War of the Rebellion: Serial 128 Page 0053 CONFEDERATE AUTHORITIES.

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some of the means used by our ruthless invaders to enforce the submission of a free people to foreign sway. Confiscation bills of a character so atrocious as to insure, if executed, the utter ruin of the entire population of these States, are passed by their Congress and approved by their Executive. The moneyed obligations of the Confederate Government are forged by citizens of the United States, and publicly advertised for sale in their cities with a notoriety that sufficiently attests the knowledge of their Government, and it complicity in the crime is further evinced by the fact that the soldiers of the invading armies are found supplied with large qualities of these forged notes as a means of despoiling the country people, by fraud, out of such portions of their property as armed violence may fail to reach. Two at least of the generals of the United States are engaged, unchecked by their Government, in exciting servile insurrection, and in arming and training slaves for warfare against their masters, citizens of the Confederacy. Another has been found of instincts so brutal as to invite the violence of his soldiery against the women of a captured city. Yet the rebuke of civilized man has failed to evoke from the authorities of the United States one mark of disapprobation of his acts, nor is there any reason to suppose that the conduct of Benjamin F. Butler has failed to secure from his Government the sanction and applause with which it is know to have been greeted by public meetings and portions of the press of the United States. To inquiries made of the commander-in-chief of the armies of the United States whether the atrocious conduct of some of their military commanders met the sanction of the Government, answer has been evaded on the pretext that the inquiry was insulting, and no method remains for the repression of these enormities but such retributive justice as it may be found possible to execute. Relation for many of them in kind is impracticable, for I have had occasion to remark in a former message that under no excess of provocation could our noble-hearted defenders be driven to wreak vengeance on unarmed men, on women, or on children. But stern and exemplary punishment can and must be meted out to the murderers and felons who, disgracing the profession of arms, seek to make of public war the occasion for the commission of the most monstrous crimes. Deeply as w e may regret the character of the contest into which we are about to be forced, we must accept it as an alternative which recent manifestations give us little hope can be avoided. The exasperation of failure has aroused the worst passions of our enemies. A large portion of their people, even of their clergymen, now engage in urging an excited populace to the extreme of ferocity, and nothing remains but to vindicate our rights and to maintain our existence by employing against our foe every energy and every resource at our disposal.

I append for your information a copy of the papers exhibiting the action of the Government up to the present time for the repression of the outrages committed on our people. * Other measures now in progress will be submitted hereafter.

In inviting your attention to the legislation which the necessities of our condition require, those connected with the prosecution of the war command almost undivided attention. The acts passed at your last session intended to secure the public defense by general enrollment,


*See Lee to General Commanding U. S. Army, August 2, 1862; General Orders, No. 54, August 1, 1862; Randolph to Lee, June 29, 1862; Lee to General Commanding U. S. Army, August 2, 1862; Halleck to Lee, August 7, 1862; Halleck to Lee, August 9, 1862; all in Series II, VOL. IV, pp. 329, 836, 792, 328, 350, 362, respectively.