Messrs. Clay and Holcombe made the most of this in a public manifesto, intended to “fire the Southern heart,” and to disaffect those in the loyal States who were anxious for honorable peace at the earliest moment. And there was a very widespread impression that the overture of the Confederates had not been met in the manner best calculated to strengthen the National cause and invigorate the arm of its supporters. In other words, it was felt that — since the overture originated with them — they should have been allowed to make their own proposition, and not required in effect to make one dictated to them from our side, however inherently reasonable. But, happily, another negotiation-even more irregular and wholly clandestine — had simultaneously been in progress at Richmond, with a similar result. Rev. Col. James F. Jaques, 73d Illinois, with Mr. J. R. Gilmore, of New York, had, with President Lincoln's knowledge, but without his formal permission, paid a visit to the Confederate capital on a Peace errand; being allowed to pass through the lines of both armies for the purpose. Arrived in Richmond, they addressed a joint letter to Judah P. Benjamin, Secretary of State, requesting an interview with
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