“The change which has come upon the country so suddenly will make it necessary for me to remain in the City”

Julia is concerned for my safety in the face of the assassination plot against the President and Sec. Seward.  I wrote her to put her mind at ease.

Washington Apl. 16th 1865

Dear Julia,
I got back here about 1 p. m. yesterday and was called immediately into the presence of our new President, who had already been qualified, and the Cabinet. I telegraphed you from Baltimore and told Beckwith to do the same thing from here. You no doubt received the dispatches. All seems very quiet here. There is but little doubt but that the plot contemplated the destruction of more than the President and Sec, of State. I think now however it has expended itself and there is but little to fear. For the present I shall occupy a room in the office which is well guarded and will be occupied by Bowers and probably two or three others. I shall only go to the Hotel twice a day for my meals and will stay indoors of evenings. The change which has come upon the country so suddenly will make it necessary for me to remain in the City for several days yet. Gen. Halleck will go to Richmond to command there and Ord to Charleston. Other changes which will have to be made, and the apparent feeling that I should remain here until everything gets into working order under the new regime will probably detain me here until next Saturday, If I can get home sooner I will do so. I hope you will be in your house in Phila when I do go home. The inconvenience of getting from the Phila depot to Burlington is about equal to the balance of the trip.
Love and kisses for you and the children.
Ulys.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 14, p 396-7

“You may exercise your judgment about sending to Kirby Smith for a surrender”

Gen. Pope has sent me a plan for operations in Texas against Kirby Smith.

Lieutenant General U. S. GRANT,

General-in-Chief U. S. Army:

GENERAL: I have sent you under date of the 8th instant a plan of operations in Texas. The glorious result of your operations in Virginia and the surrender of Lee’s army may make such a movement unnecessary. It is more than likely that when this news reaches Kirby Smith’s army in an authentic form they will disperse to their homes. Would you consider it advisable for me to send it to Kirby Smith under flag of truce and demand the surrender or dispersion of his army?

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN POPE,

Major-General, Commanding.

I wrote him to give him approval.

WASHINGTON, April 16, 1865-9 p. m.

Major-General POPE,

Saint Louis, Mo.:

Make your preparations for carrying out the campaign proposed in your communication of the 8th. I will direct General Allen to commence shipping wagons to Little Rock. You may exercise your judgment about sending to Kirby Smith for a surrender. I believe by judicious management he might be induced to give up the contest. He might want to get of the country himself.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 14, p 394

O.R., I, xlviii, part 2, p 64, 106

“On reflection I will withdraw my dispatch of this date”

After further reflection, I decided that Gen. Ord was correct, and I withdrew my order.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE UNITED STATES, Washington, April 15, 1865-8 p. m.

Major-General ORD,

Richmond, Va.:

On reflection I will withdraw my dispatch of this date directing the arrest of Campbell, Mayo, and others so far as it may be regarded as an order, and leave it in the light of a suggestion, to be executed only so far as you may judge the good of the service demands.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 14, p 392

O.R., I, xlvi, part 3, p 762

Ord: “I will risk my life that the present paroles will be kept”

Gen. Ord replied,

RICHMOND, VA., April 15, 1865.

General U. S. GRANT:

Cipher dispatch directing certain parties to be arrested is received. The two citizens I have seen. They are old, nearly helpless, and I think incapable of harm. Lee and staff are in town among the paroled prisoners. Should I arrest them under the circumstances I think the rebellion here would be reopened. I will risk my life that the present paroles will be kept, and if you will allow me to do so trust the people here who, I believe, are ignorant of the assassination. done, I think, by some insane Brutus with but few accomplices. Mr. Campbell and Hunter pressed me earnestly yesterday to send them to Washington to see the President. Would they have done so if guilty? Please answer.

E. O. C. ORD,

Major-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 14, p 391-2

O.R., I, xlvi, part 3, p 762

“Extreme rigor will have to be observed whilst assassination remains the order of the day with the rebels”

We cannot rule out the possibility that President Lincoln’s assassination is part of a rebel government plot.  I wrote Gen. Ord,

WASHINGTON CITY, April 15, 1865- 4 p. m.

Major-General ORD,

Richmond, Va.:

Arrest J. A. Campbell, Mayor Mayo, and the members of the old council of Richmond, who have not yet taken the oath of allegiance, and put them in Libby Prison. Hold them guarded beyond the possibility of escape until further orders. Also arrest all paroled officers and surgeons until they can be sent beyond our lines, unless they take the oath of allegiance. The oath need not be received form any one who you have not good reason to believe will observe it, and form none who are excluded by the President’s proclamation, without authority of the President to do so. Extreme rigor will have to be observed whilst assassination remains the order of the day with the rebels.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 14, p 391

O.R., I, xlvi, part 3, p 762

Stanton: “GENERAL: I beg to call your attention to the security of this city”

I received the following from Sec. Stanton,

WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington City, April 15, 1865.

Lieutenant-General GRANT:

GENERAL: I beg to call your attention to the security of this city, and especially to the large number of rebel officers and privates, prisoners of war, and rebel refugees, and deserters that are among us, and ask you to see that adequate force and vigilance are employed. Directions were given Major-General Augur on this subject last night, and also instructions to look to the condition of the forts and defenses. Adequate provision may have been made, but at the present deplorable juncture I feel it my duty to ask you to consider yourself specially charged with all matters pertaining to the security and defence of this national capital. Please acknowledge the receipt of these instructions.

Your obedient servant,

EDWIN M. STATION,

Secretary of War.

 

I wrote to Gen. Halleck,

CAMDEN STATION, Baltimore, April 15, 1865.

Major General H. W. HALLECK:

Please direct General Hancock to send a regiment of infantry to Havre de Grace bridge without delay. One company of cavalry should also be sent there for the present. If you can bring down from the North a regiment sooner than it could be got from Hancock you may direct one from there to Havre de Grace.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 14, p 389-91

O.R. I, xlvi, part 3, p 757-8

Eckert: “The President was assassinated at Ford’s Theater at 10.30 to-night and cannot live”

While in Washington I was very busy for a time in preparing the necessary orders for the new state of affairs ; communicating with my different commanders of separate departments, bodies of troops, etc. But by the 14th I was pretty well through with this work, so as to be able to visit my children, who were then in Burlington, New Jersey, attending school. Mrs. Grant was with me in Washington at the time, and we were invited by President and Mrs. Lincoln to accompany them to the theatre on the evening of that day. I replied to the President’s verbal invitation to the effect, that if we were in the city we would take great pleasure in accompanying them; but that I was very anxious to get away and visit my children, and if I could get through my work during the day I should do so. I did get through and started by the evening train on the 14th, sending Mr. Lincoln word, of course, that I would not be at the theatre.

 

As Julia and I rode to the depot, a man rode past us on a horse peering intently into our carriage.  He glared at us in a most disagreeable manner.  We were in the carriage of Gen. Rucker, and his wife said, “General, everyone wants to see you.”  I replied, “Yes, but I do not care for such glances.”

At that time the railroad to New York entered Philadelphia on Broad Street; passengers were conveyed in ambulances to the Delaware River, and then ferried to Camden, at which point they took the cars again. When I reached the ferry, on the east side of the City of Philadelphia, I found people awaiting my arrival there; and also dispatches informing me of the assassination of the President and Mr. Seward, and of the probable assassination of the Vice President, Mr. Johnson, and requesting my immediate return.

 

The dispatch read,

WASHINGTON, D. C., April 14, 1865-12 p. m. (Sent 12.20 a. m., 15th.)

Lieutenant-General GRANT,

On night train to Burligton:

The President was assassinated at Ford’s Theater at 10.30 to-night and cannot live. The wound is a pistol-shot through the head. Secretary Seward and his son Frederick were also assassinated at their residence and are in a dangerous condition. The Secretary of War desires that you return to Washington immediately. Please answer on receipt of this.

THOS. T. ECKERT,

Major, &c.

The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S Grant, Chpt LXVIII

The Personal Memoirs of Julia Dent Grant, p 156

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 14, p 390

O.R., I, xlvi, part 3, p 745

Sherman: “Should Johnston follow Lee’s example I shall of course grant the same.”

I just received a letter from Gen. Sherman sent on the 12th.  He writes,

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,

In the Field, Smithfield, N. C., April 12, 1865 – 5 a. m.

(Received 2. 20 p. m. 14th.)

Lieutenant General U. S. GRANT,

Commanding Armies of the United States, Virginia:

GENERAL: I have this moment received your telegram announcing the surrender of Lee’s army. I hardly know how to express my feelings, but you can imagine them. The terms you have given Lee are magnanimous and liberal. Should Johnston follow Lee’s example I shall of course grant the same. He is retreating before me on Raleigh, but I shall be there to-morrow. Roads are heavy, but under the inspiration of the news from you we can march twenty-five miles a day. I am now twenty-seven miles from Raleigh, but some of my army is eight miles behind. If Johnston retreats south I will follow him to insure the scattering of his force and capture of the locomotives and cars at Charlotte; but I take it he will surrender at Raleigh. Kilpatrick’s cavalry is ten miles to the south and west of me, viz, on Middle Creek, and I have sent Major Audenried with orders to make for the south and west of Raleigh to impede the enemy if he goes beyond Raleigh. All the infantry is pointed straight for Raleigh by five different roads. The railroad is being repaired from Goldsborough to Raleigh, but I will not aim to carry it farther. I shall expect to hear from General Sheridan in case Johnston does not surrender at Raleigh. With a little more cavalry I would be sure to capture the whole army.

Yours, truly,

W. T. SHERMAN,

Major-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 14, p 375-6

O.R. I, xlvii, part 3, p 177

Gov. Smith: “Will the State officials of the Virginia government be subjected to military arrest?”

Gen. Meade forwarded the following from the Governor of Virginia.

EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT OF VIRGINIA, Danville, Va., April 11, 1865.

Lieutenant General U. S. GRANT,

Commanding U. S. Forces:

GENERAL: The government of Virginia, of which I am the executive head, is for the present located in this town. Elected by the people, under an organized State constitution, and in conformity to the laws of the Commonwealth, it is my duty to look to the interests of the people to the best of my ability. In view of the reported surrender of General Lee, and in ignorance of its terms. I respectfully propound the following questions: Will the State government, represented by me, be superseded by a military or civil organization under your authority or that of the Federal Government? Will the State officials of the Virginia government be subjected to military arrest, and will they be allowed peaceably to leave the State for Europe should they desire to do so? I send this dispatch in charge of my aide, Lieutenant Colonel P. B. Smith, and William D. Coleman, esq., of this town, who will receive your reply, which I respectfully ask.

I have the honor to be, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. SMITH.

 

I replied to Meade,

HEADQUARTERS ARMIES OF THE UNITED STATES, Washington, D. C., April 14, 1865.

Major-General MEADE,

Burke’s Station, Va.:

Say to Lieutenant-Colonel Smith and W. D. Coleman that they can return to Danville. At present I have no reply to make to the question propounded by Mr. Smith. Should I have hereafter they will be forwarded by special messenger.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 14, p 389

O.R., I, xlvi, part 3, p 704, 745

Campbell: “My counsel is to cease hostilities”

There is still fighting going on around Mobile, Alabama.  However, I have just been informed of a dispatch from the Confederate Asst. Sec. of War, John Campbell.  It is addressed to Gen. Richard Taylor, the commander of rebel forces near Mobile, and myself and urges the end to all hostilities.  He writes,

RICHMOND, VA., April 12, 1865.

Lieutenant-General GRANT,

Commanding Armies of the United States:

GENERAL: The events of the last few days, in my judgment, are of a nature to require the cessation of hostilities throughout the Confederate States on the part of those who command their forces. My impression is that the military commanders will adopt the same conclusion. I have prepared a telegram to General Taylor, who is in command at Mobile, acquainting him with the facts, which I request may be forwarded as fast as possible, if not incompatible with your views of propriety. My object is to prevent the further effusion of blood and destruction of property.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. A. CAMPBELL.

The dispatch to Taylor reads,

Lieutenant General R. TAYLOR,

Commanding at Mobile, Ala.:

The cities of Richmond and Petersburg were evacuated the 2nd instant, and occupied by the armies of the United States. The next day Mr. Davis and the principal officers left Richmond before the occupation. General Lee, after several engagements, surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia the 9th instant, near Farmville. The men are paroled, and the officers allowed to retain their side-arms and private property and were also paroled. Persons and property have been protected in the cities. I conversed with President Lincoln on the 3rd and 4th on the subject of peace. His indispensable conditions are the restoration of the authority of the United States and the disbanding of the troops, and no receding on his part from his position on the slavery question as defined in his message in December and other official documents. All other questions to be settled on terms of sincere liberality. He says that to any State that will promptly accept these terms he will relinquish confiscation, except where third persons have acquired adverse interests. My counsel is to cease hostilities, and that the States convene their legislatures to take measures to secure peace.

J. A. CAMPBELL,.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 14, p 387

O.R., I, xlvi, part 3, p 723