Page:A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Confederacy, Including the Diplomatic Correspondence, 1861-1865, Volume I.djvu/555

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
523
Second Congress.

It appears that about the time of placing the foregoing telegram in my hands, the Secretary of War dispatched to General Ord as follows, to wit:


War Department, Washington City,
Jan. 29, 1865, 10 p.m.

Major General Ord.

This Department has no knowledge of any understanding by Gen. Grant to allow any person to come within his lines as Commissioners of any sort. You will therefore allow no one to come into your lines under such character or profession until you receive the President's instructions, to whom your telegrams will be submitted for his directions.

Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War.

(Sent in cipher at 2 a.m.)


Afterwards, by my directions, the Secretary of War telegraphed Gen. Ord as follows, to wit:


War Department, Washington, D. C,
Jan. 30, 1865, 10 a.m.

Major General E. O. C. Ord, Headquarters Army of the James.

By the direction of the President you are instructed to inform the three gentlemen, Messrs. Stephens, Hunter, and Campbell, that a message will be dispatched to them at or near where they now are without unnecessary delay.

Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War.


Afterwards I prepared and put into the hands of Major Thomas T. Eckert the following instructions:


Executive Mansion, Washington,
Jan. 30, 1865.

Major T. T. Eckert.

Sir: You will proceed with the documents placed in your hands, and on reaching General Ord will deliver him the letter addressed him by the Secretary of War. Then, by General Ord's assistance, procure an interview with Messrs. Stephens, Hunter, and Campbell, or any of them, deliver to him or them the paper on which your own letter is written. Note on the copy which you retain the time of delivery and to whom delivered. Receive their answer in writing, waiting a reasonable time for it, and which, if it contain their decision to come through without further conditions, will be your warrant to ask General Ord to pass them through as directed in the letter of the Secretary of War. If by their answer they decline to come, or propose other terms, do not have them pass through. And this being your whole duty return and report to me.

Yours truly,

A. Lincoln.