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of the bugle to open in full and terrible cry. For , and which, though expecting an attack every day, a general to put forth exertion, was to render yet decimates its armies by inaction." some explanation of conduct necessary; for him to fight battles and win victories, was to encounter ludirect censure, to provoke the cold shoulder, GOVERNOR LETCHER'S MESSAGE OF JANUAand to inaugurate a quarrel with the powers above.
RY 6TH, 1862, IN REMITTING THE GEORGIA "" The effect of this obstinate adherance to the
RESOLUTIONS TO THE VIRGINIA LEGISLA. defensive programme has been very deplorable
TURE. upon the lists of mortality. While we have lost
EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, Jan. 6th, 1862. thousands by disease, we have lost only tens by GENTLEMEN OF THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF DELE. the casualties of the battle field. The whole country is filled with mourning; and the sad lament of
I received from his Excellency Joseph E. Brown, mother, father, wife, sister, all, is that their kinsman Governor of the State of Georgia, a communication died the horrid death of the hospital, and not the enclosing joint resolutions adopted by the Legislaglorious death of the soldier on the battle field. The
ture of that State, and approved December 11, 1861. noble spirits that, in volunteering for their country's These resolutions relate to matters of the first impordefense, thought to seek glory at the cannon's tance, and they command my cordial approbation. mouth, have paid the debt of nature upon beds They declare the sentiments of the Southern Confedof fever in vast charnel houses of disease, where
eracy, and will be enthusiastically responded to by those who ininistered to them knew not their names,
the people of all classes. and where they were lost to all possibility of dis
In communicating those resolutions to the General covery from anxiously seeking friends. The policy Assembly I embrace the opportunity to fill up a hiof defense has cost the lives of the more gallant and
atus in the history of the State growing out of her brave spirits who chafed under inaction; it has be changed relations. Virginia dissolved her conuec. reft our armies of ten thousand heroes, who, if led tion with the Government of the United States on the against the enemy, would have escaped the dangers 17th day of April last, having watched closely the of the field after winning victories that would have political conduct of President Lincoln and his Cabi. added lustre to our annals.
net from the 4th day of March preceding. A large • This defensive policy has not only cost us men, portion of our people believed, from the revelations but it has cost us territory. Many counties of East of his inaugural message, that he designod to subjaern Virginia and important regions on the more gate the South, and much of his policy as developed southern seaboard are now occupied by the enemy, in the first six weeks of his administration, tended who would never have ventured forth to such dis
to confirm and strengthen this belief. The appeartances if they had been menaced nearer home.
ance of his proclamation, however, calling on Vir. Nearly all of Western Virginia is in the hands of an ginia and other States for volunteers, removed all enemy who never would have gained a foothold in doubts, and made it plain and palpable that subju. the interior if the original plan of aggressive attack gation was his object. He had revealed his purpose along the line of the Baltimore and Ohio railway, by the issue of his proclamation, to use Virginians, and from Wythe ville toward the mouth of the Kana- if possible, in coercing their Southern slaveholding wha and Sandy, through Eastern Kentucky toward brethren into submission to his will and obedience Cincinnati, had been adhered to, instead of concen.
to his Government and authority. Virginia, seeing trating our forces for mere defense on Cheat Moun that the only hope of preserving her rights and hon. tain and on Sewell. This moment Bowling Green or as a State and the liberties of her people consistand Columbus could be more effectually relieved ed in dissolving her connection with the Government and the Southern cause in Kentucky put more of the United States and resuming her sovereignty, speedily on its lege, by menacing Cincinnati with a
adopted that course, and subsequently determined column of ten thousand men from Western Virgi- to unite her destiny with her Southern sisters. She nia, than by concentrating a hundred thousand men
did su; and her Convention, being at the time in in the path which the enemy has chosen for his session, adopted such ordinances and regulations as march from Louisville southward. That cannot be
were necessary to protect her citizens against the good generalship which leaves the enemy at perfect machinations of enemies at home and the encroach leisure to mature all his preparations for aggression, ments of enemies from abroad. and then to choose the roads by which he will
Events that have transpired since the 17th day of march and the fields on which he will fight. That April last have more than confirmed the worst ap. cannot be a glorious system of warfare which never prehensions of the people of Virginia, and have fure ventures an aggressive movement, or even a battle, I nished an ample and complete justification for the
GOVERNOR LETCHER'S MESSAGE.
secession of the State. All the wicked results ap- specifications show violations anterior to the seces. prehended when she seceded have been fearfully sion of Virginia, others show violations equally palrealized, and they now constitute an important pable subsequent to her secession. chapter in the history of the stirring times in which In the preamble to the Constitution of the United we live.
States our forefathers declared the purposes and ob. Such were the considerations that influenced and jects they had in view in the formation of the Govdetermined the action of Virginia.
ernment, and those purposes and objects were I now propose to show that while President Lin- establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, procoln professes to have inaugurated this war for pre- vide for the common defense, promote the general servation and perpetuation of the Constitution in its welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty" to spirit and letter, he has violated in the most direct themselves and their posterity. The Government manner many of its most important provisions. I has been so administered and directed as to defeat propose, in the next place, to compare his conduct all these purposes and objects. Justice has not been with the conduct of George the Third, and to prove, established, nor is it respected by President Lincoln by reference to the Declaration of Independence, and his Cabinet. Domestic tranquillity has not been that most of his acts have been identical with those insured, but domestic disturbance has been inaugudenounced by our forefathers as justifiable grounds rated and encouraged. The common defense has for our separation from the mother country.
not been provided for, but Northern arms have been The war which has been waged against us by Pre-levelled at Southern breasts, and the welfare of our sident Lincoln is the most unnatural and at the same people has been disregarded. The blessings of libtime, the most disgraceful that has ever occurred. erty have not been secured to us, but we have We are struggling for our rights and liberties, for found the Federal authorities exerting all their powthe protection of persons and property, and for the er and using all the means at their command to represervation of the honor and institutions of the duce the Southern people to abject submission to South. The ruthless assault that has been made Northern pumberg. upon us and the unjustifiable attempt to submission President Lincoln and his Cabinet have wilfully present a most extraordinary spectacle in the eyes and deliberately proposed to violate every provision of the civilized world.
of the third section of the fourth article of the Con• When a Secretary of War can quietly seat himself stitution, which each one of them solemnly swore at his desk and coolly, calmly and deliberately com- or affirmed, iu the presence of Almighty God, to mit to paper a recommendation to arm the slaves of “preserve, protect and defend.” That section is in the Southern States, place them in the field and in these words : cite them to hostility to their masters and the des- “New States may be admitted by the Congress into this truction of their families, what extreme may we not
Union ; but no new State shall be formed or erected within reasonably anticipate from an administration that
the jurisdiction of any other State, nor any State formed by
the junction of two or more States or parts of States, without retains such an official in its service? When an ad
the consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as ministration can go to work to destroy ports in well as of the Congress.” States over which they claim to have jurisdiction, They have deliberately proposed to annex certain by sinking obstructions in the channels of our rivers counties in Maryland to Virginia, and thus form the and harbors (a policy unheard of among civilized new State of Kanawha, within the jurisdiction of nations), what enormity may we not be prepared to Virginia, without the consent of the Legislatures of expect?
those States and of Congress. They have proposed President Lincolo and his Cabinet have annulled to take the four counties lying in the Pan Handle, the Constitution, have suspended the writ of habeas from Virginia and attach them to Pennsylvania, corpus, and have declared martial law without con- without the consent of the Legislature of the States stitutional warrant, but in defiance of it. Repre interested and of Congress. They have proposed to sentative government has ceased to command their join the eastern counties of Virginia to Maryland, respect, and the direct tendency now in what re- and thus make a new State by the junction of parts mains of the late United States Government is in- of two States, without the consent of the Legislaovitably towards consolidation and despotism. Pas- tares of these States and of Congress. These prosions and prejudice, avarice and selfishness, malig-positions present a most plain and glaring violation nity and meanness have controlled their action and of the Constitution, and evidence an intensity of madirected their efforts against us.
lignity towards Virginia and Virginians without a Having presented these general views, I now pre- a parallel in the history of the United States. sent specifications showing in what particulars the The first amendment to the Constitution declares Constitution has been violated. Some of these “that Congress shall make no law abridging the
freedom of speech or of the press.” President Lin- He and his Cabinet have disregarded the injunccoln and his Cabinet have wilfully disregarded the tions of the sixth article of the amendments to the spirit of this article. Numerous instances could be constitution, not less flagrantly than those to which cited to prove that the solemnities of an oath have I have referred. That article declares: not restrained them in their efforts to abridge "In all criminal prosecutions the accused sball enjoy the freedom of speech” and to muzzle “the press.” The right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury of the
State and district wherein the crime shall have been com. nunberless arrests made by them in Western and mitted, which district shall have been previously ascerEastern Virginia, in Kentucky, in Missouri, in Mary. tained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause land, in Washington City, and also in the free States, of the accusation, to be confronted with the witnesses against when nothing more was charged against the parties him, to have compulsary process for obtaining witnesses in arrested than the declaration of their opinion in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his de
fense." condemnation of the policy of President Lincoln and
He and his Cabinet have seized large numbers of his Cabinet, show that freedom of speech is not tol
our citizens; withdrawn them from their homes, erated by them. The notorious fact that papers their families and their business; cast them into have been suppressed in New York, Philadelphia loathsome prisons ; refused to inform them of the and elsewhere by the exercise of Executive power,
cause and nature of the accusation against them; fully attests a scandalous usurpation for the destruc- denied to them the right and opportunity of consulttion of the independence of the press.
ation with friends or counsel, and have withheld The President and his Cabinet and the military from them a speedy and public trial by an impartial officers under their direction and control, have vio- jury. They would neither confront them with the lated the fourth article of the amendment to the witnesses against them, nor would they allow them Constitution which guarantees “the rights of the to have compulsory process for obtaining wituesses people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers in their favor. and effects against unreasonable searches and seiz
The conduct of President Lincoln has been as opures," and declares that it “ shall not be violated."
pressive and tyrannical toward the Confederate This article has been habitually disregarded, and States as the acts of the King of Great Britain, which every observant man will call to mind numerous caused our first Revolution, were toward the coloinstances of the violation—the result of suspicion, nies. The comparison cannot fail to make its immerely.
pression upon the mind even of the most casual ob. He and his Cabinet have violated, as deliberately and wilfully, the fifth article of the amendments to
President Lincoln has plundered the public treas. the Constitution, which is in these words :
“No person shall be held to answer for a capital or other. ury, and has delivered at least forty thousand dolwise infamous crime unless on a presentment or indictment lars to Pierpoint to enable him and his traitorous of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval associates in the Commonwealth of Virginia to overforces or in the militia, when in actual service or time of war throw the State Governinent, and to organize witho or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the in the limits of this State a new Government. He same offense to be twice put in joopardy of life or limb; nor has thus been guilty of the unprincipled conduct of shall be compulled in any eriminal case to be a witness
using the people's money to lavish upon traitors against himself; nor to be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law: nor shall private property be and encourage them to perseverance in their work ta ea for public use without just compensation.”
of treason. Without a presentment or indictment of a grand “ The history of Abraham Lincoln “is a history jury, they have, on mere suspicion of crime, caused of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having for inen and women to be arrested and confined under their object the establislıment of an absolute tyranny strong guards, and have detained them for weeks over these" Confederate States. and months. They have prostituted the telegraph To this end “ he has affected to render the military to their uses, for the purpose of communicating or independent of and superior to the civil power." ders for the arrest of suspected persons, repudiating He has combined with Pierpoint and other traiall those safeguards which the law has wisely thrown tors in Virginia " to subject us to a jurisdiction around tho citizen for his protection. Desolation foreign to our Constitution and unacknowledged by has followed in the footsteps of the Federal army. our laws, giving his assent to their acts of pretended Neither life, liberty nor property has been respect- legislation." ed by them. They have murdered inany of the best He is endeavoring to quarter"large bodies of citizens of the country, they have incarcerated armed troops amongst us." others in jails and forts, and they have seized and “He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, appropriated private property to public use without burned our towns and destroyed the lives of our just compensation to the owner.
GOVERNOR LETCI ER'S
He is endeavoring to cut off " our trade with all demonstrated that the former has shown himself not parts of the world."
less a tyrant and usurper than the latter. He is endeavoring to impose
“ taxes upon us
The Constitution of the United States has had no without our consent."
binding efficacy upon us since the 17th day of April He is endeavoring to deprive us, “ in many cases, last. On that day we repudiated it, and declared of the benefits of trial by jury."
to the world that we would not be longer bound by “ He has abdicated government here by declar. its provisions. From that day Virginia dates a new ing us out of his protection and waging war against era. Her own Constitution, her laws and her orri.
nances constituted the rule of her guidance from “He is at this time transporting large bodies of that day forward until her union with the Confede. mercenaries to complete the works of death, desola- rate States was consummated. While she occupied tion and tyranny already begun with circumstances a position as an independent State she deported her. of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the self with the grace and dignity that became the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head mother of States ;" after her Union with the Couof a civilized nation."
federate Government she fulfilled her obligations He has endeavored to excite domestic insurrec. faithfully in her new relation. tions amongst us by proposing to put arms in the The occurrences of the past nine months have hands of our slaves, and thereby encouraging them demonstrated conclusively that we cannot live to
an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes gether as equals under the Government of the United and condition."
States; and the habitual violation of the provisions He has violated laws human and divine to gratify of the Constitution, and the open disregard of the his passions, glut his prejudices and to wreak his laws by President Lincoln and his officials, render vengeance upon a people who ask only their rights, governmental association between us impossible. and who are struggling preserve their liberties. Mutual respect between the cit ns of the Southern Can a Government conducted on such principles Confederacy and those of the North has ceased to endure ?
exist. Mutual confidence has been succeeded by In every stage of these oppressions, attempted or mutual distrust; and mutual good will by mutual consummated, prior to the secession of the State, aversion. No government can be enduring which we warned President Lincoln and the Northern peo- does not possess the affection and respect of the ple of the inevitable consequences of their course, governed. It cannot be that the people of the Copand admonished them that if justice was not ac. federate States can again entertain a feeling of atřeccorded to us the Union must be dissolved. In every tion and respect for the Government of the United stage of these oppressions since the secession of the States. We have, therefore, separated from them, State we have resisted them as became a free peo- and now let it be understood, that the soparation ple asserting independence. Our admonitions and is and ought to be final and irrevocable”--that resistance have been answered by repeated injury Virginia will, under no circumstances, entertain any and oppression, aggravated by war and bloodshed proposition from any quarter which may have for and by the assumption and exercise of power which its object a restoration or reconstruction of the lato even an autocrat would hesitate to assume and ex- Union on any terms and conditions whatever. ercise. A President “whose character is thus We nrust be content with nothing less than the marked by every act which may define a tyrant is unqualified recognition of the independence of the anfit to be a ruler of a free people."
Southern Confederacy and its nationality by the Gov. I have thus presented :
ernment of the United States; and to this end we 1. The considerations that influenced and con- must meet the issue they have tendered to us with trolled the action of Virginia in separating herself spirit, energy and determination, and with a firm refrom the Government of the United States and resolve on the part of each of the Confederate States suming her sovereignty.
that everything shall be done that may be necessa2. The results which President Lincoln's policy ry to insure the triumph of our arms and thus secure gave us fearful reason to apprehend, and which are our liberty and independence for the South. now matters of history stamped indelibly upon its In conclusion, I recommend that before your ad. pages. In these I enumerate its repeated violations journment this day you reafirm, by solemn vote in of a Constitution which he had solemnly sworn to each house, the resolutions adopted by the General support.
Assembly of Georgia. The Empire State of the 3. I have run a parallel betwen the conduct of South has spoken ; let not“ the Mother of States'' President Lincoln and George the Third, and have remain silent on a subject of so much sigmficance
and importance to the Southern Confederacy. Re: States is, and ought to be, final and irrevocable; and that spectfully,
Georgia will, under no circumstances, entertain any promo sition from any quarter, which may have for its object a
restoration or reconstruction of the late Union, on any terms EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT,
or conditions whatever. MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga., Dcc. 19, 1861.
Resolved, that the war which the United States are waging His Excellency JOAN LETCHER :
upon the Confederate States should be met on our part with Sir : I have the honor to transmit herewith a copy the utmost vigor and energy, until our independeoce and of joint resolutions adopted by the General Assembly nationality are unconditionally acknowledged by the United
States. of Georgian The Legislature has not directed me
Resolved, That Georgia pledges herself to her sister States to forward them, but I do so under the conviction of the Confederacy that she will stand by them throughout that you will be pleased to learn the action of
the struggle.she will contribute all the means which her Georgia on the important subject to which they re- resources will supply, so far as the same may be necessary late. Very respectfully,
to the support of the common cause, and will not consent to JOSEPH E. BROWN.
lay down arms until peace is established on tbe basis of the foregoing resolutions.
Speaker of the House of Representatives. JOINT RESOLUTIONS OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF
L CARRINGTON, Clerk of the House of Representatives. THE STATE OF GEORGIA, PASSED AT ITS LATE SESBION.
JOHN BILLUPS, Resolved, by the Senate and House of Representatives of
President of the Senate. Georgia, in General Assembly met, That it is the sense of this JAMES M. MORLEY, Secretary of the Senate. General Assembly that the separation of those States now Approved December 11, 1861. orming the Confederato States of America from the United
JOSEPH E. BROWN, Goreau