Thus instructed as to the just interpretation of the instrument, and ever remembering that all offices are but trusts held for the people, and that delegated powers are to be strictly construed, I will hope, by due diligence in the performance of my duties, though I may disappoint your expectations, yet to retain, when retiring, something of the good will and confidence which welcome my entrance into office.
It is joyous, in the midst of perilous times, to look around upon a people united in heart, where one purpose of high resolve animates and actuates the whole; where the sacrifices to be made are not weighed in the balance against honor, and right, and liberty, and equality. Obstacles may retard, they cannot long prevent, the progress of a movement sanctified by its justice and sustained by a virtuous people. Reverently let us invoke the God of our fathers to guide and protect us in our efforts to perpetuate the principles which, by His blessble to vindicate, establish, and transmit to their posterity, and with a continuance of His favor ever gratefully acknowledged, we may hopefully look forward to success, to peace, and to prosperity.
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AN ACT to provide for munitions of war, and for other purposes.
SEC. 1. Be it enacted by the Confederate States of America in Congress assembled, That the President, or the Secretary of War under his direction, is hereby authorized and empowered to make contracts for the purchase and manufacture of heavy ordnance and small arms; and of machinery for the manufacture or alteration of small-arms and munitions of war, and to employ the necessary agents and artisans for these purposes; and to make contracts for the establishment of powder mills and the manufacture of powder; and the President is authorized to make contracts provided for in this act, in such manner and on such terms as in his judgment the public exigencies may require.
Approved February 20, 1861.
AN ACT to establish the War Department.
The Congress of the Confederate States of America do enact, That an executive department be, and the same is hereby, established under the name of the War Department, the chief officer of which shall be called the Secretary of War.
SEC. 2. Be it further enacted, That said Secretary shall, under the direction and control of the President, have charge of all matters and things connected with the Army, and with the Indian tribes within the limits of the Confederacy, and shall perform such duties appertaining to the Army, and to said Indian tribes, as may from time to time be assigned to him by the President.
SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That the Secretary of said Department is hereby authorized to appoint a chief clerk thereof, and as many inferior clerks as may be found necessary and may be authorized by law.
Approved February 21, 1861.
MONTGOMERY, ALA., February 21, 1861.
Captain R. SEMMES:
DEAR SIR: As agent of the Confederate States you are authorized to proceed, as hereinafter set forth, to make purchases and contracts for machinery and munitions, or for the manufacture of arms and