Moral of the Rebel Raid into Pennsylvania.
No true and earnest friend of the Union can avoid a feeling of humiliation and shame, in view of the perfectly successful character of the rebel raid into Pennsylvania and the escape of the perpetrators. Though similar in character, it is unequalled in audacity by the raids into Missouri and Kentucky a few weeks ago, when a few hundred rebel guerrillas terrified the whole population, making the circuit of those States nearly in sight of the principal cities, and even startling the people of half a dozen neighboring States. In that cause John Morgan escaped out of Kentucky, almost scot free, with the plunder which he had gathered within sixty miles of Cincinnati; and that the Missouri raid was not equally successful, was probably owing rather to the want of thorough organization on the part of the rebels themselves, than to any adequate preparation to repel them.
But the Pennsylvania raid is the most remarkable of all those strange exploits of the rebel invaders. A few hundred of their cavalry — at most some two or three thousand — cross the Potomac almost in the face of an army of two hundred thousand men, sweep up into the State of Pennsylvania far beyond the farthest advance made at the time of the rebel raid into Maryland, destroy thousand of dollars worth of property, exchange their old worn out garments for new and their jaded horses for fresh ones, and making the almost entire circuit of McClellan's army, escape with perfect impunity again across the Potomac, again at the mouth of the Monocacy! As was the case when Lee's army was in Maryland, the promise to bag them was unfulfilled.
One of the most remarkable things in connection with this affaire is, that while the want of horses is given as an excuse for the inefficiency of our cavalry, the rebel banditti pick up a thousand cavalry horses right under the noses of our Generals.
Why don't the Government at Washington authorize somebody to make a raid?
We are pained and disgusted with this whole affair. It seems unaccountable on any other hypothesis than that of incompetence or treachery.
The lesson taught by this might as well be learned now as when more mischief has been done, and the rebels have obtained more supplies to enable them to clothe their ragged tatterdemalions, and so protract the war. Gov. Curtin may as well make up his mind to endeavor to protect his own State. If a raid can be successfully accomplished on the very flanks of our army, it can much more easily be accomplished further west in the direction of Pittsburgh or Wheeling; and the foray on Chambersburg may be but the precursor of a more formidable one on Western Pennsylvania and Virginia. And the lesson which Governor Curtin has doubtless learned may well be learned by the Governors of Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. Let the organization of the militia for border defense proceed with renewed vigor.