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XXXV. death of President Lincoln—Peace.—Johnston — DavisTaylorKirby Smith.

President Lincoln had gone1 down to the front in anticipation of Grant's final movement against Lee's right south of Petersburg, and was thenceforward in constant communication with the Lieutenant-General commanding in the field, while Lee made his assault on our lines, Sheridan crossed the James, moving from our farthest right to our extreme left, and Grant impelled the advance of that left with such memorable results. He was mainly at City Point, receiving reports from Grant and telegraphing their substance to the War Department for dissemination over the country till the day after Richmond fell; when2 he accompanied Admiral Porter in a gunboat up to Rockett's, a mile below the city, and thence was rowed up to the wharf, and walked thence, attended by Admiral Porter and by a few sailors armed with carbines, to Gen. Weitzel's headquarters, in the house so recently and suddenly abandoned by Jefferson Davis. Recognized and stared at by all, his hearty greetings, aside from those of our soldiers, were all-but confined to the Blacks, who crowded in thousands to welcome and bless their emancipator; so that it became necessary to summon a military force to clear a way for him through the streets. After holding a hasty levee, the President took a rapid drive through the principal streets, and, at 6 1/2 P. M., left on his return to City Point; whence he repeated his visit to Richmond two days later — this time attended by Mrs. Lincoln, by Vice-President Johnson, several U. S. Senators, &c. He was now waited on by several leading Confederates, who, seeing that their cause was hopelessly lost, were naturally anxious to make the best terms possible; and to whom, in a spirit of kindness and magnanimity that had never been shaken, he lent a favorable ear. In deference to a suggestion by some of their number, he wrote the following:

headquarters armies of the United States, City Point, April 6, 1865.
Major-Gen. Weitzel, Richmond, Va.:
It has been intimated to me that the gentlemen who have acted as the Legislature of Virginia, in support of the Rebellion, may now desire to assemble at Richmond and take measures to withdraw the Virginia troops and other support from resistance to the General Government. If they attempt it, give them permission and protection, until, if at all, they attempt some action hostile to the United States; in which case, you will notify them, giving them reasonable time to leave, and at the end of which time arrest any who remain. Allow Judge Campbell to see this, but do not make it public. Yours, etc.,

The President returned, on the day of Lee's surrender, to Washington; whence he dispatched3 to Gen. Weitzel a recall of the permission above given — the object contemplated by it having been otherwise fully attained. He had, the day before, issued two Proclamations: one of them closing, till further orders, in accordance with law, certain ports in the Rebel States whereof the blockade had been raised by their capture respectively; the other, demanding [747] henceforth for our National vessels in foreign ports, on penalty of retaliation, those privileges and immunities which had hitherto been denied them on the plea of according equal belligerent rights to the Republic and its internal foes. He made, next evening,4 to a vast crowd assembled before the Executive Mansion expressly to hear it, an address on Reconstruction, whereof it is only pertinent here to say that — while carefully remitting to Congress all questions connected with the representation of the revolted States in either House, and avowing his desire that a qualified Right of Suffrage be accorded to the Blacks of those States--he evinced an utter absence of resentment or bitterness toward the late Rebels, and an anxious wish that the Confederate States should be restored to all the functions of self-government and equal power in the Union at the earliest day consistent with the National integrity, tranquillity, and safety.

On the following day, an order issued from the War Department, previously approved by Gen. Grant, which appeared throughout the land in the journals of next morning,5 putting a stop to all drafting and recruiting for our armies, with the purchase of arms, munitions, provisions, &c.; and it was announced that the number of our general and staff officers would be reduced, and all military restrictions on trade and commerce removed forthwith.

That day was the fourth anniversary of the surrender of Fort Sumter to the Rebels by Maj. Anderson; and a large number of loyal citizens, who rejoiced the more heartily in the downfall of the Rebellion because it involved the overthrow of Slavery, had gone down to Port Royal and Charleston to raise, with fitting observances, over the ruins of the historic fortress, the identical flag which had waved over it during its first bombardment, and which had been thoughtfully preserved for this purpose. The whole country was aglow with loyal rejoicings and congratulations; and the President, after attending a meeting of his Cabinet to receive a personal report from Gen. Grant, just arrived from Appomattox, listening to the story of Lee's surrender from his son, Capt. Robert Lincoln, who, being on Grant's staff, had been an eye-witness of the scene, and giving audience to several public men — among them John P. Hale, just appointed Minister to Madrid, and Speaker Colfax, who was taking leave for an overland journey to California and Oregon--concluded to seek relaxation from his many and weighty cares by spending the evening at Ford's Theater, where Gen. Grant and he had been publicly announced as probable visitors that night, while the former had been compelled by inexorable duties to disappoint the expectation thus excited. At 8 P. M., the President and his wife, with two others, rode to the theater, and were ushered into the private box previously secured by him; where, at 10 1/2 P. M., while all were intent on the play, an actor of Baltimore birth — John Wilkes Booth by name, son of the more eminent English-born tragedian, Junius Brutus Booth — availing himself of that freedom of the house usually accorded at theaters to actors, entered at the [748] front door, stood for a few moments, after presenting a card to the President's messenger, in the passage-way behind the dress-circle, surveying the spectacle before him; then entered the vestibule of the President's private box, shut the door behind him, fastened it from the inside by placing a short plank (previously provided) against it, with its foot against the opposite wall, and then, holding a pistol and a dagger in either hand, stepped through the inner door into the box just behind the President, who was leaning forward with his eyes fixed on the stage, and fired his pistol, while holding it close to the back of the President's head, piercing his skull behind the left ear, and lodging the ball, after traversing the brain, just behind the right eye. Mr. Lincoln's head fell slightly forward, his eyes closed, but he uttered no word or cry; and, though life was not extinct for nine hours thereafter, he gave, thenceforth to his death in a neigh-boring house, at 7:22 next morning, no sign of intelligence; and it is probable that he never on earth knew that he had been shot, or was conscious even of suffering, much less of malice and murder. Hating and wishing ill to none, he had never comprehended the hell of demoniac passion which seethed and surged around him, and which the utter collapse of the Rebellion had only intensified; hence, he had ever treated lightly the anonymous threats which men placed as he was receive as matters of course, and had disregarded all entreaties that he should take precautions against assassination.

The report of Booth's pistol startled the house, but especially the President's companions in the box; of whom, Maj. H. R. Rathbone--the only man there beside the President — turning his eyes, saw, through the sulphurous smoke, a stranger standing behind him, whom he instantly clutched; but Booth, tearing away from his grasp, and dropping his pistol, made a pass at him with the dagger, inflicting a serious wound on his left arm. Rushing now to the front of the box, theatrically flourishing his weapon, and exclaiming “ Sic semper tyrannis!” Booth put his hand on the railing in front of the box, and leaped over, alighting on a corner of the stage; but, catching with one of his spurred heels in the American flag draped across the front of the box, he fell; spraining his ankle so as to cripple his flight and afford a clue to the detectives who were soon on his trail. Recovering immediately from his fall, he faced the audience, brandished his dagger, exclaimed “The South is avenged!” and ran across the stage to and out of the back door, which he shut, and, mounting his horse — which a half-witted, stage-struck youth was there holding for him — rode off and across the Anacosta bridge out of Washington; seeking refuge in the adjacent region of southern Maryland; whose Whites, being intensely pro-Slavery, were mainly Rebel sympathizers, and were therefore counted on to conceal him and aid his escape.

That President Lincoln was the victim of a conspiracy of partisans of the Rebellion is established by undeniable proof; not so the charge that the chiefs and master-spirits of the Confederacy were implicated in the crime. Booth himself was, so far as has been shown, the projector and animating soul of the monstrous [749] plot; which at first contemplated primarily the capture and forcible abduction of the President — a scheme which of course involved a probability, but not a certainty, of felonious bloodshed. Booth was simply one of the many badly educated, loose-living young men infesting the purlieus of our great cities, who, regarding Slavery as the chief bulwark of their own claim to birthright in a superior caste, and the Federal Constitution as established expressly and mainly to sustain and buttress Slavery, could never comprehend that any political action adverse to whatever exactions and pretensions of the Slave Power could possibly be other than unjustly aggressive and treason able. Few of this class were radically Disunionists; they sympathized with the Rebellion, not because it aimed at a division of the Republic, but because it was impelled by devotion to Slavery; and was thus hallowed, in their view, as a laudable effort, however irregular, to achieve and firmly secure the chief end of both the Constitution and the Union. There is no particle of evidence that Booth, or any of his fellow conspirators, had been in any wise offended by, or that they cherished any feeling of aversion to, the President, save as the “head center” of resistance to the Slaveholders' Rebellion.

Almost at the identical moment of Booth's entry into the theater, a stranger, afterward identified as' Lewis Payne Powell, son of a Florida clergyman, but generally known to his intimates as Payne, presented him-self at the door of Secretary Seward's house on President Square, where he claimed to be charged with an errand from his physician, Dr. Verdi, to the Secretary; then confined to his bed by very serious injuries received when recently thrown from his carriage — his horses having taken fright and run away. The colored porter declined to let him go unasked up to the Secretary's sick room; but the stranger rushed by him and up stairs to the third story: making his way readily to the door of the sufferer's chamber, where lie was confronted by Gov. S.'s son Frederick, who barred his way; when he drew and presented a pistol, which snapped; where-upon he struck Frederick twice over the head with it, fracturing his skull and felling him to the floor in utter insensibility. The noise of this encounter brought from the sick room Miss Fannie Seward, the Secretary's only daughter, by whom the villain instantly rushed, and, throwing him-self on the bed, inflicted, with a bowie-knife, three heavy stabs aimed at the throat of his intended victim; who, instinctively divining the assassin's purpose, had raised himself on his left elbow, and offered all the resistance compatible with his slender frame and crippled condition — he having had his right arm broken and his lower jaw fractured when thrown from his carriage. The wounds thus inflicted on his face and neck were terrible, but, because of his resistance, not fatal; and, before a fourth blow could take effect, the assassin was grasped by an invalid soldier named Robinson, who was in attendance as a nurse; whom he savagely assaulted and wounded with his bloody weapon, but did not succeed in mastering. Gov. Seward, meanwhile, exerting his remaining strength, succeeded in rolling off the farther side of the bed; while Miss [750] Seward shrieked “murder” from the window and the porter ran into the street crying for help. The assassin, aware that another moment's delay must seal his doom, now broke from the soldier's grasp, and rushed to escape; meeting at the head of the first flight of stairs Maj. Augustus Seward, another son of the Secretary, whom he struck with his dagger; being next confronted, just below, by Mr. Hansell, one of the Secretary's attendants, whom he stabbed in the back; thus clearing his way to the street, where he mounted a horse he had left there, and rode rapidly off unheeded.

The quiet accession to the Presidency of Vice-President Johnson--the funeral honors to the good, beloved President, so suddenly snatched away at the moment when long years of trial and disaster had at length been crowned by a fullness of triumph and gladness rarely paralleled — the slow and long dubious recovery of the stricken Secretary and his self-devoted son — the flight, pursuit, and capture of Booth, so severely wounded by his captors that he died a few hours afterward — the arraignment, trial, and conviction before a military court of Payne and several of their fellow-conspirators or accomplices — may here be hurriedly passed over, as non-essential to this history. Not so the burst of unmeasured, indignant wrath, the passionate grief, the fierce cry for vengeance, which the crime of the assassins very generally incited. Mr. Lincoln was widely known as radically, immovably averse to aught that savored of severity in dealing with the defeated insurgents. No “railing accusations,” no incitements to severity or bitterness on the part of the loyal, had ever found utterance through his lips. Inflexibly resolved that the Rebellion should be put down, he was equally determined that its upholders, having submitted to the Nation's authority, should experience to the utmost the Nation's magnanimity. Such was the palpable drift of his speech, delivered two nights prior to his death, as of all his prior inculcations. And now, the butchery of this gentle, forbearing spirit, by the hand, hardly less blundering than bloody, of a pro-Rebel assassin, incited a fierce, agonized, frantic yell for retaliation, that, for the moment, could only be braved at the cost of great personal obloquy and sacrifice; and the appearance of an official proclamation,6 signed by the new President, and counter-signed by William Hunter, as acting Secretary of State, charging that the appalling crime of Booth and his associates had been

incited, concerted, and procured by and between Jefferson Davis, late of Richmond, Va., and Jacob Thompson, Clement C. Clay, Beverly Tucker, George N. Sanders, W. C. Cleary, and other Rebels and traitors against the Government of the United States, harbored in Canada,

and offering a reward of $100,000 for the arrest of Davis, and of $25,000 to $10,000 each for the other persons thus denounced, was widely hailed as justifying the suspicions already current, and rendering the Confede-rates as a body morally guilty of the murder of Mr. Lincoln, and justly liable therefor to condign punishment.

Gen. Lee had only assumed to surrender the army under his immediate command; though he manifestly realized that this capitulation was [751] conclusive, and showed it when he said, in parting, to his soldiers, “We have gone through the War together.” lie did not overrate its decisive importance.

Before returning to Sherman — whom we left at Goldsboroa, facing Johnston, who was at Smithfield, north of him, covering Raleigh — we must glance at an effective blow dealt at the scanty resources remaining to the Confederacy by Thomas's cavalry, dispatched, under Stoneman, from East Tennessee.

Gen. Stoneman, after his return to Knoxville from his successful Winter expedition into south-western Virginia, was directed7 to make a fresh advance with his cavalry, south-west-ward into South Carolina, in aid of Sherman's movement through that State. Before he had started, however, Sherman had made such progress as not to need his assistance; so Grant directed him to advance almost eastward, destroying the Virginia and Tennessee railroad, so nearly to Lynchburg as might be. Moving8 eastward to Boone, N. C., he there turned northward down the valley of New river to Wytheville, Va.; whence he swept down the railroad, disabling it almost to Lynchburg; then turning nearly south, and striking the North Carolina railroad between Danville and Greensboroa; destroying some depots of supplies, and taking 400 prisoners. Evading Greensboroa, he moved thence south-westward on Salisbury — a Rebel prison-camp — which was defended9 at Grant's creek, 10 miles out, by 3,000 Rebels under Gen. W. M. Gardiner, with 14 guns directed by Col. (formerly Lt.-General) Pemberton. This force was charged by our cavalry, and instantly routed: all its guns being taken, with 1,364 prisoners. The remainder were chased several miles until utterly dispersed. Vast magazines of ammunition and depots of provisions, clothing, medicines, &c., were found in Salisbury and destroyed, with 10,000 small arms, 4 cotton factories, 7,000 bales of cotton, the railroads, &c., &c. After spending two days in this work, Stoneman returned thence by Slatersville, N. C., to Jonesboroa,10 East Tennessee; in defiance of Sherman's urgent orders to remain in North Carolina, and afford him that aid which his weakness in cavalry required.

Sherman remained quiescent at Goldsboroa, reclothing and refitting his army, until electrified11 by the news of Grant's successes at Five Forks, with the resulting captures of Petersburg and Richmond. He now impelled a determined advance12 against Johnston, who, with 40,000 men, still lay at Smithfield; which was entered, at 10 A. M. next day, by our 14th corps, supported by the 20th: Johnston, burning the bridge over the Neuse, retreating on Raleigh without a struggle; and, having the use of the railroad, which he destroyed behind him, was thus able to keep out of the way. But the news of Lee's surrender, here received, caused Sherman to drop his trains, and push on through Raleigh13 in a heavy rain; his right wing following Johnston's line of retreat by Hillsboroa toward Greensboroa, while his left took a more southerly route by Pittsboroa and Ashboroa, in anticipation of Johnston's following the railroad [752] south-westward from Greensborough to Salisbury; and all were pressing keenly forward, intent on a battle or a capitulation by the enemy, when he received from his outposts the following overture:

Headquarters in the field, April 14, 1865.
Major-General W. T. Sherman, Commanding United States Forces:
General — The results of the recent campaigns in Virginia have changed the relative military condition of the belligerents. I am therefore induced to address you, in this form, the inquiry whether, in order to stop the further effusion of blood and devastation of property, you are willing to make a temporary suspension of active operations, and to communicate to Lt.-Gen. Grant, commanding the armies of the United States, the request that he will take like action in regard to other armies, the object being to permit the civil authorities to enter into the needful arrangements to terminate the existing war.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. E. Johnston, General.

The prompt response was as follows:

headquarters Mil. Div. Of the Miss., in the field, Raleigh, N. C., April 14, 1865.
Gen. J. E. Johnston, Commanding Confederate Army:
General — I have this moment received your communication of this date. I am fully empowered to arrange with you any terms for the suspension of further hostilities as between the armies commanded by you and those commanded by myself, and will be willing to confer with you to that end. I will limit the advance of my main column to-morrow to Morrisville, and the cavalry to the University, and expect that you will also maintain the present position of your forces until each has notice of a failure to agree.

That a basis of action may be had, I undertake to abide by the same terms and conditions as were made by Gens. Grant and Lee at Appomattox Court House, on the 9th instant, relative to our two armies; and, furthermore, to obtain from Gen. Grant an order to suspend the movements of any troops from the direction of Virginia. Gen. Stoneman is under my command, and my order will suspend any devastation or destruction contemplated by him. I will add that I really desire to save the people of North Carolina the damages they would sustain by the march of this army through central or western parts of the State.

I am, with respect, your obedient servant,

W. T. Sherman, Maj.-Gen.

Our forces were now halted; but no response from Johnston was received next day; though Maj. McCoy, of Sherman's staff, remained with Kilpatrick in the advance to receive one. Gen. Sherman had already written to the War Department, on the receipt of Johnston's overture:

I send copies of a correspondence begun with Gen. Johnston, which I think will be followed by terms of capitulation. I will accept the same terms as Gen. Grant gave Gen. Lee, and be careful not to complicate any points of civil policy.

Late on the 16th, Gen. Sherman received, through Kilpatrick, a message from Wade Hampton, stating that Johnston desired a meeting at 10 A. M. next day at Durham's station; which was promptly accorded; Sherman only changing the time to 12 M.

The meeting took place accordingly; and was adjourned over to next day — Johnston requiring and urging conditions of general pacification which Sherman felt that he had no power to guarantee. Finally, however, at the second meeting, his scruples were overcome; and lie was persuaded to sign the following

Memorandum or basis of agreement.

1st. The contending armies now in the field to maintain the status quo until notice is given by the commanding General of any one to his opponent, and reasonable time, say forty-eight hours, allowed.

2d. The Confederate armies now in existence to be disbanded and conducted to their several State capitals, there to deposit their arms and public property in the State arsenal; and each officer and man to execute and file an agreement to cease from acts of war, and to abide the action of both State and Federal authorities. The number of arms and munitions of war to be reported to the chief of ordnance at Washington city, [753] subject to the future action of the Congress of the United States, and in the mean time to be used solely to maintain peace and order within the borders of the States respectively.

3d. The recognition, by the Executive of the United States, of the several State Governments, on their officers and Legislatures taking the oath prescribed by the Constitution of the United States; and, when conflicting State Governments have resulted from the war, the legitimacy of all shall be submitted to the Supreme Court of the United States.

4th. The reestablishment of all Federal courts in the several States, with powers as defined by the Constitution and the laws of Congress.

5th. The people and inhabitants of all States to be guaranteed, so far as the Executive can, their political rights and franchises, as well as their rights of person and property, as defined by the Constitution of the United States and of the States respectively.

6th. The executive authority or Government of the United States not to disturb any of the people, by reason of the late war, so long as they live in peace and quiet, and abstain from acts of armed hostility, and obey the laws in existence at the place of their residence.

7th. In general terms, it is announced that the war is to cease; a general amnesty, so far as the Executive of the United States can command, on condition of the disbandment of the Confederate armies, the distribution of arms and the resumption of peaceful pursuits by officers and men hitherto composing said armies. Not being fully empowered by our respective principals to fulfill these terms, we individually and officially pledge ourselves to promptly obtain authority, and will endeavor to carry out the above programme.

W. T. Sherman, Maj.-General, Commanding Army of the U. S. in North Carolina. J. E. Johnston, General, Commanding Confederate States Army in North Carolina.

Gen. Sherman had already received14 with horror the tidings of President Lincoln's assassination; but he had not adequately realized the effect of that atrocious deed on the temper and spirit of the loyal millions and their rulers. This statement is made in explanation simply. He had seen Gen. Weitzel's permission to the Rebel Legislature of Virginia to reassemble at Richmond; he was not aware that President Lincoln's authorization of it had been recalled and the permission annulled. And he — neither cherishing nor affecting decided anti-Slavery convictions — unquestionably believed and felt that his arrangement with Johnston was one that ought to be, and probably would be, accepted at Washington; whither he immediately dispatched it by Maj. Hitchcock, of his staff.

He had very gravely miscalculated. There were many in the North who had deemed Grant quite too generous in fixing the terms of Lee's capitulation; but their hesitating utterances had been drowned in the general burst of gladness and thanks-giving over the virtual collapse of the Rebellion. That other Rebel chiefs — now that their ablest commander and most formidable army had surrendered — should exact and secure better terms than were accorded to Lee, was not imagined, even prior to Lincoln's assassination: after that hideous crime, the bare suggestion of such concession seemed intolerable. Hence, when his agreement reached15 Washington, it was — in strict accordance with the views and feelings of the great body of those who had heartily sustained the Government through the War — rejected by the new President and his Cabinet, with the hearty concurrence of Gen. Grant, for reasons unofficially, but by authority, set forth as follows:

1st. It was an exercise of authority not vested in Gen. Sherman, and, on its face, shows that both he and Johnston knew that Gen. Sherman had no authority to enter into any such arrangements.

2d. It was a practical acknowledgment of the Rebel Government. [754]

3d. It undertook to reestablish Rebel State governments that had been over-thrown at the sacrifice of many thousand loyal lives and immense treasure, and placed arms and munitions of war in the hands of Rebels at their respective capitals, which might be used, so soon as the armies of the United States were disbanded, and used to conquer and subdue loyal States.

4th. By the restoration of Rebel authority in their respective States, they would be enabled to reestablish Slavery.

5th. It might furnish a ground of responsibility on the part of the Federal Government to pay the Rebel debt, and certainly subjects loyal citizens of Rebel States to debts contracted by Rebels in the name of the State.

6th. It puts in dispute the existence of loyal State governments, and the new State of West Virginia, which had been recognized by every department of the United States Government.

7th. It practically abolished confiscation laws, and relieved Rebels of every degree, who had slaughtered our people, from all pains and penalties for their crimes.

8th. It gave terms that had been deliberately, repeatedly, and solemnly, rejected by President Lincoln, and better terms than the Rebels had ever asked in their most prosperous condition.

9th. It formed no basis of true and lasting peace, but relieved Rebels from the presence of our victorious armies, and left them in a condition to renew their efforts to over-throw the United States Government and subdue the loyal States whenever their strength was recruited and any opportunity should offer.

Gen. Grant was sent post-haste to Raleigh to announce the rejection of the Sherman-Johnston programme, and to direct an immediate and general resumption of hostilities. On reaching Morehead City,16 he dispatched the decision of the Government to Sherman at Raleigh, who instantly transmitted its purport to Johnston, adding a notification that the truce would close 48 hours after the receipt hereof at the Rebel lines, with a demand that Johnston's army be forthwith surrendered on the identical terms accorded by Grant to Lee. He at once directed his subordinate commanders to be ready to resume the offensive at noon on the 26th.

Grant reached Raleigh on the 25th; when another invitation to a conference was received from Johnston by Sherman, who referred it to his superior. Grant declined to relieve Sherman from command, as he was authorized to do; and urged him to meet Johnston as requested; so the 26th was appointed for their third and final interview; at which Johnston's army was surrendered on the terms already accorded to Lee's. The agreement was signed by Sherman and Johnston, but indorsed,

Approved: U. S. Grant, Lieut.-General :

and thus passed out of existence the second army of the Confederacy.

The surrender to Gen. Canby of Gen. Taylor's Rebel forces in Alabama was effected at Citronelle, May 4, as the result of negotiations commenced April 19. More words were used; but the terms were essentially the same as had been accorded to Lee and Johnston, with this addition:

Transportation and subsistence to be furnished at public cost for the officers and men, after surrender, to the nearest practicable point to their homes.

Com. Farrand, at the same time and on the same terms, surrendered to Rear-Admiral Thatcher the twelve Rebel gunboats blockaded in the Tombigbee river, with 20 officers and 110 others.

Mr. Jefferson Davis, with his staff and civilian associates, having journeyed by rail from Richmond to Danville,17 he there halted, and set up his Government; issuing18 thence a stirring proclamation, designed to inspirit [755] the Confederates to a determined prosecution of the contest; saying:

We have now entered upon a new phase of the struggle. Relieved from the necessity of guarding particular points, our army will be free to move from point to point to strike the enemy in detail far from his base. Let us but will it, and we are free.

Animated by that confidence in your spirit and fortitude which never yet failed me, I announce to you, fellow-countrymen, that it is my purpose to maintain your cause with my whole heart and soul; that I will never consent to abandon to the enemy one foot of the soil of any one of the States of the Confederacy. That Virginia — noble State--whose ancient renown has been eclipsed by her still more glorious recent history — whose bosom has been bared to receive the main shock of this war — whose sons and daughters have exhibited heroism so sublime as to render her illustrious in all time to come — that Virginia, with the help of the people and by the blessing of Providence, shall be held and defended, and no peace ever be made with the infamous invaders of her territory.

If, by the stress of numbers, we should ever be compelled to a temporary withdrawal from her limits, or those of any other Border State, again and again will we return, until the baffled and exhausted enemy shall abandon in despair his endless and impossible task of making slaves of a people resolved to be free.

Let us, then, not despond, my country-men; but, relying on God, meet the foe with fresh defiance and with unconquered and unconquerable hearts.

He waited there several days, in anxious expectation of the approach of Lee, or at least of tidings that he was still confronting and baffling the Union forces; until astounded19 by advices of his surrender at Appomattox. The Confederacy thereupon took to wheels again — there being no acceptable alternative — and retreated by rail to Greensboroa, N. C., where another considerable halt was made — the days and nights spent mainly in the cars by President, Cabinet, and followers; since very few of the citizens saw fit to throw open their houses — when the imminence of Johnston's surrender compelled another flitting20 this time in wagons and on horseback: the railroad having been disabled by Stoneman — via Salisbury to Charlotte, N. C., where its foundering ark again rested for a few days; and where, unlike their fare at Greensboroa, the falling President and his Cabinet were received with consideration and hospitality-until, alarmed by the reported approach of Stoneman's cavalry, it resumed its flittings southward, via Yorkville and Abbeville, S. C.; being now compelled to take entirely to horse, and escorted by 2,000 cavalry, who, as well as the Presidential cortege, gradually dwindled by the way: thus reaching21 Washington, Ga., where the rapidly dissolving view of a Government was dispensed with-most of the Cabinet itself having by this time abandoned the sinking craft, leaving Davis attended by Reagan (late Postmaster-General, now acting Secretary of the Treasury) and his military staff; and the remaining fugitives, with a small but select escort of mounted men, took their way southward: perhaps intent on joining Dick Taylor or Kirby Smith, should either or both be still belligerent, or, at the worst, hoping to make their way to some petty port on the coast, and thence out of the country. Mr. Davis had even separated, for greater safety, from his family; but, on an alarm of peril to which they were said to be exposed from a conspiracy to rob them of the gold they were supposed to be carrying off, had rejoined them over night; when his sylvan encampment near Irwinsville, [756] Ga., was struck 22 by Lt.-Col. Pritchard, 4th Michigan cavalry, who, upon advices that what remained of the Rebellion was making its way furtively southward through Georgia, had been dispatched23 by Gen. Wilson from Macon in quest of him; as had also the 1st Wisconsin cavalry, Lt.-Col. Harden. These two commands, moving by different roads down the Ocmulgee, Pritchard at length struck the trail he was seeking, and followed it to the encampment aforesaid; which he surprised at early dawn; easily taking captive24 Mr. Davis, his wife, her sister, and his children; but being, directly there-after, involved in a fight with the 1st Wisconsin, which was closing in on the quarry from another quarter, and — each taking the other for enemies — the two commands opened a reciprocal fire, whereby two men were killed and several wounded before the mutual mistake was discovered. The dead were borne sadly to Abbeville, and there buried; the wounded, with the prisoners, were conveyed to Macon,25 whence Davis was taken, via Savannah and the ocean, to Fortress Monroe; where he was long closely and rigorously imprisoned, while his family were returned by water to Savannah and there set at liberty. Secretary Reagan--the only person of consequence captured with Davis — was taken to Boston, and confined, with Vice-President Stephens (captured about this time also in Georgia), in Fort Warren; but each was liberated on parole a few months thereafter.

The following general order seemed for a time to menace a protracted, though not doubtful, struggle in Texas:

headquarters trans-Mississippi Department., Shreveport, La., April 21, 1865.
Soldiers of the trans-Mississippi Army:
The crisis of our revolution is at hand. Great disaters have overtaken us. The Army of Northern Virginia and our Commander-in-Chief are prisoners of war. With you rest the hopes of our nation, and upon your action depends the fate of our people. I appeal to you in the name of the cause you have so heroically maintained — in the name [757] of your firesides and families, so dear to you — in the name of your bleeding country, whose future is in your hands. Show that you are worthy of your position in history. Prove to the world that your hearts have not failed in the hour of disaster, and that, to the last moment, you will sustain the holy cause which has been so gloriously battled for by your brethren east of the Mississippi.

You possess the means of long resisting invasion; you have hopes of succor from abroad. Protract the struggle, and you will surely receive the aid of nations who already deeply sympathize with you.

Stand by your colors — maintain your discipline! The great resources of this department, its vast extent; the numbers, the discipline, and the efficiency of the army, will secure to our country terms that a proud people can with honor accept, and may, under the providence of God, be the means of checking the triumph of our enemy and securing the final success of our cause.

E. Kirby Smith, General.

At a public meeting held at Shreveport on the receipt of news of President Lincoln's assassination, there were military men found base or mad enough to exult over that atrocity. Their countrymen of all parties will gladly forget their names.

The last actual collision26 of forces in our struggle occurred27 on the Rio Grande. Col. Barrett had set forth28 from Brazos Santiago to surprise a Rebel camp at Palmetto Ranche, some 15 miles above, and had succeeded in taking and burning the camp; but, lingering to secure horses, he was overtaken on his return by Gen. J. E. Slaughter, with 3 guns and a considerable force, and hunted back to Brazos with a loss of 80, mainly captured. Slaughter's loss was trifling.

Gen. Sheridan had been sent to New Orleans, and was there fitting out a formidable expedition for the recovery [758] of Texas, when the good sense of the Rebel rank and file in that State saved her from a hopeless and damaging experience of the horrors of war. While the chiefs were still making preparations for a desperate resistance, their hitherto submissive followers bluntly refused to be thus foolishly sacrificed, and, dissolving their organizations, they helped themselves to whatever they could seize of the effects of the death-stricken Confederacy, and dispersed to their several homes; leaving their officers no choice but to make the best attainable terms. Before Sheridan had started, therefore, certain of Smith's staff officers, headed by Lt.-Gen. S. B. Buckner, made their way down to Baton Rouge, and there concluded29 with Gen. Osterhaus, acting for Gen. Canby, a capitulation substantially identical with that accorded by Canby to Dick Taylor; the stipulation for “transportation and subsistence” inclusive. This requirement involved the Government in very moderate expense. The great body of the “soldiers of the trans-Mississippi Army” had already appropriated all the “subsistence and transportation” they could lay their hands on, and gone their several ways — profoundly convinced that rebellion, with overt war against the authority and integrity of the Union, was not a paying business, and determined to devote their time and talents henceforth to something more profitable.

Ere this surrender, the removal30 by Presidential proclamation of restrictions on commercial intercourse with the revolted States, the release31 on parole of all prisoners of war below the rank of Colonel who would take the oath of allegiance, and the mustering for review at Washington32 of the two main armies of the Republic, gave earnest of the virtual termination of hostilities; which was soon afterward formally announced in the following General Order:

War Department, Adjutant-General's Office, Washington, D. C., June 2, 1865.
Soldiers of the Armies of the United States:
By your patriotic devotion to your country in the hour of danger and alarm, your magnificent fighting, bravery, and endurance, you have maintained the supremacy of the Union and the Constitution, overthrown all armed opposition to the enforcement of the laws and of the proclamations forever abolishing Slavery — the cause and pretext of the Rebellion — and opened the way to the rightful authorities to restore order and inaugurate peace on a permanent and enduring basis on every foot of American soil. Your marches, sieges, and battles, in distance, duration, resolution, and brilliancy of results, dim the luster of the world's past military achievements, and will be the patriot's precedent in defense of liberty and right in all time to come. In obedience to your country's call, you left your homes and families, and volunteered in her defense. Victory has crowned your valor, and secured the purpose of your patriotic hearts; and, with the gratitude of your countrymen and the highest honors a great and free nation can accord, you will soon be permitted to return to your homes and families, conscious of having discharged the highest duty of American citizens. To achieve these glorious triumphs and secure to yourselves, your fellow-countrymen, and posterity, the blessings of free institutions, tens of thousands of your gallant comrades have fallen and sealed the priceless legacy with their blood. The graves of these a grateful nation bedews with tears, honors their memories, and will ever cherish and support their stricken families.

U. S. Grant, Lt.-General.

The wholesale discharge of Rebel prisoners of war — to whom was accorded transportation to their respective homes — was directed by an order from the Adjutant-General's office, dated May 6th. The number actually [759] ally released; after the close of hostilities, was 63,442; while the number surrendered and paroled in the several Rebel armies was 174,223. Among these were many regiments mustering from 11 up to 65 men; 10 regiments consolidated that mustered but 238; 8 regiments of Texans reduced from 10,000 to 456 in all; one regiment having 40 left, out of its original 1,200. It is doubtful that all the effective Rebels in arms on the morning of Lee's surrender were equal to 100 full veteran regiments of 1,000 men each ; while the Union muster-rolls had shown, on the 1st of March, an aggregate force of 965,591 men; whereof 602,593 were “present for duty,” beside 132,538 “on detached service” --that fatal subtraction from the efficiency of armies. Of tile residue, no less than 179,047 were either in hospitals or absent on sick leave; 31,695 were either on furlough or prisoners of war, and 19,683 absent “without leave.” By August 7, no less than 640,806 had been mustered out of service: and this aggregate was increased by Oct. 15 to 785,205. Thus rapidly, as well as peacefully and joyously, were the mightiest hosts ever called to the field by a republic restored to the tranquil paths of industry and thrift, melting back by regiments into quiet citizenship, with nothing to distinguish them from others but the proud consciousness of having served and saved their country.

1 March 24.

2 April 4.

3 April 12.

4 April 12.

5 April 14.

6 May 2.

7 Feb. 1.

8 March 20.

9 April 12.

10 April 18.

11 April 6.

12 April 10.

13 April 13.

14 April 17.

15 April 21.

16 April 23.

17 April 3.

18 April 5.

19 April 10.

20 April 15.

21 May 4.

22 May 11.

23 May 7.

24 With regard to Davis's alleged attempt to elude his captors in female guise, the following statement by Lt. C. E. L. Stuart, of his staff, probably embodies the literal truth:

When the musketry-flring was heard in the morning, at “dim, gray dawn,” it was supposed to be between the apprehended [Rebel] marauders and Mrs. Davis's few camp-defenders. Under this impression, Mr. Davis hurriedly put on his boots, and prepared to go out for the purpose of interposing, saying:

“They will at least as yet respect me.”

As he got to the tent door thus hastily equipped, and with this good intention of preventing an effusion of blood by an appeal in the name of a fading but not wholly faded authority, he saw a few cavalry ride up the road and deploy in front.

“Ha, Federals!” was his exclamation.

“Then you are captured!” cried Mrs. Davis, with emotion.

In a moment, she caught an idea — a woman's idea — and, as quickly as women in an emergency execute their designs, it was done. He slept in a wrapper — a loose one. It was yet around him. This she fastened, ere he was aware of it, and then, bidding him adieu, urged him to go to the spring, a short distance off, where his horses and arms were. Strange as it may seem, there was not even a pistol in the tent. Davis felt that his only course was to reach his horse and arms, and complied. As he was leaving the door, followed by a servant with a water-bucket, Miss Howell flung a shawl over his head. There was no time to remove it without exposure and embarrassment; and, as he had not far to go, he ran the chance exactly as it was devised for him. In these two articles, consisted the woman's attire of which so much nonsense has been spoken and written; and, under these circumstances and in this way was Jefferson Davis going forth to perfect his escape. No bonnet, no gown, no petticoats, no crinoline — nothing of all these. And what there was, happened to be excusable under ordinary circumstances, and perfectly natural as things were.

But it was too late for any effort to reach his horses; and the Confederate President was at last a prisoner in the hands of the United States.

25 May 13.

26 Though the war on land ceased, and the Confederate flag utterly disappeared from this continent with the collapse and dispersion of Kirby Smith's command; it was yet displayed at sea by two of the British-built, British-armed, and (mainly) British manned cruisers engaged in the spoliation of our commerce; whereof the powerful iron-clad Stonewall, after having been for some time watched by the Niagara and the Sacramento in the Spanish port of Ferrol. finally ran across to Havana, where she arrived after the fall of the Confederacy, and was taken in charge by the Spanish authorities, who promptly handed her over, May 28, 1865, to Rear-Admiral Godon, who, with a formidable fleet, had been sent, May 16, to cruise among the West Indies in quest of her. Admiral Godon brought her into Hampton Roads June 12, and turned her over to the Navy Department.

There still remained afloat the swift steamer Shenandoah, Capt. Waddell, built at Glasgow in 1863, and which, as “the Sea King,” put to sea from London, Oct. 8, 1864, in spite of the protests of our functionaries; having cleared for Bombay: but which was met at a barren islet off Madeira, Oct. 17, by the British steamer Laurel, from Liverpool, with officers and men, nearly all British, who, with guns and munitions, were promptly transferred to the henceforth Rebel corsair Shenandoah, which at once engaged in the capture, plunder, and destruction of our merchantmen; in due time, turning up at Melbourne, Australia, where she received a hearty and munificent welcome. Having left that port, Feb. 8, 1865, she was next heard of in the North Pacific, the Sea of Ochotsk, and northward nearly to Behring's straits, where she raided at will among our defenseless whalers, of which she burned 25 and bonded 4--many of them after she had received the news of Lee's and Johnston's surrender and Davis's capture. Finally, having been assured by a British sea-captain that the Confederacy was no more, she desisted, four months after the collapse, from her work of destruction, and made her way directly to her native country; anchoring Nov. 6, 1865, in the Mersey; whence Waddell addressed a letter to the British Minister, surrendering her in due form to the British Government; by which she was in turn tendered to ours, and most unwisely accepted. As she had never attempted to enter a Confederate port, nor (so far as is known) any other than British, and as she had never been manned by any other than a (substantially) British crew, and as she still stood, up to a very late day, on the official registry of British shipping as the British steamship Sea King, she ought to have been left on the hands of her legitimate owners.

27 May 13.

28 May 11.

29 May 26.

30 April 29.

31 May 7.

32 May 22-3.

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