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Tennessee was no longer in the late Union. She was out by the resolutions of her popular assemblies in Memphis and other cities. Kentucky would soon be out; her people were moving. Missouri-who could doubt the stand she would take ?-when her Governor, in reply to Lincoln's insolent proclamation, had said: "You shall have no troops for the furtherance of your illegal, unchristian, and diabolical schemes!" Missouri will soon add another star to the Southern galaxy. Where Maryland is you all know. The first Southern blood has been shed on her soil, and Virginia would never stand by and see her citizens shot down. The cause of Baltimore is the cause of the whole South.
He said the cause we were engaged in was that which attached people to the Constitution of the late United States-it was the cause of civil, religious, and constitutional liberty. Many of us looked at the Constitution as the anchor of safety. In Georgia the people had been attached to the previous Union, but the Constitution which governed it was framed by the Southern talent and understanding. Assaults had been made on it ever since it was established.
Lately a latitudinous construction had been made by the North, while we of the South sought to interpret it as it was--advocating strict construction,
State rights, the right of the people to rule, &c. He spoke of all the fifteen Southern States as advocating this construction. To violate the principles of the Constitution was to initiate revolution; and the Northern States had done this.
The Constitution framed at Montgomery discarded the obsolete ideas of the old Constitution, but had preserved its better portion, with some modifications, suggested by the experience of the past; and it had been adopted by the Confederate States, who would stand by it. The old Constitution had been made an engine of power to crush out liberty; that of the Confederate States to preserve it. The old Constitution was improved in our hands, and those living under it had, like the phoenix, risen from their ashes.
The revolution lately begun did not effect alone property, but liberty. He alluded to Lincoln's call for 75,000 volunteers, and said he could find no authority in the old Constitution for such a flagrant abuse of power. His second proclamation had stigmatized as pirates all who sailed in letters of marque; this was also in violation of the Constitution, which alone gave Congress that power.
What had the friends of liberty to hope for? Beginning in usurpation, where would it end? You are, however, said he, no longer under the rule
of this tyrant. With strong arms and stout hearts you have now resolved to stand in the defence of liberty. The Confederate States have but asserted their rights. They believed that their rulers derived their just powers from the consent of the governed. No one had the right to deny the existence of the sovereign right of secession. Our people did not want to meddle with the Northern States-only wanted the latter to leave them alone. When did Virginia ever ask the assistance of the General Government?
If there is sin in our institutions, we bear the blame, and will stand acquitted by natural law, and the higher law of the Creator. We stand upon the law of God and Nature. The Southern States did not wish to resort to arms after secession. Mr. Stephens alluded to the negotiations between Major Anderson and the authorities of the Confederate States, to demonstrate the proposition. History, he said, if rightly written, will acquit us of a desire to shed our brother's blood.
The law of necessity and of right compelled us to act as we did. He had reason to believe that the Creator smiled on it. The Federal flag was taken down without the loss of a single life. He believed that Providence would be with us and bless us to the end. We had appealed to the God of Battles
Madness and folly
for the justness of our cause. ruled at Washington. Had it not have been so, several of the States would have been in the Union for a year to come. Maryland would join us, and may be, ere long, the principles that Washington fought for might be again administered in the city that bore his name.
Every son of the South, from the Potomac to the Rio Grande, should rally to the support of Maryland. If Lincoln quits Washington as ignominiously as he entered it, God's will will have been accomplished. The argument was now exhausted. Be prepared; stand to your arms-defend your wives and firesides. He alluded to the momentous consequences of the issue involved. Rather than be conquered, let every second man rally to drive back the invader. The conflict may be terrible, but the victory will be ours. Virginians, said he, you fight for the preservation of your sacred rights-the land of Patrick Henry-to keep from desecration the tomb of Washington, the graves of Madison, Jefferson, and all you hold most dear.
THE LAST MANIFESTO OF THE CONFEDERATE CONGRESS.
JUNE 15, 1864.
Joint resolution declaring the dispositions, principles and purposes of the Confederate States in relation to the existing war with the United States.
Whereas, It is due to the great cause of humanity and civilization, and especially to the heroic sacrifices of their gallant army in the field, that no means, consistent with a proper self-respect, and the approved usages of nations, should be omitted by the Confederate States to enlighten the public opinion of the world with regard to the true character of the srruggle in which they are engaged, and the disposisitions, principles and purposes by which they are actuated; therefore,
Resolved by the Congress of the Confederate" States of America, That the following manifesto be issued in their name and by their authority, and that