Sunday, June 05, 2011

150 Years Ago: Beauregard's Proclamation.

On Wednesday, June 5, 1861, General P. G. T. Beauregard, who was then concentrating his Army of Northern Virginia around Manassas, issued a proclamation to the inhabitants of the region:
HEAD-QUARTERS, DEPARTMENT OF ALEXANDRIA,

CAMP PICKENS, June 5, 1861.

To the good people of the Counties of Lowtown, Fairfax and Prince William:

A reckless and unprincipled tyrant has invaded your soil ABRAHAM LINCOLN, regardless of all moral, legal and constitutional restraints, has thrown his Abolitionists among you, who are murdering and imprisoning your citizens, confiscating and destroying your property, and committing other acts of violence and out age too shocking and revolting to humanity to be enumerated. All rules of civilized warfare are abandoned, and they proclaim by their acts, if not on their banners, that their war-cry is "beauty and booty." All that is dear to man -- your honor, and that of your wives and daughters, your fortunes and your lives, are involved in this momentous contest.

In the name, therefore of the constituted authorities of the Confederate States -- in the sacred cause of constitutional liberty and self-government, for which we are contending -- in behalf of civilization and humanity itself. I, G.T. BEAUREGARD, Brigadier-General of the Confederate States, commanding at Camp Pickens, Manassas Junction, do make this my proclamation, and invite and enjoin you, by every consideration dear to the hearts of freemen and patriots, by the name and memory of your revolutionary fathers, and by the purity and sanctity of your domestic firesides, to rally to the standard of your State and country, and by every means in your power, compatible with honorable warfare, to drive back and excel the invaders from your land. I conjure you to be true and loyal to your country, and her legal and constitutional authorities, and especially to be vigilant of the movements and acts of the enemy, so as to enable you to give the earliest authentic information to those head-quarters, or to the officers under my command.

I desire to assure you that the utmost protection in my power will be extended to you all.

G.T. BEAUREGARD,

Brig.-Gen. Commanding.
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