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The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

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OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 46, Part 3 (Appomattox Campaign)

RICHMOND, VA., April 7, 1865-6 p. m.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

Meeting of five members of the Virginia legislature held here to-day upon the President's propositions to Judge Campbell. The President showed me the papers confidentially to-day. They are two in number, one without address, the other letter to General Weitzel. The one states sine quat non of reunion, and os not differ essentially from previous statements. The second authorizes Witzel to allow members of the body claiming to be legislature of Virginia to meet here for purpose of recalling Virginia soldiers from rebel armies, with save conduct to them, so long as they do and say nothing hostile to the United States. Judge Campbell laid these papers before the five men, who met twice, but I am not advised that they took any action. The President told the this morning that Sheridan seemed to be getting Virginia soldiers out of the war faster than this legislature could think. By the way, the troops captured by General Sheridan yesterday were those which left Richmond Sunday night. They formed Lee's rear guard. Weitzel has not yet begun issuing rations. He acts under General Ord's orders, approved by General Grant. He is to pay for rations by selling captured property. Before beginning he is to register the people, and give no one anything who does not take the oath. He has authorized the churches to be opened next Sunday, on condition that no disloyal sermons be preached. Episcopal ministers required to read the prayer for the President. Railroad from here to Petersburg opened to-day. Of the French tobacco, six warehouses full saved and one burned here. At Petersburg all saved.


April 7, 1865-5 p. m.

General R. E. LEE,

Commanding C. S. Army:

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 C. S. Army known as the Army of Northern Virginia.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Lieutenant-General, Commanding Armies of the United States.

APRIL 7, 1865.

Lieutenant General U. S. GRANT,

Commanding Armies of the United States:

GENERAL: I have received your note of this date. Though not entertaining the opinion you express of the hopelessness 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.

R. E. LEE,


OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 46, Part 3 (Appomattox Campaign)
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