“The Policy of the Enemy”


September 20, 1864

Collection: The Civil War
Publication: The Charleston Mercury
Date: September 20, 1864
Title: ThePolicyoftheEnemy.
The Mobile Advertiser concludes that thepolicyofthe
enemy will practice for the remainder of this campaign will be
a for a last grand effort in Virginia.’The
shame of GRANT at failure, and the ambition of LINCOLN to be
re-elected, the Advertiser thinks, are the strongest motives
now controlling those who direct military operations on the
part oftheenemy, and both these considerations imperiously
demand success in Virginia. SHERMAN has reached his objective
point, and may therefore be content to rest under his laurels.
Charleston cannot be taken, and the successful defence made
there can be repeated at Mobile. What remains, them, to
retrieve GRANT’S disgrace and insure another term to LINCOLN,
so attractive as redoubled exertions for the capture of
Petersburg, as a step towards the taking of Richmond.
Reasoning in this way, our Mobile contemporary proceeds to say:
‘LINCOLN has shown by all his acts that the capture of Richmond
is regarded by him as the crushing blow to the rebellion. God
only knows how many human beings he has hurled to their graves
to accomplish this object. Is it not reasonable to suppose
that he now looks upon it as the trump card in his Presidential
game. If so, he will neglect all other minor points, let
Mobile go, let Mississippi go, leave Georgia as it is, and
gather every available man from SHERMAN, A.J. SMITH, CANBY and
the West, to fall upon LEE in Virginia. This policyof LINCOLN
coincides precisely with the interests of GRANT, and he will,
as commander-in-chief, give the orders which, while helping
LINCOLN’S election, give to himself the last chance for
redeeming his waning prestige as a General. We have already
said that SHERMAN has won his spurs, and if he head the power,
probably would not choose to frustrate these plans. We believe
then, now at the end, as from the beginning, the ‘Old Dominion’
will be the battleground for this great war, and upon her
classic and glorious fields the coming fight will take place
for Confederate independence. We have boundless faith in the
result, and we echo the opinion said to have been expressed by
that clear-headed man and great soldier, General FORREST, since
he arrived in this city, to wit: that if every man in the South
will stand up to his duty and country for sixty days longer, no
matter whether LINCOLN or McCLELLAN is elected President, the
war will break down at the North and be at an end.’


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