"Forward to Richmond."
"Forward to Richmond" was the persistent rallying cry of self-constituted dictators led on by the "big and little Tribunes," Not a moment's delay could be endured by them. Richmond must be held by the national army before the rebel Congress should assemble. The entire government, with Mr. Lincoln at the head and Gen. Scott as General-in Chief, was denounced as too slow and inefficient to meet the demands of the times. The army must forthwith move forward; — and unprepared as it was, to satisfy the insane ravings of these crazy zealots, the army did move.
The melancholy result is before the country. Our gallant army has been driven back in confusion and disgrace, leaving hundreds of brave hearts dead and dying upon the hills of Virginia. The preponderating numbers of the rebel forces with their constant succession of powerful batteries behind strong entrenchments have overwhelmed our heroic soldiers and stunned them with a defeat, the disastrous effect of which cannot yet be fully estimated. It is not astonishing that indignation should be visited upon those who not only counselled, but insultingly demanded that Richmond should at once be taken. We know not yet what is the feeling in New York, over the wicked counselings of the "big Tribune," but it would appear from the Chicago papers that the Tribune of the latter city comes in for its full share of curses, "loud and deep," for its agency in bringing about the disaster. The Post in a tone of savage indignation over the stupid arrogance of the sheet, says:
"We arraign the Chicago Tribune as being an accessory to the murder of the many brave men whose bodies to-day are corrupting under the sun of Virginia. We arraign that paper before the country as an aider and abetor of the rebel triumph at Manassas. We arraign it as a cruel and shameless imposter, thrusting its harlequin foolery into matters filled with life and death to so many thousands of the brave men of the army. We arraign it as guilty in intent, if not in act of the bloody massacre of our countrymen, and to the thousands of widows bereft of their husbands, of parents robbed of their children, and of countless orphans robbed of their fathers, we point to the Chicago Tribune as one of the deluded fools who have wrought this deed of shame and horror."
The Times is equally emphatic in its denunciations of the two Tribunes. It says:
The order of these two abolition dictators has been obeyed. An unprepared army began the march to Richmond, and every lover of the Union is overwhelmed with shame and indignation, — not because our men did not fight bravely, — not because Wilcox and Farnum are not martyrs in the cause of the nation's honor, nor because Heintzelman and Richardson are not living heroes, in whose patriotic valor the people exult with pride; but because the ravings of these incendiary journals have been substituted for the ripened genius of the veteran Scott, and mere politicians have made these ravings the pretexts to precipitate him into movements he would never have originated. Thus upon the guilty heads of these journals rests the blood of the slain on the soil of Virginia. Upon their consciences, if they have any, must forever weigh the remorseful load of the army's defeat and the Republic's dishonor in the eyes of Christendom; and History if her muse shall ever notice them, will place them upon the wicked eminence of those who gave the counsels of treason, in the name of patriotism, and who, to serve a party, jeered a people into jeopardy of their institutions.
In the Times we find, also, the following paragraph:
Much popular indignation was manifested towards the Chicago Tribune, in consequence of its recent attempts to excite public clamor against Gen. Scott, and that concern, in fear and trembling, sought the protection of the police. It was in danger of molestation.
We are sure that this is a mistake. We do not believe that the people of Chicago, however much they may regret the wicked counsels of the Tribune, would be guilty of any such demonstration. But we trust the sad lesson taught by the bloody flood at Bull Run, and the sad reverse which there overtook our arms, will in the future be heeded and remembered by those officious intermeddlers in business about which they knew nothing whatever. There has been too much of the arrogant dictation by ignorant and mischievous censors, and it is high time that it were stopped. The war for the restoration of the Union is in the hands of able and patriotic men, directed by a General-in-Chief who is acknowledged to be the greatest captain of the war. Let us trust him in the future, and be one with our stupid dictation.