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The decisive hour.

We are on the eve of great events. The hour of decision has been placed by Providence in our own hands. In that Providence we cherish an abiding faith and an unfaltering trust. But we do not believe that the Providence of God conflicts with the free agency of man. It works for and with us in temporal as well as spiritual things; but in one as in the other, we must use the means vouchsafed and the opportunities afforded, and work out our own salvation. The hand of God has enabled us to smile back the enemy from the Chickahominy; but this was only the beginning of the work. If we do not follow it up — if we do not heap blow upon blow — if we permit our enemy again to rally and organize — then, indeed, shall the summer be past, the harvest ended, and the day of our salvation delayed, if not forever gone. We rejoice to believe that our Government fully appreciates this momentous truth. Now is the time to strike now, whilst our banners are flashing in the light of victory; whilst every Southern sword mirrors the bright forms of glory and hope; whilst the accursed foe is preparing once more for a final spring — now is the time for a blow that shall crush this hydra headed despotism for ever, and send an electric thrill of deliverance and joy from one end to the of this struggling, valiant, and glorious country.

Soldiers of the South, Napoleon told his warriors Egypt that from the summit of the pyramids forty centuries looked down upon them. Without the language of rhetorical exaggeration, we can say to you that from ten thousand anxious homes the eyes of mothers, sisters, wives, and children are looking upon you — looking upon you, their brave and beloved — looking upon you as their only help and hope, save that God in whose hands are the issues of battles, and to whose Almighty Throne arise day and night those prayers of faith which he has promised to answer and to bless. Inspired by such reflections, let our gallant sons of the South once more give their glorious banners to the breeze, and let the resolve of every heart be ‘"victory or death."’ The whole South looks on; the world looks on; the fate of future generations trembles in the balance. Never did such calamities visit a civilized and Christian people as those which now threaten every Southern home, and which can only be averted by the power of Heaven and your own strong arms! The result we cannot doubt. Now; let there be no delay; not an hour's procrastination; it may be now or never.

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