Stanton: “The arrangement between Sherman and Johnston meets with universal disapprobation”

I reached Raleigh yesterday and immediately spoke with Gen. Sherman.  I relayed the details of our conversation to Sec. Stanton.

RALEIGH, N. C., April 24, 1865-9 a. m.

Hon EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

SIR: I reached here this morning, and delivered to General Sherman the reply to his negotiations with Johnston. He was not surprised, but rather expected their rejection. Word was immediately sent to Johnston terminating the truce, and information that civil matters could not be entertained in any convection between army commanders. General Sherman has been guided in his negotiations with Johnston entirely by what he though was precedent authorized by the President. He had before him the terms given by me to Lee’s army and the call of the rebel legislature of Virginia, authorized by Weitzel, as he supposed with the sanction of the President and myself. At the time of the agreement General Sherman did not know of the withdrawal of authority for the meeting of that legislature. The moment he learned through the papers that authority for the meeting had been withdrawn he communicated the fact to Johnston as having bearing on the negotiations had.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

 

Today, Sec. Stanton wrote back,

Washington City, April 25, 1865-10. 50 a. m.

Lieutenant General U. S. GRANT,

Raleigh, or Headquarters in North Carolina:

Your dispatch received. The arrangement between Sherman and Johnston meets with universal disapprobation. No one of any class or shade of opinion approves it. I have not known as much surprise and discontent at anything that has happened during the war. No military news of importance has transpired since your departure. Hancock is here. Booth is still at large. Let me hear from you as frequently as possible. The hope of the country is that you may repair the misfortune occasioned by Sherman’s negotiations.

EDWIN M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 14, p 431-2

O.R., I, xlvii, part 3, p 293, 301-2

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