A Delightful Change
Buffalo Morning Express, April 13, 1861
A few weeks since, when it was confidently reported that the Administration would order or had ordered the evacuation and surrender of Fort Sumter, there was a manifest depression and gloom in the public mind. Everybody, except a few sympathisers with secession here and elsewhere, were sad at the idea of yielding anything to treason. The thought of surrendering our forts to the rebels did not rest well. It made men solemn and mad, and led to deep murmurs of dissatisfaction, to think that there was a necessity or possibility of such a result. The ingenuity was taxed, and as often as the subject was introduced, some invention was proposed by which Major ANDERSON could be reinforced and provisioned. Men in their zeal for the prestige of the nation as a power on the earth, were ready to reinforce and provision ANDERSON by contract, and give bonds for a faithful performance of the job at all hazards, and in this way the popular mind was kept on the stretch in the midst of intense anxiety and suffering for weeks, and until hope lingered on the verge of despair.
But a change came. The Government having perfected its arrangements in secret, began to move in such a way as to develop its plans and purposes. Its policy was changed. From inaction it sprang suddenly into life and activity. This change in the scenery and surroundings of the drama, was everywhere hailed with joy. The solemn and dejected countenances of the people began to light up with joy. The look was more cheerful—the step was firmer—the eye was brighter—and everybody was made happy with the thought and belief that the Government was to vindicate its authority—assert its power—enforce the laws, and reinforce its forts, and if disturbed by the rebels in its purpose, that it was prepared to teach them a lesson that they would not soon forget. The American people have not been so happy in fifty years as they are to-day, under the assurance that we have a Government and a policy, looking to its own thorough vindication.
The feeling of profound satisfaction which pervades the public mind at this time, is not confined within party limits. The great mass of the Democratic party at the North mingle their rejoicings with their Republican brethren over this prospect that the time is rapidly approaching when treason will be punished and squelched out, and the country will be re-established in peace, and the Union preserved from utter annihilation. The American heart is right where it has not been perverted by malign influences. It does not stop to study the geography of Party, but looks to the welfare of the common country through a perpetuation of our free institutions. In this view of the case, the Administration has only to follow out its inaugurated and developing policy with fidelity, to embalm itself in the affections of the people. It is now in the highway to unmeasurable popularity, and it has only to move straight on to reach that possession.