Vice President Stephens
, who is on his way to the South
, stopped at Charlotte, N. C.
, Friday night, and was serenaded by a large concourse of citizens.
In reply he made them a speech about an hour in length.
He commenced by alluding to the invasion of Maryland
by Gen. Lee
's army; said that it had whipped the enemy on their own soil and obtained vast supplies for our own men, and was now ready to again meet the enemy on a new field.
Whatever might be the movements and objects of Gen. Lee
, he had entire confidence in his ability to accomplish what he undertook, for in ability and intellect he was a head and shoulders above any man in the Yankee
He commended Gen. Lee
for keeping, his own secrete, and told the people not to be discouraged because they did not hear from Lee
over his own signature. --He would come out all right in the end.
next spoke of the surrender of Vicksburg
, and said that it was not an occurrence to cause discouragement or gloom; that the loss of Vicksburg
was not as severe a blow as the loss of Fort Pillow
, Island No.10
, or New Orleans.
The Confederacy had survived the loss of those points, and would survive the loss of Vicksburg
, Port Hudson
, and other places.
Suppose, said he, we were to lose Mobile
, and Richmond
, it would not affect the heart
of the Confederacy
We could and would survive such losses, and finally secure our independence.
He was not at all discouraged at the prospect; he never had the "blues" himself, and had no respect or sympathy for "croakers." The enemy has already appropriated twenty seven hundred millions of dollars and one million of men for our subjugation, and, after two years war, had utterly failed, and if the war continued two years longer they would fail to accomplish our subjugation.
So far they had not broken the shell of the Confederacy
In the Revolutionary war the British
at one time had possession of North Carolina
, South Carolina
, and other States; they took Philadelphia
and dispersed Congress, and for a long time held almost complete away in the Colonies — yet they did not conquer our forefathers.
In the war of 1812 the British
captured the capital of the nation, Washington city
, and burnt it, yet
they did not conquer us; and if we are true to ourselves now, true to our birth rights, the Yankee
nation will utterly fail to subjugate us. Subjugation would be utter ruin and eternal death to Southern people and all that they hold most dear.
He exhorted the people to give the Government
a cordial support, to frown down all croakers and grumblers, and to remain united and fight to the bitter end for liberty and independence.
As for reconstruction, said Mr. Stephens
, such a thing was impossible — such an idea must not be tolerated for an instant.
Reconstruction would not end the war, but would produce a more horrible war than that in which we are now engaged.
The only terms on which we can obtain permanent peace is final and complete separation from the North Rather than submit to anything short of that let us all resolve to die like men worthy of freedom.
In regard to foreign intervention, Mr. Stephens
advised his hearers to build no hopes on that yet awhile.
He did not believe that the leading foreign powers ever intended that the North and South should be again united — they preferred that the separation should be permanent — but they considered both sides too strong now, and did not deem it good policy on their part to interfere and put an end to the war. Foreign nations see that the result of the war will be to establish a despotism at the North
, and are therefore willing to allow it to continue a while longer.
The whole tone of Mr. Stephens
's speech was very encouraging, and showed not the slightest sign of despondency.
He concluded by expressing entire confidence in the ability of the Confederacy
to maintain our cause and achieve independence.