2

The Situation in Virginia.

The accounts from the Virginia army received up to Thursday morning do not appear to improve the situation much, except that reinforcements to the number of 30,000 men, are moving to Hooker's aid. Fredericksburg is again in possession of the rebels, but that, it is intimated, is of "no consequence." This, we judge, is "sour grape" strategy, and something like the "reconnoissance" story about the Charleston attack. We should think the War Department had tried this business of attempting to delude the people long enough, but it seems that faith is still cherished in it.

One thing appears to be plain, viz: that a bold and skillful movement was attempted by Hooker, which succeeded in deceiving the rebels, and in taking them by surprise; but the final result is not yet apparent. Minor results are evident. There has been desperate and long continued fighting, with great slaughter on the rebel side, and a heavy loss in prisoners to them. But they have been reinforced from somewhere — North Carolina one dispatch says — and have made a powerful defense, and successful so far as re-taking Fredericksburg was concerned. But the present position of the main body of our army, and its capability for either a defense or an advance, are all unknown to us and to the public generally, and will be, we presume, until the war authorities abandon their silly tactics of attempting to hide results from the people until it is "safe to let them be made public." The idea that the people cannot bear the story of reverses until the War Department delivers it in broken doses, is on a par with much of the strategy which this war has developed.

We can only say to the people — BE PATIENT. The thinned ranks of the army must be filled up by a grand conscription, and some "dead wood" in high-places must yet be set aside, and Northern traitors be sifted out, before that final series of victories will begin which is to precede the collapse of the rebellion. What happens before these necessary measures are adopted will not probably be of a decisive character.

LATER. — The dispatch of Thursday forenoon admit what was foreshadowed by the previous vagueness, a great defeat. All the particulars we have are given elsewhere. They are disheartening for the moment, but if they result in infusing such an energy into the conduct of the war as ought to obtain, our defeat may be but the presage of the great victory we seek for.