my sincere and earnest interest in the objects for which this Society was organized helped to gain my consent.
The true history of the great war has not been and perhaps cannot be yet written; and it never will be written without careful study of the materials stored in the archives of this Society.
The demonstrable facts already collated and shaped concerning the relative numbers of the contending forces, concerning the treatment of prisoners of war, and the principles that governed the exchanges of such prisoners, will never again be misrepresented and distorted as in the past, save by excuseless ignorance or inveterate prejudice.
This Society has rectified all that material as well as much other.
Not often have conquered provinces had opportunity, permission or intelligence to write their own history.
We have all, and I trust will use them wisely.
Norman annalists have awarded scant justice to Saxon valor.
The picture of the lion with a human foot on the outside of his throat was not painted by the lion.
For the honor of these Southern States, for fidelity to truth, for a fair showing in the future history of the world, this Society — because it is the only one formed or needed for such purposes — should, in my judgment, be encouraged in its work by the liberal contribution in materials, facts, letters, reports, papers, reminiscences and money to procure them from all who love “fair play.”
After a vivid description of the natural and artificial defences of Richmond
, Dr. Burrows
You will not wonder much, then, that those of us who lived in Richmond during the years of the uncivil war felt ourselves comfortably safe.
It is true that several times since the war I have been profoundly humiliated by my own lamentable lack of perspicuity and foresight.
I have met so many people who saw so clearly beforehand how the conflict must of necessity end, and I did not. It mortifies one's intellectual pride, depresses him with a sense of his own mental inferiority, to be assured by a far-looking seer, “Why, I saw how all must end from the beginning.
I predicted two years before that Richmond would fall and the Confederacy collapse.
I told Mrs. Partington so, and I told Mrs. Grundy so.”
So, after all was over, said some of my Richmond and other neighbors.
It was very unkind not to tell me, I answer them.
You talked to me many times over war news and prospects, but I can't recall any of these vaticinations.
Why, don't you remember I said to you once.
Well, that is another humiliation!
I don't remember!
My memory must leak, and all those prognostications have oozed out.
There was another thing a little incomprehensible to me in connection with this foresight.
How did it happen that these people who foresaw the crash so long and clearly had so many Confederate bills and bonds on hand when it came?
It must have been sublime