who, with consciousness of right, can invoke the Divine blessing on their cause. This confidence has been so assured that we have ever yielded to despondency under defeat, nor do we feel undue elation at the present brighter prospect of successful issue to our contest. It is, therefore, because our just grounds of complaint can no longer be misinterpreted that I lay them clearly before you. It seems to me now proper to give you the information, and, although no immediate results maybe attained, it is well that truth should be preserved and recorded. It is well that those who are to follow us should understand the full nature and character of the tremendous conflict in which the blood of our people has been poured out like water, and in which they have resisted, unaided, the shock of hosts which would have sufficed to overthrow many of the powers which, by their hesitation in according our rights as an independent nation, imply doubt of our ability to maintain our national existence. It may be, too, that if in future times unfriendly discussions not now anticipated shall unfortunately arise between this Confederacy and some European power, the recollection of our forbearance under the grievances which I have enumerated may be evoked with happy influence in preventing any serious disturbance of peaceful relations.
It would not be proper to close my remarks on the subject of our foreign relations without adverting to the fact that the correspondence between the Cabinets of France, Great Britain, and Russia, recenndicate a gratifying advance in the appreciation by those Governments of the true interests of mankind as involved in the war on this continent. It is to the enlightened ruler of the French nation that the public feeling of Europe is indebted for the first official exhibition of its sympathy for the sufferings endured by this people with so much heroism, of its horror at the awful carnage with which the progress of the war has been marked, and of its desire for a speedy peace. The clear and direct intimation contained in the language of the French note, that our ability to maintain our independence has been fully established, was not controverted by the answer of either of Cabinets to which it was addressed. It is indeed difficult to conceive a just ground for a longer delay on this subject after reading the following statement of facts contained in the letter emanating from the minister of His Imperial Majesty:
There has been established, from the very beginning of this war, an equilibrium of forces between the belligerent, which has since been almost constantly maintained, and after the spilling of so much blood they are to-day in this respect in a situation which has not sensibly changed. Nothing authorizes the provision that more decisive military operations will shortly occur. According to the last advices received in Europe, the two armies were, on the contrary, in a condition which permitted neither to hope within a short delay advantages sufficiently marked to turn the balance definitely and to accelerate the conclusion of peace.
As this Government has never professed the intention of conquering the United States, but has simply asserted its ability to defend itself against being conquered by that power, we may safely conclude that the claims of this Confederacy to its just place in the family of nations cannot long be withheld, after so frank and formal an admission of its capacity to cope on equal terms with its aggressive foes, and to maintain itself against their attempts to obtain decisive results by arms.
It is my painful duty again to inform you of the renewed examples of every conceivable atrocity committed by the armed forces of the Unites States at different points within the Confederacy, and which