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1863 August 22: Public Opinion in North Carolina

August 26, 2013

From The Prescott Journal of August 22, 1863.

The Sentiment of North Carolina.

We take the following article from the [St. Paul] Pioneer of Wednesday, which shows conclusively that North Carolina is nearly ready to come back into the Union :—

In our telegraphic dispatches yesterday, there is a notice of an able article in the Raleig [sic] Standard, denouncing the treachery of Confederate leaders ; the ill success of their efforts ; stating that portions only of but five of the original thirteen states remain in the hands of the Confederacy, and proposing to North Carolina in her sovereign capacity, to make immediate overturns to the Norton for peace.

Our dispatches this morning state that the article in question was written by the speaker of the House of Commons of North Carolina, and was approved by Gov. VANCE [Zebulon B. Vance].  Be this as it may, the fact that such an article was allowed to be printed within the rebel lines, at the capital of the old North State, we regard as a great triumph for the Union cause.—We may be sure that no journal at the South would dare to oppose the tyranny at Richmond, unless it was sustained by the people it addressed.  The Standard charges the rebel leaders with treachery, and explicitly avows a desire to repudiate their usurpation, and return to the legitimate government of the Union.  Thus it is that an independent Southern newspaper dares to tell the truth to the Confederacy.  We have heared [sic] of Federal exagerations [sic], especially from English journals, and by them the sunbursts of victory have been as gleams of success ; but does any Northern statement of the war, and the condition of the South, claim a greater triumph for the Union than this confesses !

The article above alluded to, from the Standard, is not the first that has appeared in that journal of the same tenor.  A few weeks ago there was an editorial in which submission was openly spoken of, and JEFF DAVIS denounced as unworthy of trust, and was soon followed by another, from which we make the following extract :

From the beginning of the war until the present, the enemy has slowly but surely gained upon us ; and but for the extraordinary endurance and courage of our troops, his flag would now be floating at the capital of every State.  We have lost Missouri, Maryland, Kentucky, Tennessee, the Mississippi valley, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and considerable portions of other States.  Vicksburg has fallen, we have feared many months ago that it would, Port Hudson has fallen with Charleston, Mobile and Savannah will probably go next.  Gen. Lee [Robert E. Lee] is attempting to retire from Maryland with his spoils, but no substantial victory has crowned his arms.  We are weaker today than when we crossed the Potomac into Maryland.  Our recruits in the way of conscripts will scarcely keep our regiments full, and we cannot hope to add materially to our forces.  Our fighting population is pretty well exhausted.  Everybody knows this, the North knows it, and so does Europe.  On the contrary, our enemys [sic], flushed with triumph, have a large army in the field, and their President has just called for three hundred thousand more.  He will get them.  The movement on Pennsylvania, by Gen. Lee, and the fall of Vicksburg and Port Hudson, have hushed all clamors for peace in the North, and have banded the people there as one man for the prosecution of the war.  We have nothing to hope for from foreign nations, and just as our cause is, we see no indications that Providenc [sic] is about to interpose in our behalf.  The war, then, will go on.  One side or the other must conquer.  Will five millions of whites conquer twenty millions of the same race!  Will they conquer a peace on the very soil of these twenty millions !  Not in any event, if these twenty millions possess ordinary mandood [sic] and will fight.

The above, so earnest in its statements, so calm in its reasoning, evidently is not so much intended to act upon the people, as it is itself the embodiment of public opinion.

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