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[311] by the death of a relation, was applied to by a nephew for the loan of it. No, indeed, she said; she would lock it in her trunk and live upon the interest. Upon a par with this was the Confederate policy as to cotton, which, I believe, might have saved the cause if it had been properly used. But early in the war the Government would not have allowed its use, as I would have proposed, if privileged to decide upon the matter, while the Government was very far from acting on any such policy; for Mr. Ruffin, who had much to do with the Commissary Department, assures me that after all access to foreign markets had been closed, and the only avenue of approach for supplies to the Confederacy was through Federal territory, the Commissary Department was prevented by the Government from exchanging cotton with the Federals for commissary stores. The fear of hostile criticism at home on the part of our Government was intense, I believe; but,, that it could prevent the necessary action in such a case as this surprised me very much, I confess. If I did not know it before, I was destined to learn how necessary it was to have a great man at the head of a government, to serve a people in spite of themselves. The capacity to brave public opinion in the discharge of duty is rare, I know. I have no right to blame any man for wanting it, nor do I; for all men are as God and themselves have made them, and for that they are in no manner responsible to me. But when Mr. Davis knew the state of destitution into which we had fallen, if he had possessed this abiding; love of peace since the adoption of the permanent government, is it not strange that he would do nothing to secure it by accommodation, except what was done in the abortive effort at Old Point? Did I give any just cause of offence in pressing on him a different view of his duties? And yet I seem to have done it, judging by his conduct towards me since.

General Wigfall, that erratic child of genius and misfortune, used sometimes to say that he almost thought at times that Mr. Barnwell and myself would be nearly as responsible for the failure which was coming on the country through the maladministration of Mr. Davis as he himself, for we sustained him in all that he did. It was true that we supported him to the best of our ability, for, placed at the head of the Government, we believed that it was of vital importance to uphold him. It seems from his conduct towards

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