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[386] for the blood and havoc and ruin it has caused. For such a war we were not prepared. The difference in military resources between our enemies and ourselves; the immense advantages possessed in the organized machinery of an established government; a powerful navy; the nucleus of an army; credit abroad, and illimiable facilities in mechanical and manufacturing power, placed them on “the vantage-ground.”

In our infancy we were without a seaman or soldier, without revenue, without gold and silver, without a recognized place in the family of nations, without external commerce, without foreign credit, with the prejudices of the world against us. While we were without manufacturing facilities to supply our wants, our ports were blockaded; we had to grapple with a giant adversary, defend two thousand miles of seacoast and an inland frontier of equal extent. If we had succeeded in preventing any successes on the part of our enemy, it would have been a miracle. What we have accomplished, with a population so inferior in numbers, and means so vastly disproportionate, has excited the astonishment and admiration of the world.

The war in which we are engaged was wickedly, and against all our protests, and the most earnest efforts to the contrary, forced upon us. South-Carolina sent a commission to Washington to adjust all questions of dispute between her and the United States. One of the first acts the provisional government was to accredit agents to visit Washington, and use all honorable means to obtain a satisfactory settlement of all questions of dispute with that Government. Both efforts failed. Commissioners were deceived and rejected, and clandestine but vigorous preparations were made for war. In proportion to our perseverance and anxiety, have been the obstinacy and arrogance in spurning offers of peace. It seems we can be indebted for nothing to the virtues of our enemies. We are obliged to his vices, which have inured to our strength. We owe as much to his insolence and blindness as to our precaution.

The wager of battle having been tendered, it was accepted. The alacrity with which our people flew to arms is worthy of all praise. Their deeds of heroic daring, patient endurance, ready submission to discipline, and numerous victories, are in keeping with the fervent patriotism that prompted their early volunteering. Quite recently scores of regiments have reenlisted for the war, testifying their determination to fight until their liberties were achieved. Coupled with and contributing greatly to the enthusiastic ardor, was the lofty courage, the indomitable resolve, the self-denying spirit of our noble women, who, by their labors of love, their patience of hope, their unflinching constancy, their uncomplaining submission to the privations of the war, have shed an immortal lustre upon their sex and country.

Our army is no hireling soldiery. It comes not from paupers, criminals, or emigrants. It was originally raised by the free, unconstrained, unpurchasable assent of the men. All vocations and classes contributed to the swelling numbers. Abandoning luxuries and comforts to which they had been accustomed, they submitted cheerfully to the scanty fare and exactive service of the camps. Their services above price, the only remuneration they have sought is the protection of their altars, firesides, and liberty. In the Norwegian wars, the actors were, every one of them, named and patronymically described as the king's friend and companion. The same wonderful individuality has been seen in this war. Our soldiers are not a consolidated mass, an unthinking machine, but an army of intelligent units.

To designate all who have distinguished themselves by special valor, would be to enumerate nearly all in the army. The generous rivalry between the troops from different States has prevented any special preeminence, and, hereafter, for centuries to come, the gallant bearing and unconquerable devotion of confederate soldiers will inspire the hearts, and encourage the hopes, and strengthen the faith of all who labor to obtain their freedom.

For three years this cruel war has been waged against us, and its continuance has been seized upon as a pretext by some discontented persons to excite hostility to the government. Recent and public as have been the occurrences, it is strange that a misapprehension exists as to the conduct of the two governments in reference to peace.

Allusion has been made to the unsuccessful efforts, when separation took place, to procure an amicable adjustment of all matters in dispute. These attempts at negotiation do not comprise all that has been done. In every form in which expression could be given to the sentiment — in public meetings, through the press, by legislative resolves — the desire of this people for peace, for the uninterrupted enjoyment of their rights and prosperity, has been made known. The President, more authoritatively, in several of his messages, while protesting the utter absence of all desire to interfere with the United States, or acquire any of their territory, has avowed that the “advent of peace will be hailed with joy. Our desire for it has never been concealed. Our efforts to avoid the war, forced on us as it was by the lust of conquest and the insane passions of our foes, are known to mankind.”

The course of the Federal Government has proved that it did not desire peace, and would not consent to it on any terms that we could possibly concede. In proof of this, we refer to the repeated rejection of all terms of conciliation and compromise, to their recent contemptuous refusal to receive the Vice-President, who was sent to negotiate for softening the asperities of war, and their scornful rejection of the offer of a neutral power to mediate between the contending parties. If cumulative evidence be needed, it can be found in the following resolution, recently adopted by the House of Representatives in Washington:

Resolved, That as our country and the very existence of the best Government ever instituted by man are imperilled by the most causeless ”


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