previous next


If certain minds cannot understand the difference between patriotism, the highest civic virtue, and office-seeking, the lowest civic occupation, I pity them from the bottom of my heart. Suffice it to say, that I prefer the respect and esteem of my countrymen to the admiration and envy of the world. I hope, for the sake of our cause and country, to be able, with the assistance of a kind Providence, to answer my calumniators with new victories over our national enemies; but I have nothing to ask of the country, the government, or my friends, except to afford me all the aid they can, in the great struggle we are now engaged upon. I am not, and never expect or desire to be, a candidate for any civil office in the gift of the people or of the executive. The acme of my ambition is, after having cast my mite in the defense of our sacred cause, and assisted, to the best of my ability, in securing our rights and independence as a nation, to retire into private life (my means then permitting never to leave my home, unless to fight again the battles of my country.

Respectfully, your most obedient servant,

The circumstances attending the publication of this letter are described with graphic precision by Mr. Pollard, in his book entitled ‘Lee and his Lieutenants,’ pp. 246-248. Our only surprise, after reading what the author there asserts of the causes leading to the unfriendly relations which, from that time, existed between the President and General Beauregard, is that he should have deemed General Beauregard's letter unnecessary, and its ‘publication ill-advised.’ Had he not disclaimed all idea of rivalry with the President and openly declared that he was no aspirant to political honors, the animosity displayed by President Davis would have been still greater against him, to the manifest injury of the public service. Mr. Pollard says: ‘Whatever the merits of that controversy, it is not to be denied that from this time there commenced to be evident that jealousy or dislike on the part of the administration towards General Beauregard which, through the war, tended to cripple his energies and neutralized his best plans of campaign.’ Such being the case, what might not have been the result, had General Beauregard, by his silence, confirmed Mr. Davis in his avowed suppositions concerning him? The following letter testifies to the feelings which appear to have been suddenly aroused in Mr. Davis's mind. It explains the hostile attitude of his administration towards General Beauregard, and fully justifies the latter in his endeavor to set himself right before the country. The importance and the significant bearing of this letter render necessary its publication entire.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Providence, R. I. (Rhode Island, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
G. T. Beauregard (6)
Jefferson Davis (3)
Pollard (2)
R. B. Lee (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: