Lincoln's Journalist: John Hay's Anonymous Writings for the Press, 1860-1864

By John Hay; Michael Burlingame | Go to book overview

4
1863-1864

EDITORIAL, 1 JANUARY 1863

ALTHOUGH OUR MILITARY POSITION IS NOT ALL WE COULD WISH ON this first day of the New Year, we have much to congratulate ourselves upon, if we compare our situation to-day with that of a year ago. In the impatient fretfulness with which we are too apt to criticise the progress of events, we say that nothing is done, when our full expectations are not realized. The careless observer who stands by the seaside sees the ceaseless backward and forward play of the ripples and can mark no permanent change in the line of sea and sand. But let him be absent for an hour, and he will find the tide swelling irresistibly up the shelving shore, and filling with its persistent flow every inlet, creek, and bay. We have talked so much of check, and so little of success, that we shall need a moment of retrospection, to convince us that we have really done a great work during the year of grace 1862.

One year ago, the unbroken armies of rebellion boldly confronted Washington. The spell of inactivity was lying heavily on all our forces. Even the slight success at Drainsville had failed to excite them to farther effort. They were waiting for the enemy to attack them. The President's War Order No. 1 had not yet issued from the Executive Mansion. Stanton had not yet infused his fiery energy into the administration of the War Department. Norfolk was still the busy workshop of the rebellion, and an army lay virtually besieged in Fortress Monroe. North Carolina and her outlying islands flaunted undisturbed the banners of treason. Not a fortress from Virginia to Mexico bore the flag of the Union in the face of heaven, except Fort Pickens, which sternly frowned defiance on the rebel forts of the mainland. The commercial metropolis of the South [ New Orleans ] revelled in haughty security at the mouth of the Mississippi, guarded by the twin Cerberi, St. Philip and Jackson, and the redoubtable navy of the C.S.A. In the West, the death of Zolli-

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Lincoln's Journalist: John Hay's Anonymous Writings for the Press, 1860-1864
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction xi
  • Lincoln's Journalist xxix
  • 1 - 1860 1
  • 1861 17
  • 3 - 1862 187
  • 4 - 1863-1864 331
  • Notes 341
  • Index 377
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