General Upton's division to Augusta, General McCook's division to Tallahassee, to receive the surrender of those garrisons, take charge of the public property, and execute the paroles required by the terms of the surrender. He reported a sufficiency of forage for his horses in South-west Georgia, but asked me to send him a supply of clothing, sugar, coffee, &c., by way of Augusta, Georgia, whence he could get it by rail. I therefore went rapidly to Goldsboroa and Wilmington, reaching the latter city at ten A. M. of the twenty-ninth, and the same day embarked for Hilton Head in the blockade-runner Russia, Captain A. M. Smith. I found General Q. A. Gillmore, commanding Department of the South, at Hilton Head, on the evening of April thirtieth, and ordered him to send to Augusta at once what clothing and small stores he could spare for General Wilson, and to open up a line of certain communication and supply with him at Macon, Within an hour the captured steam-boats Jeff Davis and Amazon, both adapted to the shallow and crooked navigation of the Savannah river, were being loaded, the one at Savannah and the other at Hilton Head. The former started up the river on the first of May, in charge of a very intelligent officer (whose name I cannot recall) and forty-eight men, all the boat could carry, with orders to occupy temporarily the United States arsenal at Augusta, and to open up communication with General Wilson at Macon, in the event that General McCook's division of cavalry was not already there. The Amazon followed next day, and General Gillmore had made the necessary orders for a brigade of infantry, to be commanded by General Molyneaux, to follow by a land march to Augusta as its permanent garrison. Another brigade of infantry was ordered to occupy Orangeburg, South Carolina, the point furthest in the interior that can at present be reached by rail from the sea-coast (Charleston). On the first of May I went on to Savannah, where General Gillmore also joined me, and the arrangements ordered for the occupation of Augusta were consummated. At Savannah I found the city in the most admirable police, under direction of Brevet Major-General Grover, and the citizens manifested the most unqualified joy to hear that, so far as they were concerned, the war was over. All classes, Union men as well as former rebels, did not conceal, however, the apprehensions naturally arising from a total ignorance of the political conditions to be attached to their future state. Anything at all would be preferable to this dread uncertainty. On the evening of the second of May I returned to Hilton Head, and there, for the first time, received the New York papers of April twenty-eighth, containing Secretary Stanton's despatch of nine A. M. of the twenty-seventh of April to General Dix, including General Halleck's, from Richmond, of nine P. M. of the night before, which seems to have been rushed with extreme haste before an excited public, namely, morning of the twenty-eighth. You will observe from the dates that these despatches were running back and forth from Richmond and Washington to New York, and there published, while General Grant and I were together in Raleigh, North Carolina, adjusting, to the best of our ability, the terms of surrender of the only remaining formidable rebel army in existence at the time east of the Mississippi river. Not one word of intimation had been sent to me of the displeasure of the Government with my official conduct, but only the naked disapproval of a skeleton memorandum sent properly for the action of the President of the United States. The most objectionable features of my memorandum had already (April twenty-fourth) been published to the world in violation of official usage, and the contents of my accompanying letters to General Halleck, General Grant, and Mr. Stanton, of even date, though at hand, were suppressed. In all these letters I had stated clearly and distinctly that Johnston's army would not fight, but, if pushed, would “disband” and “scatter” into small and dangerous guerrilla parties as injurious to the interests of the United States as to the rebels themselves; that all parties admitted that the rebel cause of the South was abandoned; that the negro was free; and that the temper of all was most favorable to a lasting peace. I say all these opinions of mine were withheld from the public with a seeming purpose; and I do contend that my official experience and former services, as well as my past life and familiarity with the people and geography of the South, entitled my opinions to at least a decent respect, Although this despatch (Mr. Stanton's of April twenty-seventh) was printed “official,” it had come to me only in the questionable newspapar paragraph, headed “Sherman's truce disregarded.” I had already done what General Wilson wanted me to do, namely, had sent him supplies of clothing and food, with clear and distinct orders and instructions how to carry out in Western Georgia the terms for the surrender of arms and paroling of prisoners made by General Johnston's capitulation of April twenty-sixth, and had properly and most opportunely ordered General Gillmore to occupy Orangeburg and Augusta, strategic points of great value at all times, in peace or war; but as the Secretary had taken upon himself to order my subordinate generals to disobey my “orders,” I explained to General Gillmore that I would no longer confuse him or General Wilson with “orders” that might conflict with those of the Secretary, which, as reported, were sent, not through me, but in open disregard of me and of my lawful authority. It now becomes my duty to paint, in justly severe characters, the still more offensive and dangerous matter of General Halleck's despatch of April twenty-sixth to the Secretary of War,
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Table of Contents:
Doc . 16 . operations in Tennessee .
Doc . 19 . the siege of Suffolk, Virginia .
Doc . 36 . General Rousseau 's expedition.
Doc . 59 . battles of Spottsylvania , Va: battle of Sunday , May 8 , 1864 .
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