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rebel troops immediately entrenched themselves.
Sheridan, with his cavalry, formed the van of the column that was marching on the southern parallel route. In the afternoon of this same day, April 6th, he struck the enemy just south of Sailor's Creek, a small tributary of the Appomattox, and destroyed 400 wagons and captured sixteen pieces of artillery. Sheridan ordered a charge upon Ewell's force behind the captured train, in order to detain it until the 6th corps could get up; which was successfully accomplished. A general attack of infantry and cavalry was then made, and though the rebels fought well, they were unable to resist the onset of our troops. Between 6,000 and 7,000 prisoners were captured, among whom were a large number of officers, including Gens. Ewell, Kershaw, Custis Lee, etc. The movements of the 2d corps and General Ord's command, according to Grant's statement, contributed greatly to the important success of the day.
On the morning of the 7th of April, the pursuit was renewed, the cavalry, except one division, and the 5th corps, moving by Prince Edward's Court House; the 6th corps, Gen. Ord's command, and one division of cavalry, on Farmville, and the 2d corps by the High Bridge road. It was soon found that Lee had crossed to the north side of the Appomattox, but so close was the pursuit, that the 2d corps got possession of the common bridge at High Bridge before the enemy could destroy it, and immediately crossed over. The 6th corps and a division of
cavalry crossed at Farmville to its support.*
The unavailing struggle was now near its end. Grant, fully persuaded that Lee's chance of escape was utterly hopeless, while he did not relax the pursuit, nevertheless addressed the rebel commander in the following terms, under date of April 7th, at Farmville :— "General: The result of the last week must convince you of the hopelessness of further resistance on the part of the Army of Northern Virginia in this struggle. I feel that it is so, and regard it as my duty to shift from myself the responsibility of any further effusion of blood, by asking of you the surrender of that portion of the Confederate States army known as the Army of Northern Virginia."
Lee, though continuing his retreat, wrote a reply the same night, which reached Grant early the next morning: —"general: I have received your note of this date. Though not entertaining the opinion you express on the hope
* Mr. Swinton, in speaking of this retreat and pursuit, says: "It would need other colors in which truly to paint that terrible race for life; and one would hare to seek its like in what befell upon the snowy wastes of Muscovy in the winter of 1812. The Confederates began the retreat with but one ration, and when no supplies were mot at Amelia Court House, they were reduced to sueh scant store as could be collected from the poor and almost exhausted region through which
they passed. The misery of the famished
troops during the 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th of April, passes all experience of military anguish since the retreat from the banks of the Beresina. 'Towards evening of the 5th,' says an eye witness, ' and all day long upon the 6th, hundreds of men dropped from exhaustion, and thousands let fall their muskets from inability to carry them any further. The scenes of the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th, were of a nature which can be apprehended in its vivid reality only by men who are thoroughly familiar with the harrowing details of war.' "— Army of fit Potomac," p. 613.
lessness of further resistance on the part of the Army of Northern Virginia, I reciprocate your desire to avoid useless effusion of blood, and therefore, before considering your proposition, ask the terms you will offer, on condition of its surrender." To this Grant immediately replied:— "General: Your note of last evening, in reply to mine of same date, asking the condition on which I will accept the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia, is just received. In reply I would say, that peace being my great desire, there is but one condition that I insist upon, namely: That the men and officers surrendered shall be disqualified for taking up arms again against the co' emment of the United States until p/operly exchanged. I will meet you, or designate officers to meet any officers you may name for the same purpose, at any point agreeable to you, for the purpose of arranging definitely the terms upon which the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia will be received."
As Lee had continued his retreat on the night of April 7th, Grant, early the next morning pushed forward after him. Meade advanced north of the Appomattox, and Sheridan, with all the cavalry, marched straight for Appomattox Station, followed by Ord's command aud the 5th corps. During the day, there was considerable fighting with the rear guard of the enemy, but no general engagement. Late in the evening, Sheridan struck the railroad at Appomattox Station, drove the rebels from there, and captured twenty-five pieces of artillery, a hospital train, and four trains of cars loade 1 with supplies
for Lee's starving army. About midnight, on the 8th of April, Grant re ceived a communication from Lee, stating that he had not yet proposed to surrender, but that, as he was anxious for peace, he would like to meet Grant and see what could be done toward that important result. Grant, early the next morning, sent Lee word that he was not authorized to treat on the subject of peace; but that, in his opinion it could readily be secured by the rebels laying down their arms, etc.
One more effort Lee felt called on to make. He ordered an attack on Sheridan, and a desperate attempt was entered upon to break through our cavalry, on the morning of the 9th of April. The 5th corps and Ord's command soon after arrived, when, just as a deadly and sweeping charge was about to be made by our troops, a white flag was held aloft, and a messenger came forth with a letter from Lee, asking a suspension of hostilities looking to a surrender, and requesting an interview with Grant. The interview was held between two and three o'clock that same afternoon, and the result is set forth in the following correspondence, given in Grant's official report:—
"Appomattox Court House, Va., j April 9th, 1865. ) "General: In accordance with the substance of my letter to you of the 8th inst., I propose to receive the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia on the following terms, to wit: Rolls of the officers and men to be made in duplicate, one copy to be given to an officer to be designated by me, the other to bo retained by siwh officer
or officers as you may designate. The officers to give their individual paroles not to take up arms against the government of the United States until properly exchanged; and each company or regimental commander sign a like parole for the men of their commands. The arms, artillery, and public property to be packed and stacked, and turned over to the officers appointed by me to receive them. This will not embrace the side-arms of the officers, nor their private horses or baggage. This done, each officer and man will be allowed to return to their homes, not to be disturbed by United States authority so long as they observe their paroles and the laws in force where they may reside.
"U. S. Grant, Lieutenant-General. "General R Lee."
"Headquarters Army of Northem
"general: I received your letter of this date, containing the terms of the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia, as proposed by you. As they are substantially the same proposed in your letter of the 8th instant, they are accepted. I will proceed to designate the proper officers to carry the stipulation into effect.
"R, E. Lee, General. <: Lieutenant-General U. S. Grant."
In accordance with the terms here agreed upon, terms which were thankfully accepted, as liberal and generous, and redounding greatly to Gen. Grant's credit, the necessary details for carrying them into effect were at once entered upon. The weary and hungry troops of Lee were supplied with food and
comforts, and the terrible race for life, and the anguishing pains and distresses through which they had gone for the last two weeks were brought to an end forever. Three days after the surrender, the troops marched by divisions to a designated spot near Appomattox Court House, and there stacked their arms and deposited their accoutrements. Hardly 8,000 presented themselves with muskets in their hands; but with these were included about 18,000 unarmed, making in all over 27,000. Paroles were then distributed to the men, and they were allowed to go their way and seek again for a home.
The succeeding events of a military kind, consequent upon this crowning victory, may be briefly summed up. With the surrender of Lee, the " Confederacy " fell into utter and immediate ruin, and though Jeff. Davis and others like him (seep. 533), might talk of continuing opposition for a longer period, it was felt and acknowledged on all hands, that further resistance was equally mad and foolish. The insurgent states were powerless in this respect, and whether looked on as conquered, or subjugated, or in any other light, they were no longer capable of maintaining a hostile array, or of fighting against the supremacy of the Constitution and laws of the land. Gen. Lee's example and judgment necessitated a course of action, similar to that which he adopted, on the part of those who were still in arms against the authority of the United States.
Gen. Sherman, to whom Grant wrote on the 5th of April (p. 534), moved directly against the rebel Gen. Joe
Johnston, who retreated rapidly on and through Raleigh. Sherman occupied the ci*y on the morning of the 13th, having heard the day before the news of Lee's surrender. On the 14th of April, a correspondence was opened between Sherman and Johnston, the result of which was, on the 18th, an agreement for the suspension of hostilities, and a memorandum or basis for peace, subject to the approval of the president. It was held at Washington that Sherman had transcended his powers, and the agreement was disapproved by Andrew Johnson on the 21st of April. Grant went in person and communicated the disapproval to Sherman, who at once gave notice to Johnston of the termination of the truce that had been entered into. On the 26th of April, another meeting was held, the result of which was, the surrender and disbandment of Johnston's army on substantially the same terms as those which were accorded to Lee.
On the 4th of May, Gen. Dick Taylor surrendered to Gen. Canby all the remaining rebel forces east of the Mississippi; and on the 26th of May, Kirby Smith surrendered to the same general all the insurgent forces west of the great river.*
In bringing: to a close this condensed narrative of military operations, we may properly conclude the present chapter with the la9t paragraph in Gen.
* As matters of interest, in this connection, it may here be briefly stated, that the number of men surrendered, in the different rebel armies, was as follows: Lee's army, 27,805; Johnston's, 31,243; Dick Taylor's, 42,293; K. Smith's, 17,686 ; smaller organizations, in all, 55,196; making a total of 174.223. There were also in our hands nearly 100,000 prisoners of war. About 2,000 enlisted in the army; 63,442 were released ■ 33,127 were delivered in exchange.
Grant's report: "It has been my fortune to see the armies of both the West and the East fight battles, and from what I have seen I know there is no difference in their fighting qualities. All that it was possible for men to do in battle they have done. The western armies commenced their battles in the Mississippi Valley, and received the final surrender of the remnant of the principal army opposed to them in North Carolina. The armies of the East commenced their battles on the river from which the Army of the Potomac derived its name, and received the final surrender of their old antagonist at Appomattox Court House, Virginia. The splendid achievements of each have nationalized our victories, removed all sectional jealousies (of which we have unfortunately experienced too much), and the cause of crimination and recrimination that might have followed had either section failed in its duty. All have a proud record, and all sections can well congratulate themselves and each other for having done their full share in restoring the supremacy of law over every foot of territory belonging to the United States. Let ttiem hope for perpetual peace and harmony with that enemy, whose manhood, however mistaken the cause, drew forth such herculean deeds of valor."*
• On the 1st of May, the entire army force amounted to 1,000,516, officers and men. The aggregate available force present for duty on the 1st of March was: Army of the Potomac, 103,273; nrniios in the several departments, 499,325; total, 602,398. Steps were taken Immediately for mustering oat the troops, so that from the beginning of May to August 7th, there were mustered out 640,806 troois; from that date to November 15th, there wero mustered out 160,! 157; total, 800,963.
MURDER OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN: ACCESSION OP 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.
The great and grievous rebellion was now, at length, crushed to the earth. Its military power was broken up; the arrest of Davis, Stephens, and others associated with them, put an end to even the pretence of a government of the "Confederacy;" and from one end of the land to the other, the national banner floated, freely and fully, as the emblem of the supremacy of the Constitution and laws of the United States. Thank God! the war was over.
There was of course throughout the loyal states, as well as in various parts of the states which had been partakers, more or less willingly, in rebellion, a feeling of deep satisfaction at the contest being brought to its close. Bright hopes of the future were indulged in, and joyous expectations entertained of renewed and increasing prosperity under the benign reign of peace and concord. The people gave expression to their joyous hopes and wishes in many ways; and while there was exultation, and even pride, in the
great victory which had been vouchsafed to the loyal cause, there was also a willingness to recognize, in what had taken place, the guiding hand and merciful goodness of Divine Providence. There was a spirit and disposition to exercise magnanimity, and such gentleness as was consistent with the preservation of truth and right, towards those who had gone astray, and, under the guidance of treasonable leaders, had madly endeavored to thrust a sword through the heart of the nation. While thoughtful and patriotic men looked with more or less of anxiety at the state of things, so novel in the history of the world, so utterly without precedent, and involving questions of so much difficulty and delicacy in efforts to settle them, there was still a strong and positive desire to deal with our difficulties as became an intelligent, high-minded, Christian people, and to act towards the vanquished insurgents in such wise as would result, not only in brmging them to see and acknowledge the error of their