Kenosha Democrat, April 19, 1861

There is no longer room to doubt the intentions of the administration now in power. War has been inaugurated by it in a fit of insane passion, and an utter and humiliating defeat has followed its first attempt at "enforcing the laws." As might have been expected in an administration that could take no enlarged comprehensive view of our national troubles, its imbecility in executing equals its imprudence in planning. The veriest military tyro should have known that the reinforcement of Fort Sumter by the means at command of the United States, was a military impossibility. Why then was it attempted? Why were the lives of brave men sacrificed, and the country humiliated in the eyes of the civilized world by a petty malignant display of its own impotence[?] Does the administration delight in its own degradation? It would really seem so.

The failure attending its first organized attempt to suppress the insurrection, will cost the government thousands of lives and millions of money. It is worth more to the revolutionists, than an army of fifty thousand men, in the prestige of success it will give to Southern arms, and in the confidence it will inspire in the hearts of Southern people. The wavering will now be confirmed; and the bold, emboldened. The rallying cry will be "down with the abolitionists," and the work of organizing an army will go on with redoubled energy.

We can see nothing but ruin and blank destruction staring both sections of the country in the face, if war goes on as it threatens now to do. We can see nothing but long years of the most bitter and unrelenting contest that ever deluged a country with blood, and devastated it with war. Hundreds of thousands of lives must be sacrificed, and millions on millions of public debt incurred, as certainly as the sun shines, if the congress convened on the 4th of July next shall conclude to carry on the war thus begun. And when all this shall have been accomplished, and every nook and hamlet in the country draped in mourning, we shall be farther from a satisfactory settlement than we are to day. Subjugating millions of free Anglo Saxon men and women is idle talk. Extermination alone will conquer them. Can the North exterminate the South? Have they any desire to do so? What would be gained to themselves, to the negroes, or to the world by such a consummation, if possible? The imagination is horrified by contemplating the terrible consequences of such a war as this must needs be, and good men and true christians must feel in their inmost hearts that these states should be allowed to go on in peace rather than entail the miseries and sufferings of such a conflict, by endeavoring to compel an unwilling union.

We said all in our power to avert war. We believed it would prove ruinous, and think so still. We have conscientiously believed the Union could only be preserved by compromise. We still hope against hope, that the Providence which has made and created us a great nation, will at least avert the horrors of a protracted civil war.