Page:A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Confederacy, Including the Diplomatic Correspondence, 1861-1865, Volume I.djvu/517

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Second Congress.

valor of its troops, or in the unquenchable spirit of its people. The baffled and disappointed foe would in vain have scanned the reports of your proceedings, at some new legislative seat, for any indication that progress had been made in his gigantic task of conquering a free people. The truth so patent to us must ere long be forced upon the reluctant Northern mind. There are no vital points on the preservation of which the continued existence of the Confederacy depends. There is no military success of the enemy which can accomplish its destruction. Not the fall of Richmond, nor Wilmington, nor Charleston, nor Savannah, nor Mobile, nor of all combined, can save the enemy from the constant and exhaustive drain of blood and treasure which must continue until he shall discover that no peace is attainable unless based on the recognition of our indefeasible rights.

Before leaving this subject it is gratifying to assure you that the military supplies essentially requisite for public defense will be found, as heretofore, adequate to our needs, and that abundant crops have rewarded the labor of the farmer and rendered abortive the inhuman attempt of the enemy to produce by devastation famine among the people.


It is not in my power to announce any change in the conduct of foreign powers. No such action has been taken by the Christian nations of Europe as might justly have been expected from their history, from the duties imposed by international law, and from the claims of humanity. It is charitable to attribute their conduct to no worse motive than indifference to the consequences of a struggle which shakes only the republican portion of the American continent, and not to ascribe to design a course calculated to insure the prolongation of hostilities.

No instance in history is remembered by me in which a nation pretending to exercise dominion over another asserting its independence has been the first to concede the existence of such independence. No case can be recalled to my mind in which neutral powers have failed to set the example of recognizing the independence of a nation when satisfied of the inability of its enemy to subvert its Government, and this, too, in cases where the previous relation between the contending parties had been confessedly that