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[666] President Davis, which was accorded; and a long, familiar, earnest colloquy ensued, wherein the Confederate chief presented his ultimatum in these terms:
I desire peace as much as you do; I deplore bloodshed as much as you do; but I feel that not one drop of tile blood shed in this War is on my hands — I can look up to my God and say this. I tried all in my power to avert this War. I saw it coming, and for twelve years I worked night and day to prevent it; but I could not. The North was mad and blind; it would not let us govern ourselves; and so the War came: and now it must go on till the last man of this generation falls in his tracks, and his children seize his musket and fight our battle, unless you acknowledge our right to self-government. We are not fighting for Slavery. We are fighting for Independence; and that or extermination we will have.

Again, at parting, Mr. Davis bade them--

Say to Mr. Lincoln, from me, that I shall at any time be pleased to receive proposals for peace on the basis of our independence. It will be useless to approach me with any other.

Thus it was not only incontestably settled but proclaimed, through the volunteered agency of two citizens, that tile War must go on until the Confederacy should be recognized as an independent power, or till it should be utterly, finally overthrown. The knowledge of this fact was worth more than a victory to the National cause. For, though the Confederate chiefs had ever held but one language on this point — had at no time given any one reason to believe that they might be reconciled to the Union--it was habitually assumed by the Opposition in the loyal States that they were fighting not against the Union, but against Abolition ; and that they might easily be placated and won to loyalty, were but the Democratic party restored to power.1

The Democratic National Convention had been originally called2 to assemble at Chicago on the 4th of July; but its meeting was, in June, postponed to the 29th of August; on which day, it there assembled, and was fully organized, with Gov. Horatio Seymour, of New York, as President. The States not absolutely in the power of the Rebellion were fully and strongly represented; but, in addition to the delegates, there was a vast concourse of the master-spirits of the party, especially from the Western States, where hostility to the War was more pronounced and unqualified than at the East; while the “Order of American Knights,” “Sons of liberty,” or by

1 John B. Jones, formerly editor of the Southern Monitor, Philadelphia, who returned to his native South at the outbreak of the Rebellion, and obtained a clerkship in the Confederate War Department, in his “ Rebel War-Clerk's Diary,” thus records an incident of Mr. C. L. Vallandigham's brief sojourn in the Confederacy under the sentence of Gen. Burnside's courtmartial :--

June 22d, 1863.--To-day, I saw the memorandum of Mr. Ould, of the conversation held with Mr. Vallandigham, for file in the archives. He says, if we can only hold out this year, that the Peace party of the North would sweep the Lincoln dynasty out of political existence. He seems to have thought that our cause was sinking, and feared we would submit; which would, of course, be ruinous to his party. But he advises strongly against any invasion of Pennsylvania; for that would unite all parties at the North, and so strengthen Lincoln's hands that he would be able to crush all opposition, and trample upon the constitutional rights of the people.

Mr. Vallandigham said nothing to indicate that either he or the party had any other idea than that the Union would be reconstructed under Democratic rule. The President indorsed, with his own pen, on this document, that, in regard to invasion of the North, experience proved the contrary of what Mr. Vallandigham asserted. But Mr. Vallandigham is for restoring the Union, amicably, of course; and, if it can not be so done, then possibly he is in favor of recognizing our independence. Hie says any reconstruction which is not voluntary on our part would soon be followed by another separation, and a worse war than the present one.

2 Jan. 12.

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