rays; I feel energy anew arising up in my heart, and a new inspiration appealing to the manhood of every citizen of our Confederacy, stimulating him to renewed efforts in the great cause in which we are engaged.
When I look to your army, I find that its ranks are being filled up day by day, and the roll of honor increasing with every morning and evening's sun. The spirit of these brave men is unbroken.
Would that our people throughout the land could gather the inspiration as it rises around the camp-fires of our army.
Despair would cease among them, and despondency give way before a bright and promising sun.
My friends, I come to-night to address myself to Georgians.
Deeply as every portion of our people are interested in the present condition of the country, to none does it come with more and deeper interest than to the people of Georgia
I am a Georgian, proud of my native State.
I was born upon her soil, nurtured in her bosom, educated in her faith.
All that I am, all that I hope ever to be, I owe to her. Beneath her soil sleep the bones of my fathers and those of my own off-spring, and, sooner or later, I must lie down by their side.
I love this old commonwealth.
The affections of my heart gather around this old State.
I love her mountains and her valleys; I love her history in the past and in the present, and I hope I shall love it in the future; but, thank God, I have a heart big enough to love every inch of soil over which floats the proud banner of our Southern Confederacy.
To you, then, my brethren of Georgia
, I come to-night to make an appeal.
Your soil is invaded, your homes are threatened.
Do you wish to know what it is to have a Yankee army encamped in the heart of your State?
Do you wish to realize the desolation which would follow the track of a merciless and cruel enemy?
If so, go to Virginia
, and let their burned villages, their desolate homes, their property of every kind destroyed, teach you the lesson.
Do you hope to fare better than your brethren of those States?
Is there burning in your hearts a whining spirit of Unionism, by which you hope to commend yourselves to the tender mercies of this heartless foe?
I tell you to-night that the few poor, miserable persons-dishonored in name and reputation — who have sought in this way to save themselves from the effects of Yankee rapacity, have been everywhere treated with the same cruelty and outrage that have been visited upon the true and loyal men. I do thank God that they have been treated in this way, and if there be any such traitors to our cause within the borders of my native State, I pray heaven that they may be treated in like manner.
No, my friends, ours is a common fate and a common destiny, and I thank God that it is so. We must all be free, or all be slaves.
We must all live or all perish.
If you read the history of the outrages which the Yankees
perpetrated in Virginia
, you will see that it must be so. Do you love your property?
It has been destroyed and trampled under foot.
Do you love your dwellings?
They have been reduced to ashes.
Do you love your wives and daughters?
They have been dishonored and outraged wherever this infamous invader has planted his foul footsteps upon Southern soil.
If there be the hearts of men beating in your bosoms, I appeal to you, by the discharge of your duty in this hour of your trial, see to it that this desolation — this dishonor — comes not upon you and your household.
Is there a man within the hearing of my voice, whether Georgian or not, who does not feel that it is his duty, the duty of his neighbor, and the duty of every man within the limits of the Confederacy
, to go forward as his country calls for and demands his services in the field?
You ask me, shall the other great interests of the country be abandoned?
I say, No. Your agricultural, mechanical, and other interests should be attended to and preserved, and neither your President
, your Congress or your generals, nor any portion of your country, demand any such sacrifice at your hands.
When men talk about calling every body into the field, and abandoning all other interests of the country, they talk wildly, and raise a phantom that they may fight it. You ask me what number of men our country needs at this time?
I cannot tell you. I am not possessed of the information to give you an answer upon which you may act.
I have told you who cannot answer this question.
There is one other class — high, honorable, worthy of your respect and confidence — equally unable to answer this question.
They are the men who are called upon to sit in habeas corpus
The man whose patriotism has sunk so low as to want a habeas corpus
court to decide whether he is to go into the army or not, does not deserve the liberty which is won by the strong arms of others.
My Friends, do you remember about two years and a half ago, when the summons came pealing in your ears that your country was invaded, and calling upon her sons to go in her defence?
What was the response?
You saw, then, your noble brethren gathering around the flag of their country — brave and true men — old and young — beardless boys and gray-headed fathers.
In those days briefless lawyers sat quietly in their offices, and honest judges were never summoned to try cases before habeas corpus
There was no hunting down judges of superior courts to get them to decide whether brave men should go in defence of their country, or let the infamous invader run wildly over it. Those brave boys were the first who left for the defence of their country; and where are they now?
My countrymen, many of them sleep in their graves, many are in hospitals, many go about the country on crutches, and many are gathered to-night around the camp-fires — all true, generous, noble souls — who have labored from that hour to the present, and are yet willing to labor in driving back the invader.
Why are judges now holding their courts out of season?
It is to try the habeas