150 Years Ago Today...April 17, 1865..."The conqueror appears to be quite amiable."
Joseph Waddell Staunton, Va.
Four years ago to-day the two military companies started from Staunton to Harper's Ferry, and Virginia seceded. Now the war is virtually over, and we are —— What shall I say? A few minutes ago it made me inexpressibly sad to see Jimmy's canteen hanging up in the passage. It reminded me of the war, and our utter failure. Coming by the old market house to- night, I forg...ot that no sentinel was posted there now, to guard ordnance stores, and lowered my voice so that our conversation should not be heard. Rumors to-day of recognition by England, France + Spain. — President Davis, it is said, announced in Danville that active assistance would be afforded some by foreign points. If so he was guilty of a great blunder in not proclaiming the fact sooner. The army and the people were hopeless of success — there seemed to be no end to the war — but foreign assistance, however slight, or even recognition, would have inspired new life into the Confederacy, and every man would have rushed to do what he could. The people seem exhausted and hopeless; and therefore the soldiers deserted. Now almost every body looks forward to peace and reunion on any tolerable terms Lincoln may offer — To talk about re-union and contemplate it as an event about to occur, after all we have suffered, is almost intolerable, notwithstanding I never anticipated much good from the Confederacy. — Echols disbanded his command at Christiansburg. Johnston must fall before long, if his army is not already scattered. The Va Legislature is invited by Lincoln to meet in Richmond and safe conduct has been sent to many citizens. A meeting for consultation at Charlottesville is proposed. Judge Campbell, of Ala., late As. Sec of War, C. S., who remained in Richmond, published in a slip, an account of an interview he had with Lincoln. The conqueror appears to be quite amiable.
[Text from the Valley of the Shadow project website.]