Jefferson Davis' Speech at Raleigh, N.C.
[January 3, 1863]
He acknowledged the hearty reception he had met with, and he
expressed the gratification he felt in meeting with the people of
Raleigh, bound as they were to him by ties of the dearest character,
When his wife and children came here as a place of refuge, they met with
such kindness and affection as he never could forget. Raleigh had
become a household word to him, uttered daily in his family and lisped
in the infant accents of his children.
And he was gratified to meet the people of Raleigh as North
Carolinians. True to her Revolutionary history, North Carolina had given
to the cause in which we are engaged a support not surpassed by that of
any other State in the Confederacy. Her sons even surpassed the glory
of their ancestors, and had met the enemy in the shock of battle like
He alluded to the fact that the election of our Governor had been
heralded at the North as a triumph by our foes; but the advent of his
administration brought him promptly to the support of the Conscript Law,
and North Carolina now stands first among the States in furnishing
Conscripts. Slow at first to take part in this struggle, once she had
resolved upon the step, North Carolina rushed to the rescue of her
sisters, and from that day to this no one dared to distrust her.
The President next alluded to his visit to the West. He went there to
find dissatisfaction and confusion. But he found, on the contrary, as
at other places, our gallant boys ready to meet five times their
numbers, and to whip them, as they have done at Murfreesboro'.
The New Year, he said, comes in auspiciously for us. It finds us
victorious at every point; and it finds our enemies beginning to feel
what we have borne patiently, and, like true dunghills, we hear them
squall at the first touch of the gaff.
Alluding to himself, he had been chosen to a position he did not
desire, as he preferred another one, but he could lay his hand upon his
heart and say that he had rewarded no man because he was his friend or
withheld appointment from any man because of personal dislike.
The cause, he said, is above all personal or political
considerations, and the man who, at a time like this, cannot sink such
considerations, is unworthy of power. In conclusion, he said our
prospects are bright. Fill up your regiments, and let us all lock
shields and stand together, and in the end you will enjoy an amount of
prosperity you never could attain connected with the Yankee nation of
extortioners.--He again thanked the audience and withdrew amidst
From The Papers of Jefferson Davis, Volume 9, pp. 7-9. Transcribed from the Raleigh State Journal, January 7, 1863.