitors were conspiring to work her ruin, " and had even raised the shout of exultation im“ plying that their end was achieved and the Union no “ more.”
So, too, during this month of July, the papers were filled with items of intelligence as to the progress of
the levy, of which I have picked out one or two by hazard, from the columns of a Boston paper :
“ War Meetings and Recruits. The town-hall of “ Newton was again filled with an enthusiastic audience “ last evening. J. W. Edwards presided over the as“ sembly. Four recruits were obtained. Rev. Mr. “ Briggs offered $25 for the first recruit, another gentle“man offered $25 for the second, and the president of “ the meeting $25 for the two next.. Messrs. Pelton “ and Stevenson likewise offered $25 each for a recruit, " when the Hon. Wm. Claflin offered $25 each for “ every recruit enlisting within ten days.”
“ An enthusiastic meeting of citizens was held in “ Sandwich on Tuesday evening. Dr. Jonathan Leonard “ presided, and speeches were made by Hon. George “ Marston, Judge Day, and Major Phinney, of the Barn“ stable Patriot. It was voted to advise the town to “ offer a bounty of $100 to each recruit. Judge Mars“ ton made a strong anti-slavery speech."
“Up to Wednesday afternoon, twenty recruits had “ enlisted in Fall River."
“ Among the arrivals at the camp of the 34th Regi“ment at Worcester yesterday, were seventy-three from “ Westfield. Besides these, there were many other ac“ cessions from other localities, and more are expected “ to-day. There are now about 350 men at this camp.”
“ Recruiting is progressing quite rapidly at Cam“ bridge-port. Nearly 100 men have been enlisted.