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Object Name Manuscript
Catalog Number TR-18970308
Date March 8, 1897; [1865]
Scope & Content General Joseph E. Johnston's Last Dispatches to Secretary of War John C. Breckinridge and Brigadier General John C. Echols, April 23-27, 1865

Physical Appearance: Handwritten transcripts of General Joseph Eggleston Johnston's last dispatches to Secretary of War John C. Breckinridge and Brigadier General John C. Echols, April 23-27, 1865: a) April 23, 1865 - General J[oseph] E[ggleston] Johnston at Greensboro, N[orth] C[arolina], to Gen[era]l John C. Breckinridge, Charlotte, [North Carolina] - States that [Major] General [William T.] Sherman expects his officer to return from Washington the next day. b) April 24, 1865, 6:30 P. M. - General J[oseph] E[ggleston] Johnston at Greensboro, N[orth] C[arolina], to Hon[orable] John C. Breckinridge, Sec[retar]y of War, Charlotte, [North Carolina] - Notifies Breckinridge that Sherman has received instruction to only negotiate for the same terms that Grant gave Lee and that the truce will expire in 48 hours from noon today. Thinks they ought to disband small forces to prevent any devastation. Asks for instructions. c) April 25 [24>], 1865, 11 P. M. - John C. Breckinridge, Sec[retar]y of War, Charlotte, N[orth] C[arolina], to General J[oseph] E[ggleston] Johnston, Greensboro, N[orth] C[arolina] - Asks if disbandment refers only to infantry and most of artillery. Asks if necessary to disband, then might the men keep their small arms and rendezvous at some place. Asks if Johnston cannot "bring off the Cavalry and all the men [he] can mount from the transportation and other animals with light field pieces." Wants this last group to "march away from Sherman and be strong enough to encounter anything between us and the South West." d) April 25, 1865, 10 A. M. - General J[oseph] E[ggleston] Johnston at Greensboro, N[orth] C[arolina], to Hon[orable] J[ohn] C. Breckinridge, Sec[retar]y of War, [Charlotte, North Carolina] - Acknowledges receipt of Breckinridge's dispatch. States emphatically that "we have to save the people, save the blood of this army and save the high civil functionaries." Tells Breckinridge that his plan only does the third. Thinks "we have to prevent invasion, make terms for our troops, and give an escort of our best cavalry to the President," who should leave Charlotte without delay. Adds that the commanders do not their troops will fight anymore. Stresses that "we think your plan impracticable." Advises that Union General Wilson has captured Macon, [Georgia] with Generals Cobb, G. W. Smith, Mackall, and Mercer, as well as the garrison. e) April 25, 1865, 11:30 A. M. - General J[oseph] E[ggleston] Johnston at Greensboro, N[orth] C[arolina], to Gen[era]l J[ohn] C. Breckinridge, Sec[retar]y of War, [Charlotte, North Carolina] - Advises that he has proposed military negotiations with Sherman in regards to the army [of Tennessee]. f) April 26, 1865, 7 A. M. - General J[oseph] E[ggleston] Johnston at Greensboro, N[orth] C[arolina], to Gen[era]l J[ohn] C. Breckinridge, Sec[retar]y of War, [Charlotte, North Carolina] - States that he will meet Sherman at the "same place." g) April 27, 1865 - General J[oseph] E[ggleston] Johnston at Greensboro, N[orth] C[arolina], to Brig[adier] Gen[era]l [John] Echols, Charlotte, [North Carolina] - Announces that he and Major General W[illiam] T. Sherman have reached a military convention, terminating hostilities between the commands. Requests Echols try to notify Breckinridge and Maj[or] Gen[era]l Stoneman of this information. The transcriber/owner writes an introductory paragraph, giving some background on the dispatches and how he came into possession of his copies of them. Dated March 8, 1897. Signed, "J. Stoddard Johnston" L[ieutenan]t Col[onel] & Chief of Staff to Gen[era]l Breckinridge.
Creator Johnston, J. Stoddard [Transcriber]
Archival History These last dispatches were formerly located in the MC 3 Kentucky Room Papers, (folder #1).
People Breckinridge, John Cabell
Echols, John
Johnston, J. Stoddard
Johnston, Joseph Eggleston
Sherman, William Tecumseh
Search Terms end of war