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be reached under the process of law. On two occasions was that extraordinary remedy resorted to, and each was by authority of Congress. But even when the writ was suspended, no head of any cabinet department kept a "little bell," the tinkle of which consigned to prison men like Teackle Wallis, George William Brown, John Merryman, Charles Howard, Judge Carmichael dragged off-the bench, and which became as fearful to the people as the letters-de cachet of the tyrants of Paris. Mar. tial law followed the armies of the United States, and provost marshals were often the judges that passed upon the person and property of ladies, children and old men, and the venerable Chief Justice Taney was not spared the humiliation of seeing even the Supreme Court of the United States brought to understand that the civil had become subordinate to the military authority.
The conscript law in the Confederate States, and the draft in the United States, were measures adopted by the respective Congresses, and not acts of either Mr. Lincoln or myself. They were both measures of public defense, intended to equalize the burden of military duty, as far as it was compatible with the public defense. As well might we leave revenue to be provided by voluntary contribution, instead of by general taxation, or the roads to be worked by the willing and industrious, instead of distributing the burden equitably over the whole people. Yet the Senators that callea for this “historical statement” will hardly hold that President Lincoln was seeking a dictatorship because he enforced the draft.
This "historical statement" might have been enlarged and extended by the Senate, and made to embrace the deliberate misrepresentation by General Sherman of the communication to him by Colonel J. D. Stevenson, in regard to Albert Sidney Johnston's command in San Francisco. In a letter to Colonel William H. Knight, of Cincinnati, Ohio, dated October 28, 1884, General Sherman asserted that“ Colonel J. D. Stevenson, now living in San Francisco, has often told me that he had cautioned the government as to a plot or conspiracy, through the department commander, Albert Sidney Johnston, to deliver possession of the forts, etc., to men in California sympathizing with the rebels in the South, and he thinks it was by his advice that the President (Lincoln) sent General E. V. Sumner to relieve Johnston of his command before the conspiracy was consuminated." That statement of Sherman, the veteran Colonel J. D. Stevenson promptly and emphatically denied, saying: “The history of this matter was published fully and in detail in the San Francisco Evening Post in its issue of October
9, 1880. What reports General Keyes may have made to the authorities at Washington, I do not know; but that the removal cf General Johnston was the means of preventing a Pacific republic, I do not for an instant believe; for neither at the time of General Sumner's taking command and relieving General Johnston, nor at any time afterward, do I believe any uprising or conspiracy was contemplated.” Colonel Stevenson adds that General Sumner held General Albert Sidney Johnston to be “a soldier, a gentleman and an honorable man; he is incapable of betraying a trust.” That slander against General Albert Sidney Johnston was as equally unnecessary and as uncalled for as the wholly gratuitious assault upon myself.
General Grant himself has not been exempt from Sherman's malice. To Colonel Scott, Sherman wrote, “if C. J. Smith had lived Grant would have disappeared to history." This remarkable statement was published by General Fry and pointedly and emphatically denied by General Sherman. Prompt to slander, he is equally quick to deny his language. The letter of Sherman dated September 6, 1883, was written to Colonel Scott, now of the War Record office. The denial of Sherman has caused the publication of the letter and exposure of his hypocrisy in recent laudation of the dead chieftain.
The deliberate falsehood which Sherman inserted in his official report, that Columbia, South Carolina, had been burned by General Wade Hampton, was afterwards confessed in his "Memoirs” to have been “distinctly charged on General Wade Hampton to shake the faith of his people in him.” Even when confessing one falsehood he deliberately coined another, and on the same page of his “Memoirs" said that the fire accidental,” when he knew from the letter of General Stone, who commanded the provost guard in Columbia, that the fire was not accidental. How much more he knew, he may in futuro“ Memoirs" or "statements " reveal.
Can any man imagine less moral character, less conception of truth, less regard for what an official report should contain, than is shown by Sherman deliberately concocting a falsehood for the dishonorable purpose of shaking the faith of the people of South Carolina in their fellow-citizen, General Wade Hampton ? His election to be governor of that State by the votes of a larger majority of her people of every race than was ever polled before or since; his elevation to the Senate of the United States, and the respect, admiration, and regard which is shown to him, must be particularly vexing to the Shermans, and may have suggested to the general to "hedge” in his “Memoirs" and confess his wrong-doing. Such an act of pen.
ance, if it brought true and genuine repentance, would have protected the memory of Albert Sidney Johnston, the fame of General Grant, and my own reputation from the slanders which called forth this expoeure. It would also have prevented the United States Senate from having indorsed a falsehood, which is liable to be confessed when another volume of “Memoirs" shall be prepared.
I have in this vindication, not of myself only, but also of the people who honored me with the highest official position in their gift, been compelled to group together instances of repeated falsehoods deliberately spoken and written by General Sherman—the Blair Post slander of myself, the defamation of the character of General Albert Sidney Johnston, the disparagement of the military fame of General Grant, and the shameful and corrupt charge against General Hampton. I have prepared this examination and exposure only because the Senate of the United States has given to Sherman's slander an indorsement which gives it whatever claims it may have to attention and of power to mislead in the future. Having specifically stamped the statement as false, having proved its author to be an habitual slanderer, and not having a partisan secretary to make a place for this notice of a personal tirade, which was neither an official report nor record made during the war, 80 as to entitle it to be received at the office of archives, I submit it to the public through the columns of a newspaper which discountenances foul play and misrepresentation, and which was kind and just to me in saying in its issue of January 14, 1885:
“The Sherman statement was altogether one-sided; Mr. Davis had yet to be heard from, and for the Republicans of the Senate to force a snap judgment upon the Sherman statement without hearing what Mr. Davis had to say about it, smacks more of the political partisan than of the fair-minded adversary.” The public, through The Sun, has this, my reply, and can dispense its “even-handed justice” with full knowledge of the facts. Very sincerely yours,
CLOSE OF THE WAR-CAPTURE AND
It is useless to speculate now as to how near the Confederacy came to success, and why it did not succeed.
There are those who believe that if the routed "grand arıny” at first Manassas had been vigorously pursued—as Mr. Davis was anxious should be done—we would have easily captured Washington and ended the war by that brilliant campaign.
Stonewall Jackson always believed this, and it is said that while his wound was being dressed on that day he threw aside the surgeons, when seeing the President approaching with Generals Johnston and Beauregard, and tossing his old cadet cap in the air, enthusiastically exclaimed: "Here comes the President! Hurrah for the President!! Give me ten thousand men and I'll be in Washington to-night!!!” · Some of the ablest of our military critics believe-General Lee himself died believing and Mr. Davis always firmly believed that if Lee's orders had been obeyed at Gettysburg the Army of Northern Virginia would have won a decisive victory, the Army of the Potomac would have been routed, Baltimore and Washington (if not Philadelphia and New York) would have been captured, and the independence of the Confederacy established.
Under the caption of “Within a Stone's Throw of Independence at Gettysburg” there was published in the Southern Historical Society Papers an article from a member of the British
Parliament, in which he said that not long before the battle of Gettysburg, Disraeli had determined to introduce resolutions acknowledging the Southern Confederacy—that he had thoroughly prepared himself for a great speech on the subject, and that the whole matter had been canvassed among the members, and the resolutions would have passed by an overwhelming vote-but that on the very day before the one fixed for their introduction news came of Lee's defeat at Gettysburg apd the capture of Vicksburg, and it was determined to indefinitely postpone the measure. But several distinguished Federal generals have stated that just after the battle of second Cold Harbor, in June, 1864, was the time when the Confederacy was nearest independence.
General Grant had made his campaign from the Rapidan and in that series of terrific battles had been foiled at
every point, had lost more men than General Lee had, until after the terrible slaughter at Cold Harbor his brave men refused to obey orders to make another attack, and (as Swinton puts it in his “ Army of the Potomac") "the immobile lines pronounced a verdict silent but emphatic against further slaughter."
The statement is that after this battle, and the complete demonstration of the fact that Grant could no longer “fight it out on this line,” Mr. Lincoln became very much discouraged and had decided that “the time had come for negotiations," and had directed Mr. Seward to prepare a proclamation to this effect, but that before the proclamation was issued more favorable news came from Sherman and it was suppressed.
Whether this statement is true we cannot say—though it is made on very high authority and we believe it—but we do affirin that after Cold Harbor our army was in high spirits and our government and people decidedly hoperul, and there seems but little doubt that if the other Confederate armies could have maintained themselves as well as did the Army of Northern Virginia we should have won.