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 subjection to the military power of the North. And these views were severely just; they are true forever, now as formerly; but they proceeded on the supposition that the morale of the Confederacy would be preserved, and when the hypothesis fell (mainly through mal-administration in Richmond) the argument fell with it. There is but one conclusion that remains for the dispassionate student of history. Whatever may be the partial explanations of the downfall of the Southern Confederacy, and whatever may be the various excuses that passion and false pride, and flattery of demagogues, may offer, the great and melancholy fact remains that the Confederates, with an abler Government and more resolute spirit, might have accomplished their independence. This reflection irresistibly couples another. Civil wars, like private quarrels, are likely to repeat themselves, where the unsuccessful party has lost the contest only through accident or inadvertence. The Confederates have gone out of this war, with the proud, secret, deathless, dangerous consciousness that they are the better men, and that there was nothing wanting but a change in a set of circumstances and a firmer resolve to make them the victors. To deal with such a sentiment, to keep it whipped, to restrain it from a new experiment requires the highest efforts of intellect, the most delicate offices of magnanimity and kindness, and is the great task which the war has left to American statesmanship. Would it be strange, in a broad view of history, that the North, pursuing a policy contrary to what we have indicated, and venturing upon new exasperation and defiance, should realize that the South has abandoned the contest of the last four years, merely to resume it in a wider arena, and on a larger issue, and in a change of circumstances wherein may be asserted the profit of experience, and raised a new standard of Hope! 1
1 The lapse of twelve pages after 729 is accounted for by the omission to number the steel plate pages in their order. See list of Illustrations.
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