Our relations with the Indians generally continue to be friendly. A portion of the Cherokee people have assumed an attitude hostile to the Confederate Government, but it is gratifying to be able to state that the mass of intelligence and worth in that nation have reMained true and loyal to their treaty engagements. With this exception there have been no important instances of disaffection among any of the friendly nations and tribes. Dissatisfaction recently manifested itself among certain portions of them, but this resulted from a misapprehension of the intentions of the Government in their behalf. This has been removed and no further difficulty is anticipated.
The report of the Secretary of the Navy, herewith transmitted, exhibits the progress made in this branch of the public service since your adjournment as well as its present condition. The details embraced in it are of such a nature as to render it, in my opinion, incompatible with the public interests that they should be published with this message. I therefore confine myself to inviting your attention to the information therein contained.
The report of the Postmaster-General shows that during the first postal year under our Government, terminating on the 30th of June last, our revenues were in excess of those received by the former Government in its last postal year, while the expenses were greatly decreased. There is still, however, a considerable deficit in the revenues of the Department as compared with its expenses, and although the grants already made from the general Treasury will suffice to cover all liabilities to the close of the fiscal year ending on the 30th of June next, I recommend some legislation, if any can be constitutionally devised, for aiding the revenues of that Department during the ensuing fiscal year, in order to avoid too great a reduction of postal facilities. Your attention is also invited to numerous other improvements in the service recommended in the report, and for which legislation is required.
I recommend to the Congress to devise a proper mode of relief to those of our citizens whose property has bee destroyed by order of the Government, in pursuance of a policy adopted as a means of national defense. It is true that full indemnity cannot now be made, but some measure of relief is due to those patriotic citizens who have borne private loss for the public good, whose property in effect has been taken for public use, though not directly appropriated.
Our Government, born of the spirit of freedom and of the equality and independence of the State, could not have survived a selfish or jealous disposition, making each only careful of its own interest or safety. The fate of the Confederacy, under the blessing of Divine Providence, depends upon the harmony, energy, and unity of the States. It especially devolves on you, their representatives, as far as practicable, to reform abuses, to correct errors, to cultivate fraternity, and to sustain in the people a just confidence in the Government of their choice. To that confidence and to the unity and self-sacrificing patriotism hitherto displayed is due the success which has marked the unequal contest, and has brought our country into a condition at the present time such as the most sanguine would not have ventured to predict at the commencement of our struggle. Our armies are larger, better disciplined, and more thoroughly armed and equipped than at any previous period of the war. The energies of a whole nation devoted to the single object of success in this war have accomplished marvels, and many of our trials have, by a beneficent Providence, been converted into blessings. The magnitude of the