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[286] read it with thrilling interest, and shall place it on a convenient shelf where it will be at hand for ready reference, and where our children and children's children may read this noble and triumphant defence of the Confederate cause — this admirable story of the heroic deeds of our Confederate people.

We have neither time nor space now for any elaborate review of the work. We propose in future to give a series of papers on its several parts, with liberal extracts from its pages. We can only give now some idea of its scope and the value of its contents.

Part I is a very able sketch of the origin of slavery in this country and the process by which our friends at the North, who were mainly instrumental in establishing it, discovered that it was “the sum of all villianies” after they had sold their slaves and pocketed the money, and begun that sectional agitation which culminated in the election of a sectional President and the secession of the Southern States. He ably shows that slavery was not the cause, but an incident of the separation, and that for the secession movement the North, and not the South, was responsible.

Part II is a forcible, clear and unanswerable constitutional argument for the Sovereignty of the States, and the Right of Secession.

Part III gives a deeply interesting narrative of “Secession and Confederation,” showing the steps by which the Southern States seceded, the formation of the Confederacy, the provisions of the Confederate Constitution, &c. He clearly sets forth that the Confederates were for peace, not war — that they exhausted every means of pacification, while their commissioners at Washington awaited the pleasure of the Federal Government, and were amused by the perfidious assurances of Seward that Sumter would be evacuated at the very time when the Government was fitting out an expedition to reinforce it — and that the cry against the South for “firing the first gun” is as senseless and false as to charge a man with being the aggressor who disarms the assassin advancing on him with drawn weapon instead of waiting for him to strike.

Part IV embraces the history of the war and of the civil administration during the four years of the great struggle for constitutional freedom. He shows the difficulties with which the South had to contend, brings out clearly the fact that from the first we fought against overwhelming numbers and resources, shows the ability of our generals, the heroism of our soldiers, the patriotism of our people, and the devotion of our noble women; and writes a story of which we may well be proud, and which we may, without a blush, hand down to generations yet unborn.

He does not go into full details of battles, but gives rather general outlines and results; but on all of our great campaigns he sheds light, which his position enabled him to give, and adds interesting personal anecdotes and incidents to our previous stock of information, which makes us regret that he did not make another volume, and treat this part of his narrative more fully.

He brings out very clearly that in the general “conduct of the war,” so far as observing the “humanities” of modern civilization, the Confederacy has a far better record than the Federal Government, and that (despite of widely circulated

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W. H. Seward (1)
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