Today in History:

39 Series I Volume XLVII-I Serial 98 - Columbia Part I


With the exception of some plundering on the part of Lee's and Johnston's disbanded men, all else in North Carolina was "quiet. " When to the number of men surrendered at Greensborough are added those at Tallahassee, Augusta, and Macon, with the scattered squads who will come in at other military posts, I have no doubt 50,000 armed men will be disarmed and restored to civil pursuits by the capitulation made near Durham Station, N. C., on the 26th of April, and that, too, without the loss of a single life to us.

On the 5th of May I received and here subjoin a further dispatch from General Schofield, which contains inquiries I have been unable to satisfy, similar to those made by nearly every officer in my command whose duty brings him to contact with citizens. I leave you to do what you think expedient to provide the military remedy.

RALEIGH, N. C., May 5, 1865.

Major General W. T. SHERMAN,

Morehead City:

When General Grant was here, as you doubtless recollect, he said the lines and been extended to embrace this and other States south. The order, it seems, has been modified so as to include only Virginia and Tennessee. I think it would be an act of wisdom to open this State to trade at once. I hope the Government will make known its policy as to organization of State governments without delay. Affairs must necessarily be in a very unsettled state until that is done; the people are now in a mood to accept almost anything which promises a definite settlement.

What is to be done with the freedmen is the question of all, and it is the all-important question. It requires prompt and wise action to prevent the negro from becoming a huge elephant on our hands. If I am to govern this State it is important for me to know it at once. If another is to be sent here it cannot be done too soon, for he will probably undo the most of what I shall have done. I shall be most glad to hear from you fully when you have time to write.

I will send your message to Wilson at once.



I give this dispatch entire, to demonstrate how intermingled have become civil matters with the military, and how almost impossible it has become for an officer in authority to act a pure military part.

There are no longer armed enemies in North Carolina, and a soldier can deal with no other sort. The marshals and sheriffs with their posses (of which the military may become a part) are the only proper officers to deal with civil criminals and marauders. But I will not be drawn out in a discussion of this subject, but instance the case to show how difficult is the task become to military officers, when men of the rank, education, experience, nerve, and good sense of General Schofield feel embarrassed by them.

General Schofield, at Raleigh, has a well-appointed and well-disciplined command, is in telegraphic communication with the controlling parts of his department, and remote ones in the direction of Georgia, as well as with Washington, and has military possession of all strategic points.

In like manner General Gillmore is well situated in all respects except as to rapid communication with the seat of the General Government. I leave him also with every man he ever asked for, and in full and quiet possession of every strategic point in his department; and General Wilson has in the very heart of Georgia the strongest, best appointed, and best equipped cavalry corps that ever fell under my command; and he has now, by my recent action, opened to him a source and route of supply by way of Savannah River that simplifies his military problem, so that I think I may with a clear conscience leave them and turn by