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[380] himself, but that he is guilty of an unmistakable “falsification of history.” But meantime we will give him the benefit of the following characteristic letter:

My Dear Friend,--I have your ardent and enthusiastic letter of June 13, and am glad you were pleased at my speech at the meeting last week of the Society of the Army of the Potomac at Hartford, Conn. I believe we have conquered the rebellion, and made possible the grand developments our country is already experiencing; and I believe we ought to write its history, and not allow those who surrendered to write their old worn-out theories and impose them on strangers as a truthful account of what they could not help. We must speak and write, else Europe will be left to infer that we conquered not by courage, skill and patriotic devotion, but by brute force and by cruelty. The reverse was the fact. The rebels were notoriously more cruel than our men. We never could work up our men to the terrible earnestness of the Southern forces. Their murdering of Union fugitives, burning of Lawrence, Chambersburg, Paducah, etc., were all right in their eyes; and if we burned an old cotton gin or shed it was barbarism. I am tired of such perversion, and will resist it always.

Truly your friend,

The “rebels more cruel” than Sherman's men! They burnt towns and General Sherman only “an old cotton gin” occasionally!! And this to prevent “rebels” from succeeding in their “literary conspiracy” to “manufacture history” !!! Will the reader please recall Esop's fable of the lamb who muddied the stream so the wolf could not drink? Or better still will he please read Sherman's Memoirs, Nichol's “Great March to the sea,” or the newspapers of that day. Since this question of the “Conduct of the war” has been revived we propose to take it up and ventilate it, when some choice extracts from General Sherman's orders will show the sincerity of his present utterances.

Riding through South Carolina several years ago in company with a distinguished Confederate General he pointed to the chimneys of burnt houses and called them “Sherman's sentinels left to guard the scenes of his vandalism,” and alluding to his attempt to shirk the responsibility of burning Columbia, he said: “If I had burned nineteen towns (as Sherman confesses he did) I should not care a straw if they did charge, or prove, I had burned the twentieth.”

But, perhaps, the explanation of General Sherman's anxiety is to be found in a letter we have recently received from another gentleman of world-wide reputation who says: “Sherman's recent attempts to relieve himself of the odium of the burning of Columbia, furnish the best evidence of returning virtue I have seen in the man.”

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