"The present condition of public affairs induces me to address the Governors of the several States on a subject of vital importance to the 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 renewed 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 of the 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 of the horrors of a servile war."
"To repel attacks conducted on so vast a scale I earnestly appeal to them
for their co-operation in the following important particulars:
1. In the enrollment of the conscripts and the forwarding of them to the proper points of rendezvous.
2. In restoring to the army all officers ...absent without leave, or whose term of absence has expired, or who have recovered from disability and are now able to return to duty.
3. 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 in 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 I.....recommend to the several Legislatures .....to command slave labor to the extent which may be required in the prosecution of works conducive to the public defense...."