Thursday, May 19, 2016


Scenes from around Richmond, Va., by Alfred Waugh.
(Library of Congress)
[Richmond Daily Dispatch, May 19, 1862]
Richmond must not be surrendered 
The determination of the authorities to defend the city of Richmond has been announced and received throughout the country with joy. As an evidence of this we make the following extract from the Petersburg Express:
     Every Southern eye is now turned with a painful anxiety to the Capital of Virginia and of the Confederate States. Every Southern heart throbs with the most intense emotions at the changed aspect of affairs in and around that beautiful city, the pride of this ancient and noble Commonwealth, now about to be the theatre of one of the most thrilling events of the war, that will win for her a historic celebrity not interior to that of any city that has hitherto figured in the annals of the world. Napoleon found his doom in Moscow. The funeral pyre on which his colossal power was consumed was lighted by the torches of the heroic citizens of that proud metropolis. He saw in its voluntary conflagration the signal of his approaching down fall, and infinitely terrible to him was a spectacle at once so grand and portentous. Moscow rose in triumph from its ashes, covered with glory and crowned with prosperity Napoleon sunk beneath the tremendous blow which it inflicted on him, and the memory of what he had been was all that he could snatch from the tremendous wreck of his fortunes.
     A city destroyed may be rebuilt and flourish again. Liberty once lost is irrecoverable. Sublime examples of self immolation on the altar of freedom for the salvation of her sacred cause are not in Time's chronicles confined to a single community or individual They are strewed up and down through the historic record, and are beacon-lights to guide and cheer, through all centuries, a people struggling to be free.
.     These remarks have been prompted by the pleasing intelligence that the city of Richmond is to be defended at all hazards and to the last extremity. Our information on this head encourages us to hope that the vandal foe who is exulting in the anticipation of its speedy conquest will meet with a resistance that he little expects. Unquestionably the possession of that city, under existing circumstances, would make him delirious with joy. Unquestionably such a success would be in the highest degree disastrous, but not fatal, in its immediate effects to the Southern cause. These considerations will stimulate the Governments there, State, Confederate and municipal, to the most intense and unshrinking efforts and measures for its preservation from so great a calamity. The people of the city and the brave army in its vicinity will vigorously co-operate, fearless of consequences, and with a determination to baffle the expectation of the enemy. We like the tone of the Richmond journals in speaking of the dangers which they are confronting. They breathe a lofty spirit — a spirit worthy of the occasion and of the South. It has the ring of the Moscow metal about it, and if it shall lead to corresponding acts, let the result be what it may, Richmond will be immortalized.

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