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Where Will the Traitors Go?

The retreat of the rebel army from Yorktown, Williamsburg, Norfolk, New Orleans, etc., and the prospect of a similar move at Corinth, with the tremendous reverses which have attended the movements of the confederate army, give evidence that the leaders will soon fall back upon the Gulf States, either to make a stand there or to take refuge in Texas, with a view ultimately to occupy Mexico.

The only difficulty will be the crossing of the Mississippi river, as our fleet have the control there.

The leaders could probably muster an army of one hundred thousand men for an expedition of this sort. The rich table lands of Mexico offer a strong inducement for these adventures, and are well adapted for slave labor, to say nothing of the gold mines there, by which they could replenish their exhausted exchequer, and live a life of indolence and ease. They could easily overrun the eastern provinces of Mexico, continguous to Texas, with a view of uniting that state with a portion of Mexico, or leave Texas to the old union, they could overrun and Americanize Mexico, and establish a new and more stable government on the ruins of that once great but now effeminate race. They might, for a time, harass our western frontier, and extend their operations to Eastern and Lower California, but we should expect to see them ultimately settle down in Mexico, and establish there a firm government on American principles. In this event, the new government formed there would be our best customer, and help to carry out the grand doctrine of Mr. Monroe in reference to the interference of European governments with the affairs of this continent. It would not be improbable, either, that the United States should ultimately aid these adventurers in maintaining such a position in Mexico. The only obstacle in the way of starting this plan, is the crossing of the Mississippi, although it would seem that they would have provided for this contingency. If they should concentrate their whole army below Corinth and Memphis, they have railroad facilities to reach New Orleans, and could of course defeat the small federal force there; or perhaps cross the river at Vicksburg, whither Beauregard may intend to lead his defeated forces.

These suggestions are of course mere speculations, but they may turn out to be true, nevertheless. There are at the south a plenty of discontented spirits who would willingly engage in a marauding expedition of this kind. They have plenty of arms and ammunition, and could extort a living from the people as they passed along. We shall look for a speedy backward movement of the rebel army in Virginia, to the valley of the Mississippi. By uniting their scattered forces, and leaving the Atlantic coast to take care of itself, they may endeavor to erect a government somewhere west of the Mississippi.