influence of your example and by the aid of your representatives, who give earnest of their purpose to add, by legislation, largely to your strength, you may welcome the invader with a confidence justified by the memory of past victories. On the other hand, debt, taxation, repetition of heavy drafts, dissensions, occasioned by the strife for power, by the pursuit of the spoils of office, by the thirst for the plunder of the public Treasury, and, above all, the consciousness of a bad cause, must tell with fearful force upon the overstrained energies of the enemy. His campaign in 1864 must, from the exhaustion of his resources both in men and money, be far less formidable than those of the last two years, when unimpaired means were used with boundless prodigality and with results which are suggested by the mention of the glorious names of Shiloh and Perryville, and Murfreesboro and Chickamauga, and the Chickahominy and Manassas, and Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville.
Soldiers! Assured success awaits us in our holy struggle for liberty and independence, and for the preservation of all that renders life desirable to honorable men. When that success shall be reached, to you — your country's hope and pride — under Divine Providence, will it be due. The fruits of that success will not be reaped by you alone, but your children and your children's children, in long generations to come, will enjoy blessings derived from you that will preserve your memory ever living in their hearts.
Citizen-defenders of the homes, the liberties, and the altars of the Confederacy! That the God whom we all humbly worship may shield you with his Fatherly care, and preserve you for safe return to the peaceful enjoyment of your friends and the association of those you most love, is the earnest prayer of your Commander in Chief.
Richmond, February 9, 1864.
S. Cooper, Adjutant and Inspector General.