338 Southern Historical Society Papers.
over the approaches to the capital, and has thus been forced to forego more than one opportunity for promising enterprise. It is for us, my countrymen, to show by our bearing under reverses, how wretched has been the self-deception of those who have believed us less able to endure misfortune with fortitude than to encounter danger with courage.
" We have now entered upon a new phase of the struggle. Re- lieved from the necessity of guarding a particular point, our army will be free to move from point to point, to strike the enemy in detail far from his base. Let us but will it, and we are free.
DETERMINED TO THE LAST.
"Animated by that confidence in your spirit and fortitude which never yet failed me, I announce to you, fellow-countrymen, that it is my purpose to maintain your cause with my whole heart and soul; that I will never consent to abandon to the enemy one foot of the soil of any of the States of the Confederacy; that Virginia, noble State, whose ancient renown has been eclipsed by her still more glo- rious recent history; whose bosom has been bared to receive the main shock of this war; whose sons and daughters have exhibited heroism so sublime as to render her illustrious in all time to come but Virginia, with the help of the people and by the blessing of Providence, shall be held and defended, and no peace ever made with the infamous invaders of her territory.
" If, by the stress of numbers, we should be compelled to a tem- porary withdrawal from her limits or those of any other border States, we will return until the baffled and exhausted enemy shall abandon in despair his endless and impossible task of making slaves of a people born to be free.
" Let us, then, not despond, my countrymen, but, relying on God, meet the foe with fresh defiance and with unconquered and uncon- querable hearts.
"JEFFERSON DAVIS. "
The forgoing, the last proclamation of the President of the Con- federate States, is not often seen, therefore it is given in its entirety.
The Table on which this proclamation was written is now in the possession of Mrs. W. T. Southerlin, relict of Major Southerlin. It is of unusual design, with curved legs, being made of heavy mahogany. It has upon it a beautiful slab about two and one-half feet, by five in size, of mottled Egyptian marble. This table, I was informed, has been repeatedly sought for by those having control of