Page:A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Confederacy, Including the Diplomatic Correspondence, 1861-1865, Volume I.djvu/151

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Provisional Congress.

be contained in the communication of the Secretary of War, to which I need scarcely invite your earnest attention.

In my message delivered in April last, I referred to the promise of abundant crops, with which we were cheered.[1] The grain crops, generally, have since been harvested, and the yield has proven to be the most abundant known in our history. Many believe the supply adequate to two years' consumption of our population. Cotton, sugar, and tobacco, forming the surplus production of our agriculture, and furnishing the basis of our commercial interchanges, present the most cheering promise; and a kind Providence has smiled on the labor which extracts the teeming wealth of our soil in all portions of our Confederacy.

It is the more gratifying to be able to give you this assurance, because of the need of a large and increased expenditure in the support of our Army. Elevated and purified by the sacred cause they maintain, our fellow-citizens of every condition of life exhibit the most self-sacrificing devotion. They manifest a laudable pride in upholding their independence, unaided by any resources other than their own; and the immense wealth which a fertile soil and genial climate have accumulated in this Confederacy of agriculturists could not be more strikingly displayed than in the large revenues which, with eager zeal, they have contributed at the call of their country. In the single article of cotton the subscriptions to the loan proposed by the Government cannot fall short of fifty millions of dollars, and will probably largely exceed that amount; and scarcely an article required for the consumption of the Army is provided otherwise than by subscription to the produce loan, so happily devised by your wisdom. The Secretary of the Treasury, in the report submitted to you by him, will give you the amplest details connected with that branch of the public service.

But it is not alone in their prompt pecuniary contributions that the noble race of freemen who inhabit these States evince how worthy they are of the liberties which they so well know how to defend. In numbers far exceeding those authorized by your laws they have pressed the tender of their services against the enemy. Their attitude of calm and sublime devotion to their country; the cool and confident courage with which they are already preparing

  1. See page 81.