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Ch. XX.]

DAVIS'S LAST PROCLAMATION.

533

high as Haman such traitors as these a proclamation, April 5th, in which he whose rebellion was now broken up, he tried to put the best face he could on went on to say: “Humble as I am, matters in the “Confederacy.” Among when you ask me what I would do, my other things he said—it was his last reply is, I would arrest them; I would chance—"we have now entered upon a try them; I would convict them, and I new phase of the struggle. Relieved

I would hang them. As humble as I am from the necessity of guarding particnand have been, I have pursued but one lar points, our army will be free to undeviating course. All that I have, move from point to point to strike the life, limb, and property—have been put enemy in detail far from his base. Le at the disposal of the country in this us but will it and we are free. Ani. great struggle. I have been in camp, mated by that confidence in spirit and I have been in the field, I have been fortitude which never yet failed me,

I everywhere where this great rebellion announce to you, fellow-countrymen, was; I have pursued it until I believe that it is my purpose to maintain your I can now see its termination.

cause with my whole heart and soul; I am in favor of leniency ; but in my that I will never consent to abandon opinion, evil doers should be punished. to the enemy one foot of the soil of any Treason is the highest crime known in one of the states of the Confederacy; that the catalogue of crimes; and for him Virginia-noble state—whose ancient that is guilty of it—for him that is renown has been eclipsed by her still willing to lift his impious hand against more glorious recent history; whose the authority of the nation—I would bosom has been bared to receive the say death is too easy a punishment. main shock of this war; 'whose sous My notion is that treason must be made and daughters have exhibited heroism odious, that traitors must be punished so sublime as to render her illustrious and impoverished, their social power in all time to come; that Virginia, with broken; that they must be made to the help of the people and by the blessfeel the penalty of their crimes." ing of Providence, shall be held and de.

Jeff. Davis, with such escort as he fended, and no peace ever be made with could obtain, took his departure from the infamous invaders of her territory. Richmond at the earliest possible hour If, by the stress of numbers, we should after receiving Lee's message, on that ever be compelled to a temporary witheventful Sunday morning, and purpos- drawal from her limits, or those of any ing, if we may believe his foolish boast- other border state, again and again will ing, (p. 504) to set up the rebel gov- we return, until the baffled and exernment in some safer place. He also hausted enemy shall abandon in des carried with him all the money that pair bis endless and impossible task of could be got out of the Richmond banks, making slaves of a people resolved to and whatever else his hasty flight would be free."* permit.

* The fugitive arch-rebel, we may here mention, atDavis, on reaching Danville, issued | tempted to escape by way of the rea-coast. A reward

1865.

As for Gen. Lee, he seems to have man that Lee would probably strive to thought that there was yet a chance of reach Danville; he also said: “ If you

escape for him, and so there can possibly do so, push on from where

might have been had not Grant, you are, and let us see if we cannot fully master of the situation, displayed finish the job with Lee's and Johnston's such activity and energy as to reduce armies. Whether it will be better for him, in a few days, to the necessity of you to strike for Greensborough, or surrender. Grant knew that Lee must nearer to Danville, you will be better retreat, or yield, and was prepared for able to judge when you receive this. immediate pursuit in the former case. Rebel armies now are the only strategic Sheridan pushed for the Danville Road, points to strike at." keeping near the Appomattox, followed On the morning of Thursday, April by Meade, with the 2d and 6th corps; 6th, it was discovered that Lee had left while Ord moved for Burkesville, fifty- Amelia Court House, and was moving eight miles from Richmond, and the west of Jettersville, in the direction of most important point for the enemy to Danville. It was his only hope now secure, it le could, on the South Side to enter upon a race of thirty-five miles or Lynchburg Road; the 9th corps west to Farmville, where, if he reached stretched along that road behind him. it in time, he could cross the AppomatOn Tuesday, April 4th, Sheridan struck tox once more, and then, by destroying the Danville Road near Jettersville, the bridges after him, escape into the where he learned that Lee had reached mountains beyond Lynchburg. Sheridan Amelia Court House, thirty-eight miles moved with his cavalry to strike Lee's west of Richmond.* Sheridan entrench flank, followed by the 6th corps, while ed himself, and awaited the arrival of the 2d and 5th corps pressed hard after, Meade. . Ord reached Burkesville on forcing him to abandon several hun the evening of the 5th of April. On dred wagons and several pieces of arthe same day, Grant sent word to Sher. tillery. Ord advanced from Burkes

ville towards Farmville, sending two of $100,000 was offered for his arrest, and the hunt regiments of infantry, and a squadron was exceedingly active in consequence. He was finally of cavalry, under Gen. T. Read, to reach caught by a portion of Wilson's cavalry, under Col. and destroy the bridges. This advance Pritchard, at Irwinsville, Wilkinson County, Ga., together with his family and a small number of attend met the head of Lee's column near ants. This was on the morning of May 10th. Davis Farmville, and heroically attacked it in was brought prisoner to Fortress Monroe, and placed the effort to detain the rebel force until

the main body should come up.

Read * A dire anguish, as Swinton terms it, here befell Lee. He had ordered, it seems, supplies to meet him lost his life on this occasion, and his and his army at Amelia Court House ; but they had command was. overpowered; but the been carried on to Richmond, and burned along with the other stores in that city. One might call this a sort end had in view was attained; the of deserved retribution ; at any rate, Lee lost heart, movements of the enemy were delayed ; and with good reason, at the prospect of protracting and Ord had time to arrive with the the contest with a hungry, half-starved army, against the large and abus dantly supplied force under Grant. Army of the James. Whereupon the

in close confinement.

Ch. XX.]

UNAVAILING STRUGGLES OF LEE.

535

soners

rebel troops immediately entrenched cavalry crossed at Farmville to its supthemselves.

port. Sheridan, with his caralry, formed The unavailing struggle was now the van of the column that was march near its end. Grant, fully persuaded ing on the southern parallel route. In that Lee's chance of escape was utterly the afternoon of this same day, April | hopeless, while he did not relax the 6th, he struck the enemy just south of pursuit, nevertheless addressed the rebel Sailor's Creek, a small tributary of the commander in the following terms, unAppomattox, and destroyed 400 wa- der date of April 7th, at Farmville :: gons and captured sixteen pieces of “GENERAL: The result of the last week artillery. Sheridan ordered a charge must convince you of the hopelessness upon Ewell's force behind the captured of further resistance on the part of the train, in order to detain it until the 6th Army of Northern Virginia in this corps could get up; which was success. struggle. I feel that it is so, and refully accomplished. A general attack gard it as my duty to shift from myself of infantry and cavalry was then made, the responsibility of any further effusion and though the rebels fought well, they of blood, by asking of you the surrender were unable to resist the onset of our of that portion of the Confederate States troops. Between 6,000 and 7,000 pri- army known as the Army of Northern

were captured, among whom Virginia." were a large number of officers, in- Lee, though continuing his retreat, cluding Gens. Ewell, Kershaw, Custis wrote a reply the same night, which Lee, etc. The movements of the 2d reached Grant early the next morning: corps and General Ord's command, ac

ac- -"GENERAL: I have received your note

_“ cording to Grant's statement, contribut of this date. Though not entertaining ed greatly to the important success the opinion you express on the hope. of the day. On the morning of the 7th of April,

* Mr. Swinton, in speaking of this retreat and purthe pursuit was renewed, the cavalry, to paint that terrible race for life ; and one would have

suit, says: “It would need other colors in which truly except one division, and the 5th corps, to seek its like in what befell upon the snowy wastes moving by Prince Edward's Court of Muscovy in the winter of 1812. The Confederates

began the retreat with but one ration, and when no House; the 6th corps, Gen. Ord's com- supplies were met at Amelia Court House, they were

, mand, and one division of cavalry, on reduced to such scant store as could be collected from Farmville, and the 2d corps by they passed. ..

the poor and almost exhausted region through which

The misery of the famished the High Bridge road. It was troops during the 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th of April, passes soon found that Lee had crossed to the all experience of military anguish since the retreat from

the banks of the Beresina. "Towards evening of the north side of the Appomattox, but so 5th,' says an eye witness, and all day long upon the close was the pursuit, that the 2d corps thousands let fall their muskets from inability to carry

6th, hundreds of men dropped from exhaustion, and got possession of the common bridge at them any further. The scenes of the 5th, 6th, 7th and High Bridge before the enemy could 8th, were of a nature which can be apprehended in its destroy it, and immediately crossed vivid reality only by men who are thoroughly familiar

with the harrowing details of war.'”- Army of the over. The 6th corps and a division of Potomac,” p. 613.

*

1865.

a

1865.

lessness of further resistance on the for Lee's starving army. About midpart of the Army of Northern Virginia, night, on the 8th of April, Grant re I reciprocate your desire to avoid use-ceived a communication from Lee, statless effusion of blood, and therefore, being that he had not yet proposed to fore considering your proposition, ask surrender, but that, as he was anxious

the terms you will offer, on con- for peace, he would like to meet Grant dition of its surrender.” To and see what could be done toward

” this Grant immediately replied :- that important result. Grant, early the “GENERAL: Your note of last evening, next morning, sent Lee word that he in reply to mine of same date, asking was not authorized to treat on the sub. the condition on which I will accept ject of peace; but that, in his opinion the surrender of the Army of Northern it could readily be secured by the rebels Virginia, is just received. In reply I laying down their arms, etc. would

say,

that peace being my great One more effort Lee felt called on to desire, there is but one condition that I make. He ordered an attack on Sheriinsist upon, namely: That the men and dan, and a desperate attempt was enterofficers surrendered shall be disqualified ed upon to break through our cavalry, for taking up arms again against the on the morning of the 9th of April. government of the United States until The 5th corps and Ord's command soon properly exchanged. I will meet you, after arrived, when, just as a deadly or designate officers to meet any officers and sweeping charge was about to be you may name for the same purpose, at made by our troops, a white flag was any point agreeable to you, for the pur- held aloft, and a messenger came forth pose of arranging definitely the terms with a letter from Lee, asking a suspenupon which the surrender of the Army sion of hostilities looking to a surrender, of Northern Virginia will be received." and requesting an interview with Grant.

As Lee had continued his retreat on The interview was held between two the night of April 7th, Grant, early the and three o'clock that same afternoon, next morning pushed forward after him. and the result is set forth in the followMeade advanced north of the Appoing correspondence, given in Grant's mattox, and Sheridan, with all the official report :cavalry, marched straight for Appomattox Station, followed by Ord's com

9th, mand and the 5th corps. During the “GENERAL: In accordance withi the day, there was considerable fighting substance of my letter to you of the with the rear guard of the enemy, but sth inst., I propose to receive the surno general engagement. Late in the render of the Army of Northern Virevening, Sheridan struck the railroad ginia on the following terms, to wit: at Appomattox Station, drove the rebels Rolls of the officers and men to be from there, and captured twenty-five made in duplicate, one copy to be given pieces of artillery, a hospital train, and to an officer to be designated by me, tour trains of cars loaded with supplies the other to bo retained by surh officer

“Appomattor Court House

, Va.,

Cil. XX.]

LEE'S SURRENDER REBELLION CRUSHED.

537

or officers as you may designate. The comforts, and the terrible race for life, officers to give their individual paroles and the anguishing pains and distresses not to take up arms against the govern through which they had gone for the ment of the United States until prop- last two weeks were brought to an end erly exchanged; and each company or forever. Three days after the surrender, regimental commander sign a like parole the troops marched by divisions to a for the men of their commands. The designated spot near Appomattox Court arms, artillery, and public property to House, and there stacked their arms be packed and stacked, and turned over and deposited their accoutrements. to the officers appointed by me to re. Hardly 8,000 presented themselves ceive them. This will not embrace the with muskets in their hands; but with side-arms of the officers, nor their pri- these were included about 18,000 unvate horses or baggage. This done, armed, making in all over 27,000. each officer and man will be allowed to Paroles were then distributed to the return to their homes, not to be dis- men, and they were allowed to go their turbed by United States authority so way and seek again for a home. long as they observe their paroles and The succeeding events of a military the laws in force where they may reside. kind, consequent upon this crowning

“ U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General. victory, may be briefly summed up. "General R. LEE.”

With the surrender of Lee, the “Con

federacy” fell into utter and immediate Headquarters Army of Northern

ruin, and though Jeff. Davis and others Virginia, April 9, 1865.

like him (see p. 533), might talk of con“GENERAL: I received your letter tinuing opposition for a longer period, of this date, containing the terms of the it was felt and acknowledged on all surrender of the Army of Northern hands, that further resistance was Virginia, as proposed by you. As they equally mad and foolish. The insurare substantially the same proposed in gent states were powerless in this your letter of the 8th instant, they are respect, and whether looked on as conaccepted. I will proceed to designate quered, or subjugated, or in any other the proper officers to carry the stipula. light, they were no longer capable of tion into effect.

maintaining a hostile array, or of fight“R. E. LEE, General. ing against the supremacy of the Con“ Lieutenant-General U.S. GRANT.” stitution and laws of the land. Gen.

In accordance with the terms here Lee's example and judgment necessi. agreed upon, terms which were thank- tated a course of action, similar to that fully accepted, as liberal and generous, which he adopted, on the part of those and redounding greatly to Gen. Grant's who were still in arms against the aucredit, the necessary details for carrying thority of the United States. them into effect were at once entered Gen. Sherman, to whom Grant wrote upon. The weary and hungry troops on the 5th of April (p. 534), moved

. of Lee were supplied with food and directly against the rebel Gen. Joe

VOL. IV.-68.

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