Sunday, May 3, 2015

May 3, 1865: Halleck bans the sale of liquor in Richmond

"Liquor is for winners."
On this day 150 years ago, the decision was made to ban the sale of liquor in Union-controlled Richmond, Virginia.
RICHMOND, May 3, 1865.

Honorable E. M. STANTON:

I understand that Treasury officers construe the executive order as annulling that clause of mine which makes spirituous liquors contraband in Richmond. I think the exclusion of such liquors at this time a military necessity. With so many rebel soldiers mingling with ours, and a colored population of over 20,000, mostly idle and destitute, the introduction of spirituous liquors will certainly lead to personal conflicts and perhaps riots. Such an element of disorder should not be introduced.




Washington, May 3, 1865-10.30 p.m.

Major-General HALLECK,

Commanding Military Division of the James, Richmond, Va.:

You have the authority to exclude spirituous liquor from your command and will therefore exercise it if you deem it necessary to the maintenance of order and military discipline.


President of the United States.

WASHINGTON, May 3, 1865.

Major-General HALLECK:

You are instructed to enforce your own order in respect to trade and the sale of spirituous liquors. The President did not design to interfere with, but to ratify it. The order he signed under the representation and belief that I had approved it, which was not true, for my first knowledge of it was seeing it in the papers. If any Treasury agents interferer with your order to the danger of your command arrest and imprison them. In a day or two the whole matter will be properly regulated by the President.


Secretary of War.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

May 2, 1865: Johnson offers reward for capture of Davis

Andrew Johnson, 17th President of the United States

On this day 150 years ago, President Andrew Johnson offered a large reward for the capture of Jefferson Davis and other confederates suspected to be implicated in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.
Proclamation 131 - Rewards for the Arrest of Jefferson Davis and Others 
May 2, 1865

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation 
Whereas it appears from evidence in the Bureau of Military Justice that the atrocious murder of the late President, Abraham Lincoln, and the attempted assassination of the Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, were incited, concerted, and procured by and between Jefferson Davis, late of Richmond, Va., and Jacob Thompson, Clement C. Clay, Beverley Tucker, George N. Sanders, William C. Cleary, and other rebels and traitors against the Government of the United States harbored in Canada:

Now, therefore, to the end that justice may be done, I, Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, do offer and promise for the arrest of said persons, or either of them, within the limits of the United States, so that they can be brought to trial, the following rewards:

One hundred thousand dollars for the arrest of Jefferson Davis.

Twenty-five thousand dollars for the arrest of Clement C. Clay.

Twenty-five thousand dollars for the arrest of Jacob Thompson, late of Mississippi.

Twenty-five thousand dollars for the arrest of George N. Sanders.

Twenty-five thousand dollars for the arrest of Beverley Tucker.

Ten thousand dollars for the arrest of William C. Cleary, late clerk of Clement C. Clay.

The Provost-Marshal-General of the United States is directed to cause a description of said persons, with notice of the above rewards, to be published.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this 2d day of May, A. D. 1865, and of the Independence of the United States of America the eighty-ninth.


By the President:


Acting Secretary of State.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

April 30, 1865: The Army of the Potomac prepares to pull out of Virginia

Major General George G. Meade, U.S. Army, commander of the Army of the Potomac.

On this day 150 years ago, the Army of the Potomac received orders to prepare to leave Virginia. Amazingly, less than a month after Robert E. Lee's surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox, the Union's main army was withdrawing from the former Confederacy. While small garrisons would be left behind at key sites, the overwhelming majority of the Union's armed forces would be quickly demobilized.
RICHMOND, VA., April 30, 1863-4 p.m.

Major-General MEADE:

You will move the Army of the Potomac, excepting General Wright's corps, from its present position to Manchester, preparatory to marching to Alexandria. The Sixth Army Corps will guard the railroad to Danville and south till further orders. You will bring with you only such supplies as may be required on the march. All ammunition and stores of all kinds not required by General Wright will be returned to City Point. Your staff officers will prepare at Manchester supplies of provisions and forage for your march to Alexandria. No private property of any kind will be molested in the country passed over. In this respect the strictest discipline must be observed. The Army of the Potomac has shown Virginians how they were to be treated as enemies. Let them now prove that they know equally well how to treat the same people as friends. All condemned and captured horses, mules, harness, and wagons may be sold at such times and places en route, as you may deem most advantageous, to farmers. Implements that can be used for agricultural purposes may be sold in the same way. Please advise me or your movements.


Major-General, Commanding.


April 30, 1865-4.15 p.m.

Major-General HALLECK:

Your dispatch directing movement of Army of the Potomac received. This army now consists of the Sixth Corps, at Danville; the Fifth Corps, guarding the South Side Railroad from this point to Sutherland's Station, and the Second Corps, massed at this place. I shall move the Fifth Corps by way of Petersburg to Manchester and the Second Corps by the direct route from here; but as all my bridge trains are now on the Staunton River the movement of the latter corps will be delayed till a bridge to cross the Appomattox can be brought back to accompany it. The Fifth Corps will be put in motion at once. Do you intend General Wright to guard the railroad from this point to Sutherland's now guarded by the Fifth Corps? The road really requires but little guarding, as there is no disposition on the part of any one to interfere with it.




April 30, 1865-6.45 p.m.

There are at City Point some twenty batteries of artillery formerly in the lines around Petersburg and recently constituting the reserve of this army. Shall these batteries be shipped from City Point or accompany the army in its overland march? I think the latter course would be the quickest and cheapest way to get them to Alexandria.





April 30, 1865.

Surg. G. B. PARKER, U. S. Volunteers,

Acting Chief Medical Officer, City Point, Va.:

Orders have been issued for movements. Second and Fifth Corps to Manchester, near Richmond; from thence they will march to Alexandria, Va. It is desirable that you send sick and wounded of those corps to Washington, who are proper cases for transfer, as rapidly as the means of transportation by steamers at your disposal will permit. You are authorized to reduce the capacity of your hospital 2,500 beds at once. The manner is left to your discretion. I have ordered Surgeon Bendell to break up the sub-depot establishment here, and proceed with the officers and property to City Point and report to you. Acknowledge receipt.


Surgeon and Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel, U. S. Army,

Colonel and Medical Director, Army of the Potomac.



April 30, 1865.

I. Brevet Major-General Griffin, commanding Fifth Army Corps, will at once move his corps to Manchester via Petersburg.

II. Brevet Major-General Barlow, commanding Second Army Corps, will, on the arrival of Brigadier-General Benham with a bridge train move his corps to Manchester by the director route from this point.

III. Major-General Wright, commanding Sixth Army Corps, will until further orders, guard the railroad from Danville to this point. He will immediately send staff officers to take charge of the depots, supplies, &c., required for his command.

IV. The troops will take on the march only the authorized baggage trains, and the supply trains of subsistence and forage. All other supplies, such as reserve ammunition, small arm and artillery, entrenching tools, &c., will be sent to City Point and there turned in.

V. In making this movement, the strictest discipline must be enforced; no depredations on private property will be permitted; and the commanding general confidently relies on the Army of the Potomac to evince its discipline in time of peace as it has shown its valor in time of war.

By command of Major-General Meade:


Assistant Adjutant-General.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

April 29, 1865: Queen Victoria to Mary Todd Lincoln

On this day 150 years ago, Queen Victoria wrote to Mary Todd Lincoln to offer her condolences.
April 29, 1865

Dear Madam,

Though a Stranger to you I cannot remain silent when so terrible a calamity has fallen upon you & your Country & must personally express my deep & heartfelt sympathy with you under the shocking circumstances of your present dreadful misfortune —

No one can better appreciate than I can, who am myself utterly broken-hearted by the loss of my own beloved Husband, who was the Light of my Life, — my Stay — my all, — what your sufferings must be; and I earnestly pray that you may be supported by Him to whom Alone the sorely stricken can look for comfort, in this hour of heavy affliction.

With the renewed Expression of true sympathy, I remain,

dear Madam,

Your Sincere friend

Victoria Rg

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

April 28, 1865: Lincoln's funeral train in Cleveland

On this day 150 years ago, Abraham Lincoln's funeral train stopped in Cleveland, Ohio. Because Cleveland lacked a public building capable of accommodating a large crowd, Lincoln's casket was taken to a public square and placed under a gazebo. Cleveland's viewing was the the only one to take place out of doors and an estimated total of 150,000 mourners filed past the casket in about 15 hours.

Monday, April 27, 2015

April 27, 1865: P.G.T. Beauregard bids his staff farewell

As the war comes to an end, Beauregard bids his staff farewell.
HEADQUARTERS, etc., etc.,

GREENSBORO, N. C., April 27th, 1865.

To my Personal and General Staff, Events having brought to an end the struggle for the independence of our country, in which we have been engaged together, now for four years, my relations with my staff must also terminate. The hour is at hand when I must bid each and all of you farewell, and a Godspeed to your homes.

The day was, when I was confident that this parting would be under far different and the most auspicious circumstances at a moment when a happy and independent people would be ready, on all sides, to welcome you to your respective communities but circumstances, which neither the courage, the endurance, nor the patriotism of our armies could overcome, have turned my brightest anticipations, my highest hopes, into bitter disappointment, in which you must all share.

You have served me, personally, with unvarying zeal, and, officially, with intelligence, and advantage to the public service.

I go from among you with profound regret. My good wishes will ever attend you, and your future careers will always be of interest to me.