God forbid that the skeleton in the national closet should be needlessly dragged to light, but, remember, the burning of Columbia has been charged upon Hampton's cavalry by General Sherman.
Surely it is permissible for one to deny the commission of the crime who, though himself but an insignificant drop in the ocean of war, still takes a soldier's pride in the fair fame of his old command, whose honor he holds as sacred as his own. As justly might the right of denial be withheld from Mr. Conkling if charged with Mr. Garfield's foul murder.
History will be written, and the muse must not hold a lying pen. It should be written in the spirit of liberality and charity learned from the divine sermon once delivered from Judea's mountain height, but it should also be written with due regard to Jehovah's injunction, Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
Not to the privates or subaltern officers of the corps which burnt Columbia attaches the moral responsibility.