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Doc. 109.-Richmond to be defended.

The following joint resolutions were adopted by the Virginia Legislature on the fourteenth of May:

Resolved, by the General Assembly of Virginia, That the General Assembly hereby express its desire that the capital of the State be defended to the last extremity, if such defence is in accordance with the views of the President of the confederate States, and that the President be assured that whatever destruction and loss of property of the State or individuals shall thereby result, will be cheerfully submitted to.

Resolved, That a committee of two on the part of the Senate and three on the part of the House be appointed to communicate the adoption of the foregoing resolution to the President.

A copy from the rolls.


Wm. F. Gordon, Jr., O. H. D. and K. of R. By Jno. T. Cowan, Deputy.

On the fifteenth instant the joint committee made the following report:

The joint committee, appointed by the two houses to communicate to the President of the confederate States the joint resolutions of the General Assembly in relation to the defence of the city, have discharged the duty confided to them, and respectfully report that their interview with the President was in the highest degree satisfactory, and his views, as communicated with entire frankness to the committee, were well calculated to inspire them with confidence and to reassure the public mind.

After reading the resolutions, he desired us to say to the General Assembly that he had received the communication of those resolutions with feelings of lively gratification, and instructed us to assure the houses that it would be the effort of his life to defend the soil of Virginia and to cover her capital.

He further stated that he had never entertained the thought of withdrawing the army from Virginia and abandoning the State; that if, in the course of events, the capital should fall, the necessity of which he did not see or anticipate, that would be no reason for withdrawing the army from Virginia. The war could still be successfully maintained on Virginia soil for twenty years.

All which is respectfully submitted.

John Robinson, Chairman Senate Committee. wood Bouldin, Chairman House Committee. A copy-Teste:
Wm. F. Gordon, Jr., Clerk House of Delegates. By John T. Cowan, Deputy.

On the fifteenth Governor Letcher issued the following proclamation, declaring that “the capital must not be surrendered,” and calling a meeting to provide for the public defence:

By the Governor of Virginia — A Proclamation.
The General Assembly of this commonwealth having resolved that “the capital of the State shall be defended to the last extremity, if such defence is in accordance with the views of the President of the confederate States,” and having declared that “whatever destruction and loss of property of the State or individuals shall thereby result will be cheerfully submitted to,” and this action being warmly approved and seconded by the Executive: therefore, I do hereby request all officers who are out of service, from any cause, and all others who may be willing to unite in defending the capital of this State, to assemble this evening at the City Hall, at five o'clock, and proceed forthwith to organize a force to cooperate with the Tredegar battalion, and any other force which may be detailed for the purpose indicated. The organization, upon being reported to the Executive, will be recognized and properly officered, as prescribed by law, and be subject to the orders of the Governor for local defence, under regulations to be hereafter prescribed.

Prompt and efficient action is absolutely necessary. We have a gallant army in the field, upon whom we fully and confidently rely; but no effort should be spared which can contribute to the noble object. The capital of Virginia must not be surrendered. Virginians must rally to the rescue.

L. S.

Given under my hand and under the seal of the Commonwealth, at Richmond, this fifteenth day of May, 1862, and in the eighty-sixth year of the Commonwealth.

The meeting thus called assembled at the City Hall, Capt. J. B. Danforth presiding, and Mayor Mayo and Governor Letcher made speeches.

Mr. Joseph Mayo, the Mayor of the city, stated that the City Council had adopted resolutions requesting the Governor to place the Tredegar battalion at his disposal for the defence of the city. He indorsed in the most enthusiastic manner the proposed action of the meeting, and said that if the city of Richmond was ever surrendered to our enemies it should not be by a descendant of its founder. He would sooner die than surrender [425] our city, and if they wished a Mayor who would surrender the city, they must elect another in his place.

Governor Letcher was then called on, and heartily approved the objects of the meeting. He said that the city should never be surrendered by the President, by the Mayor or by himself.

The following committee was appointed by the chairman:

Colonel St. George Rogers, of Florida; Lieutenant-Colonel William Munford, Colonel R. M. Nimmo, Peyton Johnston, William G. Paine, Lieutenant C. O. Lamotte, of South-Carolina.

The committee was requested to meet at the City Hall at nine o'clock to-morrow (Saturday) morning, for the purpose of receiving the names of all persons who are disposed to unite under the organization recommended by the proclamation of the Governor. The meeting then adjourned.

Remarks of the press.

We are proud of the spirit of our governments, confederate and State, relative to this question of holding and defending this State to the last. The army will not abandon the sacred soil of Virginia. That has been made the battleground, and on that must the enemy establish his superiority in a fair fight before it will be abandoned to him. The evacuation of the seacoast positions and cities became a necessity. There was no avoiding it, in consequence of the immense advantage enjoyed by the enemy in his possession of the entire navy of the United States, and the material and mechanical skill for the rapid construction of iron-clad gunboats, while we had neither a navy nor the material and the mechanical force to enable us to compete with him in any sense. It is true we had the Virginia; but, besides her, nothing. Her destruction, and the questions it involves, suggest matters of debate which afford neither satisfaction nor benefit now to discuss. Our inability to meet the enemy on the water, as a general question, was clear and indisputable, and the withdrawal from the sea unavoidable.

Second to Virginia is the defence of this city, for manifold reasons, and it is in keeping with the general purpose of both governments that they should resolve to the uttermost to defend Richmond. All the means in the power of the State and the Confederacy are pledged to this, and we may be assured that the enemy will not be allowed to gratify the prominent desire of his heart, to hector and domineer over the inhabitants of this far-famed and beautiful town, until every means is exhausted.

The President nobly takes the stand that, though Richmond should fall, there are plenty of battle-fields yet in Virginia to fight for the cause for twenty years. The sentiment is as truthful as patriotic. The confederate government assures us that the Old Dominion is not to be given up. God forbid that it should. It would be giving up much more than Virginia. The cause would be, indeed, itself, well-nigh surrendered in that event. The government is not only just but wise in its determination to stand by Virginia to the last.

. . . . To lose Richmond is to lose Virginia, and to lose Virginia is to lose the key to the Southern Confederacy. Virginians, Marylanders, ye who have rallied to her defence, would it not be better to fall in her streets than to basely abandon them, and view from the surrounding hills the humiliation of the capital of the Southern Confederacy? To die in her streets would be bliss to this, and to fall where tyrants strode would be to consecrate the spot anew and wash it of every stain.

. . . . The loss of Richmond in Europe would sound like the loss of Paris or London, and the moral effect will scarcely be less. Let us, therefore, avert the great disaster by a reliance on ourselves. It is better that Richmond should fall as the capital of the Confederacy, than that Richmond exist the depot of the hireling horde of the North. But Richmond can be defended, and saved from pollution. The fate of the capital of the Confederacy rests with the people.

The next few days may decide the fate of Richmond. It is either to remain the capital of the Confederacy, or to be turned over to the Federal government as a Yankee conquest. The capital is either to be secured or lost — it may be feared not temporarily — and with it Virginia. Then, if there is blood to be shed, let it be shed here; no soil of the Confederacy could drink it up more acceptably and none would hold it more gratefully. Wife, family and friends are nothing. Leave them all for one glorious hour to be devoted to the Republic. Life, death and wounds are nothing, if we only be saved from the fate of a captured capital and a humiliated Confederacy. Let the government act; let the people act. There is time yet.

If fate comes to its worst, let the ruins of Richmond be its most lasting monument.

--Richmond Dispatch.

Proclamation of Governor Letcher.

To afford every facility in the power of the Executive to provide a proper force for the defence of the capital, and to enable those who are employed in business avocations to devote a portion of each day to necessary drill and discipline, I, John Letcher, Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, do hereby proclaim that all the stores and other places of business in the city of Richmond, ,except such manufacturing establishments as are engaged in fulfilling contracts for this State or confederate States, shall be closed on each day after the hour of two o'clock P. M., and it is hereby ordered that the second-class militia shall be assembled daily, except on Sunday, on the Capitolsquare, at the hour of three o'clock. The forces shall be under the command of a senior officer present, and be regularly drilled until sunset each day.

The following advertisements appeared in the Richmond papers: [426]

save Richmond.--I will be one of one hundred to the gunboat to join any party, officered by determined and resolute officers, to board the whole fleet of gunboats and take them at all hazards, to save this beautiful city from destruction. I am not a resident of this State, but of the confederate States, and if such a scheme can be got up, my name can be had by applying to this office.

Here is another call:

Refugees from the State of Maryland and the District of Columbia: You are requested to meet this morning, at eleven o'clock, at the rooms of the Maryland Society, Pearl street, over the store of Weston and Williams. A tender of our services for the defence of Richmond is the object. of the meeting.

The call is made with the approval of many friends, and signed by myself at their request, as an assurance of its authenticity.

And here another:

notice.--All young men out of the army who are familiar with the use of the rifle, and who have patriotism enough to join a body of sharp-shooters for the defence of our beloved capital, will meet at the Washington Monument this day, at twelve o'clock M., for the purpose of forming a body of sharp-shooters to operate on James River.

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