Page:A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Confederacy, Including the Diplomatic Correspondence, 1861-1865, Volume I.djvu/150

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Messages and Papers of the Confederacy.

and the declaration of martial law, some of them at least would joyfully unite with us; that they are with almost entire unanimity opposed to the prosecution of the war waged against us, are facts of which daily recurring events fully warrant the assertion.

The President of the United States refuses to recognize in these, our late sister States, the right of refraining from attack on us; and justifies his refusal by the assertion that the States have no other power "than that reserved to them in the Union by the Constitution, no one of them having ever been a State out of the Union."

This view of the constitutional relations between the States and the General Government is a fitting introduction to another assertion of the message, that the Executive possesses the power of suspending the writ of habeas corpus, and of delegating that power to military commanders, at his discretion; and both these propositions claim a respect equal to that which is felt for the additional statement of opinion in the same paper, that it is proper, in order to execute the laws, that "some single law, made in such extreme tenderness of the citizen's liberty, that practically it relieves more of the guilty than the innocent, should, to a very limited extent, be violated."

We may well rejoice that we have forever severed our connection with a government that thus tramples on all the principles of constitutional liberty, and with a people in whose presence such avowals could be hazarded.

The operations in the field will be greatly extended by reason of the policy which, heretofore secretly entertained, is now avowed and acted on by the United States. The forces hitherto raised proved ample for the defense of the seven States which originally organized the Confederacy, as is evinced by the fact that, with the exception of three fortified islands, whose defense is efficiently aided by a preponderating naval force, the enemy has been driven completely out of those States; and now, at the expiration of five months from the formation of the Government, not a single hostile foot presses their soil. These forces, however, must necessarily prove inadequate to repel the invasion by half a million of men, now proposed by the enemy; and a corresponding increase in our forces will become necessary. The recommendations for the raising and efficient equipment of this additional force will