they contend for the natural right to select their own government, and they have the argument. Our armies must prevail over theirs. Our officers, marshals, and courts must penetrate into the innermost recesses of their land before we have the natural right to demand their submission.
I would banish all minor questions and assert the broad doctrine, that as a nation the United States has the right, and also the physical power, to penetrate to every part of the national domain, and that we will do it; that we will do it in our own time, and in our own way; that it makes no difference whether it be in one year or two, or ten or twenty; that we will remove and destroy every obstacle-if need be, take every life, every acre of land, every particle of property, everything that to us seems proper; that we will not cease until the end is attained. That all who do not aid
are enemies, and we will not account to them for our acts. If the people of the South oppose, they do so at their peril; and if they stand by mere lookers-on the domestic tragedy, they have no right to immunity, protection, or share in the final result.
I even believe, and contend further, that in the North every member of the nation is bound by both natural and constitutional law to "maintain and defend the Government against all its opposes whomsoever." If they fail to do it they are derelict, and can be punished or deprived of all advantage arising from the labors of those who do. If any man, North or South, withholds his share of taxes or physical assistance in this crisis of our history, be should and could be deprived of all voice in the future elections of this country, and might be banished or reduced to the condition of a denizen of the land.
War is upon us; none can deny it. It is not the act of the Government of the United States but of a faction. The Government was forced to accept the issue or submit to a degradation fatal and disgraceful to all the inhabitants. In accepting war it should be pure and simple as applied to the belligerent. I would keep it so till all traces of the war are effaced; till those who appealed to it are sick and tired of it, and come to the emblem of our nation and sue for peace. I would not coax them or even meet them half way, but make them so sick of war that generations would pass before they would again appeal to it.
I know what I say when I repeat that the insurgents of the South sneer at all overtures looking to their interest. They scorn the alliance with copperheads. They tell me to my face that they respect Grant, McPherson, and our brave associates who fight manfully and well for a principle, but despise the copperheads and sneaks who profess friendship for the South and opposition to the war as mere covers for their knavery and poltroonery.
God knows that I deplored this fratricidal war as such as any man living; but it is upon us, a physical fact, and there is only one honorable issue from it. We must fight it out, army against army and man against man, and I know and you know and civilians begin to realize the fact that reconciliation and reconstruction will be easier through and by means of strong, well-equipped and organized armies than through any species of conventions that can be framed.
The issues are made, and all discussion is out of place and ridiculous.
The section of 30-pounder Parrott rifles now drilling before my tent is a more convincing argument than the largest Democratic meeting the State of New York could assemble at Albany, and a