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AFFAIRS IN VIRGINIA_MESSAGE OF JEFFERSON DAVIS, ETG.
ON the 13th of November General, the obstructed state of the roads. Be. Dix, from his headquarters at Baltimore, fore his arrival the insurgents in arms addressed a proclamation to the people had disbanded, and there consequently of Accomac and Northampton counties, being no enemy to meet in the field, the Virginia, constituting what is called “the troops quietly restored the authority of eastern shore," announcing that the mili- the United States. An important portary forces of the United States were tion of Virginia was thus diverted from about to enter that region “as a part of active coöperation with other portions the Union.” The paper was particularly of the State in the furtherance of the guarded in its reference to the preserva- rebellion. tion of the rights of person and property, In the following March an election and especially announced that " the con- was held in the 1st Congressional Disdition of any person held to domestic trict of Virginia, of which these counservitude," was not to be interfered with. ties formed a part when Mr. Joseph To make this delicate point thus politely Segar was chosen their representative in conveyed in the euphemism for the in- the National Congress. stitution somewhat more assured, it was A second general fast-day was obthen added that the command of the ex- served in the Confederate States on the pedition was intrusted to Brigadier-Gen- 15th of November, in accordance with eral Henry H. Lockwood, of Delaware, the following proclamation by President "a State identical in some of the distinc- Davis: “Whereas, it hath pleased. Altive features of its social organization mighty God, the Sovereign Disposer of with your own.” It was stated that the events, to protect and defend the Condesign of the mission was to reopen com- federate States hitherto, in their conflict mercial and other intercourse with the with their enemies, and to be unto them loyal States, to reëstablish the lights in a shield ; and, whereas, with grateful terrupted on the coast ; and, in tine, to thanks we recognize His hand and ac
put an end to the embarrassments and knowledge that not unto us, but unto restrictions brought upon the region by Him belongeth the victory ; and in huma causeless and unjustifiable rebellion.” ble dependence upon His Almighty To those who wantonly resisted the force strength, and trusting in the justness of about to be sent, the severest punish- our cause, we appeal to Him, that He ment warranted by the laws was threat- may set at naught the efforts of our eneened. Four thousand troops were sent mies, and put them to confusion and across the frontier from Maryland to shame; now, therefore, I, Jefferson Davis, second the injunctions of this message. President of the Confederate States, in They found the people generally disposed view of the impending conflict, do hereto yield to an argument so convincingly by set apart Friday, the 15th day of supported. General Lockwood advanced November, as a day of fasting, humiliato the headquarters of the rebels at tion and prayer ; and I do hereby inDrummondtown, the county seat of Ac- vite the reverend clergy and people of comac, without other interruption than these Confederate States to repair on
MESSAGE OF JEFFERSON DAVIS.
* The opera
that day to their usual places of public the Confederate States for manufacturworship, and to implore the blessings of ing the necessaries and comforts of life Almighty God upon our arms, that he within themselves, increase as the conmay give us victory over our enemies, flict continues, and we are gradually preserve our homes and altars from pol- becoming independent of the rest of the lution, and secure to us the restoration world for the supply of such military of peace and prosperity.”
stores and munitions as are indispensaOn the 18th of November the Con- ble for war." federate Congress met in a second ses- This was succeeded by a rapid, gene-sion at Richmond. A quorum composed ral review of the military movements of the members of six States was pre- following upon Sumter. sent. The next day the customary mes- tions of the army, soon to be partially sage was received from President Davis. interrupted by the approaching winter, Like other documents of its kind, from have afforded a protection to the country, this source it may, of course, be accepted and shed a lustre upon its arms, through as an authoritative exposition of the the trying vicissitudes of more than one hopes and prospects of the rebellion as arduous campaign, which entitle our its instigators were desirous they should brave volunteers to our praise and our appear in the eyes of the world. Much gratitude. From its commencement up doubtless lay concealed beneath the sur to the present period, the war has been face, but we can offer the reader no bet- enlarging its proportions and expanding ter evidence at least of the determined its boundaries so as to include new fields. will which directed the movement, than The conflict now exfends from the shores the successive, confident, unyielding mes of the Chesapeake to the confines of sages of Jefferson Davis. If there were Missouri and Arizona ; yet sudden calls assumptions in these documents, they from the remotest points for military aid none the less supplied motives to the have been met with promptness enough, people of the Confederate States for not only to avert disaster in the face of vigorous action. · The message
message com- superior numbers, but also to roll back menced with the expression of thank- the tide of invasion from the border. fulness, usual in such papers, for the When the war commenced the enemy returns of agriculture, with which it were possessed of certain strategic points coupled a new development in the man- and strong places within the Confederate ufacturing arts “The few weeks,” was States. They greatly exceeded us in its language, “which have elapsed since numbers, in available resources, and in your adjournment, have brought us so the supplies necessary for war. Military near the close of the year that we are establishments had been long organized, now able to sum up its general results. and were complete ; the navy and, for The retrospect is such as should fill the the most part, the army, once common hearts of our people with gratitude to to both, were in their possession. To Providence for His kind interposition in meet all this we had to create not only their behalf. Abundant yields have re- an army in the face of war itself, but warded the labor of the agriculturist, also military establishments necessary whilst the manufacturing industry of the to equip and place it in the field. It Confederate States was never so prosper- ought, indeed, to be a subject of gratuous as now. The necessities of the lation that the spirit of the volunteers times have called into existence new and the patriotism of the people have branches of manufacture, and given a enabled us, under Providence, to grapfresh impulse to the activity of those ple successfully with these difficulties. heretofore in operation. The means of A succession of glorious victories at Bethel, Bull Run, Manassas, Springfield, people, after being deceived into a misLexington, Leesburg, and Belmont, has taken security, were unarmed, and in checked the wicked invasion which greed danger of being subjected by the Fedeof gain and the unballowed lust of power ral forces, our armies were marched into brought upon our soil, and has proved that State to repel the enemy, and prethat numbers cease to avail when di- vent their occupation of certain strategic rected against a people fighting for the points which would have given them sacred right of self-government and the great advantages in the contest—a step privileges of freemen. After seven which was justified, not only by the nemonths of war, the enemy have not only cessities of self-defence on the part of failed to extend their occupancy of our the Confederate States, but also by a desoil, but new States and Territories have sire to aid the people of Kentucky. It been added to our Confederacy, while, was never intended by the Confederate instead of their threatened march of Government to conquer or coerce the unchecked conquest, they have been people of that State ; but, on the condriven, at more than one point, to as- trary, it was declared by our generals sume the defensive ; and, upon a fair that they would withdraw their troops comparison between the two belligerents if the Federal Government would do as to men, military means, and financial likewise. Proclamation was also made condition, the Confederate States are of the desire to respect the neutrality of relatively much stronger now than when Kentucky, and the intention to abide by the struggle commenced."
the wishes of her people as soon as they Of the relations of the Confederate were free to express their opinions. government to the States of Missouri These declarations were approved by and Kentucky it was said : "Since your me, and I should regard it as one of the adjournment, the people of Missouri have best effects of the march of our troops conducted the war, in the face of almost into Kentucky, if it should end in giving unparalleled difficulties, with a spirit to her people liberty of choice and a and success alike worthy of themselves free opportunity to decide their own and of the great cause in which they are destiny according to their own will." struggling. Since that time Kentucky, A compliment was then paid to the too, has become the theatre of active Navy, which had shown itself "effective hostilities. The Federal forces have not in full proportion to its means.” Many only refused to acknowledge her right difficulties, it was acknowledged, had to be neutral, and have insisted upon arisen in the transportation of the mails making her a party to the war, but have in which the breaking up of the old sysinvaded her for the purpose of attack- tem, so liberally conducted by the United ing the Confederate States. Outrages States, must have been deeply felt. . of the most despotic character have "The absorption,” it was said, " of the been perpetrated upon her people ; some ordinary means of transportation for the of her most eminent citizens have been movement of troops and military supseized and borne away to languish in plies, the insufficiency of the rolling foreign prisons, without knowing who stock of railroads for the accumulation were their accusers the specific of business, resulting both from military charges made against them, while others operations and the obstruction of water have been forced to abandon their homes, communication by the presence of the their families, and property, and seek a enemy's fleet ; the failure and even rerefuge in distant lands. Finding that fusal of contractors to comply with the the Confederate States were about to be terms of their agreements; the difficulinvaded through Kentucky, and that her ties inherent in inaugurating so vast and
PROSPECTS OF THE WAR.
complicated a system as that which re- the seaboard ; the other through Westquires postal facilities for every town ern Virginia to New Orleans. A third and village in a territory so extended as might be secured by completing a link ours, have all combined to impede the of about forty miles between Danville, best-directed efforts of the Postmaster- in Virginia, and Greensborough, in North General, whose zeal, industry, and ability Carolina. The construction of this comhave been taxed to the utmost extent." paratively short line would give us a The financial system was reported as through route from North to South, in working well and promising good results the interior of the Confederate States, for the future. * To the extent that and give us access to a population and Treasury notes may be issued,” was the to military resources from which we are explanation on this subject, “the Gov- now, in a great measure, debarred. We ernment is enabled to borrow money should increase greatly the safety and without interest, and thus facilitate the capacity of our means for transporting conduct of war. This extent is mea- men and military supplies. sured by the portion of the field of cir- "If the construction of the road should, culation which these notes can be made to in the judgment of Congress, as it is in occupy. The proportion of the field mine, be indispensable for the most sucthus occupied depends again upon the cessful prosecution of the war, the action amount of the debts for which they are of the Government will not be restrained 'receivable ; and dues, not only to the by the constitutional objection which Confederate and State Governments, but would attach to a work for commercial also to corporations and individuals, are purposes, and attention is invited to the payable in this medium ; a large amount practicability of securing its early comof it may be circulated at par. There pletion by giving the needful aid to the is every reason to believe that the Con- company organized for its construction federate Treasury note is fast becoming and administration.” such a medium. The provision that these From these special topics, the Message notes shall be convertible into Confeder- passed to a declaration of the intention ate stock, bearing eight per cent. inter- of the Government to prolong the war est, at the pleasure of the holder, insures at all hazards, and accept nothing but them against a depreciation below the the independence for which they had value of that stock, and no considerable taken up arms.
"If we husband our fall in that value need be feared so long means and make a judicious use of our as the interest shall be punctually paid. resources, it would be difficult to fix a The punctual payment of this interest limit to the period during which we has been secured by the act passed by could conduct a war against the adversayou at the last session, imposing such a ry whom we now encounter. The very rate of taxation as must provide suffi- efforts which he makes to isolate and incient means for that purpose.”
vade us must exhaust his means, whilst An improvement of the means of trans- they serve to complete the circle and portation from one portion of the coun- diversify the productions of our industry to the other, was recommended as trial system. The reconstruction which indispensable for the successful prosecu- he seeks to effect by arms becomes daily tion of the war, and for this purpose a more and more palpably impossible. Not long contemplated railroad connection only do the causes which induced us to was earnestly proposed. “We have al- separate still exist in full force, but they ready" it was stated, “two main systems have been strengthened, and whatever of through transportation from the North doubt may have lingered in the minds to the South--one from Richmond, along of any must have been completely dispelled by subsequent events. If, instead ture of the hostilities which they have of being a dissolution of a league, it waged against us must be characterized were indeed a rebellion in which we are as barbarous wherever it is understood engaged, we might find ample vindication They have bombarded undefended villafor the course we have adopted in the ges without giving notice to women and scenes which are now being enacted in children to enable them to escape, and the United States. Our people now in one instance selected the night as the look with contemptuous astonishment on period when they might surprise them those with whom they have been so re- most effectually whilst asleep and unsuscently associated. They shrink with picious of danger. Arson and rapine, aversion from the bare idea of renewing the destruction of private houses and such a connection. When they see a property, and injuries of the most wanPresident making war without the assent ton character, even upon non-combatof Congress ; when they behold judges ants, have marked their forays, along threatened because they maintain the their borders and upon our territory. writ of habeas corpus so sacred to free- Although we ought to have been admonmen ; when they see justice and law ished by these things that they were trampled under the armed heel of mili- disposed to make war upon us in the tary authority, and upright men and in- most cruel and relentless spirit, yet we nocent women dragged to distant dun- were not prepared to see them fit out a geons upon the mere edict of a despot ; large naval expedition with the confessed when they find all this tolerated and purpose not only to pillage, but to incite applauded by a people who had been in a servile war in our midst
. If they the full enjoyment of freedom but a few convert their soldiers into incendiaries inonths ago, they believe that there must and robbers, and involve us in a species be some radical incompatibility between of war which claims non-combatants, such a people and themselves. With women and children as its victims, they such a people we may be content to live must expect to be treated as outlaws at peace, but the separation is final, and and enemies of mankind. There are for the independence we have asserted certain rights of humanity which are we will accept no alternative.” To this entitled to respect even in war, and he succeeded a passage stimulated by the who refuses to regard them forfeits his recent occupation of Port Royal and the claims, if captured, to be considered as adjacent islands, which, regardless of the a prisoner of war, but must expect to quieting proclamations of Union officers, be dealt with as an offender against all and the avowed policy of the Govern-law, human and divine.” ment on this subject, still appeared The seizure of Messrs. Mason and Slifraught with danger to the Slave interest dell, on the deck of a British steamer, of the South. The misrepresentation of was of course, a point too obvious not the spirit in which the war had been to be turned to good account, in a docuconducted by the United States needs ment intended quite as much for transatno refutation to any one familiar with its lantic as for American readers. It was history. Instances of needless violence adroitly connected with the alleged are common to all wars, and are not “home” injuries. “ But not content," easily to be avoided, but certainly the the Message proceeded, “ with violating Governinent could not be charged with our rights under the law of nations at unnecessary cruelty in the prosecution home, they have extended these injuries of the repressive measures absolutely to us within other jurisdictions. The forced upon it. This, however, was the distinguished gentlemen whom, with your charge of President Davis :—"The na- approval, at the last session. I commis