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[498] appointed means. In time of great public sensibility like the present, any departure from this legal channel is revolutionary and dangerous, and tends to the division and destruction of our people.

It is my great desire, and, I hope, that of all good citizens, that our people should remain united, befall us what may. Should we triumph in the great struggle for independence, let no feelings of revenge, no bitterness mar the rejoicing of that glorious day; should we fail, and come short of that great object for which we have struggled so long and bled so freely, let not our strifes and domestic feuds add to the bitterness of defeat. Attempts suddenly to change the existing order of things would only result in bloodshed and ruin. I therefore implore you, my countrymen, of all shades of political opinion, to abstain from assembling together for the purpose of denouncing each other, whether at home or in the army, and to avoid seeking any remedy for the evils of the times by other than legal means, and through the properly constituted authorities. We are embarked in the holiest of all causes which can stir the hearts of patriots — the cause of liberty and independence. We are committed to it by every tie that can bind an honorable people. Multitudes of our bravest and best have already sealed it with their blood, whilst others, giving up all earthly possessions, are either languishing in dungeons or are homeless wanderers through the land, and all have felt in a greater or less degree the iron hand of war. A great and glorious nation is struggling to be born, and wondering kingdoms and distant empires are stilled with listening hope and admiration, watching this greatest of human events. Let them not, I pray you, be shocked with the spectacle of domestic strife and petty, malignant feuds. Let not our enemy be rejoiced to behold our strong arms and stronger devotion, which have often made them tremble, turned against ourselves. Let us rather show that the God of liberty is in his holy temple — the hearts of freemen — and bid all the petty bickerings of earth keep silence before him.

Instead of engaging in this unholy and unpatriotic strife, and threatening to resist the laws of the land and endangering the peace of society, let us prepare diligently, and with hopeful hearts, for the hardships and sufferings of the coming winter. Heaven has blessed us with abundant crops, but thousands of the poor are unable to purchase. Let us begin in time, and use every effort to provide for them, and secure them against suffering. And let us exert ourselves to the utmost to return to duty the many brave but misguided men who have left their country's flag in the hour of danger, and God will yet bless us and our children, and our children's children will thank us for not despairing of the Republic in its darkest hours of disaster, and, still more, for adhering to and preserving, amid the fiery trials of war, conservative sentiments and the rights and civil liberties of the young confederacy.

In witness whereof, Zebulon B. Vance, our

[L. S.]
Governor, Captain-General, and Commander-in-Chief, hath signed these presents, and caused the great seal of the State to be affixed.

Done at the city of Raleigh, this seventh day of September, A. D. 1863, and in the year of American independence the eighty-eighth.


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