HEADQUARTERS ARMIES OF THE UNITED STATES,
Washington, April 29, 1865-11. 30 a. m.
Four corps of the army in North Carolina will march to Alexandria, passing near Richmond, leaving Raleigh probably on the 1st of May. You may order the Army of the Potomac and all the cavalry, except such as you think necessary to retain in Virginia, overland to the same place, starting as soon as they can be got off. Let them leave all ammunition and stores of every kind, except provisions and forage, behind, or to be sent by water.
U. S. GRANT,
GOLDSBOROUGH, April 29, 1865-3 a. m.
DEAR GENERAL: I worked all day at Raleigh and am now here, en route to Charleston, where I will instruct Gillmore to send a garrison to Augusta to open communication with Wilson at Macon. I wish you would have the inclosed letter* copied carefully and send a copy to Mr. Stanton, and say to him I want it published. The tone of all the papers of the 24th is taken up from the compilation of the War Department of the 22nd, which is untrue, unfair, and unkind to me, and I will say undeserved. There has been at no time any trouble about Joe Johnston's army. It fell and became powerless when Lee was defeated, but its dispersion when the country was already full of Lee's men would have made North Carolina a pandemonium. I desired to avoid that condition of things. The South is boken and ruined, and appeals to our pity. To ride the people down with persecutions and military exactions would be like slashing away at the crew of a sinking ship. I will fight as long as the enemy shows fight, but when he gives up ans asks quarter I cannot go further. This state of things appeals to our better nature, and it was an outrage to torture my forbearance into the shape the Secretary has done. He has either misconceived the whole case or he is not the man I supposed him. If he wants to hunt down Jeff. Davis or the politicians who had instigated civil war, let him use sheriffs, bailiffs, and catch-thieves, and not hint that I should march heavy columns of infantry hundreds of miles on a fool's errand. The idea of Jeff. Davis running about the country with tons of gold is ridiculous. I doubt not he is a beggar, and who will say that if we catch him he will be punished. The very men who now howl the loudest will be the first to intercede. But all this is beneath the dignity of the occasion, and I for one will not stoop to it. We must, if possible, save our country from anarchy. I doubt not efforts will be made to sow dissension between Grant and myself on a false supposition that we have political aspirations, or, after killing me off by libels, he will next be assailed. I can keep away from Washington, and I confide in his good sense to save him from the influences that will surround him there. I have no hesitation in pronouncing Mr. Stanton's compilation of April 22 a gross outrage on me, which I will resent in time. He knew I had never seen or heard of that disptach to General Grant till he sent it to me a few days ago by General Grant himself, and the deduction from Stoneman's order is exactly the
*See April 28, p. 334.