War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 1054 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA.Chapter XXIII.

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being at liberty to repeat any portion of the conversation to his coin- inanding genera]. He then began speaking and continued without interruption for more than half an hour. The drift of the discourse was that the invasion of the seceding States, with its consequent slaughter and waste, had created in the Southern mind such feelings of animosity and spirit of resistance that the war could only end in separation or extermination; that a treaty of peace could at once be agreed upon, but that reunion could be effected only by subjngation and permanent military ocenpation. I told him briefly, in reply, that his statement surprised and grieved me; that it must be known well to the people of the South that the whole purpose of the Government was to support the Constitution and to enforce alike upon all, in every State, the laws of the United States; that I had hoped and supposed that the Confederate leaders at least had been impressed by a sense of the hopelessness of the struggle. That the unequal character of the contest, our greater numbers, wealth, credit, and resources of all kinds; the unanimity of the free States and the determination evinced by their entire population; the established loyalty of Maryland, West- ern Virginia, Kentucky, and Missouri; the Union sentiment manifested in Tennessee and known to exist in greater or less degree throughout the South; the hopelessness of foreign intervention; the complete estab- lishinent of sea and river blockade; the loss of position after position in the interior, and the certainty of our irresistible advance had satisfied them that continued resistance must be unavailing. To this he said lie would reply seriatim, and he did so at great length, not controverting very much my statement of their condition, but denying that there was any Uniomi sentiment left in the planting region, especially in South Caro- lina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, or Louisiana (outside of the foreign element in New Orleans), or that it existed to any consider- able extent in Eastern Virginia, North Carolina, or even Tennessee. He said that food and arms made sufficient material for war; that the slaves had never been so tractable as now; that slave labor was di- rected almost exclusively to the production of food, especially in dis- tricts remote from military operations, and that every State had its manufactories of arms and powder. He claimed that the military strength of the Confederate States was yet unbroken; that our army before Richmond was not strong enough to force an entrance iiito it; that he was opposed to defending the town, but that his superiors had determined to do so, and we could only take it when they saw fit to abandon it. He asserted that if we took Richmond and every other im- portant point in the Confederate States we would have gained nothing; that it would require years to suppress organized resistance, and that at last we would be compelled to hold the country by military occupa- tion, and that every military position would be surrounded by a hostile poPulation. I told him in reply that such a state of things as he had last described would involve on the part of the United States measures of military necessity and security not now contemplated; that the Army of the Potomac was so composed and in such condi(4on that on the day when it moved upon Richmond it would enter it, even if opposed by the en- tire forces of the Confederate States, and that it was impossible for the seceding States to organize an army anywhere which the United States could not break to pieces in a single engagement; that on the question of Union the whole people of the North moved in solido, and that I could not sufficiently express their determination to enforce throughout the whole country the equal operation of the Federal laws; that I did