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Chesapeake is subject to the Federal Navy, your States must constitute the great battle field on which, in dissolution and blood this great strife is to be fought out. We may drive the foe in headlong flight, until his foot no longer pollutes our soil, but the wave of invasion will flow again, and while we bar the approach upon our Northern border, hosts will be thrown upon our Southern beach, and your base of operations, sapped and cut by columns marching from the strongholds, will compel your armies to fall back, and thus the tide of war will ebb and flow until exhaustion seizes one or both of the combatants. It is palpable, then, that it is of the last importance that the mastery of the Chesapeake be wrested from the hands of the Federalists, and that he or they who effect this would render better service than would many armies — This Government and this people know that none of the ordinary means of naval warfare will avail against a foe who possesses these means in overwhelming force. We know that the ships now fitting out at Norfolk will not dare to show themselves beyond the protection of our batteries; or should they reach the open sea, we know they must be captured, however gallant be their crews; or trusting to their fleetness, must seek distant seas to annoy the foe as privateers. To you in your present extremity they will bring no relief. But, there is one mode efficient and cheap, which will, and speedily, effect all that is desired; by your means and energy all this can be speedily attained, and not only the glory and exultant joy of those who drive back and defeat their country's foe will be yours, but ample, magnificent compensation, in spoil and treasure, will remain in your hands. Yours it will be to hand over to your Government the fortresses which now defy their forces, and with them the thousands who trust in their walls; yours to deliver from captivity your citizens languishing in prison; yours to return to their masters the thousands of slaves then in the hands of their seducers; yours to turn the tide of war far from your eastern borders, and to Break the blockade of your ports. This plan has been submitted to numbers of military and naval officers, to civil engineers and intelligent civilians, and it has been approved, with scarcely an exception. The model explanatory of its action, and its inventors, is in your midst, ready to explain and unfold the plan of operation. He proposes that the citizens of Virginia and others shall form a joint stock association for the purpose of carrying out the programme. If this plan promised only possible attainment, it should, in view of the vast results expected, and our great necessities, secure attention and patronage; but when its success is not only possible and probable, but certain, what must be the infatuation of a people that would induce them to neglect it. Should this appeal reach the eye of any patriot, burning with desire to serve his country in this hour of her need. and who desires information on the subject treated of, let him apply at the store of Col. Walter D. Blair, corner of 8th and Main streets, where he will be placed in communication with those who are engaged in this enterprise.
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