Thursday, April 27, 1865

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Raleigh, N. C., April 27, 1865.

General JOHNSTON, Commanding Confederate Armies, &c., Greensborough:
GENERAL: I herewith inclose you copies of my Field Orders, Nos. 65 and 66, which give General Schofield full and ample power to carry into effect our convention, and I hope at your personal interview with General Schofield you satisfied your mind of his ability and kind disposition toward the inhabitants of North Carolina. In addition to the points made at our interview of yesterday, I have further instructed General Schofield to facilitate what you and I and all good men desire, the return to their homes of the officers and men composing your army, to let you have of his stores ten days’ rations for 25,000 men. We have abundance of provisions at Morehead City, and if you send trains here they may go down with our trains and return to Greensborough with the rations specified. Colonel Wright did intend to send his construction train up today, but did not get up his carpenters in time. The train with square timber and carpenters will go up in the morning, and I think by the morning of the 29th your trains can run down on the road and fall in with ours of the 30th.

I can hardly estimate how many animals fit for farm purposes will be “loaned” to the farmers, but enough, I hope, to insure a crop. I can hardly commit myself how far commerce will be free, but I think the cotton still in the country and the crude turpentine will make money with which to procure supplies. General Schofield in a few days will be able to arrange all such matters.

I wish you would send the inclosed parcel for General Wilson, as it contains the orders “65” and “66”, and instructions to release all his prisoners on the conditions of our convention. Now that war is over, I am as willing to risk my person and reputation as heretofore to heal the wounds made by the past war, and I think my feeling is shared by the whole army. I also think a similar feeling actuates the mass of your army, but there are some unthinking young men, who have no sense or experience, that unless controlled may embroil their neighbors. If we are forced to deal with them, it must be with severity, but I hope they will be managed by the people of the South.

I am, with respect, your obedient servant,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, U. S. Army

Major-General SCHOFIELD, U. S. Army, Commanding Department of North Carolina:

GENERAL: I respectfully inclose articles supplemental to the agreement of yesterday. In writing them I have endeavored to include nothing not so discussed by us as to make me think myself sure of your views. If you agree to these conditions I propose that they be signed by us like the original, or that you make modifications where you find them necessary.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. E. JOHNSTON, General.

Military convention of April 26, 1865. -Supplementary terms.

First. The Confederate troops to retain their transportation.

Second. Each brigade or separate body to retain a number of reach equal to one-fifth of its effective total, which, when the troops reach their homes, will be received by the local authorities for public purposes.

Third. Officers and men to be released from their obligation at the same time with those of the Army of Virginia.

Fourth. Artillery horses to be used for field transportation when necessary.

Fifth. The horses and other private property of officers and men to be retained by them.

Sixth. Troops from Arkansas and Texas to be transported by water from Mobile or New Orleans to their homes by the United States.

Seventh. The obligations of private soldiers to be signed by their company officers.

Eighth. Naval officers within the limits of General Johnston’s command to have the benefit of the stipulations of this convention.

HDQRS. MIL. DIV. OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Raleigh, N. C.,
April 27, 1865.

The general commanding announces a further suspension of hostilities and a final agreement with General Johnston which terminates the war as to the armies under his command and the country east of the Chattahoochee. Copies of the terms of the convention will be furnished Major-Generals Schofield, Gillmore, and Wilson, who are specially charged with the execution of its details in the Department of North Carolina, Department of the South, and at Macon and Western Georgia. Captain Myers, Ordnance Department, U. S. Army, is hereby designated to receive the arms, &c., at Greensborough, and any commanding officer of a post may receive the arms of any detachment and see that they are properly stored and accounted for. General Schofield will procure at once the necessary blanks, and supply the other army commanders, that uniformity may prevail; and great care must be taken that all the terms and stipulations on our parts be fulfilled with the most scrupulous fidelity, whilst those imposed on our hitherto enemies be received in a spirit becoming a brave and generous army.

Army commanders may at once loan to the inhabitants such of the captured mules, horses, wagons, and vehicles as can be spared from immediate use, and the commanding generals of armies may issue provisions, animals, or any public supplies that can be spared, to relieve present wants and to encourage the inhabitants to renew their peaceful pursuits and to restore the relations of friendship among our fellow-citizens and countrymen. Foraging will forthwith cease, and when necessity or long marches compel the taking of forage, provisions, or any kind of private property, compensation will be made on the spot, or, when the disbursing officers are not provided with funds, vouchers will be given in proper form, payable at the nearest military depot.
By order of Major General W. T. Sherman:
L. M. DAYTON, Assistant Adjutant-General.

HDQRS. MIL. DIV. OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Raleigh, N. C., April 27, 1865.
Hostilities having ceased, the following changes and dispositions of troops in the field will be made with us little delay as practicable:

I. The Tenth and Twenty-third Corps will remain in the Department of North Carolina, and Major General J. M. Schofield will transfer back to Major-General Gillmore, commanding Department of the South, the two brigades formerly belonging to the division of Brevet Major-General Grover at Savannah. The Third Division, Cavalry Corps, Bvt. Major General J. Kilpatrick commanding is hereby transferred to the Department of North Carolina, and General Kilpatrick will report in person to Major-General Schofield for orders.

II. The cavalry command of Major General George Stoneman will return to East Tennessee, and that of Bvt. Major General J. H. Wilson will be conducted back to the Tennessee River in the neighborhood of Decatur, Ala.

III. Major-General Howard will conduct the Army of the Tennessee to Richmond, Va., following roads substantially by Louisburg, Warrenton, Lawrenceville, and Petersburg, or to the right of that line. Major-General Slocum will conduct the Army of Georgia to Richmond by roads to the left of the one indicated for General Howard, viz, by Oxford, Boydton, and Nottoway Court-House. These armies will turn in at this point the contents of their ordnance trains, and use the wagons for extra forage and provisions. These columns will be conducted slowly and in the best of order, and will aim to be at Richmond ready to resume the march by the middle of May.

IV. The chief quartermaster and commissary of this military division, Generals Easton and Beckwith, after making the proper dispositions of their departments here, will proceed to Richmond and make suitable preparations to receive these columns and to provide for their further journey.
By order of Major General W. T. Sherman:
L. M. DAYTON, Assistant Adjutant-General.

HDQRS. MIL. DIV. OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Raleigh, N. C., April 27, 1865.

I. Major General Carl Schurz, having reported at these headquarters by orders from Major-General Slocum relieving him from duty with the Army of Georgia, will report in person to Lieutenant-General Grant for orders. He will take his personal staff with him.

II. It being represented that a number of men, about 1,000 convalescents, recruits, &c., debris of this army, and a number not belonging to this command, are in the Department of North Carolina without any record, Major-General Schofield, commanding Department of North Carolina, will take charge of them, turning over to the quarermaster’s department such as are fit for laboring, and such as are fit for fatigue service will be sent to Alexandria, subject to the orders of the War Department. The chief quartermaster will forward all men reported to him under these instructions to Alexandria at his convenience, and without unnecessary cost to the Government for transportation.

III. Brigadier General Henry Prince, U. S. Volunteers, having completed the distribution of recruits, convalescents, &c., belonging to this army, with which he was charged, is hereby relieved from duty in this military division and will report to the Adjutant-General of the Army. The quartermaster’s department will furnish transportation.

IV. This army will march to Richmond, Va. The Fifteenth Army Corps, Major General John A. Logan commanding, will follow the direct Louisburg road, moving via Shocco Springs, leaving Warrenton slightly to the left; cross Roanoke River just east of Hub Creek, and move thence via Lawrenceville and the wagon road to Petersburg.

V. The Seventeenth Army Corps, Major General F. P. Blair commanding, will take the road just east of the Gaston railroad and move via Jones’ Springs, Warrenton, Macon, crossing the Roanoke River near the mouth of Six-Pound Creek, and thence due north to the Petersburg and Boydton plank road, following that road to Petersburg.

VI. A section of the bridge train will accompany each corps and move under the direction of the corps commanders.

VI. The movement will commence on Saturday morning, the 29th instant, when each corps will be drawn out on its respective route, across the Neuse River, and there delay the march until Monday morning. Care will be taken that everything be well closed up at this point. The march will then be continued to Petersburg without further instructions.

VII. General Sherman’s headquarters will move with the Seventeenth Army Corps, and these headquarters with the Fifteenth Army Corps. When possible the position of each division will be reported daily.

VIII. Lieutenant Amos Stickney, assisted by the corps engineer officers, will examine and mark the roads so that the two corps may cross Crabtree Creek without interference. The attention of corps commanders is called to special instructions for the march accompanying this order.

IX. The following special instructions are issued for the guidance of corps and other commanders during the march from Raleigh to Richmond, Va.:

First. All foraging will cease. Corps commanders will obtain what supplies they may need in addition to those carried with the by sending their quartermaster and commissary in advance, who are required to purchase, paying the cash or giving proper vouchers. The supplies will be carefully selected to the divisions and regularly issued.

Second. The provost guards will be selected with the greatest care and sent well ahead, so that every house may be guarded, and every possible precaution will be taken to prevent the misconduct of any straggler or marauder. Punishments for entering or pillaging houses will be severe and immediate. Besides the roll-calls morning and evening at every regular halt of each days’ march, the rolls will be called and every absentee not properly accounted for will be severely punished.

Third. Before starting on the march all persons not properly mounted will be dismounted, and all surplus animals, vehicles, and all ammunition (artillery and infantry) now in wagons, and all prisoners of war, will be turned over to Major General J. M. Schofield or an officer designated by him to receive them.

Fourth. Refugees will be discouraged from following the columns, because of the impossibility of carrying supplies for their subsistence.

Fifth. Corps commanders will not habitually close up their divisions, but allow them to encamp two or three miles separated, and in order to prevent night marching it will be well to commence encamping as early as 3 p. m. daily.

Sixth. The left column, General Blair, will be the regulating column as to the distance for each day’s march. It is desirable for the two corps to reach Petersburg simultaneously, or as nearly so as possible. This order will be published to all officers and men at every headquarters, and to all quartermaster’s employes, as well as generally to the command.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Raleigh, N. C., April 27, 1865.
General J. H. WILSON, Commanding Cavalry Corps:
GENERAL: The negotiations which have been progressing for some days, and which may have led to conflicting orders to you, are now complete. I send you a copy of the convention, signed by General Johnston and myself, together with copies of my orders to carry out its terms. You may treat the prisoners in your hands as under the convention, and have all sign an obligation such as contemplated in it. After you have concluded this business, I want your cavalry about Decatur, whence they can be sent according to further developments. I regard the war as over, but it is well to be prudent and cautious, as there is much danger of some of the discharged soldiers of both armies infesting the country as robbers. If you encounter any of these either punish them with extreme severity or carry them where the civil authorities of an organized State can try and punish. I will order so that, if feasible, you can get supplies at Savannah or Augusta.
Yours, truly,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

DURHAM’S, April 27, 1865 10 p. m.
General W. T. SHERMAN:
The following dispatch just been received by flag of truce:

GREENSBOROUGH, April 27, 1865.
General W. T. SHERMAN:
(Through Lieutenant-General Hampton.)
General Meade has entered Danville and General Stoneman is reported between Wilkesborough and Lincolnton. I respectfully ask that they be informed of the convention by you.
J. E. JOHNSTON, General

The staff officer is waiting for answer.
Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.

Major ESTES, Durham’s:
Send the dispatch from General Johnston by an officer on the locomotives as it returns here after taking General Kilpatrick up. Report the time it leaves.
L. M. DAYTON, Assistant Adjutant-General.

DURHAM’S, April 27, 1865.

The dispatch came opened, is brief, and I was requested to forward it by telegraph. It was sent before your answer to my first telegram was received. A staff officer of General Anderson is now awaiting answer. Answer.
Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Raleigh, N. C., April 27, 1865.
Major ESTES, Durham’s:
The dispatches sent to or taken by General Kilpatrick to-night cover the answer to General Johnston’s telegram. Please notify General Johnston’s officer to that effect.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Raleigh, N. C., April 27, 1865.
Major-General KILPATRICK, Commanding Cavalry:
GENERAL: I send you herewith a package for General Johnston, which the general-in-chief wishes you to forward by an officer and two or three men. Let the officer go out without any flag of truce and deliver to the first Confederate officer who will agree to deliver it, taking his receipt. If your officer does not meet any C. S. Army officer let him be instructed to proceed until he finds General Johnston.
With respect,
L. M. DAYTON, Assistant Adjutant-General

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Wednesday, April 26, 1865

Raleigh, North Carolina

I again went up to Durham’s Station by rail, and rode out to Bennett’s house. We waited for some time as General Johnston was delayed by an accident with his railroad train. He sent word of his late arrival. When we met, General Johnston without hesitation, agreed to and we executed, the following final terms:

Terms of a Military Convention, entered into this 26th day of April, 1865, at Bennett’s House, near Durham’s Station., North Carolina, between General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, commanding the Confederate Army, and Major-General W. T. SHERMAN, commanding the United States Army in North Carolina:

1. All acts of war on the part of the troops under General Johnston’s command to cease from this date.

2. All arms and public property to be deposited at Greensboro’, and delivered to an ordnance-officer of the United States Army.

3. Rolls of all the officers and men to be made in duplicate; one copy to be retained by the commander of the troops, and the other to be given to an officer to be designated by General Sherman. Each officer and man to give his individual obligation in writing not to take up arms against the Government of the United States, until properly released from this obligation.

4. The side-arms of officers, and their private horses and baggage, to be retained by them.

5. This being done, all the officers and men will be permitted to return to their homes, not to be disturbed by the United States authorities, so long as they observe their obligation and the laws in force where they may reside.

W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding United States Forces in North Carolina.
J. E. JOHNSTON, General, Commanding Confederate States Forces in North Carolina.

U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General.
I returned to Raleigh the same evening, and, at my request, General Grant wrote on these terms his approval GREENSBOROUGH, April 27, 1865.

As soon as the agreement was signed, I notified Grant:
April 26, 1865 3 p.m

General GRANT:
General Johnston was detained by an accident to his railroad. We have now agreed substantially to the terms of Lee’s army for his at Greensborough, and will sign the terms before parting. Better await my coming this evening.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

DURHAM’S, April 26, 1865.
General GRANT:
The convention is signed all right. Will be down in a couple of hours.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.

I returned to Raleigh where Grant signed his approval of the terms.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tuesday, April 25, 1865

Raleigh, North Carolina

General Grant is here to discuss terms of surrender. The agreement I wrote was rejected. I wrote a reply to General Grant with my assessment of the situation:


Lieutenant-General U. S. GRANT, present.
GENERAL: I had the honor to receive your letter of April 21st, with inclosures, yesterday, and was well pleased that you came along, as you must have observed that I held the military control so as to adapt it to any phase the case might assume.
It is but just I should record the fact that I made my terms with General Johnston under the influence of the liberal terms you extended to the army of General Lee at Appomattox Court-House on the 9th, and the seeming policy of our Government, as evinced by the call of the Virginia Legislature and Governor back to Richmond, under yours and President Lincoln’s very eyes.

It now appears this last act was done without any consultation with you or any knowledge of Mr. Lincoln, but rather in opposition to a previous policy well considered.

I have not the least desire to interfere in the civil policy of our Government, but would shun it as something not to my liking; but occasions do arise when a prompt seizure of results is forced on military commanders not in immediate communication with the proper authority. It is probable that the terms signed by General Johnston and myself were not clear enough on the point, well understood between us, that our negotiations did not apply to any parties outside the officers and men of the Confederate armies, which could easily have been remedied.

No surrender of any army not actually at the mercy of an antagonist was ever made without “terms,” and these always define the military status of the surrendered. Thus you stipulated that the officers and men of Lee’s army should not be molested at their homes so long as they obeyed the laws at the place of their residence.

I do not wish to discuss these points involved in our recognition of the State governments in actual existence, but will merely state my conclusions, to await the solution of the future.  Such action on our part in no manner recognizes for a moment the so-called Confederate Government, or makes us liable for its debts or acts.

The laws and acts done by the several States during the period of rebellion are void, because done without the oath prescribed by our Constitution of the United States, which is a “condition precedent.”  We have a right to, use any sort of machinery to produce military results; and it is the commonest thing for military commanders to use the civil governments in actual existence as a means to an end. I do believe we could and can use the present State governments lawfully, constitutionally, and as the very best possible means to produce the object desired, viz., entire and complete submission to the lawful authority of the United States.

As to punishment for past crimes, that is for the judiciary, and can in no manner of way be disturbed by our acts; and, so far as I can, I will use my influence that rebels shall suffer all the personal punishment prescribed by law, as also the civil liabilities arising from their past acts.  What we now want is the new form of law by which common men may regain the positions of industry, so long disturbed by the war.

I now apprehend that the rebel armies will disperse; and, instead of dealing with six or seven States, we will have to deal with numberless bands of desperadoes, headed by such men as Mosby, Forrest, Red Jackson, and others, who know not and care not for danger and its consequences.
I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General commanding.

I wrote a response to Secretary Stanton:

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War, Washington.
DEAR SIR: I have been furnished a copy of your letter of April 21st to General Grant, signifying your disapproval of the terms on which General Johnston proposed to disarm and disperse the insurgents, on condition of amnesty, etc. I admit my folly in embracing in a military convention any civil matters; but, unfortunately, such is the nature of our situation that they seem inextricably united, and I understood from you at Savannah that the financial state of the country demanded military success, and would warrant a little bending to policy.

When I had my conference with General Johnston I had the public examples before me of General Grant’s terms to Lee’s army, and General Weitzel’s invitation to the Virginia Legislature to assemble at Richmond.

I still believe the General Government of the United States has made a mistake; but that is none of my business–mine is a different task; and I had flattered myself that, by four years of patient, unremitting, and successful labor, I deserved no reminder such as is contained in the last paragraph of your letter to General Grant. You may assure the President that I heed his suggestion.
I am truly, etc.,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General Commanding

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Raleigh, N. C., April 25, 1865
Colonel W. W. WRIGHT, Superintendent of Railroads;

SIR: The army moves tomorrow against the enemy in the direction of Greensborough and Salisbury. I wish the road to be repaired as the army progresses, at least as far as the Company’s Shops, in Alamance County. You may see General Schofield, whose army will operate along the road and will guard the construction parties.
I am, &c., W. T. SHERMAN,
Major-General, Commanding

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Raleigh, N. C., April 25, 1865.

General KILPATRICK, Durham’s:
As soon as you have notice at the picket-line of General Johnston’s answer to General Sherman’s dispatch sent out yesterday you will please telegraph me. It may be that the general will want you to open it there and communicate the substance to him by telegraph. Acknowledge receipt of this.
L. M. DAYTON, Assistant Adjutant-General

DURHAM’S, April 25, 1865 5 p.m.
Major L. M. DAYTON, Assistant Adjutant-General:
The communication from General Johnston has just reached my picket-post. Do you wish me to send it by telegraph? Answer.
J. KILPATRICK, Brevet Major-General.

Kilpatrick forwarded the message from General Johnston at 6:15 p.m:

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF TENNESSEE, In the Field, April 25, 1865

Major-General SHERMAN, U. S. Army:

Your dispatch of yesterday received. I propose a modification of the terms offered for the army as you wrote on the 18th; they are modified according to change of circumstances, and a further armistice to arrange details and meeting for that purpose.


I will be up tomorrow. Arrange for me to meet General Johnston tomorrow at 12 m. at the same place as before. Send a note to the picket officer to be telegraphed to Johnston. Answer.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Raleigh, April 25, 1865.
I will meet you at the same place as before, tomorrow at 12 o’clock noon.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Raleigh, N. C., April 25, 1865.
General KILPATRICK, Durham’s:
No orders further than to hold your command well in hand ready to move on notice, but no movement will be made until after the interview between Generals Johnston and Sherman has terminated. Please have about twenty horses ready, as General Howard, Schofield, and probably Blair, will go up with the general. The dismounted men will go up with your train in the morning, as the locomotives cannot haul a sufficient number of cars to accommodate them.
Assistant Adjutant-General

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Raleigh, N. C., April 25, 1865.
Admiral DAHLGREN, Charleston:
I expect Johnston will surrender his army tomorrow. We have had much negotiation, and things are settling down to the terms of General Lee’s army. Jeff. Davis and cabinet, with considerable specie, are making their way toward Cuba. He passed Charlotte going south on the 23rd, and I think he will try to reach Florida coast, either Cedar Keys or lower down. It would be well to catch him. Can’t you watch the east coast and send word round to the west coast?

RALEIGH, April 25, 1865.
Captain YOUNG, or NAVAL COMMANDER, Wilmington:
Please send the dispatches for Admiral Dahlgren and General Gillmore to them by one of your steamers. Admiral Porter authorized me to call on any gun-boat for such service.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Monday, April 24, 1865

Raleigh, North Carolina

Major Hitchcock reported by telegraph his return to Morehead City, and that he would come up by rail during the night. He arrived at 6 a.m., April 24th, accompanied by General Grant and one or two officers of his staff, who had not telegraphed the fact of their being on the train, for prudential reasons. Of course, I was both surprised and pleased to see the general, soon learned that my terms with Johnston had been disapproved, was instructed by him to give the forty-eight hours’ notice required by the terms of the truce, and afterward to proceed to attack or follow him. I immediately telegraphed to General Kilpatrick, at Durham’s, to have a mounted courier ready to carry the following message, then on its way up by rail, to the rebel lines:

General JOHNSTON, commanding Confederate Army, Greensboro':
You will take notice that the truce or suspension of hostilities agreed to between us will cease in forty-eight hours after this is received at your lines, under the first of the articles of agreement.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.

I wrote another short note to General Johnston:
I have replies from Washington to my communications of April 18th. I am instructed to limit my operations to your immediate command, and not to attempt civil negotiations. I therefore demand the surrender of your army on the same terms as were given to General Lee at Appomattox, April 9th instant, purely and simply.

Of course, both these papers were shown to General Grant at the time, before they were sent, and he approved of them.

I sent ordersto all parts of the army to be ready to resume the pursuit of the enemy on the expiration of the forty-eight hours’ truce, and messages were sent to General Gillmore (at Hilton Head) to the same effect, with instructions to get a similar message through to General Wilson, at Macon.

General Grant had brought with him, from Washington, written answers from the Secretary of War, and of himself, to my communications of the 18th. They embraced the copy of a dispatch made by Mr. Stanton to General Grant, when he was pressing Lee at Appomattox.

Lieutenant-General GRANT.
GENERAL: The memorandum or basis agreed upon between General Sherman and General Johnston having been submitted to the President, they are disapproved. You will give notice of the disapproval to General Sherman, and direct him to resume hostilities at the earliest moment.

The instructions given to you by the late President, Abraham Lincoln, on the 3rd of March, by my telegraph of that date, addressed to you, express substantially the views of President Andrew Johnson, and will be observed by General Sherman. A copy is herewith appended.

The President desires that you proceed immediately to the headquarters of Major-General Sherman, and direct operations against the enemy.
Yours truly,
EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War

Grant showed me his copy of the telegram:

City Point, March 4, 1865
Lieutenant-General GRANT:
The President directs me to say to you that he wishes you to have no conference with General Lee, unless it be for the capitulation of Lee’s army or on solely minor and purely military matters.

He instructs me to say that you are not to decide, discuss, or confer upon any political question; such questions the President holds in his own hands, and will submit them to no military conferences or conventions.
Meantime you are to press to the utmost your military advantages.
EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War

This is the Letter that Grant handed me:


Major-General W. T. SHERMAN, Commanding Military Division of the Mississippi.
GENERAL: The basis of agreement entered into between yourself and General J. E. Johnston, for the disbandment of the Southern army, and the extension of the authority of the General Government over all the territory belonging to it, sent for the approval of the President, is received.

I read it carefully myself before submitting it to the President and Secretary of War, and felt satisfied that it could not possibly be approved. My reason for these views I will give you at another time, in a more extended letter.

Your agreement touches upon questions of such vital importance that, as soon as read, I addressed a note to the Secretary of War, notifying him of their receipt, and the importance of immediate action by the President; and suggested, in view of their importance, that the entire Cabinet be called together, that all might give an expression of their opinions upon the matter. The result was a disapproval by the President of the basis laid down; a disapproval of the negotiations altogether except for the surrender of the army commanded by General Johnston, and directions to me to notify you of this decision. I cannot do no better than by sending you the inclosed copy of a dispatch (penned by the late President, though signed by the Secretary of War) in answer to me, on sending a letter received from General Lee, proposing to meet me for the purpose of submitting the question of peace to a convention of officers.

Please notify General Johnston, immediately on receipt of this, of the termination of the truce, and resume hostilities against his army at the earliest moment you can, acting in good faith.
Very respectfully your obedient servant,
U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General


HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Raleigh, N. C., April 24, 1865.
General GILLMORE, Hilton Head, S. C.:
Send several couriers by different routes by land from Savannah to General Wilson, at Macon, that the truce is at an end hostilities are resumed, and that he will go on and act according to original orders. You will also do the same.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

My troops are busy preparing to move within 48 hours.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sunday, April 23, 1865

Raleigh, North Carolina

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Raleigh, N. C., April 23, 1865 7 a.m.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Commanding Confederate Army, Greensborough:
Your communication of 2;30 p.m. yesterday is received. My line of communication with General Wilson is not secure enough for me to confuse him by a change in mere words; of course the ‘status quo” is mutual, but I leave him to apply it to his case according to his surroundings. I would not instruct him to undo all done by him between the actual date of our agreement and the time the knowledge reached him. I beg therefore to leave him free to apply the rule to his own case. Indeed, I have almost exceeded the bounds of prudence in checking him without the means of direct communication, and only did so on my absolute faith in your personal character. I inclose a dispatch for General Wilson in cipher, which translated simply advises him to keep his command well together, and to act according to the best of his ability, doing as little harm to the country as possible until he knows hostilities are resumed.
I am, with respect,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, U. S. Army.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Raleigh, N. C., April 23, 1865.

General WILSON:
Cipher dispatch received. There is a general suspension of hostilities awaiting the assent of our new President to certain civil points before making a final military convection of peace. Act according to your own good sense until you are certain the war is over. Keep possession of some key point that will secure your present advantages, rest your men and horses, and in a few days you will receive either positive information of peace or can infer the contrary. My messenger should be back from Washington tomorrow.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIV. OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Raleigh, N. C., April 23, 1865.
I send bundle of papers for you jointly. These are the latest. Telegraphic dispatches are here to the 19th. Young Fred. Seward is alive, having been subjected to the trepan, and may possibly recover. There appears no doubt the murder of Mr. Lincoln was done by Booth, and the attempt on Mr. Seward by Surratt, who is in custody. All will sooner or later be caught. The feeling North on this subject is more intense than anything that ever occurred before. General Ord, at Richmond, has recalled the permission given for the Virginia Legislature, and I fear much the assassination of the President will give such a bias to the popular mind which, in connection with the desire of our politicians, may thwart our purpose of recognizing “existing local governments. ” But it does seem to me there must be good sense enough left on this continent to give order and shape to the now disjointed elements of government. I believe this assassination of Mr. Lincoln will do the cause of the South more harm than any event of the war, both at home and abroad, and I doubt if the Confederate military authorities had any more complicity with it than I had. I am thus frank with you and have asserted as much to the War Department . But I dare not say as much for Mr. Davis or some of the civil functionaries, for it seems the plot was fixed for March 4, but delayed, awaiting some instructions from Richmond. You will find in the newspaper I send you all the information I have on this point. Major Hitchcock should be back tomorrow, and if any delay occurs it will result from the changed feeling about Washington arising this new and unforeseen complication.
I am, yours,

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Raleigh, N. C., April 23, 1865 8 p.m.
Major Hitchcock reports his arrival at Morehead City with dispatches from Washington, and will be here in the morning. Please be in readiness to resume negotiations when the contents of dispatches are known.
Very respectfully,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, U. S. Army.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Raleigh, N. C., April 23, 1865.
General Sherman request most urgently that you will put the telegraph wire in working condition from Weldon to connect with the U. S. lines near Petersburg. The opening of this line and its use on Tuesday may be of vast importance. He will pay a reasonable sum for the expense and extra exertion to put the line working so he can use it if needed on Tuesday. Please answer.
L. M. DAYTON, Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Raleigh, N. C., April 23, 1865
Major-General KILPATRICK, Commanding Cavalry Division:
The grades of the railroad between Goldsborough and this point are so heavy it is found impossible to spare rolling-stock to supply your command at Durham’s by railroad. If you have not sufficient wagons to supply yourself the general-in-chief is willing you should, for the convenience of supply, move the bulk of your command to within, say, ten miles of this place, leaving your pickets where now established.
I am, general, with respect,
L. M. DAYTON, Assistant Adjutant-General.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Saturday, April 22, 1865

Raleigh, North Carolina

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Raleigh, N. C., April 22, 1865.
Lieutenant General U. S. GRANT, Washington:
Wilson held Macon on the 20th, with Howel Cobb, G. W. Smith, and others as prisoners; but they claimed the benefit of my armistice, and he has telegraphed to me through the rebel lines for orders. I have answered him that he may draw out of Macon and hold his command for further orders, unless he has reason to believe the rebels are changing the status to our prejudice. A brigade of rebels offered to surrender to me yesterday, but I prefer to make one grand finale, which I believe to be perfectly practicable. There will be no trouble in adjusting matters. North Carolina ought to be satisfied with Charleston and Columbia in ruins. All we await is an answer from you and the President. Weather fine and roads good. The troops ready for fight or home.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

NEW BERNE, April 22, 1865.
Major-General SHERMAN:
The following from General Grant is sent for your information:
Lieutenatn-General GRANT and Major-General HALLECK:
I have the honor to report the capture this day of the rebel fortifictions at Blakely with 2,400 prisoners and 20 guns.
E. R. S. CANBY, Major-General.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Raleigh, N. C., April 22, 1865.
General A. B. DYER, Chief of Ordnance, Washington, D. C.:
GENERAL: Your letter of February 1 reached me here today; why so long delayed I cannot imagine, unless it went down to Savannah, back to New York, and thence coastwise to New Berne, &c. I explain this as my silence must have seemed unpardonable. I should dislike to lose Colonels Baylor and Buel just at this time, because I do think the chances are of a speedy disbandment of a large part of this volunteer army, and officers such as these familir with the troops can save a vast amount of property to your department. The arms and artillery of this army are in fine order and I shall endeavor to see they are so kept till passed over to your arsenals. Should events next week take a different turn from what I exprect I consent that your order any competent officers to relieve Baylor and Buel. I thank you for the compliment paid me as to strategy, &c. I believe our southern winter excursions have solved the great problem.
With much respect,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Raleigh, N. C., April 22, 1865.
P. A. DUNN, Esq.,
SIR: I would like to have the telegraph opened hence to connect with our system near Petersburg. If you will cause the line to be opened to Weldon and then send a party on to Petersburg I guarantee safety to the party and operator, and also will pay for messages sent and received. This letter taken by the repain party beyond the Roanoke will command respct at Petersburg.
Yours, truly,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Raleigh, N. C., April 22, 1865.
Hon D. L. SWAIN, Chapel Hill, N. C.:
MY DEAR SIR: Yours of April 19 was laid before me yesterday, and I am pleased that you recognize in General Atkins a fair representation of our army. The moment war ceases, and I think that time is at hand, all seizures of horses and private property will cease on our part, and it may be we will be able to spare some animals for the use of the farmers of your neighborhood. There now exists a species of truce, but we must stand prepared for action; but I believe that in a very few days a definite and general peace will be aranged, when I will make orders that will be in accordance with the new state of affairs. I do believe I fairly represent the feelings of my contrymen, that we prefer peace to war, but if war is forced upon we must meet it, but if peace be possible we will accept it and be the friends of the farmers and working classes of North Carolina, as well as actual patrons of churches, colleges, asylums, and all institutions of learning and charity. Accept the assurances of my respect and high esteem. I have read the volume sent me and find it interesting.
I am, truly, yours,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Friday, April 21, 1865

Raleigh, North Carolina

I received this report from General Wilson in Macon, Georgia via General Johnston:

Headquarters Cavalry Corps, Military Division of the Mississippi, Macon, April 20:
Major General W. T. SHERMAN: (Through headquarters General Beauregard.)
My advance received the surrender of this with its garrison this evening. General Cobb had previously se3nt me, under flag of truce, a copy of a telegram form General Beauregard declaring the existence of an armistice between all the troops under your command and those of General Johnston. Without question the authority of this dispatch or the application to my command. I could not communicate orders to my advance in time to prevent the capture of the place. I shall therefore hold its garrison, including Major-Generals Cobb and G. W. Smith and Brigadier-General Mackall, prisoners of war. Please send me orders. I shall remain here a reasonable length of time to hear from you.
J. H. WILSON, Brevet Major-General

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Raleigh, N. C., April 21 1865.
General J. E. JOHNSTON, Commanding Confederate Army:
GENERAL: I send you a letter for General Wilson, which, if sent by telegraph and courier, will check his career. He may mistrust the telegraph, therefore better send the original, for he cannot mistake my handwriting, with which he is familiar. He seems to have his blood up and will be hard to hold. If he can buy corn, fodder, and rations down about Fort Valley it will obviate the necessity of his going up to Rome or Dalton. It is reported to me from Cairo that Mobile is in our possession, but it is not minute or official. General Baker sent in to me wanting to surrender his command on the theory that the whole Confederate Army was surrendered. I explained to him or his staff officer the exact truth and left him to act as he thought proper. He seems to have disbanded his men, deposited a few arms about twenty miles from here and himself awaits your action. I will not hold him, his men, or arms subject to any condition other than final one we may agree on.

I shall look for Major Hitchcock back from Washington on Wednesday and shall promptly notify you of the result. By the action of General Weitzel, in relation to the Virginia Legislature, I feel certain we will have no trouble on the score of recognizing existing State governements. It may be the lawyers will want us to define more minutely what is meant by the guarantee of rights of person and property. It may be construed into a compart for us to undo the past as to the righst of slaves and “leases of plantations” on the Mississippi, of “vacant and abandoned” plantations. I wish you would talk to the best men you have on these points and if possible let us in the final convention make these points so clear as to leave no room for angry controversy. I believe, if the South publicly declare what we all feel, that slavery, is dead, that you would inaugurate an era of peace and prosperity that would soon efface the ravages of the past four years of war. Negroes would remain in the South and afford you abundance of cheap labor which otherwise will be driven away, and it will save the country the senseless discussions which have kept us all in hot water for fifty years.

Although strictly speaking this is no subject of a military convention, yet I am honestly convinced that our simple declaration of a result will be accepted as good law everywhere. Of course I have not a single word from Washington on this or any other point of our agreement, but I know the effect of such a step by us will be universally accepted.
I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, U. S. Army.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Raleigh, N. C., April 21, 1865.

General JAMES H. WILSON, Commanding Cavalry, Division of the Mississippi, Macon, Ga.: (Through General J. E. Johnston)
GENERAL: A suspension of hostilities was agreed on between General Johnston and myself on Tuesday, April 18, at 12 noon. I want that agreement religioulsy observed, and you may release the generals captured at Macon, occupy ground convenient, contract for supplies for your command, and forbear any act of hostility until you hear or have reason to believe hostilities are resumed. In the meanitime, it is also agreed the position of the enemy’s forces must not be altered to our prejudice. You know by this time that General Lee has surrendered to General Grant the rebel Army of Northern Virginia, and that I only await the sanction of the President. You will shape your conduct on this knowledge unless you have overwhelming proof to the contrary.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Raleigh, N. C., April 21, 1865.
General BRIDGE, Goldsborough:
Notify General Prince that all bridges over Neuse River have been destroyed but the one known on our maps as Hinton’s Bridge. He had therefore better send a pioneer party in advance of his command to build a trestle-bridge at Smithfield. He will find plenty of material there by using houses.
L. M. DAYTON, Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,In the Field, Raleigh, N. C., April 21, 1865.
S. L. FREMONT, Esq, Wilmington, N. C.:
SIR: I have before me your letter addressed to General Hawley, inclosing a paper signed by John Dawson, Edward Kiddon, and others testifying to your feelings of loyalty and attachment to the Government of the United States. Of course I am gratifield to know the truth as to one for whom I entertained friendship dated far back in other and better days. I will be frank and honest with you. Simple passive submission to events by a man in the prime of life is not all that is due to society in times of revolution. Had the Northern men residing at the South spoken out manfully and truly at the outset, the active secessionists could not have carried the masses of men as they did. It may not be that the war could have been avoided, but the rebellion would not have assumed the mammoth proportions it did.

The idea of war to perpetuate slavery in the year 1861 was insult to the intelligence of the age. As long as the South abided by the conditions of our fundamental contract of government, the Constitution, all law abiding citizens were bound to respect the property in slaves, whether they approved it or not, but when the South violated that compact openly, publicly, and violently, it was absurd to suppose we were bound to respect that kind of property or any kind of property. I do have a feeling allied to abhorrence toward Northern men resident South, for their silence or asquiescence was one of the causes of the war assuming the magnitude it did, and in consequence we mourn the loss of such men as John F. Reynolds, McPherson, and thousands of noble gentlemen, any one of whom was worth all slaves of the South and half of the white popultion thrown in.

The result is nearly accomplished, and is what you might have foreseen, and in a measure prevented: desolation from the Ohio to the Gulf, and mourning in every household. I am not made of stone, and cannot help indulging in a feeling toward the Union men South who failed at the proper time to meet the storm and check it before it gained full headway. I have a right to speak thus, because I was South in 1861 and saw myself such men as Duncan, Bush, Johnston, and others join in the popular sneer at Yankees when they knew better. For them I have not aparticle of sympathy, and for the other calsses of Northern men who were coerced or wheedled into asquiescence or neutrality, all I can say is that I will not sit in judgment on them, but I shall never confide in their courage, manliness, or virtue.
I am, with respect,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.

NEW BERNE, April 21, 1865.
Major-General SHERMAN:
The members of the legisltaure now here request me to say to you that they do not expect an early meeting, but they desire to have an interview with you, hoping to aid the pacifiacation of the State and make suggestions thereto. Can they go to Raleigh?
I. N. PALMER, Brigadier-General.

Brigadier-General PALMER, New Berne, N. C.:
The State legistature can do no good here at present, and not until the military authorities have settled military matters. Then they will be duly notified and can come up.
L. M. DAYTON, Assistant Adjutant-General

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment