No one can deny the fact that the South
commenced and continued the war with the utmost intensity of purpose, worthy of a sense of the most poignant wrongs.
It is most difficult to reconcile this fact with the plain statements of Stephens
, which were not, and never can be, fairly controverted.
In view of all this, does it not appear that the civil war was the result of prejudices, of obliquity, and misconceptions, the output of a long-continued material prosperity?
Mankind after a time regard this as a normal condition, which is far from the fact.
With the Jews of old the image of the Golden Calf
seems but the symbol of great material prosperity, bringing in its train woes and repentance in sackcloth and ashes.
Eighteen years have passed since the Confederate forces laid down their arms and returned to their homes unharmed, nor has a human being been held to accountability for all the wretchedness and misery produced by the civil war; and yet we find that prejudices, unfounded and without reason, are still paraded as facts, and as justifications of a long and sanguinary struggle.
May we not say, as a rational deduction, that the prejudices of men far outweigh their reason?
These reflections grew out of a conversation with a lifelong friend that has lately passed away.
He had been a large slave-owner, and a kind and considerate one; the comfortable cabins and the happy faces of the occupants, and the attention given them in sickness and in health could not fail to be observed.
The gentleman referred to was opposed to secession, yet when the many around him insisted on war, he took up arms, and bravely did his part.
When the war was over he was broken down in fortune and no longer young, but his courage did not forsake him, and he bravely