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[304] in which we were then placed, could it be imputed as an offence in any one at the head of our Government that he thought the necessity for peace a little more urgent than he had ever done before? He seems, too, to have taken umbrage at my describing this desire of peace as new. He says: “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 wrote, 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 relation of personal friendship formerly existing between President Lincoln and Vice-Presi-,dent Stephens, the latter was sent to seek an interview with Mr. Lincoln, in which, beginning with the subject of suffering prisoners, it was expected that other questions might be reached in the interests of peace.” Upon declamations of vague generalities in inaugural addresses and messages to Congress I set little account. But did President Davis ever intimate the terms upon which he would accept peace? Did he ever originate any negotiation or make any overture for peace upon any terms on which it could probably be obtained? I never doubted but that he would accept peace if our independence were acknowled. But did he ever offer peace on any conditions short of this? At the beginning I believe he did offer to make peace if our independence were .acknowledged and the public property fairly divided. This was fair enough, it is true; but did any one, even President Davis, sup-,pose that such terms would be accepted at that time? As to Vice-President Stephens' mission being an offer for settlement and peace on fair terms, I can only say he did not think so. In the 2nd vol. of .his History of the War, p. 506, speaking of this mission, he says, “as undertaken,” “it was not the one proposed by me, nor was it as undertaken in any sense an attempt to offer terms of negotiation for peace.”

It seems he also objected to my stating that the insertion in our instructions that “we should treat on the basis of two countries,”


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