Northern Press Reaction to Beauregard’s Proclamation

21 12 2011

Baltimore American, June 18, 1861

The most objectionable of all the pronunciamientos of the Secessionists that has come under our notice, since the beginning of the conflict, is the Proclamation of Gen. Beauregard to certain “good people” in Virginia. How any man of his standing could put his name to such a production we are at a loss to conceive. We would fain hope that it is not genuine. We would fain believe that so gross and unwarranted a misrepresentation of the purposes of the United States Government must have been foisted upon the public by some enemy of Gen. Beauregard. The publication is credited, however, to the Richmond Enquirer, and therefore leaves no doubt of its being official. Without venturing any lengthy comments upon it, we beg leave to suggest that if the prominent leaders of that side are driven to such methods of widening the breach between the sections, the cause must be low down which requires such disreputable and untruthful means to “breath into it the breath of life.”

The particular passage to which we would call the especial attention of our readers is a tolerably fair parallel to a paragraph we gave the other day from a speech made by ex-Gov. Wise, in which he invites the people of Virginia to “wade through a path of blood.” Gen. Beauregard says: “A reckless and unprincipled tyrant has invaded your soil. Abraham Lincoln, regardless of all moral, legal, and constitutional restraints, has thrown his Abolition hosts among you, who are murdering and imprisoning your citizens, confiscating and destroying your property, and committing other acts of violence and outrage too shocking and revolting to humanity to be enumerated. All rules of civilized warfare are abandoned, and they proclaim by their acts, if not on their banners, that their war-cry is “Beauty and Booty.” All that is dear to man – your honor, and that of your wives and daughters – your fortunes, and your lives, are involved in this momentous contest.”

We cannot avoid contrasting with the above the offer of General Butler to put down “servile insurrections” in his first landing at Annapolis, and the subsequent address of General Patterson to the Pennsylvania troops, that it might be their duty to “suppress servile insurrections.”

Can the people of Virginia be imposed upon by such productions as this of General Beauregard? Can any intelligent community in the South be thus cheated into madness? Surely if they can be, they are to be pitied, and we have only to say that so poor a compliment paid by any high functionary to the intelligence of the people of Maryland, would receive their scorn and reprobation.

Rebellion Record, Volume I, Documents, p 339

Beauregard’s Proclamation








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