Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 29.djvu/116

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100 Southern Historical Society Papers.

slavery, as our enemies have tried so hard to make the world believe was the case. That of 1900 was directed

(1) To establish the right of secession (the real question at issue in the war) by Northern testimony alone, and

(2) To establish the fact that the North was the aggressor in bring- ing on the war, and by the same kind of testimony.

These two reports have been published, the first for two years, and the second for one year, and as far as we know, no fact contended for in either has been attempted to be controverted. We feel justi- fied, therefore, in claiming that these facts have been established.

HOW THE WAR WAS CONDUCTED.

Having then, we think, established the justice of the Confederate cause, and that the Northern people were responsible for, and the aggressors in bringing on the war, and both of these facts by testi- mony drawn almost exclusively from Northern sources, it is only left for us to consider how the war, thus forced upon the South by the North, was conducted by the respective combatants through their representatives, both in the cabinet and in the field ? We fully recognize that within the limits of this report it is impossible to do more than to "touch the fringe," as it were, of this important in- quiry. The details of the horrors of the four years of that war would fill many, many volumes, and it is not our purpose or desire to go fully into any such sad and harrowing recital. We propose, therefore, only to give the principles of civilized warfare as adopted by the Federal authorities for the government of their armies in the field during the war, and then cite some of the most flagrant viola- tions of those principles by some of the most distinguished repre- sentatives of that government in the war waged by it against the South. Of course, in doing this we shall have to refer to some things very familiar to all of us; but the repetition of them in this report would nevertheless seem necessary and proper to its com- pleteness.

In performing this distasteful task we wish, in the beginning, to dis- claim any and all purpose or wish on our part to reopen the wounds or to rekindle the feelings of bitterness engendered by that unholy and unhappy strife. As we said in our last report, we recognize that this whole country is one country and our country, and we of