Table of Contents:
Speech of Gov. Jackson,On Thursday evening last a large crowd assembled in front of the Spotswood House to get a look at Governor Jackson, and, if possible, to hear from his lips an account of affairs in Missouri. In response to loud and repeated calls for him, the Governor appeared in front of the hotel, and was introduced to the assemblage by a gentleman whose name we were unable to learn. After the cheers which greeted the Governor had somewhat subsided, he addressed the assembly as follows: My friends of Virginia and of the Southern Confederacy, who have assembled here tonight, I greet you with the warmth of an overflowing heart. Had not similar scenes on my way to this place, in demonstration of the interest of the Southern people in the cause in which I am engaged, accustomed me to them, this kind reception might have taken me by surprise. I take it, however, as no compliment to myself personally. I think I understand very well this demonstration and all other welcomes that have greeted me on my way hither. It is but the expression of the profound earnestness of Southern men in the glorious cause in which we are all engaged, to which my energies are pledged, and in which my life, fortune and honor is forever enlisted. [Applause] I doubt not you want to hear something of Missouri. [Voices "Yes; tell us about her? "] The troubles you have had here, the difficulties you have surmounted, Missouri has felt and encountered to a far greater extent. The people of Missouri are more divided than the people of Virginia. The insidious influences of the enemy have for years been brought to bear on her in the effort to surround the South with a "wall of fire," occupying as she does the position on the left flank of the Southern States. On account of the geographical situation of Virginia and Missouri, it is apparent to the mind of all that these States must be the great battle-fields upon which this war is to be waged, if Mr. Lincoln shall think proper to continue it. I had hoped, however, and I still have some hope, that after the terrible defeat and dreadful slaughter which his minions met with at Manassas the other day, he will look at the thing properly and be governed by reason in stead of fanaticism, and cease this war before the sun goes down to morrow night. If he has been laboring under the delusion that he could conquer the Southern people, the battle which was fought the other day at Manassas Junction ought to be satisfactory evidence to him that such a thing is utterly impossible. He ought to know that history presents no case where such a people as the Southern States contain, with such resources to back them, with such interests at stake, with such courage to nerve their arms and such principles to inspire their hearts, ever were conquered. And all who, like Lincoln, attempt the hazard us experiment, will learn from the book of bloody disaster that they never can be conquered [Continued cheering, and cries of "Never!" "never!"] I sympathize deeply with the people of Virginia, as well as you do with the people of Missouri. As I before remarked, the geographical position of the two States makes them the battle grounds by necessary consequence. We are placed in the front ranks; we occupy the out posts. If these are taken it cannot be expected the citadel will long hold out. Hence, I have everywhere, from the time I entered the State of Arkansas until I reached this place, invoked my fellow-citizens to rally to the rescue; if they did not want to see their own homes in flames, their own firesides desolated, they must march forthwith, either to Virginia or Missouri, meet the invader face to face, and drive him from the soil, or die in the noble endeavor.-- [Cheers.] I know you desire to hear something specially about Missouri. Well, we have had some little skirmishing there; we have no taste for standing off and looking on, and when we get close to the enemy, we are bound to make him smell our powder. We had a little skirmish at Booneville, where I had but six hundred men, and half of them unequipped — the enemy having twenty- seven hundred well drilled soldiers. Although it was un wise to make any stand against such overwhelming odds, my men could not resist the opportunity of taking a shot or two before retreating — We lost three men and they lost nine, We continued on the retreat ten days or two weeks, with enemies all around me, with forces sent to intercept my road, communications with friends cut off, and reinforcements could not reach me in large bodies; my friends came to me in squads of fives, tens, fifties and hundreds. I knew they would come, and I awaited them. At length I had a sufficient force to make a stand. On the 5th of July the enemy appeared, numbering twenty-five hundred men, under command of Col Siegel. We routed them, drove them fourteen miles, and from every position they took, and the last we heard of them they were still running [Laughter and cheers] It was done exclusively by Missouri troops. Another battle we had a day or two afterwards, and I think it is the greatest fight of the war, although upon a small scale. Col. Cook had raised a regiment of 800 men, mostly Dutch. These he quartered in two large barns. Two of my Captains, Hall and Stone, with their companies, consisting of 180 men, went to these barns before daylight and slaughtered the enemy like hogs, killing 230 of them, putting the rest to flight, and getting every gun the scamps had. [Cheers] There has been some little skirmishing on the north side of the Missouri River, of which, however, I can give no account, having seen nothing but telegraphic reports from that region. The day after the 5th of July battle, I was met by the gallant McCulloch —— Ben McCulloch — you all know him. [Cheers] That gallant soldier had marched for two days and nights. He knew the enemy was after me. He was fifteen hours too late, but it was not his fault. I have been mortified, my fellow citizens of Virginia, to see it published in your papers that that gallant officer and myself had a difficulty after the battle. My friends, if I had the power, and desired to make a man who should stand as the representative of manhood, and combine within himself all that is excellent in human character, I know not the model I would sooner take than the gallant, noble, brave McCulloch. [Cheers.] With eight thousand men he came to our assistance, with troops from Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana. One regiment from this latter State was the first and best I ever saw. They came all the way on foot, they came to fight and not to retreat. In addition to this force he brought to my aid his high military genius, his resistless energy and brave and fearless heart. [Cheers] Gen Polk has ordered to my assistance thirteen thousand men, and they are now on their way to the battlefield [Cheers] I shall return as soon as the cars can take me to the State of Missouri. I shall go to the field, and there I shall remain until the invader is driven from our soil, or we are conquered. [Cheers.] I do not expect the latter to take place, Such men as we have can never be conquered, [cheers.] because they are fighting for that which is dearer than life itself — their rights [Cheers.] I have left behind me wife, children, home, everything that is dear to man. My men are in the same condition.--We would be worse than cowards if we gave up the contest with anything less than life. [Loud cheers.] In the great battle lately fought — the battle of Davis, Beauregard and Johnston — our men exhibited a foretaste of what Lincoln's menials may expect in every contest that is to follow. Any set of raw troops who can, with nothing but bowie knives, charge upon the bayonets of regulars, as our men did in the late battle, can never be whipped. There is no instance upon record where raw recruits were known to make such bold, daring, slashing charges right up to the mouths of cannon, manned by veterans, and take them, as did our men on that occasion. Nor was an army with such equipments and appointments, as the enemy possessed, ever before known to leave all their munitions in the hands of a force so numerically inferior as ours. Let every man in the Southern States be of good cheer. With all the divisions of my people and all the difficulties and embarrassments that have been thrown around me by the combined efforts of traitors and foe, I have never for one moment doubted what is to be the final result. [Applause] All we have to do, my friends of the Southern States, is to rise once and overpower the enemy. Their troops have been ninety days troops; their time is about expiring. You may take my word for it, very few of those men who have tested the strength of Southern steel will be anxious to re-enlist. [Cheers.] Then I say, before they reorganize their shattered army, let us strike, and strike home--[Cheers.] I claim to have no superior military capacity, but to my mind the quick and decisive blow is the one we should make in Virginia and Missouri, and drive the invader from our soil. I advise every man in the Southern States, that can raise an arm in defence of his home and rights, to go to Virginia or Missouri. What is life to me or to the twenty-five thousand soldiers left behind Everything that makes life at all valuable, causes to exist unless we can be with those near and true to us, unless we are able to maintain our rights, vindicate our honor, and establish our independence. "Give me liberty or give me death," is my motto in this contest. [Prolongued applause.]
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.