We have no patience with anybody, (newspaper or individual) who labors to prove that the south is right in its treason; that it had any reasonable excuse for commencing a war upon us; or that the north is wrong in endeavoring to maintain the government and enforce the laws. Why should such northern people endeavor to find reasons for treason, when the best statesmen in the south said they had no ground of complaint sufficient to justify secession, revolution or war? Leading men of the south struggled for peace, and emphatically opposed secession. Among many notable instances which might be named is that of the honorable Alexander H. Stephens, now vice president of the confederate states, who, in an exceedingly able speech delivered in the hall of the house of representatives of Georgia, on the 14th day of last November, in answer to a secession speech of Hon. Robert Toombs, denied that the south was justified in revolution. The speech is a long and exceedingly able one — a triumphant answer to Toombs's traitorous harangue. In that speech Mr. Stephens said:
"The first question which presents itself is — shall the people of the south secede from the union in consequence of the election of Mr. Lincoln to the presidency of the United States? My countrymen, I tell you frankly, candidly and earnestly, that I do not think they ought. We are pledged to maintain the constitution. To make a point of resistance to the government, to withdraw from it because a man has been constitutionally elected, puts us in the wrong."
But a mob of fanatics in the south drove their section to commence a war upon us, and we occasionally find a man (or a newspaper) who tries to prove that the south was right in trying to destroy the government, and the north wrong in trying to sustain it. Such a person, or such a paper, is a traitor, and should be silenced. In time of war the ordinary laws, enacted for peace, are suspended; not always, or everywhere, but wherever, in the judgment of a military commander, the safety of the state requires it. This is right, and necessary in order to preserve the government, and none but traitors or their allies will find fault. We would as soon permit the publication of a newspaper under the walls of Fortress Monroe, advising officers and men to desert, and arguing that rebellion was right, as we would in Illinois or New England. We would as soon allow an individual to preach his sympathy with treason, at Fort McHenry, as we would in the country where he discourages enlistments, tells men they are engaged in a bad cause, and hopes every man who enlists will get killed. That sort of treason, when we are at war and struggling to maintain the government, will not be permitted much longer. There are some men, even in our county, whose sympathy with traitors and whose want of patriotic devotion to the union will certainly lead them into trouble unless it is stopped. If they will take the advice of one who wishes them well they will change their tone and work for their government instead of against it. They can't get off by calling this an abolition war, for they know that ninety nine out of every hundred men, the whole country over, are in favor of protecting the institutions of every state which is loyal to the union, — and they know that every officer, from president to postmaster, is sworn to do this. Let them cease their unpatriotic growling, then, and help swell the chorus of the union. At any rate, if they have any regard for their personal safety, let them cease preaching treason.