Diary of Orrin Brown—April 24, 1865

Lincoln and His GeneralsDiary of Orrin Brown, New Bern, North Carolina

Monday–Apr. 24th

We had a cool night but it came off warm and pleasant through the day with a gentle S. W. wind. There was some more troops came in today and some started out but came back the same as yesterday. I am gaining in health-slowly. I bought a doz Lemons and some sugar of my Corp friend today on tick and have sold one pailfull of Lemonade today. I read 6 Chapts. today.

Half a million mourners viewed President Lincoln’s remains at New York City on this day. In North Carolina, Gen. Sherman must have felt like he had been assassinated as well, by an assassination of character by Edwin Stanton and Henry Halleck.  Major Hitchcock returned early on the morning of 24 April 1865, accompanied by Gen. U.S. Grant who had been ordered by the Secretary of War to take command of negotiations with the Confederates.  However, Grant—always the practical one—simply slapped Cump Sherman’s hand and told him to offer the same terms Grant had offered Lee, no more and no less.  And sat back and let Sherman continue negotiations.

Nobody knows the truth of the rebuke, whether Stanton and Halleck were simply bitter at being left out of the pantheon of Union heroes, or if they truly believed they alone preserved the dignity and honor of Lincoln’s Administration.  Either way, if anyone thought they had seen William Tecumsah Sherman fight at Shiloh, or Vicksburg, or on the March through Georgia, they had not seen anything until Gen. Sherman lashed into these old rivals.  The war may be almost over, but the battle for the peace was just beginning.



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