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[501] to carry this proceeding into full execution until a majority of them shall agree to coact in instituting a like commission; and to this end the Governor is authorized to communicate this proceeding to the Governor of each of the Confederate States, inviting their several concurrence and coaction in this proposed mission to the late co-States, but not to the Government of that Union, because it was and is the creature of the States, and should be their servant to do their will when certainly ascertained.

2. Resolved, As the opinion of this General Assembly, the undertaking to speak and to act for the sovereign people of Virginia, although we are but the ordinary Legislature thereof, that in case the men who are charged with administering the Government of the United States shall refuse our Commissioners transit and sojourn into and in those States for the exclusive purposes of this mission, which are avowed, such failure of our effort will but demonstrate to them the fearful extent of absolute rule over them by those men, and make our effort a more memorable instance of patriotic exertion and peaceful magnanimity, displayed in a well-meant attempt to cultivate peace on earth and good — will among men.

3. Resolved, That in initiating this mission for peace this General Assembly doth unequivocally disavow any desire, or design, or willingness, that the Confederate Administration shall relax its exertions, or the people theirs, to advance and establish the cause to which we are pledged in our fortunes, and by our victories, to the utmost of our talents, to use them in support of the separate independence of the States.

The offer of the resolution excited some debate. The question on the adoption was laid over.

A resolution was offered by Mr. James, of Botetourt and Craig, for confiscating or sequestrating the property of deserters from the confederate army.

Mr. Hall, of Wetzell, said the Constitution would not allow confiscation beyond the term of life. But the remedy for desertion did not lie in that direction. The evil was caused by the shameful conduct of those who have the oversight of the soldiers, and particularly the officers in Richmond. He proceeded to speak with much severity and bitterness of General Winder's department, and also that of the Surgeon-General. He hoped, too, that the Legislature would rebuke Jeff Davis before it adjourned.


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