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Rebel conditions of peace and the mechanics of the South online

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The spirit wliicli animates tlie leaders of the southern rebel-
lion, and the abject condition to which the despotism they
have established in the southern territory, which still remains
subject to their rule, has reduced the people of the South, are
portrayed in the following articles from the Eichmond JE'n-
ijicirer, entitled " Peace," and the " Mechanics of the South."
The free and intelligent people of the Northern States will do
well to read and ponder upon the conditions which these
haughty oligarchs propose to the free Democracy of America.

" They have learned nothing, and forgotten nothing," and
with Maryland, Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky, Louisiana, and
Mississi})pi, wrested from their unholy grasp, and their Minister
Mason, retiring in disgust from the doorways of the British
Minister, whose anti-chambers have been steadily and constantly
closed to his entreaties, they still imagine themselves, if not the
masters of the world, at least the arbiters of American destinies.

The result of their schemes is shown in the miserable con-
dition to which they have reduced their misguided, deluded
and betrayed people, and the mechanics of the North can
plainly see what tlieir fate would be should the rebel hopes-
of success be fultilled.

Fortunately the present position of their aiiairs gives neither
warrant to their hopes, nor reason for their insolence.



From the Richmond ENQfiEER of October 16, 1863.


" Save on our own terms, we can accept no peace whatever,
and must fight till doomsday, rather than yield an iota of them,
and our terms are :

Kecognition by the enemy of the independence of the Con-
federate States.

Withdrawal of the Yankee forces from every foot of Confede-
rate ground, including Kentucky and Missouri.

AVithdrawal of the Yankee soldiers from Maryland, until
that State shall decide, by a free vote, whether she shall
remain in the old Union, or ask admission into the Confede-

Consent, on the part of the Federal Government, to give up
to the Confederacy its proportion of the navy as it stood at the
time of secession, or to pay for the same.

Yielding up of all pretension, on the part of the Federal
Government, to that portion of the old Territories which lies
west of the Confederate States.

An equitable settlement on the basis of our absolute inde-
pendence and equal rights of all accounts of the public debt
and public lands, and the advantages accruing from foreign

These provisions, we apprehend, comprise the minimum of
what we must require before we lay down our arms. That is
to say, the ISTortli must yield all, — we nothing. The whole
pretension of that country to prevent, by force, the separation
of the States must be abandoned, which will be equivalent to
an avowal that our enemies were wrong from the iirst ; and, of
course, as they waged a causeless and wicked war upon us, they
ought, in strict justice, to be required, according to usage in
such cases, to reimburee to us the whole of our expenses and
losses in the course of that war. Whether this last proviso is
to be insisted upon or not, certain we are that Ave cannot have
any peace at all, until we shall be in a position, not only to
demand and exact, but also to enforce and collect treasure for
our own reimbursement out of the wealthy cities in the enemy's
•country. In other words, unless we can destroy or scatter
their armies, and break up tlieir Government, we can have no
■^3eace ; and if we can do that, then we ought not only to extort
from them our own full terms and ample acknowledgment of
their wrong, but also a handsome indemnity for the trouble
and expense caused to us by their crime.

iSTow, we are not yet in position to dictate those terms to our
enemies, with Roseckans' army still in the heart of our country,
and Meade still on Virginia soil, but though it is too soon to
propose such conditions to them, yet it is important that we
should keep them plainly before our ovra eyes as the only ad-

miss'ble basis of any conceivable peace. This well fixed in the
Coriederate mind, there will be no more fearful looking for
ne^/s from Enrope, as if that blessed peace were to come to us
over the sea, and not to be conquered on our own ground.
There will be no more gaping for hints of recognition and filling
,;of the belly with the East wind ; no more distraction or diver-
sion from the single momentous business of bracing up every
nerve and sinew of the country for battle.

It is especially now, at the moment when great and perhaps
decisive battles are impending at two or three points, that we
think it most essential to insist upon the grand and entire mag-
nificence of the stake and cause.

Once more we say it is all or nothing. This Confederacy or
the Yankee nation, one or other, goes down, down to perdition.
That is to say, one or the other nnist forfeit its national existence
and lie at the mercy of its mortal enemy.

We all know by this time the fate in store for us if we suc-
cumb. The other party has no smaller stake.

As surely as we completely ruin their armies — and without
that is no peace nor truce at all — so surely shall we make
them pay our war debt, though wo wring it out of their hearts.
And they know it well, and, therefore, they cannot make peace
except through their utter exhaustion, and absolute inability to
-strike another blow.

The stake they have to forfeit, then, if they lose this dreadful
game, is vital to ours. So is the stake to be won if they win
anything. It is nQ less thaii the entire possession of our whole
<}ountry, with us in it, and everything that is ours, from Ohio
to the Rio Grande, to have and to hold, to them and their heirs

But, on the other hand, what we mean to win is utter separ-
ation from them for all time. We do not want to govern their
country, but after levying upon it what seemeth good to us bj
M'ay of indenmity, we leave it to commence its political life
again from the beginning, hoping that the lesson may have
made them sadder and wiser Yankees.

We shut them out forever, with all their unclean and scound-
relly vrays, intending to lead our lives here in our own Confed-
erate way, w^ithin our own well-guarded bounds, and without,
as St. John says, are dogs.

And let no Confederate feeble knees and tremulous backbone
say to us, this complete triumph is impossible ; say that we must
be content with some kind of compromise, and give and take ;
on the contrary, we must gain all or lose all, and that the Con-
federates will indeed win the giant game, we take to be as cer-
tain as any future event in this uncertain world,

Meade's army and Kosecranz' once scattered, Lincoln can
get no more armies. The draft turns out manifestly fruitless.
Both the German and Irish element are now for peace. The
Yankees have to bear the brunt of the war themselves, but in
the meantime their inevitable bankruptcy is advancing like an

armed man. Hniigrj ruin has them in the wind. It cannot be
long before the Cabinet of Washington will have, indeed, to
consider seriously proposals for j^eace, under auspices and ci\r-
cunistances very difierent from the present. For tlie present
the war rolls and thunders on, and may God defend the right."


Abject Postuke of Labok and Labokeks,

The Richmond ^a?am'm(?/', of the 12th inst., says: That on
Saturday, the 10th inst., a very large and spontaneous meeting
of the mechanics and workingmen of Richmond was held, to
consider their interests, and obtain a free expression of the sen-
timents of the people generally.

From the resolutions passed, we select the two following :

Resolved^ That awakened to a sense of the aljject ■posture to
which labor and we ivho lahor have heen reduced^ and to the
privileges, which as citizens and people, the Institutions of our
Country vest in us, we will not sleep again imtil our grasp has
jvrraly clenched the rights and i7nmtmities loJtich are ours as
Americans and men : until our just demands have been met hy
the concessions of all opp)osing elements.

Iiesolv6d, That it is the duty of the Government to take care
of the unfortunate, and not the rich.

The Enquirer is extremely indignant at this assemblage, and
deals with the " workingmen" in the following fashion :

" The mechanics of Richmond enjoy all the ' rights and im-
munities' that any and every other man enjoys, and they will
not he permitted to ' grasp or clench^ any more. "We hope the
Legislature of Yirginia will not permit itsef to be influenced
by such minatory resolutions, to pass a law forbidden by the
experience of all history, and opposed by the teachings of every
public economist, and which is now opposed by some of the
ablest and wisest men of their own body. The men who com-
pose the armies of the Confederacy have, for the last two years,
permitted all their ' rights and immunities' to be most materially
circumscribed, their 'privileges' reduced to the one high and
holy privilege of shooting and being shot for their country.
These men, without shoes, blankets, provisions — in want, and
suifering with wounds, and even unto death, have nobly and
gallantly borne all these hardships, unnnn-muring and uncc>m-
plaining. Upon what are these sleepless resolutionists to iix
their ' grasps V We leave the Governor and Mayor to answer
these questions, and to interpret these resolutions, and to decide
what tfielr respective duties nvfy he when the ' grasp>ing'' trnd
' clenchiiuf heginsP


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Online LibraryLoyal Publication Society of New YorkRebel conditions of peace and the mechanics of the South → online text (page 1 of 1)