Item Description: editorial, The Daily Journal (Wilmington, N. C.), 10 June 1864.
THE DAILY JOURNAL.
CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA
WILMINGTON, N. C., FRIDAY JUNE 10, 1864.
THE YANKEES and the Yankee papers, who are, to a great extent their exponents, and none the less so that they veer around at every turn of the popular breeze, have now adopted the theory that Gen. Lee is the embodiment and the great and almost the sole strength of what they are pleased to call “the rebellion.” The New York Herald says that “if ever a man was a nation, if ever Louis XIV was France, Lee is the rebellion.” We can all see, or think we see, that this theory is false, but at the same time it ought to teach us that however highly we appreciate General Lee, the enemy appreciates him still more highly, and that to get rid of such a dreaded opponent there is hardly anything to which they would not resort. It ought to, and we trust it will, have its influence with General Lee himself, in making him more careful of a life so dear, so precious to his country and his countrymen, so much dreaded by his foes and the foes of the Confederacy.
The fall of General Lee would clothe the Confederacy in mourning. It would be felt as a personal loss—a private affliction—by every true man and every true family in the Confederacy. General Lee’s life is not his own to risk—it belongs to his country, and that country demands that it shall not be exposed to the risks of the battlefield. We eel assured that General Lee is too good a patriot to resist this demand of his country.
But General Lee, as great and good a man as he is—much as be is beloved and revered, not only by the army, but by every man, woman and child in the Confederacy—is not, after all, the Confederacy itself, nor the cause itself. The cause is just, the Confederacy is right, and the cause would have been just and the Confederacy would have been right, even though General Lee never had existed, and would not cease to be so even were Providence to order that General Lee should be removed from the command of the Confederate armies. If it be the will of Providence that the Confederate cause shall succeed, it will succeed through the instrumentality of General Lee, or if he is removed, then through some other instrumentality-General Lee, we are assured, feels this himself. He habitually acknowledges his dependence upon Divine Providence, in whose hands he is simply an instrument. The same Providence that raised him up, can as easily raise up another, and even human wisdom can see that, great as he is-first as he stands in the hearts of his countrymen, there are not wanting others worthy to take up the sword should he drop it-to wield the trancheon should it fall from his grasp.
No mere men, neither General Lee nor President Davis, although to us they are the foremost men of all the world-certainly so far as the Confederacy is concerned—neither of these men are the Confederacy.—They simply represent it. They wield its power. The people are the Confederacy—its strength is in their spirit and determination. The loss of men like these might depress their spirit, but even such a loss ought not to unsettle their determination, and it would not. Soon their spirit would rise with the occasion, and others would perfect the work which theee leaders had begun.
Item Citation: editorial, The Daily Journal (Wilmington, N.C.), 10 June 1864, page 2, column 1. Call number C071 Z, North Carolina Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.