HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF NORTHERN ALABAMA,
Huntsville, April 28, 1865.
Brigadier General WILLIAM D. WHIPPLE,
Asst. Adjt. General and Chief of Staff, Dept. of the Cumberland:
GENERAL: I have the honor to inclose to you a communication received from Colonel Patterson, C. S. Army, asking for a suspension of hostilities for twenty days, and my answer. Unless in retaliation, I have no desire to make incursions into the country south of the Tennessee River. I therefore think the arrangement to our advantage, and hope the general will consent to it. Much good may come of it. I also inclose herewith a letter from the citizens in answer to my communication, accompanying the letter of Major-General Thomas to the citizens of North Alabama, a copy of which is also forwarded.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. S. GRANGER,
[Inclosure No. 1.] SOMERVILLE, April 26, 1865.
Brigadier General R. S. GRANGER,
Commanding U. S. Forces, North Alabama:
SIR: I have seen your letter and also that of General Thomas, addressed to the citizens of this county. Thanking you for your kind intentions I beg leave to make the following statements: There is at this time a considerable force of Confederate cavalry in this section of country. I have received no notification of General Lee's surrender except through Northern channels. Although I do not doubt that it is so, yet you are aware that I could take no action in the premises unless I had official information of the fact, and it would be impossible for the citizens of the county, with any degree of property, to make engagements which would compromise them with a command which is composed of their relatives and friends. I make free to state, general, that if General Lee has surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia, it leaves, in my judgment, our cause in a hopeless condition. A further shedding of blood would be suicidal. Guerrilla or partisan warfare would be the only warfare that we could resort to, and that would prove disastrous alike to friend and foe. However much may have been said heretofore of guerrilla warfare as a last resort, yet no good man, however patriotic he might be, would encourage, much less participate in, such a struggle. It is impossible for any action to be taken just at this time. I will, however, communicate with General Roddey, and use my exertions to bring about such joint action on the part of the people and this command as will best secure life and property. In the meantime I respectfully ask that you refrain from any offensive operations for twenty days and I will do the same. You will please communicate with the immediately at this place as to what action you will take in the premises. You will perhaps not deem it improper for me to state that no good man or brave spirit in our army takes pleasure in the assassination of President Lincoln. The deed had met with the universal condemnation of our troops, so far as I have heard an expression.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Fifth Regiment Atlantic Cavalry.