North American Provinces, and for the release of numerous citizens of the Confederate States, held as prisoners of war by the United States, at a certain island called Johnson's Island;
And whereas, the said enterprise or expedition for the capture of said armed steamer "Michigan" and for the release of the said prisoners on Johnson's Island was a proper and legitimate belligerent operation, undertaken during the pending public war between the two Confederacies known respectively as the Confederate States of America and the United States of America; which operation was ordered, directed, and sustained by the authority of the Government of the Confederate States, and confided to its commissioned officers for execution, among which officers is the said Bennett G. Burley:
Now, therefore, I, Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America, do hereby declare and make known to all whom it may concern, that the expedition aforesaid, undertaken in the month of September last, for the capture of the armed steamer "Michigan," a vessel of war of the United States, and for the release of the prisoners of war, citizens of the Confederate States of America, held captive by the United States of America at Johnson's Island, was a belligerent expedition ordered and undertaken under the authority of the Confederate States of America, against the United States of America, and that the Government of the Confederate States of America assumes the responsibility of answering for the acts and conduct of any of its officers engaged in said expedition, and especially of the said Bennett G. Burley, an Acting Master in the Navy of the Confederate States.
And I do further make known to all whom it may concern that in the orders and instructions given to the officers engaged in said expedition, they were specially directed and enjoined to "abstain from violating any of the laws and regulations of the Canadian or British authorities in relation to neutrality," and that the combination necessary to effect the purpose of said expedition "must be made by Confederate soldiers and such assistance as they might (you may) draw from the enemy's country."
In testimony whereof I have signed this manifesto and directed the same to be sealed with the seal of the Department of State of the Confederate States of America, and to be made public.