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ing about peace. I have only combated the statements that such offer was made, and such as the payment of $400,000,000 were ever made as any part of an offer to influence the action of the Confederate Government.

Mr. Watterson quotes very lengthy statements made by Mr. Howells, of Atlanta, Ga., and Mr. Felix G. De Fontaine, of Fifth avenue, New York, in relation to conversations purporting to have occurred between Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Stephens. It will be remembered that no one has said, and that there is not a particle of evidence to prove, that the private conversations said to have taken place between Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Stephens were known to the other commissioners, or in any way made known to President Davis.

If these gentlemen correctly remember what Mr. Stephens said as to facts occurring thirty years before their papers were written, it does not prove that any such offers were made to the Confederate Commissioners as were talked of between Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Stephens, or that any such information was ever communicated to the Confederate Government. Mr. Howells may state correctly what Mr. Stephens said about there being a "bitter opposition on the part of the friends of President Davis in the Confederate Congress, but finally it was authorized and commissioners selected to attend the conference." I can only say that I never heard of any such condition of feeling, and have never understood that the President conferred with Congress about the appointment of their commission.


Allowing that all these statements are true, it does not controvert my statement that no such propositions were made in any form for acceptance or rejection, or that they were made to the Confederate commissioners, or communicated to the Confederate Government, or rejected by it. This is the only issue I have made, and Mr. Watterson insists that no one ever said such an offer was made, and that in showing that no such offer was made he says I am "fighting a man of straw." So it would seem there is and can be no issue between us. He admits that none such was made, and I have never questioned what was said in private interviews between Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Stephens, but call attention to the fact that all, as far as I know, of the gentlemen who keep up the statements about what occurred between Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Stephens, somehow manage to leave the impression that President Davis failed of his duty in not accept

ing terms which were never offered to him, and for not terminating the war when he had no power to terminate it on any other terms than unconditional surrender. And if he had by that means ended the war, I do not doubt but that the very class of men who have made war on him for not doing so would have been equally loudmouthed in charging him with being both coward and traitor.

It may be proper for me to present some testimony showing that Mr. Stephens said that no offer was made by Mr. Lincoln at the Hampton Roads conference of $400,000,000 to pay for the slaves.

A letter was published in the Houston Post of the 16th instant, a leading daily of this State, by Mr. R. G. Latting, Jr., in which, referring to the discussion of this question, he says:

"I have seen a statement from Mr. Stephens on this subject over his own signature. In the year 1869, while living in the State of Mississippi, some of my young men associates and myself, when discussing this very subject, decided that we would get at the facts by writing to the Hon. Alexander H. Stephens in reference to it. The letter was written, asking him if Mr. Lincoln had at any time said that if the South would lay down her arms and return to the Union she would receive pay for her slaves. Mr. Stephens replied that, ‘if Mr. Lincoln had ever made a proposition of that kind he had never heard of it.'

I also quote the following from a letter written by the Hon. Frank B. Sexton, in March, 1895, and published in the newspapers at that time, in which he says:

"On the day after the return of the commissioners from the Fort Monroe conference, I was told by Senator James L. Orr, a close friend of, and certainly in the confidence of Mr. Stephens, that Mr. Stephens had told him the night before, and just after the return of the commissioners, that the conference was utterly fruitless; that Mr. Lincoln offered the Confederate States nothing but unconditional submission; that we now had nothing to do but resist to the last, or surrender at discretion.

"On February 8, 1865 (I am able to give this date from an entry in my diary kept at the time), which was two days after the return of the commissioners, Mr. Stephens in conversation with Hon. Clifford Anderson, of Georgia, and myself, in the Chamber of Representatives of the Confederate States, said that Mr. Lincoln offered the Southern States nothing but unconditional submission-that it was utterly impossible to effect any peaceful negotiations with him; that

he offered the Confederate States no terms at all but laying down our arms and trusting entirely to his clemency and that of the United States. Mr. Anderson and I both said that we could only reach those terms in any event, and we saw nothing to be accomplished by anticipating them. Mr. Stephens did not dissent from our expres


"I was told that Mr. Stephens had previous to this conversation, said we now only need stout hearts and strong arms.' I did not hear him say this; it was told me at breakfast on Sunday morning, February 5, 1865. My diary does not show who told me. I think it also came from Senator Orr.


"Some time after the war, between 1866 and 1870, a somewhat heated controversy arose between two gentlemen in St. Augustine county, where I then lived, as to the paragraphs above quoted from Colonel Watterson's address. One of them averred in the most unqualified terms that the administration and Congress of the Confederate States were alone to blame for the loss of the negroes as slaves, because Mr. Lincoln offered $400,000,000 for them at the Monroe Conference, and his offer was flatly refused. The other as warmly contradicted this averment. The latter was my lifelong friend, Colonel S. W. Blount, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence of Texas, deceased only a few years since. He appealed to me for information as to fact. I told him that the statement made by his adversary was completely untrue. But the other gentleman insisted that I was mistaken. Colonel Blount, who in his boyhood had been a schoolmate of Mr. Stephens, wrote to him on the subject. Mr. Stephens promptly replied that it was not true that Mr. Lincoln had ever offered to pay any sum for the negroes of the South, and added: 'I think (as I now state from memory) that the only element of truth in the reference to the slaves of the South was so much mixed up and infused with falsehood as to make the entire assertion false.' Colonel Blount showed me Mr. Stephen's letter, and it was published at his request, in the Texas Republican, at Marshall, and several other Texas newspapers.

"Colonel Blount's adversary, still not satisfied with the denial of Mr. Stephens, addressed a letter to Hon. John H. Reagan, stating that he (Reagan) being a member of President Davis's Cabinet, must know all about the facts, and telling him that it was his duty to

state them for the information of the Southern people, and especially of the people of Texas.

"Judge Reagan replied to him at considerable length, and in the plain and vigorous English which generally characterizes the writing of that venerable gentlemen, he said, directly and positively, that no offer had ever been made, nor was any such offer reported to Mr. Davis or his Cabinet, either in writing or verbally, by the commissioners, who, as he said, stated orally to Mr. Davis all that occurred.” It is proper to state that Colonel Sexton was a member of the Confederate Congress; that he has ever since been a prominent lawyer in this State, and that he is a man of the highest social, moral and professional standing, whose word no one who knows him would question.

They may all be These statements

I do not make these quotations to show a conflict between them and other statements attributed to Mr. Stephens. true, and still there is no conflict between them. show, what Mr. Stephens' book and the other evidence shows, that no such offer was made. The other statements show that in certain private conversations between Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Stephens, some such matter was talked of. We may understand that both sets of statements being true, and relating to different questions, there is no conflict between them.

Mr. Watterson says: "I regret that Judge to recur to a question I thought was settled.”

Reagan has seen fit
Innocent Mr. Wat-

When settled, and how? I am now contributing my part towards the settlement of this question as truth and justice demands that it should be settled. Mr. Watterson assumes to advise me that it was untimely and ungracious to discuss this question at the Confederate Reunion at Nashville. I choose to discuss it before the brave and true men, who, having lost the cause for which they fought, have an interest in seeing that history shall not be perverted to the dishonor of that cause, and of the men who represented it.

Mr. Watterson also says that "I have no personal motive, as Judge Reagan has, for making any special plea in favor of any particular view." I do not know what personal motive Mr. Watterson attributes to me; but I confess to having a high and holy motive in this matter. It is, that the truth of history be established, in order that justice may be done to the dead and the living, and that the coming generation shall not be taught to believe false statements as to that history, tending to dishonor the President of the late Con

federacy, who, I think, was the bravest, truest, most virtuous, most self-sacrificing, and the greatest man I ever knew.

If Mr. Watterson does not want contention on this subject kept up, why did he write a four or five column editorial on it? when by his own statements, he does not disagree with me that no offer of $400,000,000 was made at the Hampton Roads conference to the Confederate authorities by Mr. Lincoln for the slaves, to secure peace and reunion.




By Lieutenant-Colonel Wm. H. Stewart, C. S. Army.

The editor is indebted to the gallant author for a revised copy of this excellent paper, which was published in the Norfolk, Virginia, Landmark, July 30, 1897, the thirty-third anniversary of the memorable action which is so graphically described.

The article has been highly commended by Henry Tyrrell, the author of a series of articles on General R. E. Lee, which recently appeared in Pall Mall Gazette, London.

Colonel Stewart, a valued citizen of Portsmouth, Virginia, is favorably known to the public by his contributions to the press, as well as an entertaining lecturer:

As the wild waves of time rush on, our thoughts now and then run back over rough billows, to buried hopes and unfulfilled anticipations, and oft we linger long and lovingly, as if standing beside the tomb of a cherished parent.

Thus the faithful follower of the Southern Cross recalls the proud hopes that led him over long and weary marches and in bloody battles.

These foot sore journeys and hard contested fields are now bright jewels in his life, around which the tenderest chords of his heart are closely entwined.

They are monuments of duty! They are sacred resting places for his baffled energies! They are rich mines from which the very hum

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