Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

by John Beauchamp Jones

            SEPTEMBER 27TH.—Nothing additional has been heard from either Bragg’s or Lee’s army. But the positions of both seem quite satisfactory to our government and people. How Rosecrans can get off without the loss of half his army, stores, etc., military authorities are unable to perceive; and if Meade advances, there is a universal conviction that he will be beaten.

            But there is an excitement in the city. It is reported that the United States flag of truce steamer is down the river, having on board no less a personage than Mr. Seward, United States Secretary of State, and that Mr. Benjamin, and other dignitaries of the Confederate States, are going off this morning to meet him. Of course it is conjectured that terms of peace will be discussed, and an infinite variety of opinions are expressed in relation to them. Some suppose the mission grows out of foreign complications, of which, as yet, we can have no knowledge, and that, to maintain the vantage ground of France or England, or both, Mr. Seward may have a scheme of recognition and alliance, etc., looking to the control of affairs on this continent by the United States and Confederate States in conjunction, with commercial arrangements, etc. Both Seward and Benjamin are regarded by their uncharitable enemies as alike destitute of principle, and of moral or physical courage, and hence that they would have no hesitation in agreeing to any terms likely to be mutually advantageous—to themselves. They are certainly men of great intellectual power, and if they are not strictly honest, as much may be said of the greatest diplomats who have played conspicuous parts in the field of diplomacy during the last century. They may sacrifice men, and castles, etc., as skillful players do chessmen, with no particle of feeling for the pieces lost, for equivalents, etc. Nevertheless, nothing can be finally consummated without the concurrence of all the co-ordinate branches of both governments, and the acquiescence of the people. But these gentlemen are fully aware of the anxiety of both peoples (if so they may be called) for peace, and they may, if they choose, strike a bargain which will put an end to the manslaughter which is deluging the land with blood. Then both governments can go into bankruptcy. It may be a humbug.

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