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[351] I became fully satisfied, at night, that it was really over.

At the time of Sherman's first interview with Johnston I hinted that I would like to accompany him; but he desired me to remain in immediate command, as I was next in rank, and we could not tell what might happen. He took some others with him, but I believe had no one present in the room to assist him in his discussion with Johnston and Breckinridge. At his last interview I accompanied him, by his special request. On meeting at Bennett's House, after the usual salutations Generals Sherman and Johnston retired to the conference room, and were there a long time with closed doors. At length I was summoned to their presence, and informed in substance that they were unable to arrange the terms of capitulation to their satisfaction. They seemed discouraged at the failure of the arrangement to which they had attached so much importance, apprehensive that the terms of Grant and Lee, pure and simple, could not be executed, and that if modified at all, they would meet with a second disapproval. I listened to their statements of the difficulties they had encountered, and then stated how I thought they could all be arranged. General Johnston replied, in substance, ‘I think General Schofield can fix it’; and General Sherman intimated to me to write, pen and paper being on the table where I was sitting, while the two great antagonists were nervously pacing the floor. I at once wrote the military convention of April 26, handed it to General Sherman, and he, after reading it, to General Johnston. Having explained that I, as department commander, after General Sherman was gone, could do all that might be necessary to remove the difficulties which seemed to them so serious, the terms as written by me were agreed to, as General Sherman says, ‘without hesitation,’ and General Johnston, ‘without difficulty,’ and

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William T. Sherman (6)
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