Editor’s Note: This article was transcribed by Jackie Martin.
On the fourth of this month, General Grant has an appointment in Richmond: and although it is too evident that these unbelieving money-dealers in Wall street do not now think he is likely to keep his appointment, yet probably the majority of the Yankee nation—perhaps even the most of Grant’s army—possibly even GRANT himself, believes that, by some Providential interposition, he will yet find himself with his army in possession of this capital on the appointed day. To keep his tryst he has thrown away the lives or limbs of about a hundred and fifty thousand men: THAT is nothing; he and his nation would deem those fifteen hundred hecatombs well bestowed to win one mile of ground—for never was human life so imperially squandered by King or Kaiser as now by the “model Republic.” What becomes of all those proverbial taunts against monarchs?—QUIDQUID DELIRANT REGES, PLECTUNTUR ACHIVI?—and “war is a game which, were their subjects wise, kings would not play at,” &c., &c.? Why it is your Republic, your democratic, universal suffrage locofoco Republic that will hereafter be cited for its prodigality of blood; and not the blood of those besotted serfs of Europe neither, but that of intelligent citizens, educated in those immortal common-schools, and quite fit, every mother’s son of them, to be President of the so-called “United States.” It is truly a new and remarkable phenomenon, whereupon the world looks with some interest.
But it is necessary to arrive, it seems, at Richmond, cost what it may. No woman in an interesting condition ever longed for a strawberry, out of season, as the Yankee nation longs, and yearns and burns for Richmond. The affection is quite a morbid one now. Yankees have got Richmond on the brain, and it would be in vain to try to argue them now out of this hopeless passion; to represent to them that the little city would be no such great blessing to them even if they had it; that it is no such mighty matter of a city after all, or the like—it is too late for all that. They have cherished the dear illusion until it has become a part of life itself. The name of Calais was never so graven upon Queen MARY’S heart as Richmond is written upon the Yankee intestine which answers to that organ. Give us Richmond! They cry, and Richmond on the Fourth of July—or give us death! They make GRANT welcome to kill up the majority of the nation, if he will only present the survivours with Richmond on the fatal Fourth.
And why not? He has still three days; and he is but one day’s march off. They have by no means given up and neither has their general, the blessed hope of hoisting their Stars and Stripes on this Square here upon that mystic day. For indeed it is observed of the Yankees, by those who have made a study of that interesting people, that they are excessively superstitious. Religious belief is said to have died out amongst them; and, like other people who believe nothing, they attach importance to charms, to fatal days, to round numbers—in short, to all sorts of FETISHES, like our negroes. Besides, unreasoning multitudes easily convince themselves there is a hope, a certainty, of what they most passionately desire. And, moreover, they hold that God Almighty is a loyal Yankee—and that, by Constitutional compact, He owes them a triumph on the Fourth of July. GRANT also sincerely thinks, perhaps, that he will accomplish the sacred work within the three days yet left him. Twenty million eyes gazing on him, filled with impassioned hope and adoration, as the drowning apostles gazed upon the Saviour, with “Help us, Master, or we perish!”—all this is not for naught; he must feel himself a Man of Destiny, if not a God: one so easily persuades himself that he is worthy of the worship and (illegible) lavished upon him, especially when (illegible) drinks!
GRANT has no doubt that it, (illegible) reserved for him, by conquering LEE, to take possession of all the glory LEE has heretofore won. This great Virginian has been permitted, by the Yankee Providence, to win and wear the fame of so many victories, just that he, the Ohio Man of Destiny, may come in, and, by one crowning victory over the victor of many fields, lift all the crowns of laurel and bind therewith his own predestined brow; even as Prince HENRY was to do by HARRY PERCY—
“PERCY is but my factor, good my lord,
“To engroes up glorious deeds on my behalf;
“And I will call him to so strict account,
“That he shall render every glory up;
“Yea, even the slightest worship of his time,
“Or I will tear the reckoning from his heart.”
And to settle this account he has still three days good. It is true that in two months, this wondrous hero, with some two or three hundred thousand men at his back, cannot properly be said to have advanced one step towards Richmond, inasmuch as he is now just where he might have come at any moment he pleased: the way was always open to him: his achievement of those two months has been only to make that journey with great labour and pains which he might have made with ease and pleasure; to wade through blood to the place he might have reached by sailing through water. He has yet the WHOLE way to come: but still, still, he has three days.1
- No Title. Richmond Examiner. July 1, 1864, p. 2 col. 1-2 ↩