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316 Southern Historical Society Papers.
have considered him wanting in a conception of duty and a true sense of the obligation he owed to a gallant and confiding people who had honored him and placed him in supreme command to defend and protect them.
If Mr. Davis says he had a strong desire for peace from the time of the adoption of the permanent Government I accept the fact upon his statement, and there let it stand. I cannot be pressed into service as a witness to that fact by having it said that I must have known it. I knew of no such thing, nor do I know of any occurrence in Mr. Davis' history which justifies such a belief. If he had made propositions for peace soon after the second battle of Cold Harbor, I think it probable that on the basis of reunion, to which we came at last, we might have saved everything else for which we were contending. But, unfortunately, none of us under- stood the true nature of the crisis I no more than the rest. I do not, therefore, blame Mr. Davis for an omission of which I was as likely to have been guilty as he was. Indeed, I do not wish to blame him at all. Nothing is more unseemly in my eyes than disputes between those who have held prominent positions in the Confed- eracy during the war. Nothing but the necessity of self-defence would induce nie to engage in such a dispute, and the responsibility, in my opinion, rests not upon me, but upon him who made the attack.
Yery respectfully, E. M. T. HUNTER
NOTE. Mr. Davis says, in his letter: "The truth is that the phraseology of the instructions constituted no embarrassment to them at all." This he asserts positively, in opposition to my statement to the contrary, about a matter of which he had no personal knowledge. Hear Mr. Stephens and Judge Campbell in corroboration of my statement. These gentlemen and myself were the only Confederates who had any personal knowledge of what happened at the Conference. A comparison of his statement with theirs, I think, will not much help his character for histori- cal accuracy.
HOUSE OF EEPRESENTATIVES, WASHINGTON, D. C., M November, 1877.
Hon. EGBERT M. T. HUNTER, Richmond, Va. :
MY DEAR SIR: Your letter of a few days ago was duly received. I think you were entirely correct in saying that the expression of