veston as the best point at which to receive communications in reply, and await action. If a settlement is at all practicable I am sure both General Smith and yourself will agree with me in one thing-that it cannot be made too soon. I would like to be as well assured on another point-that the interests involved in a pacification are general and important enough to justify a personal interview. This latter suggestion I make in advance of your reply, and in ignorance of the feelings and views of General Smith, my object being to deal frankly and sincerely that I may have dealt with in the same way. You may therefore say to General Smith that if he reciprocates my desire for a settlement, and is of opinion that a conference will serve to forward that end, I will be glad to place the arrangement for a meeting entirely in his hands, and subject to his convenience. On my side, I will bring with me only General Davis, of Texas, and some staff officers. I will await your answer with the greatest interest.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major General, Commanding Middle Dept. and 8th Army Corps, U. S. Army.
[Sub-inclosure Numbers 6.]
HDQRS. DIST. OF TEXAS, NEW MEXICO, AND ARIZONA,
Houston, March 25, 1865. *
Major General LEW. WALLACE, U. S. Army,
Blockading Squadron off Galveston:
SIR: I have this day received a communication from Brigadier-General Slaughter and Colonel Ford, of the C. S. Army, informing me that on the 11th instant they had met you, by your invitation, under flag at Point Isabel, to discuss measures looking to a permanent peace "honorable to both parties. " Their report of this interview is accompanied by a series of propositions submitted by you as a basis of negotiation. Had you submitted these propositions in advance, I feel sure the interview wold not have been accorded, and that the gentlemen who met you on the part of the Confederate States would have at once declined to discuss propositions which, if accepted by their countrymen, would render their memory infamous for all future time. Stripped of all disguise, your proposition is nothing less than that we of the Trans-Mississippi States are invited to lay down our arms, surrender at discretion, take an oath of allegiance to the United States Government, and in return to accept such terms of amnesty, pardon, or foreign exile as our conquerors shall graciously accord us. When the States Trans-Mississippi united their destiny with the Confederacy of Southern States we pledged ourselves to share their good and evil fortunes; and for four years that this fierce struggle has continued we have faithfully fulfilled our obligations, and now at the commencement of its fifth year it is still our unalterable purpose to share the common danger and the common fate. We are bound to our brethren of the Cis-Mississippi States by stronger ties than mere State obligations. Identity of political and social institutions a common ancestry, a common cause, and more than all, common sufferings and injuries, have cemented a nationality not to be torn asunder by force, or disintegrated by insidious proposals for a separate accommodation. It would be folly in me to pretend that we are not tired of a war that has sown sorrow and desolation over our land; but we will accept no other than an honorable peace. With 300,000 meant yet in the field, we would be the most abject.
*In General Walker's letters-sent book this letter bears date of March 27, 1865, and is so printed in Part I, p. 1275.