102 Southern Historical Society Papers.
cause of the Confederate States while the means of organized resist- ance remained, that you return to the States and the people the trust which you are no longer able to defend.
Whatever course you pursue, opinions will be divided. Permit me to give mine. Should these or similar views accord with your own, I think the better judgment will be that you can have no higher title to the gratitude of your countrymen and the respett of man- kind than will spring from the wisdom to see the path of duty at this time, and the courage to follow it, regardless alike of praise or blame.
Respectfully and truly your friend,
John C. Breckinridge,
Sec. of War.
This paper is endorsed: "Charlotte, N. C. , April 23, '65. Letter John C. Breckinridge to the President."
This is a copy of the original, and seems to be in the handwriting of Col. James Wilson. Here and there are a few small corrections in the handwriting of my father; as, for instance, an and is scratched and above it or is placed. This is next to the last word in the letter.
C. R. B.
Headquarters First Brigade E. Tenn. Cav. Div'n.
Lincolnton, N. C, April 23rd, 1865.
General, — I have the honor to acknowledge receipt by flag of truce from you of two communications addressed to Major-General Stoneman, one from Major-General Sherman and one from General J. E. Johnston.
These communications were immediately forwarded to General Stoneman through the Headquarters of this Cavalry Division, and I have no doubt that a reply will be sent by flag of truce within a few days.
I am. General, your obedient servant,
Wm. J. Palmer, Brevet Brigadier-General Commanding Brigade. Major-General J. C. Breckinridge,
Secretary of War, Charlotte, N. C.
Greensboro', April 27th. Brig. -Gen' 1 Z. York, — Your dispatch rec'd. Will communi-