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[306] a treaty of peace on the condition of reunion I should have considered them as right at that time. I knew when we started on that mission that the Confederacy was very low in point of resources; but the extent of our destitution I did not understand, until on our way to City Point Judge Campbell gave me the substance of his recent letter to Mr. Breckenridge on that subject, stating our utter destitution. I never supposed that we were authorized to treat for peace when sent on that mission; and if we had been, none of the Confederate commissioners, in my opinion, would at that time have accepted peace on the condition of reunion. I certainly would not, nor if it had been offered on such conditions would it have been accepted then either by the President or the Confederate senate. Such at least was and is my opinion.

During our absence on this trip, Fort Fisher, the last. of our forts, where blockade runners with their supplies could be received, was taken by the enemy. To the world without we were hermetically sealed by the blockade; and within the Confederacy, the letter of Judge Campbell, assistant secretary of war, represented our supplies of clothes, food, and arms as nearly, if not entirely exhausted.

But at Old Point Mr. Lincoln had declared he would not treat --with us with arms in our hands; a cruel and unwise declaration, for what is that but a demand for a surrender at discretion. How can a beligerent lay down his arms before treating without submnitting himself to the mercy of his adversary? Under the influence of this feeling, in which we nearly all concurred, I did declare in a speech at the African church, that my feelings were outraged ,by such a declaration, and urged a continued resistance sooner than submit to such terms, or if we should be forced to yield, to anake that submission as dear to the enemy as possible. But a ,considerate friend of mine who heard me told me that he had never listened to me with so little pleasure, and thought me wrong all the --while. “Knowing as I did,” he said, “that our means of resistance were nearly all gone, and that our defeat was inevitable, I ought not to have endeavored to inflame the minds of the people and make any possible accomodation short of absolute submission impossible.” I defended myself at the time, but have often thought since that under the circumstances I ought not to have made the speech. I

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