Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 36.djvu/100

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Southern Historical Society Papers.

at the Washington statue, in the Richmond Capitol grounds, on Feb. 22, 1862.

At this time, Mr. Davis was the idol of the people and almost equally of the army. This is no time and place—even did limits permit—to dissect the bickerings, jealousies and spites that fomented unjust judgment of this man and of his motive. Some of them are contentions that can never be settled; all of them had best be buried in his grave, to lie untouched forever by either prying, itching or loving hands. The bitterness of the past has lost its pungency; the respect and good will and love of second thought has replaced that. To-day, and I honestly believe, even through that North which once hated and longed to hang him—the verdict of the world is that here is a just man who has gone to sleep.

Neither is there space were there need to rehearse the long and bitter search of the unhorsed knight for another saddle. Released from prison, after durance too vile and needless not to raise a national blush at its memory, he went abroad, returned and was made President of an unsuccessful insurance company, the debts of which he assumed and struggled for years to pay, by hard, if congenial, labor at his Beauvoir home. The result of this was his autobiographic history. "Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government," in 1881. Of this, the financial result was not flattering; probably because of lack of money among those most interested, and from the richer North having grown somewhat weary of war views at short range. Then, on the 6th of December, 1889, the worn and weary man of many sorrows and hopes and disappointments died in New Orleans, while visiting an old and proved friend. He was laid to rest in the State be had battled for so long and well in two centuries. Shortly after, his body was claimed by the State which had volunteered him home and castle, eighteen years before; and many people recall the triumphal progress of that draped catafalque through the States of his late Confederacy. And, at last, a noble monument has been reared in the city of his burial; mainly by the efforts of that helpful and loyal band, the Daughters of the Confederacy.