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[222]

Letter from President Davis-reply to Mr. Hunter.

[We publish the following letters, as we have done the previous papers on this subject, without comment of our own, except to say that both sides having been heard, we hope the distinguished gentlemen will now consent to close the controversy, at least in our pages.]

Mississippi City, March 27th, 1878.
Rev. J. W. Jones, D. D., Secretary of Southern Historical Society:
Dear sir: In the December number of your magazine was published an article by Hon. R. M. T. Hunter, purporting to be a reply to my answer to his previous article published in a Northern paper and copied into your magazine. In the beginning of his second article Mr. Hunter avows that “no offence was intended” by the first one. His right to declare what was his intention is admitted. Whether the assumption that my action in sending commissioners as soon as Mr. Lincoln gave assurance that they would be received was to be ascribed, not to the avowed desire for peace between the two countries, but, as presented by Mr. Hunter, to the recently recognized danger from public dissatisfaction with the Confederate Executive, was to be construed as “offensive,” or otherwise, each man will decide for himself, according to his standard of personal and official honor.

I will not encumber your pages by following the verbose and contradictory article through its windings, but will leave Mr. Hunter, who was at one time Secretary of State, and subsequently a Senator in the Confederacy, to enjoy the shelter he seeks under an ignorance of the addresses and messages of the President of the Confederate States.

There are, however, few Virginians of that time who can be so little informed as not to know that the executive department of the Confederate Government, with the necessary books and papers, was removed from Richmond to Danville, Virginia, when the army which covered the capital was compelled to retreat, and that at Danville the President issued an address to arouse the people to the defence of the soil of the State. Yet, importing his phraseology from beyond the country of the President and his friends, Mr. Hunter denominates that removal “a flight,” and states “in ”


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