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[186] the beginning of the war, the rights accorded to belligerents by the usages of nations; and, after prosecuting this war, without success, more than a year since this government was recognized by European nations as a belligerent power, have continued, under the same pretext, to inflict upon the good people of these States inhuman injuries in contemptuous disregard of the usages of civilized warfare, exacting from them treasonable oaths and service, and, upon refusal, subjecting unarmed citizens, women and children to banishment, imprisonment, and death; wantonly burning their dwelling houses, ravaging the land, murdering men for pretended or trivial offences; making rapine of private property a systematic object of the war; organizing the abduction of slaves by armies and agents of Government; endeavoring to foment servile insurrection by tampering with slaves, by proclaiming schemes for emancipating them, by passing laws to equalize the races; by protecting slaves in resisting their masters, and by preparing armed bands of negroes to fight in the presence of negro slaves for the subjugation of the white race ; permitting outrages on women to be committed by a licentious soldiery, encouraged, in a memorable instance, by the order of a major-general and the acquiescence of his government; attempting, until restrained by a threat of retaliation, to murder privateersmen for engaging in a mode of war-fare expressly sanctioned by the Constitution of the United States and the confederate States, and by the laws of nations; refusing, with double inhumanity, to exchange prisoners, until constrained by the long duration and adverse fortune of the war; attempting to ruin our cities by filling up the entrances to their harbors with stone and diverting the ancient channels of great rivers; cutting off our supplies of medicines, needed as well for suffering women, children, and captive enemies, as for the sick of our armies, and perpetrating other atrocities, which would be disgraceful to savages. And, whereas, the said Government of the United States, in the same spirit of barbarous ferocity, has recently enacted a law entitled, “An Act to suppress insurrection, to punish treason and rebellion, to seize and confiscate the property of rebels, and for other purposes;” and has announced by a proclamation issued by Abraham Lincoln, the President thereof, that, in pursuance of said law, on the first day of January, 1863, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall be in rebellion against the United States, shall be thenceforward and forever free; and has thereby made manifest that the vast war of invasion which it wages with such lawless cruelty is conducted with a view, by judicial murders, banishments, and otherwise, to exterminate the loyal population of these States; to transfer their property to their enemies; to emancipate their slaves; to destroy their labor system; to subvert their institutions, human and divine, upon which it is founded, employing slaves and other negroes for these purposes, with an atrocious design of adding servile insurrection and the massacre of families to the calamities of war; and, whereas, since the passage of said act executive and military orders have evinced a determined purpose of the enemy to carry out this policy of rapine and extermination with brutal and surprising severity; and whereas, justice and humanity require the government of the confederate States to endeavor to punish and repress the atrocious practices and designs of the enemy by inflicting severe retribution ; therefore,

Resolved, by the Congress of the confederate States, that the President will be sustained in resorting to such measures of retaliation as in his judgment may be demanded by the above-recited lawless and barbarous conduct and designs of the enemy.


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