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[193] Georgia. He comes with lust in his eye, poverty in his purse, and hell in his heart. He comes a robber and a murderer. How shall you meet him? With the sword at the threshold! With death for him or for yourself! But more than this — let every woman have a torch, every child a firebrand — let the loved homes of youth be made ashes, and the fields of our heritage be made desolate. Let blackness and ruin mark your departing steps if depart you must, and let a desert more terrible than Sahara welcome the vandals. Let every city be levelled by the flames, and every village be lost in ashes. Let your faithful slaves share your fortune and your crust. Trust wife and children to the sure refuge and protection of God--preferring even for these loved ones the charnel-house as a home than loathsome vassalage to a nation already sunk below the contempt of the civilized world. This may be your terrible choice, and determine at once without dissent, as honor and patriotism and duty to God require.

Fellow — Citizens: Lull not yourselves into a fatal security. Be prepared for every contingency. This is our only hope for a sure and honorable peace. If our enemy was to-day convinced that the feast herein indicated would welcome him in every quarter of this confederacy, we know his base character well enough to feel assured he would never come. Let, then, the smoke of your homes, fired by women's hands, tell the approaching foe that over sword and bayonet they will rush only to fire and ruin.

We have faith in God and faith in you. He is blind to every indication of Providence who has not seen an Almighty hand controlling the events of the past year. The wind, the wave, the cloud, the mist, the sunshine, and the storm, have all ministered to our necessities, and frequently succored us in our distresses. We deem it unnecessary to recount the numerous instances which have called forth our gratitude. We would join you in thanksgiving and praise. “If God be for us, who can be against us?”

Nor would we condemn your confident look to our armies, when they can meet with a foe not too greatly their superior in numbers. The year past tells a story of heroism and success of which our nation will never be ashamed. These considerations, however, should only stimulate us to greater deeds and nobler efforts. An occasional reverse we must expect — such as has depressed us within the last few days. This is only temporary.

We have no fears of the result — the final issue. You and we may have to sacrifice our lives and fortunes in the holy cause, but our honor will be saved untarnished, and our children's children will rise up to call us “blessed.”

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