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[92]

To the best of my recollection, he carried nothing whatever in his hands. His wife did not tell any person that her husband might hurt some body if he got exasperated. She behaved like a lady, and he as a gentleman, though manifestly he was chagrined at being taken into custody. Our soldiers behaved like gentlemen, as they were, and our officers like honorable, brave men; and.the foolish stories that went the newspaper rounds of the day, telling how wolfishly he deported himself, were all false. I know what I am writing about. I saw Jefferson Davis many times while he was staying in Portland several years ago; and I think I was the first one who recognized him at the time of his arrest.

When it was known that he was certainly taken, some newspaper correspondent — I knew his name at the time-fabricated the story about his disguise in an old woman's dress. I heard the whole matter talked over as a good joke; and the officers, who knew better, never took the trouble to deny it. Perhaps .they thought the Confederate President deserved all the contempt that could be put upon him. I think so, too; only I would never perpetrate a falsehood that by any means would become history. And, further, I would never slander a woman who has shown so much devotion as Mrs. Davis has to her husband, no matter how wicked he is or may have been.

I defy any person to find a single officer or soldier who was present at the capture of Jefferson Davis who will say, upon honor, that he was disguised in woman's clothes, or that his wife acted in any way unladylike or undignified on that occasion. I go for trying him for his crimes, and, if he is found guilty, punishing him. But I would not lie about him, when the truth will certainly make it bad enough.

James H. Parker.
Elburnville, Pa.

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