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ground, with both his legs broken. “I was wounded,” said he, “on the day of the great battle; and finding myself in a lonely place, where I could gain no assistance, I dragged myself with my hands to the brink of a rivulet, and have lived nearly two months on grass and roots, and a few pieces of bread which I found among the dead bodies. At night I have lain in the carcasses of dead horses; and with the flesh of these animals I have dressed my wounds."
Even a hospital is scarcely less terrible. An eminent surgeon, present in the hospitals after the battle of Waterloo, says, 'The wounded French continued to be brought in for several successive days; and the British soldiers, who had in the morning been moved by the piteous cries of those they carried, I saw in the evening so hardened by the repetition of the scene, and by fatigue, as to become indifferent to the sufferings they occasioned !!
• It was now the thirteenth day after the battle. It is impossible to conceive the sufferings of men rudely carried at such a period of their wounds. When I first entered the hospital, these Frenchmen had been roused and excited in an extraordinary degree; and in the glance of their eyes there was a character of fierceness which I never expected to witness in the human countenance. On the second day, the temporary excitement had subsided; and turn which way I would, I encountered every form of entreaty from those whose condition left no need of words to stir compassion : Surgeon Major, oh! how I suffer! Dress my wounds! do dress my wounds! Doctor, I commend myself to you. Cut off my leg! Oh! I suffer too much! And when these entreaties were unavailing, you might hear, in a weak, inward tone of despair, I shall die! I am a dead man!'
In the hospitals of Wilna there were left more than 17,000 dead and dying, frozen and freezing. The bodies of the former were taken up to stop the cavities in the windows, floors, and walls; and in one corridor of the Great Convent, above 1500 were piled up transversely like pigs of lead or iron!!
An army after its capture is often doomed to every variety of suffering: A French army in Spain had no sooner grounded their arms, than multitudes were murdered in cold blood. Some were burnt alive, and all the survivors subjected to a series of such extreme privations and sufferings as thinned their ranks with fearful rapidity. Fa
tigue and insufficient provision,' says one of the victims, • rendered many incapable of rising after a night's halt, to renew their march, and dawn exhibited to us the stiffened limbs of numbers whom death had released from their troubles. The survivors were so gaunt and emaciated, that a poor fellow would sometimes drop to the earth in the extremity of weariness and despair. No effort was made to assist these sufferers; but they were either left behind to perish, or bayoneted on the spot. On our arrival at St. Lucar, we were thrown, some of us into prison-ships, and others into stinking casements. Here the extremity of our anguish exceeded all powers of description. With scarce strength enough to crawl to our detestable dungeons, many of us reached them only to lie down, and die brokenhearted; and the fare was so wretched as to be refused in many cases by men fainting with weariness, and famished with hunger. We were not only crowded together like cattle amidst vermin and pestilential effluvia, but treated with such unrelenting severity, that many of my companions sought refuge from their misery by plunging into the sea.'
• When landed on the desolate island of Cabrera, we were exposed to every species of privation. Without shelter, or sufficient clothing, or a regular supply of food, we sometimes resorted to grass and dust to answer the wants of nature." A great many died; and we buried them immediately in the sea under the horrible apprehension that, should their bodies remain before us, the savage longings of the cannibal would rise in our hearts. A cuirassier was in fact killed for food by a Pole, who was discovered and shot. He confessed he had before done the same by two other comrades.'
As the French army on their march to Moscow approached Rouza,' we met,' says one of them, a great number of carts brought back by the cavalry, loaded with children, the aged, and the infirm. In our advance to the centre of the town, we found soldiers pillaging the houses, regardless of the cries of those to whom they belonged, or the tears of mothers, who, to soften their hearts, showed them their children on their knees. Those innocents, with their hands clasped, and all bathed in tears, asked only that their lives might be spared. In another instance we saw, on one side, a son carrying a sick father, and on the other, women pouring the torrent of their tears upon the infants whom they
clasped to their bosoms. They were followed by most of their children, who, fearful of being lost, ran crying after their mothers. Old men, seldom able to follow their families, laid themselves down to die near the houses where they were born.
On our return from Moscow, we overtook crowds carrying off their infirm parents. Their horses having been taken from them by the troops, men, and even women, were harnessed to the carts which contained the wrecks of their property, and the dearest objects of their affection. The children were nearly naked, and as the soldiers approached them, ran crying to throw themselves into their mothers' arms.'
Still worse was the capture of Magdeburg, as related by Schiller in his history of the thirty years' war. Exasperated by its long resistance, the commander of the besieging army, on entering it, abandoned the city to the unrestrained rage and lust of his soldiers; and “a scene of horror ensued which history has no language, poetry no pencil, to portray. Neither the innocence of childhood, nor the helplessness of old age, neither rank, sex, nor beauty, could disarm the fury of the conquerors.
Wives were dishonored in the arms of their husbands, and daughters at the feet of their parents! Nothing could afford any protection. Fifty-three women were found beheaded in a single church! Some of the soldiers amused themselves with throwing children into the flames, and others with stabbing infants at their mothers' breasts!! Heaps of dead bodies strewed the ground; streams of blood ran along the streets; and the city being fired at once in several places, the atmosphere soon glowed with such intolerable heat as compelled even the soldiers themselves to seek refuge in their camps. More than five thousand bodies were thrown into the river to dear the streets; there perished in all not less than thirty thousand; Magdeburg, one of the finest cities in Germany, was a heap of ashes; and the next day some of the few survivors were seen crawling out from under the dead, children wandering about with heart-rending cries in search of their parents, and infants still sucking the dead bodies of their mothers !' In gratitude to the God of Peace! for success in this work of blood and desolation,''a solemn mass was performed the next day, and Te Deum sung amidst the discharge of artillery !!'
Do facts like these give an exaggerated view of war ? No; they will hardly enable us adequately to conceive even
its ordinary atrocities and horrors. Sucn evils are not merely incidental to war; they are inseparable from any of its forms, and constitute its grand, essential elements. They are a part of the system. Misery is its object, or its means; and war, without a fearful waste of property, life, and happiness, is an utter impossibility. Its whole business is to plunder, and burn, and butcher by wholesale ; and to talk of a war that did not perpetrate sach atrocities,and inflict such miseries, would be as direct a contradiction in terms as to speak of vision without light, or of fire without heat.
Can you estimate the guilt, the folly, the madness of employing such an arbiter of international disputes as war? Burn villages, demolish cities, lay waste empires, send hundreds of thousands into an untimely grave, into a ruined eternity, all for the settlement of difficulties which can be adjusted only by an appeal to reason! What should we think of two neighbors who should propose to settle a point in dispute, not by reasoning the case between themselves, nor by referring it to an impartial jury, or to umpires mutually chosen, but by shooting at each other, and butchering each others' wives and children? Yet such is the war-system still supported by all Christendom; and, if the stealer of a horse or a coat deserves a prison, and the pirate who destroys but one vessel, or the assassin who murders a single victim, is deemed worthy of the gallows, what must be the criminality of nations in continuing a custom which multiplies such crimes and woes by thousands and by millions !
On whom do the evils of war fall? Are its guilty abettors the men that pay its expenses, bear its hardships, and suffer its countless woes? No; these come upon the people. It is their earnings that are wasted, their blood that is poured out like water, their dwellings that are burnt to ashes, their fathers and brothers, husbands and sons, that are driven away like cattle to be butchered by thousands; while the authors of all these evils, sitting aloof from the storm upon their sofas of ease and luxury, read without a sigh of the miseries they have themselves occasioned. How long will the people bear such cold-blooded oppression ?
Tell us not that war is a necessary evil. Necessary for whom? For civilized, Christian men like ourselves ? Are we unwilling to regulate our intercourse, or settle our disputes, without bloodshed? Why is war necessary? Merely because nations choose it; just as intemperance is necessary to the drunkard, piracy to the pirate, and duelling to
the duellist. There is no other kind of necessity for war; and it must cease of course whenever men shall resolve to have it cease. There is no more need of war in Christendom than there is of duels in New England; it would be just as easy for nations, if they chose, to settle all their disputes without the sword and the cannon, as it is for us to adjust ours without pistols and daggers.
But do you deem it impossible thus to change the warchoice even of Christendom? Human nature is as corri. gible on this subject as upon any other; there is nothing to render the extinction of this custom impossible by the right use of the requisite means; and the promises of God make its ultimate abolition perfectly certain. It shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of thé Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and all nations shall flow unto it; and then shall they beat their swords into plough-shares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nations shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.' Isa. 2:2-4, 9:4-9. Mic. 4:1-4.
But how is this promise to be fulfilled ? By miracle ! We can expect no more miracles. By some unparalleled interposition of Providence? God has promised no such interposition. Without the use of appropriate means ? Such means are just as indispensable for the prevalence of peace as for the spread of the gospel.
But what are these means? Such an application of the gospel to the subject as shall revolutionize the war-sentiments of Christendom, fill every Christian community with deep abhorrence of this custom, and lead rulers to employ only pacific expedients in settling international disputes. And who shall use these means ? We cannot rely on men of the world, except as occasional coadjutors; it is the appropriate work of Christians; and they must do it, or it never will be done. But how shall they do it? Is it enough for them merely to support and to propagate the present form of their religion? It has for ages tolerated the war-system, and suffered Christendom to remain a vast hot-bed of war. Will such a religion, if spread through the world, put an end to war? No sooner than a rumdrinking and a slave-holding Christianity would put an end to intemperance and slavery. The gospel will abolish nothing which it sanctions and supports; and, if men are not converted to peace, as fast as they are to God, such a conversion of the whole world could not insure the univer