and myself of their “convention.”
Whereupon an interview was arranged between us to determine a course of action, and a place selected ten miles north of Mobile
, near the railway.
Accompanied by a staff officer, Colonel William M. Levy
(now a member of Congress from Louisiana
), and making use of a “hand car,” I reached the appointed spot, and found General Canby
with a large escort, and many staff and other officers.
Among these I recognized some old friends, notably General Canby
himself and Admiral James Palmer
All extended cordial greetings.
A few moments of private conversation with Canby
led to the establishment of a truce, to await further intelligence from the North
Forty-eight hours notice was to be given by the party desiring to terminate the truce.
We then joined the throng of officers, and although every one present felt a deep conviction that the last hour of the sad struggle approached, no allusion was made to it. Subjects awakening memories of the past, when all were sons of a loved, united country, were, as by the natural selection of good breeding, chosen.
A bountiful luncheon was soon spread, and I was invited to partake of patis, champagne-frappe, and other “delights,” which, to me, had long been as lost arts.
As we took our seats at the table, a military band in attendance commenced playing “Hail Columbia.”
Excusing himself, General Canby
walked to the door.
The music ceased for a moment, and then the strain of “Dixie” was heard.
Old Froissart records no gentler act of “courtesie.”
Warmly thanking General Canby
for his delicate consideration, I asked for “Hail Columbia,” and proposed we should unite in the hope that our Columbia
would soon be, once more, a happy land.
This and other kindred sentiments were duly honored in “frappe,” and, after much pleasant intercourse, the party separated.
The succeeding hours were filled with a grave responsibility, which could not be evaded or shared.
Circumstances had appointed me to watch the dying agonies of a cause that had fixed the attention of the world.
To my camp, as the last refuge in the storm, cane many members of the Confederate Congress.
These gentlemen were urged to go at once to their respective homes, and, by precept and example, teach the people to submit to the inevitable, obey the laws, and resume the peaceful occupations on which society depends.
This advice was followed, and with excellent effect on public tranquility.
dispatched that his government disavowed the Johnston-Sherman
convention, and it would be his duty to resume hostilities.
Almost at the same instant came the news of Johnston