capacity to enter the ranks of the army. In the days of the Revolution, the boy left his paternal roof only to return to its blackened ruins. He grew to manhood among its struggles; and may not your country claim similar services from the youth of the present day? Like them you must emulate the glory of your sires. Say not that you are unequal to the task, for I believe that our people are even better than were our honored ancestors. They have fought more and bloodier battles, and there are fewer who are lukewarm in the cause now, than existed in the days of the Revolution. What a glorious reflection it is, that wherever the tide of war has rolled its devastating wave over the land, just there do you find every heart beating true to the Confederacy, strengthened, as it were by vicissitudes, and every woman ready to share her last loaf with the soldier who is fighting for our rights. A plan of negotiation has been offered for consideration — a plan of negotiation by States. Well, it is not easy to see on what terms the States can negotiate. In the first place, they have no constitutional power to do so. In the second place, Mr. Lincoln has said that he will not negotiate with them unless they can control the army, and they can only obtain the power to control the army by traitorously attempting to enter into a treaty contrary to the Government they have instituted. But suppose this were possible, what are the terms offered? If you will acknowledge your crimes, lay down your arms, emancipate your slaves, and turn over your leader — as they call your humble servant — to be punished, then you will have permission to vote together with your negroes upon the terms under which Mr. Lincoln will be graciously pleased to allow you to live as a part of the nation over which he presides. If there be a man within the sound of my voice who contemplates such a proposition, I pity him from the bottom of my heart. My only wish is that he was north of the dividing line. His is not the spirit that animated our fathers, and he is not fit to exist among the men who are now perilling their lives in the cause in which we are engaged, for he who is so slavish can not be trusted with the sacred guardianship of the widows and orphans of the soldiers who have died in battle. I have just returned from that army from which we have had the saddest accounts — the Army of Tennessee--and I am able to bear to you words of good cheer. That army has increased in strength since the fall of Atlanta. It has risen in tone; its march is onward; its face looking to the front. So far as I am able to judge, General Hood's strategy has been good, and his conduct has been gallant. His eye is now fixed upon a point far beyond that where he was assailed by the enemy. He hopes soon to have his hand upon Sherman's line of communication, and to fix it where he can hold it. And if but a half--nay, one fourth--of the men to whom the service has a right will give him their strength, I see no chance for Sherman to escape from a defeat or a disgraceful retreat. I therefore hope, in view of all the contingencies of war, with all the confidence which I found in the army, that within thirty days that army, which has so boastfully taken up its winter quarters in the heart of the Confederacy, will be in search of a crossing on the Tennessee river. That our army retreated far was but a natural precursor of that despondency which spreads itself over the country; but as I approached the region occupied by our troops the hope increased, until at last I found in the army the acme of confidence itself. General Beauregard, so well known to you all, is going there with a general command which will enable him to concentrate all the troops that can be made available for the public defence. I, therefore, say be of good cheer, for I hope that brighter intelligence will soon reach you. [Applause.] But, my friends, if it be otherwise — if we suffer reverses, it is what is to be expected from the fortunes of war. It is the fate of all human designs. In that event we shall have reason to anticipate from all brave men a conduct becoming the occasion, and shall look to you to redress your misfortunes, to rise in the face of disaster, and resolve to succeed, determined that you will live or die free. [Applause.] Your brave sons are battling for the cause of the country everywhere; your Fort Sumter, where was first given to the breeze the flag of the Confederacy, still stands. The honor of the State has not been dimmed in the struggle, and her soldiers will be sustained by the thought that when they are no more, South Carolina will still retain that honor with which she commenced the war, and have accumulated that greatness and glory which will make her an examplar of all that is chivalric and manly in a nation struggling for existence. You who have so long been the advocates of State Rights have never raised a clamor against the laws which seem to invade them, and I think, for obvious reasons, you are not like those new-born lights who, perhaps, are just beginning to appreciate the great principles of that creed. You saw laws passed which were necessary to make those States which are in cooperation effective for the good of the whole. You understood the nature of the compact entered into by the sovereign States, and you have not been fearful that the agent created by yourselves was likely to turn against that Government for which he and you had been so long struggling. Understanding the means of preserving your State Government, you have not been frightened by the clamor of those who do not breathe the pure air of State sovereignty. Then, you have had no difficulty in the organization of the three forces incident to military service. You are in that condition in which your defence must depend upon what does not belong to the active forces of the country. Your battles are fought on other fields. You have on the coast some
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Table of Contents:
Doc . 16 . operations in Tennessee .
Doc . 19 . the siege of Suffolk, Virginia .
Doc . 36 . General Rousseau 's expedition.
Doc . 59 . battles of Spottsylvania , Va: battle of Sunday , May 8 , 1864 .
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