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hand. My comrades,' exclaimed one with a heart-rending voice,
help me to rise ; deign to lend me a hand to pursue my march.' All passed by without even regarding him. i Ah, I conjure you not to abandon me to the enemy; in the name of humanity grant me the trifling assistance I ask; help me to rise. Instead of being moved by a prayer so touching, they considered him as already dead, and began to strip him; and then we heard his cries, 'Help! help! they murder me! Why do you trample me under your feet? Why do you take from 'me the remainder of my money and my bread? You even take away my clothes! If some officer, urged by generous feelings, did not arrive in time to prevent it, many in the like situation would have been assassinated by their own comrades.
“ The road was covered (Dec. 8) with soldiers who no longer retained the human form, and whom the enemy disdained to take prisoners. Every day furnished scenes too painful to relate. Some had lost their hearing, others their speech, and many, by excessive cold and hunger, were reduced to such a state of stupid frenzy, that they roasted the dead bodies for food, and even gnawed their own hands and arms. Some, who were too weak to lift a piece of wood, or to roll a stone towards the fire, sat down upon their dead companions, and with an unmoved countenance, gazed upon the burning logs. When they were consumed, these livid spectres, unable to get up, fell by the side of those on whom they had been seated. Many, in a state of delirium, plunged their bare feet into the fire just to warm themselves; some, with a convulsive laugh, threw themselves into the flames, and with shocking cries, perished in the most horrible contortions; while others, in a state of equal madness, followed their example, and shared the same fate!” “ Multitudes,” says Porter, “ lost their speech, others were seized with frenzy, and many were so maddened by the extremes of pain and hunger, that they tore the dead bodies of their comrades into pieces, and feasted on the remains !”
“Every day's march,” adds Labaume,“ presented us with a repetition of the mournful scenes I have faintly sketched. Our hearts, completely hardened by such disgusting pictures, lost all sensibility. We were reduced to a state of brutality that left us no feeling but the instinct of self-preservation.”
Thus far Labaume, an eye-witness of all he relates; and Alison, in his history of the same campaign, quotes statements not less terribly graphic. “On Sunday forenoon I found a crowd collected round a car in which some wounded soldiers had just returned from Russia. No grenade or grape could have so disfigured these victims of the cold. One of them had lost the upper joints of all his ten fingers, and he showed us the stumps. Another wanted both ears and nose. More horrible still was the look of a third, whose eyes had been frozen; the eyelids hung down rotting, the globes of the eyes were burst, and protruded from their sockets. It was awfully hideous; but a spectacle yet more dreadful was to present itself. Out of the straw in the bottom of a car, I now
beheld a figure creep painfully, which one could scarcely believe to be a human being, so wild and distorted were the features; the lips were rotted away, and the teeth stood exposed; he pulled the cloth from before his mouth, and grinned upon us like a death's head.”
“ The battle of Eylau was fought in the depth of winter, amidst ice and snow, under circumstances of unexampled horror. The loss on both sides was immense; and never in modern times had a field of battle been strewn with such a multitude of slain. On the side of the Russians 25,000 had fallen, of whom above 7000 were already no more ; on that of the French, upwards of 30,000 were killed or wounded, and nearly 10,000 had left their colors, under pretence of attending to the wounded. Never was a spectacle so dreadful as the field presented on the following morning. Above 50,000 men lay in the space of two leagues, weltering in blood. The wounds were, for the most part of the severest kind, from the extraordinary quantity of cannon balls which had been discharged during the action, and the close proximity of the contending masses to the deadly batteries which spread their grape at half-musket shot through their ranks. Though stretched on the cold snow, and exposed to the severity of an arctic winter, they were burning with thirst, and piteous cries were heard on all sides for water, or assistance to extricate the wounded from the heaps of slain, or the load of horses by which they were crushed. Six thousand of these noble animals encumbered the field, or, maddened with pain, were shrieking aloud amid the stifled groans of the wounded.”
Thus far we have sketched almost exclusively the losses of the French and their allies; nor did the Russian army fare much better. During their retreat, a ducat, then worth five dollars, was thankfully given for a single horse-shoe; and so fatal were the combined effects of hardship, disease and battle, that the Russians lost in some cases three-fourths, and in others nearly nine-tenths of their troops! Some entire battalions did not retain fifty men, and many companies were left without a single one! A mere fraction of the victims perished by the sword; and, as the final result to the Russians, their army, amounting at the commencement of the campaign to hundreds of thousands, could muster at the close only eighteen thousand !!
All this besides the unreckoned and well-nigh countless victims among the people. The number of these, it would be vain to conjecture; but from the nature of the case, as well as from what we have already quoted, it must have been immense. The statements of Labaume are terrible; and their truth is fully confirmed by such writers as Sir Robert Wilson, who says, “in the roads, men were collected round the burning ruins of their cottages, which a mad spirit of destruction had fired, picking and eating the burnt bodies of fellow men, while thousands of horses were moaning in agony, with their flesh mangled and hacked to satisfy the cravings of a hunger that knew no pity. In many of the sheds, men scarcely alive, had heaped on their frozen bodies human carcasses which, festering by the communication of animal heat, had mingled the dying and the dead in one mass of putrefaction.”
Such is war ;-war not by pagans or savages, but by men calling themselves Christians; war not in the dark ages, but in the nineteenth century; war in the perfection of its skill, and the zenith of its glory ;-a campaign of one hundred and seventy-three days in the heart of Christendom! What is the result? Of five hundred thousand men who started under Napoleon, scarcely twenty thousand returned, so that the French alone must have lost, in soldiers and attendants, full half a million; and, should we reckon the loss of the Russian army but half as great, and suppose only an equal number of incidental victims among the people, both of which estimates are probably much below the truth, we reach the astounding result of more than A MILLION LIVES sacrificed in less than six months of a single campaign !!
But the Russian campaign was only one of the many wars consequent on the French Revolution. During those wars, the levies of soldiers in France exceeded four millions, and not less than three millions of these, on the lowest calculation, perished in the field, the hospital or the bivouac. If to these we add, as we unquestionably must, at least an equal number out of the ranks of their antagonists, it is clear that not less than six millions of human beings perished by war in the course of twenty years, in the very heart of civilized Europe, at the commencement of the nineteenth century of the Christian era! But even these stupendous numbers give us no adequate idea of the destruction of human life directly consequent on the wars of the revolution and the empire. We must add the thousands who perished from want, outrage and exposure, and the hundreds of thousands who were subsequently swept away by the ravages of that pestilence which took its rise amid the retreat from Russia, and the crowded garrisons of the campaign of 1813, and for several years afterwards desolated in succession every country of Europe. And even when we have summed up and laid before us, in all the magnitude of figures, the appalling destruction of life here exhibited, we can still gather only a faint conception of the sufferings and the evils inflicted by this awful scourge.
Patriots, philanthropists, Christians, must such a custom still continue ? Is there no remedy? Yes, a sovereign one that needs only a right application. The gospel, rightly applied, would put an end to the atrocities and horrors of war forever. Will you not then aid in making such an application without delay? In this work are Peace Societies engaged; and will you not give them all the countenance and support in your power ?
AMERICAN PEACE SOCIETY, BOSTON, MASS.
UNION IN PEACE,
THE BASIS OF CO-OPERATION IN THE CAUSE OF PEACE.
UNION is indispensable to every cause, but to none more so than to that of peace. Aiming at the entire abolition of war, a custom wrought from time immemorial into the texture of every society and government on earth, it obviously requires the co-operation of all that desire, for any reason, to see an end put to a scourge so terrible. The difficulty of securing such co-operation, ‘arises mostly from the diversity of views among its friends. Some of them are extremely radical, avowing the unlawfulness of all physical force, and denying the right of one man to punish, coerce, or even rule another ;-positions to which no. peace society has ever been committed, and which our own has always regarded as foreign to its object. Others, assuming the strict inviolability of human life, oppose war mainly as a wholesale violation of this simple, comprehensive principle ;-a principle adopted by a portion of the friends of peace, but never recognized by the leading peace societies as the basis of our cause. A third class, outnumbering both the former, discard this principle, yet deem all war contrary to the gospel ;-the ground taken by those societies which are esteemed the most radical. There is still a fourth class, probably more numerous than all the foregoing, who think it right for nations to draw the sword in strict self-defence, that is, when their only alternative is to kill or be killed, yet hold the custom itself in deep abhorrence, and sincerely desire its abolition.
Here, then, are four classes of peace-men; and we need the co-operation of them all; but how can we secure it? By constructing a platform on which they can all consistently work together for the accomplishment of their common purpose—the abolition of war. On this point alone, they perfectly agree; and, since their object is the same, we propose to let them all labor for it, each in his own way, without making one responsible for the views of another.
Let us learn wisdom from enterprises of a kindred nature. The friends of humanity, when united for the suppression of the slavetrade, labored for that as their only object; and all the doctrines they taught, as well as their efforts of every kind, were so many means to that end. Their aim was not to propagate a sentiment, but to produce a result; and, in reaching that result, they wielded as instruments a great variety of principles. So the friends of temperance aim only at a result. True, we hear much about the doctrine of temperance; but what does it mean? Solely abstinence from intoxicating drinks ;—not strictly a doctrine, but a deed; not theory, but practice, or theory carried into practice. It is not the
object of temperance to teach a principle or doctrine, but to produce a specified result, the entire disuse of whatever can intoxicate; and all its doctrines and facts, all its arguments and appeals, are only so many means to this end. Just so in the cause of peace. Our sole aim is the abolition of
We seek not, as our object, to establish a doctrine or principle, but to obtain a given result. We use a variety of means ; but none of them constitute our object. We urge a multitude of principles; yet none of these, nor all of them together, can be said to be the end at which we aim. That end is a result, something to be done,-the entire extinction of war from the world ; and all our doctrines, and arguments, and facts, and appeals, and efforts of every kind, are only so many auxiliaries to that sole, ultimate purpose of our enterprise.
Let us now see on what terms the friends of other causes have united. They have required, not perfect uniformity of views, but only cordial, active co-operation for the attainment of their common object. If a man would from any motives unite with them in putting an end to the slave-trade or intemperance, he was welcomed as a coadjutor, and left to take such views, and urge such arguments, as he himself felt most, and therefore thought likely to make the best impression upon others. Every cast of mind was to be met; and hence all were not only permitted, but desired to press each his own favorite arguments upon men of kindred stamp.
Ilere is sound good sense ; nor do we see why it should not be applied to peace, and all its professed friends be allowed to retain their present views, and still co-operate for their common object. There are points of coincidence between them sufficient for this purpose. They are one in their desires for the abolition of war ; they agree in most of their views touching peace, and differ only on one or two points ; they would, in laboring for their common cause, use essentially the same means; and the diversity in their inodes of exhibiting the subject, is in fact necessary to reach with the best effect all the variety of minds that we wish to enlist.
Let us illustrate this last thought. One man, deeply impressed with the superiority of moral over physical power, and conceiving Christianity to be a system of moral influences for the good of mankind, regards all use of brute force by one man towards another as unchristian, and chooses to oppose war from this simple, fundamental, far-reaching principle. It is indeed a broad sweep of generalization; but such a mode of reasoning suits his mind, and will perhaps suit some others equally well. Our society does not adopt this principle; but, if we have no responsibility for it, and it proves more successful than any other in arraying certain minds against war, we cannot object to their using it for such a purpose.
Now, take the other extreme. Here is a Christian or philanthropist who has been trained to look upon defensive war as right; nor is he likely soon, if ever, to renounce that belief; yet he holds the custom in deep, unfeigned abhorrence, and ardently longs to see an end put to this crying sin, and curse, and shame of