deem prudent, giving them protection
and comfortable quarters while there, and
that you let none of this have any effect
uoon your movements or plans.
Bv order of the President.
y EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.
Supposing the proper be then
reached I dispatched the Secretary of
State with the following instructions,
Major Eckert, however, going ahead of
JirQ ’ Executive Mansion, Washington,
Jan. 31, 1860.
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of
gtate—You wiil proceed to Fortress
Monroe, Va., there to meet and inform
ally confer with Messrs. Stephens, Hunt
er and Campbell, on the basis of my let
ter to F. P- Blair, Esq., of Jan. 18, 1885,
a copy of which you have. You will
make known to them that three things
are indispensable, to wit: First, the res
toration of the national authority through
out all the States. Second, no receiving
by the Executive of the United States,
ou the slavery question, from the posi
tion assumed thereon in the late annual
message to Congress, and in the preced
ing documents. Third, no cessation of
hostilities short of an end of the war,and
the disbanding of all the forces hostile to
the Government. You will inform them
that all propositions of theirs not incon
sistent with the above will be considered
and passed upon in a spirit of sincere
liberality: You will hear all they may
choose to say, and report it to me. lou
will not assume to definitely consum
mate anything. Yours, &c-,
: y ; ABRAHAM LINCOLN.
On the day of its date the foUfcving
telegram was sent to Gen. Grant:
Washington, Feb. 1, 1865.
Lieut. Gen. Grant, City Point, Ya—
Let nothing which is transpiring change,
hinder or delay your military movements
or plans. A. LINCOLN.
[Sent in cipher at 9.30 a. m.
Afterward the following despatch was
received from Gen. Grant —
Office U. S. Military Telegraph,
The following telegram was received
at Washington 2.30 p. m., Feb. 1, 1865,
from City Poiut, Ya., Feb. 1, 12.30 p.
His Excellency A. Lincoln, President
of the United States—Your despatch re
ceived. There will be no armisticepn
consequence of the presence of Mr. Ste
phens and others witliiu our lines. The
troops are kept in readiness to move at
the shortest notice if occasion should
U. S. GRANT, Lieut. Gen. •
To notify Major Eckert that the Sec
retary of State would be at Fortress
Monroe and to put them in communica
tion, the following despatch was sent—
Washington, Feb. 1, 1865.
Major T. T. Eckert, care Gen. Grant,
City Point, Va—Gall at Fortress Monroe
and put yourself under direction of Mr.
S., whom you will find there.
r A. LINCOLN.
On the morning of the 2il inst. the fol
lowing telegrams were received by me,
respectively from the Secretary of War
and Major Eckert—
Fort Monroe, Va.,
Feb 1, 1835—11.20 p.m.
To the President ot the United States
—Arrived at 10 this evening. Richmond
fiiends not here. I remain here.
W. H. SEWARD.
Ott Point, Va.,
Feb. 1, 1865—11.30 p.m.
To His Excellency, A Lincoln, Presi
dent of the United States —I have the
honor to report the delivery of your com
muuicatiou and my letter at 4-15 this af
ternoon, to which I received a reply at
6 p. m., but not satisfactory. At 8
o’c.ock ’p. m., the following note, ad
dressed to Gen. Grant, was received-- 1 ’
City Point. Va., Feb. 1, 1865.
To Lieut. Gen. Grant—Sir—We'desire
to S> to Washington City to confer in
form illy with the Presiddht personally in
Reference to the matters mentioned in
his letter to Mr. Blair of the 18th of Jan-
Uar 7 ultimo. Without any personal
Compromise on any question in the let
ter, we have the permission to do so
from the authorities in Richmond.
Very respectfully, yours,
ALEX. H. STEPHENS,
R. M T. HUNTER,
J. A. CAMPBELL.
At 9.30 p. m. I uctified them that they
could not proceed further, unless they
complied with the terms expressed in
my ietter. The point of meeting desig
nated in the above note would not, in
my opinion, be insisted upon. Fort
tMonroe would be acceptable. Having
complied with my instructions, I will re
turn to Washington to-morrow, unless
THOS. T. ECKERT, Major, &c.
On reading this dispatch Major
Eckert, I was about to recall him and
the Secretary of State, when the follow
ing telegram of Gen. Grant to the Secre
tary of War was shown me—
Office of the United States Military
Telegraph, War Department.
The following telegram received at
Washington, 4.35 a. m., Feb. 2, G 865,
from City Poiut, Va., Feb. 1, 10.30 p. m.,
1805— ' V
Hon. Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of
War—Now that the interview between
Maj. Eckert, uuder his written instruc
tions, and Mr. Stephens and party, has
endedj I will state ’confidentially, but not
officially, to become a matter of record,
that I am convinced, upon conversation
with Messrs, Stephens and Hun
ter, that their intentions are good,
and their desire to restore peace
and Union is sincere. I have
not felt myself at liberty to express even
views of my own, or to account for my
reticence. This his placed me in an
awkward position, which I could have
avoided by uet seeing them in the first
instance. I fear now their going back
without any expression to any one in
authority will have a bad influence. At
the same time I recognize the difficulties
in the way of receiving these informal
commissioners at this time, and I do not
know what to recommend. lam sorry,
however, that Mr. Lincoln cannot have
an interview with the two named in this
dispatch, if not all three now within our
lines. Their letter to me was all that the
President’s instructions contemplated to
secure their sate conduct, if they had
used the same language to Maj. Eckert.
U. S. GRANT, Lieut. Gen v
This dispatch of Gen. Grant changed
my purpose,and accordingly I telegraph
him and the Secretary of State as lol
Washington, D. C., Feb. 2, 1865.
Lieut.-Gen. Grant, City Point, Va.—
Say to the gentlemen that I will meet
ttyein personally at Fortress Monroe as
soon as I can get there.
Sent in cipher at 9 A. M.
Washington, D. C., Feb. 2, 1865.
Hon. Wm. H. Seward, Fortress Mon
roe, Va.—lnduced by a dispatch trom
Gen • Grant, I join you at Fortress Mon
roe so soon as I can come.
Sent in cipher at 9 A. M.
Before starting, the following dispatch
was shown me. I proceeded, neverthe
Office XL S. Military Telegraph,
The following telegram, received at
Washington, Feb. 2, 1865, from City
Point, Va., 9 A. M. Feb. 2, 1865
Hon. Wm. H. Seward, Secretary of
j Fort Monroe.
To Hon. Edward M. Stanton, Srece
tary of War, Washington—The gentle
men here have accepted the proposed
terms, and will leave for Fortress Mon
roe at 9.30 A. M.
U. S, GRANT, Lieut.-Gen.
On the night of the 2d I reached
Hampton Roads, found the Secretary of
State and Maj. Eckert on a steamer an- ,
chored off the shore,and learned of them
that the Richmond gentlemen were on
another steamer, also anchored off shore
in the Roads, and that the Secretary of 1
State had not yet seen or communicated
with them. I ascertained that Major
Eckert had literally complied With his
instructions, and I saw for the first time
the answer of the Richmond gentlemen
to him, which, id his dispatch to me of
the Ist, he characterized as not satisfac
tory. That answer is as follows, to wit;
City Point, Va.* Feb. 1, 1865.
Thomas T. Eckert, Mcjor and A D.
C.—Major—Your note delivered by your
self this day has been considered. Iu re
ply, we have to say that we were furnish
ed with a copy of the letter of President
Lincoln to Frauds P. Biair, of the 18th
of January, u!t., another copy of which
is appended to your note. Our inten
tions are contained in a tetter of which
the following is a copy :
Richmond, Jan 28, 1865.
In conformity with the letter of Mr.
Lincoln,of which the foregoing is a copy,
you are to proceed to Washington City,
for informal conference with him upon
the issues involved in the existing war.
and for the purpose of securing peace to
the two countries. With great respect,
your obedient servant,
The substantial object to be obtained
by the informal conference is to ascer
tain upon what terms the existing war
can be terminated honorably. Our in
structions contemplate a personal inter
view between President Lincoln and
ourselves at Washington, but with this
explanation, we are ready to meet any
person that President Lincoln rqay ap
poiut, at such place as he may designate.
Our earnest desire is that a just and hon
orable peace may be agreed upon, and
we are prepared to receive or to submit
propositions which may possibly lead to
the attainment of the end.
Very respectfully, yours
ALEX. H. STEPHENS,
R. M. T. HUNTER,
JOHN A. CAMPBELL.
A note df these gentlemen, subse
quently addressed to General Grant, has
already been given in Major Eckert’s
dispatch of the Ist inst. I also saw" here,
for the first time, the following note, ad
dressed by the Richmond gentlemen to
City’Point, Va., Feb. 2, 1865.
Thos. T. Eckert, Major and A. D. C.—
Major—ln reply to your verbal statement
that your instructions did not allow you
to alter the conditions upon which a
passport could be giveu to us, we say
that we are willing to proceed to Fort
ress Monroe, and there to have an in
formal conference with any person or
persons that President Lincoln may ap
point on the basis of his letter to Francis
P. Blair, of the 18th of January ultimo,
or upon any other terms or conditions
that he may hereafter propose, not incon
sistent with the essential principles of
self-government and popular rights upon
Which our institutions are founded. It is
our earnest wish to ascertain, after a free
interchange of ideas and information,
upon what principles and terms, if any,
a just and honorable peace can be estab
lished without the effusion of blood, and
to contribute our utmost efforts to ac
complish such a result. We think it bet
ter to add, that in accepting your pass
port we are not to be understood as com
mitting ourselves to anything ; but to
carry into this informal conference the
views and feelings above expressed.
Very respectfully yours, &c.
ALEXANDER H. STEPHENS,
J. A. CAMPBELL,
R. M. T. HUNTER.
Note, —The above communication
was delivered to me at Fortress Monroe
at 4.30 P. M. Feb. 2, by Lieut.-Colonel
Babcock, of Gen. Grant’s Staff.
’* THOS. T. ECKHERT,
Adjt. and A, D. C.
On the morning of the 3d, the three
gentlemen. Messrs. Stephens,Hunter and
Campbell, came aboard of our steamer,
and had an interview with the Secretary
of State and myself of several hours’ du
ration. No question or preliminaries to
the meeting was then and there made or
mentioned. No other person was pres
ent. No papers were exchanged or pro
duced, and it was in : advance agreed
‘ that the conversation was to be informal
and verbal merely. Op our part the
whole substance of the instructions to
the Secretary of State, hereinbefore
recited, was stated and . insisted
tipon, and nothing was sajd incon
| sistent therewith. While by the other
party it was.uot said that, in any event,
or on any ooudition, they ever would
consent to re-union; and yet they equal
ly omitted to declare that they would so
consent. They seemed to desire & post
ponement of that question, sad
adoption other course first, which as ’
some of them seemed to argue, might or
might not lead to reunion, but which
course we thought would amount to au
indefinite postponement. 'Die confer
ence ended without result.
' The foregoing, containing, as is be
lieved, all the information sought, is
ABEaHAM linooln, *
t Robbers of Time. —Life is coßunually .
ravaged by invaders;—one steals an
hour, and another a day ; one conceals,
the robbery by hurrying us into business,
another by lulling us with amusements.
The depredation is continued thrdbgh a'
thousand vicissitudes of tumult and Iran
quility, tilL having dost all we can lose, 1
no more. To put every man in posses
sion of his own time, and rescue the day
. from his usurpers, is beyond hope ; yet,
perhaps, some stop might be put to this
Unmerciful persecution it all would*
seriously reflect that whoever pays a visit ,
-that is not deterred, or talks longer than
the: hearer is willing to attend, is guilty
of an injury which he cannot repair, and >
lakes aivay that which he cannot give l .
Johnson.*-* ■ . ? ;t
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COLLECTORS OF MILITARY AND NAVAL •
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leaving the service. lw feblG
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