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[390] drawn in the lottery of this war. We seek to preserve civil freedom, honor, equality, firesides; and blood is well shed when “shed for our family, for our friends, for our kind, for our country, for our God.” Burke said: “A state, resolved to hazard its existence rather than abandon its object, must have an infinite advantage over that which is resolved to yield, rather than carry its resistance beyond a certain point.” It is better to be conquered by any other nation than by the United States. It is better to be a dependency of any other power than of that.

By the condition of its existence and essential constitution, as now governed, it must be in perpetual hostility to us. As the Spanish invader burned his ships to make retreat impossible, so we cannot afford to take steps backward. Retreat is more dangerous than advance. Behind us are inferiority and degradation; before us is every thing enticing to a patriot.

Our bitter and implacable foes are preparing vigorously for the coming campaign. Corresponding efforts should be made on our part. Without murmuring, our people should respond to the laws which the exigency demands. Every one capable of bearing arms should be connected with some effective military organization. The utmost energies of the whole population should be taxed to produce food and clothing, and a spirit of cheerfulness and trust in an all-wise and overruling Providence should be cultivated.

The history of the past three years has much to animate us to renewed effort and a firmer and more assured hope. A whole people have given their hearts and bodies to repel the invader, and costly sacrifices have been made on the altar of our country. No similar instance is to be found of such spontaneous uprising and volunteering. Inspired by a holy patriotism, again and again have our brave soldiers, with the aid of Heaven, baffled the efforts of our foes. It is in no arrogant spirit that we refer to successes that have cost us so much blood and brought sorrow to so many hearts. We may find in all this an earnest of what, with determined and resolute exertion, we can do to avert subjugation and slavery; and we cannot fail to discern in our deliverance from so many and so great perils the interposition of that Being who will not forsake us in the trials that are to come.

Let us, then, looking upon the bodies of our loved and honored dead, catch inspiration from their example, and gather renewed confidence and a firmer resolve to tread, with unfaltering trust, the path that leads to honor and peace, although it lead through tears, and suffering, and blood.

We have no alternative but to do our duty. We combat for property, homes, the honor of our wives, the future of our children, the preservation of our fair land from pollution, and to avert a doom which we can read both in the threats of our enemies and the acts of oppression we have alluded to in this address.

The situation is grave, but furnishes no just excuse for despondence. Instead of harsh criticisms on the Government and our generals; instead of bewailing the failure to accomplish impossibilities, we should rather be grateful, humbly and profoundly, to a benignant Providence, for the results that have rewarded our labors. Remembering the disproportion in population, in military and naval resources, and the deficiency of skilled labor in the South, our accomplishments have surpassed those of any people in the annals of the world. There is no just reason for hopelessness or fear. Since the outbreak of the war, the South has lost the nominal possession of the Mississippi River and fragments of her territory, but Federal occupancy is not conquest. The fires of patriotism still burn unquenchably in the breasts of those who are subject to foreign domination. We yet have in our uninterrupted control a territory which, according to past progress, will require the enemy ten years to overrun.

The enemy is not free from difficulties. With an enormous debt, the financial convulsion, long postponed, is surely coming. The short crops in the United States and abundant harvest in Europe will hasten what was otherwise inevitable. Many sagacious persons at the North discover in the usurpations of their Government the certain overthrow of their liberties. A large number revolt from the unjust war waged upon the South, and would gladly bring it to an end. Others look with alarm upon the complete subversion of constitutional freedom by Abraham Lincoln, and feel in their own persons the bitterness of the slavery which three years of war have failed to inflict on the South. Brave and earnest men at the North have spoken out against the usurpation and cruelties daily practised. The success of these men over the radical and despotic faction which now rules the North, may open the way to peaceful negotiation and a cessation of this bloody and unnecessary war.

In conclusion, we exhort our fellow-citizens to be of good cheer, and spare no labor, nor sacrices, that may be necessary to enable us to win the campaign upon which we have just entered. We have passed through great trials of affliction, but suffering and humiliation are the school-masters that lead nations to self-reliance and independence. These disciplinary providences but mature, and develop, and solidify our people. We beg that the supplies and resources of the country, which are ample, may be sold to the Government to support and equip its armies. Let all spirit of faction and past party differences be forgotten in the presence of our cruel foe. We should not despond. We should be self-denying. We should labor to extend to the utmost the productive resources of the country. We should economize. The families of soldiers should be cared for and liberally supplied.

We entreat from all a generous and hearty cooperation with the Government in all branches of its administration, and with the agents, civil or military, in the performance of their duties. Moral aid has the “power of the incommunicable,” and by united efforts, by an all-comprehending

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