without arms and without an army; overrun by Federal armies before a blow on our part could be stricken; pursed as fugitives from the State capital at the moment when the governor called our people to arms; fleeing with a handful of men to the extreme southwestern corner of the State before three columns of well-appointed Federal soldiers; having to fight for the arms we have and to capture nearly all the appliances of war with which we are now supplied; with a powerful foe extending his lines across the State, so as effectually to cut off our succor and recruits from the north side of the Missouri River, our metropolis all the while in the hands of the enemy, thus giving him control of the railroads and rivers as well as the banks and channels of commerce and centers of intelligence, the war being waged as well upon the people of the country and private property as upon the army, we have had to oppose our little force to the haughty oppressor, hoping almost against successful engagements, and now have an army of Missouri forces of 12,000 men, all armed, and as brave a set of men a sever went ot battle. These men have continued through evil and through good report; through suffering and destitution; half fed, half clothed half supplied with the necessary means of subsistence and comfort to sustain with their labors and their lives the cause of Missouri and the cause of the Confederate States. These men have been caught up from the woods and the fields-from highways and by-ways, by night and by day-without an hour's or a day's preparation, and have continued many months in the field.
I beg to assure you without misgivings, without hazarding anything, speaking what I know to be true, that out of the entire male population of the State twenty to one are from principle and from unalterable conviction, for weal or woe, with life, fortune, and honor, with the South and for the South forever. Nevermore, I beg and beseech you, let a doubt of the soundness of Missouri arise ot disturb your faith or embarrass the action of the Confederate States.
After the capture of Lexington I found it necessary to fall back to this point, partly to procure ammunition and supplies and partly to avail myself of the support of the Confederate forces under General McCulloch. This movement has drawn the Federal force from Saint Louis, Jefferson City, Booneville, and other points, and we have now within two days' march nearly 40,000 men. This leaves Saint Louis exposed to capture, which might now be taken almost without a battle. Of this I have more hand once advised General Johnston. If this line of policy should be adopted, it would place the Federal force between two Confederate armies, in which case their capture would be only a question of time. Apart form this suggestion, I beg from the Confederate Government a force sufficient to enable us to cut our way to the Missouri River. If this be practicable, if this be granted, I will pledge Missouri, after sixty days on the Missouri River, to defend the northern and western lines of her territory. More than 20,000 men can be made available to our defense. I was compelled to leave from 5,000 to 10,000 time. Missouri can in general terms take care of herself, once the Confederate Government renders us such assistance as to make our force available. We can have under the authority of our Government 50,000 or 100,000 men as soon as we can be placed in such position as to make our strength available. Allow me, therefore, as one who, at the age of fifty-one years, has placed home and comfort and property and family and life on the altar of my country's safety and well-being, to