What Invasion has Taught Pennsylvania.
Invasion has taught the people of Pennsylvania many salutary lessons, and if they profit by the inculcation, what they have lost in material wealth will not be accounted a serious injury. We have learned, in less than twenty days, that we have a foe within as well as a foe without the State. We do not mean an armed rebel foe, when we refer to the enemy within our borders. Such a foe is honorable in all respects, in comparison with the mean wretches to whom we allude – the secret sympathizers with treason, who unveiled themselves when the rebel armies advanced across our borders, who conducted the worst of these forces through the quiet and fruitful Cumberland Valley, and who acted as detectives for the rebel chiefs in pointing out the concealed property of Union men. All this we have learned, but important as this knowledge is, we have learned other lessons, from which we trust the people of Pennsylvania will not fail to be profited. We have been taught that we must take care of ourselves, or be taken care of by others at the expense of our honor as a people, and our reputation as a sovereign State. Now that the great danger is past, and that Pennsylvania has rallied under her State flag forty thousand men, it is not impolite to admit that when the dread reality of invasion first startled our people we were unprepared to meet a foe on our soil. We were unprepared to do this, simply because our entire military enterprise had been monopolized by the National Government, while measures which had been proposed to secure a local military organization for State purposes, had been defeated with partizan malignity by the majority in power in the last Legislative House. If the leaders of that majority had understood at that time the rebels intended to invade Pennsylvania at some future period, and if these leaders had intended to play into the hands of the rebels, they could not have more effectually done so than they did when they opposed the suggestions of Gov. Curtin for the re-organization of the State Militia. Had that reorganization been effected when it was proposed by Gov. Curtin – had the bill which was passed for that purpose by a Republican Senate been adopted by a Democratic House the battles which have already deluged Pennsylvania with blood would have never been fought, the pillage which has impoverished the Cumberland Valley, would never have taken place. The lesson thus learned will induce Pennsylvania to maintain a military force adequate to the defense of her border. It will prompt our people to organize on a secure military basis. It will teach the masses no longer to rely on the demagogues who have deceived them so often, merely that they might pander to party while the Commonwealth was in daily danger of invasion and distress. This invasion has inculcated many salutary lessons. Let us profit by the teaching, and learn to protect ourselves hereafter.