I replied that our relative positions were too different from those of the armies in Virginia
to justify me in such a capitulation, but suggested that we might do more than he proposed: that, instead of a partial suspension of hostilities, we might, as other generals had done, arrange the terms of a permanent peace, and among other precedents reminded him of the preliminaries of Leoben, and the terms in which Napoleon
, then victorious, proposed negotiation to the Archduke Charles
; and the sentiment he expressed, that the civic crown earned by preserving the life of one citizen confers truer glory than the highest achievement merely military.
replied, with heightened color, that he appreciated such a sentiment, and that to put an end to further devastation and bloodshed, and restore the Union
, and with it the prosperity of the country, were to him objects of ambition.
We then entered into a discussion of the terms that might be given to the Southern States
, on their submission to the authority of the United States
. General Sherman
seemed to regard the resolutions of Congress and the declarations of the President
of the United States
as conclusive that the restoration of the Union
was the object of the war, and to believe that the soldiers of the United States
had been fighting for that object.
A long official conversation with Mr. Lincoln
, on Southern affairs a very short time before, had convinced him that the President
then adhered to that view.
In the course of the afternoon we agreed upon the terms expressed in the memorandum drawn up on the 18th, except that General Sherman