War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 1055 PARLEY BETWEEN GEN. COBB AND COL. KEY. Chapter XXIII.

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not believe the people of the South, meaning free white citizens, were opposed to the United States Government; that I believed that the secession movement l)roceeded from a class of men who had arrogated to themselves superior social position, and who intended to frame a government in which they could grasp and hold political power; and that in my opinion, if his views as to the future should prove correct, it might become necessary to disorgammize that condition of society which gave rise to that class of men, and to raise up orders of laboring and middle class white men who would be loyal to the Uniou. lie said, with much excitement, that no men could be found in the original seceding States who could be made into a loyal class. I replied that we could find material enough in those States, and that any amount of it would go there on our invitation. Here we ceased conversation on general matters and returned to the particular subject of our meeting, the result of which I have already given. I subsequently said to him, Every (lays exl)erience must show to your intelligent in en that your people are fighting their friends that neither the Presidemit, the Army, nor time l)eol)le of time loyal States have any wish to subjugate the Southern States or to diminish their constitutional rights. Our soldiers exhibit but little animosity against yours; the prevailing sentimmient among theni is a conviction of duty. I cannot understand the grounds upon which yonr leaders continue this comitest. He said, The election of a sectional President, whose views on slavery were known to be objectionable to the whole South, evinced a purpose on the part of the Northern people to deprive the people of the Son tl~ of an equal enjoyment of political rights. We cannot miow return without degradation or with security. Time blood which has been shed has washed out all feelings of brotherhood. We must become independ- emit or conquered. I replied, Mutual bravery shown in battle never yet of itself permanently alienated the combatants; it produces mutual respect. A return to the Ummion even upon the ground of unequal forces would not involve degradation. The security of the South would be greater than before. The slavery question has been settled. It is abol. ished in the District and excluded from the Territories. As an element of dissemision slavery cannot agaimi enter imito our national politics. The President has never gone beyond this in any expression of his views; lie has always recogimized the obligation of the constitutional provision as to fugitive slaves, and that slavery within and betweemi the slave States is beyond Congressional intervention. Such is the political creed of the great body of the itepublican party. No l)olitical organizatiomi at the North would be respectable iii numbers which proposed Federal legislation or actiomi in violation of the Comistitution or in excess of its powers. I told him that, speakimig for myself alone, I would express the opinion that this wretched strife should be at once ended by sub- mission on the one side and amnesty omm the other; and that proclamim- tions to that effect by Mr. Davis and Mr. Limicohm would be sustained by time great mass of the whole nation. He replied that mmo Confederate leader could openly advocate such a proposition amid continue to live; that, uttered among soldiers or citizens, he would at once be slain. He said that the South might suffer much, but would ultimately succeed; that the struggle had but began. This closed our conversation, except that he expressed his readiness for another conferemice whenever General McClellan or the Government should authorize the making of a cartel. His mariner was very courteous, and lie conversed freely and earnestly