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[119] its face all the marks of special pleading. He states, as matters of fact, numberless circumstances which could not be of his own knowledge, and which he must have picked up as rumor or mere gossip. Single errors of this sort are blemishes; but when they are grouped and used as fact and argument, they become, what you truly call them, “calumny.”

For instance, Mrs. Davis is represented as leaving Richmond with the President. My recollection is that she left some weeks beforehand. Breckinridge left on horseback, and went to General Lee, rejoining Mr. Davis at Danville. I do not doubt that all the account of “the preparations for flight” is purely fictitious. His statement of the conditions of the armistice is incorrect.

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You will have the facts of our retreat and capture from many sources. My best plan is to tell you only what I know and saw myself. My testimony is chiefly negative, but in so far as it goes will probably aid you. My understanding was that we were to part with Mrs. Davis' train on the morning of the 9th. We did not, and the President continued to ride in the ambulance. He was sick and a good deal exhausted, but. was not the man to say anything about it. The day previous he had let little Jeff. shoot his Derringers at a mark, and handed me one of the unloaded pistols, which he asked me to carry, as it incommoded him. At that time I spoke to him about the size of our train and our route, about which I had not previously talked, as he had said nothing and I did not wish to force his confidence. It was, however, distinctly understood that we were going to Texas. I that day said to him that I did not believe we could get west through Mississippi, and that by rapid movements and a bold attempt by sea from the Florida coast, we were more likely to reach Texas safely and promptly. He replied: “It is true-every negro in Mississippi knows me.” I also talked with Judge Reagan and Colonel Wood on this topic. The impression left on my own mind was, however, that Mr. Davis intended to turn west, south of Albany; but I had no definite idea of his purpose, whether to go by sea or land. Indeed, my scope of duty was simply to follow and obey him; and, so long as I was not consulted, I was well content to do this and no more. I confess I did not have great hopes of escape, though not apprehensive at the time of capture, as our scouts, ten


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