11. On the 4th day of May General Dick Taylor surrendered to General Canby all the remaining rebel forces east of the Mississippi* A force sufficient to insure an easy triumph over the enemy under Kirby Smith, west of the Mississippi, was immediately put in motion for Texas, and Major- General Sheridan designated for its immediate command; but on the 26th day of May, and before they reached their destination, General Kirby Smith surrendered he entire command to Major- General Canby. This surrender did not take place, however, until after the capture of the revel President and Vice- President, and the bad faith was exhibited of first disbanding most of his army, and permitting an indiscriminate plunder of public property.
Owing to the report that many of those lately in arms against the Government had taken refuge upon the soil of Mexico, carrying with them arms rightfully belonging to the United States, which had been surrendered to us by agreement (among them some of the leaders who had surrendered in person), and the disturbed condition of affairs on the Rio Grande, the orders for troops to proceed to Texas were not changed.
There have been severe combats, raids, expeditions, and movements to defeat the designs and purposes of the enemy, most of them reflecting great credit on our arms, and which contributed greatly to our final triumphs, that I have not mentioned. Many of these will be found clearly set forth in the reports herewith submitted; some in the telegrams and brief dispatches announcing them, and others, I regret to say, have not as yet been officially reported. For information touching our Indian difficulties, I would respectfully refer to the reports of the commandeers of departments in which they have occurred.
It has been my fortune to see the armies of both the West and the East fight battles, and from what I have seen I know there is no difference in their fighting qualities. All that it was possible for men to do in battle they have done. The Western armies commenced their battles in the Mississippi Valley, and received the final surrender of the remnant of the principal army opposed to them in North Carolina. The armies of the East commenced their battles on the river from which the Army of the Potomac derived its name, and received the final surrender of their old antagonist at Appomattox Court-0 House, Va. The splendid achievements of each have nationalized our victories, removed all sectional jealousies (of which we have unfortunately experienced too much), and the cause of crimination and recrimination that might have followed had either section failed in its duty. All have a proud record, and all sections can well congratulate themselves and each other for having done their full share in restoring the supremacy of law over every foot of territory belonging to the United States. Let them hope for perpetual peace an harmony with that enemy whose manhood, however mistaken the cause, drew forth such herculean deeds of valor.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
U. S. GRANT,
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.
*Subordinate reports of Wilson's expedition will appear in Vol. XLIX.