ask, "How is it to be carried on? Of what is the army to be composed?" The answer is a very simple one. If the aggression is such as to justify us in the declaration of offensive war, our people will have the intelligence to know it and the patriotism and valor to prompt them to respond by voluntary enlistment and to offer themselves under officers of their own choice, through their s, to the Confederacy, just as they did in the offensive war against Mexico when many more were offered than were needed, without conscription or coercion; and just as they have done in our present defensive war when almost every State has responded to every call by sending larger numbers than were called for and larger than the Government can arm and make effective.
There is no danger that the honor of the intelligent free-born citizens of this Confederacy will ever suffer because the Government has not the power to compel them to vindicate it. They will hold the Government responsible if it refuses to permit them to do it. To doubt this would seem to be to doubt the intelligence and patriotism of the people and their competency for self-government. If would be very dangerous indeed to give the General Government the power to engage in an offensive foreign war, the justice of which was condemned by the governments of the States and the intelligence of the people, and to compel them to prosecute it for two years, the term for which appropriations can be made and continued by the Congress declaring it. hence the wisdom of our ancestors in limiting the power of Congress over the militia or great body of our people so as to prohibit the prosecution by conscription or coercion of an offensive foreign war which may be condemned by an intelligent public opinion. France has a conscription act, which Great Britain has not. Both are warlike powers, often engaged and foreign offensive wars. What advantage has the conscription law given to France over Great Britain? Has not the latter been as able as the former to raise armies sufficient to vindicate her honor and maintain her rights? When France had no conscription law at one period of her history she was a republic. Soon after she had a conscription law she became an empire and her ruler an emperor, leaving her people without the constitutional safeguards which protect the people of Great Britain. But you ask, "Shall we never be plaintiff in this terrible litigation of nations?" If the litigation commends itself to the intelligence of the people as just, they will not hesitate to put themselves at the command of the Government to assume the plaintiff's position. The eagerness with which the people of the Confederacy now desire that we assume the plaintiff's position and become the attacking and invading party, instead of acting constantly upon the defensive, is evidence to sustain my conclusion on this point. That those who framed the Constitution looked to a state of war tending to concentrate the power in the Executive, and as unfavorable to constitutional liberty and did not intend to encourage it, unless in cases of absolute necessity, and did not, therefore, form the Government with a ming a power often engaged in offensive war, may be inferred from the language of Mr. Madison. He says:
War is in act the true nurse of Executive aggrandizement. In war a physical force is to be created and it is the Executive will which is to direct it. In war the public treasures are to be unlocked and it is the Executive hand which is to dispense them. In war the honors and emoluments of office are to be multiplied and it is the Executive patronage under which they are to be enjoyed. It is in war, finally, that laurels are to be gathered and it is the Executive brown they are