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‘ [93] do hereby authorize the said Alexander H. Stephens to arrange and settle all differences and disputes, which have arisen, or may arise in the execution of the cartel for exchange of prisoners of war, heretofore agreed on between our respective land and naval forces; also to prevent further misunderstandings, as to terms of said cartel, and finally to enter into such arrangement and understanding about the mode of carrying on hostilities between the belligerents as shall confine the severities of the war within such limits as are rightfully imposed, not only by modern civilization, but by our common Christianity.’ Reb. Rec., Series II, Vol. VI, p. 75-6.

On the 4th of July, 1863, Mr. Stephens, accompanied by Judge Ould, took the foregoing and proceeded down the James river under flag of truce, for the purpose of delivering the letter and of conferring with Mr. Lincoln. They were stopped by the blockading squadron, under the command of Acting Rear Admiral S. P. Lee, near Newport News, and Mr. Stephens then communicated to Admiral Lee the nature of his mission. This communication to Admiral Lee was reported to the Secretary of the Navy, Mr. Gideon Wells, and by the latter to the Secretary of War, Mr. Edwin M. Stanton. After Mr. Stephens had been kept for two days awaiting a reply, he was informed that the Secretary of War refused to permit him to proceed further on the ground, that ‘the customary agents and channels are considered adequate for all needful communications and conferences.’ See Mr. Stephens' report, Id., p. 94.

Between the date of Mr. Davis' letter and the 6th of July, when the refusal came to allow Mr. Stephens to proceed further on his attempted mission of mercy and justice, Gettysburg had been fought, and Vicksburg had fallen, and these disasters to the Confederates had not only made the Federals arrogant, but had also given them for the first time since the cartel a preponderance of prisoners, and hence from that time forward, their interest and their policy was to throw every obstacle possible in the way of the further exchanges of prisoners.

The foregoing letter of Mr. Davis exhibits the loftiest statesmanship and Christian character, and should inspire us with a new desire to do honor to his memory, as well as fill us with pride that we had as our civil leader, one so noble, so humane, so just, and so true.

It is interesting to us to know that Mr. Davis and General Lee were in full accord in their views on the question of retaliating on prisoners for offences committed by others. On the 13th of July, 1864,

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