embodied in his to General Dix of April twenty-seventh. General Halleck had been Chief of Staff of the army at Washington, in which capacity he must have received my official letter of April eighteenth, wherein I wrote clearly that if Johnston's army about Greensboroa were “pushed” it would “disperse,” an event I wished to prevent. About that time he seems to have been sent from Washington to Richmond to command the new military division of the James, in assuming charge of which, on the twenty-second, he defines the limits of his authority to be the “Department of Virginia, the Army of the Potomac, and such part of North Carolina as may not be occupied by the command of Major-General Sherman.” (See his General Orders No. 1). Four days later, April twenty-sixth, he reports to the Secretary that he has ordered Generals Meade, Sheridan, and Wright, to invade that part of North Carolina which was occupied by my command, and pay “no regard to any truce or orders of” mine. They were ordered to “push forward, regardless of any orders save those of Lieutenant-General Grant, and cut off Johnston's retreat.” He knew at the time he penned that despatch and made those orders, that Johnston was not retreating, but was halted under a forty-eight hours truce with me, and was laboring to surrender his command and prevent its dispersion into guerrilla bands, and that I had on the spot a magnificent army at my command, amply sufficient for all purposes required by the occasion. The plan of cutting off a retreat from the direction of Burksville and Danville is hardly worthy one of his military education and genius. When he contemplated an act so questionable as the violation of a “truce” made by competent authority within his sphere of command, he should have gone himself and not have sent subordinates, for he knew I was bound in honor to defend and maintain my own truce and pledge of faith, even at the cost of many lives. When an officer pledges the faith of his government, he is bound to defend it, and he is no soldier who would violate it knowingly. As to Davis and his stolen treasure, did General Halleck, as Chief of Staff or commanding officer of the neighboring military division, notify me of the facts contained in his despatch to the Secretary? No, he did not. If the Secretary of War wanted Davis caught, why not order it, instead of, by publishing in the newspapers, putting him on his guard to hide away and escape? No orders or instructions to catch Davis or his stolen treasure ever came to me; but on the contrary, I was led to believe that the Secretary of War rather preferred he should effect an escape from the country, if made “unknown” to him. But even on this point I enclose a copy of my letter to Admiral Dahlgren, at Charleston, sent him by a fleet steamer from Wilmington on the twenty-fifth of April, two days before the bankers of Richmond had imparted to General Halleck the important secret as to Davis' movements, designed doubtless to stimulate his troops to march their legs off to catch their treasure for their own use. I know now that Admiral Dahlgren did receive my letter on the twenty-sixth, and had acted on it before General Halleck had even thought of the matter; but I don't believe a word of the treasure story; it is absurd on its face, and General Halleck or anybody has my full permission to chase Jeff. Davis and cabinet, with their stolen treasure, through any part of the country occupied by my command. The last and most obnoxious feature of General Halleck's despatch is wherein he goes out of his way, and advises that my subordinates, Generals Thomas, Stoneman, and Wilson, should be instructed not to obey “Sherman's” commands. This is too much, and I turn from the subject with feelings too strong for words, and merely record my belief that so much mischief was never before embraced in so small a space as in the newspaper paragraph headed “Sherman's truce disregarded,” authenticated as “official” by Mr. Secretary Stanton, and published in the New York papers of April twenty-eighth. During the night of May second, at Hilton Head, having concluded my business in the Department of the South, I began my return to meet my troops then marching toward Richmond from Raleigh. On the morning of the third we ran into Charleston harbor, where I had the pleasure to meet Admiral Dahlgren, who had, in all my previous operations from Savannah northward, aided me with a courtesy and manliness that commanded my entire respect and deep affection; also General Hatch, who, from our first interview at his Tullafinnay camp, had caught the spirit of the move from Pocotaligo northward, and had largely contributed to our joint success in taking Charleston and the Carolina coast. Any one who is not satisfied with war should go and see Charleston, and he will pray louder and deeper than ever that the country may in the long future be spared any more war. Charleston and secession being synonymous terms, the city should be left as a sample, so that centuries may pass away before that false doctrine is again preached in our Union. We left Charleston on the evening of the third of May, and hastened with all possible speed back to Morehead City, which we reached at night of the fourth. I immediately communicated by telegraph with General Schofield at Raleigh, and learned from him the pleasing fact that the Lieutenant-General commanding the armies of the United States had reached the Chesapeake in time to countermand General Halleck's orders, and prevent his violating my truce, invading the area of my command, and driving Johnston's surrendering army into fragments. General Johnston had fulfilled his agreement to the very best of his ability; and the officers charged with issuing the paroles at Greensboroa reported about thirty thousand (30,000) already made, and that the greater part of the North
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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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