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Military Reminiscences of the Civil War V2 by Jacob Dolson Cox

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embody in the convention, and his recognition of the probability
that its provisions would need more explicit definition before the
final acts of negotiation. It shows, too, how frank he was in
warning Johnston that the terrible crime at Washington had changed
the situation. It seems indisputable that this open-hearted dealing
between the generals made it much easier for them to come together
on the final terms, by having revealed to Johnston the motives and
convictions which animated his opponent in seeking the blessing of
peace as well as in applying the scourge of war.

As further evidence of what Sherman told us, his subordinates, of
the terms agreed upon, I quote the entry in my diary of what I
understood them to be, on the 19th, the day following the signing of
the convention, after personal conversation with the general:
"Johnston's army is to separate, the troops going to their several
States; at the State capitals they are to surrender their arms and
all public property. Part of the arms are to be left to the State
governments and the rest turned over to the United States. The
officers and soldiers are not to be punished by the United States
Government for their part in the war, but all are left liable to
private prosecutions and indictments in the courts." [Footnote:
Official Records, vol. xlvii. pt. i. p. 938.]

In the evening of the 23d Sherman heard of the arrival at Morehead
City of Major Hitchcock, his messenger to Washington, and he at once
notified Johnston that the dispatches would reach him in the
morning. He asked the latter to be ready "to resume negotiations
when the contents of the dispatches are known." [Footnote: _Id_.,
pt. ii. p. 287.] When Major Hitchcock came up on a night train
reaching Raleigh at six in the morning, to Sherman's great surprise
General Grant came also, unheralded and unannounced. [Footnote:
_Id_., p. 286.]



Davis's last cabinet meeting--Formal opinions approving the
"Basis"--"The Confederacy is conquered"--Grant brings disapproval
from the Johnston administration--Sherman gives notice of the
termination of the truce--No military disadvantage from
it--Sherman's vindication of himself--Grant's admirable
conduct--Johnston advises Davis to yield--Capitulation assented to,
but a volunteer cavalry force to accompany Davis's flight--A new
conference at Durham--Davis's imaginary treasure--Grant's return to
Washington--Terms of the parole given by Johnston's army--The
capitulation complete--Schofield and his army to carry out the
details--The rest of Sherman's army marches north--His farewell to
Johnston--Order announcing the end of the war--Johnston's fine
reply--Stanton's strange dispatch to the newspapers--Its tissue of
errors--Its baseless objections--Sherman's
exasperation--Interference with his military authority over his
subordinates--Garbling Grant's dispatch--Sherman strikes
back--Breach between Sherman and Halleck--It also grew out of the
published matter--Analysis of the facts--My opinion as recorded at
the time.

When Grant reached Sherman's headquarters on the morning of the 24th
of April, Johnston had not yet been notified of the action of the
Confederate government as to the agreed "Basis" of surrender. Having
got Sherman's dispatch of the evening before, he telegraphed to
General Breckinridge, the Secretary of War at Greensborough, that
there must be immediate readiness to act. [Footnote: Official
Records, vol. xlvii. pt. iii. p. 834.] Breckinridge, however, had
gone to Charlotte, about eighty miles down the road, near the South
Carolina line, where Mr. Davis held the last meeting of his cabinet,
and procured from each of them his formal, written opinion and
advice. Davis himself now telegraphed the result to Johnston,
saying: "Your action is approved. You will so inform General
Sherman, and if the like authority be given by the Government of the
United States to complete the arrangement, you will proceed on the
'Basis' adopted." [Footnote: Official Records, vol. xlvii. pt. iii.
p. 834.] He added that further instructions would be given as to the
subordinate details which, by common consent, must be added to the
"Basis" to perfect it.

The cabinet opinions were unanimous in favor of approving the
"Basis." Benjamin's, Reagan's, and Attorney-General Davis's were
dated the 22d, Breckinridge's the 23d, and Mallory's the 24th.
[Footnote: _Id_., pp. 821, 823, 827, 830, 832.]

In varying words they all admitted what Mallory put most tersely, in
saying "The Confederacy is conquered." [Footnote: _Id_., p. 833.]
Several of them discussed the possibility of carrying on a guerilla
warfare, but could see in it no useful result. They agreed that if
Johnston retreated to the Gulf States, the troops would disperse
spontaneously. Virginia and North Carolina would separately withdraw
from the Confederacy, and the other States would follow. Benjamin
expressed the common opinion that the terms of the convention "exact
only what the victor always requires,--the relinquishment by his foe
of the object for which the struggle was commenced." [Footnote:
_Id_., p. 822.] He also well formulated their judgment that, as
political head, Davis could not make peace by dissolving the
Confederacy; but as commander-in-chief he could ratify the military
convention disbanding the armies. "He can end hostilities. The
States alone can act in dissolving the Confederacy and returning to
the Union according to the terms of the convention." [Footnote:
_Ibid._] Reagan alone spoke of hopes that by submission the States
might procure advantages not mentioned in the "Basis," and found
comfort in the fact that it contained "no direct reference to the
question of slavery." [Footnote: Official Records, vol. xlvii. pt.
iii. p. 824.] Taken together, these important documents contain the
strongest possible admission of the utter ruin of the Confederacy
and of the simple truth that there was nothing left for them but to
surrender at discretion, with such dignity as they might. Of
themselves the cabinet opinions changed the situation, and made it
impossible to resume plans of further resistance after the
convention was rejected at Washington. With them the Confederate
Government vanished.

For it was a disapproval that Grant had brought. On receiving the
"Memorandum, or Basis," from Sherman, on the 21st, he had at once
seen that the latter had acted in ignorance of the facts: first,
that Mr. Lincoln had himself, two days before his death, withdrawn
the permission for the Virginia legislature to assemble; and second,
that he had, a month before Lee's surrender, directed that military
negotiations should not treat of any subject of civil policy. In
view, therefore, of the tendency to severity which followed the
assassination, it was evident that the convention would not be
approved, and, as soon as action had been taken by the President in
cabinet meeting, Grant wrote a calm and friendly letter to Sherman,
in explanation of the rejection of the "Basis," inclosing Stanton's
formal notice and order to resume hostilities. [Footnote: _Id._, pp.
263, 264.] These were intrusted to Major Hitchcock, but, as we have
seen, Grant accompanied the messenger in person.

Sherman having, only the day before, learned of the change of policy
with regard to Virginia, and notified Johnston of its probable
effect, was prepared in part for the disapproval, and was personally
glad to be rid of political negotiation. He made no objection or
remonstrance, but even before discussing the subject with Grant,
wrote his notice to Johnston of the termination of the truce within
forty-eight hours, as agreed. With this he sent a note stating his
orders "not to attempt civil negotiations," and demanding surrender
of Johnston's own army "on the same terms as were given General Lee
at Appomattox." [Footnote: Official Records, vol. xlvii. pt. iii.
pp. 293, 294.] These dispatches were dated at six in the morning of
the 24th, a few minutes after Grant's arrival. [Footnote: Grant to
Stanton, _Id_., p. 293.]

Sherman then explained to the General-in-Chief the military
situation, the position of his several corps, his readiness to make
the race with Johnston for Charlotte, the completed repair of the
railroad through Raleigh to Durham, the accumulation of supplies,
and the improved condition of the country roads. The truce had
worked him no disadvantage from a military standpoint, but the
contrary. The only thing which annoyed him in the dispatches from
Washington was the last sentence in Mr. Stanton's communication to
Grant, saying, "The President desires that you proceed immediately
to the headquarters of General Sherman and direct operations against
the enemy." [Footnote: _Id_., p. 263.] The implication in this was a
distrust of him which was wholly unjust, and he replied to it, "I
had flattered myself that by four years' patient, unremitting, and
successful labor I deserved no such reminder." [Footnote: _Id_., p.
302.] In a letter to Grant of the same date he put upon record the
fact that he had reason to suppose that his "Memorandum" accurately
reflected Mr. Lincoln's ideas and purposes, and that he was wholly
uninformed of the instructions in regard to negotiating upon civil
questions. He stood by his opinions on the propriety of using the
_de facto_ governments in the separate States as agents of
submission for their people. He pointed out that the military
convention did not meddle with the right of the courts to punish
past crimes, and stated that he admitted the need of clearer
definition as to the guaranty of rights of person and property.
[Footnote: _Ibid._] The points he thus discussed were those he got
from Grant orally, for he had, as yet, no other knowledge of the
criticisms made by President Johnson or his cabinet.

Grant's sincere friendship and his freedom from the least desire to
exhibit his own power had made him act as a visitor rather than a
commander. He appreciated Sherman's perfect readiness to accept the
methods dictated by the civil authorities, and saw that his zeal was
as ardent as it was at Atlanta or Savannah. The results of the
honest frankness of the dealings between Sherman and Johnston were
speedily seen. The Confederate general perfectly understood the
meaning of the notice to end the truce, and that his great opponent
would do his military duty to the uttermost. Whilst ordering his
army to be ready to move at the expiration of the truce, he also
declared to Mr. Davis, in asking for instructions, that it were
better to yield than to have Sherman's army again traverse the
country. [Footnote: Official Records, vol. xlvii. pt. iii. p. 835.]
Davis suggested, through Breckinridge, that the infantry and
artillery might be disbanded, but the cavalry and horse-batteries
brought off to accompany the high civil officers who would try to
reach the Southwest. [Footnote: _Ibid._] Johnston replied that this
would only provide for saving these functionaries from captivity.
This might be done by Mr. Davis moving with a smaller cavalry
escort, without losing a moment. To save the people, the country,
and the army, an honorable military capitulation ought to be made
before the expiration of the armistice. He said that his subordinate
commanders did not believe their troops would fight again, and that
news was received of the fall of Mobile, with 3,000 prisoners, and
the capture of Macon, with a number of prominent generals.
[Footnote: _Id._, P. 836.] Early on the 25th Breckinridge assented
to the capitulation, but directed that General Wade Hampton, with
the mounted men who chose to follow him, might join the President.
[Footnote: _Id._, p. 837.] Upon this, Johnston wrote Sherman, asking
that instead of a surrender and disbanding in the field, his army
might have the arrangement for going home in organizations which had
been made by the Memorandum of the 18th, giving as a reason that
Lee's paroled men were already afflicting the country, collecting in
bands which had no means of subsistence but robbery. [Footnote:
Official Records, vol. xlvii. pt. iii. p. 304.] Sherman then
appointed a new conference at Durham, for the 26th, at noon.
[Footnote: _Ibid_.] He had learned from Grant that it was believed
at Washington that Davis had with him a large treasure in specie,
making for Cuba by way of Florida, and sent at once a dispatch to
Admiral Dahlgren, naval commander at Charleston, asking that officer
to try to intercept him. [Footnote: _Id_., p. 310.]

General Grant's complete satisfaction with Sherman's personal
attitude and readiness to accept the action of the President was
shown in his wish to return at once to Washington. He prepared to
start from Raleigh on the morning of the 26th, taking a steamer from
New Berne on arriving there. [Footnote: _Id_., p. 309.] He expected,
of course that the surrender would be completed and the result
telegraphed him by the time his vessel was ready to start, but he
was also moved by delicacy toward Sherman and the desire to relieve
him from every appearance of supervision which his stay at Raleigh
might give. Sherman, however, was also chivalrous, and requested
Grant not to leave till he should see the capitulation finally
signed. [Footnote: _Id_., p. 312.] All this, it must be remembered,
was in entire ignorance of the follies perpetrated at the War
Department during those days.

The hour fixed for the new conference at Durham was the same at
which the armistice would expire; but Sherman, having the troops in
readiness to start at a moment's notice, ordered that no movement
should be made till his return. [Footnote: _Id_., p. 314.] An
accident to his railroad delayed Johnston two or three hours, but on
his arrival a brief conference satisfied him that the only course to
pursue was to surrender on the terms given to Lee, and to trust to
Sherman's assurance that such arrangements would be made in
executing the capitulation as would guard against the evils of the
dispersion of his army without means of subsistence, which both
officers justly feared. As in Lee's case the language used avoided
terms which implied being prisoners of war even momentarily, but
provided that after delivering the arms to an ordnance officer at
Greensborough (excepting side-arms of officers) and giving an
"individual obligation not to take up arms against the Government of
the United States, . . . all the officers and men will be permitted
to return to their homes, not to be disturbed by the United States
authorities so long as they observe their obligation and the laws in
force where they may reside." [Footnote: Official Records, vol.
xlvii. pt. iii. p. 313.]

At half-past seven in the evening Grant was able to write his
dispatch to Stanton, Secretary of War, that the surrender was
complete, and by using the telegraph to New Berne and Morehead City,
and from Fort Monroe to Washington, the news reached Washington at
ten in the morning of the 28th. [Footnote: _Id._, p. 311.] The same
evening, and by same means of transmittal, he also informed Halleck
at Richmond of the surrender, and recalled all his troops out of
Sherman's theatre of operations. [Footnote: On April 16th Halleck
had been assigned to command the Department of Virginia, thus
relieving him of duty as chief of staff of the army in which General
Rawlins succeeded him. On April 19th his command was made the
Military Division of the James, including besides Virginia such
parts of North Carolina as Sherman should not occupy. (Official
Records, vol. xlvii. pt, iii. pp. 230, 250.) In reading the Official
Records of this period, it must be borne constantly in mind that
from two to four days was required to convey dispatches from Sherman
to the War Department and _vice versa_,--the longer time in case
they were sent by mail, and the shorter when use was made in part of
the telegraph lines.] After hearing the details of Sherman's
conversations with Johnston, and approving the suggestions of
liberal arrangements looking to getting the Confederate troops
quickly and quietly back to peaceful industry at their homes, Grant
parted with us at Raleigh on the 27th, and returned as rapidly as
possible to Washington, where the influence of his calm judgment and
executive ability was sorely needed.

The orders for National forces in North Carolina except Schofield's
troops to march homeward were issued on the 27th. Kilpatrick's
division of cavalry was attached to Schofield's command, and the
Army of the Ohio thus reinforced was left to garrison the Department
of North Carolina. [Footnote: Official Records, vol. xlvii. pt. iii.
p. 323.] To General Schofield was also intrusted the preparation of
the printed paroles for all the troops included in the capitulation,
so that there might be uniformity. To him also was committed the
conclusion of the supplementary terms needed for the liberal
execution of the convention, as had been discussed at the personal
meeting of the commanders, at which he had been present. [Footnote:
_Id_., pp. 320, 322.] Johnston sent in a draft of what he had
understood to be thus informally arranged, the most important items
of which were the "loan" to the Confederates of their army animals
and wagons for farming purposes, the retention of a portion of their
arms to enforce order and discipline till the separate organizations
should reach their homes, and the extension of the privileges of the
convention to naval officers of the Confederacy. [Footnote: _Id_.,
p. 321.] With slight modifications these were accepted by General
Schofield and carried out. [Footnote: _Id_., pp. 350, 355, 482.] A
large issue of rations to Johnston's troops had been voluntarily
added without any request or stipulation. [Footnote: Schofield's
Forty-six Years in the Army, p. 352, etc.; Sherman's Memoirs, vol.
ii. pp. 362, 363; Johnston's Narrative, pp. 412-420. General
Schofield's recollection is that he wrote the convention of the
26th, Johnston and Sherman being unable to agree: but as it was in
substance a transcript of the Grant-Lee terms of April 9th,
according to Sherman's note to Johnston of the 24th demanding their
acceptance "purely and simply" (Official Records, vol. xlvii. pt.
iii. p. 294), the account I have given seems to me best supported by
all the evidence.] Both parties understood that Johnston's command
included all Confederate troops east of the Chattahoochee, though
this is not stated in the terms. [Footnote: Grant to Halleck,
Official Records, vol. xlvii. pt. iii. p. 312; Johnston to York,
_Id._, p. 854; Do. to Governor Brown, _Id._, p. 855. Sherman's Field
Order No. 65, _Id._, p. 322.] At the earnest request of the
Confederate general, none of our troops were sent up to
Greensborough, where his headquarters and principal camp were, until
the printing of the paroles was completed and staff officers sent to
issue them on April 30th. [Footnote: _Id._, pp. 349, 350, 35l. 483.]
Sherman wrote a farewell letter to Johnston on the 27th, telling of
his instructions to General Schofield to give him ten days' rations
for 25,000 men, "to facilitate what you and I and all good men
desire, the return to their homes of the officers and men composing
your army." [Footnote: _Id._, p. 320.] He spoke also of his
directions to "loan" to them enough animals fit for farming purposes
to insure a crop. Concluding, he said: "Now that war is over, I am
as willing to risk my person and reputation as heretofore, to heal
the wounds made by the past war, and I think my feeling is shared by
the whole army. I also think a similar feeling actuates the mass of
your army, but there are some unthinking young men who have no sense
or experience, that unless controlled may embroil their neighbors.
If we are forced to deal with them, it must be with severity, but I
hope they will be managed by the people of the South." [Footnote:
_Ibid._] His Field Order No. 65, announcing the end of war east of
the Chattahoochee, referred to the same purpose "to relieve present
wants and to encourage the inhabitants to renew their peaceful
pursuits and to restore the relations of friendship among our
fellow-citizens and countrymen." He directed that "great care must
be taken that all the terms and stipulations on our part be
fulfilled with the most scrupulous fidelity, whilst those imposed on
our hitherto enemies be received in a spirit becoming a brave and
generous army." [Footnote: _Id._, p. 322]

A copy of this order was enclosed in Sherman's letter to Johnston,
and the latter replied in a similar noble tone. "The enlarged
patriotism manifested in these papers," he said, "reconciles me to
what I had previously regarded as the misfortune of my life--that of
having had you to encounter in the field. The enlightened and humane
policy you have adopted will certainly be successful. It is
fortunate for the people of North Carolina that your views are to be
carried out by one so capable of appreciating them. I hope you are
as well represented in the other departments of your command; if so,
an early and complete pacification in it may be expected.... The
disposition you express to heal the wounds made by the past war has
been evident to me in all our interviews. You are right in supposing
that similar feelings are entertained by the mass of this army. I am
sure that all the leading men in it will exert their influence for
that object." [Footnote: Official Records, vol. xlvii. pt. iii. p.

Down to this moment the progress of events had been full of
satisfaction to Sherman, and of gratification to his noble ambition.
If the implication contained in the order sending Grant in person to
his headquarters had pained him, Grant's perfect handling of the
situation had prevented the wound being deep, and Sherman was
pleased, on the whole, to be relieved of negotiations on all civil
questions. But the day after Grant had left him,--when he had issued
his admirable Order No. 65, and exchanged chivalrous sentiments with
Johnston,--when he had completed his work in his great campaign and,
leaving to Schofield the finishing of the administrative task in
North Carolina, was turning his face homeward full of anticipation
of rejoining family and friends, with his great career in a
retrospect which was altogether gratifying--at this culmination of
his glory as a soldier and his pride as a patriot, he received the
sorest blow and the deepest wound he ever knew.

The mail, on the 28th, brought a copy of the "New York Times,"
containing Mr. Stanton's now famous dispatch to General Dix dated
the 22d, sent for the purpose of general publication, in which he
made known the fact that Sherman had entered into a convention with
Johnston, that it was disapproved by the President, and that Sherman
was ordered to resume hostilities. [Footnote: Official Records, vol.
xlvii. pt. iii. p. 285.] Had the newspaper publication stopped here,
it would still have been a grave indiscretion, for the news of what
was done in Washington usually reached the enemy more promptly than
it came to our officers at the front, and the enterprising spies at
the capital would have thought their fortunes made by getting on the
22d orders which did not reach Sherman, in fact, till the 24th, with
official comments of which the general was ignorant till the 28th.

But this was the least of the faults of this curious document. It
said that Sherman had entered into "what is called a basis of
peace." No such name was given the paper, and the manner of
attributing it misled the public as to its character. It suppressed
the fact that the "Memorandum" was by its terms wholly without
binding effect if not approved by the President. Without saying so,
it persuasively led the reader to believe that Sherman had violated
instructions issued by Mr. Lincoln on March 3d, which in fact were
never published till it was done in this dispatch, and were wholly
unknown to the general, who believed he was acting in accordance
with President Lincoln's wishes given him orally at the end of
March. It spoke of orders sent by Sherman to Stoneman "to withdraw
from Salisbury and join him" as opening "the way for Davis to escape
to Mexico or Europe with his plunder, which is reported to be very
large." Only complete ignorance of the actual military situation
could account for so erroneous a statement. Davis was in the midst
of Johnston's whole army, most of which was halted by the truce at
Greensborough. Stoneman, on a brilliant cavalry raid, passed rapidly
from the North near Greensborough a week before, had struck
Salisbury on the 13th, and immediately marched northwest, on his
return to East Tennessee, whence he had started. He was at
Statesville, forty miles on his way, when Sherman and Johnston made
the armistice on the 18th, of which he did not hear a word till he
was over the mountains on the 23d. [Footnote: Official Records, vol.
xlvii. pt. i. pp. 334, 335.] Sherman first heard of Davis's
"plunder" from Grant on the 24th, and immediately asked the navy to
frustrate any efforts to take it out of the country. [Footnote:
_Ante_, p. 494.] Davis did not leave the protection of Johnston's
army till he knew that Stoneman was far away and his road was clear.
In fact, it was only when, after the rejection of the first
convention, Johnston had begun negotiations for the separate
surrender of his own forces, and further delay would have made him a
prisoner. As to the "plunder of the banks" thus published by the
Secretary, it turned out that officers of Carolina banks who had
taken their assets to Richmond for protection against the perils of
war, had taken advantage of the protection of Mr. Davis's escort to
carry them home when Richmond fell. As to the specie treasure,
rumored to be many millions, about forty thousand dollars was at
Greensborough paid to Johnston's soldiers at the rate of $1.17 to
each, and the remainder, except a small sum, seems to have been
distributed to the cavalry escort, about 3000 strong, which
protected Mr. Davis to the Savannah River and then dispersed; the
sum was thirty-five dollars per man, given as part of their arrears
of pay. [Footnote: Official Records, vol. xlvii. pt. iii. pp. 801,
803, 820, 850; _Id._, vol. xlix. pt. i. pp. 548, 551, 552, 555;
Davis's Rise and Fall, vol. ii. pp. 691, 695; Johnston's Narrative,
p. 408; Sherman's Memoirs, vol. ii. p. 373.] The statement in Mr.
Stanton's dispatch regarding this "plunder," copied from one
received from Halleck, which in turn was based on anonymous rumor,
was so couched as to give credit to the imputation that Sherman was
to be duped or bribed to allow Davis with his effects, "including
this gold plunder," to escape. Not only did the form of the
publication give this impression, but that it was in fact so
understood and treated is simple matter of history.

Even this was not all. There were appended to this nine enumerated
criticisms, most of which were baseless. The first declared that
both Sherman and Johnston knew the former had no power to do what
was done in the Memorandum. What was done in fact was to transmit to
the government, for its acceptance or rejection, Johnston's offer to
disband all the remaining armies of the Confederacy, wherever
situated, on the terms which were stated. The "Memorandum" itself
said that the generals lacked power "to fulfil these terms;" but
that they had power to make a truce till the government of the
United States considered the proposal, is too plain for serious
dispute. Yet Mr. Stanton's criticism implied that the arrangement
had not been merely proposed, but had been actually concluded, for
the strictures otherwise had no meaning.

The second said that "it was a practical acknowledgment of the rebel
government." On the other hand, Sherman had utterly refused to deal
with or acknowledge that government in any way. The effect of
ratification of the terms would have been its silent disappearance
without being named. If the argument were worth anything, it would
have been much more potent against the exchanges of prisoners which
had been carried on through commissioners of both governments. But
the next clause had the added bugbear that the arms when deposited
at the State capitals might be "used to conquer and subdue the loyal
States." This suppressed the fact that by the "Memorandum" the arms
were "to be reported to the chief of ordnance at Washington City
subject to the future action of the Congress of the United States."
The allowance of arms to local authorities to preserve order was a
necessity so self-evident that, in the face of this objection by Mr.
Stanton, General Schofield, in supplementary terms of the final
surrender, allowed Johnston's troops to retain part of the arms in
this way, and no whisper of further objection was made. [Footnote:
Official Records, vol. xlvii. pt. iii. p. 482.]

The third objection was that "it undertook to re-establish the rebel
State governments that had been overthrown." This was untrue in
fact. It proposed that the executive should recognize actually
existing governments _de facto_ in the States, for the purpose of
renouncing the Confederacy and acknowledging under oath their
allegiance to the United States. For the purpose of such submission,
it would seem clear that it would be an advantage to have it made by
Vance, and Magrath, and Brown, and the rest who had been the real
rebels, rather than by new men whose essential representative
character might be denied. The subsequent history of reconstruction
gives small support to the opinion that anything was gained which
might not have been got more effectively by dictating the civil
changes and terms of peace to these old State governments rather
than to such provisional makeshifts as were afterward used. But the
objection was, after all, not against Sherman, but against the dead
Lincoln under whose oral authority Sherman was acting, and who had
put the same in clearest written terms in his correspondence with
General Weitzel and Judge Campbell after Richmond was in our
possession. [Footnote: Dana to Stanton, April 5th: "Judge Campbell
and Mr. Meyer had an interview with the President here this morning
to consider how Virginia can be brought back to the Union. All they
ask is an amnesty and a military convention to cover appearances.
Slavery they admit to be defunct," etc. (_Id_., vol. xlvi. pt. iii.
p. 575.) Lincoln to Grant, April 6th, says he had put into Judge
Campbell's hands "an informal paper" repeating former propositions
and adding "that confiscations shall be remitted to the people of
any State which will now promptly and in good faith withdraw its
troops and other support from resistance to the government. Judge
Campbell thought it not impossible that the rebel legislature of
Virginia would do the latter if permitted, and accordingly I
addressed a private letter to General Weitzel with permission for
Judge Campbell to see it, telling him that if they attempt this, to
permit and protect them, unless they attempt something hostile to
the United States," etc. (_Id._, p. 593.) Lincoln to Weitzel, April
6th. (_Id._, p. 612.) Dana to Stanton, April 7th. (_Id._, p. 619.)
Dana to Stanton, April 8th, with enclosures of papers by Judge
Campbell giving the contents of Mr. Lincoln's written memorandum to
him. (_Id._, pp. 655-657.) When Mr. Lincoln got back to Washington,
Lee having surrendered with the Virginia troops and the rebel
legislature of Virginia not having assembled or acted, the President
withdrew his permission for them to meet, saying he had dealt with
them as men "having power de facto" to do what he wished but which
was already done. Lincoln to Weitzel, April 12th. (_Id._, p. 725.)]

The fourth criticism was that by the terms proposed the State
governments "would be enabled to re-establish slavery." Apart from
the admissions of leading men of the South, and the facts already
collated, [Footnote: _Ante_, pp. 481, 485.] Mr. Stanton, in saying
this, ignored the Proclamation of Emancipation, on which, in his
conversation with Judge Campbell, Mr. Lincoln had been entirely
willing to rest. The Southern jurist had recognized the solidity of
the legal ground "that if the proclamation of the President be valid
as law, it has already operated and vested rights." This the judge
had stated to his fellow-citizens as a fact in the situation not to
be ignored, and had repeated it in his letter of April 7th to
General Weitzel in a stronger form, if possible, saying, "The
acceptance of the Union involves acceptance of his proclamation, if
it be valid in law." [Footnote: Official Records, vol. xlvi. pt.
iii. pp. 656, 657.] The condition of its legal validity was not an
insertion by Campbell--it was the expression of Mr. Lincoln himself,
conceding the authority of the courts to pass upon the question as
he had done in his amnesty proclamation. [Footnote: Gorham's
Stanton, vol. ii. p. 235.] Mr. Stanton had these things before him,
hardly a fortnight old, when he made his singular publication. They
add no little to the difficulty of determining the true motives of
his appeal to the public.

The fifth objection was the possibility of resulting liability for
the rebel debts, which could hardly have been seriously meant.

The sixth was that it put in dispute the loyal State governments and
the new State of West Virginia. As to the latter, the "Memorandum"
was based on Mr. Lincoln's action in Virginia, and assumed that
question to have been determined, so far as the executive was
concerned. The criticism, like some of the rest, was aimed at what
Mr. Lincoln had done, which was thus flogged over Sherman's
shoulders; for the latter was, as we have to reiterate, ignorant
that on Mr. Lincoln's return to Washington he had been induced to
cancel what he had done. From any point of view but that of a
momentary party advantage, it is hard to see the evil of submitting
contesting State governments to the decision of the Supreme Court.
Those of Louisiana and Arkansas were swept away very soon by
Congressional action, and they were the only ones intended to be
reached by the Sherman-Johnston "Memorandum."

The seventh declared that it "practically abolished the confiscation
laws and relieved the rebels of every degree, who had slaughtered
our people, from all pains and penalties for their crimes." Those
who had "slaughtered" were primarily the officers and soldiers of
the armies, and no fault was found with Grant's extension of amnesty
to them by the Appomattox terms. It was true, besides, that the
whole male population of the South, of military age, was part of the
army, and that even State officers were "furloughed" to enable them
to perform public duties of a civil nature. We have seen that
Sherman carefully limited immunity to the action of the executive,
that he meddled with no laws, and said that all the people were
still liable to what the judicial department of the government might
do. But he had also acknowledged, upon reflection, that clearer
definition would be desirable in this respect, and had asked
Johnston to be ready to act upon this. [Footnote: Official Records,
vol. xlvii. pt. iii. p. 266.] It is our privilege, moreover, judging
after the fact, to note how little Stanton's objection practically
meant, and how much better Sherman represented the deeper purpose of
the American people, since neither Mr. Davis nor any of his chief
counsellors suffered "the pains and penalties for their crimes."

The eighth criticism was that the "Memorandum" offered 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." Mr. Stanton could hardly have
forgotten, when writing this, that they were in fact not only based
on what Sherman had learned of his policy from Mr. Lincoln himself,
as we have seen, but they were what President Lincoln had repeatedly
offered and the Confederates had repeatedly rejected, the last
rejection being after the Hampton Roads conference in the first days
of February. [Footnote: Nicolay and Hay's "Lincoln," vol. x. pp.
122, 123, 128]

Exactly what was meant by the ninth criticism it is hard to say. It
is said that the "Memorandum," if adopted, would "relieve the rebels
from the pressure of our victories" and leave them "in condition to
renew their efforts to overthrow the United States government and
subdue the loyal States whenever their strength was recruited and
any opportunity was offered." As it provided for the disarming and
disbanding of every Confederate company, left our victorious troops
free to garrison every State, and gave protection to individuals
only so long as they were obedient to the National government, we
must regard the apprehension of new efforts to subdue the loyal
States as fantastic and not serious.

It was inevitable that such a manifesto to the public should be
greatly exasperating to Sherman. Seeing also the manner in which it
was interpreted by the newspapers, he believed that it was purposely
so worded as to imply what it did not explicitly assert, and to hold
him up to the nation as one little better than a traitor. He was
very emphatic in saying that being overruled did not trouble him; it
was the public perversion of what he had done, attributing to his
"Memorandum" what the publication of its text would have
contradicted, which outraged his feelings. [Footnote: Official
Records, vol. xlvii. pt. iii. pp. 335, 345.] Grant frankly adhered
to his opinion that in the actual condition of affairs he could not
himself advise the ratification of the terms proposed; yet he saw
the injustice done Sherman, and condemned it. [Footnote: _Id_., pp.
410, 531.] Their relations continued as cordial as ever, and his
influence was potent in preventing further ill results from
following the quarrel.

The publication was followed by other acts of Mr. Stanton which
increased the irritation. On the 27th of April he informed Halleck,
Canby, and Thomas that "Sherman's proceedings" were disapproved, and
ordered them to direct their subordinates "to pay no attention to
any orders but your own or from General Grant." [Footnote: _Id_.,
vol. xlix. pt. ii. p. 484; vol. xlvii. pt. iii. p. 321.] This was a
day after Johnston had made his final surrender under the second
convention, and when Grant had been two days with Sherman. It led to
Halleck's ordering Meade to pay no attention to the truce, even
after the surrender of Johnston was signed, and might have caused
serious results if Grant had not been very prompt in giving
counter-orders to Halleck. [Footnote: _Id_., p. 312.] All the
department commanders naturally understood Stanton's language in
sending Grant to North Carolina, as superseding Sherman in command,
though in fact this was not done. They concluded that if any new
terms were made with Johnston the action would be in Grant's name,
and his signature would verify the truce. But as Grant did not do
this, and everything remained in Sherman's hands as before, the
actual surrender was ignored and credit refused, by order of the
Secretary of War, to the armistice declared while the paroles were
being issued. Stanton took no steps to correct this, and for two
weeks the strange muddle continued in the Southwest. This came to
such a pass that on May 8th Sherman inquired of Grant whether "the
Secretary of War's newspaper order" had taken Georgia out of his
command. [Footnote: Official Records, vol. xlvii. pt. iii. p. 434.]
Grant replied, "I know of no order which changes your command in any
particular," and, in his patient rôle of peacemaker, suggested that
the necessity of prompt communication when Sherman was not in
telegraphic communication with Washington had caused some
irregularities. [Footnote: _Id_., p. 445.]

One of the minor incidents in Stanton's course of action throws so
strong light on his methods and was so irritating an example of the
_suppressio veri_ that it must be mentioned. Immediately after his
interview with Sherman in the early morning of the 24th, Grant had
sent a dispatch to Stanton, which the latter sent to General Dix for
publication in the following form: "A dispatch has just been
received by this department from General Grant, dated Raleigh, 9 A.
M., April 24th. He says: 'I reached here this morning, and delivered
to General Sherman the reply to his negotiations with Johnston. Word
was immediately sent to Johnston, terminating the truce, and
information that civil matters could not be entertained in any
convention between army commanders.'" [Footnote: _Id_., p. 311.]
Taken in connection with the previous publication, this was
naturally interpreted to mean that Grant had sent the "word" to
Johnston, and it strengthened the current against Sherman. The
dispatch as sent by Grant was this: "I reached here this morning and
delivered to General Sherman the reply to his negotiations with
Johnston. _He was not surprised, but rather expected their
rejection_. Word was immediately sent to Johnston terminating the
truce, and information that civil matters could not be entertained
in any convention between army commanders. _General Sherman has been
guided in his negotiations with Johnston entirely by what he thought
was precedent authorized by the President. He had before him the
terms given by me to Lee's army and the call of the rebel
legislature of Virginia authorized by General Weitzel, as he
supposed with the sanction of the President and myself. At the time
of the agreement General Sherman did not know of the withdrawal of
authority for the meeting of that legislature. The moment he learned
through the papers that authority for the meeting had been
withdrawn, he communicated the fact to Johnston as having bearing on
the negotiations had_." [Footnote: Official Records, vol. xlvii. pt.
iii. p. 293.] I have italicized the omitted parts to show how
absolutely essential they were to a true statement of Sherman's
attitude, and how grave was the offence against fair dealing to
suppress them after the appeal to the public had been made by the
first publication. The dispatch is also historically important as
proof of the ideal character of Grant's disinterestedness and frank
friendship for Sherman in this juncture.

Mr. Stanton's habit of impetuous action without reflection, upon
first impressions and imperfect knowledge, was notorious, as was his
constitutional inability to admit that he had been in the wrong.
Once aroused, he was a fierce combatant, using any weapon that came
to hand, inquiring only whether it would hurt his opponent. When
obliged to see that he had judged wrongly, his silence was the only
confession: he was seldom equal to a candid apology. If a tacit
retreat was accepted by the other party, he might endeavor to
compensate for the wrong in some other manner. [Footnote: On this
subject General E. D. Townsend, as adjutant-general, is a most
competent and conclusive witness. (Townsend's Anecdotes of the Civil
War, p. 137.) Two little matters occurring at nearly the same time
with the Sherman quarrel perfectly illustrate this characteristic in
Stanton. General Townsend was in charge of the funeral escort of
Lincoln's body, and in New York a photograph was taken of the
coffin, in state, in the City Hall, with the drapery of the alcove
formed of national flags and crape, with Admiral Davis and General
Townsend as guard of honor at head and foot. Stanton read of it in a
newspaper, and without further knowledge sent a violent and
undignified reprimand to Townsend, ordering him to relieve and send
back to Washington the officers on duty, and to seize and destroy
the plates. A telegraphic correspondence followed, bringing in the
photographers, Henry Ward Beecher, H. J. Raymond, and the military
officers, with the proof that there was nothing to find fault with,
but rather the desirable preservation of a memento of a memorable
scene. There was a retreat, but no apology by the Secretary.
(Official Records, vol. xlvi. pt. iii. pp. 952, 965, 966). The other
was the permission given the Episcopal clergy in Richmond to
continue Divine service in the churches if they omitted the prayer
for the Confederate President in their liturgy, that being treated
as a demonstration in favor of the insurgent government. General
Weitzel was in command, and Mr. Lincoln was in the city when the
question first arose whether, in addition to the above prohibition,
the clergy should be required to insert, affirmatively, a prayer for
the President of the United States. Weitzel supposed he was acting
in accordance with Mr. Lincoln's direction not to be sticklish in
little things, stopped at the prohibition, as was generally done by
commanders in the field, on the ground that to order a form to be
inserted in any liturgy where it did not exist, would be ridiculous
for a government based on total separation of church and state.
Stanton, hearing of it through Mr. C. A. Dana, informed Weitzel that
his action was "strongly condemned," and that he was "unwilling to
believe that a general officer of the United States, commanding in
Richmond, would consent to such an omission of respect to the
President." Weitzel asked whether the direction would apply to Roman
Catholics, Hebrews, and other churches having a prescribed liturgy,
and Stanton replied _ex cathedra_, in the affirmative, repeating his
reprimand. Weitzel now appealed to the President, and the absurd
controversy was stopped. Stanton seems to have acted at first in
ignorance that individual ministers had no power to insert a prayer
into the formal liturgy; but he could not yield when better
informed, and a temperate memorial of the local clergy stating the
canonical difficulty and their earnest intention to have the change
made with all speed possible, is in the Records, "disapproved by
order of the Secretary of War"! (_Id_., pp. 619, 677, 678, 684, 696,
711, 737). Perhaps the nearest historical parallel is Napoleon's
order to the Russian clergy to pray for him instead of the Czar in
1812. (Fezensac, Souvenirs Militaires, 4th ed., liv. 2, chap. i. p.

Sherman was not the man to submit to what he considered and called
an outrage, and when made aware of it, he struck back with all his
force. He exposed and denounced the perversions of fact and
misstatements of what he had done, and demanded the publication of
the original "Memorandum" with his statement of its relations to Mr.
Lincoln's policy and wishes as stated by the dead President himself.
Grant advised him to omit some of the expressions of his official
report, but he refused and courted an official investigation, whilst
he clearly stated his duty and his purpose to obey without question
such orders as were given by competent authority. He was quite too
large a man to be made the victim of a manifest wrong, and when once
the case was fairly presented, the purity of his motives and the
reasonableness of his belief that he was acting under highest
authority were generally acknowledged, even by those who supported a
severer policy toward the Southern States. The President and nearly
all the members of the Cabinet assured him that the published
bulletins had been without their knowledge, and cordially strove to
soothe his wounded feelings. [Footnote: For the correspondence, see
Official Records, vol. xlvii. pt. iii. pp. 302, 334, 345, 371, 410,
476, 515, 547, 576, 581, 582, 586, 662; _Id_., pt. i. p. 40. See
also Sherman's Memoirs, vol. ii. p. 375; Conduct of the War, vol.
vi. p. 3.] The genuineness of character, patriotism, and
subordination tempered by proper self-respect, which he exhibited,
did not diminish the public regard, but rather heightened it. As to
the debatable questions of policy involved in his first convention,
he proudly left them to the judgment of time.

The breach of friendship between Sherman and Halleck, which was also
caused by Mr. Stanton's bulletins, was especially to be regretted.
Their early close relations as young officers going "around the
Horn" to California have already been mentioned, as well as the warm
personal correspondence between them during the Atlanta campaign.
[Footnote: _Ante_, pp. 174-176.] He had been grateful also for
Halleck's friendly conduct toward him in his period of depression in
1861, and expressed it strongly in a long letter when Atlanta had
fallen and he had won his commission as major-general in the regular
army. "I confess I owe you all I now enjoy of fame," he said, "for I
had allowed myself in 1861 to sink into a perfect 'slough of
despond.'" Halleck's friendship and encouragement had put him in the
way of recovering from this. [Footnote: Official Records, vol.
xxxviii. pt. v. p. 791.] But now his faith in human nature was
rudely shocked by finding, apparently, this friendly hand joining in
the hardest blows at his fame and honor.

In the first of Stanton's bulletins concerning him, Sherman found
copied the dispatch from Halleck giving the rumor of Davis's great
"plunder," and the hope of the Confederate leaders to "make terms
with Sherman or some other commander," by which they would be
permitted to escape out of the country with this treasure.
[Footnote: _Id_., vol. xlvii. pt. iii. p. 286.] The sting of this
was in the apparent insinuation that Sherman might be bought. It
naturally roused him to explosive wrath. Had Mr. Stanton quoted the
final sentence of Halleck's dispatch, it would have shown that the
latter intended no such thing. It concluded, "Would it not be well
to put Sherman and all other commanding generals on their guard in
this respect?" [Footnote: _Id_., vol. xlvi. pt. iii. p. 887.] The
apparent insinuation was in the Secretary's bulletin by the omission
of this sentence from the quoted dispatch. Had Sherman seen the
dispatch as Halleck wrote it, he would not have been angered by it.

But on the 28th there appeared in the New York papers another
dispatch of Halleck to Stanton, dated the 26th, and saying that his
subordinates were ordered "to pay no regard to any truce, or orders
of General Sherman suspending hostilities, on the ground that
Sherman's agreements could bind his own command and no other."
[Footnote: _Id_., p. 953.] This was upon receipt of a dispatch from
Beauregard stating "that a new arrangement had been made with
Sherman." [Footnote: Official Records, vol. xlvi. pt. iii. p. 953.]
In the same dispatch Halleck suggested that orders be telegraphed
through General Thomas to General Wilson, at the head of a strong
cavalry column in Georgia, to mind no orders of Sherman, but, with
other commanders in the Gulf States, to "take measures to intercept
the rebel chiefs and their plunder," now estimated, rather
indefinitely, at "from six to thirteen millions."

The folly of such publications was egregious, and justified
Sherman's sarcasm that if anybody was conniving at Davis's escape,
it was the officer who gave them to the public. It was, however, the
direction to disregard his new truce, embracing Johnston's troops
alone and based on their actual surrender, that stirred anew his
indignation. He had made a short inspection tour down the coast
after starting his columns northward, and saw the dispatch in
newspapers he received at Morehead, May 4th, on his return there by
steamer from Savannah. In writing General Grant, he characterized
Halleck's action as an insult. [Footnote: _Id_., vol. xlvii. pt.
iii. p. 388.] Fortunately, he had met at Savannah an officer of
General Wilson's staff, Captain L. M. Hosea, who had made an
adventurous journey across half Georgia to open communications,
[Footnote: _Id_., p. 371.] and in sending a steamboat up to Augusta
with supplies for Wilson, he had hurried Captain Hosea back with
such full information as enabled Wilson to observe scrupulously the
final convention with Johnston whilst vigorously pushing his efforts
to capture Davis. These efforts were successful on the 10th.
[Footnote: _Id_., vol. xlix. pt. i. pp. 515, 526.]

Sherman's sense of military honor was violated and shocked by the
orders disregarding his truce, which were "cordially approved" by
the Secretary of War. [Footnote: _Id_., vol. xlvi. pt. iii. p. 967.]
Grant suggested that Halleck's action was so connected with Mr.
Stanton's orders that it might not seem so bad on fuller
information, [Footnote: Official Records, vol. xlvii. pt. iii. p.
410.] but Sherman's sense of injury was such that in passing
Richmond on the 8th he refused Halleck's offered hospitality, saying
that after the dispatch of the 26th of April friendly intercourse
was impossible. [Footnote: _Id_., p. 435.] Halleck's was the "soft
answer which turneth away wrath," and it is due to him to remember
it. "You have not had during this war, nor have you now, a warmer
friend and admirer than myself. If, in carrying out what I knew to
be the wishes of the War Department in regard to your armistice, I
used language which has given you offence, it was unintentional and
I deeply regret it. If fully aware of the circumstances under which
I acted, I am certain you would not attribute to me any improper
motive. It is my wish to continue to regard and receive you as a
personal friend. With this statement I leave the matter in your
hands." [Footnote: _Id_., p. 454.]

But what had occurred seemed to Sherman to be so ingeniously fitted
together as parts of a malignant plan, that he replied, "I cannot
consent to the renewal of a friendship I had prized so highly till I
can see deeper into the diabolical plot than I now do." [Footnote:
_Ibid_.] His words were all the bitter expression of a heart wounded
beyond endurance by wrongs which seemed too palpable and plain for
discussion or explanation. In the distribution of commands on the
peace establishment made soon afterward, Halleck went to the Pacific
coast and did not live long. It is to be feared that no opportunity
for a full understanding between him and Sherman occurred, though
the latter was as placable as he was impetuous; and when he found,
as he soon did, that his fame and reputation had not suffered
permanent injury, he ignored the past so far, at least, as to show
that he harbored no lasting enmity.

Yet Halleck was probably right in saying that he had done nothing
but what he deemed his duty, and with no unfriendly purpose toward
Sherman. His dispatch of the 26th of April was only one of a series,
and it was made to have a different effect, taken by itself, from
what it would have had if read in its connection with the others.
There is no reasonable doubt that Stanton's angry purpose had been
to humiliate Sherman by practically superseding him in command.
Halleck knew this and went to Richmond, where he assumed command on
the 22d, with full knowledge of the sentiment which then ruled the
War Department. [Footnote: Official Records, vol. xlvi. pt. iii. p.
891.] In the afternoon of the same day, Grant, on his way to North
Carolina, telegraphed him that the truce would be ended as soon as
he could reach Raleigh, and ordered him to send Sheridan with the
cavalry toward Greensborough, sending also a corps of infantry along
as far as Danville. [Footnote: _Id_., p. 888.] This assumed that by
the time these troops could enter Sherman's theatre of operations
the truce would have been terminated; for Sheridan was then at
Petersburg, and the Sixth Corps at Burke's Station. [Footnote:
_Id_., p. 895.] The cavalry could not be ready to march before the
24th (at the earliest) and did not start in fact till the 25th or
26th. [Footnote: _Id_., pp. 931, 947.] Neither it nor the infantry
got beyond Danville or entered North Carolina before they were
halted by Grant's order to Halleck of the 26th, received in the
morning of the 28th. [Footnote: _Id_., pp. 954, 997.] No
interference with Sherman's truce, either the first or the second,
actually occurred. Halleck knew that the first truce would be ended
as soon as the two days' notice could expire after Grant reached
Raleigh, and long before his troops could come into contact with
Johnston's. But he was also moving them by Grant's order, and must
not only obey, but must assume that the first truce was no longer in
question. It was not necessary or proper for him to explain fully to
his subordinates all he knew of Grant's journey and purpose. For
their direction it was enough to say they were not to regard the
truce which had been made on the 18th and was currently spoken of as
"Sherman's truce." Had Sherman known of Grant's order to Halleck and
the assumed situation on which it was based, he would not have
regarded Halleck's language an insult. Without such knowledge it
looked very much like it.

Halleck, however, had to face the question how his subordinates must
act if, on coming near the enemy, Johnston should claim a new
armistice. He shared the War Department opinion that the negotiation
was not sincere on the part of the Confederates, but was a ruse to
gain time for Davis's escape with the imaginary "plunder." A
pretended armistice is an old and familiar stratagem in warfare. It
would seem that Halleck fully believed that Grant would assume
actual command, on reaching Sherman (as he had commanded when with
Meade during the past campaign), and concluded that any real
armistice again made would be in Grant's name. Any other would be a
sham or would have been made before Grant was present. Under such
circumstances he could not be blamed for telling his subordinates
that only Grant's authority or his own must bind them. He was
mistaken, in fact, for Grant's arrival was not even known to
Johnston, and Sherman concluded the final convention as if Grant had
still been in Washington. The curtness of telegrams often creates
ambiguities, and when Sherman saw in print Halleck's dispatch of the
26th separated from the rest of the series, he naturally gave to it
the meaning which hurt him so. Had he known the rest of the story,
he would have seen no treachery to old friendships. The sin was in
the unprecedented publications which embroiled everything. In truth,
Halleck's order to Meade was more guarded in form than the language
of his dispatch to Stanton, for Meade was only told to ignore "any
agreements made by General Sherman before the arrival of
Lieutenant-General Grant." [Footnote: Official Records, vol. xlvi.
pt. iii. p. 941.]

A curious theoretic question was raised by Halleck's incidental
statement that an armistice by Sherman could only bind his own army.
Sherman said he must defend his truce at all hazards till it was
duly terminated. Each was right in a sense, but fortunately the laws
of war and military regulations would prevent practical difficulty
arising. If Sheridan had advanced to Greensborough, Sherman would
have met him there, and by virtue of his superior rank would have
assumed command and responsibility for the united forces. Besides
the orders and instructions from the President he already had, he
would have to act in view of any authentic instructions or
information which Sheridan might bring. On the other hand, if
Halleck had accompanied his own forces, his seniority would have
made Sherman his subordinate in the common field of operations; but
as commander, he would have to respect, at his own peril, all the
rights which Johnston had acquired under the principles of
international law. The situation had perplexities only so long as
the generals were playing at cross-purposes by reason of imperfect
knowledge. Their intelligence and character were such that duty
would have been plain to both as soon as they came together.

Stanton made no public explanation of his conduct, but in a
conversation with General Howard, he asserted that Sherman's order
to his troops announcing the armistice, by saying that when ratified
it would "make peace from the Potomac to the Rio Grande," had put
the government on the defensive, and made it seem proper to publish
reasons for disapproving the terms. [Footnote: _Id_., vol. xlvii.
pt. iii. p. 476.] This does not touch the question of the wisdom or
folly of the matter published, or of its form. Sherman's reason for
mentioning the prospect of a general and speedy peace was that the
condition of his army under the news of Lincoln's assassination was
such that he felt it necessary to soothe his excited soldiery with
the hope of soon marching home in triumph, thus turning their
thoughts from the vengeance which would have been inevitable if
fighting were to be resumed. Instead of appreciating this, Mr.
Stanton seems to have jumped to the conclusion that it was an act of
vanity or of political ambition which was to be squelched _per fas
aut nefas_, and in his passionate and hasty action he compromised
the whole administration.

We who were Sherman's subordinates in the field knew so well his
integrity and patriotism that we sympathized strongly with his
indignation at the appeal to popular sentiment against him. Yet the
sense of duty to the country and to the government prevented
thoughtful men from being blind partisans of our chief. Without full
means of judging of the possible effect of the first convention, if
carried out, some of us were disposed to believe that there must
have been a mistake on his part, since we were not able to believe
that the Secretary of War would publish his "nine reasons" if they
had no solid support and were not approved by the President and
Cabinet. My personal opinion I wrote in my diary at the time, and I
reproduce it to show the contemporaneous sentiment of one who was
both a warm supporter of the government and a warm friend of the
general. What I have written above will also show how far further
investigation and fuller knowledge have modified my judgment.
"Friday, April 28th.... Some of the Northern papers are very bitter
on Sherman for the terms first offered by him, and it is manifest
from the dispatches sent by the Secretary of War to New York to be
published there, that the new administration is willing to give
Sherman a hard hit. He made a great mistake in offering to Johnston
the terms he did, but he has done the country such service that the
administration owed it to him to keep the thing from the public and
to come kindly to an understanding with him, instead of seeming to
seek the opportunity to pitch upon him as if it desired to humble
him. In conversation this morning he showed that he felt their
conduct very sorely, but I hope he will keep out of controversy with
them in regard to it. He complains with justice that they have
refused to give any instructions to guide military officers as to
the policy to be adopted, and then, when these are forced to act,
seem to take pleasure in repudiating what the officers have done,
and in humbling them or exposing them to popular odium."



General Schofield's policy when left in command--Lincoln's
Emancipation Proclamation in force--Davis's line of flight from
Charlotte, N.C.--Wade Hampton's course of conduct--Fate of the
cabinet officers--Bragg, Wheeler, and Cooper--Issuing paroles to
Johnston and his army--Greensborough in my district--Going there
with Schofield--Hardee meets and accompanies us--Comparing
memories--We reach Johnston's headquarters--Condition of his
army--Our personal interview with him--The numbers of his
troops--His opinion of Sherman's army--Of the murder of
Lincoln--Governor Morehead's home--The men in gray march
homeward--Incident of a flag--The Salisbury prison site--Treatment
of prisoners of war--Local government in the interim--Union
men--Elements of new strife--The negroes--Household service--Wise
dealing with the labor question--No money--Death of
manufactures--Necessity the mother of invention--Uses of
adversity--Peace welcomed--Visit to Greene's battlefield at

On Thursday, the 27th of April, the same day on which Sherman issued
his order announcing the final agreement for the surrender of
Johnston's army and the homeward march of most of his own forces,
General Schofield issued his own order declaring "the duty of all to
cultivate friendly relations with the same zeal which has
characterized our conduct of the war, that the blessings of union,
peace and material prosperity may be speedily restored to the entire
country." [Footnote: Official Records, vol. xlvii. pt. iii. 330.] He
invited all peaceably disposed persons to return to their homes and
resume their industrial pursuits. He promised also the loan of
captured horses, mules, and wagons to those who had been deprived of
their own by the armies, and food for the needy during the period
when all must be busy planting if the season were to be made of any
avail for agriculture. His order concluded with these words: "It
will be left to the judicial department of the government to punish
those political leaders who are responsible for secession,
rebellion, and civil war with all its horrors. Between the
Government of the United States and the people of North Carolina
there is peace." [Footnote: Official Records, vol. xlvii. pt. iii.
p. 330.]

In a separate order of the same date, to remove all doubt as to the
end of slavery, he declared that "by virtue of the proclamation of
the President of the United States, dated January 1, 1863, all
persons in this State heretofore held as slaves are now free, and it
is the duty of the army to maintain the freedom of such persons."
[Footnote: _Id_., p. 331.] He recommended immediate fair contracts
of hiring and the resumption of profitable industry, so that
disorganization of labor might be avoided. He told the freedmen that
it was not well for them to congregate about towns or military
camps, and that they could not be supported in idleness. All classes
of people were thus put upon the footing Sherman had intended in his
first convention with Johnston, and Schofield's orders issued whilst
Sherman was still with us at Raleigh may be received as an
authoritative interpretation of the latter's views.

The Confederate troops were mostly concentrated about Greensborough
upon the railroad from Richmond through Danville and Charlotte to
Columbia in South Carolina, and the line of railroad we had followed
from Goldsborough to Raleigh continued westward to Greensborough.
Outposts, Confederate as well as National, remained at stations
between the two armies, but no collision had occurred since the
truce established on the 19th. [Footnote: _Id_., p. 250.] Mr. Davis
had remained at Charlotte in the interval between the two
conventions, but when the separate surrender of Johnston's army was
determined, he started southward with a vague purpose of joining
some of the smaller organized armies released from the armistice by
our administration's rejection of the terms of Sherman's first
convention. He tells us that he still hoped that he might cross the
Mississippi with such forces as could be concentrated, joining Kirby
Smith, who commanded there, and in the last resort carrying a body
of irreconcilables out of the country into Mexico. [Footnote: Davis,
Rise and Fall, vol. ii. pp. 694, 696.] A line of retreat southward
had been agreed upon in case Johnston should not surrender, and some
accumulations of supplies had been made at Chester, S. C., and other
points upon it. General Bragg had been placed in command there,
reporting directly to Davis or the Confederate War Department,
[Footnote: Official Records, vol. xlvii. pt. iii. p. 836.] and some
cavalry in West Virginia under General Echols had been ordered to
pass by mountain routes to the same region. [Footnote: _Id._, p.
795.] As soon as the truce was ended by the notice of the 24th,
Davis started southward by the route indicated, which kept well to
the westward of Columbia by way of Abbeville, aiming to cross the
Savannah River above Augusta at the pontoon bridge near the junction
of Broad River with the Savannah. [Footnote: _Id._, vol. xlix. pt.
i. p. 548.] His party disintegrated before he entered Georgia, and
he was nearly alone with his family when he was captured thirty or
forty miles southeast of Macon.

General Wade Hampton was one of those who preferred any alternative
rather than surrender, and had opposed even the terms of the first
convention to which Davis had assented. [Footnote: _Id._, vol.
xlvii. pt. iii. p. 813.] He promised that he would bring to Davis's
support "many strong arms and brave hearts,--men who will fight to
Texas, and who, if forced from that State, will seek refuge in
Mexico rather than in the Union." [Footnote: _Id._, p. 814.] On the
25th, when Johnston's surrender was already resolved upon,
Breckinridge sought to arrange that Hampton, with his cavalry, might
join Davis, [Footnote: Official Records, vol. xlvii. pt. iii. p.
837.] but Sherman insisted on the capitulation of the army as a
unit, and Hampton was included. The latter had visited Davis during
the first armistice and obtained his permission to bring out the
cavalry before the surrender, but on his return to his command, on
April 26th, he found that the surrender had been made. Setting up
the claim that the arrangement made with Davis had detached his
troops from Johnston's army, although they were actually serving in
it, he notified Johnston that they and he would not regard
themselves as embraced in the capitulation, unless Breckinridge, the
Secretary of War, should say they were within it. [Footnote: _Id._,
p. 841.] He had given orders to Wheeler to move the command toward
South Carolina, and Butler's division was moving in the same
direction. [Footnote: _Id._, pp. 841,847.] Johnston, feeling that
his honor as a commander was involved, sent peremptory orders to
Hampton to march back to the position near Hillsborough which he had
abandoned. He gave Wheeler similar orders. [Footnote: _Id._, pp.
844, 846. See also Johnston to Sherman, _Id._, p. 336.] Breckinridge
gave Hampton the opinion that the troops were bound by the
capitulation, though Hampton himself might not be. [Footnote: _Id._,
p. 851.] The latter thereupon informed Butler and Wheeler that he
could give them no orders, and asked leave of Johnston to withdraw
his former letter, substituting one which only claimed personal
exemption from the surrender. [Footnote: _Id._, pp. 845, 847.] In
transmitting this, he sent a long letter of apology, explaining his
embarrassment. He asserted that in his consultation with Mr. Davis a
plan was agreed upon to enable the latter to leave the country. He
must now either leave him to his fate or go with him under the ban
of outlawry. He thought his personal duty was to go, but would leave
his command to abide the terms of the convention, or if any joined
him, he said, "they will be stragglers like myself." [Footnote:
Official Records, vol. xlvii. pt. iii. p. 846.] Enough "straggled"
to make up Davis's escort to about 3000 men, comprising six brigade
organizations; but Hampton seems to have thought better of the
determination to be an outlaw, and though he did not give his parole
with the rest of Johnston's command, he did not join Davis.
[Footnote: Davis, Rise and Fall, vol. ii. pp. 689, 690.] His
explicit statement of the aim of Davis's flight warrants us in
concluding that the dream of further military operations beyond the
Mississippi was never a serious purpose. After the disbanding of the
escort at the Savannah River, Breckinridge and Benjamin reached the
coast of Florida and escaped to Cuba. Mallory and Attorney-General
Davis seem to have reached their own homes; Reagan remained with his
chief, and was captured; [Footnote: _Id_., pp. 694, 695.] Bragg and
Wheeler were captured near Athens, in Georgia, using questionable
ruses to escape. [Footnote: Official Records, vol. xlix. pt. i. pp.
550, 551.] General Cooper, the adjutant and inspector-general of the
Confederate army, remained at Charlotte, and received the benefit of
Johnston's capitulation, while he did all in his power to preserve
the Confederate archives, which were there in railway cars.
[Footnote: _Id_., vol. xlvii. pt. iii. pp. 842, 848.] This
digression to follow the fate of Mr. Davis and the group of civil
and military notables who were with him in his southward flight,
will help us understand some of the peculiar incidents attending the
paroling of Johnston's army at Greensborough. I will now return to
events of which I was a witness.

On Sunday, the 30th April, the printed blanks for the paroles were
ready, and Brevet Brigadier-General Hartsuff, inspector-general on
Schofield's staff, was put in charge of the details of their issue.
He went up to Greensborough from Raleigh, accompanied by about a
dozen officers detailed from the department and corps staff. It had
been intended that he should take with him a guard of a regiment I
had selected for the purpose, but at Johnston's request the troops
were held back a few days. [Footnote: Official Records, vol. xlvii.
pt. iii. pp. 349, 351, 483.] Schofield had arranged the general
scheme of subdividing the State into military districts, of which I
was to command the western, whilst Major-General Terry took the
central, and Brigadier-Generals Palmer and Hawley retained the coast
districts which they already had. In anticipation of the formal
order, [Footnote: _Id._, p. 396.] the detachment to guard the arms
and stores which should be received came from my command, and I
detailed the One Hundred and Fourth Ohio, a regiment which had won
high praise in the review at Raleigh for its splendid form and
discipline, and which was an orderly, reliable body of men in battle
as on parade. It was ordered to take along also its excellent brass
band and drum corps, for I meant to have the duties of a garrison
performed in the presence of the Confederates with all the honors.

Sherman had left Raleigh in the evening of Friday (28th), to make a
brief tour to Charleston and Savannah, by sea, nominally to inspect
that part of his command, but really to pass the time whilst the
body of his army was marching to Washington, and to avoid visiting
that city in the irritation he felt at his treatment by the
Secretary of War. [Footnote: _Id._, pp. 337, 338.] Johnston had
arranged, on the 1st of May, to send General Hardee down to Raleigh
for personal consultation with Schofield in regard to details of the
homeward march of his troops, but the satisfactory arrangement of
the supplementary terms made this unnecessary. [Footnote: _Id._, pp.
366, 857.] Schofield determined to go to Greensborough himself,
starting early on Tuesday morning (2d), and I was asked to accompany
him. [Footnote: _Id._, p. 376.] We left Raleigh by train at seven
o'clock, with the One Hundred and Fourth Ohio as a guard, and at
Durham were met by a dispatch from General Hartsuff, saying that the
whole Confederate army was "dissolving and raising the devil." I
telegraphed for another regiment to follow us, and we went on to
Hillsborough. There we met General Hardee, who joined our party, and
we went on to Greensborough. [Footnote: Official Records, vol.
xlvii. pt. iii. p. 376.]

As the train left Hillsborough, we passed through a body of
Confederate cavalry, and were within the enemy's lines. I confess it
was with a curious, half-uneasy sensation that I thus for the first
time found myself on the wrong side of the Confederate outposts
without having driven them in by a hostile advance. It was not easy
to orient one's self at once with the new condition of things, and
it would hardly have been a surprise to find that we had been
entrapped by a ruse.

This soon wore off, however, and Hardee made the journey a very
agreeable one to us. He had been commandant of cadets at West Point
just before the war, and had from the first an "inside" view of the
rebellion. His "Tactics," adapted to our army use from the French,
had been the authoritative guide of our army drill, and by that
means his name had been made very familiar to every officer and man
among us. His military career had been among the most distinguished,
and he had commanded a corps in front of us during the whole Atlanta
campaign. There was therefore no lack of subjects for conversation,
and the time ran rapidly away. Hardee was in person and bearing a
good type of the brilliant soldier and gentleman. Tall and well
formed, his uniform well fitting and almost dandyish, his manner
genial and easy, his conversation at once gay and intelligent, it
would be hard to find a more attractive companion, or one with whom
you would be put more quickly at ease.

Our mission naturally led us into a review of the war, and we asked
him what had been his own expectation as to the result, and when he
had himself recognized the hopelessness of the contest. "I confess,"
said he, laughing, "that I was one of the hot Southerners who shared
the notion that one man of the South could whip three Yankees; but
the first year of the war pretty effectually knocked that nonsense
out of us, and, to tell the truth, ever since that time we military
men have generally seen that it was only a question how long it
would take to wear our army out and destroy it. We have seen that
there was no real hope of success, except by some extraordinary
accident of fortune, and we have also seen that the politicians
would never give up till the army was gone. So we have fought with
the knowledge that we were to be sacrificed with the result we see
to-day, and none of us could tell who would live to see it. We have
continued to do our best, however, and have meant to fight as if we
were sure of success."

Amongst many other things, our talk turned upon the Atlanta
campaign, and he told some interesting facts in regard to Hood's
obstinate holding on at Atlanta when Sherman was executing the
movement around the place on the south. It happened that my own
division held the pivot point close to the works of the city on the
southeast, and Hardee's corps occupied the lines in front of us. He
said an old woman had been brought to him who said she had gone to
General Cox's headquarters to beg some provisions, and the general
had told her she could have none, as the soldiers had not enough for
themselves. I had no remembrance of such an incident, and such
applications were hardly likely to reach a general officer unless he
wished to catechise the person for information's sake; but a laugh
was raised at my expense as Hardee in telling the story repeated
some profane camp expletives as having added emphasis to the
refusal, according to the old woman's account of it. Schofield
merrily rallied me on a change of habits of speech when not with my
usual associates, and refused to credit my protestation that the
story only proved that she had seen some wicked commissary of
subsistence. Hardee helped the fun by pretending to think of other
proof that the woman was right; but he went on to give the matter
real historical interest by telling how he had taken the woman to
Hood that he might learn what she said she had seen and heard. On
her repeating the expression about our not having rations enough for
ourselves, Hood exclaimed, "There, Hardee! It proves that it is just
as I told you. Wheeler [his cavalry commander who was on a raid] has
broken Sherman's communications; he is short of provisions and is
retreating north by the Sandtown road. The troops that have moved
from the north of the city have gone that way."

The Sandtown road was a well-known road going northward from the
Chattahoochee River at the place named, which was some miles west of
the Chattanooga Railroad. It was a plausible explanation of
Sherman's movements as far as they then knew them, but had no better
foundation than Hood's own hopes and wishes. Yet, Hardee said, Hood
stuck to this view till in our swinging movement to the south, we
broke his railway communication with Jonesboro. Then came his hasty
evacuation of Atlanta, the destruction of his stores, the explosion
of his ammunition, and the night march to reassemble his army at
Lovejoy's station. He confidently believed that the siege was raised
till Sherman's army was astride of his principal line of retreat,
and it was only by the most desperate exertion that he escaped from
utter ruin.

On reaching Greensborough we were at once escorted to General
Johnston's headquarters, the One Hundred and Fourth Ohio being
ordered to remain near the station till more complete arrangements
were made. Our object had been to have force enough to guard the
arms and stores against petty pillage or destruction, but not enough
to provoke a collision with the larger organizations of the
Confederates. Johnston had declined the hospitality of citizens of
Greensborough, partly from a motive of delicacy, as I suspect,
fearing he might compromise those who would thus be indicated as his
friends, though his usual custom was to live under canvas rather
than in a house. His tents were pitched in a grove in the outskirts
of the town, and he awaited us there. It seemed to us, as we
approached, that the little encampment was not quite so regular and
trim as our own custom required. The wall tents did not sit quite so
squarely upon the ground, and the camp was not laid out with
regularity. The general indirectly apologized for some of these
things by saying that we could not expect the discipline in his army
to be fully maintained when all knew that it was on the eve of being
disbanded. Indeed our presence there with a detachment of our own
troops was partly the consequence of the tendency to disintegration
and the consequent breaking down of discipline which was rapidly
going on, of which the dispatch which met us on the way was a
warning. We learned that the officers of the staff had for several
nights stood guard over their own horses, efforts to steal them
having been successful in one or two instances. The general himself
was the only one who had been exempt from guard-duty. The soldiers
knew that the war was over and that there was in fact no superior
power to enforce military subordination. They were anxious to make
their way homeward, and fearful that they might be treated as
prisoners of war if they remained. A horse or a mule was too
valuable a prize not to be a great temptation; they naturally
thought that as there was no longer a Confederate States government,
the men to whom arrears of pay were due had a right to whatever they
could seize, and they were not disposed to distinguish between
public and private property. The guards set to protect the
commissary stores would wink at the pillage of them or assist in it,
and the men were inclined to defy any authority exercised in the
name of the Confederacy. They remembered the relentless character of
the conscription which put them in the ranks, and were kept together
chiefly by the assurance that they should all be promptly paroled
and helped on their homeward way. The strongest consideration was
perhaps the announcement that the parole would be a necessary
protection to them against subsequent arrest. It was a curious fact
that the moment the blue-coated sentinels began to pace the "beats"
around the warehouses, parks of artillery, etc., the submission of
these men to the United States authority was most complete. They
were scrupulously respectful in their bearing and language, and the
groups of them who gathered about with an earnest sort of interest,
would obey the slightest direction of the sentry with a cordiality
and alacrity which was in singular contrast with the sort of
ostentation of defiance they showed toward their own officers.

I have anticipated a little in order to give some idea of the
condition of things in Johnston's army, and will return to our
interview with the general himself. He welcomed us with dignity,
though there was a little reserve in his courtesy that was naturally
due to the gravity of the responsibility and the duty imposed upon
him. Hardee, as a subordinate, free from this burden, could afford
to give way to a natural _bonhommie_, and the difference of
situation emphasized the distinctive traits of the men. Johnston was
a smaller man than Hardee, his uniform showed less care for
appearances, his manner was quieter, but no one would for a moment
fail to see that he was the commander. His quiet tones were clear,
his gravity was full of conscious power, and the deference shown him
by his subordinates was earnest and respectful.

The preliminary details of our task were soon settled. General
Schofield had already promised rations to the Confederate troops
whilst awaiting the issue of the certificates of parole, and on
their way home; to give them railway transportation as far as
railroads were running, and to carry out Sherman's offer to let the
Confederate horses and mules be distributed as far as they would go,
to assist the men on their way, and in putting in a crop for their
families' support as soon as possible. When the necessary business
was disposed of, the conversation became more general.

General Schofield inquired what was the number of officers and men
to be paroled. Johnston replied that he could hardly be definite as
he would like to be: his morning report of "effectives" gave only
the men answering to their names with arms in their hands in the
line of battle. It would not include stragglers or men detached or
on special duty. His last return of effectives showed, as he said,
about 16,000 men. Wade Hampton, with much of his cavalry, had
refused to come in to Greensborough to be paroled with the rest, and
were supposed to be either disbanded or to be making their way
southward. Johnston thought the place of these might be made up by
the classes not enumerated in the return of effectives, and that
there might therefore still be about 16,000 in camp who would
present themselves to be paroled. He then added that in this
campaign their reports and returns had not been kept up promptly,
and that he had relied for practical use upon a summary of the
morning reports of "effectives." [Footnote: See pp. 424, 425,
_ante_.] There could be no question as to his complete frankness and
sincerity in this. The inquiry was put to make sure that we had
enough printed blanks for the paroles, and it was a matter of mutual
interest to get their issue completed with as little delay as
possible. The Official Records, moreover, confirm his statement as
to the abbreviated returns and the numbers they gave, while making
clear their loose inaccuracy. [Footnote: Official Records, vol.
xlvii. pt. ii. p. 1382; pt. i. p. 1059; pt. iii. p. 839.] The most
important fallacy in the Confederate return of "effectives" was that
by giving only the arms-bearing men answering to the roll-call, it
omitted the growing large class of stragglers hanging about the
camps many of whom might be in line when an engagement occurred.

The number of officers and men actually paroled by us in the
Carolinas turned out to be 39,012, which included men in hospitals,
some naval officers and sailors, the quartermaster's and other
special duty, detachments, etc. [Footnote: _Id._, pt. i. p. 1066.]
Johnston's inspector-general reported on 3d May the number of "final
papers" issued to the army proper at 27,749, and the number of men
who received their share of the silver distributed on April 28th was
32,174, [Footnote: _Id._, pt. iii. pp. 850, 867.] the difference
being in the cavalry, where 5000 men disbanded or went off with
Hampton before the paroles were issued. The report of the paroles
shows also that the Carolina troops had nearly all vanished during
the campaign, the Western troops of Hood's old army making the great
bulk of those who stayed with the colors.

Johnston was very warm in his recognition of the soldierly qualities
and the wonderful energy and persistence of our army, and the
ability of Sherman. Referring to his own plans, he said he had hoped
to have time enough to collect a larger force to oppose Sherman, and
to give it a more complete and efficient organization. The
Confederate government had reckoned upon the almost impassable
character of the rivers and swamps to give a respite till
spring,--at least they hoped for this. "Indeed," said he, with a
smile, "Hardee here" (giving a friendly nod of his head toward his
subordinate) "reported the Salkehatchie swamps as absolutely
impassable; but when I heard that Sherman had not only started, but
was marching through those very swamps at the rate of thirteen miles
a day, making corduroy road every foot of the way, I made up my mind
there had been no such army since the days of Julius Caesar." Hardee
laughingly admitted his mistaken report from Charleston, but
justified it by saying that all precedent was against such a march,
and that he would still have believed it impossible if he had not
seen it done.

All the Confederate officers from Johnston downward were very
earnest in impressing upon us their confidence that the army gave up
the struggle without bitterness, and that we could rely not only
upon their keeping their parole in good faith, but in their anxiety
to become again good citizens of the United States in every sense of
the word. The assassination of Mr. Lincoln was spoken of, as both an
odious crime and an extremely great misfortune to the South, tending
to involve the future in gloomy doubt by reason of the probable
effect upon Northern public sentiment and upon the policy of
Congress and the new administration. Hardee said that for himself he
thought he should go abroad for a time, till the heated and
exasperated feeling at the North should subside, and then return to
his home and his private affairs. I do not remember that Johnston
opened his mind on this point, and think he was gravely reticent,
scarcely choosing to share with strangers, in our relation to
affairs, the deep anxiety he must have felt. Hardee's means were
understood to be more ample than most of the Southern officers
possessed, and a course that was feasible for him was not so for
most of them. The task of winning a mere livelihood was by no means
a promising one for men left without a profession and without
property, in a country that seemed to be irretrievably ruined.

When we closed the interview, I am very sure that we of the National
side had already formed a very high opinion of the personal
character of the distinguished officers we had met, and had begun to
feel a sincere sympathy with them in their manifest purpose to meet
honorably and manfully the demands of the new situation. I recorded
at the time my own feeling that I had rarely met a man who was
personally more attractive to me than General Johnston. His mode of
viewing things was a high one, his thoughts and his expression of
them were refined, his conscientious anxiety to do exactly what was
right in the circumstances appeared in every word and act, his
ability and his natural gift of leadership showed without effort in
his whole bearing and conduct.

An incident which occurred at the time General Johnston left
Greensborough is striking proof of the scrupulous exactness he was
determined to exercise in carrying out the terms of the surrender.
He had gone southward as far as Charlotte to superintend the last
movement of his forces as a body and the final disbanding, and
before parting with the members of his staff learned that one of
them had preserved as a relic a little cavalry guidon of silk in the
form of a national flag scarce larger than a handkerchief. The
general immediately reclaimed it, and afterward sent it back under
the provision of the surrender which agreed that all captured flags
in the hands of the Confederates should be restored. He apologized
for the staff officer, saying that he knew no wrong had been meant
and the little flag had been regarded as a trifling but interesting
relic; yet he felt that there should be no limitation on their part
in carrying out strictly the terms agreed upon. The manner in which
all this was done, quite as much as the thing itself, showed the
earnestness and sincerity of his purpose to do everything in his
power to enforce the spirit as well as the letter of every promise
he had made for himself and his army. He had returned to his home at
Danville, Va., before he had been able to send to us this flag with
another that had been omitted, and his solicitude in regard to it,
even in the midst of anxiety in regard to his family, was shown by a
note which accompanied the parcel. It ran as follows:--

"DANVILLE, June 5th, 1865.

GENERAL,--I have requested Major Shackford, Provost Marshal of this
post, to forward to you a small box containing the color, standard,
and guidon which I mentioned to you in Greensborough.

I beg you to explain to Major-General Schofield that they were not
in my possession when we were in Greensborough, nor until I reached
Charlotte, and that they were not sent to him from that place
because I expected to visit Raleigh and there deliver them to him.
This visit was prevented by the condition of my family. You may
remember that the same cause, as I explained to you orally,
prevented my delivering them to you in person.

Most respectfully,

Your ob't serv't,


U. S. Army."

General Schofield and myself passed the night at the house of
ex-Governor Morehead, who had urged us to do so. Our host had been
one of the leading Whigs of North Carolina in the _ante-bellum_
days, and with his friends and neighbors Gilmer and Graham had
opposed secession at the beginning; but with the instinct of
politicians, they had striven to lead the current they could not
stop when once it had carried them away. The house was a comfortable
villa in the Italian style, with a tower overlooking the rolling
country for a long distance. The architecture was simple but
effective, and the house had evidently been a home of comfort and
ease in better times. We were frankly and cordially welcomed, and
allowed to see the mixed feelings with which the reassembled family
accepted the collapse of the Confederacy. Among the young people was
a son of the governor who had been desperately wounded but had
recovered. The rebellion had had their devoted support, but they
said, "That is all past now," and seemed eagerly desirous to get
into accord with the new order of things. The young man told of his
army adventures, and compared notes with us as to camp life in the
different armies. We were struck with the strong comparison he made
in speaking of his wound. A bullet had entered his mouth and passed
out at the back of his neck, and he said it felt, for all the world,
as if a city lamppost with its cross-bar had been dragged through
his head. I have no doubt this gave as good an idea of the sensation
as possible, for I have often heard wounded men speak of the feeling
of having received a terrible blow from some big and heavy thing,
when hit with a musket-ball. The ladies entertained us with
half-gay, half-pathetic stories of the way home-life had run on
during the long campaigns, and of the ingenuity they were obliged to
use to supply the place of tasteful articles of dress or adornment
when the blockade had become stringent, and when each little
community was thrown almost wholly upon its own resources. The head
of the house discoursed more gravely of the situation of the country
at large, and tried to forecast the future. Now that the surrender
was made, he was anxious that the army should be disbanded and sent
home as soon as possible, for the disposition of the Confederate
soldiers to pay their arrears by pillage made him fear that his own
farm would be stripped bare before they got away. There is no doubt
that there was a good deal of cause for such anxiety, especially for
leading men whom the private soldiers were disposed to hold largely
responsible for all their woes. It was no slight test of character
and good breeding, under such anxieties, for the family to pay
delicate and courteous attention to the comfort of their guests, and
to keep as far as possible in the background everything that might
betray their own troubled feelings.

On Wednesday (3d May) General Schofield returned to Raleigh, leaving
me in responsible command of the district. [Footnote: Official
Records, vol. xlvii. pt. iii. pp. 394, 407.] By administering the
parole to the troops by companies and regiments, keeping a number of
officers at work and using abundant clerical assistance in verifying
the copies of rolls, the task had been completed in a couple of
days, and General Johnston began to move his men southward. General
Cheatham with the Tennessee troops marched across the Great Smoky
Mountains, but the others were ordered to rendezvous at West Point
in Georgia, which was a central place for all who lived in the Gulf
States, from which they could most readily reach their homes. While
they remained together they were fed by us, and we furnished rations
sufficient to sustain them on the journey. Our ration, too, was
quite a different thing from theirs, and the men seemed more
affected by this bestowal of unwonted and abundant supplies than by
any other incident in the surrender. They said it seemed hardly
possible that men who were but yesterday arrayed in deadly hostility
to them, could now be supplying their wants so liberally.

Whilst they stayed they seemed never to tire of watching our men on
duty and on the various parades. Our guard-mounting was particularly
a show affair. From the moment the music struck up on the parade
ground, and the detachments for the guard from the different
companies began to file out and march into place, there was always a
large concourse of the men in gray making a most interested body of
spectators. The smart appearance of the men, the rapid inspection of
arms, of haversacks and knapsacks, the march in review, the
assignment to posts, the final marching off the field, all seemed to
give them great enjoyment. They said they had not paid much
attention to the formalities which so greatly relieve the drag and
labor of military life even in the field, and they were ready with
cordial and appreciative praise of the discipline and finish in
drill which they saw.

As the Confederate troops left Greensborough, I concentrated my own
corps there, [Footnote: Official Records, vol. xlvii. pt. iii. pp.
376, 384, 396, 502.] sending one of the infantry divisions to
Salisbury, and Kilpatrick's cavalry division to posts still farther
toward the southwest. A visit of inspection which I made to
Salisbury gave me the opportunity of examining the site of the
recent prison camp there. The treatment of our prisoners by the
Confederate authorities is a repellent subject, and I would gladly
pass it by and say nothing discordant with the tone of high honor
and respectful good-will which marked the conduct of the leading
officers of the Confederate forces in the field. We may fairly admit
that the resources of the Confederacy had been so taxed that food
and clothing were hard to procure, and that their armies in the
field were ill-fed and in rags. There is, however, a limit beyond
which a government calling itself civilized may not go, and as the
public opinion of the world, crystallized into what we call
international law, will not permit the wholesale decapitation of
prisoners, as might be done by a king of Ashantee or Dahomey, so it
forbids the herding of captive men in a mere corral, leaving them
utterly without shelter of any sort through the sleet and rain of
winter, near the North Carolina mountains. It forbids starving them
to death or leaving them to rot with scurvy because they are not
supplied with wholesome food and medicines. It is the plain duty of
a civilized government to parole and send home military prisoners
who cannot be fed or sheltered. If controversies as to exchange
existed, such conduct would have been the surest way to shame us out
of any position that was wrong, and the public opinion of the world
would have been powerful in making it the more profitable way, as it
was the only one not utterly barbarous. I speak with a solemn sense
of the obligation to avoid every railing accusation when I say that
it would have been humane and civilized in the comparison, if the
prisoners at Andersonville and Salisbury had been shot down by
fusillades or quickly poisoned by wholesale (as Napoleon was accused
of doing at Jaffa) instead of subjecting them to death by starvation
and exposure which swept them away at a rate no plague ever rivalled
or approached. I have seen too much of the Southern people, in arms
in the field and in their homes, to believe for one moment that they
would knowingly approve the treatment our prisoners received. But
their own reputation before the world makes it their duty to fix the
responsibility for a great crime upon those whose commands or whose
criminal negligence caused horrors which are among the most odious
things in the world's history.

I had seen at Wilmington and Goldsborough the condition of
train-loads of these released captives. Their situation has been
surgically and medically recorded in the surgeon-general's official
reports. There is no room for dispute. They were men reduced to
idiocy and to the verge of the grave by the direct effects of hunger
and exposure and the diseases necessarily connected with such
suffering. They were not of the dregs of humanity, who might be said
to fall into animality when the restraints of society and of
discipline were removed. They were many of them men who had
respected positions and refined surroundings at home. These were the
victims who looked vacantly with glazed eyes and could mumble no
intelligent response when asked their names, where was their home,
what was the name of the mother that bore them.

At Salisbury the pen in which part of the prisoners had been kept
was still to be seen. There were, as I remember it, two levels or
"benches" in it, and in the little bluff or slope from one to the
other were still to be seen the holes the poor prisoners had dug to
make a little cave in the earth that would drain itself and give
some shelter from the winter weather. I talked to women of the place
who with tears upon their faces told of the efforts some of them had
made to have the worst of the treatment corrected, or to procure
some mitigation of the want and hardship. The evidence seemed
conclusive that any marks of common sympathy or Christian pity were
repelled by the officials in charge of the prisoners and treated as
indications of disloyalty to the Confederate government.

The Confederacy was full of places where the almost limitless forest
afforded timber without end, and the labor of the prisoners
themselves under the same guards that garrisoned the prison would
have comfortably housed and warmed them, and then the scant and
wretched rations would not so soon have been the cause of emaciation
and disease. The risk of escape would not have been great, and I
doubt if as many would have got away as in fact managed to do so in
the actual circumstances. The almost certainty of sickness and death
nerved many a man to incredible exertions to be free, who would have
waited more patiently for an exchange if his condition had been less
intolerable or less sure of a fatal result. But even if there had
been some more escapes, it would be no argument in favor of the
horrible system which was adopted. There is no resemblance between
the situation of prisoners in a pen, and that of soldiers in
bivouac. The latter build shelters of rails or of brushwood, if they
have no shelter-tents, and they are very rarely stinted in firewood.
Their active life helps to preserve their vigor. To liken these to
men without shelter of any kind and without fire enough to cook by,
herded inside a ring-fence in winter weather, is an abuse of words.
Enough of the shocking subject!

As soon as headquarters baggage could be brought up I established my
own camp in the northern edge of Greensborough, in a grove which was
part of the grounds attached to the mansion of Mr. Dick, since that
time judge of the United States District Court. The first impression
of the people was that all government was now in the hands of the
army, and we had no little difficulty in correcting it. The policy
of the government was to recognize the ordinary courts and local
magistrates, and to support their authority in preserving the peace,
punishing crimes, and determining ordinary civil rights. The
political organization of the State was left subject to such changes
or conditions of reconstruction as might be prescribed by national
statute. The army, however, was the present palpable fact. The
muskets and the cannon were physical engines of power that everybody
could see, and everybody knew that the commandants of department and
district could use them if need be. There was, therefore, a national
tendency, both in civil magistrates and in the people, to refer all
sorts of questions to the military authorities. I tried in good
faith to make it understood within my own district that we were
averse to meddling with local affairs, and wished the ordinary
current of civil administration to run on in its accustomed channels
till it should be replaced by that which should have the new
authority of a reconstructed state under Acts of Congress. I not
only promulgated this through the military channels, but I accepted
several invitations to address the people at different points and
explain our attitude and purpose during the interregnum, and to give
them serious advice as to their conduct in the very trying
circumstances in which they were. It need hardly be said that the
gist of this advice was to recognize the absolute death of the
system of slavery, to deal with the freedmen with perfect sincerity
as free laborers who were at liberty to make the best bargain they
could for their labor, and to confine for the present their
political activity to the duty of keeping alive such local
magistracies as would prevent the community from falling into
anarchy. There was a wistful solicitude noticeable in people of all
classes to know what was to become of them. Their leaders had
educated them to believe that the success of the National arms would
mean the loss of every liberty and subjection to every form of
hateful tyranny. Yet they almost universally showed a spirit of
complete resignation to what might come, and a wish to conform
obediently to everything enjoined by the officers of the occupying
army. It was the rarest thing in the world to meet with anything
like sullen resistance or hostile or unfriendly utterances.
[Footnote: The same disposition in the people was noticed elsewhere
in the South. Halleck said, in a dispatch of April 22d, "From all I
can learn, Richmond is to-day more loyal than Washington or
Baltimore." (Official Records, vol. xlvi. pt. iii. p. 888.) Sherman
sent similar reports from Savannah. (_Id_., vol. xlvii. pt. iii. p.
371.)] My own stay in North Carolina did not extend into the period
of the provisional governments authorized by Acts of Congress, and I
was not personally witness to the varying phases of sentiment among
the people at that time.

The political character of North Carolina during the war had been
different from that of the Gulf States. We found very few indeed who
were known as "original Secessionists." The "old Whigs" had given
the tone to public sentiment, and the community as a whole had
sincerely desired that the Union might be preserved. Yet a society
based upon slavery had such community of interest with the States
further south that it was soon dragged into the secession vortex.
When once war had begun, the growth of hostility against what was
regarded as their public enemy was rapid, and in every State a war
party in time of war has a great advantage over the opposition. The
charge of "giving aid and comfort to the enemy" is too powerful a
weapon against the minority, and the outward appearance was soon
that of almost complete unanimity in the desperate struggle to make
secession a success. Party leaders were borne along upon the
current, and vied with each other in extravagant professions of
devotion to the Confederacy.

In such circumstances the men who were at heart opposed to the war
thought they were doing all that was wise or prudent in making what
they called a constitutional opposition to the Davis government,
professing to acquiesce in the Confederate organization, but urging
the negotiation of peace on the best attainable terms. In the fever
of actual conflict the following of such men was small, although it
seemed plain to me that a majority of the people of the State
sympathized with them at heart.

The outspoken Union men were, almost as a matter of course, treated
as traitors, and lived under a reign of terror. In the mountains,
where their numbers were considerable, they were the victims of a
relentless guerilla warfare, as the same class was upon the other
slope of the Great Smokies in East Tennessee.

Out of these classes came the elements of new struggles for
political power. The minority naturally felt that their time had now
come, and were not altogether patient with the principles of our
democratic Constitution, which require that a majority shall not be
disfranchised, and which therefore make it practically impossible
that a minority shall rule. At the time I am speaking of, these
elements were quiet in the first stunning effect of the collapse of
the Confederacy; but we could see the tendencies to antagonisms that
were to agitate the State during the next decade.

The negroes were, of course, of none of these parties. Very few of
the whites were in favor of emancipation on principle, though all
accepted it as the inevitable result of the war. Tacitly or
avowedly, they all admitted that the fate of the "system" had been
the real issue at stake, and that the surrender meant universal
freedom. But the colored people were ignorant, and had cherished
strange illusions as to the change which was to come to them. It was
a common belief among them that the whites were to be stripped of
all property, and the land to be given to them. We had heard curious
discussions among them around the camp-fires, in which they had
apportioned the real and personal property among themselves. The
faith that they were each to have "forty acres and a mule" was of a
little later growth. The first noticeable thing among them after the
surrender was the almost universal disposition to quit work. It
would have been very natural that they should wish for a great
holiday, and try to realize their freedom by extending it at their
own will, and thus prove to themselves that no man was their master.
But in addition to this, they seemed to fear that any continuance of
the relation of laborers for their former masters would cover some
waiver of their right to freedom. Yet, as they had hopes that the
real estate would be given to them by the National government, they
were disinclined to leave the old home. The outcome was that for a
time they occupied their old quarters and asserted a kind of
proprietorship in them, whilst they "struck" from labor.

When it is remembered that the kitchen of Southern houses is a
detached building of which the servants have exclusive occupation,
it will easily be understood that the situation was anything but
comfortable for housekeepers. Oftentimes they could neither hire
cooks nor get access to the open kitchen fire and the rude utensils
which the colored people appropriated as their own. According to my
observation, the Southern white women were very systematic and
thorough in the supervision of household work, but were necessarily
ignorant of the actual manipulation. They knew what flour and other
ingredients to weigh out for a batch of bread, but they had never
done the baking. Some of them tried their first experiments over the
open fire with "Dutch ovens" and other primitive implements, whilst
a group of colored women sat around commenting drolly but most
exasperatingly upon the results. As a temporary compromise, we were
obliged to "clear the kitchen" by military authority, making it
known that that was part of the "house," and that if the mistresses
of the mansion had to do their own work, it was not necessary that
it should be done before such an "audience." Such a social crisis is
always short, but it is very severe. No doubt those who have gone
through it look back upon it as one does upon the day after a fire,
when the wretchedness of dirt and destruction seems hopeless, but,
like other mundane things, soon passes away and is spoken of as all
"part of a lifetime."

A delicate and amiable lady, whose fortune at her marriage had been
of that ample sort which was measured in Southern parlance as "a
hundred negroes," herself told me, with a mixture of tearful pathos
and recognition of the comic side of it, of her own first efforts to
make a batch of soda biscuit for her husband and children after she
got possession of her kitchen. She knew all about the rule, but in
new practice the rule didn't work. The ingredients got wrongly
mixed; the fire was too hot or not hot enough; some biscuits were
burnt to a crisp, some were not cooked, and none were eatable, and
her heart was ready to break at the prospect of her family's
condition till something could be done to remedy the trouble. In
more than one household our officers' messes helped tide over the
painful interval by giving camp hospitality and friendly assistance
to their new neighbors. We frequently heard housekeepers say that if
they only had the snug ranges of Northern kitchens within the house
they would have made light of the labor; but their outdoor kitchens
and primitive methods, which produced appetizing results in the
hands of colored cooks who had been brought up to them, were killing
upon those who had been delicately reared.

We saw more of the domestic form of this social anarchy than of farm
labor, for the outdoor work could wait, whereas the indoor work
could not. The same difficulty was everywhere, however, and the
intelligence of the community soon hit upon temporary expedients.
Such men as Mr. Gilmer and Judge Dick took the lead in advising the
colored people to avoid their apprehended risk of compromising their
freedom, by hiring out temporarily to work for others than their old
masters. By thus changing about, the consciousness of working under
a voluntary contract was stronger, and the uneducated brain was less
puzzled to tell whether any change of situation had really come. We
did our best to dispel the notion that wealth and idleness were to
follow emancipation, and to encourage the freedmen to resume
industrious labor as the foundation of real freedom and
independence. [Footnote: See General Schofield's Order No. 46;
Official Records, vol. xlvii. pt. iii. p. 503.] The peaceful
character of the colored people was shown even in what they supposed
was a great revolution in their favor. There was no rioting or angry
disturbance,--no effort to accomplish anything by force. They
abandoned for the time their usual employments, and congregated in
their quarters or in groups about the streets, waiting for some
great thing to happen. There was, of course, plenty of talk and some
excitement, but even this gradually diminished; and as they began to
realize that without work there would be no food, they made such
bargains as suited them, and the affairs of the plantation and of
the house began to move on. The owners of property did not hope for
profits; they expressed themselves earnestly as anxious only that
such crops might be raised as would save the community, white and
black alike, from absolute destitution. I know of prominent examples
of well-known men offering the farm hands all that they could raise
for that season if they would only go to work and plant something
which could still ripen into food. The season was advancing, and a
little delay was very dangerous. The last chance for a crop in that
year would soon be gone. The influence and advice of sagacious and
prudent men was never more useful, for society seemed to be resolved
into its original elements when all authority but the military went
for nothing. As soldiers, we refrained from meddling in civil
affairs, but it was understood that we should preserve the peace and
allow no force to be used by others. It was a time when everybody
felt the need of being patient and conciliatory, and the natural
authority of known character and wisdom asserted itself. Everybody
soon went to work to make a living, and the burning problems of
political and social importance were postponed.

A serious inconvenience was immediately felt in the lack of a
circulating medium. The Confederate currency was at once made
worthless by the failure of the rebellion, and there was nothing to
take its place. The extent to which its depreciation had gone was
amusingly shown by a printed notice and list of prices I found
posted in a country tavern, already some months old. In it the price
of a dinner was put at ten dollars, and other meals and
accommodation in proportion. Still this currency had served for
business purposes, and it being gone, the community had to go back
for the time to primitive barter.

We had opportunity to notice to what great straits the people had
been reduced for two years in the matter of manufactured goods of
all kinds. Factories of every sort were scarce in the South when the
war began, and resources of every kind were so absorbed in the war
that there was no chance for new ones to spring up. Carriages,
wagons, and farm implements went to decay, or could only be rudely
patched up by the rough mechanics of the plantation. The stringent
blockade shut out foreign goods, and the people were generally
clothed in homespun. In many houses the floors were bare because the
carpets had been cut up to make blankets for the soldiers. Ladies
made their own shoes of such materials as they could find. They
braided their own hats. They showed a wonderful ingenuity in
supplying from native products the place of all the articles of use
which had formerly been imported from foreign lands or from the
North. Taste asserted itself, perhaps all the more in such
discouraging circumstances, and feminine refinement and love of
adornment worked marvels out of the slenderest materials. A
home-made straw hat ornamented with feathers of barnyard fowls and
domestic birds was often as jaunty and as pretty as any Parisian
bonnet. Simple dyes were made to give to coarse cotton stuffs a
lively contrast or harmony of pure colors as effective as the varied
and elaborate fabrics from the European looms. In some respects this
self-dependence heightened the personal advantages of those who
excelled in ingenuity, in taste, and in skill; for the clothes
indicated better the character of the wearer than those which are
made on one pattern in the shop of a fashionable mantua-maker.

Adversity has such uses and such compensations that I should hardly
reckon the poverty of the Southern States during 1864-65 as a burden
greatly felt in private life. All such things are comparative, and
where all the people undergo the same privations, the odious
comparisons and jealousies between richer and poorer disappear in a
measure. A simple life full of great enthusiasms is one a
philosopher may find much satisfaction in, and has, many a time,
been pictured as an ideal calculated to bring out the best qualities
of men and women and therefore to make life more truly enjoyable. I
greatly doubt if Southern people, in looking back on the war time,
find anything to regret in the simple fare and plain dress of the
enforced economy of that period. The real griefs and burdens, if I
am not mistaken, came from other sources. Among thoughtful people
there must have been from the summer of 1863 serious doubts of the
possibility of a successful outcome of their struggle, and a growing
and unhappy conviction that the fearful waste of life and treasure
would be in vain. They must have had grave misgivings also as to the
righteousness of a cause which championed an institution condemned
by the whole world and in conflict with the general progress of
Christendom. To see their best and bravest consumed in the fire of
successive battles, and to be waiting only till the slaughter should
make it impossible to keep armies in the field, must have been a
grief and a suffering which made all physical deprivations seem
small indeed.

I think I cannot be mistaken in the judgment I formed at the time,
that to the great body of the Southern people it was a relief that
the struggle was really over; that they breathed more freely and
felt that a new lease of life came with peace. They had been half
conscious for a good while that it must end so, and they were in the
mood to be at least resigned, if not readily to profess the pious
conviction that "it was all for the best." With the reactions and
political exasperations that came later, I have here nothing to do.
My purpose has been to reproduce, as far as my memory serves, the
scenes and the surroundings of that last military duty of the great
war. Why it was that the mellowness of spirit which seemed then so
prevalent could not have ripened without interruption or check into
a quicker and more complete fraternization, belongs to another field
of inquiry. The military chronicler stops where he was mustered out.

A summer ride which a party of us took to the battlefield of
"Guilford-Old-Court-House" may be worth noting as an encouragement
to believe that our descriptions of the scenes of our own
engagements need not become unintelligible even in the distant
future. Among the combats of our Revolutionary War, Guilford Court
House ranks high in importance; for the check there given to the
invading British army under Lord Cornwallis by the Continental
forces under General Greene was the turning-point in a campaign.
Greensborough is the present county-seat of Guilford County, and the
"Old Court House," a few miles distant, has disappeared as a
village, a few buildings almost unused being the only mark of the
old town. Natural topography, however, does not change its material

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