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[576]

Chapter 54:


The invitation to General Johnston for a conference, noticed in a previous chapter, was as follows:

Greensboro, North Carolina, April 11, 1865—12 M.
General J. E. Johnston, headquarters, via Raleigh:
The Secretary of War did not join me at Danville. Is expected here this afternoon.

As your situation may render best, I will go to your headquarters immediately after the arrival of the Secretary of War, or you can come here; in the former case our conference must be without the presence of General Beauregard. I have no official report from General Lee. The Secretary of War may be able to add to information heretofore communicated.

The important question first to be solved is, At what point shall concentration be made, in view of the present position of the two columns of the enemy, and the routes which they may adopt to engage your forces before a proposed junction with General Walker and others. Your more intimate knowledge of the data for the solution of the problem deters me from making a specific suggestion on that point.


In compliance with this request, General J. E. Johnston came up from Raleigh to Greensboro, and with General Beauregard met me and most of my Cabinet at my quarters in a house occupied by Colonel J. Taylor Wood's family. Though I was fully sensible of the gravity of our position, seriously affected as it was by the evacuation of the capital, the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia, and the consequent discouragement which these events would produce, I did not think we should despair. We still had effective armies in the field, and a vast extent of rich and productive territory both east and west of the Mississippi, whose citizens had evinced no disposition to surrender. Ample supplies had been collected in the railroad depots, and much

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April 11th, 1865 AD (1)
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