The spirit in which this war has been conducted by the Yankee Government and people is an indelible stain upon the boasted civilization of the nineteenth century. If the war which they have made upon us had been ever so just in itself, their manner of conducting it has been such as to render the original merits of the quarrel a matter of inferior importance, and to place their enemies upon a vantage ground in which they may appeal to the justice of God and the sympathies of mankind for the success of their cause. The history of war among civilized nations may be searched in vain for a parallel to the perfidy, inhumanity and cruelty which both the Executive at Washington and the Generals and soldiers under its command have exhibited toward the Southern people. This is not the language of passion or prejudice, but a plain and undeniable historical fact, which has been demonstrated every day and every night for nearly three years, in massacred prisoners, burning dwellings, peaceable citizens shot down at their own firesides, multitudes carried into dreary captivity, and women and children driven from their homes to find shelter in the woods and among wild beasts, or the pitiless charities of the world. Time would fail us, and language has no power to depict all the vast variety of innumerable atrocities which we have suffered at their hands, and not one of which belong to war as it is now carried on by civilized nations.
It must be reserved for calmer hours, and a more philosophical analysis than we are able to bestow upon Yankee character, to explain how it is that a people professing to be the cream and essence of nineteenth century civilization have converted themselves at a bound into the brutes and barbarians which our enemies have proved themselves in this war. Why the difference between the humanity and decorum which, even according to Yankee testimony, were exhibited by the Confederates when invading the North and the unheard-of ferocity and ruffianism of the Federal troops upon Southern soil? We believe that the causes must be looked for in essential differences of character and training between the South and that heterogeneous compound, not only of all nations, but of the vilest blood of all nations which constitutes what is called "the North." That the standard of virtue and of real civilization has been always higher in the slaveholding than the non-slaveholding States we have never doubted for a moment. The principles of morality and religion have been more universally respected and practiced, there has been a loftier sense of personal honor, the agricultural mode of life has secured the South from the vices which commerce and wealth bring in their train, the homogeneous character of the people has saved them from the corrupting miasma which is engendered by the sewers of European immigration, and the influences of the educated classes—which demagogism has never been able to subvert here—have contributed their powerful aid to the tone and elevation of Southern society.
Whatever the cause, and whatever may be the results of this quarrel, the North has degraded itself irreparably in its mode of conducting this war. It has shown that any society which casts off the restraints of religion, which prides itself upon universal equality, and acknowledges no superiors in earth or heaven, must degenerate into an assemblage of brutes and demons, whose fitting end is to be destroyed.