Page:Confederate Military History - 1899 - Volume 1.djvu/582

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544
CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

credentials nor instructions, merely proposing to present a plan of his own, the chief feature of which was to make a diversion which would result in peace and reunion by turning the two armies against the Emperor Maximilian in assertion of the Monroe doctrine which was popular South and North. In addition to the unfolding of this plan of peace he replied to a question of Mr. Davis by stating that he had no assurance that President Lincoln would receive commissioners from the Southern States, but offered his opinion that he would do so at this juncture. The Confidential interview was protracted until a thorough comprehension of the mission was obtained by President Davis, and it was closed by his writing the following significant letter at once, which he submitted to Mr. Blair and signed. It will be read with interest as manifesting the mind of the Confederate President at that time, as showing his disposition to make peace, and as exhibiting his carefulness in the use of words so as to avoid giving offense. One phrase only seemed to imply independence as his ultimatum. That was the expression: "The two countries." The following is the letter addressed to Mr. Blair:

"Richmond, Va., January 12, 1865.

"Sir: I have deemed it proper and probably desirable to you to give you in this form the substance of remarks made by me to be repeated by you to President Lincoln.

"I have no disposition to find obstacles in forms and am willing now as heretofore to enter into negotiations for the restoration of peace; and am ready to send a commission whenever I have reason to suppose it will be received, or to receive a commission if the United States government shall choose to send one. That, notwithstanding the rejection of our former offers, I would, if you could promise that a commissioner, minister, or other agent, would be received, appoint one immediately, and renew