Page:A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Confederacy, Including the Diplomatic Correspondence, 1861-1865, Volume I.djvu/362

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Messages and Papers of the Confederacy.

cultural labor mainly to the production of such crops as will insure a sufficiency of food for all classes and for every emergency, thereby with true patriotism subordinating the hope of gain to the certain good of the country.

Sec. 2. That the President is hereby requested to issue a proclamation to the people of these States urging upon them the necessity of guarding against the great perils of a short crop of provisions and setting forth such reasons therefor as his judgment may dictate.

Fully concurring in the views thus expressed by the Congress, I confidently appeal to your love of country for aid in carrying into effect the recommendations of your Senators and Representatives. We have reached the close of the second year of the war, and may point with just pride to the history of our young Confederacy. Alone, unaided, we have met and overthrown the most formidable combination of naval and military armaments that the lust of conquest ever gathered together for the subjugation of a free people. We began this struggle without a single gun afloat, while the resources of our enemy enabled them to gather fleets which, according to their official list published in August last, consisted of 427 vessels, measuring 340,036 tons and carrying 3,268 guns. Yet we have captured, sunk, or destroyed a number of these vessels, including two large frigates and one steam sloop of war, while four of their captured steam gunboats are now in our possession, adding to the strength of our little Navy, which is rapidly gaining in numbers and efficiency. To oppose invading forces composed of levies which have already exceeded 1,300,000 men, we had no resources but the unconquerable valor of a people determined to be free, and we were so destitute of military supplies that tens of thousands of our citizens were reluctantly refused admission into the service from our inability to provide them with arms, while for many months some of our important strongholds owed their safety chiefly to a careful concealment of the fact that we were without a supply of powder for our cannon. Your devotion and patriotism have triumphed over all these obstacles and called into existence the munitions of war, the clothing, and the subsistence which have enabled our soldiers to illustrate their valor on numerous battlefields, and to inflict crushing defeats on successive armies, each of which an arrogant foe fondly imagined to be invincible.