46 Southern Historical Society Papers.
General Longstreet told me more than once that immediately after the battle at Sharpsburg, or Antietam, while he was in General Lee's tent, the General handed him a letter which he had just received from General McClellan, the commander of the Federal armies. General Lee gave General Longstreet a copy of the letter and asked him to give it his serious attention, and on the following morning advise him (General Lee) what he ought to do in the matter. The letter from General McClellan proposed an interview between him- self and General Lee. General Longstreet said to me: "I told General Lee that in my judgment there was no other construction to be placed on it save one, and that was that General McClellan wanted to end the war then and there."
General Lee said: "That idea occurs tome also, but President Davis, and not General Lee, is the one to whom such a message must be sent."
General Longstreet took the letter to his own quarters, where he found General T. R. R. Cobb, of this State. He gave it to General Cobb, pledging him to observe secrecy with regard to it, but not saying a word as to the construction he placed on it.
After reading the letter attentively General Cobb said there was no doubt in his mind that General McClellan wanted General Lee to help in the restoration of the Union by marching to Washington with the combined forces. General Longstreet told me of the cir- cumstances more than once, and always added that he thoroughly coincided in General Cobb's views, but that General Lee, for the reason stated, declined to meet General McClellan.
The copy which General Lee gave General Longstreet was sent, after the war, to Colonel Marshall. I tried to get it from Colonel Marshall, who told me he had mislaid it and could never find it. I do not know, of course, what became of the original letter.
I forgot to say that General Longstreet strongly advised General Lee to meet General McClellan in order that he might know definitely what McClellan wanted.
I have this moment heard of Longstreet's death Saturday at Gainesville. He often came to visit me when I lived in Atlanta, and we often talked of the war and its sequel.
I recall very distinctly a reply he made to me one day when I asked: "Well, General, you and I are both glad to-day that we have a united country, and perhaps in God's providence it is well that we were defeated, even though we were clearly in the right."
"I do not believe in placing the blame on the Lord," said Long-