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[209] prevalent feelings of the country, and, least of all, of its gallant army.

Be this as it may, he proceeds to ascribe to “President Davis and his friends,” under the pressure of public opinion, the beginning of a feeling that it was expedient to exhibit some pacific inclinations. “The talk about peace” (he states), “became so earnest and frequent in the capital of the Confederacy, and the indications of a desire for it among many members of the Confederacy became so plain and obvious, that President Davis and his friends began to feel that it was expedient that the Confederate Government should show some desire for peace on fair terms. To show no sense of responsibility for the terrible conflict then waging, and no desire for peace on any terms, would injure the Confederate Government in the eyes of its own people.”

Drawing perhaps, as men frequently do, upon his own consciousness as an index of the general feelings he ascribes to the “many” alarm at the talk of conscribing negroes [to the enactment of a law for which it will be remembered Mr. Hunter's opposition was a chief obstacle]; and he does injustice to the heroic mothers of the land in representing them as flinching from the prospect of having their boys of sixteen “or under” exposed to the horrors and hardships of military service. He proceeds accordingly, “the President in January, 18q5, determined to appoint three commissioners, and proposed a conference between them and others to be appointed by the United States Government, on the subject of peace.”

When Mr. Hunter penned these statements he must have known that the inaugural address of President Davis under the Provisional Government, delivered four.years prior to the period of which he writes, expressed a strong desire for peace; that a few days after his inauguration he appointed commissioners to go to Washington with full authority to negotiate for a peaceful and equitable settlement between the two governments; that in many, if not in all, of his messages to Congress there was shown the same desire to terminate the war by any settlement that would be fair and honorable to both parties; that, hoping something from the relations of personal friendship formerly existing between President Lincoln and Vice-President Stephens, the latter was sent to seek an interview with Mr. Lincoln, in which, beginning with


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