The demands of the hour.
It is evident now that the Government
is contemplating the total subjugation of Virginia
, by re-taking the Navy Yard
and Harper's Ferry
, and by occupying Richmond
and other places which offer strategic advantages, with the Federal
Nor is this all. While the volunteer forces of the North
contain a few regiments of men taken from the respectable classes in society, the great proportion of those who have enlisted are of the most lawless and abandoned character — such as have long been the terror of the ‘" solid men "’ of Boston
, New York
Whole regiments of these desperadoes have been rallied, -- not by the call of patriotism, but by the prospect of plunder, --and they spring forward to the ranks, fired by the anticipation of soon ramping and revelling in the field of lust and pillage.
This war will act as a safety-valve to the great cities of the North
, by ridding them of thousands of those who are designated by their own editors as ‘" the dangerous classes.
"’ With a population so dense as to make the problem of support a difficult one, even in prosperous times, now that trade is suspended and commerce dead, a countless number of men are thrown out of employment, who can readily be induced to swell the invading army to any magnitude that may be demanded; and in the sunny South-- favored of Heaven above all lands in climate and productiveness — these hungry and hostile adventurers fancy they see the El Dorado
in which they may glut their brutal passions, whether for revenge or rapine.
When such armies as may be gathered upon our borders are actually mustered there, no power of their own Government — no power but that of God--can restrain them from the raid of robbery and blood which they meditate on the South
And now, in this condition of things, we say our own people cannot be too fully aroused to the magnitude of their responsibilities and duties.
They cannot be too thoroughly impressed with the urgency of the call made upon them by all that is dear in the memories of the past, and in the hopes of the future.
There is no wisdom in shutting one's eyes against the truth; there is no courage in underrating the strength of the enemy; there is no patriotism in boasting of what we are able
to do. All wisdom, courage, patriotism, now lies in a true realization of our position, and a deathless determination to meet it like men. The day for declamation — if it ever existed — is now gone; the day for hearty, energetic, united action is come.
In a cause so sacred as ours — contending, as we are, for constitutional liberty, and for all that is most dear to man — it becomes every one
to consecrate himself, in some way, to the service of his country.
By our generous contributions, by our cheerful readiness to bear arms, and to make whatever sacrifices of time, ease or convenience which may be required, let us in advance be so prepared for the impending conflict, that when it comes, the day of battle will fix the date of our first victory.
It may be that all of our resources will be needed, then let no man withhold any aid which he can possibly tender.
Let every man resolve to do his whole duty, and then the brightest page of Virginia
's history will yet be written !
Relying on the justice of our cause as involving issues greater even than that of our Fathers of the Revolution, and appealing, as they did, to the God of Battles, though the contest may be a long and hard one, in the end we must conquer.