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eneficial could be effected, it must be done without the intervention of the politicians. He therefore suggested that Generals Lee and Grant might enter into an arrangement by which hostilities would be suspended, and a way paved for the restoration of peace. I responded that I would willingly entrust to General Lee such negotiation as was indicated. The conference then ended, and to report to Lincoln the result of his visit, Blair returned to Washington. He subsequently informed me thatrms of capitulation, he replied: No terms, except unconditional and immediate surrender, can be accepted. When General Lee asked the same question, on April 9, 1865, General Grant replied: The terms upon which peace can be had are well us, and Sherman therefore wrote to Johnston: I demand the surrender of your army on the same terms as were given to General Lee at Appomattox, on April 9th, purely and simply. It remains to be stated that the government which spurned all thes
Horace Greeley (search for this): chapter 1.36
e North as might be relied upon to aid the attainment of peace. The commission was designed to facilitate such preliminary conditions as might lead to formal negotiations between the two governments, and they were expected to make judicious use of any political opportunity that might be presented. The commissioners—Messrs. Clay of Alabama, Holcombe of Virginia, and Thompson of Mississippi—established themselves at Niagara Falls in July, and on the 12th commenced a correspondence with Horace Greeley of New York. Through him they sought a safe conduct to Washington. Lincoln at first appeared to favor an interview, but finally refused on the ground that the commissioners were not authorized to treat for peace. His final announcement to them was the following: Executive Mansion, Washington, D. C., July 18, 1864. To whom it may concern: Any proposition which embraces the restoration of peace, the integrity of the whole union, and the abandonment of slavery, and which comes
Judah P. Benjamin (search for this): chapter 1.36
did not doubt that a free interchange of views would open the way to official negotiations, etc. They had crossed our lines through a letter of General Grant to Colonel Ould, commissioner for the exchange of prisoners. The Secretary of State, Benjamin, to whom they were conducted, accompanied them to my office. Colonel Jacques expressed the ardent desire he felt, in common with the men of their army, for a restoration of peace, using such emphatic terms as that the men would go home in doubll less to commit the decision of such a question to the vote of a foreign people. Having no dispositions to discuss questions of state with such persons, especially as they bore no credentials, I terminated the interview, and they withdrew with Benjamin. The opening of the spring campaign of 1864 was deemed a favorable conjuncture for the employment of the resources of diplomacy. To approach the government of the United States directly would have been in vain. Repeated efforts had already
— Thompson (search for this): chapter 1.36
t in position and intelligence, was accordingly appointed to visit Canada with a view to negotiation with such persons in the North as might be relied upon to aid the attainment of peace. The commission was designed to facilitate such preliminary conditions as might lead to formal negotiations between the two governments, and they were expected to make judicious use of any political opportunity that might be presented. The commissioners—Messrs. Clay of Alabama, Holcombe of Virginia, and Thompson of Mississippi—established themselves at Niagara Falls in July, and on the 12th commenced a correspondence with Horace Greeley of New York. Through him they sought a safe conduct to Washington. Lincoln at first appeared to favor an interview, but finally refused on the ground that the commissioners were not authorized to treat for peace. His final announcement to them was the following: Executive Mansion, Washington, D. C., July 18, 1864. To whom it may concern: Any proposition
Winfield Scott (search for this): chapter 1.36
ion? Let them as dispassionately construe the government of the United States in its declarations to us. Several efforts were made by us to communicate with the authorities at Washington without success. Commissioners were sent before hostilities were begun, and the government of the United States refused to receive them, or to hear what they had to say. A second time I sent a military officer with a communication addressed by myself to President Lincoln. The letter was received by General Scott, who did not permit the officer to see Mr. Lincoln, but promised that an answer would be sent. No answer was ever received. The third time a gentleman was sent whose position, character, and reputation were such as to insure his reception, if the enemy had not been determined to receive no proposals whatever from our government. Vice-President Stephens made a patriotic tender of his services, in the hope of being able to promote the cause of humanity; although little belief was entert
lace in the conferences, and in the terms of surrender offered to our soldiers. It should be remembered that mankind composes one uniform order of beings, and thus the language of arbitrary power has the same signification in all ages. When Major Pitcairn marched the British soldiers upon the common at Lexington in Massachusetts on April 19, 1775, and, drawing his sword, rushed upon the little line of Continentals, exclaiming: Disperse, ye rebels! throw down your arms and disperse! he expressed the same conditions which were offered to us in all our negotiations with the President of the United States and his generals. Does any one doubt that Major Pitcairn meant subjugation, or that Great Britain meant subjugation? Let them as dispassionately construe the government of the United States in its declarations to us. Several efforts were made by us to communicate with the authorities at Washington without success. Commissioners were sent before hostilities were begun, and the g
W. T. Sherman (search for this): chapter 1.36
The terms upon which peace can be had are well understood. By the South laying down their arms, they will hasten that most desirable event, save thoussands of human lives and hundreds of millions of property not yet destroyed. When General Sherman made an agreement with General Johnston for formal disbandment of the army of the latter, it was at once disapproved by the government of the United States, and Sherman therefore wrote to Johnston: I demand the surrender of your army on Sherman therefore wrote to Johnston: I demand the surrender of your army on the same terms as were given to General Lee at Appomattox, on April 9th, purely and simply. It remains to be stated that the government which spurned all these proposals for peace, and gave no terms but unconditional and immediate surrender, was instituted and organized for the purposes and objects expressed in the following extract, and for no others: We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for
Alexander H. Stephens (search for this): chapter 1.36
haracter, and reputation were such as to insure his reception, if the enemy had not been determined to receive no proposals whatever from our government. Vice-President Stephens made a patriotic tender of his services, in the hope of being able to promote the cause of humanity; although little belief was entertained of his successhington, so it remained only for me to act upon the letter of Lincoln. I determined to send, as commissioners or agents for the informal conference, Messrs. Alexander H. Stephens, R. M. T. Hunter and John A. Campbell. A letter of commission or certificate of appointment for each was prepared by the Secretary of State in the fr any place within their jurisdiction, and that Congress should have power to enforce this amendment by appropriate legislation. Very respectfully, etc., Alexander H. Stephens, R. M. T. Hunter, John A. Campbell. Thus closed the conference, and all negotiations with the government of the United States for the establishment of
Francis P. Blair (search for this): chapter 1.36
the object proceedings note of President Lincoln permission to visit Richmond granted to Francis P. Blair statement of my interview with him my letter to him response of President Lincoln threers which had preceded it, was a failure. On December 30, 1864, I received a request from Francis P. Blair, a distinguished citizen of Montgomery County, Maryland, for permission to visit Richmond fond, Virginia, January 12, 1865. Memorandum of a confidential conversation held this day with F. P. Blair of Montgomery County, Maryland. Mr. Blair stated that, not receiving an answer to his applhe following letter was given by me to Blair: Richmond, Virginia, January 12, 1865. F. P. Blair, Esq. Sir: I have deemed it proper and probably desirable to you to give you in this form theeace to the two countries. Yours, etc., Jefferson Davis. Washington, January 18, 1865. F. P. Blair, Esq. Sir: You having shown me Mr. Davis's letter to you of the 12th instant, you may say to
James R. Gilmore (search for this): chapter 1.36
object of the government of the United States the only terms of peace offered to us rejection of all proposals efforts of the enemy appearance of Jacques and Gilmore at Richmond proposals answer commissioners sent to Canada the object proceedings note of President Lincoln permission to visit Richmond granted to Francis n of differences occurred in July, 1864, and consisted in the appearance at Richmond of Colonel James F. Jacques of the Seventy-eighth Illinois Infantry, and James R. Gilmore of Massachusetts, soliciting an interview with me. They stated that they had no official character or authority, but were fully possessed of the views of theen of their army, for a restoration of peace, using such emphatic terms as that the men would go home in double-quick time if they could only see peace restored. Gilmore addressed me, and in a few minutes conveyed the information that the two gentlemen had come to Richmond impressed with the idea that the Confederate government wo
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