Port Royal, South Carolina
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In Savannah River, May 2, 1865.
Lieutenant General U. S. GRANT, Commander-in-Chief, Washington, D. C.:
Captain Hosea is here with dispatches for you and me from General Wilson at Macon. I have sent to him copies of the terms of surrender made by General Johnston with copies of my orders, 65 and 66, which devolved on him the paroling the prisoners there. I have also sent him orders to destroy the guns, muskets, and munitions that he cannot carry away and to move his command back to the neighborhood of Decatur, Ala., to report to me or General Thomas. Yesterday I sent up to Augusta the captured river boat Jeff. Davis, loaded with sugar, coffee, bread, and clothing, for General Wilson, which can go out to him by cars. By her I sent a small detachment of forty men, all she can carry, to open communication with him and to occupy the arsenal until relieved by a brigade which General Gillmore will send up under command of General Molineux. Another boat, the Amazon, loaded at Hilton Head, will follow today to Augusta, so that Wilson should have in less than a week supplies to enable him to make his return march in all May.
In Savannah, the most admirable order is preserved, and I saw many people from the interior who were overjoyed at the fact that the war is over, and all accept the acknowledged fact that slavery is forever dead. But, as was to be expected, an undefined fear exists because no one can give any clue to the from which their civil affairs may take. I have cautioned General Gillmore on this matter, so that Administration can proceed in their own way to substitute some from of civil government. I will go into Charleston tomorrow, and thence return to Morehead City to confer with General Schofield by telegraph, and, when assured that all things are proceeding well in North Carolina, will go to Richmond to meet my army, which will begin to arrive there about the 12th instant.
I should like to have orders meet me there. Inasmuch as the command of the Departments of South and North Carolina were conferred on me to facilitate my operations in the field, and as these are concluded, I shall abstiain from exercising further command, except over the four corps marching from Raleigh for Richmond.
I am, with respect, yours, truly,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General