previous next

[332] ground. However, the next day I introduced Colonel Miltenberger. He handed Governor Allen's letter to the Emperor, who, without opening it; laid it on a table near him. He received us standing and our conversation lasted only a few minutes.

This was my last interview with the Emperor. The news of General Lee's surrender reached us almost immediately afterward, and the briefness of the interval would itself suffice to disprove the allegations contained in the first editorial of the Washington Post on ‘A Lost Chapter of History’ (March 14, 1901), from which I quote the following extract:

‘At all events Polignac, accompanied by Moncure, went to Paris—via Galveston, we think—and though their mission was barren of result, so far as concerned the Confederacy, it leaked out when Moncure returned that Louis Napoleon had frequently consulted with Lord Palmerston and that so far from refusing to consider the proposition at all—whatever it may have been—the latter had given it a great deal of his time, and had finally dismissed it with reluctance. We have since been told that the Queen herself intervened, but we rather think that the appearance of the Russian fleets at New York and San Francisco—with orders, as afterward transpired, to place themselves at the disposal of the United States Government—cut at least some figure in Lord Palmerston's philosophy.’

So much for history! The wonderful array of political intrigues, negotiations, conflicting efforts, and warlike demonstrations, supposed to have taken place in the space of a few weeks, perhaps only of a few days, does infinite credit to the dramatic imagination of the author, as well as to the spirit of enterprise which distinguished this dramatic personage. Indeed, the tenor of the whole article, with the Queen and the Russian fleets thrown in, appeals so strongly to one's sense of humor that it seems a pity to mar by any commentaries the comical foundation of the scene.

Nor are the afterthoughts intended to supply motives for these imaginary facts less ingeniously contrived. I quote again from the aforementioned letter to the Editor of the Washington Post (March 16, 1901):

. . .‘There was a strong feeling at the time west of the Mississippi River that the Confederacy was doomed, and the ’

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
T. C. Moncure (2)
C. J. Polignac (1)
Louis Napoleon (1)
E. Miltenberger (1)
Fitz Lee (1)
H. W. Allen (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
March 16th, 1901 AD (1)
March 14th, 1901 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: