By the convention between Generals Sherman and Johnston, agreed upon on the 26th of April, ultimo, at Bennett's house, near Durham Station, N. C., an official copy of which I inclose,* all acts of war on the part of General Johnston's command ceased and the army and public property surrendered to the United States. The district covered by said convention includes the State of South Carolina, as is correctly stated in the dispatch from General Johnston, dated Greensborough, N. C., April 30, 1865.
All public property, therefore, should be delivered to officers of the United States, and its seizure by State agents, or by any other person, is in direct violation of the convention, is an act of war, and a crime against humanity, and will be so regarded and treated at these headquarters.
I consider that you cannot properly take any official action in this matter, except through the United States Government, to whom this property belongs by right of military capture and surrender. Its gratuitous distribution among persons who have been reduced by persistent treason on the part of their leaders to a condition of abject pauperism in a senseless and fruitless attempt at revolution must be an act of charity on the part of the Government which they have tried to overthrow.
I stand ready, under the order of Major-General Sherman, to take possession of this property, to "relieve present wants, and encourage the inhabitants to resume their peaceful pursuits" in the State of South Carolina, and I expect those who have any semblance of power or civil authority in the State to act in aid of this benevolent policy, if they attempt to act at all.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Q. A. GILLMORE,
Major-General of Volunteers.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF SAVANNAH,
Savannah, Ga., May 11, 1865.
Headquarters Department of the South:
The railroad between Millen and Waynesborough and between Millen and Macon is destroyed, and will probably take some time to repair. The Ogeechee River never has been navigated by steam-boats. Will learn more about it and telegraph.
Brevet Major-General, Commanding.
HILTON HEAD, S. C., May 11, 1865.
Brevet Major-General GROVER:
Your dispatch of last evening received. It will do if half of Molineux's brigade reaches Augusta by the evening of the 17th, the balance on the 18th. Send orders for Washburn to have half his brigade ready to move on the morning of the 16th and the balance on the arrival of the advance of Molineux's brigade. Has the tin-clad Savannah reported to you yet? Answer.
Q. A. GILLMORE,
*See p. 313.