Monday, November 18, 2013

Jefferson Davis to the Army of Eastern Virginia, July 5, 1862

RICHMOND, July 5, 1862.

To the Army of Eastern Virginia:

SOLDIERS: I congratulate you on the series of brilliant victories which, under the favor of Divine Providence, you have lately won, and, as the President of the Confederate States, do heartily tender to you the thanks of the country whose just cause you have so skillfully and heroically served. Ten days ago an invading army, vastly superior to you in numbers and in the material of war, closely beleaguered your capital, and vauntingly proclaimed its speedy conquest. You marched to attack the enemy in his intrenchments with well-directed movements and death-defying valor. You charged upon him in his strong positions, drove him from field to field over a distance of more than 35 miles, and, despite his re-enforcements, compelled him to seek safety under cover of his gunboats, where he now lies cowering before the army so lately derided and threatened with entire subjugation. The fortitude with which you have borne toil and privation, the gallantry with which you have entered into each successive battle, must have been witnessed to be fully appreciated, but a grateful people will not fail to recognize your deeds and to bear you in loved remembrance. Well may it be said of you that you have "done enough for glory," but duty to a suffering country and to the cause of constitutional liberty claims from you yet further effort. Let it be your pride to relax in nothing which can promote your future efficiency, your one great object being to drive the invader from your soil and carry your standards beyond the outer boundaries of the Confederacy, to wring from an unscrupulous foe the recognition of your birthright, community independence.


SOURCES: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 11, Part 3 (Serial No. 14), p. 690; John William Jones, Life and Letters of Robert Edward Lee: Soldier and Man, p. 179.

No comments: