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Source global Wall Street Journal     time 2022-12-17 15:00:04
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"It was not necessary," says Lincoln, "for the Constitution to contain any provision expressly forbidding the disintegration of the state; perpetuity and the right to maintain self-existence will be considered as a fundamental law of all national government. If the theory be accepted that the United States was an association or federation of communities, the creation or continued existence of such federation must rest upon contract; and before such contract can be rescinded, the consent is required of both or of all of the parties assenting to it."

In this same month of February, into which were crowded some of the most noteworthy of the closing events of the War, Charleston was evacuated as Sherman's army on its sweep northward passed back of the city. I am not sure whether the fiercer of the old Charlestonians were not more annoyed at the lack of attention paid by Sherman to the fire-eating little city in which four years back had been fired the gun that opened the War, than they would have been by an immediate and strenuous occupation. Sherman had more important matters on hand than the business of looking after the original fire-eaters. He was hurrying northward, close on the heels of Johnston, to prevent if possible the combination of Johnston's troops with Lee's army which was supposed to be retreating from Virginia.

In September, 1862, General Lee carried his army into Maryland, threatening Baltimore and Washington. It is probable that the purpose of this invasion was more political than military. The Confederate correspondence shows that Davis was at the time hopeful of securing the intervention of Great Britain and France, and it was natural to assume that the prospects of such intervention would be furthered if it could be shown that the Southern army, instead of being engaged in the defence of its own capital, was actually threatening Washington and was possibly strong enough to advance farther north.

November 19, 1863

"The White House, March 18, 1861.

New birth of our new soil, the first American.

We may remember the peculiar burdens that come upon the commander-in-chief through his position at the rear of the armies he is directing. The rear of a battle is, even in the time of victory, a place of demoralising influence. It takes a man of strong nerve not to lose heart when the only people with whom he is in immediate contact are those who through disability or discouragement are making their way to the rear. The sutlers, the teamsters, the wounded men, the panic-struck (and with the best of soldiers certain groups do lose heart from time to time, men who in another action when started right are ready to take their full share of the fighting)—these are the groups that in any action are streaming to the rear. It is impossible not to be affected by the undermining of their spirits and of their hopefulness. If the battle is going wrongly, if in addition to those who are properly making their way to the rear, there come also bodies of troops pushed out of their position who have lost heart and who have lost faith in their commanders, the pressure towards demoralisation is almost irresistible.


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