Tuesday– Apr. 18th
We have had a nice pleasant day with a gentle S. E. wind. My messmate went down yesterday and bought some Lemons and sugar and we have been speculating in lemonade today. I feel a little better than yesterday. I read 3 Chapt. today. We drew our cup of coffee and 1/2 loaf of soft bread tonight.
Gen. Sherman’s greatest fear was that the remaining Confederate forces would not go home, but dissolve into so many festering bands of guerrillas scattered across the South. Jefferson Davis, in fact, was still moving overland, at Salisbury, North Carolina, on the 17th, and Concord on the 18th, heading to Charlotte. What was to stop him holing up in the Carolina mountains or further West, rallying the hardcore Rebels to irregular tactics employed by bushwhackers like Forrest in Tennessee, or Quantrill on the Missouri frontier?
Sherman and Johnston met at noon at Durham. They left with a “Memorandum or Basis of Agreement” calling for an armistice by all armies in the field, with similar terms as granted by Grant to Lee at Appomattox. However, Sherman went further in the wake of the President’s death. The Memorandum also treated on civil issues, including normalizing state governments, re-establishing Federal courts, and a general amnesty for Confederate troops. With approval of Confederate Secretary of War John Breckinridge, Johnston had formally surrendered the entire Rebel army. In return Sherman’s peace had granted most liberal terms to speed reunion, as he understood his instructions from President Lincoln at City Point.
However, Lincoln was dead, and the politicians in Washington, D.C., were not amused when Major Henry Hitchcock relayed the terms. Abraham Lincoln may have believed in “malice toward none” and “charity for all”, but the remaining Establishment were of much more Old Testament mind towards the Prodigal South. It would take a week for Hitchcock to return from Washington, and Sherman would not like Washington’s reply.