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[303]

The peace Commission-Hon. R. M. T. Hunter's reply to President Davis' letter.

[We deeply regret that there should be serious differences of opinion among distinguished leaders in our great struggle for Southern independence, and sincerely deprecate any personal feeling which may creep into the discussion of these differences; but, on the whole, it is, perhaps, better that these things should be ventilated by living actors than left to the uncertainties of future discussion. We have published, therefore, Mr. Hunter's first. paper on the Peace Commission and Mr. Davis' letter in reply, and we now publish, without note or comment of our own, Mr. Hunter's rejoinder.]

To Rev. J. William Jones, D. D., Secretary Southern Historical Society:
Dear Sir: In your last issue I observe a letter from the Hon. Jefferson Davis, from which it appears that he takes offence at my letter to the Philadelphia Times, giving an account of the conference at Hampton Roads between Messrs. Lincoln and Seward and the Confederate Commissioners. No offence was intended and no good cause of offence was given by that account when fairly construed, in my opinion. The chief point of offence seems to have been that I said, “Even President Davis and his friends began to feel that it was expedient that the Confederate Government should show some desire for peace upon fair terms.” Whether it was offensive because it imputed their sudden wish to the effect of Mr. Blair's mission, or because it implied that it had not always existed, I cannot clearly discover from the letter. Surely it was no disgrace to any man to think a little more seriously of peace after Mr. Blair's representations of the dangers of a further continuance of the war than before. I was told by a senator who had conversed with Mr. Blair, (I never conversed with him upon this subject,) that he affirmed our chances for success in the war to be utterly hopeless, as he said that the Federals would man their armies from abroad and pay them with our confiscated property. Was there nothing in all this to make aConfederate a little more thoughtful of the future? An entire brigade composed almost wholly of foreigners had been slaughtered on Marye's Hill at the battle of Fredericksburg; and it was well known that acts of confiscation had actually passed the Federal Congress. Under the circumstances


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