The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 11, July 1907 - April, 1908 Page: 74
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Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
nent Confederate leaders, most of whom he survived, invested what
he had to say with more than ordinary interest and value.
The most noteworthy features of this part of the book are Judge
Reagan's unswerving adherence to the principles of the political
faith in which he was reared;-one can not consistently object to
the insertion of a historical survey of the constitutional basis of
the South's position,--his devotion to the memory of his chief,
Jefferson Davis; and his able defense of the Confederate President
on the one hand against those who charged him with cruelty or
arbitrariness, and on the other those who, like Joseph E. Johnston
or Alexander Stephens, have criticised the policies he pursued.
To the Hampton Roads Conference he devotes particular attention
and pretty clearly vindicates Davis from the charge of wantonly
continuing the war. His account of the organization of the post-
office department of the Confederacy is one of the most interesting
chapters in the entire book, and describes in brief compass the
remarkably successful accomplishment of one of the most difficult
tasks of that sorely beset government. It was a work of which he
could be justly proud, and one can not but sympathetically agree
that "there is much in these reports" [of the department] "to
suggest economy in the Postoffice Department of the United
States." The account of the fall of Richmond and the flight of
the Confederate government until the capture of Davis and his
escort reflects admirably the gloom of that depressing period.
If there were no other monument to the statesmanlike foresight
of Reagan, his famous Fort Warren letter, written from his prison
cell in August, 1866, would be sufficient evidence of his ability,
courage, and patriotism. No student of Reconstruction history can
doubt that if his advice to Texas and the South to recognize at
once the abolition of slavery, equality of civil rights for both races,
and an equally qualified manhood suffrage had been followed,
the worst of the evils of the radical regime in the South would
have been averted and the race question presented to the succeeding
generation in a simpler form. Though attacked and abused for
this letter with all the bitterness of an excited and apprehensive
people, the author of it lived to see its prediction sadly verified.
The forty years since the war are passed over very briefly.
Reconstruction is disposed of in four or five pages, and the later
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 11, July 1907 - April, 1908, periodical, 1908; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101045/m1/78/: accessed May 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.