The Sepoys of Montgomery
Albany Evening Journal, May 10, 1861
While the government has carried conciliation and non-interference to its farthest verge, and loyal millions looked on with indignant but law-abiding patience, the traitors have hastened to heap every possible indignity upon the Constitution under which we have grown to be the most intelligent and prosperous nation in the world. They have done their best to turn constitutional liberty into anarchy and license. They have disgraced the name o£ the United States, and put our people to blush before the world; and, with the piratical glee of mutinous Sepoys, they have made it their first aim to tear down and trample into the dust those stars and stripes to which no foreign foe has ever dared to offer the slightest affront.—N. Y. Evening Post
The epithet is as forcible as it is just. The Rebels are exhibiting all the lawlessness and ferocity of Sepoys. Their conduct reminds us rather of barbarians, maddened by the scent of blood, than civilized and Christianized men. Their atrocities would be too flagrant for belief did they not occur before our eyes. It seems incredible, that men who were but yesterday the patterns of "law and order," should be now transformed into lawless ruffians.
The tone of the Southern press reflects the popular madness, and the popular fury. The most conservative journals breathe nothing but war and rapine. The more extreme organs are filled with the most ferocious assaults upon the Government and the people of the North. Dictionaries are exhausted in the demand for epithets expressive of their contempt, their hatred, their loathing of us. The patois of the fish-market is Chesterfieldian in comparison with the style in which they speak of us. "Black hordes," "Northern barbarians," "Goths and Vandals," "brutal mercenaries," "besotted hirelings," "hogs," and "cattle," "frowzy fanatics," and "imbecile ruffians" are a few of the more popular titles with which they honor us when they happen to be in their more playful moods. The language of their sterner moments—the soubriquets which they shower upon us when they get really vexed—are quite too expressive to be repeated in these decorous columns.
Upon one point the Southern papers are agreed. It is that we are "cowards." While they denounce us as "invaders of their soil," they are morally certain that we don't know how to fight. There is no question in the minds of these valient scribes that one Southerner is, on an average, a match for at least three Northerners. It was only the other day a prominent New Orleans journal made a proposition to settle the difficulty between the two sections by a pitched battle between fifty thousand of the Chivalry and one hundred thousand Yankees. Thus the Rebels, not satisfied with hating, pay us the further compliment of despising us!
Ferocity, however, in most instances, gets the better of contempt. Deep, intense, implicable hatred of the Northern people, seems to be the prevailing animus of those who assume to speak for the South. Their rage at our attitude of resistance knows no bounds. Having dared us to meet them on the "tented field," they are scandalized at our exhibition of "blood-thirstiness," for taking them at their word!
The present temper of the Southern people affords a pregnant commentary upon the "Barbarism of Slavery." None but a people who had played the tyrants all their lives could become thus maddened because their revolutionary schemes were met and rebuked. None but men who believed they were "born to rule," could thus forget all the decencies of life at the prospect of being compelled to accept a divided empire.