slanders to the contrary) in the matter of the exchange and treatment of prisoners, conduct of our troops in the enemy's country, &c., our record is one which might well elicit the tribute of the English poet:
No nation rose so pure and fairThe impression made by the book on intelligent and fair-minded men on the other side may be gathered from the following extract from a review in the New York Sun:
Or fell so free of crime.
Mr. Davis frankly and emphatically acknowledges the Union of these States to be indissoluble. He admits that secession has been demonstrated once for all to be impracticable. For good or for evil, the lot of the South is inextricably coupled with that of the North; and whatever perils shall hereafter menace the people of the whole country in their political and civil liberties, will be those engendered not of disintegration but of consolidation. For these very reasons many generous and upright men of all parties will concur with Mr. Davis in thinking the time has come to weigh dispassionately the character of the motives and the soundness of the arguments which led the Southern States to form an independent federation. If it be true that the Union is henceforth indestructible, it has clearly become our paramount duty to see to it that the common flag is what it once was, a symbol of sympathy and fraternity, and not the detested emblem of compulsory aggregation. We must no longer permit ourselves to think or speak of the late Confederates as “rebels,” for the term begs the whole question, hinging on the purport of the Constitution, and is really inapplicable to men who simply held and applied a conception of that instrument, which was not even disputed for many years after the formation of the Union, and to which Northern advocates of secession had recourse long before the project of separation was mooted at the South. We must not forget that even after the Gulf States had seceded and formed a new Confederacy, so careful a student of American constitutional history as Horace Greeley acknowledged that the right of peaceful withdrawal seemed to lie by implication at the root of the powers and guarantees reserved to the individual Commonwealths, and that he could discern no power in the Federal Government to coerce a State. We must bear these things in mind; we must forego ugly epithets, which only serve to breed bad blood and befog the intellect; we must admit freely that, from their point of view, the Southern States had as much right to resist the attempt to force men back into the Union as the majority of the Northern people had to exercise coercion. Each party, in a word, was equally “loyal” to that theory of the Constitution which was dominant in its locality. Without a general recognition of this truth, it is impossible for the two sections to understand and appreciate each other's motives and actions, and such an understanding is indispensable to the reestablishment of mutual confidence, esteem and amity. We do not envy the man who can dispose of all the equities involved in a constitutional problem with a jeer or a taunt, who has no comment but voe victis for the devotion of a brave people to the principle of State Rights, and who still in his heart surveys the South as a conquered country. Such a man's notion of the Union is