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The truth will live.

We know the Muse of History may be, and often is, startled from her propriety for a time; but she will soon regain her equipoise. Our late enemy has unwittingly furnished the great reservoir from which the truth can be drawn, not only in what they have said about us and our cause, both before and since the war; but in the more than the one hundred volumes of the official records published under the authority of Congress. We are content to await, ‘with calm confidence,’ the results of the appeal to these sources.

We have, as already stated, in this report, attempted to vindicate our cause, by referring to testimony furnished almost entirely from the speeches and writings of our adversaries, both before and since the war. We believe we have succeeded in doing this. Nay, the judgment, both of the justice of our cause and the conduct of the war, on our part, has been written for us, and that too by the hand of a Massachusetts man. He says of us:

‘Such exalted character and achievement are not all in vain. Though the Confederacy fell as an actual physical power, she lives illustrated by them, eternally in her just cause—the cause of Constitutional liberty.’

Then, in the language of the Virginia Laureate again, we say:

Then stand up, oh my countrymen,
     And unto God give thanks
On mountains and on hillsides
     And by sloping river banks,
Thank God, that you were worthy
     Of the grand Confederate ranks.

[194] Since your last year's Report was mainly directed to the vindication of our people from the false charge that we went to war to perpetuate slavery, we have thought we could render no more valuable service in this Report, than to show—(1) That we were right on the real question involved in the contest; and (2) That notwithstanding this, and the further fact, that the South had never violated the Constitution, whilst the North had confessedly repeatedly done so; nay, that fourteen of the sixteen Free States had not only nullified, but had defied acts of Congress passed in pursuance of the Constitution, and the decisions of the Supreme Court sustaining those acts, and that the North, and not the South, had brought on the war. We believe we have established these propositions by evidence furnished by our late adversaries; and the last, by that of Mr. Lincoln himself. On this testimony, we think we can afford to rest our case. And we believe that the evidence furnished in our last Report, and in this, will establish the justice, both of our cause and of the conduct of our people in reference to the war.

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