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UNITED STATES SENATE,
Dear Brother: ... I can see how naturally you spoke of Jeff. Davis as you did, and you did not say a word more than he deserved. Still he scarcely deserves to be brought into notice. He was not only a conspirator, but a traitor. His reply was a specimen of impotent rage. It is scarcely worth your notice, nor should you dignify it by a direct rejoinder. A clear, strong statement of the historical facts that justified the use of the word "conspirator," which you know very well how to write, is all the notice required. Do not attempt to fortify it by an affidavit, as some paper says you intend to do, but your statement of the letters seen by you and the historical facts known by you are enough. I have had occasion, since your letter was received, to speak to several senators about the matter, and they all agree with me that you ought to avoid placing the controversy on letters which cannot now be produced. The Records have been pretty well sifted by friendly rebels, and under the new administration it is likely their further publication will be edited by men who will gladly shield Davis even at the expense of a Union soldier. The letter of Stephens to Johnson is an extraordinary one. Its publication will be a bombshell in the Confederate camp. I will deliver the copy to Colonel Scott tomorrow. One or two paragraphs from it go far to sustain your stated opinion of Jeff. Davis. . . . Very affectionately yours,
- John Sherman