We may simply add to the above that the efforts that have been made by Northern writers — that shine out conspicuously in the school “histories” and garnish their “religious” literature — to prove that the South “fired the first gun” and forced the North into a war of defence, are all utter perversions of the facts. The truth is that the whole aim and policy of the South was peace, not war — to be let alone, not to attack the North--and that when at last Major Anderson violated the agreement to “preserve intact the military status” by moving from Moultre into Sumter — and Mr. Seward violated his solemnly-plighted word to the Confederate commissioners by attempting to reinforce and provision Sumter, and thereby convert it into a fortress for the subjugation of Charleston--“the first gun” had been virtually fired by the United States Government, and the reduction of the fort was as purely an act of self-defence and self-preservation as is to be found in all history. Indeed, the annals of no people struggling for independence afford an example of a more complete defensive war than was ours, nor a more stainless record than we can show in the conduct of the great struggle. And we may proudly await the verdict of history in the full confidence that it will be that of England's accomplished scholar (Professor P. S. Worsley), who said, in his beautiful stanzas dedicating to General R. E. Lee his translation of the Iliad: Ah, realm of tombs!--but let her bear
This blazon to the last of times:
No nation rose so white and fair,
Or fell so pure of crimes.