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[125] office, and found him alone, and calm and composed as usual. He informed me of the orders that had been given and the dispositions made for the evacuation of Richmond. After some conversation I left to make my own preparations for departure. I believe that even the intensity of Northern hatred has never doubted Mr. Davis' courage; and certainly none who know him can doubt his pride of personal character. And these admitted qualities were quite sufficient to preserve him from any unmanly display of weakness, such as General Wilson has pretended to relate. A brave man may be unnerved by a sudden and unexpected danger, but never by a danger that has been anticipated and prepared tor during many weeks, (as he relates). During my intimate association with Mr. Davis, I have seen him often in circumstances of extreme trial and excitement, and sometimes of imminent danger. Especially do I recall that other Cabinet meeting which was interrupted by the intelligence that Dablgren was at the outworks of Richmond, with nothing in his way but a raw battalion of Department clerks. And never yet have I seen him “tremulous and nervous,” as “without self-possession and dignity.” Assuredly, such language does not truthfully describe his conduct and demeanor as I saw him on the first Sunday in April, 1865.

The unfortunate are always in the wrong; and the men of the Confederacy have had little reason to expect magnanimity, or even fairness, from their adversaries. But a generous tribute of respect and honor has been universally and ungrudgingly yielded to their women. And the soldier, professing to deal with history, who cannot sufficiently belittle a great enemy without invading the sanctity of his home to hold up his wife in half-sneering, halfcomplimentary contrast to him, does not commend himself to the confidence of an impartial world. And the judgment of the world in this instance will probably be a near approach to the truth; for the “energy and determination,” the “rage and disappointment” of Mrs. Davis, so graphically described by General Wilson, are all pure fiction. That admirable lady had left Richmond some time before the evacuation, and was then in North Carolina.

This candid soldier further says: “It is stated, upon what appears to be good authority, that Davis had many weeks before Lee's catastrophe made ‘the most careful and exacting preparations for his escape, discussing the matter fully with his Cabinet ’”


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