previous next
[152] United States. Mr. Davis and myself were captured while endeavoring to make our way to the west of the Mississippi for the purpose of continuing the struggle there, if practicable, long enough to get better terms. General Breckenridge was not sent to confer with General Johnston as soon as Mr. Davis heard of the surrender of General Lee, if that is what the writer means to assert. Mr. Davis and his Cabinet remained at Danville, Virginia, for several days after being informed of the surrender of General Lee, and then went to Greensboroa, North Carolina, where they remained a week or two. It was after we had left Greensboroa for Charlotte, North Carolina, and had gone as far as Lexington, in that State, that Mr. Davis received a dispatch from General Johnston, requesting him to send him assistance in his negotiations with General Sherman. General Breckenridge and myself were then sent back by him to join General Johnston at his headquarters, near Hillsboroa, and to aid him in his negotiations. This was done at this time, and at the suggestion of General Johnston, and not as soon as Mr. Davis heard of the surrender of General Lee, as supposed by General Wilson. Much as Mr. Davis, no doubt, respected and esteemed General Breckenridge, it is not true that he confided his hopes to him, or to any other single person. What is said by General Wilson about the “last council of the Confederacy,” is, no doubt, a fancy sketch, intended to round up handsomely this fiction, unrelieved by a single fact.

If the writer of this paper is Major General Wilson, who was in command at Macon, Georgia, when we were captured, I shall regret that he has allowed himself to be the author of such a paper, as I felt, and still feel, under obligations to him for a personal favor when I was passing that place. When we reached Macon, where we remained a few hours, we were informed that Mr. Davis and Mr. Clay, of Alabama, who were there, would be sent on to Washington City, and that I and the other prisoners were to remain there. At my own request, I saw General Wilson, and applied to him to have the order so modified as to allow me to go on with Mr. Davis. I based this request on the ground that Mr. Davis was worn down by his labors, and in feeble health; that I was the only member of his Cabinet with him, and I hoped to be of some service to him; and as we had been together through the conflict, I desired to share his fortunes whatever they might be. After some remarks by him about the danger I would invoke on myself, and my reply that I had fully considered all that, he said that he would see if the order could not be changed, and before we left there we were notified that we were all to go together. While I regretted that some others were sent on, I was grateful to him for the favor done me.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Jefferson Davis (9)
James H. Wilson (4)
Joseph E. Johnston (4)
Fitz Lee (3)
Breckenridge (3)
Billy Sherman (1)
Clement C. Clay (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: