From the New York Herald, 4/9/1865
President Lincoln Again at Work on the Peace Question.
Mr. William H. Merriam’s Despatch.
RICHMOND, Va., April 5 - Evening.
I am enabled without detriment to the public interests to
lay before your readers some of the more impressive incidents that have marked
the entry of the President of the United States into the ancient, aristocratic
but now collapsed capital of the confederacy, and which have a most important
public and political bearing.
On yesterday, shortly after the arrival of the President at
the late executive residence of Jefferson Davis, now the headquarters of Major
General Weitzel, he was observed to be in close consultation with General George
H. Shepley, the Military Governor of Richmond. In this conversation General
Shepley was detailing to the President the substance of an interview between
Major General Weitzel, General Shepley and several prominent secessionists,
whose names will hereinafter transpire. The President listened patiently, and
indicated his sense of the magnitude of the proposition submitted for his
consideration by great nervousness of manner, running his hands frequently
through his hair and moving to and fro in the official chair of the late
Jefferson Davis, in which he sat. The result of this interview may be summed up
in the accompanying remark of Mr. Lincoln: “Well, say to them that I will
entertain their propositions, with the condition that I shall have one friend,
with the same liberty to them.” This closed the matter until after the
President’s reception of the officers of the army and navy, who had called to
pay their respects to the Chief Magistrate. After this State ceremonial, it was
announced to the President that Judge Campbell, late a member of the Supreme
Court of the United States, and more recently assistant rebel Secretary of War,
and Hon. Mr. Myres, member of the late rebel House of Representatives - I think
from the Richmond district - were waiting an audience with the President of the
United States in the room adjoining the reception room of the mansion. The
President at once retired to the apartment, summoning Major General Weitzel to
be present with him at the interview. The conference lasted but a short time,
and resulted in an arrangement for a second conference this morning on board the
flagship Malvern, lying off Rocket.
THE FLAGSHIP MALVERN.
This took place this forenoon, and the high parties
conferred for a considerable period of time. The result of this last interview,
as regards details, cannot now be made known; but it is entirely proper to add
that auspicious results are known to be about to accrue from this most important
conference at this exciting era in our national affairs.
The President left the city this afternoon for City Point,
where he will await the approaching arrival of Mrs. Lincoln, from Washington,
and Mrs. Major General Godfrey Weitzel, from Fortress Monroe, on which event the
President will escort them to Richmond...
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