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[101] for him to make any head against the overwhelming forces of the enemy. Our ports are closed and the sources of foreign supply lost to us. The enemy occupy all or the greater part of Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and North Carolina, and move almost at will through the other States to the east of the Mississippi. They have recently taken Selma, Montgomery, Columbus, Macon, and other important towns, depriving us of large depots of supplies and of munitions of war. Of the small force still at command many are unarmed, and the ordnance department cannot furnish 5,000 stand of small arms. I do not think it would be possible to assemble, equip and maintain an army of 30,000 men at any point east of the Mississippi. The contest, if continued after this paper is rejected, will be likely to lose entirely the dignity of regular warfare. Many of the States will make such terms as they may; in others, separate and ineffective hostilities may be prosecuted, while war, wherever waged, will probably degenerate into that irregular and secondary stage out of which greater evils will flow to the South than to the enemy.

For these, and for other reasons which need not now be stated, I think we can no longer contend with a reasonable hope of success. It seems to me the time has arrived when, in a large and clear view of the situation, prompt steps should be taken to put a stop to the war. The terms proposed are not wholly unsuited to the altered condition of affairs. The States are preserved, certain essential rights secured, and the army rescued from degradation.

It may be said that the agreement of the 18th instant contains certain stipulations which you cannot perform. This is true, and it was well understood by General Sherman that only a part could be executed by the Confederate authorities. In any case, grave responsibilities must be met and assumed. If the necessity for peace be conceded, corresponding action must be taken. The modes of negotiation which we deem regular, and would prefer, are impracticable. The situation is anomalous, and cannot be solved upon principles of theoretical exactitude. In my opinion you are the only person who can meet the present necessities.

I respectfully advise—

1st. That you execute, so far as you can, the second article of the agreement of the 18th instant.

2d. That you recommend to the several States the acceptance of those parts of the agreement upon which they alone can act.

3d. Having maintained, with faithful and intrepid purpose, the

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