Diary of Orrin Brown—April 26, 1865

Surrender of Gen. Joe Johnston 1865Diary of Orrin Brown—

Wednesday–Apr. 26th

The nights are just cool enough so that we can sleep comfortable and it comes off quite warm through the day. I caught a little cold yesterday while washing. There was about 300 more men left here today for different departments. There was a salute of 15 guns fired this morning in town and then there was a gun fired every 30 minutes all day in mourning for the nations boss. The firing on the 21st was from the diferent forts in this vacinity. I read 25 Chapts. today.

Before dawn on 26 April 1865, Union intelligence officer Lt. Col. Everton Conger tracked down the assassin John Wilkes Booth in hiding at Richard Garrett’s farm south of Port Royal, Virginia. When Booth refused to surrender, Union troops fired the barn where he had been sleeping.  Booth was fatally shot and died soon after.

In North Carolina, Gen Johnston met Gen. Sherman again at Durham and quickly concluded the terms of surrender in line with Appomattox.  Sherman believed he had been within his rights, but yielded with grace to the military and political order.  Gen. Grant approved the terms that evening and the parole of Confederate troops commenced at Greensboro under command of Gen. John Schofield.  What would have happened if Johnston had fought to the last man?  What if Jeff Davis had gotten away?  Fortunately the majority of Confederate troops were more interested in going home than taking the fight to the hills.  Yet that same day, Confederate President Jefferson Davis and his remaining cabinet left Charlotte, North Carolina, with the intention of removing their government west of the Mississippi River.

Angley, Cross & Hill relate this observation by Gen. Jacob D. Cox in his memoirs:

No trait of Sherman’s character was more marked than his loyal subordination to his superiors in army rank or in the State.  Full of confidence in his own views, and vigorous in urging them, he never complained at being overruled, and instantly adapted his military conduct to the orders he received when once debate was closed by specific directions from those in authority.  He had shown this in the Vicksburg campaign and at Savannah; and, hurt and humiliated as he now was, his conduct as an officer was the same, thou he resented the personal wrong…

This was Sherman’s character.



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1 Response to Diary of Orrin Brown—April 26, 1865

  1. Pingback: Jefferson Davis Captured—May 10, 1865 -JC Shepard(dot)com

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