concerning the military resources of our department, in connection with the question of continuing or terminating the war. But the President
's object seemed to be to give, not to obtain information; for, addressing the party, he said that in two or three weeks he would have a large army in the field by bringing back into the ranks those who had abandoned them in less desperate circumstances, and by calling out the enrolled men whom the conscript bureau with its forces had been unable to bring into the army.
It was remarked, by the military officers
, that men who had left the army when our cause was not desperate, and those who, under the same circumstances, could not be forced into it, would scarcely, in the present desperate condition of our affairs, enter the service upon mere invitation.
Neither opinions nor information was asked, and the conference terminated.
Before leaving the room we learned that Maj.-Gen. Breckenridge
's arrival was expected in the course of the afternoon, and it was not doubted that he would bring certain intelligence of the state of affairs in Virginia
came as expected, and confirmed the report of the surrender of the army in Virginia
and myself, conversing together after the intelligence of the great disaster, reviewed the condition of our affairs, and carefully compared the resources of the belligerents, and agreed in the opinion that the Southern Confederacy was overthrown.
In conversation with General Breckenridge
afterward, I repeated this, and said that the only power of government left in the President
's hands was that of terminating the war, and that this