War of the Rebellion: Serial 108 Page 0581 Chapter LXIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.- CONFEDERATE.

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duty with Major Belsches' battalion Virginia cavalry, and will report accordingly.

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By command of the Secretary of war:


Assistant Adjutant-General.



The General Assembly of Virginia, impelled by the sacred obligation to protect the citizens of this State from the usurpations and tyranny of the Government of the United States, having passed "An act to authorize a force of 10,000 men to be raised for the defense of the Commonwealth," it becomes my duty to endeavor to execute that act. And notwithstanding the heavy calls which have heretofore been made, and which have unflinchingly responded to by our people, yet I again confidently appeal to Virginians to give their hands and their hearts to this undertaking. The people of Virginia, by overwhelming majorities of their convenient and Legislature, have solemnly announced to the worls the purpose of this Commonwealth under no conceivable circumstances again to acknowledge allegiance to or unite the destinies of our people with those of the United States. Under these circumstances it is their duty to put forth their power with whatever of energy may be at their command. A large portion of the western and northwestern parts of the State has been in the occupancy of the enemy, and though there are as warm and as loyal hearts there as in any part of the Commonwealth, yet from this untoward circumstance they have been able hitherto to do but little. The new force now called for is intended chiefly for the defense of Western Virginia. Is it expecting too much to ask these valiant men to come forth and aid in raising this force for this great and laudable object? The General Assembly have appointed a Western man to command this force - a man identified with you in interest, by connection, by family tie, by a noble ancestry, by long-tried public service. They have evinced their confidence in his ability, in his zeal, in his patriotism, in his devotion to the great cause in which we are engaged by appointing him. Will you not rally to his standard and gove him the force necessary to make the law effectual? Will not all Virginians aid in this noble purpose? If anything other than the love of country and obedience to the call of your mother Virginia be wanting, it will be found bin the execrable acts of the Lincoln Government. A recital of a few of these acts, which are undenoable, will suffice for justification in the eyes of the world. The course they pursued previous to the war was more than sufficient to justify our separation from them, but their disgraceful violations of the Constitution and of plighted faith since the war, their utter perversions of truth, their reckless disregard of justice and of the rights of property, and their departure in numerous instances from the usages of civilized warfare, the invasion of our homes, and the murder of our peaceful citizens renders a connection with themin future odious to our sense of honor and abhorrent to our feelings. It has procured an estrangement as enduring as if there was an impassable gulf between us.

The Constitution, as they interpret it; the contempt of its provisions, accrding to their own interpretation; the laws made in conformity with it, and those in direct conflict with its plainest provisions,