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We ask the reader to pause here, and reflect upon the stupendous consequences that might have followed the adoption of the scheme proposed by the house of John Frazer & Co.

This was the first of a long series of irremediable errors committed by the administration, through which, despite the righteousness of our cause, the enthusiasm of our people, the splendid fighting capacity of our armies, and all the many other chances in our favor, the Confederacy was finally overwhelmed. The silence Mr. Davis maintains in his book, as to the grave and most important proposition made to him through Mr. W. L. Trenholm, is, indeed, extraordinary, and shows conclusively that he could have given no satisfactory explanation of it to the public.

To show how completely our government was deluded, at that time, as to the tendency of public events staring us in the face, and how little it expected a ‘long and bloody war’ with the North, General Beauregard relates that, soon after the fall of Sumter, one Major Huse—a gentleman in every sense of the word —came to the city of Charleston, from Montgomery, with a pass from the Secretary of War, authorizing him to leave for Europe, on what he termed ‘a secret mission.’ He confidentially informed General Beauregard that he was empowered to purchase ten thousand Enfield rifles for the Confederate War Department. On his being asked whether he had not made an error in the number, so insignificantly small did it appear, he replied: ‘No, those were all he had been instructed to buy.’ ‘Why,’ said General Beauregard, ‘I could have ordered them at once through the house of John Frazer & Co., without the necessity of sending a special messenger to Europe on such a trifling errand.’ A few months later, at Manassas, General Toombs confirmed the statement of Major Huse. He was present as a member of the cabinet, when the proposal about the purchase of the rifles was made. ‘The original number proposed,’ said General Toombs, ‘was only eight thousand.’ It was at his suggestion that the order for ten thousand was given.

Mr. Davis, in his book,1 makes mention of Major Huse, who, he says, was ‘the officer sent to Europe, to buy in the market as far as possible, and furthermore, to make contracts for arms and munitions to be manufactured.’ But Mr. Davis does not state

1 ‘Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government,’ vol. i. p. 311.

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