While rooting around the other day, I came across the few lines below, reportedly delivered by Jefferson Davis from the front steps of the Bates House in Charlotte. The speech would have been given on April 18, 1865. The date of the article was May 20, 1896. I have read (but not looked for the actual piece) that there was an earlier version of this speech printed in a newspapers in Georgia, maybe just a couple of years after the war. If these claims are true, then would this not be the last speech of Jefferson Davis? Would not Charlotte be the place of that last speech?
"My friends, you greet me as cordially as if I brought you tidings of victory, while indeed I am the bearer of bad news. Gen. Lee has been forced to surrender--but the men live yet. The war has been for the people and by the people, and if they are firm and true there is hope. I thank you from my heart for this evidence of your confidence, and can say in reviewing my administration for the last four years, I am conscious of having committed errors and very great ones, but in all that I have done, in all that I have tried to do, I can lay my hand upon my heart and appeal to God that I have but one purpose to serve--but one mission to fulfill--the preservation of the true principles of constitutional freedom, which are as dear to me to-day as they were four years ago. I have nothing to abate or take back. If they were right then, they are right now and no misfortune to our arms can change right into wrong. Again I thank you."