e-book Our One Common Country: Abraham Lincoln and the Hampton Roads Peace Conference of 1865

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Guide to Norfolk Pub Walks. Missing the Midnight. Amina: Through My Eyes. The Graduate School Funding Handbook. Applied Predictive Modeling. Good Driving, Amelia Bedelia. No guard was placed over them and no restriction was put upon their movements; nor was there any pledge asked that they would not abuse the privileges extended to them. They were permitted to leave the boat when they felt like it, and did so, coming up on the bank and visiting me at my headquarters.

I had never met either of these gentlemen before the war, but knew them well by reputation and through their public services, and I had been a particular admirer of Mr.

Our One Common Country: Abraham Lincoln And The Hampton Roads Peace Conference Of 1865

I had always supposed that he was a very small man, but when I saw him in the dusk of evening I was very much surprised to find so large a man as he seemed to be. When he got down on to the boat I found that he was wearing a coarse gray woolen overcoat, a manufacture that had been introduced into the South during the rebellion.

The cloth was thicker than anything of the kind I had ever seen, even in Canada. The overcoat extended nearly to his feet, and was so large that it gave him the appearance of being an average-sized man. He took this off when he reached the cabin of the boat, and I was struck with the apparent change in size in the coat and out of it. The mood in Washington was less relaxed than at City Point. Major Thomas Eckert was dispatched with two letters.

The first was from Secretary of War Edwin M. You will proceed to Fortress-Monroe, Virginia, there to meet, and informally confer with Messrs. Stephens, Hunter, and Campbell, on the basis of my letter to F. No receding by the Executive of the United States, on the Slavery question, from the position assumed thereon, in the late Annual Message to Congress, and on preceding documents. No cessation of hostilities short of an end of the war, and the disbanding of all forces hostile to the government. I sat between Stephens and Hunter. Stephens was very civil in his reception, more so than the others.


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He asked if they might not begin to discuss the subject. I then submitted a copy of my instruction from the President which they took saying they would like to consider it and reply later. Hunter was the chief spokesman, but my communications were always to Stephens, his name being the first on the list of three.

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Campbell had the least to say. He was, however, a close listener. Before the conference we came very near getting into a difficulty that would have forced me to have done something that might have raised a row, because General Grant wanted to be a party to the conference.


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I told him no. If you make a failure or say anything that would be subject to criticism it would be very bad. If I make a mistake I am nothing but a common business man and it will go for naught. I am going to take the responsibility, and I advise you not to go to the conference. Grant was vexed with me because I did not tell him exactly what my mission was.

We are very anxious to go on to Washington, and Mr. Lincoln has promised to see us there. After listening a while to what the commissioners were saying Grant got up and went out. He was angry with me for years afterward, and this has been a source of sincere regret to me, because in his responsible position as commanding general of the army he had some reason for chagrin at the action of a mere major in questioning his ranking authority in the presence of representatives of the government whose army he was fighting.

But at the time I gave no thought to this feature of the case, remembering only my explicit orders written and oral from the President. When Grant was stopped from making a reply to Hunter he and the other commissioners doubtless thought that if they could have presented the matter direct to Grant they would likely get his approval. I informed the commissioners that they could not proceed further unless they complied with the terms recited in my letter of instructions, their formal reply to which had been delivered to me at our earlier interview and to inform General Grant in case they concluded to accept the terms.

I then withdrew and sent my cipher-despatch to President Lincoln dated 10 P. Grant biographer Brooks D. The General was clearly unhappy. Eckert seemed so intent on following the letter of his instructions in his brusque manner that he overlooked the opportunity the commissioners presented. What harm could it do for Lincoln to meet with them? In turn, Grant prodded the commissioners, asking them if they could find it within themselves to soften the wording of their reply so as to open the door to future talks. The commissioners complied: Stephens, having expected to meet a blunt, rude soldier, was pleasantly surprised to find in Grant a reflective, intelligent, and shrewd gentleman.

At this point, Grant intervened. Stephens and party has ended, I will state confidentially, but not officially to become a matter of record, that I am convinced upon conversation with Messrs. Stephens and Hunter that their intentions are good and their desire sincere to restore peace and union. I have not felt myself at liberty to express even views of my own or to account for my reticency. This has placed me in an awkward position, which I could have avoided by not seeing them in the first instance.

I fear now their going back without any expression from anyone in authority will have a bad influence. At the same time, I recognize the difficulties in the way of receiving these informal commissioners at this time, and do not know what to recommend.

viptarif.ru/wp-content/torrent/4729.php I am sorry, however, that Mr. Lincoln can not have an interview with the two named in this dispatch, if not all three now within our lines. Historian Brooks D. In the meantime he had secured congressional passage of the Thirteenth Amendment, abolishing slavery which would strengthen his hand in any talks. On February 2, Mr.

Failure of the Confederate Peace Plan to end the Civil War

He got off two wires at once. One was to Seward, instructing him to remain where he was. The other was to Grant. Lincoln met them there and had an interview of short duration. It was not a great while after they met that the President visited me at City Point.

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He spoke of his having met the commissioners, and said he had told them that there would be no use in entering into any negotiations unless they would recognize, first: that the Union as a whole must be forever preserved, and second: that slavery must be abolished. If they were willing to concede these two points, then he was ready to enter into negotiations and was almost willing to hand them a blank sheet of paper with his signature attached for them to fill in the terms upon which they were willing to live with us in the Union and be one people.

He always showed a generous and kindly spirit toward the Southern people, and I never heard him abuse an enemy. There was a problem adding your email address.

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