of the poeple, and without time or opportunity under the peculiarity and necessities of the case to submit the whole question to the States for their deliberation and action without danger of losing material advnatages provided for in the agreement, and as I believe that you, representing the military power and authority of all the States, can obtain better terms for them than it is probable they could obtain each for itself, and as it is in your power, if the Federal authorities accept this agreement, to terminate the ravages of war sooner than it can be done by the several States, while the enemy is still unconscious of the full extent of our weakness, you should, in case of the acceptance of the terms of this agreement by the authorities of the United States, accept them on the part of the Confederate States and take steps for the disbanding of the Confederate armies on the terms agreed on. As you have no power to change the government of the country or to transfer the allegiance of the people, I would advise that you submit to the several States, through their governors, the question as to whether they will, in the exercise of their own sovereignty, accept, each for itself, the terms proposed. To this it may be said that after the disbanding of our armies and the abandonment of the ocntest by the Confederate Government they would have no alternative but to accept the terms proposed, or an unequal and hopeless ar, and that it would be needless for them to go through the forms and incur the trouble and expencse of assembling a convention for the purpose. To such an objection, if urged, it may be answered that we entered into the contest to maintain and vindicate the doctrine of State rights and State sovereignty and the right of self government, and that we can only be faithful to the Constitution of the United States and true to the principles in support of which [we] have expended so much blood and treasure by the employment of the same agencies to return into ich we employed in separating from it and in forming our present Government, and that if this should be na unwelcome and enforced action by the States, it would not be more so on the part of the States than on the part of the President if he were to undertake to execute the whole agreement, and while they would have authority for acting, he would have none. This plan would at least conform to the theory of the Constitution of the United States and would, in future, be an additional precedent to which the friends of State rights could point in opposing the doctrine of the consolidation of powers in the central government; and if the future shall disclose a disposiiton (of which I fear the chance is remote) on the part of the people of the United States to return to the spirit and meaning of the Constitution, then this action on the part of the States might prove to be of great value to the freinds of constitutional liberty and good government.
In addition to the terms of agreement an additional provision should be asked for, which will probably be allowed without objection, stipulating for the withdrawal of the Federal forces from the several States of the Confederacy, except a sufficient number to garrison the permanent fortifications and take care of the public property, until the States can call their conventions and take action on the proposed terms. In addition to the necessity for this course, in order to make their action as free and voluntary as other circumstances will allow, it would aid in softening the bitter memories which must necessarily follow such a contest as that in which we are engaged. Nothing is said in the agreement about the public debt, and the disposition of our public property beyond the turning over of the arms to the States arsenals. In the final adjustment we should endeavor to secure provisions for the auditing of