previous next

[316] have considered him wanting in a conception of duty and a true sense of the obligation he owed to a gallant and confiding people who had honored him and placed him in supreme command to defend and protect them.

If Mr. Davis says he had a strong desire for peace from the time of the adoption of the permanent Government I accept the fact upon his statement, and there let it stand. I cannot be pressed into service as a witness to that fact by having it said that I must have known it. I knew of no such thing, nor do I know of any occurrence in Mr. Davis' history which justifies such a belief. If he had made propositions for peace soon after the second battle of Cold Harbor, I think it probable that on the basis of reunion, to which we came at last, we might have saved everything else for which we were contending. But, unfortunately, none of us understood the true nature of the crisis — I no more than the rest. I do not, therefore, blame Mr. Davis for an omission of which I was as likely to have been guilty as he was. Indeed, I do not wish to blame him at all. Nothing is more unseemly in my eyes than disputes between those who have held prominent positions in the Confederacy during the war. Nothing but the necessity of self-defence would induce me to engage in such a dispute, and the responsibility, in my opinion, rests not upon me, but upon him who made the attack.

Very respectfully,

note.-Mr. Davis says, in his letter: “The truth is that the phraseology of the instructions constituted no embarrassment to them at all.” This he asserts positively, in opposition to my statement to the contrary, about a matter of which he had no personal knowledge. Hear Mr. Stephons and Judge Campbell in corroboration of my statement. These gentlemen and myself were the only Confederates who had any personal knowledge of what happened at the Conference. A comparison of his statement with theirs, I think, will not much help his character for historical accuracy.

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C., 3d November, 1877.
Hon. Robert M. T. Hunter, Richmond, Va.:
my dear Sir: Your letter of a few days ago was duly received. I think you were entirely correct in saying that the expression of

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Washington (United States) (1)
Richmond (Virginia, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Jefferson Davis (4)
Robert M. T. Hunter (2)
Stephons (1)
F. L. Campbell (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
November 3rd, 1877 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: