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[281] delegate to the State convention, he signed the ordinance of secession and thence went to Montgomery as a member of the Provisional Congress of the Confederacy.

From his arrival there until the fatal battle of Fredericksburg, Mr. Cobb wrote daily to his wife. This series of letters only interrupted by brief visits to his home, form a record of his life in which he freely expresses his opinion of the men and measures of the time. These letters first unfolded after a third of a century, breathe a spirit of deep devotion, of love of home and a desire for peace. The sharpness of their criticisms has been blunted by time and their confidential character robs them of their sting.

Montgomery, February 3, 1861.
We got here to-day two hours late, the delay caused by a bad smash — up on the train about three miles from the city. Mr. Chesnut said: ‘This comes of Sunday travelling.’ Toombs and Stephens met me at Union Point, Bartow joined us at Opelika. Judge Nisbet and Howell1 we found awaiting us here. The full representation from South Carolina are here, a few from Mississippi, and one from Florida. The commissioners from North Carolina are here and the commission from the city of New York. We will have a full representation to-morrow. The universal feeling seems to make Howell President of the convention. As to Provisional President of the Confederacy the strongest current is for Jefferson Davis.

February 7.—The chances are decidedly against war. There may be a little collision and much confusion, but no bloody or extensive war. The action of Virginia decides the question. Peace is certain on her secession.

February 9.—We are now in the presence of a large crowd, electing a President and Vice-President. * * *

Jefferson Davis is elected President and A. H. Stephens Vice-President. The latter is a bitter pill to some of us, but we have swallowed it with as good a grace as we could. The man who has fought against our rights and liberty is selected to wear the laurels of our victory. * * * Howell seized the Bible on which he swore the members, and says he intends to keep it. One man refused to kiss the Bible. It was Judge Withers, of South Carolina. He is an avowed infidel—one of the last of old Dr. Cooper's disciples.

1 His brother, Hon. Howell Cobb.

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