The Public Feeling
Philadelphia Press, April 16, 1861
The full history of a day like yesterday in our country could find no parallel in the annals of any other nation. The intelligence of the assault upon Fort Sumpter and its surrender has been carried on the wings of lightning to the most remote corners of the land, and it has wrought a revolution in public sentiment never before equalled. Smarting like a strong man with the disgrace of a blow upon his cheek, and conscious that war was inevitable, the resolution to make stern and complete preparation for it fired all hearts with a common purpose, and swept away all minor differences of opinions, doubts, and hesitations as a mountain torrent sweeps the drift-wood in its channel. Henceforth, let no man doubt that the latent fires of patriotism burn as brightly as ever in American bosoms; that our country’s honor and her flag are still dear to millions of faithful hearts; that the triumph of the traitors who seek to destroy the Republic, and to trample its ensign in the dust, will be short-lived, and that hereafter, the Star-spangled Banner will wave in triumph from every contested point.
One sentiment now pervades all ranks and men who have hitherto been connected with all parties. Bankers hasten to offer their money, legislators to pass all needful laws, Governors to call their States into action, and thousands of brave-soldiers to tender their military services. Men and money sufficient to conquer a haughty empire or to defend the nation against a world in arms will be speedily forthcoming. The National Government has but to indicate its wants and wishes for the vindication of our outraged honor to find them enthusiastically responded to. Let Rebellion shrink back affrighted to its noxious den, and the hopes of loyal Union men everywhere revive. The destinies of our country are no longer in the hands of its enemies, but in those of its friends, who will henceforward have the power to firmly guide its destinies, and to direct them in the channel which the patriots, and not the traitors, of the land select.