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April 14, 1865 ... Good Friday, April 14, 1865, ... Shortlyafter 10:00 P.M., in the presidential box at Ford's Theater,President Abraham Lincoln was shot by actorJohn Wilkes Booth. ... General Grant had turned down an invitation toattend, pleading he had to visit his children. It was known there was"chilliness" between Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. Grant. At the theater ...a pistol shot was heard ... A bullet had gone through the back of thehead and lodged near the right eye.... Sec. of War Stanton tookcharge of the pursuit of Booth and his accomplices as the telegraphwires hummed the awesome news to the nation. General Grant was atBaltimore when informed of the tragedy and he immediately returned toWashington. ...
April 15, 1865 ... At 7:22 A.M., President Abraham Lincolndied. ... The Cabinet, except for the injured Seward, formallyrequested Vice-President Andrew Johnson to assume the office ofPresident. At 11:00 A.M. at the Kirkwood Hotel, Chief Justice, SalmonChase administered the oath in the presence of the Cabinet andcongressman.
April 17, 1865 GeneralsWilliamT. Shermanand Joseph E. Johnston met at theBennett House near Durham N.C. A short time before, Sherman hadreceived news of the assassination of the President. Johnston toldSherman it was a great calamity to the South. In their talks the twogenerals went further than just surrendering Johnstons army. Theydiscussed the terms of an armistice for all the remaining Confederatearmies. Sherman later disclaimed going beyond negotiations overJohnston's army but admitted: "it did seem to me that there waspresented a chance for peace that might deem valuable to theGovernment of the United States and was at least worth the few daysthat would be consumed in reference." They agreed to meet the nextday.
April 18, 1865 After more talk at Durham N.C., Shermanand Johnston signed "Memorandum or basis of agreement." Thehighly controversial document call for an armistice by all armies inthe field. Confederate forces were to be disbanded and to deposittheir arms in the state arsenals. Each man was to agree to cease fromwar and agree by state and federal authority. The President of theUnited States was to recognize the existing state governments whentheir officials took oaths to the United States. Reestablishment ofFederal courts would take place. People were to be guaranteed rightsof person and property. The United states would not disturb thepeople of the South as long as they lived in peace. And generalamnesty for Confederates.
The generals recognized that they were not fully empowered tocarry out such far-reaching measures and that the necessary authoritymust be obtained. It was clear Sherman went far beyond Grant atAppomattox. He was actually entering into reconstruction policy. Hesent the terms to Grant and Halleck, asking approval by thePresident. Sherman also offered to take charge of carrying out theseterms. Later he was to deny any ursupation of power on his part andto claim the agreement was according to Mr. Lincoln's wishes asSherman knew them.
President Davis [of the Confederacy] and his disconsolateparty slowly moved southward to Concord N.C. ...
April 24, 1865 General Grant reachedSherman's headquarters in Raleigh and brought with him thenews that President Johnson had disapproved Shermans agreement withJohnston. Sherman was ordered to give forty--eight hours notice andthen resume hostilities if there was no surrender. Sherman wasincensed both by the disapproval and the large amount of material onthe subject in the New York papers including the dispatch of March 3,1865 from Lincoln to Grant stating the generals should accept nothingbut surrender and should not negotiate peace. Sherman said he neverreceived the message. The fiery general soon raged against Stantonand Halleck, claiming he had not gone beyond Lincoln's wishes. Whilehistorians differ, it does seem that Sherman had gone beyond militaryobligations, and that he did try to make a peace agreement.
Grant was now under orders to direct military movements and leftSherman to carry them out. General Johnston was ordered to suspendthe truce at once. President Davis approved Johnston's agreement withSherman, not knowing it had been rejected by the Union. ...
April 26, 1865 ... At the Bennett House near Durham,General William T Sherman met again with General Joseph EJohnston in midafternoon. Final terms of capitulation for troopsof Johnston's command were signed following the formula set byGrant at Appomattox. The same day the terms were approved byGrant.
All arms and public property were to be deposited by Confederatesat Greensborough. Troops were to give their parole and pledge not totake up arms until released from this obligation. Side arms ofofficers and their private horses and baggage could be retained. Allofficers and men were permitted to return to their homes. Fieldtransportation was to be loaned to the troops for getting home andlater use. A small quantity of arms would be retained and thendeposited in state capitals. Horses and other private property wereto be retained. troops from Te[x]as and Arkansas were to befurnished water transportation. Surrender of naval forces with thelimits of Johnston command.
Thus the second major army of the Confederate States of of Americatotaling in all about thirty thousand men surrendered. TheConfederate Cabinet met with President Davis at Charlotte and agreedto leave that day with the aim of getting west of the Mississippi....".
According to aNorth Carolina Division of Archives and History web page: "... InApril 1865, two battle-weary adversaries, Joseph E. Johnston andWilliam T. Sherman, met under a flag of truce to discuss a peacefulsolution to a tragic Civil War. The generals and their escorts metmidway between their lines on the Hillsborough Road, seven miles fromDurham Station. Needing a place for a conference, Johnston suggesteda simple farmhouse a short distance away. On three separate occasionsthe Union and Confederate generals struggled to achieve equitableterms for surrender at the home of James and Nancy Bennitt (researchindicates that Bennitt is the correct spelling of the family name).On April 26, the Bennitt dwelling became the site of the largesttroop surrender of the Civil War. ...".
According to aState Library of North Carolina web page: "... Jefferson Davis... ordered Johnston to disband the infantry and make a getaway withthe mounted troops as quickly as possible. But Johnston,understanding the futility of the situation and the resulting tragedyof a prolonged war,
[Such an army of small independent units with no conventional line of defense was used successfully by Mustafa Kemal of Turkey at the end of World War I to defeat Greek invaders and preserve the present country of Turkey.]
disobeyed orders and met Sherman again at the Bennett Houseon April 26. ... The surrender of General Joseph E. Johnston'sConfederate Army to General William T. Sherman at the Bennett Place,April 26, 1865, was the second and last major stage in the peacemaking process which ended the Civil War. General Lee's surrender atAppomattox 17 days earlier was the first. The capitulation of GeneralRichard A. Taylor's small force in Alabama a week later and of KirbySmith's Trans-Mississippi Army at New Orleans exactly a month laterconcluded the process. Johnston surrendered by far the largestshare of the Confederate troops still in the field at war's end, morethan Lee and the others combined. He surrendered all Confederateforces in the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida and took those Statesout of the war. ...".
According to aUniversity of Georgia web page: "... In 1874, the GeorgiaGeneral Assembly approved legislation adding as a new public holiday"The 26th day of April in each year--commonly known as Memorial Day."April 26 marks the anniversary of the end of the Civil War forGeorgia, for it was on this day in 1865 that Confederate GeneralJoseph E. Johnston's surrender to General William Sherman in NorthCarolina became official. Johnston had been in charge of Georgia'sdefense, so this day marked the end of the war for Georgia. ... WhileFlorida would later join Georgia in marking April 26 as ConfederateMemorial Day, other states celebrated different dates. By 1916, tensouthern states marked June 3--Jefferson Davis's birthday--asConfederate Memorial Day. Alabama and Mississippi celebrate thefourth Monday in April, while North and South Carolina celebrate May10--the anniversary of Jefferson Davis's capture by Union troops--asMemorial Day. ... The 1984 General Assembly changed state lawwith respect to public and legal holidays observed in Georgia. ...The result of the 1984 legislation was to drop the names of allofficial state holidays from the Georgia Code. In one sense, thiseliminated any state holiday known as Confederate MemorialDay, Robert E. Lee's Birthday, or Jefferson Davis's Birthday--orThanksgiving or Christmas. ...".
According to www.civilwarhome.com:"... Joseph Eggleston Johnston (1807-1891) ... had been one ofthe most effective Confederate commanders when he was not hampered bydirectives from the [Confederate] president. Following thewar he sat in Congress and was a federal railroad commissioner.Engaged in much debate over the causes of the Confederate defeat, hewrote his Narrative of Military Operations which was highly criticalof Davis and many of his fellow generals. In an example of the civilrelationships between former wartime opponents, Johnston died of acold caught while attending the funeral of his arch-opponent,Sherman. ...".
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