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[345] Prince Polignac was a gallant brigadier of the western army, and is a gentleman of high character and intelligence, but he was not at any time in the diplomatic service of the Confederate Government. The Confederacy possessed a singularly able representative at Paris in the person of Hon. John Slidell, of Louisiana, a former associate of Mr. Jefferson Davis in the United States Senate. He was trusted to the fullest extent by the President and by Mr. Benjamin; and, from the time he entered on his duties soon after the the affair of the Trent, no other person was ever chosen to make any representation, oral or written, to the Emperor or his Ministers of Foreign Affairs. To these officials he had easy access, and from them received the most respectful consideration. Slidell was a wise, sagacious, experienced man of affairs, and was probably better fitted to succeed at Paris of all places than any other man. Indeed, I doubt if he had an equal in the South for a diplomatic post, unless, possibly, Lamar or General Dick Taylor, of Louisiana. These two were men of very striking gifts, and had, I think, the special qualifications requisite for diplomatic service.

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