“Better Patriots, Madam”
“While President Jefferson Davis was preparing his “History of the Rise and Fall of the Confederate States,” he made a visit to the home of Hon. Henry Loevy, at Pass Christian, Mississippi. With these friends he had left [earlier in Abbeville, SC] a collection of very valuable papers, including letters from Gen. Lee and other prominent Confederate officials.
When Mrs. Loevy brought out the papers and a Confederate battle flag . . . Mr. Davis took the battle flag, and he held it in one hand and the [model of a] gun [he invented while Secretary of War] in the other, he seemed to stand the representative at once of the United States and the Confederate States governments.
As he gave the history of the flag, the memory of the war, in which Mrs. Loevy had lost three brothers, and during which her father had been banished from his Kentucky home and she from New Orleans, the True Delta, a paper owned by her husband, had been confiscated, rushed over her with such force and vividness as to cause tears to flow down her cheeks and her to exclaim:
“Mr. Davis, I have not gotten over the war yet! I believe the ladies were worse rebels than the men anyhow!”
“Better patriots, madam,” was the energetic and instantaneous reply from the man who had served faithfully in the army and Congress of the United States, and then, believing the States were sovereign, and that sovereigns could not rebel, and that his allegiance was due, first to his State, served his State and country with equal fidelity and ability, when Mississippi had become a member of the Confederate States Government.
It is well for our children to remember that their fathers never admitted that they were rebels and traitors, and to know that, though Mr. Davis was arrested on the charge of treason, no attempt was ever made to prove the charge, because lawyers knew it could not be sustained.”
(A Beautiful Reply, by Mr. Davis. Rev. W.C. Clark, Shelbyville, Tenn. Confederate Veteran, December 1894, Volume II, Number 12, excerpt pp. 354)