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.
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