told him that he had just concluded a protracted and painful interview with Colonel Lee
; that he had said to Colonel Lee
that he was authorized by the President
of the United States
to tender to him the supreme command of the armies of the United States
, and that he received from Colonel Lee
the reply, that his first duty was to the State of Virginia
remained by the Union
, he should stand with her. If Virginia
should secede, he would go with her. In relating the interview General Scott
's feelings overcame him, and he sobbed aloud.
I do not remember in Colonel Alexander
's statement that the qualification of the nominal superiority in command of General Scott
was mentioned; that, however, I supposed to be implied.
My conversation with Colonel Alexander
was several years ago, and I would not undertake to repeat its details with the same accuracy that I do that of Governor Anderson
; but as to the substance of Colonel Alexander
's statement there can be no doubt.
I have believed, my comrades, that these incidents would be of interest to you, as they were to me. I have especially desired to preserve, in some permanent historical form, the statement of Governor Anderson
, who is still living, and who will verify the correctness of my statements so far as they refer to him.
If in any one thing more than another injustice has been done by the Northern
people to the South
, it is in the intimation, sometimes uttered in the highest places—uttered even in the Senate of the United States
—that the Southern
leaders were actuated by a false and unholy ambition.
If the fact here stated shall be accepted historically as true, it refutes the charge at once and forever as it relates to the great leader of the Southern