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had died in battle. And yet the only change I could see in the conversation of those to whom the likenesses belonged was an increased ardour for the war, a more intense sympathy for the cause in which the dead had fallen. One more anecdote, and I have finished. In travelling up one night at this period from Baltimore, the cars were crowded with sick and wounded soldiers on their way home from the peninsula. On the bench behind me there was a woman in deep black, carrying a sick child in her arms, and beside her there was a discharged soldier, whose health had broken down in the swamps. The woman was a widow, just returned from the death-bed of her brother, who, like her husband, had been killed in the campaign. The man looked dreadfully worn and ill; he complained, and, I fear, truly, that he should never be fit for a day's work again ; he had a grievance, too, of his own against the Government, who he considered had behaved shabbily about the amount of bounty paid him on his discharge. Being seated near them, I could hear the soldier and the soldier's widow telling each other of their hardships and their sorrows; and at last the man consoled the woman by saying to her, “ Well, after all, it's for our country, and we're bound to do it.” The woman answered him, “ Yes, that's so ;” and though the words might be commonplace, it seemed to me that there was about them something of true heroism.
THE CASE OF THE NORTH.
“ WHAT on earth is the North fighting for ?” is a question which I have often heard asked in England. If you were to put it to an American, he would doubt your asking it seriously; the answer seems to him so very simple and obvious. The Americans are not a reflective people; they look at facts much more than at theories, and, like ourselves, act rather from general convictions than on any logical system of reasoning. Their answer, therefore, to such a question is often indistinct and illogical enough. But having talked with scores of Northern men of all States and all classes on the subject, I should say that the general chain of argument, which forms the basis of the different answers you receive, is easy to explain and understand. In considering it, it should be borne in mind that the merits or demerits of the Northern cause are entirely independent of the issue of the war. Before the war commenced, the North had no doubt, whether right or · wrong, that it possessed the power to suppress the insurrection by armed force. The present question, therefore, is not whether the North was wise in going to war,
but whether her motives were sufficient to justify her in so doing? I am not going to enter upon the questions, whether war is ever justifiable except in self-defence, or whether any nation is ever at liberty morally to coerce another against its will. The arguments against aggression and coercion are very strong ones, but they are not ones which an Englishman can use; and I wish to speak of this question from an English point of view.
The answer, then, would be much after this fashion“We will put the slavery question aside. On that “ point we are divided among ourselves. We do not “ claim to be carrying on a war of emancipation; we “ are not fighting for the blacks, but for the whites. “ Universal emancipation may come, probably will “ come, as one result of our war; but the object of the “ war is to preserve the Union. We allowed perfect “ freedom to the Southern States—freedom as full and “as untrammelled as we enjoyed ourselves. Not only “ did we not interfere with their peculiar institution, “ but we granted them every facility they claimed for its “ maintenance. We permitted the South to have more “ than its full share of power and to fill up the Govern“ment with Southern men. There was one thing only " we objected to, and that was to having slavery forced “ upon the Free Territories of the North. We objected “ to this legally and constitutionally; and by legal and “ constitutional measures we expressed the will of the “ nation. Our whole Government, like all free govern“ments, rests upon the principle that the will of the “ majority must decide. The South revolted at once, “ because it was defeated by the vote of the majority. “ If we had acquiesced in that revolt, the vital principle “ of our Government was overthrown. Any minority “ whatever, either in the Union or in the separate States, “ which happened to be dissatisfied with the decision of “ the majority, might have followed the example of the “ South, and our Government would have fallen to pieces, “ like an arch without a keystone. The one principle of “ power in a Democracy is the submission of the mi“nority to the will of the people; and, in fighting “ against the South, we are fighting for the vital prin“ciple of our Government. You call a man a coward “ who will let himself be robbed of all that makes life “ valuable without making an effort to resist; and what 6 would you have called a nation that submitted placidly “ to its own dismemberment ?
“We are fighting too,” so the Northerners would urge, “not only for abstract constitutional principles, “ but for clear matter-of-fact interests. Our Govern“ment was at any rate a very good one in our own eyes. “ As a people we had prospered under it. We had “ enjoyed more of freedom, order, and happiness “ beneath the Union than, we believe, any people had “ever enjoyed before. From the Atlantic to the “ Pacific, from Maine to the Gulf of Mexico, we were “one people, dwelling under one Government, speaking
“one language, without custom-houses, or passports, or “ frontier lines to separate us ; without the fear of in“ vasion and war; without the need for standing armies, “and camps, and fortified cities—free to carry on un“ molested our great mission of reclaiming the vast " wilderness. We are asked to abandon all this, and “ you wonder that we refuse to do so without striking “ a blow in defence of our rights.
“It is not only our present, but our future, that is at “stake. Supposing we had acceded to the proposals “ of tame submission, what would have been the inevi“ table result? We should have had upon our frontier “ a hostile power, to whom our free institutions were a “ standing menace, and to whom extension of territory “ was a necessity of political existence. War must “ have come sooner or later, and in the interests of our “ future peace it was better to fight at once. Even if “a peaceable and durable separation had been possible, “ and if terms of compromise could have been devised, “ where was the process of disunion to end? If once " the South goes, the Union is dissolved; the Western “States would inevitably part company before long “ with the seaboard States ; California would assert its “independence, the Border States would fall away “ from the Central States; and the Union, the great “ work of our forefathers, would give place to a system “ of rival republics, with mutual enmities, antago“nistic policies, foreign alliances, and intestine wars.