previous next

The President directs me to say to you that he wishes you to have no conference with General Lee unless it be for the capitulation of Lee's army, or on solely minor or purely military matters. He instructs me to say to you that you are not to decide, discuss, or confer on any political question; such questions the President holds in his own hands, and will submit them to no: military conferences or conventions. Meantime you are to press to the utmost your military advantages.

Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War.

You will say that General Sherman had not seen this order of Mr. Lincoln's when he made his arrangement with Johnston, but it is none the less absolute proof that he (Mr. Lincoln) would have disapproved the arrangement. The General needed no such admonition to teach him that discussion of public policies in a military convention was an invasion of the civil authority and wholly outside the powers and duties of a military commander. He frankly admitted this, and in a letter to Secretary Stanton, dated April 25, the day after receiving the government's disapproval of his terms, he said: ‘I admit my folly in embracing in a military convention any civic matters.’

If you will refer to his ‘Memoirs,’ page 349, you will see that in his interview with General Johnston he asked him if he could control other armies than his own. Johnston replied that he could not do this, but indicated ‘that he could procure authority from Davis.’ On the following page, he says: ‘General Johnston, saying that he thought during the night he could procure authority to act in the name of all the Confederate armies in existence, we agreed to meet on the next day at noon.’ The two Generals met again accordingly, and Johnston then assured Sherman that ‘he had authority for all the Confederate armies, so that they would obey his order to surrender.’

The Confederate Secretary of War, John C. Breckinridge, was then brought in, and participated in arranging the terms. These terms comprehended an armistice, to continue until forty-eight hours after notice of either side for its termination. The Confederate armies were to disband, their arms and munitions of war to be turned over to the several States of the Confederacy, the governments of which were to be recognized by the President, and the inhabitants of the South were to be guaranteed all their rights of property (including

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Joseph Johnston (5)
Edwin M. Stanton (2)
John Sherman (2)
Lincoln (2)
Robert E. Lee (2)
U. S. Grant (1)
Jefferson Davis (1)
John C. Breckinridge (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
April 25th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: