Page:A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Confederacy, Including the Diplomatic Correspondence, 1861-1865, Volume I.djvu/219

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First Congress.


February 25, 1862.

To the Senate and House of Representatives of the Confederate States.

In obedience to the constitutional provision requiring the President from time to time to give to the Congress information of the state of the Confederacy and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient, I have to communicate that since my message at the last session of the Provisional Congress events have demonstrated that the Government had attempted more than it had power successfully to achieve. Hence, in the effort to protect by our arms the whole of the territory of the Confederate States, seaboard and inland, we have been so exposed as recently to encounter serious disasters. When the Confederacy was formed the States composing it were, by the peculiar character of their pursuits and a misplaced confidence in their former associates, to a great extent destitute of the means for the prosecution of the war on so gigantic a scale as that which it has attained. The workshops and artisans were mainly to be found in the Northern States, and one of the first duties which devolved upon this Government was to establish the necessary manufactories, and in the meantime to obtain by purchase from abroad, as far as practicable, whatever was required for the public defense. No effort has been spared to effect both these ends; and though the results have not equaled our hopes, it is believed that an impartial judgment will, upon full investigation, award to the various Departments of the Government credit for having done all which human power and foresight enabled them to accomplish. The valor and devotion of the people have not only sustained the efforts of the Government but have gone far to supply its deficiencies.

The active state of military preparation among the nations of Europe in April last, the date when our agents first went abroad, interposed unavoidable delays in the procurement of arms, and the want of a navy has greatly impeded our efforts to import military supplies of all sorts. I have hoped for several days to receive official reports in relation to our discomfiture at Roanoke Island and the fall of Fort Donelson. They have not yet reached me, and I am therefore unable to communicate to you such in-