action which is necessary to save us from alarming ills and to avert evils which threaten our existence, our peace, and our organization as a Government. The results referred to should be sufficient people of the Confederacy to stimulate and call into action all our energies, physical and intellectual. It cannot but be apparent to every mind that the object of our enemies is to cut off our southern connections by railroad and otherwise and to defeat the transportation of troops from one point to another with certainty and celerity as our necessities may demand. This result accomplished and one great step will have been taken toward their success and our subjugation. It becomes us, therefore, to perfect our organization and bring into active use all our strength to defeat the designs of a wily and unscrupulous foe, whose march has been marked by brutality, bloodshed, and plunder. Every citizen of Richmond ought to feel and know that the possession of this city is an object of the most earnest and anxious desire on the part of our enemies. Its mechanical and manufacturing interests are doing so much to uphold the Southern Confederacy that its loss to us would be well nigh irreparable. The various propositions which have been made by Lincoln and his allies to parcel out the territory of this Commonwealth makes the possession and subjugation of Virginia an object not less desirable. The casual observer cannot have failed to see these things, and they should rouse up every latent feeling of patriotism that slumbers within him and bring it into prompt and decisive action. The defense of Richmond, Norfolk, Fredericksburg, and other parts of the State is of the utmost importance, and to secure this defense we must at once take steps to secure organization and bring an efficient corps into the field. I therefore recommend:
First. That the male population of the cities and towns be divided into those subject to ordinary and extraordinary draft; the first class to embrace those between eighteen and forty-five the second class to embrace those between sixteen and eighteen and those between forty-five and sixty years of age.
Second. To authorize the Governor, when informed by the President of the Confederate States of the urgency for so doing, to call out both classes for home defense, to make rules and regulations for their organization into companies and regiments in conformity with the laws of Virginia, and require all places of business to be closed at 2 p. M., and the whole force, drafted as aforesaid, to turn out for discipline and instruction.
Third. The ordinary draft to be ordered if necessary to defend any lines of approach to the town or city to which they belong, the extraordinary draft not to be required to serve beyond a distance of five miles from the limits of the town or city to which they belong.
Fourth. To include in such drafts all persons sojourning in the cities or towns for a period longer than ten days.
Fifth. None to be exempt for any other reason than service in the State or Confederate States.
If this is considered hard service let the people of the cities and towns recollect that the people of New Orleans, Charleston, Mobile, and Savannah have adopted this policy and have steadily practiced it for months past. The people of Richmond and other cities and towns in Virginia are just as much exposed as those of the cities I have named and should be willing to sacrifice as much for the common cause in the way of ease and comfort. If the Legislature will pass a law the patriotism of the people of Virginia will respond to it