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[183] President, pro tempore, of the Senate, and Judge Campbell was Assistant Secretary of War. On January 29th, the commissioners went from Richmond to Petersburg, and on the following day addressed the-following communication to General Grant:

Petersburg, Va., Jan. 30, 1865.
Lieutenant-General U S. Grant, Commanding Armies of the United States.
Sir,—We desire to pass your lines under safe conduct and to proceed to Washington, to hold a conference with President Lincoln upon the subject of the existing war, and with a view of ascertaining upon what terms it may be terminated, in pursuance of the course indicated by him in his letter to Mr. Blair, of January 18, 1865, of which we presume you have a copy, and if not we wish to see you in person, if convenient, and to confer with you on the subject.

Very respectfully yours,

In reply the following was received by the commissioners at Petersburg, dated at headquarters army of the United States, January 31, 1865, and signed by U. S. Grant, Lieutenant-General:

Gentlemen,—Your communication of yesterday requesting an interview with myself and a safe conduct to Washington and return, is received. I will instruct the commanding officers of the forces near Petersburg, notifying you at what part of the lines and the time when and where conveyances will be ready for you. Your letter to me has been telegraphed to Washington for instructions. I have no doubt that before you arrive at my headquarters, an answer will be received directing me to comply with your request. Should a different reply be received, I promise you a safe and immediate return within your own lines.

Yours very respectfully.

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