Editor’s Note: This article was transcribed by Jackie Martin.
LATEST NEWS FROM THE NORTH.
We have the New York HERALD of the 30th [March 30, 1865], from which we get the following summary of news:
GRAND COUNCIL OF WAR AT CITY POINT.
The Northern papers report that a council of war has been held at City Point, in which Mr. Lincoln, Generals Grant, Sherman, Meade, Ord, Sheridan and other military chiefs participated, and immediately after it broke up a general movement in front of Richmond was begun.—The correspondent of the New York HERALD writes:
The visit of Mr. Lincoln to Fortress Monroe and General Grant’s headquarters is now believed here to have much more significance than was at first attached to it. It has been the occasion of a personal interview between him and General Sherman, and a council of war, in which the President and Generals Grant, Sherman and Sheridan participated. This conference was evidently in regard to pending military operations, as immediately after the council broke up a general movement of the army of General Grant in front of Richmond was begun.
General Sherman came to this interview INCOGNITO. The fact of his coming was known to few in his own army, and to none at Fortress Monroe, except those who met him in the council. He returned last night to Goldsboro’, VIA Wilmington, accompanied by Brevet Brigadier General Dodge, on the United States steamer Bat.
The delay of the President at City Point gives a colour of probability to the rumours in circulation in regard to a renewal of peace negotiations. An officer of the Government who arrived here to day brings the positive information that the rebel General Lee has, since the battle of Saturday last, renewed his request, preferred through Generals Longstreet and (illegible), for a military convention to settle matters and agree upon terms of a cessation of hostilities and the establishment of peace. It is represented that General Lee has expressed the opinion that he cannot much longer remain in Richmond on account of the scarcity of supplies, caused by the destruction of the James river canal; and in view of the tremendous combinations against him it would be madness to attempt any movement outside of his defences. He therefore deems a continuance of the contest a useless and criminal waste of life and blood.
It will be remembered that the request previously made for a military convention was declined by General Grant only because he was not then clothed with authority to treat on any other than purely military subjects. Now the President is at his side and can confer upon him all the authority requisite for the convention proposed.
It is known that both the President and our leading military officers are anxious to secure the whole of the rebel armed forces in Virginia and North Carolina, for to scatter them into a multitude of guerrilla bands in the mountain districts would greatly prolong the war. A proposition to surrender thse forces will unquestionably elicit from Mr. Lincoln liberal concessions on the part of the government.
It is known that a movement has been initiated by General Sherman which will completely cut off the rebel army under Johnston from every available source of supply, and the movement on the part of General Grant will compel Lee either to starve his army in Richmond or to come out and risk an engagement in the open field, in which a disastrous defeat will be inevitable.
These facts induce the conviction here that before the return of the President to Washington the terms of peace will be agreed upon between Grant and Lee, and the armed rebellion be ended. The best informed officials here regard an immediate peace as almost beyond a doubt.
The rumour of another peace conference has received additional confirmation to night from the fact that Mr. Seward has gone to James river to night to join Mr. Lincoln.
The HERALD says, in the course of an editorial:
Many well informed people in Washington are sanguine that before President Lincoln’s return from James river peace will have been agreed upon between Generals Grant and Lee, and the rebellion be ended. Another matter of apparently some significance is the fact that Secretary Seward also left Washington for City Point last night.
Advices from Grant’s army say:
General Sheridan and his men, having completed their game of havoc among rebel communications and supplies north of Richmond, have sought a field for new operations on the south side of James river, where they are now again at work, and whence they will soon be heard of.1r
THE MEETING BETWEEN SHERMAN AND GRANT.
The army correspondent of the New York HERALD thus describes the arrival of General Sherman and the meeting between him and General Grant:
The latest news from Goldsboro’ and vicinity was received at General Grant’s headquarters last evening by Major General W. T. Sherman in person. He left Goldsboro’ on the afternoon of Saturday, the 25th, accompanied by Major McCoy and two orderlies, arrived at City Point on the Blackbird from Fortress Monroe at half past five o’clock last evening. General Grant had ben apprised by telegraph from the latter place of his being on the way, and he was warmly greeted on touching the wharf by a large number of General Grant’s staff—his old time friends and compatriots of the West.
“How are you, General Sherman?”
“Why, General Rawlins, how are you?” was followed by hearty greetings and handshakings, as officers of his acquaintance gathered around, glad to meet under such favourable auspices a comrade whose name will henceforth adorn one of the brightest pages of history.
As he walked up to the Lieutenant-General’s tent he was met by General Grant and a number of distinguished visitors, and the scene formed the most animated tableaux imaginable.
Recognising a naval officer in the company General Sherman advanced to shake hands, his countenance beaming with delight, exclaiming, “That wasn’t fair old fellow—that was my game—Wilmington was my meat.” “However, I’m glad you took it, glad on Terry’s account, glad on your account, glad on account of all concerned, and for many reasons almost unmentionable, glad on the country’s account.” “But I whipped ’em too.” “My boys chased ’em everywhere.” “No trouble at all.” The latter sentences, uttered in his quick, nervous manner, sounded so peculiarly Shermanish that all were smiling at his eagerness.
General Grant quietly remarked, “Ah, but you see, Sherman, we’ve heard the other side of the story,” alluding to the accounts of his many defeats in Southern papers.
Admiral Porter, who had dropped down from Varini[a] in expectation of his arrival, honoured the distinguished chief with a salute befitting his rank and command from the flagship Malvern.
During the evening General Sherman had an interview with the President, and spoke to him and to all in the most encouraging language possible concerning the condition of his own troops and the condition of the Confederacy.2
- SOPO Editor’s Note: Sheridan took his two cavalry divisions, formerly of the Army of the Potomac, southeast from the Shenandoah Valley to Grant’s lines around Petersburg and Richmond from February 27 to March 28, 1865. Sheridan destroyed portions of the James River Canal, an important supply line, in the course of his march. The Northern paper correctly reports here that Sheridan will soon be heard of south of the James River. ↩
- “Latest News from the North.” Richmond Examiner. April 3, 1865, p. 1 col. 3-4 ↩