War of the Rebellion: Serial 096 Page 0509 Chapter LVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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This, is will be perceived, transferred General Ord's agency inthe matter to General Grant. I resolved, however, to send Major Eckert forward with his message, and accordingly telegraphed General Grant as follows, to wit:

EXECUTIVE MANSION,

Washington, January 31, 1865.

(Send 1.30 p. m.)

Lieutenant-General GRANT,

City Point, Va.:

A messenger is coming to you on the business contained in your dispatch. Detain the gentleman in comfortable quarters until he arrives, and then act upon the message he brings as far as applicable, it having been made up to pass through General Ord's hands, and when the gentleman were supposed to be beyond our lines.

A. LINCOLN.

When Major Eckert departed he bore with him a letter of the Secretary of War to General Grant as follows, to wit:

WAR DEPARTMENT,

Washington, D. C., January 30, 1865.

Lieutenant-General GRANT,

Commanding, &c.:

GENERAL: The President desires that you will please procure for the bearer, Major Thomas T. Eckert, an interview with Messrs. Stephens, Hunter, and Campbell, and if, on return to you, he request it, pass them through our lines to Fortress Monroe, by such route and under such military precautions as you may deem prudent, giving them protection and comfortable quarters while there, and that you let none of this have any effect upon your movements or plans.

By order of the President:

EDWIN M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.

Supposing the proper point to be then reached, I dispatched the Secretary of State with the following instructions, Major Eckert, however, going ahead of him:

EXECUTIVE MANSION,

Washington, January 31, 1865.

Honorable WILLIAM H. SEWARD,

Secretary of State:

You will to Fortress Monroe, Va., there to meet and informally confer with Messrs. Stephens, Hunter, and Campbell on the basis of my letter to F. P. Blair, esq., of January 18, 1865, a copy of which you have.

You will make known to them that three things are indispensable, to wit:

1st. The restoration of the national authority throughout all the States.

2nd. No receding, by the Executive of the United States, on the slavery question, from the position assumed thereon in the late annual message to Congress and in preceding documents.

3rd. No cessation of hostilities short of an end of the war and the disbanding of all forces hostile to the Government.

You will inform them that all propositions of theirs, not inconsistent with the above, will be considered and passed upon in a spirit of sincere liberality. You will hear all they may choose to say, and report it to me.

You will not assume to definitely consummate anything.

Yours, &c.,

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

On the day of its date the following telegram was sent to General Grant:

WAR DEPARTMENT,

Washington, D. C., February 1, 1865.

(Sent 9.30 a. m.)

Lieutenant-General GRANT,

City Point, Va.:

Let nothing which is transpiring change, hinder, or delay your military movements or plans.

A. LINCOLN.