The earnest addresses of President Davis
and General Lee
to the soldiers of the Confederacy
, in the present period of importance in the summer campaign, are entitled to the serious consideration of not only the soldiers, but the people generally.
That our cause is anything but desponding, every one who estimates the situation of the country must feel convinced.
Yet to defend ourselves and repel the invasion with proper energy and effect, it is necessary that every soldier should be at his post.
The feeling of fatigue and desire to spend a little while at home have no doubt induced some brave fellows to take advantage of some little scratch or ache to absent themselves, under the impression that they could be spared without detriment to the cause.
it only needs enough men deluded by this argument to subject the army to a draft upon its force very disadvantageous, to say the least independent of good fellows who are thus misled, there are some who are arrant skulkers — those craven-hearted and indolent fellows who are stragglers from the field merely to avoid duty and danger, and who, once in hospitals, become naturally "hospital rats," whom it is almost impossible to dislodge from their holes.
Now, those soldiers who are absent from duty under mistaken ideas, and whose intentions are the best, should not pause one moment after they read the addresses of the President
and the great commander of the army of the Potomac.
They should at once vindicate themselves from suspicion of association with those others who skulk from duty for motives that are disgraceful.
Not a moment should they remain where they are liable to the most mortifying imputations.
There are vast numbers of such, we are satisfied; and the only satisfactory proof they can afford of their true character is by promptly responding to the appeals made to their loyalty and honor.
The addresses made to them are indeed appeals of this kind.
It is only to those who are deaf to all sense of honor that threats of military rigor are directed.
These last cannot escape, and should not be permitted to escapes the consequences of their desertion.
The people should give them neither countenance nor support.
They should no lodge them nor feed them.
A soldier who is able to fight has now no business at home, and this every man should know.
When one of this kind presents himself he should be treated as one recreant to his duty and to his country.
The people — the men and women of the country — should frown upon them, and make every place but the camp unendurable to them.
The country is not in imminent peril, but it is perseveringly pressed by a merciless and brutal foe, from whom nothing but complete spoliation of everything we have, and the most abject humiliation of us all, can be expected should he finally overrun the land.
To meet such a foe, and avert such consequences of his triumph, every man should be at his post.
They may not all the needed; but we should make assurance doubly sure by having all present.
That renewed and desperate efforts are to be made to take this city there cannot be a doubt.
We have but to continue faithful to our well earned fame for alacrity to meet the enemy and for the impetuosity and fearlessness with which we have fought him in the fields made glorious for the South
, to drive him yet again from our soil, and for a while at least to be relieved from his hated presence.