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[389] plodding attention to details, that methodical measuring of every point, without reference to its importance, which is essential to the administration of such an office. His faculty was more of the executive turn. Phrenologically, his organs of perception were better developed than those of reflection. The same qualities which made him more an orator than a writer, more the leader of a congress than a cabinet officer, a better advocate before a jury than solicitor in chancery, fitted him also more for the success he won early and maintained as a General in the field, than for the less active and more confining duties of a secretaryship. Suffice it to say, that his brief term gave satisfaction to those who expected most from him, as did the subsequent close of his carrier as a Confederate officer and soldier.

When Richmond fell, he retired with Mr. Davis and the other members of his Cabinet to North Carolina by way of Danville. When, after the surrender of General Lee, it became evident that the fortunes of the Confederacy were desperate, President Davis directed him to meet General Sherman in company with General J. E. Johnston, who had solicited an interview, and to effect the best arrangement possible looking to a peaceful termination of the war. The interview took place at Durham station, North Carolina, and the result of it was the memorandum of a treaty of peace, which was signed by the opposing Generals subject to the ratification of their respective Governments. General Sherman at first declined to hold communion with General Breckinridge, lest, receiving him as a member of the civil government of the Confederacy, it would imply a recognition of its independent existence. But upon the suggestion that General Breckinridge was a Major-General in the army, he agreed to receive him as such. That the articles as signed bear the impress of General Breckinridge's concise and statesmanlike mind, it is not necessary to indicate by special reference save as to those sections or articles relating strictly to civil and constitutional points proposed to be settled by the treaty. While action by the Federal Government was pending, General Breckinridge repaired to Charlotte, North Carolina, where President Davis then was, and in a letter dated April 23d submitted to him various reasons why the war should close, and why it was his duty, as President of the Confederacy, to do all in his power to terminate it. The letter closed with the following:

Whatever course you pursue, opinions will be divided. Permit me to give mine. Should these or similar views accord with your

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