Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 14.djvu/265

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259
President Davis in Reply to General Sherman.

"Beauvoir, Mississippi, November 6, 1884.


"Editor St. Louis Republican:
"Dear Sir—I have to-night received the inclosed published account of remarks made by General W. T. Sherman, and ask the use of your columns to notice only so much as particularly refers to myself, and which is to be found in the following extracts:

"The following is taken from the St. Louis Republican:

'"Frank P. Blair Post, G. A. R., opened their new hall, corner Seventeenth and Olive streets, last night.

'"General Sherman addressed the assemblage. He had read letters which he believed had never been published, and which very few people had seen. These letters showed the rebellion to be more than a mere secession—it was a conspiracy most dire. Letters which had passed between Jeff. Davis and a man whose name it would not do to mention, as he is now a member of the United States Senate, had been seen by the speaker and showed Davis's position. He was not a secessionist. His object in starting the rebellion was not merely for the secession of the South, but to have this section of the country so that he could use it as a fulcrum from which to fire out his shot at the other sections of the country and compel the people to do as he would have them. Jeff. Davis would have turned his hand against any State that would secede from the South after the South had seceded from the North. Had the rebellion succeeded, General Sherman said, the people of the North would have all been slaves.'

"ANOTHER ACCOUNT.


"The following is from the Globe-Democrat's report:
" 'Referring to the late war, he said it was not, as was generally understood, a war of secession from the United Stales, but a conspiracy. 'I have been behind the curtain,' said he, 'and I have seen letters that few others have seen, and have heard conversations that cannot be repeated, and I tell you that Jeff Davis never was a secessionist. He was a conspirator. He did not care for separation from the United States. His object was to get a fulcrum from which to operate against the United States, and if he had succeeded he would to-day be the master spirit of the continent and you would be slaves. I have seen a letter from Jefferson Davis to a man whose name I cannot mention, because he is a United States Senator. I know Davis's writing and saw his signature, and in that letter he said he