The Glorious News.
Our columns this morning are filled with most glorious news. A more splendid victory than that achieved in the capture of Fort Donelson, has not occurred in the annals of the war. We cannot but as regard it as the decisive battle of the rebellion, and, in its results and consequences, breaking the back bone of the rebel cause. With the retreat of the enemy from Bowling Green, it opens the very heart of secessia to our victorious army, who will speedily divide or sunder the rebellious States, and bring them again under the old flag of the Union.
General Grant and his noble army have done their work most effectually and well. The rebel army in the Fortress is stated to have been 30,000, of which 15,000 with Johnson, Pillow and Buckner are prisoners of war, 5,000 escaped with the thief Floyed, and the remainder 10,000 are killed or wounded. This is probably too large an estimate, but the loss of the rebels, undoubtedly, is very great. Their army is entirely exterminated and annihilated.
Of course, in so desperate a fight as that which occurred at Fort Donelson, our own mortality list must of necessity be large. Our dispatches state our loss to be "terribly severe." Many a household in the State is now watching with anxious suspense for the names of the killed and wounded, and many will be compelled to mourn the loss of dear relatives and friends who fell in the slaughter. The joy they feel over the victory will be tempered by the grief for the gallant dead, who thus offered up their lives for the salvation of our beloved country. But they died a glorious death, and most gloriously will they be remembered in history for their achievements. Such a death were indeed to be envied.
There is that in the Fort Donelson victory which makes it peculiarly our own. The soldiers that fought and won it are almost entirely our own Illinois boys — whom we all know, and love and honor. The commanding officers were Generals Grant and McClernand, of Illinois, and in the list of Colonels and other officers we can name but a few who are not from this State. How many of them, with their brave fellows, are now sleeping the sleep of death, we may not know; but it is a victory for the Union achieved by Illinois troops, and one which Illinoisans will be proud of through all time to come. We do not care to boast; but Illinois prowess has broken the backbone of the rebellion.