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plete. On the 22d of March he published in Goldsboro' a congratulatory address to his troops. He said: "After a march of the most extraordinary character, nearly five hundred miles, over swamps and rivers deemed impassable to others, at the most inclement season of the year, and drawing our chief supplies from a poor and wasted country, we reach our destination. in good health and condition."

We must leave Sherman at Goldsboro'-the proper termination of his campaign in the Carolinas. The position was critical enough for the Confederates. Between Sherman's army, augmented by the corps of Schofield and Terry, and the army of Grant, the Confederacy was in danger of being crushed. The two armies were separated by only one hundred and fifty miles, and a railroad, which could be rapidly put in order, connected them. No sooner had Sherman disposed his army in camp at Goldsboro' than he hastened to City Point, Virginia, for an interview with General Grant and President Lincoln. The results of that conference were soon to be known to the Confederacy, and meant any thing else than that "peace negotiation" into which some lively imaginations in Richmond construed this collection of distinguished persons.

CHAPTER X.

The date of distrust in the Southern mind.-Observation of General Lee.-A peculiar moral condition of the Confederacy.-Want of confidence in President Davis' administration.-Impatience of the prolongation of the war.--Davis' unpopularity. --Weak attempts in Congress at a counter-revolution.--General Lee made commander-in chief.-The title a nominal one.--The Virginia delegation and the President. Mr. Seddon's resignation.--President Davis' defiance to Congress. --The Davis-Johnston imbroglio.--Senator Wigfall's speeches.--Johnston's restoration. -President Davis' opinion of homoeopathy.-Sullen and indifferent disposition of the Southern people.--How they might have accomplished their independence.-Review of the military situation.--Analysis of the peace feeling in the North.-How it was likely to be developed by a long war.-The Union not the enemy's sine qua non.-Two contingencies that limited the war.-The worthless title of Yankee invasion.-"Cob-web" occupation of the Confederacy.--Note: an address in the Richmond newspapers.-The two fatal facts in the condition of the Confederacy.-THE FORTRESS MONROE COMMISSION.-How it was brought about.--The Yankee ultimatum.--Official narrative of the Confederate commissioners.--A new attempt to rally the spirit of the South.--The meeting at the African church in Richmond. -President Davis' boasts.-His noble allusion to history.--How the cause of the Confederacy was in danger.-PROPOSITION TO ARM THE SLAVES OF THE SOUTH.— Indicative of a desperate condition of the public mind.-General Lee's opinion.The slaveholding interest.-Its selfishness and insolence.-A weak conclusion of the matter." Catching at straws" in the Confederate Congress.-Character of this body.

IN the winter of 1864-5, intelligent minds in the Confederacy became, for the first time, impressed with the idea that its victory and independence were no longer certain conclusions, and conceived a painful distrust as to the issues of the

war.

General Lee, a man who used few words, and had the faculty of going directly to the point of a discussion, and putting sagacious judgments in plain phrases, once said of the conduct of the people of the Confederacy in the war, that "they were only half in earnest." But this remark, unlike most of Lee's judgments, was only half true. No one can doubt that the Confederates had been thoroughly and terribly in earnest in the first periods of the war; and if, in its later periods, they appeared to lack earnestness, the truth was they did not lack it so much as they did confidence in their rulers, and a dispo

sition to continue the war under an administration, whose squanderings and make-shifts turned all the sacrifices of the people to naught. In the later periods of the terrible conflict through which the Confederacy had passed, its moral condition was peculiar. All confidence in the administration at Richmond was gone; the people were heart-broken; they had been cheated too often by the highly colored prophesies of President Davis, and those boastful predictions, which are unfailing characteristics of the weak mind; they saw that their sacrifices were squandered, and their most patriotic efforts misapplied; they were so far demoralized by want of confidence in their authorities, and, in some instances, by positive antipathy to them, that it may be said that in the last periods of the war, a majority of the people of the Confederacy actually deprecated any single success, and did not desire a victory to their arms which might give a new occasion of prolongation of the war— for having already taken it for granted as hopeless, they prayed in their hearts that it would be closed at the earliest moment. They did not desire the delay of any mere fluctuations of fortune, which they were sure was to be adverse at the last. failure was to ensue, then the sooner the better." Such was the phrase of the vulgar judgment which everywhere in the Confederacy assailed the ears of nobler and more resolute men.

"If

Whatever share the maladministration at Richmond may have had in producing this public demoralization, it is not to be excused entirely on this account. It involved with it much that was shameful, for which the people had themselves to blame, and to charge to the account of their own disposition to let the war lapse to its final conclusions of defeat and ruin.

For months Mr. Davis had been a President, with nothing at his back but a clique of office-holders. The people had become thoroughly estranged from him. If all did not speak of him in terms of derision or hate, there were but few who named him without expressions of distrust. But although the country was thus thoroughly dissatisfied with Mr. Davis' administration, there was not nerve enough in it, not courage enough among its public men, to overthrow his rule, or put it under a severe and effective check.

In the first months of 1865 there were introduced in Congress some partial but remarkable measures to correct the

administration. They indicated public sentiment; but they failed and utterly broke down in their execution, and left Davis the defiant and angry master of the field.

The first of these was an act of the Confederate Congress making General Lee commander-in-chief of the armies. The intention of this law was never executed. Lee was unwilling to accept practically its trust; he was unwilling, too, to break a personal friendship with the President; and so he remained in immediate command of the Army of Northern Virginia, and Davis continued in the practical control of the armies at large, without any diminution of his power or insolence.

In January, 1865, the Virginia delegation in the House of Representatives, headed by Mr. Bocock, the speaker of the House, addressed to the President an earnest, but most respectful paper, expressing their want of confidence in the capacity and services of his cabinet, the members of which for four years had been mere figure-heads in Richmond. Mr. Davis resented the address as impertinent. Mr. Seddon, the secretary of war, a citizen of Virginia, recognizing the censure as coming from Virginians, and, therefore, as peculiarly applicable to himself, and conscious of the excessive unpopularity he had incurred in the administration of his office-an ugly little circumstance of which had recently come to light, namely, that while he had been impressing the grain of the Virginia farmers at nominal prices, he had sold his own crop of wheat to the Government at forty dollars a bushel-insisted upon resigning, and thus appeasing the public indignation against himself. Mr. Davis opposed this action of his secretary, sought to dissuade him from it; and when Mr. Seddon did resign, the President went out of his way to declare in a letter, published in the newspapers, that the event of this resignation would in no manner change the policy or course of his administration, and thus, in words not to be mistaken, threw down his defiance to Congress and the country.

Another point which Congress made with the President was the restoration of General Joseph E. Johnston to command. For weeks in the Confederate Senate, Mr. Wigfall, of Texasa course, heavy man, of large brain, who, under an unsentimental exterior, possessed more of the courage and fire of the orator than any other man in the South-dealt his sledge-ham

mer blows on the President, who, he declared, not satisfied with persecuting Johnston, was trying to make him the scapegoat for his own sins. The debate in the Johnston-Davis imbroglio was a memorable one in the dreary annals of the Confederate Congress. The fierce impatience of Mr. Wigfall more than once caused him to launch into philippies against the President, which most of the Richmond newspapers did not dare to report. The President was denounced without mercy. "He was," said Mr. Wigfall, summing up on one occasion his points of indictment, "an amalgam of malice and mediocrity." The President did restore Johnston; but under circumstances which made it no concession to the public. To an intimate friend he remarked with grim humor, that "if the people wanted to try homeopathic treatment-similia similibus curantur-he would give them another dose of Johnston." He restored this commander, as he well knew, to the conduct of a campaign that was already lost; he put him in command of a broken and disorganized force that Sherman had already swept before him through two States into the forests of North Carolina; and Johnston was right when some weeks before he wrote to a private friend that he was quite sure that if the authorities at Richmond restored him to command, they were resolved not to act towards him in good faith and with proper support, but to put him in circumstances where defeat was inevitable, and thus confirm to the populace the military judg ment of President Davis.

The people of the Confederacy, towards the final periods of the war, may be said to have looked with folded arms upon the sins of its Government, and to have regarded its general tendency to disaster and ruin with a sullen disposition to let matters take their own course, or with weak and blank despair. These sins were not only the fruit of Mr. Davis' violent and imperious animosities; they covered the whole conduct of his administration, and involved as much the want of capacity as that of official candor and personal impartiality. Everywhere the military establishment was falling to decay, and although the Confederacy was still full of fighting men and war mate rial, there was nothing but the dregs of its resources at the practical command of the Government.

The most remarkable fact in the later days of the Confed

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