War of the Rebellion: Serial 079 Page 0778 Chapter LI. KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA.

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CONFEDERATE CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

CRAWFORDVILLE, GA., October 1, 1864.

WILLIAM KING, Esq.:

SIR: I have considered the message you delivered me yesterday from General Sherman with all the seriousness and gravity due the importance of the subject. That message was a verbal invitation by him, through you to me, to visit him at Atlanta, to see if we could agree upon some plan of terminating this fratricidal waw without the further effusion of blood. The object is one which addresses itself with peculiar interest and great force to every well-wisher of his country, to every friend of humanity, to every patriot, to every one attached to the principles of self-government established by our common ancestors. I need not assure you, therefore, that it is an object very dear to me -there is n sacrifice I would not make, short of principle and honor, to obtain it, and no effort would I spare, under the same limitations, with reasonable or probable prospect of success. But in the present instance the entire absence of any power on my part to enter into such negotiations, and the like absence of any such power on his part, so far as appears from his message, necessarily precludes my acceptance of the invitation thus tender. In communicating this to General Sherman you may also say to him that if he is of opinion that there is any prospect of our agreeing upon terms of adjustment to be submitted to the action of our respective Governments, even if he has no power to act in advance in the premises, and will make this known to me in such formal and authorative manner (being so desirous for peace himself, as you represent him to have expressed himself), I would most cheerfully and willingly, with the consent of our authorities, accede to his request thus manifested, and enter with all the earnestness of my nature upon the responsible and arduous task or restoring peace and harmony to the country upon principles of honor, right, and justice to all parties. This does not seem to me to be at all impossible if trut and reason should have their sway.

Yours, most respectfully,

ALEXANDER H. STEPHENS.

HEADQUARTERS MORGAN'S BRIGADE,

October 1, 1864.

[General J. C. BRECKINRIDGE:]

GENERAL: I received with my commission of brigadier orders to report to you for assignment to the command of this brigade. I am very desirous of reporting to you with the brigade at once and beg that you will order me to do so immediately. I wish to take part in the expedition against Burbridge, and at any rate to join you while my command is yet in a condition to do service.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

BASIL W. DUKE,

Brigadier-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,

October 1, 1864. (Via Chaffin's Bluff.)

Honorable J. A. SEDDON, Secretary of War:

General Echols reports the passage of the Watanga by the enemy; was resisted from noon of the 29th till dark on the 30th ultimo. On the