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[758] of Texas, when the good sense of the Rebel rank and file in that State saved her from a hopeless and damaging experience of the horrors of war. While the chiefs were still making preparations for a desperate resistance, their hitherto submissive followers bluntly refused to be thus foolishly sacrificed, and, dissolving their organizations, they helped themselves to whatever they could seize of the effects of the death-stricken Confederacy, and dispersed to their several homes; leaving their officers no choice but to make the best attainable terms. Before Sheridan had started, therefore, certain of Smith's staff officers, headed by Lt.-Gen. S. B. Buckner, made their way down to Baton Rouge, and there concluded1 with Gen. Osterhaus, acting for Gen. Canby, a capitulation substantially identical with that accorded by Canby to Dick Taylor; the stipulation for “transportation and subsistence” inclusive. This requirement involved the Government in very moderate expense. The great body of the “soldiers of the trans-Mississippi Army” had already appropriated all the “subsistence and transportation” they could lay their hands on, and gone their several ways — profoundly convinced that rebellion, with overt war against the authority and integrity of the Union, was not a paying business, and determined to devote their time and talents henceforth to something more profitable.

Ere this surrender, the removal2 by Presidential proclamation of restrictions on commercial intercourse with the revolted States, the release3 on parole of all prisoners of war below the rank of Colonel who would take the oath of allegiance, and the mustering for review at Washington4 of the two main armies of the Republic, gave earnest of the virtual termination of hostilities; which was soon afterward formally announced in the following General Order:

War Department, Adjutant-General's Office, Washington, D. C., June 2, 1865.
Soldiers of the Armies of the United States:
By your patriotic devotion to your country in the hour of danger and alarm, your magnificent fighting, bravery, and endurance, you have maintained the supremacy of the Union and the Constitution, overthrown all armed opposition to the enforcement of the laws and of the proclamations forever abolishing Slavery — the cause and pretext of the Rebellion — and opened the way to the rightful authorities to restore order and inaugurate peace on a permanent and enduring basis on every foot of American soil. Your marches, sieges, and battles, in distance, duration, resolution, and brilliancy of results, dim the luster of the world's past military achievements, and will be the patriot's precedent in defense of liberty and right in all time to come. In obedience to your country's call, you left your homes and families, and volunteered in her defense. Victory has crowned your valor, and secured the purpose of your patriotic hearts; and, with the gratitude of your countrymen and the highest honors a great and free nation can accord, you will soon be permitted to return to your homes and families, conscious of having discharged the highest duty of American citizens. To achieve these glorious triumphs and secure to yourselves, your fellow-countrymen, and posterity, the blessings of free institutions, tens of thousands of your gallant comrades have fallen and sealed the priceless legacy with their blood. The graves of these a grateful nation bedews with tears, honors their memories, and will ever cherish and support their stricken families.

U. S. Grant, Lt.-General.

The wholesale discharge of Rebel prisoners of war — to whom was accorded transportation to their respective homes — was directed by an order from the Adjutant-General's office, dated May 6th. The number actually

1 May 26.

2 April 29.

3 May 7.

4 May 22-3.

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