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This Day in Georgia Civil War History

January 18, 1865

Resolution Mentioned Possible Peace Commission

The Richmond Times Dispatch printed a resolution proposed (but not adopted) by one of the Georgia representatives to the Confederate Congress.

Mr. Lester, of Georgia, moved to suspend the rules to allow him to introduce the following: “Whereas, On the 14th day of this month there appeared in the columns of the Richmond Sentinel a correspondence over the signature of “Q,” and headed with the words, “Treason, Treason, Treason,” printed in conspicuous capitals, and marked with points of exclamation, in which the writer announces that it is rumored on the street that there was a resolution before Congress in secret session to open irregular intercourse, through commissioners, with Lincoln, for peace; and asserted that such a proceeding was “not only treason, but, under the circumstances, treachery of the most infamous character, and avowing that the people of Virginia certainly, and, in the opinion of the writer, of the Confederate States generally, “would not allow themselves to be sold by traitorous Congressman after this fashion”; and whereas, said correspondence was accompanied by a brief editorial, characterized by the same tone and spirit as the correspondence; and whereas, said correspondence and editorial comment as aforesaid are calculated to mislead the public judgment, and in their temper and spirit impute to Congress folly, disloyalty, treason and treachery. “Be it therefore resolved, That so far as the statement and imputation contained in the said correspondence and editorial are intended to apply to this branch of Congress, they are false in fact and inference, and an infringement on the privileges of its members, and merit the emphatic rebuke of this House.”

What the original letter writer knew cannot be ascertained of course, but there would be a peace conference the following month.