Southern Historical Society Papers/Volume 01/May/Editorial Paragraphs
|←Address before the Mecklenberg Historical Society||Southern Historical Society Papers: Volume 1, Number 5 (1876)
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|Southern Historical Society Papers, May 1876|
Our discussion of the prison question in our March and April numbers has excited great attention, and we have been exceedingly gratified at the kind criticisms of our friends, both in the newspapers and in numbers of private letters which we have received. We have been told by those whose opinions are indeed worth having, and whose names, were it proper to give them, would be considered the highest endorsation, that the facts, figures and documents which we have presented are an end to the argument, and place the conduct of the Confederacy in a perfectly impregnable position.
We have seen no attempt on the part of the Northern press to refute our argument, although we took pains to send it to all of the leading papers and magazines.
The New York Tribune had a rather ill-natured criticism, in which it virtually admits the truth of what we say, but represents us as disturbers of that peace and good will between the sections which all should now seek to cultivate. And we hear a faint whisper that certain of our esteemed friends are afraid that harm to the South will come out of this defence of our people. We have only to say in reply that we did not reopen the question; that we have simply refuted slanders which have been suffered to go so long unanswered that in breaking forth afresh they "run riot over both facts and probabilities;" and that if our calm, temperate reply to these long persisted in attempts to blacken the name and character of our Confederate Government and people shall alienate "friends at the North," it will only prove that their friendship is bound to us by so brittle a thread that it is scarcely worth an effort to preserve it.
If "friends" are alienated by the proof that Confederates were not the cold-blooded murderers, the fiends incarnate that partisan fanatics have represented, then the sooner we get rid of such "friends" the better.
The demand for our Papers on "The Treatment of Prisoners during the War between the States" has induced us to put them in more permanent form, and we hereby announce that we will very soon issue a neatly bound volume with the title "The Confederate View of the Treatment of Prisoners."
By using without alteration the matter in our March and April numbers we will be able to send the book, postage paid, at the following very low rates:
We beg that our friends will send in their orders promptly, and that they will exert themselves to circulate the book, and especially to put a copy in public libraries North and South. Let the vindication of our Confederate Government be placed where posterity can see it. The continued demand for back numbers has compelled us to reproduce both our January and February numbers, and now our January number is again exhausted. This has compelled us to stereotype hereafter, so that we can furnish back numbers without stint. The stereotyping involves a delay in the issue of this number, which we deeply regret, but our printers promise that it shall not occur again.
It was the privilege of the Editor to attend at Gordonsville on the 10th of May a reunion of the old Thirteenth Virginia Infantry. General Early, General J. A. Walker, Ex-Governor Wm. Smith, General Dabney H. Maury, General McComb, Colonel Grigsby, of the old Stonewall Brigade; Colonel Gibson, of the Forty-ninth Virginia; Colonel Goodman and Colonel Crittenden, of the Thirteenth Virginia, a number of other officers and some two hundred and fifty of the veterans of this grand old regiment were present. The speaking was admirable, the banquet was elegant, and the mingling together of old comrades, long separated, delightful. Many facts were brought out illustrative of the history of this regiment, which had a career worthy of its origin, composed as it was of original volunteers, who participated in the capture of Harpers Ferry, April the 18th, 1861, and having as its first field officers Colonel (afterwards Lieutenant-General) A. P. Hill, Lieutenant-Colonel (afterwards Major-General) James A. Walker, and Major (afterwards Brigadier-General) J. E. B. Terrill.
But we have mentioned this Reunion chiefly for the purpose of suggesting that our Confederate regiments generally should have such reunions, and that along with the social they should by all means arrange for detailed histories of the commands.