The American Civil War, day by day - Page 110 - Politics | PoFo

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May 18, Thursday

A Yankee scout operates from Lebanon to Warsaw, Missouri.
May 19, Friday

After a stormy delay while rounding Hatteras, the William P. Clyde, carrying the Davis party, drops anchor off the eastern tip of the York-James peninsula, and there she will lie for three more days, under the guns of Fort Monroe, “the Gibraltar of the Chesapeake,” whose thirty-foot granite walls, close to a hundred feet thick at their base, have sheltered its Union garrison throughout the four years of the war.

While Captain Page, commanding the Confederate ironclad raider Stonewall holed up at Havana, Cuba, has pondered what to do, word has come that Taylor has followed the examples of Lee and Johnston and surrendered, ending all possibility of resistance east of the Mississippi. By now, moreover, Union warships of all types are assembling outside the harbor from all directions, including the monitors Canonicus and Monadnock, veterans of Fort Fisher and the first of their type to leave home waters. “Canonicus would have crushed her, and the Monadnock could have taken her beyond a doubt,” the admiral in command of the blue flotilla will later say of the holed-up Stonewall. No one will ever know for sure, however. Today, having reached his decision, Page turns over to the Captain General of Cuba, for a decision by Spain as to her eventual disposition, the only ironclad ever to fly the Confederate flag on the high seas.

There is a Federal scout until the 22nd from Kingsville, Missouri.
May 20, Saturday

Stephens and Reagan are separated from Davis’s party and are transferred to the Tuscarora for delivery to Fort Warren in Boston harbor.

What little military action continues involves Federals versus guerrillas on the Blackwater, near Longwood, Missouri.
May 21, Sunday

Now it is the turn of Wheeler, Lubbock, and Johnston to be separated from the Davis party, sent on their way to Fort Delaware, downriver from Philadelphia.

Whatever might come of the projected border venture, Sheridan soon discovers that he had been right to suspect that little or no additional glory awaits him for subduing what remains of the Confederacy beyond the Mississippi. Leaving the capital today, two days short of the start of the Grand Review, he will learn before he reaches New Orleans, where he plans to confer with Canby on the upcoming campaign, that E. Kirby Smith has already agreed to surrender on the terms accepted earlier by Taylor, Johnston, and Lee.
May 22, Monday

It is finally Jefferson Davis’s turn to move on, though he has nothing like as far to go as the others. His destination is there at hand, and the delay has been for the purpose of giving Fort Monroe’s masons time to convert a subterranean gunroom into a prison cell: strong evidence that, for him as for the others gone before, the charges and the trial to follow will be military, not civil. “In leaving his wife and children,” a witness will inform Stanton, “Davis exhibited no great emotion, though he was violently affected.” This last is clearly true, in spite of the prisoner’s efforts to conceal what he is feeling. “Try not to cry. They will gloat over your grief,” he tells Varina as he prepares to board the tug that will take him ashore. She manages to do as he asks, but then, having watched him pass from sight across the water, rushes to her cabin and gives way to weeping. It is as if she has read what tomorrow’s New York Herald will tell its readers: “At about 3 o’clock yesterday, ‘all that is mortal’ of Jeff’n Davis, late so-called ‘President of the alleged Confederate States,’ was duly, but quietly and effectively, committed to that living tomb prepared within the impregnable walls of Fortress Monroe.... No more will Jeff’n Davis be known among the masses of men. He is buried alive.”

Near sundown, Davis looks up from reading his small-print Bible, the only possession allowed him except the clothes he wears, and sees that a guard captain has entered the casemate, accompanied by two men who seem to be blacksmiths. One of them holds a length of chain with a shackle at each end, and suddenly he knows why they are there, though he still cannot quite believe it. “My God,” he says, “you don’t intend to iron me?” When the captain replies that those are indeed his orders, the prisoner rises and protests for all he is worth. “But the war is over; the South is conquered. For the honor of America, you cannot commit this degradation!” Told again that the orders are peremptory, Davis meets this as he has met other challenges in the past, whatever the odds. “I shall never submit to such an indignity,” he exclaims. “It is too monstrous. I demand that you let me see the commanding general.”

Here a certain irony obtains, unknown as yet to the captive in his cell. For it is the fort commander, Brigadier General Nelson A. Miles, who, in prompt response to a War Department directive authorizing him “to place manacles and fetters upon the hands and feet of Jefferson Davis ... whenever he may think it advisable in order to render [his] imprisonment more secure,” has made the decision to shackle him forthwith, not for the reason stated, but rather because he is eager to give his superiors what they want. Miles is cruel, in this as in other instances to follow, not so much by nature as by design. Not yet twenty-six, a one-time Massachusetts farm boy who had left the farm to clerk in a Boston crockery shop, he has achieved a brilliant record in the war, suffering four wounds in the course of his rise from lieutenant to brigadier, with the prospect of still another promotion if he does well at his current post, to which he has been assigned in part because of his lack of such West Point and Old Army ties as are likely to make him stand in awe of the prisoner in his charge. That he feels no such awe he quickly demonstrates, beginning with Davis’s first full day in his care, and his reward will follow. By October he will be a major general. In a couple of years he will marry a niece of Sherman’s, and before the century is out he will succeed Grant, Sherman, and Sheridan as general-in-chief; William McKinley, himself a former sergeant, will make him a lieutenant general, and he will live until 1925, when he dies at a Washington circus performance and is buried at Arlington in a mausoleum he had built some years before. His is an American success story—Horatio Alger in army braid and stars—and part of the story is the time he spends as Jefferson Davis’s jailer, giving his superiors what he sees they want, including the fetters now about to be applied.

Davis subsides after registering his protest, and the guard captain supposes him resigned to being ironed. “Smith, do your work,” he says. But when the man comes forward, kneeling to attach the shackles, the prisoner unexpectedly grabs and flings him across the room. Recovering, the smith charges back, hammer lifted, and would have struck his assailant if the captain had not stopped him. One of the two armed sentries present cocks and levels his rifle, but the captain stops him too, instructing the four men “to take Mr. Davis with as little force as possible.” The struggle is brief, though it takes more force than they had thought would be required; Davis, the captain later reports, “showed unnatural strength.” While his helper and the sentries pin the frail gray captive to the cot, the blacksmith rivets one clasp in place and secures its mate around the other ankle with a large brass lock, “the same as is in use on freight cars.” The struggle ceases with the snap of the lock; Davis lies motionless, flat on his back, as the smith and his helper retire, their job done. Looking over his shoulder as he leaves, the captain sees the prisoner sit up, turn sideways on the cot, and with a heavy effort drop both feet to the stone floor. The clank of the chain is followed by unrestrained weeping, and the departing captain thinks it “anything but a pleasant sight to see a man like Jefferson Davis shedding tears.”

The same day Davis enters the granite bowels of Fort Monroe—President Johnson issues another presidential edict announcing that all the reunited nation’s seaports will be open to commerce, with the exception of Galveston, La Salle, Brazos Santiago or Point Isabel, and Brownsville, all along the Texas coast, and that civilian trade in all parts of the country east of the Mississippi will be resumed without restrictions. This second pronouncement, like the first, not only reflects the widespread public hope for a swift return to the ways of peace, but also serves to clear the Washington stage for still another victory celebration, a two-day Grand Review planned for tomorrow and the next day, larger in scale, and above all in panoply, than the other two combined. Meade’s and Sherman’s armies have come north from Appomattox and Raleigh, and by now are bivouacked around the capital; which gives rise to a number of problems. In addition to the long-standing rivalry between paper-collar Easterners and roughneck Westerners, the latter now has a new burden of resentment to unload. Soon after the Administration’s rejection of the original Durham Station terms that Sherman had negotiated with Johnston, the papers had been full of Stanton’s denunciation of the red-haired general who composed them, including charges that he is politically ambitious, with an eye on the Copperhead vote, and quite possibly has been seduced by Confederate gold, slipped to him out of the millions the fugitive rebel leader carried southward when Sherman obligingly called a halt to let him pass across his front. Angered by the slander of their chief, western officers no sooner reach the capital than they begin leaping on saloon bars to call for “three groans for the Secretary of War,” and the men in the ranks provoke fistfights with the Potomac veterans, whom they see as allied with Stanton if only because of proximity. Eventually Grant solves the problem, in part at least, by having the two armies camp on opposite sides of the river; yet the bitterness continues.

There is a minor skirmish at Valley Mines, Missouri.
May 23, Tuesday

The showdown between Grant’s and Sherman’s armies comes today and tomorrow, not in a direct confrontation—though by now large numbers of men in the ranks of both armies might welcome such a test—but rather in a tandem display, whereby the public will judge their respective merits in accordance with their looks, their martial demeanor as they swing up Pennsylvania Avenue toward a covered stand erected in front of the White House for the President and his guests, including Grant and other dignitaries, civil as well as military. By prearrangement, the Army of the Potomac parades today and the Westerners will take their turn tomorrow. Sherman has qualms about the outcome: as well he might, for close-order marching is reported to be the chief skill of the bandbox Easterners, who moreover will be performing on home turf to long-term admirers, whereas his own gangling plowboys, though they have slogged a thousand roundabout miles through Georgia and the Carolinas, then north across Virginia, have done scarcely any drilling since they set out south from Chattanooga, a year ago this month. Then too there is the matter of clothes and equipment, another comparative disadvantage for members of the Armies of the Tennessee and the Cumberland. Their uniforms have weathered to “a cross between Regulation blue and Southern gray,” a New England soldier observes, and the men inside are no less outlandish in his eyes. “Their hair and beards were uncut and uncombed; huge slouched hats, black and gray, adorned their heads; their boots were covered with the mud they had brought up from Georgia; their guns were of all designs, from the Springfield rifle to a cavalry carbine.” That is how they looked to him on their arrival, three days ago. Sherman, with only that brief span for preparation, can only order such intensified drill instruction as there is time for, between hours of refurbishing dingy leather and dull brass, and hope meanwhile for the best; or in any case something better than the worst, which would be to have his veterans sneered or laughed at by people along the route of march or, least bearable of all, by those in the reviewing stand itself.

Washington—midtown Washington anyhow; the outlying sections are practically deserted—has never been so crowded as it is on the day when the first of more than 200,000 blue-clad victors, up from Virginia and the Carolinas, step out for the start of their last parade. In brilliant sunshine, under a cloudless sky, bleachers lining the avenue from the Capitol, where the march begins, overflow with citizens dressed this Tuesday in their Sunday best to watch the saviors of the Union swing past in cadence, twelve abreast. All the national flags are at full staff for the first time since April 15th, and the crepe has been removed from public buildings as a sign that nearly six weeks of mourning for Lincoln are to be rounded off with two days of rejoicing for the victory he had done so much to win but had not lived to see completed. Meade leads the column of march today, and after saluting Johnson and Grant, who stand together against a frock-coated backdrop of dignitaries massed in the stand before the White House, dismounts and joins them to watch his troops pass in review. Zouaves decked in gaudy clothes, Irish units with sprigs of greenery in their caps, engineers with ponderous equipment, artillerists riding caissons trailed by big-mouthed guns, all lend their particular touches to a show dominated in the main by close-packed throngs of infantry, polished bayonets glittering fiery in the sunlight, and seven unbroken miles of cavalry, steel-shod hoofs clopping for a solid hour past any given point. Spectators marvel at the youth of many commanders: especially Custer, whose “sunrise of golden hair” ripples to his shoulders as if in celebration of his latest promotion, one week after Appomattox. Barely four years out of West Point, not yet twenty-six and already a major general of volunteers, he comes close to stealing the show when his horse, spooked by a wreath tossed from the curb, bolts just short of the White House. “Runaway!” the crowd shrieks, frightened and delighted. A reporter, watching the general’s hat fly off and “his locks, unskeined, stream a foot behind him,” is put in mind—more prophetically than he knows—of “the charge of a Sioux chieftain.” The crowd cheers as Custer brings the animal under control, though by then he has passed the grandstand and, as Sherman says, “was not reviewed at all.”

Wedged among the politicians, diplomats, and other honored guests, the red-haired Ohioan studies today’s parade with all the intentness of an athletic coach scouting a rival team. His eye is peeled for shortcomings, and he finds them. Observing for example that the Potomac soldiers “turned their heads around like country gawks to look at the big people on the stand,” he will caution his ranking subordinates tonight not to let their men do that tomorrow. “I will give [them] plenty of time to go to the capital and see everything afterwards,” he promises, “but let them keep their eyes fifteen feet to the front and march by in the old customary way.” Still, for all his encouragement, he decides he would do well to register a disclaimer in advance, and accordingly, as today’s review wears toward a close, he finds occasion to remark to Meade: “I am afraid my poor tatterdemalion corps will make a poor appearance tomorrow when contrasted with yours.” The Pennsylvanian, pleased with his army’s performance today, is sympathetic in response. People will make allowances, he assures him.

The pro-Union government of Virginia is established now in Richmond. There is a minor skirmish near Waynesville, Missouri; Union scouting from Thibodeaux to Lake Verret, Louisiana; a scout until the 26th from Warrensburg, Missouri, to the mouth of Coal Camp Creek; and until the 27th a scout from Pine Bluff to Monticello, Arkansas.
May 24, Wednesday

Hopeful, but still deeply worried about what kind of showing his Westerners will manage now that their turn has come, Sherman rises early this morning to observe his six corps as they file out of their Virginia camps—a march likened by one journalist to “the uncoiling of a tremendous python”—first across the Potomac, then on to the assembly area back of Capitol Hill. There they form, not without a good deal of confusion, and there at 9 am a cannon booms the starting signal. He is out front on a handsome bay, hat in hand, sunlight glinting coppery in his close-cropped hair, and though the tramp of Logan’s XV Corps marchers sounds solid and steady behind him during breaks in the cheers from the bleachers on both sides, he lacks the nerve to glance rearward until he tops the rise beside the Treasury Building, where a sharp right will bring into view the stand in front of the White House. Then at last he turns in the saddle and looks back. What he sees down the long vista, a full mile and a half to the Capitol shining on its hilltop, brings immeasurable relief. “The sight was simply magnificent. The column was compact, and the glittering muskets looked like a solid mass of steel, moving with the regularity of a pendulum.” So he will later write, adding: “I believe it was the happiest and most satisfactory moment of my life.” Now, though, he is content to grin as he releases his bated breath. “They have swung into it,” he says.

They have indeed swung into it, and the crowd responds in kind. A reporter notes “something almost fierce in the fever of enthusiasm” roused by the sight of these lean, sunburnt marchers, all “bone and muscle and skin under their tattered battle flags.” Risking fiasco, their commander had decided to go with their natural bent, rather than try for the kind of spit-and-polish show their rivals had staged yesterday, and the gamble paid off from the moment the first of them set out, swinging along the avenue with a proud, rolling swagger, their stride a good two inches longer than the mincing twenty-two inches required by regulations, and springier as well. “They march like the lords of the world!” spectators exclaim, finding them “hardier, knottier, weirder” than yesterday’s prim, familiar paraders. Moreover, they provide additional marvels, reminders of their recent excursion across Georgia, some grim, others hilarious in effect. Hushes come at intervals when ambulances roll past in the wake of each division, blood-stained stretchers strapped to their sides, and there is also laughter—rollicksome, however: not the kind Sherman had feared—when the crowd finds each corps trailed by a contingent of camp followers, Black men and women and children riding or leading mules alongside wagons filled with tents and kettles, live turkeys and smoked hams. Pet pigs trot on leashes and gamecocks crow from the breeches of cannon, responding to cheers. “The acclamation given Sherman was without precedent,” the same reporter will write. “The whole assemblage raised and waved and shouted as if he had been the personal friend of each and every one of them.”

He has approached the White House stand by now, delivered his salute, dismounted, and walked over to take his guest-of-honor place among the reviewers, intent on securing a satisfaction only slightly less rewarding than the one he had experienced when he turned in the saddle, a few minutes ago, and thrilled at the compact, rhythmic beauty of the column stretching all the way back to the marble Capitol. The men who composed it had already protested, in their hardhanded way, the recent slanders directed at their chief—and so, now that the time has come, will Sherman himself, in person. He has Edwin Stanton in mind, up there in the stand, and he is resolved, as he will say later, not only “to resent what I considered an insult,” but also to do so “as publicly as it was made.” Accordingly, after shaking hands with the President he moves on to Stanton, who is standing with his hand out, next in line. “Sherman’s face is scarlet and his red hair seems to stand on end,” one among the startled watchers notes, as he draws himself up, glares at the Secretary for a couple of baleful seconds, then steps deliberately past him to shake hands with the other cabinet members before returning to take his post on the left of Johnson. For more than six hours his long-striding troops surge by, applauded enthusiastically by everyone who sees them. “On the whole, the grand review was a splendid success,” he afterwards declared, “and was a fitting conclusion to the campaign and the war.”

It is also, in its way, a valedictory. “In a few weeks,” another journalist is to write, “this army of two or three hundred thousand men melted back into the heart of the people from whence it came, and the great spectacle of the Grand Army of the Republic ... disappeared from sight.” In point of fact, a considerable portion of that army has already disappeared—or “melted back,” as the reporter will put it—in the course of the four years leading up to this and other last parades at various assembly points throughout the beaten South. A total of just over 110,000 northern soldiers have died on the field of battle or from wounds received there; which means that, for every two men who march up Pennsylvania Avenue on both days of the Grand Review, the ghost of a third marches with them. There are indeed skeletons at that feast, at any rate for those along the route who remember this army of the fallen, equal in number to the survivors who swung past the grandstand, twelve abreast, for six long hours on each day.

Sporadic shooting still goes on, mainly Federals against guerrillas, as near Rocheport, Missouri. There is a Union scout from Napoleonville to Bayou St. Vincent, Louisiana.
May 25, Thursday

Steaming under a flag of truce, first down the Red and then the Mississippi, Lieutenant General Simon Buckner reaches New Orleans today, the same day Canby gets there. They confer on the surrender of the Trans-Mississippi Confederate forces.

With the reviews over in Washington, troops disperse and most of them hurry home. Confederates evacuate Sabine Pass, Texas, and there is an expedition by Federals from Bayou Beouf to Bayou De Large, Louisiana, until the 27th.

A warehouse on the Mobile, Alabama, waterfront, stocked with some twenty tons of surrendered ammunition, blows up and “shook the foundations” of the city. An estimated 300 people are killed outright, and the property loss will be reckoned at $5,000,000 (2020 $79,390,082).
May 26, Friday

At New Orleans, having accepted the terms afforded Lee and Johnston and Taylor, Lieutenant General S.B. Buckner signs the surrender agreement for E. Kirby Smith’s Trans-Mississippi command with Peter Osterhaus, Canby’s own chief of staff.
May 27, Saturday

Mercifully for Jefferson Davis, the humiliation of being shackled by General Miles, the prison commander, is brief. Over the past five days, vigorous private and public objections—first by the post surgeon, who protests that the captive is being denied even such limited exercise as he can get from pacing up and down his cell, and then by a number of northern civilians who, though willing to keep on hating the former Confederate leader, disapprove of tormenting him in this fashion—caused the removal of the shackles. Even after being quickly released from his shackles, however, Davis has a harder time than anyone not in the fort with him will know for almost a year. Other hardships continue in force, including the constant presence of two sentries under orders to keep tramping back and forth at all hours; a lamp that burns day and night, even while he sleeps or tries to; and the invariable dampness resulting from the fact that the floor of his cell is below the level of the water in the adjacent moat.

Down in west Florida, the gunboat Spray is the last Confederate warship east of the Mississippi to go. Stationed up the St. Marks River to cover the water approaches to Tallahassee, her skipper agrees to surrender when he learns that the troops defending the capital in his rear laid down their arms last week.

Very minor skirmishing is reported in Chariton County, Missouri, particularly at Switzler’s Mill.

The day after Canby’s provisional acceptance of the surrender of the last armed grayback in the Trans-Mississippi, Andrew Johnson orders the discharge, with but few exceptions, of all persons imprisoned by military authorities.
May 28, Sunday

Since April 14th the CSS Shenandoah has continued northward from the eastern Carolines, past Japan, into the northwest reaches of the Sea of Okhotsk, where she takes one more prize. So far, the pickings have been rather slim, but now Commander James Waddell has accurate, up-to-date whaling charts, as well as a number of volunteers from the past few months’ captured ships, to show him where to go: south, then north, around the Kamchatka Peninsula, into the Bering Sea.
May 29, Monday

A presidential Proclamation of Amnesty offers pardon to all who have participated, directly or indirectly, in “the existing rebellion,” with full restitution of property rights—except of course slaves—on the taking of an oath by such people that they would “henceforth” support and defend the Constitution and abide by the laws of the reunited land. In this latter instance, however, so many exceptions are cited that the document is about as much a source of alarm as it is of solace. Among those excluded are all who held civil or diplomatic offices in the secessionist regime and the governors of its member states; former U.S. congressmen, senators, and judges; West Pointers, Annapolis men, and members of the armed forces who resigned or deserted to join the South; those engaged in the destruction of commerce or mistreatment of prisoners; officers above the rank of army colonel or navy lieutenant; and finally all “voluntary” participants with taxable property worth more than $20,000 (2020 $317,560). The list runs on, and though it is stated that even those ineligibles can apply directly to the President for pardon, with assurance that “such clemency will be liberally extended as may be consistent with the facts of the case and the peace and dignity of the United States,” few take much consolation in that provision, knowing as they do the views of Johnson with regard to treason and its consequences, which he has proclaimed so often in the course of the past four years. Kirby Smith, for example, no sooner reads the offer than he rides off after Jo Shelby, bound for Mexico, as he informs his wife, in order “to place the Rio Grande between myself and harm.”

At Natchez, unaware that Buckner has come to terms with Canby a couple of hundred winding miles downstream, John B. Hood and two aides are picked up by Federal patrollers before they can get across the Mississippi River. He had stopped off in South Carolina long enough for Sally Preston to break her engagement to him, and then, aggrieved, had ridden on, intent on reaching his adoptive Texas.

There are operations in Texas and on the Rio Grande by the Federal Army for most of the rest of 1865 against guerrillas and former Confederates escaping into Mexico. Also there are scattered operations in Johnston County, Missouri.
May 31, Wednesday

Paroled the day after his capture, John B. Hood continues his journey to Texas, no longer as a general in search of recruits for the army he had promised Jefferson Davis he would raise there, but rather as one more one-legged civilian who has to find some way to make a living. Thousands of others in the region have that problem, too, and only a handful solve it without changing the lifestyle they have known for the past four years. These exceptions come mainly from the ranks of the guerillas, some of whom enlist in the Union army, thereby avoiding government prosecution, while others simply move on west and resume on the frontier such wartime activities as bank and stagecoach robbery, with cattle rustling thrown in for a sideline.

A Federal military expedition operates from Barrancas to Apalachicola, Florida, until June 6th.

The war is over and the peace has begun. All the major forces of the Confederate States of America have surrendered, and President Davis is in prison. All that is left is bitterness and a few insignificant pockets of resistance. A new President in Washington is wrestling with reconstruction, as it is called, and facing rising impatience with his policies, which, like those of Lincoln, are more restoration than reconstruction. The armies of the Union have marched in Grand Review and then most of them went home except for those needed in occupation duties. The people now are asking in massive chorus—what next? Personal life can be taken up again and if there are no opportunities at home, there are plenty to the westward. There must be a blending of the way of life of 1860 and the new ways of 1865. There is the problem of the freed slave. Is the Black a full citizen? How can or should he be brought into the stream of national life? Slavery is in effect actually abolished as the 13th Amendment receives approval by most states. What will the new United States be like? The headlines of battles appear no more; the bulletin boards with their chilling casualty lists have ceased.

June 1, Thursday

When news of the Buckner-Smith capitulation reaches Jo Shelby, he assembles his division on the prairie near Corsicana, Texas, for a speech. “Boys, the war is over and you can go home. I for one will not go home. Across the Rio Grande lies Mexico. Who will follow me there?” Some two hundred of his veterans say they will.

A Federal military expedition operates through Pocahontas and Pendleton counties, West Virginia, and Highland County, Virginia. It is a day of humiliation and prayer in honor of Abraham Lincoln.
June 2, Friday

Kirby Smith comes down to Galveston, Texas, boards the Federal steamer Fort Jackson out in the harbor, and fixes his signature to the surrender document brought from New Orleans for that purpose. Before he left Houston he had already issued his farewell to such troops as were still with him, if only on paper. “Your present duty is plain,” he told them. “Return to your families. Resume the occupations of peace. Yield obedience to the laws. Labor to restore order. Strive both by counsel and example to give security to life and property. And may God, in his mercy, direct you aright and heal the wounds of our distracted country.”

Thus the final place of refuge within the vanished Confederate borders passes from being, no longer a goal for die-hards such as Wheeler, who had been trying to get there when he was taken near Atlanta, three weeks back. Jo Shelby and the 200 veterans that have chosen to join him, after parting with comrades who have chosen to stay behind, set out southward for Mexico. Proceeding through Waco, Austin, and San Antonio, they pick up recruits along the way, together with a number of dignitaries in and out of uniform: John Magruder and Sterling Price, for instance, as well as Henry Allen of Louisiana and Texas Governor Pendleton Murrah, who rises from his sickbed to join the horsemen riding through his capital, five hundred strong by now. Finally, beyond San Antonio, Kirby Smith himself catches up with the column. He is bound for Mexico, like all the rest, but not as a soldier, having discovered for the first time since he left West Point, twenty years ago this month, “the feeling of lightness and joy experienced by me when I felt myself to be plain Kirby Smith, relieved from all cares and responsible only for my own acts.”

Lambdin P. Milligan and W.A. Bowles, condemned to be executed this day, are reprieved and sentenced to life imprisonment. Proceedings have been instituted in the Federal courts to reverse their conviction by military court martial on charges of conspiring against the United States, giving aid and comfort to rebels, and inciting insurrection. Milligan, a prominent Indiana leader of the Copperheads, was arrested October 5th last year. On December 17th, the US Supreme Court in ex parte Milligan unanimously ruled that Milligan be released. A majority held that neither the President nor Congress have the power to order military commissions to try civilians outside the actual theater of war. A minority held that Congress has such power.

The British government officially withdraws belligerent rights from the Confederacy. President Johnson lifts military restrictions on trade in the United States except on contraband of war.
June 3, Saturday

The day after Kirby Smith’s formal capitulation at Galveston, the Webb’s one-time consorts up the Red River haul down their flags. One among them is the ironclad Missouri, completed at Shreveport in late March and taken down to Alexandria, not in time to fight, but at any rate in time to be handed over with the rest. “A most formidable vessel,” one Union officer pronounces her, though after a closer look he adds an assessment that might serve as an epitaph for all the improvised warships knocked together by backwoods carpenters and blacksmiths, here and elsewhere throughout the South: “She is badly built of green lumber, caulked with cotton, leaks badly, and is very slow.”
June 6, Tuesday

Citizens of Missouri ratify a new state constitution abolishing slavery.

Guerrilla chieftain William Clarke Quantrill dies in Louisville, Kentucky, from wounds suffered when he was ambushed by Union soldiers. Before he dies, Quantrill is baptized as a Roman Catholic.

Confederate prisoners of war who are willing to take the oath of allegiance are declared released by President Johnson. Officers above the rank of army captain or navy lieutenant are excepted.
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