previous period of the war have our forces been so numerous, so well organized, and so thoroughly disciplined, armed, and equipped as at present. The season of high water, on which our enemies relied to enabled their fleets of gun-boats to penetrate into our country and devastate our homes, is fast passing away; yet out strongholds on the Mississippi still bid defiance to the foe, and months of costly preparations for their reduction have been spent in vain. Disaster has been the result of their every effort to turn or to storm Vicksburg and Port Hudson, as well as of every attack on our batteries on the Red River, the Tallahatchie, and other navigable streams. Within a few weeks the falling waters and the increasing hearts of summer will complete their discomfiture and compel their baffled and defeated forces to the abandonment of expeditions of which was based their chief hope of success in effecting our subjugation. We must not forget, however, that the war is not yet ended, and that we are still confronted by powerful armies and threatened by numerous fleets; and that the Government which controls these fleets and armies is driven to the most desperate efforts to effect the unholy purposes in which it has thus far been defeated. It will use its utmost energy to arrest the impending doom, so fully merited by the atrocities is has committed, the savage barbarities which it has encouraged, and the crowing infamy of its attempt to excite a servile population to the massacre of our wives, our daughters, and our helpless children, With such a contest before us there is but one danger which the Government of your choice regards with apprehension, and to avert this danger it appeals to the never-failing patriotism and spirit of self-sacrifice which you have exhibited since the beginning of the war. The very unfavorable season, the protracted droughts of last year, reduced the harvests of which we depended far below an average yield, and the deficiency was unfortunately still more marked in the northern portion of the Confederacy, where supplies were specially needed for the army. If thorough a confidence in early peace, which may prove delusive, our fields should be now devoted to the production of cotton and tobacco instead of grain and live stock, and other articles necessary for the subsistence of the people and the Army, the consequences may prove serious, if not disastrous, especially should the present season prove as unfavorable as the last.
Your country, therefore, appeals to you to lay aside all thorough of gain, and to devote yourselves to securing your liberties, without which those gains would be valueless. It is true that the wheat harvest in the more southern State, which be gathered next month, promises an abundant yield; but even if this premise be fulfilled the difficulty of transportation, enhanced as it has been by an unusually rainy winter, will cause embarrassments in military operations and suffering among the people, should the crops in the middle and northern portion of the Confederacy prove deficient. But no uneasiness need be left in regard to a mere supply of bread for man., It is for the large amount of corn and forage required for men. It is for the large amount of corn forage required for the raising of live stock and far the supply of the animals used in military operations that your aid is specially required, These articles are too bulky for distant transportation, and in them the deficiency in the last harvest was most felt. Let your fields be devoted exclusively to the production of corn, of corn, oats, beans, peas, potatoes, and other food for man and beast; let corn be sown broadcast for fodder in immediate proximity to railroads, rivers, and canals, and let all your efforts be drompt supply of these articles in the districts where our armies