previous next

[253] prominence in the country did so. I had determined to do so for weeks before. I had advised others to do so. I had expressed my opinion fully and repeatedly to the Executive and to members of the Legislative government that the Confederate States could not carry on their war; that peace should be made, and that the fall of Richmond (which was inevitable) would terminate the war. A letter written by me to Gen. Breckinridge, then Secretary of War, and submitted to Mr. Davis, Gen. Lee. and read to a number of members of Congress, dated 6 March, 1865, is in existence to substantiate this assertion.

I remained in Richmond to submit to the authority of the U. S., upon a full conviction that the Confederate government could not sustain itself.

On the 4th April, I reported to Gen. Shepley, the Governor of Richmond, and told him that I came to submit, and he gave me a printed order from protection from arrest. In the course of this interview he spoke of arrangements for the government of Virginia. I told him that the war was virtually ended and that the question was, as to the pacification and settlement of the country. That the election of Governor and of a government for the State was a difficult and invidious task and I recommended him to call to the aid of the U. S., men of the character and class of Mr. Hunter, in consultation—moderate and influential men who were satisfied that submission was a duty and a necessity. He was impressed with the counsel and communicated in a telegram to President Lincoln the recommendation. I have it thus that Mr. Lincoln was at City Point, and I said I should be glad to see him. The same p. m. (I think) Mr. Lincoln arrived in Richmond and Gen. Weitzel's staff officer came to my home and said Mr. L. was there and would see me.

Our interview was in presence of General Weitzel. I told Mr. Lincoln that I had no commission from the Confederate government; that it was known to Gen. Breckinridge that I should remain in Richmond, and that I should seek an interview with him that I had no permission to do so, nor was I prohibited. I told him that I regarded the war to be at an end, that the most influential of the public men of Virginia would aid in the settlement of peace and I urged him to convene them for the purpose. I stated to him that I had regarded the war as a sectional

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.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
United States (United States) (3)
City Point (Virginia, United States) (1)

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.
A. Lincoln (4)
Godfrey Weitzel (2)
John C. Breckinridge (2)
Shepley (1)
Robert Edward Lee (1)
R. M. T. Hunter (1)
Jefferson Davis (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.
March 6th, 1865 AD (1)
April 4th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: