Mr. [Josiah] Turner also under a suspension of the rules, introduced the following resolution, viz:
Resolved, That the President of the Confederate States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, be, and he is hereby, requested to appoint thirteen commissioners, one from each of the Confederate States, to tender to the Government of the United States a conference for negotiating an honorable peace; and failing in this, the commissioners be instructed to use all proper efforts to obtain an immediate exchange of prisoners; and if possible, to come to such understanding with the enemy regarding the future conduct of the war as may tend, in some degree, to mitigate its horrors and atrocities.
[ Copy of Turner’s resolution (Confederate Imprint, W745)]
Mr. [Ethelbert] Barksdale offered the following amendment (in the nature of a substitute) to the resolution of Mr. Turner:
Whereas the people of the Confederate States, having been compelled by the people of the nonslaveholding States to dissolve their connection with those States and to form a new compact in order to preserve their liberties; and
and Whereas the efforts made by the Government of the Confederate States immediately on its organization to establish friendly relations between it and the Government of the United States having proved unavailing by reason of the refusal of the Government of the United States to hold intercourse with the commissioners appointed by this Government for that purpose;
and Whereas the Government of the United States having since repeatedly refused to listen to propositions for an honorable peace, and having declared to foreign nations in advance that it would reject any offer of mediation which they might be prompted to make in the interests of humanity for terminating the war, and thus having manifested their determination to continue it with a view to the reduction of the people of these States to degrading bondage or to their extermination: Therefore, be it
Resolved, That while we reiterate our readiness to enter upon negotiations for peace whenever the hearts of our enemies are so inclined, we will pursue without faltering the course we have deliberately chosen, and for the preservation of our liberties we will employ whatever means Providence has placed at our disposal.
Resolved, That the mode prescribed in the Constitution of the Confederate States for making treaties of peace affords ample means for the attainment of that end whenever the Government of the United States abandon their wicked purpose to subjugate them and evince a willingness to enter upon negotiations for the termination of the war.
[Copy of Barksdale’s amendment (Confederate Imprint W747)]
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