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The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

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OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 19, Part 2 (Antietam)
Page 598 OPERATIONS IN N.VA.,W.VA.,MD.,AND PA. Chapter XXXI.

sary, especially now, when the army is in a State whose citizens it is our purpose to conciliate and bring with us. Every outrage upon their feelings and property should be checked.

I am, with high respect, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,

General.

RICHMOND, VA., September 7 [?], 1862

SIR: It is deemed proper that you should,in accordance with established usage, announce, by proclamation to the people of Maryland, the motives and purpose of your presence among them at the head of an invading army, and you are instructed in such proclamation to make known-

1st. That the Confederate Government is waging this war solely for self-defense; that it has no design of conquest, or any other purpose than to secure peace and the abandonment by the United States of their pretensions to govern a people who have never been their subjects, and who prefer self-government to a union with them.

2d. That this Government, at the very moment of its inauguration sent commissioners to Washington to treat for a peaceful adjustment of all differences, but that these commissioners were not received, nor even allowed to communicate the object of their mission; and that, on a subsequent occasion, a communication from the President of the Confederacy to President Lincoln remained without answer, although a reply was promised by General Scott, into whose hands the communication was delivered.

3d. That among the pretexts urged for continuance of the war, is the assertion that the Confederate Government desires to deprive the United States of the free navigation of the Western rivers, although the truth is that the Confederate Congress,by public act, prior to the commencement of the war, enacted that "the peaceful navigation of the Mississippi River is hereby declared free to the citizens of any of the States upon its boundaries, or upon the borders of its navigable tributaries, " a declaration to which this Government has always been, and is still, ready to adhere.

4th. That now, at a juncture when our arms have been successful, we restrict ourselves to the same just and moderate demand that we made at the darkest period of our reverses, the simple demand that the people of the United States should cease to war upon us, and permit us to pursue our own path to happiness, while they in peace pursue theirs.

5th. That we are debarred from the renewal of formal proposals for peace by having no reason to expect that they would be received with the respect, mutually due by nations in their intercourse whether in peace or in war.

6th. That, under these circumstances, we are driven to protect our own country by transferring the seat of war to that of an enemy, who pursues us with a relentless and, apparently, aimless hostility; that our fields have been laid waste, our people killed,many homes made desolate, and that rapine and murder have ravaged our frontiers; that the sacred right of self-defense demands that, if such a war is to continue, its consequences shall fall on those who persist in their refusal to make peace.

7th. That the Confederate army, therefore, comes to occupy to territory of their enemies, and to make it the theater of hostilities; that


Page 598 OPERATIONS IN N.VA.,W.VA.,MD.,AND PA. Chapter XXXI.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 19, Part 2 (Antietam)
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