provisions, leaving our country, now the home of a happy people, little better than a desolate waste behind them.
They have met our brave troops in battle, and have been again and again ingloriously defeated and driven back. Despairing of their ability to conquer us in honorable warfare, they now violate all the rules of war as recognized by civilized notions, disregard the rights of private property, arm our slaves against thus, and sent their robber bands among us to plunder, steal, and destroy, having respect not even for the rights or the necessities of infirm old age or of helpless women and children.
To hold in check the mighty hosts collected for our destruction by the Abolition Government, the President is obliged to mass the provisional armies of the Confederacy at a few important key-points, and cannot, without waking them too much, detach troops to defend the interior points against sudden incursions. He therefore calls upon the people of the respective States who are otherwise not subject to be summoned to the field under the conscription laws of Congress to organize, and, while they attend to their ordinary avocations at home, to stand ready, at a moment's warning, to take up arms and drive back the plundering bands of marauders from their own immediate section of country.
To this end he requests me to organize a force of 8,000 men in this State who are over the age of forty-five years, or who are not otherwise subject to military duty in the armies of the Confederacy, to be mustered into the service of the Confederate States six months from the 1st of August next, for home defense. If this force is not organized by the 1st of August by the tender of volunteers, I am notified that he then makes a positive requisition for it, and requires that such requisition be responded to, if need be, by draft.
It has never yet been necessary in filling a requisition on this State, to draft Georgians to go to the remotest part of the Confederacy, for the war. Thy have always volunteered in larger numbers than have been required, and I known it will not now be necessary to draft them to hold themselves in readiness at home to drive the enemy away from their own plantations, workshops, firesides, and churches.
The President predicates this call upon the different acts of
Congress for local defense, and not for general defense. No volunteer under the requisition will be called into active service, except in case of pressing emergency, and then only until the emergency is passed. In case a raid is made upon a particular point in the State, the troops nearest that point, and those most accessible to it, will be called out, and those more remote will not be disturbed, unless the force of the enemy is so strong as to render it absolutely necessary. In no case is it expect to call out this force to guard brides, or other public works, longer than the enemy is in the vicinity or threatening an early dash upon it. The State troops now in service are regarded sufficient for such guard duty.
The Governor appreciates the necessity of leaving the productive labor of the country, not subject to conscription, as free as possible to make all the provisions and other supplies, of clothing, &c., which can be made, and it is not intended to call this calls of laborers from their occupations at any time for a longer period than is indispensable to drive the enemy from our midst. Will Georgians refuse to volunteer for this defense? The man able to bear arms who will wait for a draft before he will join an organization to repel the enemy, whose brutal soldiery comes to his home to destroy his property,