plow at the news of the enemy's approach and returned to it when he had been driven back. It may be conceded that in Europe, where the governments mainly rely upon large standing armies, which are as much as possible disconnected with the people, and where the policy is to prevent the people from bearing arms under almost any circumstances some very absurd refinements on this subject have been asserted and to some extent tolerated. But such doctrines have never been recognized on this continent. The United States especially has always repudiated them.
The various revolutions which have agitated the Central and South American States have been conducted by the people, frequently without leaders other than those chosen upon the spur of the occasion to direct a single enterprise. And, to recur to the Revolution of our forefathers, the history of that immortal struggle abounds with instances where the hardy yeomen, as at Lexington and Bunker Hill, were, like the clansmen of Roderick Dhu, called by a concerted signal to some "Lanrick Mead," and there selected their officers upon the very field of battle.
But whatever difference of opinion may exist on this point, it has never been claimed, even by the most stringent advocates of legitimacy, that one belligerent has any right to complain of the name or form which the other may choose to give to its military organizations. The right to adapt these tot he peculiar service required has been universally conceded. So far indeed has this practice been carried in naval warfare that privateers men, "the militia of the seas," with charters as broad as the ocean's bounds, are recognized as legitimate among belligerent. And now indeed the extraordinary spectacle is presented to the contemplation of civilized man, in this boasted nineteenth century of the Christian world, of a nation claiming to be civilized in violation of its constitutions, inaugurating deliberately servile war, by stimulating the half civilized African to raise his hand against his master and benefactor, and thus make war upon the Anglo-Saxon race-war on human nature.
This with the Federal Government is legitimate warfare; but the defense of their firesides by Southern citizens is treason and murder. In military organizations the Polish Lancers, French Zouaves, and British Corps of Scouts and Guides in the late East Indian war are cases in point. The Confederate States claim and have exercised this undoubted right. The formation of companies, battalions, and regiments of Partisan Rangers has been specially authorized by an act of Congress. The officers of this corps are commissioned; the men are regularly mustered into service, receive pay, rations, and equipment from the Government, and are entitled to the same privileges and governed by the same regulations as all other troops in the Confederate service. It is not perceived therefore what pretext can be offered by tee enemy for subjecting the members of this corps to a different treatment from that extended to other prisoners of war. Certainly no such distinction can be recognized or tolerated by us. The Government, having called these men into service, is bound by every obligation of good faith to protect them to the extent of its power, and if found necessary for their protection, as well as for that of numerous unarmed citizens who have been subjected to outrages unparalleled in civilized warfare, will not hesitate, I feel constrained to declare, to resort to retaliation, even to the extent sanctioned by the Jewish law, "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, and life for life."