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General Lee's letter to Mr. Barksdale, of the House of Representatives, published in Friday's issue, on the subject of putting negroes into the army, must set the whole question at rest in the public mind. He says: ‘"I think the measure not only expedient, but necessary. "’ If, after such an opinion from the first military man of the Confederacy, that measure is not adopted, the responsibility of the consequences does not rest on General Lee's head. This letter is only one of the many evidences which General Lee has given of sagacity, forecast and sound judgment beyond any other public man of the day. He stood almost alone at the beginning of the war in his appreciation of the magnitude and duration of the contest. Nevertheless, he calmly girded his loins for the unequal contest, and, on his broad Titanic shoulders, has borne with majestic strength and dignity the military fortunes of the Republic. --Through this tremendous struggle he has never faltered, never shown signs of weakness nor despondency, never done a rash act nor uttered a rash word.--Such an image of quiet power, of self-sustained energy, of invincible composure, of moderation in prosperity and dignity in adversity, has not been seen on this continent since the days of George Washington. This great man, who has lately been called by Congress to the chief command of the Confederate armies, has informed that body, in distinct terms, that the white population of the country cannot carry on the war alone, and that the employment of negro troops is, in his opinion, not only expedient, but necessary. Who so able as himself to judge of that necessity? Will Congress heed the voice of this man, whose sagacity predicted the fearful odds we should have to encounter in this war, whose military skill has enabled us, thus far, to meet those odds successfully, and to whose hands it has just intrusted the supreme command? How can it expect the country to derive benefit from that measure if it refuses him the means for which he calls, and in the manner and form that he recommends? It requires no prophet to foresee that, unless his counsels are heeded, the negroes whom we will not put into our own army will be forced into that of the enemy, adding to the accumulating amount of force which we are resisting with diminished resources, and rendering the future contest a struggle of despair. Should our independence be lost, we may console ourselves as we best can, amid the triumphs of universal emancipation, that we have perished, not by the superior prowess of the enemy, but by our own incurable prejudices and unconquerable obstinacy.
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