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[318] us, and enquired whether we accepted the conditions of the letter he bore, and which we had been advised of and furnished with?

The only answer we could make was to submit our letter of appointment to observation. The discrepancy between obtaining a peace on the basis of “one common country” and a peace “between two countries” was pointed out, and we were told we could not proceed. We argued that peace was desirable and desired, and that the information sought was how peace was to be had. I remember our friend Mr. Stephens suggested that neither note was accurate, for that thirty-six countries (States) were involved. General Grant and Colonel Eckert retired and conferred, and were most emphatic in their refusal after this information. We addressed one, and perhaps more letters, to those officers, to change the resolution so that the expedition might not be wholly abortive, but without result.

During the night following General Grant visited the Commissioners, and sat with Mr. Stephens and yourself for some time. I was sick and not present.

As a consequence of his intercourse he telegraphed President Lincoln favorably in respect to the Conference, and recommended that he should see the Commissioners. The following day, perhaps, we heard that a conference would take place at Hampton Roads, and perhaps on the day after the Conference took place. The correspondence of the Commissioners, the report of General Grant, and the result of the Conference were communicated to the Congress of the United States by President Lincoln in February, 1865. By a reference to these the dates may be seen. I speak only from memory.

At Hampton Roads Mr. Stephens, with clearness and precision, stated the conditions we had been instructed to place before the President and the dispositions we had in respect to them, and which we had supposed were more or less settled upon.

President Lincoln disclaimed all knowledge of any such proposed connections, denied having given any sort of authority to any one to hold out any expectations of any arrangements of the kind being made, and declared that he would listen to no proposition which did not include an immediate recognition of the National authority in all the States and the abandonment of resistance to it.

I confess that these answers did not surprise me, and that any other would have filled me with amazement.

Very truly, your friend,

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