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[254]

Editorial paragraphs.


“the Confederate home” at Charleston, S. C., is an institution which we have had opportunity of visiting several times recently, and which should command the warm sympathies, fervent prayers, and liberal contributions of philanthropists everywhere.

Not long after the close of the war an energetic, devoted South Carolina woman determined to establish a “home” for the widows and daughters of Confederate soldiers, who gave their lives or were disabled in the cause of Southern Independence. A contribution of $1, made by a poor widow, an inmate of a “Home” in Baltimore, was the small beginning of this noble charity; benevolent gentlemen and noble women took hold of the enterprise; a building, once the leading hotel of Charleston, and every way suitable for the purpose, was rented (the projector of the scheme mortgaging her private property as pledge for payment of the rent), and has since been purchased; and the enterprise has succeeded beyond the most sanguine expectations of its friends.

The Home is under the management of a “Board of control,” consisting of thirteen ladies, aided by the advice and counsel of a “Gentlemen's Auxiliary Association,” composed of annual members, who pay $10 per annum, and life members, who pay $200. There are now in the Home seventy-three orphan daughters of Confederate soldiers, and thirty-six Confederate widows. The Home is sustained at an annual expenditure of about $8,000, and is most economically and judiciously managed in all of its departments.

A walk through the well-ventilated and admirably-kept rooms; a peep into the well-disciplined and well-taught school, and an examination into the plans and the general management of the institution, are sufficient to convince any one of the wisdom and enlightened zeal with which the affairs of the Home are conducted. No wonder that when W. W. Corcoran, Esq., of Washington, visited it he added $5,000 to the liberal contributions he had before made. And, surely, an institution which is endeavoring to fulfill in part the pledges we made our brave soldiers when they went to the front — to pay a small part of the debt we owe the men who died for us-ought to command the cheerful help of every true son of the South who is not willing to repudiate the most sacred obligations.

Mrs. M. A. Snowden, President, or Miss J. A. Adger, Corresponding Secretary, would take pleasure in communicating with any one desiring further information concerning the Home. [255] 255


Errata are troublesome, but some errors crept into our last issue which must be corrected.

In General Fitz. Lee's article, page 185, (twelve lines from the bottom), “occupied” should read unoccupied. On page 188, instead of “General Warren, Meade's Chief of artillery;” it should read Chief of Engineers. Page 192, “concluded” should read “couched;” and on same page, instead of attacked Meade's key-point, it should be “unlocked.”


“the Archive Bureau” at Washington has excited, from time to time, considerable interest. For years closely guarded from all save a favored few, its occasional outgivings have only served to sharpen the appetite of those interested in such matters, and to make them all the more anxious to have access to the rich store of material for the future historian which they contain. A more liberal spirit seems to prevail with the present Secretary of War, and some of our friends have recently been allowed to inspect important documents. Indeed, the outrage of keeping those documents locked up to Confederates, and open to every writer on the other side who might desire to delame our leaders or falsify our history, has become so patent to all right-thinking men that there have been denials that access has ever been denied to any seeker after historic truth. The Washington Post of March 14 published what purported to be an “interview” of one of its reporters with Adjutant-General Townsend, in which he denies that access is refused to any save to those who might use them in prosecuting false claims against the Government; and, while this is not distinctly stated, it is strongly intimated that this has always been the rule of the Department. Now, we will do General Townsend the justice to believe that the reporter misrepresented him, or else that he is personally ignorant of what has occurred in reference to those archives. At all events, we hold ourselves prepared to prove before any fair tribunal that General R. E. Lee tried in vain to get access to his own battle reports and field returns; that General E. P. Alexander, Colonel Wm. Allan, Colonel Charles Marshall, and a number of Confederate gentlemen have been refused the privilege of seeing papers which they wished for purely historical purposes; that the Executive Department of the State of Virginia has been rudely refused to see or to have copied its own records, which were seized and carried off after the capture of Richmond; that Governor Vance, of North Carolina, has been refused access to his own letter-books to disprove charges made against him from garbled extracts of those letters furnished by the Department; and that, in a number of instances, there has been this same unfair use of those archives.

But the correspondence between our Society and the War Department settles the whole matter beyond controversy. That correspondence was inaugurated by Secretary Belknap with a view of obtaining such Confederate documents, reports, &c., as were not in the Bureau at Washington. The

Secretary of the Society promptly responded, and offered to give the Depart- [256] ment copies of everything we had which was wanted, provided that we should receive in exchange copies of such documents as we needed. This was refused, on the ground that the Department had never allowed any one copies of those records, and could not do so. A further correspondence with the Department during Secretary Don. Cameron's administration secured us no further concession, except the doubtful one of having advanced sheets so soon as Congress orders the publication of the Archives.

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