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[5] Confederate States by an interdictive embargo, and blockade of all commerce between them and the United States, not only by sea but by land; not only with those who bore arms, but with the entire population of the Confederate States. They waged an indiscriminate war upon all: private houses in isolated retreats were bombarded and burned; grain crops in the field were consumed by the torch; when the torch was not applied, careful labor was bestowed to render complete the destruction of every article of use or ornament remaining in private dwellings after their female inhabitants had fled from the insults of brutal soldiers; a petty war was made on the sick, including women and children, by carefully devised measures to prevent them from obtaining the necessary medicines. Were these the appropriate means by which to execute the laws, and in suppressing rioters to secure tranquillity and preserve a voluntary union? Was this a government resting on the consent of the governed?

At this session of the Confederate Congress additional forces were provided to repel invasion, by authorizing the President to accept the services of any number of volunteers not exceeding four hundred thousand men. Authority was also given for suitable financial measures hereafter stated, and the levy of a tax. An act of sequestration was also adopted as a countervailing measure against the operations of the confiscation law enacted by the Congress of the United States on August 6, 1861.

This act of the United States Congress, with its complement passed in the ensuing year, will be considered further on in these pages. One of the most indicative of the sections, however, provided that whenever any person claimed to be held to labor or service, under the laws of any State, shall be permitted, by the person to whom such labor or service is claimed to be due, to take up arms against the United States, or to work, or to be employed in or upon any fort, entrenchment, etc., or in any military or naval service whatever against the government of the United States, the person to whom such labor is claimed to be due shall forfeit his claim, and to any attempt to enforce it a statement of the facts shall be a sufficient answer. The President of the United States, in his message of December 3, 1861, stated that numbers of persons held to service had been liberated and were dependent on the United States, and must be provided for in some way. He recommended that steps be taken for colonizing them at some places in a climate congenial to them.

As the President and the Congress of the United States had declared this to be a war for the preservation of the Constitution, it may not be

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December 3rd, 1861 AD (1)
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