Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 02.djvu/63

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53
Patriotic Letters of Confederate Leaders.


the maintenance of which Washington fought when this, his native State, was a colony of Great Britain.

The path of duty and of honor is therefore plain. By following it with the devotion and loyalty of a true sailor, I shall, I am persuaded, have the glorious and proud recompense that is contained in the "well-done" of the Gand Admiral of Russia and his noble "companions in arms."

When the invader is expelled, and as soon thereafter as the State will grant me leave, I promise myself the pleasure of a trip across the Atlantic, and shall hasten to Russia, that I may there in person, on the banks of the Neva, have the honor and the pleasure of expressing to her Grand Admiral the sentiments of respect and esteem with which his oft repeated acts of kindness and the generous encouragements that he has afforded me in the pursuits of science has inspired his obedient servant,

M. F. Maury,
Commander Confederate States Navy.

To H. I. H. the Grand Duke Constantine,
Grand Admiral of Russia, St. Petersburg.


The following correspondence went the rounds of the press several months ago, but it should by all means be put in more permanent form:

GENERAL LEE'S LETTER OFFERING TO RESIGN—MR. DAVIS' REPLY.

[From the Mobile (Alabama) Sycle, January 29.]

"SECRET HISTORY."

Scribner's Monthly for February has an article entitled "A Piece of Secret History," by Colonel Charles J. Jones, Jr., of the late Confederate army, containing the following letter from General Robert E. Lee, written about a month after the disaster of Gettysburg, and offering to resign his command:

Camp Orange, August 8, 1863.

Mr. President—Your letters of 28th July and 2d August have been received, and I have waited for a leisure hour to reply, but I fear that will never come. I am extremely obliged to you for the attention given to the wants of this army, and the efforts made to supply them. Our absentees are returning, and I hope the earnest and beautiful appeal made to the country in your proclamation may stir up the whole people, and that they may see their duty and perform it. Nothing is wanted but that their fortitude should equal their bravery to insure the success of our cause. We must expect reverses, even defeats. They are sent to teach us wisdom and prudence, to call forth greater energies, and to prevent our falling into greater disasters. Our people have only to be true and united, to bear manfully the misfortunes incident to war, and all will come right in the end.

I know how prone we are to censure, and how ready to blame others for the non-fulfilment of our expectations. This is unbe-