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Page:A narrative of service with the Third Wisconsin Infantry.djvu/192

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Washington, peace would be restored from the Potomac to the Rio Grande. It was a glorious day for us who have seen this thing through from the beginning to the end. General Sherman also says that he expects "soon to have the pleasure of conducting this army to its homes," and I believe that within six weeks you will see me in Chicago "home from the wars."

I don't know just exactly what the terms of surrender are, but it is the opinion of high officers that no troops will be needed for garrison duty in the South. The rebels have been so completely whipped that they will never want to try another rebellion. I understand that Jeff. made no stipulation for his personal safety, but said he was willing to take his trial before the courts, and trust to the mercy of the American people. The only difficulty in the negotiations was on the question of the confiscation of landed property, and I have not learned how that was arranged. But I believe that we have been so completely victorious that we can afford to be merciful, and that a general amnesty will do more to cement the Union than the most rigorous punishment. The punishment that the South has already endured is like Cain's "greater than they can bear." The destruction of life in this war in the South has been terrible.

The news that Johnston had asked for terms on which to surrender his army was published on the 16th. On the morning of the 17th a gloom was thrown over the whole