now a prominent lawyer and politician of Georgia
, who had seen him at Charlotte, North Carolina
, only three or four days before, and had learned that he was on his way, with a train and escort of cavalry, to the south.”
This citizen may have seen Mr. Davis
at the time named at Charlotte
But if he did, he saw him halted there, awaiting the result of the negotiations with General Sherman
, and afterward the termination of the armistice, until the 27th or 28th of April, with perfect good faith and honor, and not violating a solemn engagement, always binding on the true soldiers and honorable men, as General Wilson
confesses he was, after he had been notified by General Sherman
that the armistice was binding on him. And this violation of faith was aggravated by the fact that Mr. Davis
was then struggling with defeat and disaster, environed on all sides by two overwhelming forces of a victorious army; while General Wilson
, by his own statement, knew these facts, and had the game all in his own hands, and would have been in no danger of losing any of his advantages by acting in good faith.
I leave him and his readers to determine whether he was justified in such a breach of faith by idle rumors, which he has since had ample time and opportunity to know were untrue, as the whole history of this affair has long since been within his reach.
There is a statement in General Wilson
's letter which is important only as showing how the most minute facts can be mis-stated, where the error can by any means cast discredit on Mr. Davis
He states, in substance, that the ferryman, where we crossed the Ocmulgee river
, had told Colonel Harnden
that we had crossed the river about one o'clock in the morning.
This, it may have been supposed, would produce the belief that we were in precipitate flight.
Now the truth is we reached that river just at dusk, and crossed it before it was fully dark, and that Mr. Davis
had made his regular rides since leaving Washington, Georgia
, in the day and rested at night, with the single exception of having rode across the country, north of the Ocmulgee river
, a part of one night, to reach and protect his family, whom he had not seen for several weeks, against threatened evil.
There is one other statement made by General Wilson
which is so gross a perversion of the truth that I must quote it at length and state what did occur.
Shortly after the recognition of Mr. Davis by his captors, Colonels Pritchard and Harnden rode up to where the group were standing.
Davis, recognizing them as officers, asked which of them was in command.
As these officers were lieutenant colonels of different regiments, belonging to different brigades of different divisions, and had, therefore, probably never before met, except casually, much