Page images
PDF
EPUB

CH. XX.]

UNAVAILING STRUGGLES OF LEE.

535

soners

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

port.* Sheridan, with his cavalry, 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

Lee, though continuing his retreat, cluding Gens. Ewell, Kershaw, Custis wrote a reply the same night, wbich Lee, etc. The movements of the 2d reached Grant early the next morning: corps and General Ord's command, 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, suit

, says a It would need other colors in which truly the pursuit was renewed, the cavalry, to paint that terrible race for life ; and one would have 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

and almost exhausted region through which Farmville, and the 2d corps by they passed. .. 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 with the harrowing details of war."" - Army of the

the

poor

1865.

vivid reality only by men who are thoroughly familiar The 6th corps and a division of Potomac,” p. 613.

over.

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 be 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 Appo-ing correspondence, given in Grant's mattox, and Sheridan, with all the official report :cavalry, marched straight for Appomat

Appomattox Court House, Va., tox Station, followed by Ord's com

April 9th, 1865. mand and the 5th corps. During the “GENERAL: In accordance with 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 such officer

}

Cm. 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 borses 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 bands, 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.

Johnston, who retreated rapidly on and Grant's report: “It has been my forthrough Raleigh. Sherman occupied tune to see the armies of both the West the city on the morning of the 13th, and the East fight battles, and from having heard the day before the news what I have seen I know there is no of Lee's surrender. On the 14th of difference in their fighting qualities. April, a correspondence was opened All that it was possible for men to do between Sherman and Johnston, the in battle they have done. The western

result of which was, on the 18th, armies commenced their battles in the 1885.

an agreement for the suspension Mississippi Valley, and received the of hostilities, and a memorandum or final surrender of the remnant of the basis for peace, subject to the approval principal army opposed to them in of the president. It was held at Wash North Carolina. The armies of the ington that Sherman had transcended East commenced their battles on the his

powers, and the agreement was dis river from which the Army of the Poapproved by Andrew Johnson on the tomac derived its name, and received 21st of April. Grant went in person the final surrender of their old antagoand communicated the disapproval to nist at Appomattox Court House, VirSherman, who at once gave notice to ginia. The splendid achievements of Johnston of the termination of the truce each have nationalized our victories, that had been entered into. On the removed all sectional jealousies (of 26th of April, another meeting was which we have unfortunately experiheld, the result of which was, the sur- enced too much), and the cause of render and disbandment of Johnston's crimination and recrimination that army on substantially the same terms as might have followed had either section those which were accorded to Lee. failed in its duty. All have a proud

On the 4th of May, Gen. Dick Tay- record, and all sections can well conlor surrendered to Gen. Canby all the gratulate themselves and each other for remaining rebel forces east of the Mis- having done their full share in restorsissippi ; and on the 26th of May, Kir. ing the supremacy of law over every by Smith surrendered to the same gen- foot of territory belonging to the Unieral all the insurgent forces west of the ted States. Let them hope for perpetgreat river. *

ual

peace and harmony with that eneIn bringing to a close this condensed my, whose manhood, however mistaken narrative of military operations, we the cause, drew forth such herculean may properly conclude the present deeds of valor.' chapter with the last paragraph in Gen.

* On the 1st of May, the entire army force amount* As matters of interest, in this connection, it may ed to 1,000,516, officers and men. The aggregate here be briefly stated, that the number of men surren- available force present for duty on the 1st of March dered, in the different rebel armies, was as follows: was: Army of the Potomac, 103,273; armies in the Lee's army, 27,805; Johnston's, 31,243 ; Dick Taylor's, several departments, 499,325 ; total, 602,598. Steps 42,293; K. Smith's, 17,686 ; smaller organizations, in were taken immediately for mustering out the troops, all, 55,196 ; making a total of 174.223. There were 80 that from the beginning of May to August 7th, also in our hands nearly 100,000 prisoners of war. there were mustered out 640,806 troops; from that About 2,000 enlisted in the army ; 63,442 were released • date to November 15th, there were mustered out 160,33,127 were delivered in exchange.

157 ; total, 800,963.

CH. XXI.]

STATE OF FEELING IN THE COUNTRY.

539

CHAPTER XXI.

1865.

MURDER OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN: ACCESSION OF ANDREW JOHNSON.

General state of feeling throughout the country now that the rebellion was at an end – Mr. Lincoln's personal

gratification – His intention as to the future — Warnings as to danger to his life -- Not heeded by him – His last public address — The fatal day, Friday, April 14th - Visit to Ford's theatre in the evening Wilkes Booth the assassin Narrative of the horrifying scene Attempt to murder Mr. Seward also, in his bed, by Payne - Profound astonishment all through the land — Andrew Johnson becomes president, takes the oath of office, etc., April 15th - Close of the present work.

1865.

The great and grievous rebellion great victory which had been vouchwas now, at length, crushed to the safed to the loyal cause, there was also earth. Its military power was broken a willingness to recognize, in what bad up; the arrest of Davis, Stephens, and taken place, the guiding hand and mer. others associated with them, put an end ciful goodness of Divine Providence. to even the pretence of a government There was a spirit and disposition to

of the “Confederacy;” and exercise magnanimity, and such genfrom one end of the land to the tleness as was consistent with the

preother, the national banner floated, freely servation of truth and right, towards and fully, as the emblem of the su- those who had gone astray, and, under premacy of the Constitution and laws the guidance of treasonable leaders, of the United States. Thank God! had madly endeavored to thrust a the war was over.

sword through the heart of the nation. There was of course throughout the While thoughtful and patriotic men loyal states, as well as in various looked with more or less of anxiety at parts of the states which had been par- the state of things, so novel in the takers, more or less willingly, in rebel. history of the world, so utterly withlion, a feeling of deep satisfaction at out precedent, and involving questhe contest being brought to its close. tions of so much difficulty and delicacy Bright hopes of the future were in- in efforts to settle them, there was still dulged in, and joyous expectations en a strong and positive desire to deal tertained of renewed and increasing with our difficulties as became an inprosperity under the benign reign of telligent, high-minded, Christian peopeace and concord. The people gave ple, and to act towards the vanquished expression to their joyous hopes and insurgents in such wise as would rewishes in many ways; and while there sult, not only in bringing them to see was exultation, and even pride, in the land acknowledge the error of their

« PreviousContinue »