RICHMOND, VA., November 26, 1862.
Governor J. E. BROWN, of Georgia:
SIR: The present condition of public affairs induces me to address this circular to the Governors of the several States on a subject of vital importance to your people. The repeated defeats inflicted on the Federal forces in their attempt to conquer our country have not yet sufficed to satisfy them of the impossibility of success in their nefarious design to subjugate these States. A renewal of the attempt on a still larger scale is now in progress; but with manifest distrust of success in a warfare conducted according to the usages of civilized nations, the United States propose to add to the enormous land and naval forces accumulated by them, bands of such African slaves of the South as they may be able to wrest from their owners, and thus to inflict on the non-combatant population of the Confederate States all the horrors of a servile war, superadded to such atrocities as have already been committed on numerous occasions by their invading forces. To repel attacks conducted on so vast a scale the most energetic action of every department of the Government is directed; but appreciating the great value of the cordial co-operation of the different state governments, and with unfaltering reliance on their patriotism and devotion to our cause, I earnestly appeal to them for all the aid it may be in their power to extend to the officers of the War Department in the discharge of their duties within the several States, and for their co-operation in the following important particulars:
First. In the enrollment of the conscripts and the forwarding of them to the proper points of rendezvous. l
Second. In restoring to the Army all officers and men now within the States absent without leave, or whose term of absence has expired, or who have recovered from disability and are now able to return to duty.
Third. In securing for the use of the Army all such necessary supplies as exist within the States in excess of the quantity indispensable for the support of the people at home. Prompt action in these matters will save our people from very great suffering, will put our Army on a condition to meet the enemy with decisive results, and thus secure for us an early and honorable peace on the basis of recognized independence. In addition to the above urgent matters I beg respectfully to ask the aid of the Executives of the several states in recommending to the several legislatures such legislation as will enable the Governor to command slave labor to the extent which may be required in the prosecution of works conductive to the public defense; also the adoption of some means to suppress the shameful extortions now practiced upon the people by men who can be reached by no moral influence, and who are worse enemies of the Confederacy than if found in arms among the invading force. The armies in the field, as well as the families of the soldiers and to her of the people at home, are the prey of these mercenaries, and it is only through State action that their traffic can be repressed. Their punishment is ardently desired by every patriot.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
(Same to Governors R. Hawes, of Kentucky; H. M. Rector, of Arkansas; F. R. Lubbock, of Texas; C. F. Jackson, of Missouri; I. G. Harris, of Tennessee; John Letcher, of Virginia; J. G. Shorter, of