Page:A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Confederacy, Including the Diplomatic Correspondence, 1861-1865, Volume I.djvu/306

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Messages and Papers of the Confederacy.




Richmond, January 12, 1863.

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

At the date of your last adjournment the preparations of the enemy for further hostilities had assumed so menacing an aspect as to excite in some minds apprehension of our ability to meet them with sufficient promptness to avoid serious reverses. These preparations were completed shortly after your departure from the seat of government, and the armies of the United States made simultaneous advance on our frontiers on the western rivers, and on the Atlantic Coast, in masses so great as to evince their hope of overbearing all resistance by mere weight of numbers. This hope, however, like those previously entertained by our foes, has vanished. In Virginia their fourth attempt at invasion by armies whose assured success was confidently predicted has met with decisive repulse. Our noble defenders, under the consummate leadership of their general, have again, at Fredericksburg, inflicted on the forces under General Burnside the like disastrous overthrow as had been previously suffered by the successive invading armies commanded by Generals McDowell, McClellan, and Pope.

In the West obstinate battles have been fought with varying fortunes, marked by frightful carnage on both sides; but the enemy's hopes of decisive results have again been baffled, while at Vicksburg another formidable expedition has been repulsed with considerable loss on our side and severe damage to the assailing forces. On the Atlantic Coast the enemy has been unable to gain a footing beyond the protecting shelter of his fleets, and the city of Galveston has just been recovered by our forces, which succeeded not only in the capture of the garrison, but of one of the enemy's vessels of war, which was carried by boarding parties from merchant river steamers. Our fortified positions have everywhere been much strengthened and improved,