war, with all the confidence which I found in the army, that within thirty days that army, which has so boastfully taken up its winter quarters in the heart of the Confederacy, will be in search of a crossing on the Tennessee river.
That our army retreated far was but a natural precursor of that despondency which spreads itself over the country; but as I approached the region occupied by our troops the hope increased, until at last I found in the army the acme of confidence itself.
General Beauregard, so well known to you all, is going there with a general command which will enable him to concentrate all the troops that can be made available for the public defence.
I, therefore, say be of good cheer, for I hope that brighter intelligence will soon reach you. [Applause.]
But, my friends, if it be otherwise — if we suffer reverses, it is what is to be expected from the fortunes of war. It is the fate of all human designs.
In that event we shall have reason to anticipate from all