Stephens: “We desire to … hold a conference with President Lincoln upon the subject of the existing war”

A delegation of three rebels, including the Vice President of the Confederacy Alexander Stephens, has arrived and asked safe passage to Washington to engage in peace talks.  I wrote Pres. Lincoln,

CITY POINT, January 31, 1865-10 a. m.

President A. LINCOLN,

Washington, D. C.:

The following communication was received here last evening.

 

PETERSBURG, VA., January 30, 1865.

Lieutenant General U. S. GRANT:

SIR: We desire to pass your lines under safe conduct and to proceed to Washington to hold a conference with President Lincoln upon the subject of the existing war, and with a view of ascertaining upon what terms it may be terminated, in pursuance of the course indicated by him in his letter to Mr. F. P. Blair of January 18, 1865, of which we presume you have a copy; and if not, we wish to see you in person, if convenient, and to confer with you upon the subject.

Yours, very respectfully,

ALEXANDER H. STEPHENS.

J. A. CAMPBELL.

R. M. T. HUNTER.

 

I have sent directions to receive these gentlemen, and expect to have them at my quarters this evening awaiting your instructions.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 13, p 333-4

O.R., I, xlvi, part 2, p 297, 311

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