From these facts the impossibility of Mr. Davis
' disguise, as charged, will be seen.
And it is out of these facts that the story of his disguise no doubt grew, with all the varied forms, more or less elaborate, it has been made to assume by sensational and reckless writers, who seem to have been willing to originate and circulate any story which they thought would gratify hate and bring ridicule on the leader of a brave people, who had risked all and lost all in a cause as dear to them as life; and under whom vast armies had been organized, many great battles had been fought, and a mighty struggle carried on for four years, which had shaken this continent, and arrested the attention of the civilized world; and which was then being supported by a million Federal soldiers, as was afterward shown by President Johnson
; the leader of a cause sustained by a more united people, with clearer convictions of what was involved in the struggle, probably, than any people who ever engaged in revolution, if others may so call it, not simply to preserve slavery, but to secure the rights of local self-government, and friendly government, to a homogeneous and free people; and to secure protection against a government hostile to their interests and to an institution which had been planted in this country in early Colonial times by the Christian
powers of Europe
, in what they understood to be the humane policy of civilizing and Christianizing a people so barbarous then that they sacrificed, ate, enslaved, and sold each other; an institution which existed in nearly all the States of the Union
when the Declaration of Independence
was made, and when the Federal Constitution
was adopted; an institution which was protected by the Constitution
and laws of the United States
, and of all the States in which it existed.
It was a struggle, whatever it may be fashionable to say about it now, of a comparatively weak people, with limited resources, against a people of more than twice their strength, and of vastly superior resources; of an unorganized people, without an army or navy or treasury, against a powerful government with all these at command; a struggle which cost more than half a million of lives, and caused the sacrifice of probably ten billions of dollars' worth of property, to gratify a fierce and aggressive fanaticism against the weaker section, and against the traditions, the Constitution
and laws of the country.
But for this, history will write it down that there would have been no such war, no such sacrifice of life, and no such sacrifice of property, and the country might have gone on in its grand career the freest, the most prosperous an( happy the world ever saw.
The time will some day come when the questions which led to