Page:A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Confederacy, Including the Diplomatic Correspondence, 1861-1865, Volume I.djvu/542

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Messages and Papers of the Confederacy.

fortitude in enduring them. But if the common supply now distributed among all is diminished for the purpose of enabling any one State to add to the supplies furnished her own troops, the effect will be pernicious to an extent that can scarcely be appreciated in advance. I leave it to others to imagine the state of feeling which would ensue if the soldiers of the seaboard States were to be found amply supplied with all necessaries and comforts, standing side by side with the troops of interior States, who would be deprived of a part of what they now receive in consequence of a diminution of our present means of providing for all alike. If to this it should be answered that the interior States could enjoy the same advantages as the seaboard States by sending agents to the ports to represent them, thus placing all on an equal footing, the reply is obvious. The result would then be to bring all the States back to the same condition in which they now are — that is to say, each possessing its fair share of the advantages derived from the tonnage used by the Confederate Government.

It appears to me that any change in the present regulations so as to affect the rights of the Confederate Government must necessarily be either useless or mischievous — useless, if no advantage is to be gained by any one State over the others; mischievous in the extreme, if such an advantage is to be the effect of the change.

It has been suggested that there are many articles required by the people of the different States which can be obtained only through the aid of their governments, and that the efforts of the Confederate Government are confined exclusively to the supply of the needs of the Army. This is true; but one-half of all the tonnage of private owners remains open to employment by the States for the purpose suggested, though, perhaps, at somewhat greater cost than would be charged if they were permitted to use the portion reserved for the Confederacy. But I repeat that there is no justice apparent in the demand that all the States should sacrifice a common right for the profit of a single State, nor in diminishing the necessary comforts of the soldier for the benefit of those who remain at home. It is also competent for each State to purchase vessels for its own use or to purchase shares in common with one or more other States for the introduction of supplies necessary for the people without encroaching on the means used by the Confederacy for supplying the Army.