, Ladies and Gentlemen of Richmond County
:--I appear before you today in the discharge of a duty assigned me by the Confederate Congress.
I am rejoiced to see so many persons out — persons of all classes and ages, men as well as women.
It is true, that the subjects upon which I am to address you to — day concern mostly — most directly the men, and a particular class of men at that — I mean the cotton planters — interesting all alike.
The questions involved are questions which concern all alike.
They involve the peace of the country — her political and social existence.
All, therefore, do well to be here.
We are involved in a war — the most important war that the country has ever been involved in since the revolution of our fathers — since American Independence was declared.
We have had many wars since.
We have had Indian wars with the different tribes; we had a small French war; we have had a second war with the mother country.
Many, perhaps, who hear me today were engaged in that conflict.
But this is war far transcending every other war, in magnitude and consequence — the consequences that will result from it.
My business to-day is to unfold to you the exigencies of this war and its requirements.
The Congress, it is known to you, provided for raising one hundred thousand men. Nobly, gallantly, and patriotically has that call been responded to, and is now being responded to. Thousands and tens of thousands (the exact number I am not able to state to you) have gone to the battle field.
These men, however, must be clothed; they must be fed; they must be armed; they must be equipped.
Wars can be sustained, not by men alone; it requires men and money.
The gallant volunteers have responded on their part.
The questions upon which I am to address you to-day relate to the importance of raising the necessary amounts of money to meet these requisitions.
Upon the adjournment of the Congress
, the estimate was for one hundred thousand men for the first fiscal year.
The amount estimated by the Secretary of the Treasury
to meet the requirements to support an army of this number was fifty millions of dollars — a large amount.
This amount must be raised.
How to do it is the question.
But since that adjournment, since that estimate, this war has assumed a wider and broader range.
It has taken on larger and more gigantic proportions, and instead of one hundred thousand men, we may have to send two hundred thousand to meet the enemy; instead of fifty millions of dollars, we may have, and the probability is that we shall have to raise one hundred millions; and it may be, if it goes on and increases, that we shall have to raise more.
The estimate, however, of the Secretary of the Treasury
was fifty millions of dollars, and whatever number of men and whatever amount of money shall be necessary must be raised.
We do not intend to be subjugated.
has increased his call from seventy-five thousand to four hundred thousand men. He has increased his demand for money from the five millions first asked for, (the amount I do not exactly recollect,) and asks his Congress, now in session, for four hundred millions of dollars.
Whether he will raise his men or his money, I know not. All I have to say about it is, that if he raises his four hundred thousand men, we must raise enough to meet him, and if he raises his four hundred millions of money, we must raise enough to meet it.
It is a war of political and social existence, and unless we intend to be overriden and beaten down and subjugated, and to become the vassals of his mercenaries and myrmidons, we must every one of us — every man, every boy, and every woman — be prepared to do our duty.
Our means in men and money are ample to sustain our independence.
We have, upon a reasonable estimate, at least seven hundred thousand fighting men. Whether all these will be required to drive back his armed myrmidons, I know not; but, if they are, every man must go to the battle field.
He may think, and doubtless does, that four hundred thousand men will intimidate, subjugate, and overrun us. He should recollect, however, as we should, and reverently too, that the “race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong,” but it is God that gives the victory.
Four hundred thousand may be a formidable army against us, but it is not as formidable as the six hundred thousand led by Darius against the Grecian States
; and we there have the example of much fewer numbers than we are, fighting a battle for right, for justice, for independence, and for liberty.
We have an example worthy of our imitation.
Six hundred thousand Persians invaded Greece
These small States could bring against them but eleven thousand all told.
The eleven thousand met the hosts of Persia
, not the six hundred thousand, but all that could be brought against them, on the common plain.
The eleven thousand, with valorous hearts, fighting for home, fighting for country, fighting for every thing dear to freemen, put to flight the hosts of Persia
, leaving sixty thousand slain upon the field.
Men of the South
, therefore, let this war assume its gigantic proportions, its most threatening prospects (nerving our hearts with the spirit of our revolutionary fathers, when they were but three million, and coped with Great Britain
, the most powerful nation in the world)--animated by these sentiments, fighting for every thing dear to us, fear not the result, recollecting that “thrice armed is he who hath his quarrel just ;” and as our fathers, in the bloody conflict of the Revolutionary War
, appealed to the God of