The War

New Orleans Bee, May 1, 1861

The more moderate of the Northern papers still persist in the preposterous assertion that the people of that section have taken up arms simply to preserve the Union. Now, in the first place, this is not true, and in the next, if it were true, it would not in the slightest degree diminish the enormity of Mr. LINCOLN's conduct. We say it is not true that this war is waged for the maintenance of the Union. The North knows better than that. She may be cruel, intolerant, aggressive and fanatical, but she is shrewd enough to fathom motives, and sensible enough to understand the impossibility of bringing together the ruptured members of the Confederacy, and of keeping them together if they could be momentarily forced into juxtaposition. The Union is the pretext—the subjection of the South once for all to the supremacy of sectional foes is the real object of the war. Equally true is it that if the North really had at heart the perpetuity of the Union, Mr. LINCOLN's policy has been none the less barbarous and unjustifiable. Unless he is a born idiot, which we do not believe, he must be aware that to send armies to occupy the South, and fleets to blockade her ports; to seize on all provisions and other articles destined for the South; to maltreat all who sympathize with us, and to display envenomed hostility to us by every possible manifestation, is not exactly calculated to increase the cohesive affinities between the South and North. LINCOLN, instead of remitting them, is driving in the wedge of separation with all his force. He has acted as if his real design had been to place an eternal and impassable barrier between the two sections. This has been the effect, let his views have been what they may.

Away then with the false and hypocritical assumption that the North is engaged in a crusade against the South to preserve a Union broken beyond the power of human skill to reconstruct! Better for the TARTUFFES and MAWWORMS of the North frankly to avow their implacable enmity to us, and their intention to conquer and enthral us, if possible. There would be some honesty in such a confession. There is none whatever in the wretched pretense with which they seek to mask their odious principles.

The truth is, and it is well for us to comprehend and appreciate it—this is no holiday game between the two sections. Mr. LINCOLN's protestations and proclamations disavowing the intention to invade the South are worthless pieces of paper, because they are the production of a public functionary whose entire course since his inauguration has proved him deplorably deficient in every manly attribute. Mr. LINCOLN has signalized his brief career by a monstrous mass of perfidy and falsehood, and is therefore unworthy of the smallest credit. The North is bent on war. Facts demonstrate it. Every usage of war has been put in practice. The blockade of our ports, the stoppage of supplies to the South, the wanton and Vandal-like conflagration of Government stores and fortifications exposed to capture by the South, the efforts to control the navigation of the Mississippi, the deliberate persecution, insult and injury of all Southern sympathizers who unhappily fall into Northern hands, the fell spirit of violence and despotism openly acknowledged by Administration sheets, the threats of invasion and extermination—all indicate beyond the possibility of a doubt the disposition and purposes of the North. We are to have war, and probably on an extended scale. We have no confidence in the well meant but fruitless attempts to arrest the progress of the conflict. Mr. LINCOLN is aware that the South is arming only for defense, and asks nothing better than to be suffered unmolested to pursue the even tenor of her way. The responsibility of hostilities lies with him. He can suspend them whenever he pleases. He has no desire to call off his bloodhounds, and the war will therefore go on.

It is well, too, to guard against another common error—that of depreciating the adversary. Rank folly were it to deny the courage of the people of the North. They belong to the revolutionary stock, and have displayed their valor in many a battle field. They are as brave as the men of the South, and were their cause a just one, were they, as we are, defending their houses and firesides, their freedom and independence against ruthless invaders, they would be, as we trust we shall prove, invincible. Yet they are as numerous as the swarms of barbarians which the frozen North sent from her loins to overrun the Roman Empire, and this is their great advantage. But against this we place our devotion, our unanimity, our strong defensive attitude, our easily protected territory. Let them come in in their courage and their numbers, and the South will resist the shock as steadily and successfully as she resisted the veterans of the British army on the plains of Chalmette.