President of the Confederate States, and the three senior generals of the Confederate army in Northern Virginia. It is a condemnatory fact, not stated in the paper, that no notice was given to me of a purpose to make a record of the conversation, and no opportunity allowed me to make any correction of expressions attributed to me in the paper, thus secretly prepared, and so preserved until, in the nineteenth year after its date, it was revealed to me by being offered to the United States for publication among the documents relating to the war. It may naturally he asked why was it secretly prepared, and why now offered for publication? Without assigning a motive, or directly answering the questions, I think, however, it can scarcely be claimed that the object was thereby to increase the military power and to promote the ultimate sucess of the Confederate cause. Now, having introduced this contribution to the history of the war, in the questionable shape under which it appears, I will summarily notice its prominent features. The paper bearing date 31st January, 1862, appears to have been written by Gen. G. W. Smith, and to have been approved by Generals Beauregard and J. E. Johnston. It does not in some important respects agree with my recollection of what occurred, and is wanting in consistency, that infallible test of truth. The document opens with a paraphrase of a letter said to have been written to the Secretary of War by Gen. J. E. Johnston, asking for a conference to be held at his headquarters to decide whether the army could be reinforced to the extent that the commanding general deemed necessary for an offensive campaign.