The imagination can easily fill up the picture of a gradually increasing crowd, principally of negroes, following the little group of marines and officers, with the tall form of the President in its center; and, having learned that it was indeed Mr. Lincoln, giving expression to joy and gratitude in the picturesque emotional ejaculations of the colored race. It is easy also to imagine the sharp anxiety of those who had the President’s safety in charge during this tiresome and even foolhardy march through a city still in flames, whose white inhabitants were sullenly resentful at best, and whose grief and anger might at any moment culminate against the man they looked upon as the incarnation of their misfortunes. But no accident befell him. Reaching General Weitzel’s headquarters, Mr. Lincoln rested in the mansion Jefferson Davis had occupied as President of the Confederacy, and after a day of sight-seeing returned to his steamer and to Washington, to be stricken down by an assassin’s bullet, literally “in the house of his friends.”
Lincoln’s Interviews with Campbell—Withdraws Authority for Meeting of Virginia Legislature—Conference of Davis and Johnston at Greensboro—Johnston Asks for an Armistice—Meeting of Sherman and Johnston—Their Agreement—Rejected at Washington—Surrender of Johnston—Surrender of other Confederate Forces—End of the Rebel Navy—Capture of Jefferson Davis—Surrender of E. Kirby Smith—Number of Confederates Surrendered and Exchanged—Reduction of Federal Army to a Peace Footing—Grand Review of the Army
While in Richmond, Mr. Lincoln had two interviews with John A. Campbell, rebel Secretary of War, who had not accompanied the other fleeing officials, preferring instead to submit to Federal authority. Mr. Campbell had been one of the commissioners at the Hampton Roads conference, and Mr. Lincoln now gave him a written memorandum repeating in substance the terms he had then offered the Confederates. On Campbell’s suggestion that the Virginia legislature, if allowed to come together, would at once repeal its ordinance of secession and withdraw all Virginia troops from the field, he also gave permission for its members to assemble for that purpose. But this, being distorted into authority to sit in judgment on the political consequences of the war, was soon withdrawn.