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The people of the Confederate States are little aware of the extent to which the country has been imposed upon in the matter of details and exemptions. From good authority, we learn that an immense army — an army which, if enrolled, disciplined, and led by proper officers and a proper general, would be able to plant the Southern cross on the spires of Philadelphia before the ides of November--an army of one hundred and fourteen thousand men — seeks, and has secured, exemption from service as agriculturists — sneaking under that plea out of the defence of their country — leaving under that plea others to fight their battles for them — good Confederates, brave patriots, worthy citizens, delighted to hear of the brave deeds of our gallant army, provided they be not called on to share in the glory, willing to be free, provided it cost them nothing. One hundred and fourteen thousand men detailed as agriculturists, and all these of conscript age, in a population of five millions! Oh shame, where is thy blush? Add to these the thirty-two thousand State officers alluded to by us yesterday, and we have an army of one hundred and forty-six thousand men; and these are far from being all.--The details for various mechanical operations amount to an enormous number. In many instances these so-called mechanics are no mechanics at all. Less wise than Hamlet assumed to be, let the wind blow from what quarter it may, they do not "know a hawk from a handsaw." They are mechanics for the occasion — that is, to escape the enrolling officer — and they cease to be mechanics the moment the danger disappears. If the Confederate Congress take this thing in hand, it will do nothing but extend the limits. That will not answer the purpose. The country wants young men, and must have them. There is a plenty of them for all the purposes of this war, and they must be brought out. Old men are useful to a certain extent, and so are boys; but they are not fit to fight out such a war as this. Besides, there is no sense in allowing these fellows to skulk in this way. Why, in the State of Virginia alone there are eighteen thousand men detailed for agricultural purposes — that is, to avoid service. The State Legislatures must take hold of this matter. Here in Virginia we have a most active and untiring Governor — a man of judgment as well as zeal — a man who is a soldier himself, and feels for the soldier as all ought to do,--a man whose influence with the Legislature is deservedly high. We hope everything from his zeal and intelligence. While upon this subject, we wish to remove an impression, which has become very general, with regard to the operations of the Bureau of Conscription. It is to the effect that Bureau has not extended its operations as far as it ought to have done. That is a mistake. It has manipulated nearly every man of conscript age in the country. It has brought him forward and placed him in the ranks. If he is not found there, it is no fault of the Conscript Bureau. That office has finished with him, and washed its hands of him. The fault lies elsewhere — in those, namely, who grant these unlimited details and exemptions; thereby impairing our sources of defence and seriously imperilling the liberties of their country. Those one hundred and fourteen thousand, of which we have just spoken, and those thirty-two thousand, of whom we spoke yesterday,--all enjoying themselves at home while the enemy is moving heaven and earth to subjugate us — have all passed through the hands of the enrolling officer. There is not a bit of original matter in the whole mass. Is it not strange that we should be wanting reinforcements at a time like this, when the Bureau of Conscription has placed such immense resources of men in reach of the Government! Placed them where it has, or ought to have, nothing to do but to lay its hands upon them! We close this article by introducing the subjoined remarks of the Sentinel, yesterday morning, in an article upon the same subject: "It is necessary for the recruiting officers to use increased diligence and firmness; and it is necessary that the people everywhere sustain them. The man who is at home, though embraced by the call to the field and to his country's defence, is a disgraced man. Every day that he waits for the conscript officer to take him by the collar and drag him to his post is a day of shame and disgrace to himself and to his family and friends. Let all such men join the army without a moment's delay. Let parents send them; let friends persuade them; and let the ladies drive them, if need be. There are many portions of the country in which hundreds of recruits could be readily obtained if the officers and the people would do their duty. "If the young men do not come out to the defence of their country — if they hide behind little offices, or hide behind the military lines, or hide under a horse-mail contract, or skulk in any way,--then it will devolve upon the old men to defend the youngsters, and take the places in the army which these ought to fill. If the young men will not fight, the old men must, and, thank Heaven, they will; and what a shame it will be, what an everlasting infamy that those to whom the country naturally looks for its defence, should leave the duty to be performed by their fathers! If the need be, these men must come out, too. Our country must be defended at whatever cost. This is every man's first duty; and none, we are persuaded, will respond to it with greater resolution than our reserve forces, if the exigencies of the campaign should summon them to the field. Young or old, we must all be ready to come the instant we are called for; and come forward with cheerfulness, and zeal, and courage, and God will favor us with his blessing, and our country shall be preserved."
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