from The Webster TimesJuly 2, 1864 (Volume VI # 17), 

The War

 by John Spaulding, Editor.

A feeling of undisguised despondency has been manifested on the part of the press and people, during the past week; occasioned mainly by slight disasters to the army before Petersburg, and more serious ones to Sherman’s command in Georgia. Added to this, the complication of the national finance, the astonishing advance in the price in gold, of breadstuffs and everything else holding a commercial value, all have tender to arouse emotions of distrust and fear, such as have not manifested themselves before, perhaps since the was began.

To offset this desponding element, we have the official assurance from official quarters that so far as operations of the Army of the Potomac are concerned, everything is progressing with the plans and expectations of Gen. Grant; and in relation to the affair in Gen. Sherman’s department, that the rebels have been punished thoroughly for the injury for which we suffered at their hands in the attack of the 27th. Without doubt the occasion for most serious apprehension is found in the unsatisfactory condition of our finances. Although more men are wanted for our armies, it is conceded that the greatest necessity exists for the “sinew of war,” which were never more essential than now.

It is indeed publicly stated by men conversant with governmental affairs, that unless the whole mass of our forehanded population, the merchants, the farmers, the mechanics, come forward now, each with his share of stored up treasure, the public treasury will soon be drained, the drafts of public creditors protested, and the war brought to a disastrous close by through the failure of the natural resources. How far this sweeping statement is correct, we all have equal opportunity to know.

So far as operations in the field are concerned, one correspondent asserts that everything is working gloriously, and that the prospects of an early and victorious termination of the campaign were never brighter than now. Another assures us that it grows less probable every day that grant will succeed in driving Lee out of Virginia this year; that to accomplish this object the war must rage more furiously for at least one year more.

Either assertion is but opinion, and one is entitled to about as much credit as the other. The government wants men, and if they are ever to be furnished the time is now. The same is true of money. If the people intend to carry this war through to the accomplishment of the object for which it has thus far been waged, common sense would seem to dictate that the required means be forthcoming freely and speedily; otherwise, that the conflict be terminated without further sacrifice of life and treasure.


15th Massachusetts VI