Tuesday, August 25, 1863

Camp on the Big Black River, Near Vicksburg, Mississippi

The Mississippi is now ours, not by concession but by Right, by the Right of manly power. We dare and defy any Enemy to attack it. Slavery as a Power is crippled, dead. It cannot dictate terms to our Government, but some will be a petitioner for mercy. No great interest in our Land has risen superior to Government, and I deem it fortunate that no man has risen to dictate terms to all. Better as it is. Lincoln is but the last of the Old School Presidents, the index (mathematically) of our Stage of our national existence. Seward is a humbug; Chase an able man. Put a woman, a child, a block of wood as president- anybody that feels & admits he is a mere enabler and our Government will move on four years better than if a Genius filled the place. Our Government should become a machine, self Regulating and independent of the man.

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