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[548] had already extinguished the Indians. He recommended that the States which had absolute and exclusive control of the matter, should legislate at once with a view to the contingency of negro enlistments. On the next day, in the Confederate Congress, Senator G. A. Henry, of Tennessee, and Representative Wickham, of Virginia, introduced bills to extend and perfect the operations of the act of February 17th, 1864.

The opposition now began to take the field, alarmed at the progress which the matter had already made in public opinion. The Raleigh Confederate, in a dispassionate article, praises the proposed enlargement of the teamster enlistment, temporizes in regard to the constitutional and organic question, but opposes peremptorily the negro soldier enlistment programme. Governor Vance, of North Carolina, in his annual message to the Legislature of that State, took strong ground in opposition to the measure. The thing was totally inadmissible, he said. It was opposed to the theory of the Southern government, and was inexpedient and unwise beside. It may be remarked here, that there were, all along, in the South, two parties, and two sets of opinion in regard to the war, and the conduct of it-one party, of which Mr. Davis was the representative-and leader, looking upon it as a social revolution and a struggle for existence; the other, represented by Mr. Stephens, Mr. Henry S. Foote, Mr. Vance, and many others, regarding it rather as a political movement. In the view of the former party, any means to promote the success of the cause which was so vital, were admissible; but the latter party were disposed to measure the means they employed for resistance by the rule of expediency. The former, as soon as the case grew to be desperate, wanted to arm the slaves, or resume colonial dependence; the latter, as soon as independence eluded their grasp, proposed negotiations, and wanted to “settle” the thing by peace congresses, or even by submission according to protocol. The distinction here made should be carefully noted, for the Confederacy was finally broken to pieces upon this rock. Mr. Davis carried his point of war at any price, and his opponents henceforth bent their united energies to paralyze his exertions. He was not the wisest of politicians, nor the best of generals; but his sincerity and intensity of purpose elevated him far above the half-hearted people around him as a promoter of vigorous, and, consequently, successful war. In spite of his patronage of Bragg and Hood, and his opinionativeness generally, it is tolerably certain that, if Davis had made himself dictator, he would have been able to carry on the war for still another year.

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Jefferson Davis (3)
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