Johnson Offers Amnesty to All Persons….

May 29, 1865

On this date, President Andrew Johnson issued his proclamation of amnesty to (almost) all who participated in the Rebellion against the United States. There were, of course, some notable exceptions….

Andrew Johnson

Andrew Johnson

Whereas the President of the United States, on the 8th day of December, A.D. eighteen hundred and sixty-three, and on the 26 day of March, A.D. eighteen hundred and sixty-four, did, with the object to suppress the existing rebellion, to induce all persons to return to their loyalty, and to restore the authority of the United States, issue proclamations offering amnesty and pardon to certain persons who had directly or by implication participated in the said rebellion; and whereas many persons who had so engaged in said rebellion have, since the issuance of said proclamations, failed or neglected to take the benefits offered thereby; and whereas many persons who have been justly deprived of all claim to amnesty and pardon thereunder, by reason of their participation directly or by implication in said rebellion, and continued hostility to the government of the United States since the date of said proclamation, now desire to apply for and obtain amnesty and pardon:

To the end, therefore, that the authority of the government of the United States may be restored, and that peace, order, and freedom may be established, I, ANDREW JOHNSON, President of the United States, do proclaim and declare that I hereby grant to all persons who have, directly or indirectly, participated in the existing rebellion, except as hereinafter excepted, amnesty and pardon, with restoration of all rights of property, except as to slaves, and except in cases where legal proceedings, under the laws of the United States providing for the confiscation of property of persons engaged in rebellion, have been instituted; but upon the condition, nevertheless, that every such person shall take and subscribe the following oath, (or affirmation,) and thenceforward keep and maintain said oath inviolate; and which oath shall be registered for permanent preservation, and shall be of the tenor and effect following, to wit:

I, _______ _______, do solemnly swear, (or affirm,) in presence of Almighty God, that I will henceforth faithfully support, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and the union of the States thereunder; and that I will, in like manner, abide by, and faithfully support all laws and proclamations which have been made during the existing rebellion with reference to the emancipation of slaves. So help me God.


The following classes of persons are excepted from the benefits of this proclamation: 1st, all who are or shall have been pretended civil or diplomatic officers or otherwise domestic or foreign agents of the pretended Confederate government; 2nd, all who left judicial stations under the United States to aid the rebellion; 3d, all who shall have been military or naval officers of said pretended Confederate government above the rank of colonel in the army or lieutenant in the navy; 4th, all who left seats in the Congress of the United States to aid the rebellion; 5th, all who resigned or tendered resignations of their commissions in the army or navy of the United States to evade duty in resisting the rebellion; 6th, all who have engaged in any way in treating otherwise than lawfully as prisoners of war persons found in the United States service, as officers, soldiers, seamen, or in other capacities; 7th, all persons who have been, or are absentees from the United States for the purpose of aiding the rebellion; 8th, all military and naval officers in the rebel service, who were educated by the government in the Military Academy at West Point or the United States Naval Academy; 9th, all persons who held the pretended offices of governors of States in insurrection against the United States; 10th, all persons who left their homes within the jurisdiction and protection of the United States, and passed beyond the Federal military lines into the pretended Confederate States for the purpose of aiding the rebellion; 11th, all persons who have been engaged in the destruction of the commerce of the United States upon the high seas, and all persons who have made raids into the United States from Canada, or been engaged in destroying the commerce of the United States upon the lakes and rivers that separate the British Provinces from the United States; 12th, all persons who, at the time when they seek to obtain the benefits hereof by taking the oath herein prescribed, are in military, naval, or civil confinement, or custody, or under bonds of the civil, military, or naval authorities, or agents of the United States as prisoners of war, or persons detained for offenses of any kind, either before or after conviction; 13th, all persons who have voluntarily participated in said rebellion, and the estimated value of whose taxable property is over twenty thousand dollars; 14th, all persons who have taken the oath of amnesty as prescribed in the President’s proclamation of December 8th, A.D. 1863, or an oath of allegiance to the government of the United States since the date of said proclamation, and who have not thenceforward kept and maintained the same inviolate.

Provided, That special application may be made to the President for pardon by any person belonging to the excepted classes; and 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.

The Secretary of State will establish rules and regulations for administering and recording the said amnesty oath, so as to insure its benefit to the people, and guard the government against fraud.

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, the twenty-ninth day of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-five, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-ninth.


By the President: WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State

The Final Surrender

May 26, 1865 (Saturday)

Sterling Price

Sterling Price

While the surrender of Lee’s army had gone off with little trouble, and Johnston’s eventually worked out, that of Kirby Smith’s sprawling yet dwindling army west of the Mississippi was a different story.

It had been coming, of course. Ever since they learned of Lee’s capitulation it was certain. There were some attempts to make such a surrender political rather than solely of the military, but any attempt at such a venture had been shut down before it even started.

In all, the various Confederate leaders throughout Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas had tried four different times to come to some sort of agreement where the word “surrender” wouldn’t be bandied about so much. Those four were either shut down or came too late. Some even went as far as the assure the Federals that Kirby Smith had sent them – something which he later denied.

On this date, , Generals Samuel Buckner, Sterling Price, and J.L. Brent took a steamer to New Orleans to meet with Union General Edward Canby. After some brief talk, they agreed to the same terms offered by Grant to Lee and Johnston.

These terms were signed by all, but were subject to Kirby Smith’s approval. The rub was that General Smith didn’t quite know about the machinations of Buckner, Price, and Brent. In the middle of May, Kirby Smith decided to move his headquarters from Shreveport, Louisiana to Houston, Texas. This trip took about a week as he traveled by stagecoach.

Smith’s plan had been to leave Shreveport in the loving embrace of General Buckner as he rallied the Texas troops of General John Magruder to somehow save Texas. He did this regardless of the fact that desertions were rampant and his army was quickly disintegrating, even without a formal surrender.

Kirby Smith

Kirby Smith

By the 25th, with Kirby Smith still two days out from Houston, Magruder admitted that he had no control whatsoever over his own men. Smith probably deduced as much along his travels as he met bands of retired soldier – some with less-than-fond memories of their time in the Confederate ranks.

And so, when Kirby Smith reached Houston on the 27th, waiting for him was the notice that the rest of his army had been surrendered. It was, as stated, subject to his own approval. He did not immediately approve. Instead, he called for a court of inquiry. The court, which actually managed to take Smith’s order seriously, found that nobody was to blame since there was basically no army left.

Still Kirby Smith would not sign. Instead on the 30th, he would pen a bitter farewell address to his men:

“Soldiers! I am left a Commander without an army – a General without troops. You have made your choice. It was unwise and unpatriotic, but it is final. I pray you may not live to regret it.”

Two days later, after paying his remaining officers in gold, he finally signed the terms of surrender and gave himself over to the Federal authorities.

In the end, perhaps 2,000 “unreconstructed” Rebels crossed the Rio Grande for Mexico. General Jo Shelby would join them, as would Kirby Smith.

Smith’s surrender dealt not with the Natives from Oklahoma, and a separate peace would have to be made with them (a story for another time). And a few random Confederate units were simply forgotten here and there. But for the most part, by this date, all organized Confederate forces were no more.

The Second and Last Day of the Great Pageant – The Grand Review of Sherman’s Armies

May 24, 1865 (Thursday)

As with the day previous, below you’ll find text pulled from the New York Times describing the second day of the Grand Review. It is accompanied by photographs taken mostly by Matthew Brady.

Empty stands waiting for spectators.

Empty stands waiting for spectators.

The men who marched from the Ohio to the Tennessee under BUELL, only to march back again; who first penetrated down into Alabama under the daring and nervous MITCHELL; who fought at Perrysville under MCCOOK, and checked the advancing tide of the rebellion to again send it reeling southward, at Stone River, under the chivalrous ROSECRANS; who toiled over the rugged passes of the Cumberland Mountains and seized the great natural fortress of Chattanooga; who held the left with a tenacity that saved them from defeat at Chicamauga, under the ever-victorious THOMAS; who stormed Lookout Mountain, and fought above the clouds with HOOKER; who cut their way from Chattanooga to Atlanta, and from Atlanta to the sea; who swept the Carolinas as with a besom of destruction, and who gave the finishing blow to the great rebellion, in following the lead of SHERMAN, and HOWARD, and SLOCUM — these were the men who received to-day the enthusiastic plaudits of a hundred thousand spectators.

The tastefully decorated stands near the Executive mansion were again occupied by President JOHNSON, members of the Cabinet and Lieut-Gen. GRANT, together with distinguished army and navy officers, chiefs of Executive Bureaus, the Diplomatic Corps and families, and other personages. The vicinity of the reviewing point was densely crowded over a larger area than yesterday, this locality being the most attractive.


The Army of the Tennessee moved from the Capitol at 9 o’clock this morning, proceeding toward the Executive mansion. At the head of the column rode Maj.-Gen. SHERMAN, who was vociferously cheered all along the line, while many clapped their hands and others waved their handkerchiefs and miniature flags. The greeting of this hero was in the highest degree enthusiastic. He had been presented with two large wreaths of flowers, one of which had been placed around his horse’s neck, the other hung upon his own shoulder. Maj.-Gen. SHERMAN was accompanied by Maj.-Gen. HOWARD, formerly in command of the Army of the James. Next followed Maj.-Gen. LOGAN, Staff and escort. He yesterday assumed command of this army. Maj.-Gen. HOGAN appeared at the head of the command. This corps is composed of troops from Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Indiana, Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin. The Seventeenth Army Corps was preceded by its commander, Maj.-Gen. BLAIR, with his staff, followed by the headquarters escorts. The troops of this corps are from Illinois, Ohio, New-York, Wisconsin, Indiana, Minnesota and Michigan. The next in review was the Army of Georgia, Maj.-Gen. SLOCUM commanding, who rode at the head of this column.

The Twentieth Corps was commanded by Maj.-Gen. MOWER, and comprised of volunteers from Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New-York, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Ohio, Delaware, Indiana and Michigan. This was succeeded by the Fourteenth Army Corps, Brevet Maj.-Gen. J.C. DAVIES commanding. It was composed of volunteers from Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois. Michigan, New-York, Minnesota and Kentucky. The respective commanders of the armies, divisions and brigades, bore upon their persons profusions of flowers which had been bestowed in acknowledgment of their heroic deeds; and as they passed along the line cheers were given, and handkerchiefs and flags waved by those who chose this mode if testifying their gratitude for the gallant services of both officers and men. None seemed in weary of continuous gazing at the troops, as there was . always presented something of increased interest.



The armies represented all branches and divisions of the service-cavalry, artillery and infantry — with sufficient variety in trimmings and appointments to relieve the general sameness of uniform, and several regiments of Zouaves contributed to produce this effect. There was an extensive flashing of drawn swords, bayonets and polished brass cannon in the clear sunlight, sections of pontoon bridges, and ambulances, and stretchers, and even heavy wagons were features in the procession.

There was also a fair representation of the spade and ax department the implements being carried on the shoulders of both white and black soldiers.

Much amusement was occasioned by a display of pack-horses and mules. They were all heavily loaded with commissary supplies, including chickens. A coon, a dog and a goat were comfortably fastened to three of the saddles. These were the pets of soldiers. Two black soldiers of largest size, riding on very small mules, their feet nearly touching the ground, was regarded as a comic scene in connection with this part of the display, and occasioned general laughter.

Twentieth Corps

Twentieth Corps

An interesting feature in the grand military parade was the exhibition of flags and banners of various patterns, some of them entirely new; others were carried torn by bullets and reduced to shreds, while others, entire as to material, were faded by exposure to the weather, or blackened by the smoke of battle. Several staffs were carried from which the flags had been shot away. All the spear-heads wore ornamented with flowers, either in bouquets or wreaths. It was remarked, as in contrast to the Army of the Potomac, that the troops comprising the Armies of Georgia and Tennessee wore the wide brim felt hats regulation pattern. Their appearance in all respects was equal to that of the Army of the Potomac, notwithstanding they had performed more marching service. Their general movements were much admired, and accordingly applauded. The commander of each army, corps and division, attended by one staff officer, dismounted after passing the General-in-Chief, and joined him until his army, corps or division had passed tho reeviewing-stand, when he remounted and joined his command. Officers commanding regiments presented swords on passing the reviewing officer, but company officers were not required to make such salutes. Brigade bands or consolidated field music turned out and played as their brigades passed. One band to each division performed during the march from the Capitol to the Treasury Building. After the troops passed the reviewing officers, they were marched to their respective quarters.

Reviewing stand.

Reviewing stand.

Secretary SEWARD, notwithstanding his severe physical affliction, took a deep interest in the review.Gen. AUGUR made him comfortable and furnished him with a good position at the headquarters of the defenses of Washington, that he might witness the grand military display.

The Armies of Tennessee and Georgia occupied six hours in passing, the same length of time required yesterday for the review of the Army of the Potomac. The following are a few of the incidents of the day: Previous to the march a number of young ladies made their way through the crowds of spectators and soldiers on Capitol Hill, and festooned upon some of the officers bouquets, wreaths and garlands.

General Slocum.

General Slocum.

It has already been stated that Gen. SHERMAN led the advance to-day, accompanied by Gen. HOWARD, with bouquets in their hands and their horses decorated with flowers. Upon reaching the western part of the city a veteran reserve soldier approached Gen. SHERMAN with another bouquet but the horse of the latter became restive and he motioned the soldier back. “Give it to HOWARD” shouted the multitude, but he, too, having but one hand, could attend only to his prancing horse, so the veteran returned to his scat with his offering amid cheers on all sides. Riding to the western entrance of the Executive mansion. Gen. SHERMAN dismounted, and, with Gen. HOWARD and Staff, joined the group on the stand.

The reception given to Gen. SHERMAN exceeded in enthusiasm that extended to any other officer. Gens. LOGAN, J.W. GEARY and FRANK BLAIR especially received7 the acclamations of the multitude. As the head of Maj.-Gen. FRANK P. BLAIR’s corps reached Fourteenth-street in the marching column, some one hundred and fifty gentlemen, mostly from Missouri, presented to the General a splendid banner, and to each of the officers of his staff a beautiful bouquet.


A number of gentlemen from Philadelphia kept open house to-day for the entertainment of officers and soldiers of Pennsylvania and other States, and in the evening engaged a band of music, and serenaded Gens. LOGAN, HOWARD and BLAIR, and Ex-Speaker GROW. All these gentlemen made speeches, which were enthusiastically applauded by the large crowd in attendance.

Let's play who's who!

Let’s play who’s who!

Propitious Weather and a Splendid Spectacle – The Grand Review of the Army of the Potomac

May 23, 1865 (Tuesday)

Below are photos of today’s Grand Review culled from the Library of Congress. They are accompanied by selections of print from the New York Times.

Spectators at the Capitol building.

Spectators at the Capitol building.

The Army of the Potomac has passed in review. The first day’s pageant is over, and to the correspondent falls the duty of depicting a scene almost devoid of incident, save in its grand aspiration. Every circumstance has combined to make it a complete success. The weather has been magnificent; the air, delightfully tempered by the rains of the past week, is cool and fragrant, and dust is for the time subdued.

Washington has been filled as it never was filled before; the hotel-keepers assert that the pressure upon their resources never was so great, and thousands of people have been nightly turned away to seek a place of rest where best they might.

General Humphreys and staff.

General Humphreys and staff.

At four o’clock this morning reveille was sounded in the camps of all the organizations composing this vast army, and by six o’clock breakfast had been eaten, baggage packed and loaded on the wagons, and the troops were ready for duty. The assembly call was sounded in the Ninth Corps at six o’clock precisely, and half an hour afterward the First Division of that corps, Maj.-Gen. WILCOX commanding, formed on a street east of the Capitol, and moved down till the head of the column rested on Third-street east.

The main stand on the left of the avenue and immediately in front of the President’s house, was that devoted to President JOHNSON, Gen. GRANT, who is reviewing officer, the members of the Cabinet, prominent military and naval officers, heads of departments, the Diplomatic Corps, and the ladies. This platform was neatly roofed and provided with seats for several hundred people. Much of its rough exterior was tastefully concealed by a profuse drapery of national and State colors, while in the folds at intervals flashed out the names of Shiloh, Donelson, Stone River, Vicksburgh, &c.

The Cavalry!

The Cavalry!

Both to the right and left of this stand were long-raised platforms, with seats for a thousand or more, provided by private munificence, for sick and wounded soldiers, but to which many officers and some civilians were admitted by ticket.

Just here is the most exciting little incident of the day. CUSTER leads his famous division around the corner of Fifteenth-street when some fair hand throws out a beautiful wreath; the General catches it upon his arm, but the movement so frightens the magnificent stallion which the General rides, that he becomes unmanagable and dashes up the avenue at a frightful speed; but CUSTER is too good a horseman to be so easily unseated; minus hat and sabre, holding on to the wreath with one hand, he brings his steed down with the other, and curbing him severely, brings him back to his good behavior and in his place at the head of the division, and horse and rider, with superb spirit, have afforded the spectators the finest equestrian exhibition of the day.

The artillery!

The artillery!

CUSTER and his steed gone, now come the troopers, each man in this division being decorated with a scarf or tie, known as the Custer Tie, red in color, and made of any material, from the finest silk or merino to the coarsest flannel, thrown back over the shoulders, giving the entire body a peculiar and interesting appearance.

The cavalry corps, with their artillery brigade, have occupied one hour and fifteen minutes in passing this point. The infantry forces proper of the army, the Ninth Corps, Maj.-Gen. PARKE, began moving by the reviewing officer at 11:15 A.M. Enthusiastic friends have showered bouquets and wreaths of laurel upon officers, men and horses. Gens. PARKE and WILSON are bedecked with these sweet gifts, even to the trappings of their saddles. The Ninth Army Corps! Where has it not been?

The infantry!

The infantry!

Oh those flags, slowly but appreciatively, the audience begin to mark and applaud the tattered banners, some stained and worn, others torn to threads, barely clinging to the staff, and others still carefully gathered around the staff, the threads all too priceless less to lose a single one. How many volumes those banners speak; how much more eloquent than any words are they?

Soldiers during the review.

Soldiers during the review.

The Fifth Corps, numbering about 23,000 men, moved across the Long Bridge at 3 o’clock this morning, and forward on Tenth-street south, with its right resting on Maryland-avenue. It also filed to the right and marched along Maryland-avenue, passing around the capitol in the rear of the Nineteenth Corps, followed by Gen. WAINWRIGHT’s artillery brigade. During the interval between the passage of the corps, the spectators on either side rushed to the front of the stand, where were the President, GRANT, SHERMAN and others, and indulged in an informal review of these gentlemen, who bore their inquisitive glances gracefully, and after repeated calls they severally arose and bowed their acknowledgments.

Detail of a much larger shot of infantry.

Detail of a much larger shot of infantry.

The Fifth Corps began passing the reviewing officer at 12:35 P.M., and finished at 3:45 P.M., passing the entire column in one hour and ten minutes.

After a few moments intervened, during which the spectators again reviewed GRANT, SHERMAN and the President at close range, the trefoil of the Second Army Corps advanced out of Fifteenth-street, the fiery, accomplished HUMPHREYS at their head, in his best mood. This corps had moved from its camp early in the morning, and formed on Fourteenth-street, south, with its right resting on Maryland-avenue. It filed to the right and followed the Fifth Corps around the Capitol. The artillery brigade of Lieut.-Col. J.C. HAZARD, accompanied this corps, taking its place in line behind the First Division, leaving the Third Division to act as rear-guards of the army.

Officer looked much like Jefferson C. Davis, perhaps.

Officer looked much like Jefferson C. Davis, perhaps.

The whole army, numbering in the aggregate over eighty thousand men, thus passed a given point in just five hours and a half, marching by company front of twenty miles. This is a very remarkable feat.

During the entire march along Pennsylvania-avenue no unpleasant incident occurred to mar the general harmony. The street was kept entirely clear of pedestrians not belonging to the army, and by this careful management no opportunity for accident or disorderly proceedings occurred. All the liquor establishments were closed by order yesterday, and will remain so until Thursday morning.

The day has been memorable and enjoyable beyond expectation or precedent.

Spectators near the review stand.

Spectators near the review stand.

Jefferson Davis Finally Imprisoned

May 22, 1865 (Monday)

On this date, Jefferson Davis was removed from the steamer Clyde and taken to his cell inside Fortress Monroe. Below are four accounts, including that of Davis himself, of this day.

The "capture" of Jeff Davis, copyrighted on this date.

The “capture” of Jeff Davis, copyrighted on this date.

Lieut. Col. Benjamin D. Pritchard, Fourth Michigan Cavalry

We remained on shipboard until the 22d instant, disposing, meanwhile, of all the prisoners except Davis, Clay, and families, in obedience to orders from General Halleck, and as per receipts in my possession. On the afternoon of that day the prisoners Davis and Clay were transferred, under orders from the same source, to the casemates of Fortress Monroe and turned over to Brevet Major-General Miles, the Fourth Michigan Cavalry acting as special escort, after which it was temporarily assigned quarters within the fort.


Virginia Clay-Clopton, wife of Clement Clay:

On the morning of May 22d a sultry, drizzling rain fell. It was a day exactly calculated to induce melancholy even in the stoutest-hearted. To us, eagerly alert to learn what we might of our fate, it was unspeakably distressful. Shortly after breakfast my husband came quietly into our stateroom. “There is no longer any doubt,” he said,”that this fort is the one destined for Davis and me! I have just been notified that we are expected to take a ride on a tug. I am convinced we shall be taken to Fortress Monroe. I can’t imagine why they do not come out boldly and tell us so, but be sure this is our farewell, my wife!” We took leave of each other in our stateroom, nor did I leave it to follow Mr. Clay to the deck. I stood, instead, at the fourteen-inch window of my cabin, alone with my thoughts.


As Mr. Davis passed the aperture, he stopped for a second to say good-bye to me, then he, too, disappeared. A few moments passed, and then the weeping of children and wailing of women announced the return of the stricken family. I heard a soldier say to Mr. Davis’s little son, “Don’t cry, Jeff. They ain’t going to hang your pa!” and the little fellow’s reply, made through his sobs.

“When I get to be a man,” he cried, “I’m going to kill every Yankee I see!”

When the child approached my door and I caught him in my arms and tried to cheer him, his resentment quickly changed to a manly tenderness; and, putting his baby lips up for a kiss, he said, “My papa told me to keep care of you and my Mamma!”


Varina Davis:

On the next day a tug with a company of German soldiers came up. Our little Jeff ran to us, pale with horror, and sobbed out, “They say they have come for father, beg them to let us go with him.” Mr. Davis went forward, and returned with an officer, saying, “It is true, I must go at once.” He whispered to me, “Try not to weep, they will gloat over your grief,” and the desire to lessen his anguish enabled me to bid farewell quietly. Mrs. Clay preserved the same self-control. His parting from our children was a sacred sorrow, in which the people on deck participated so far as observation without sympathy would go. We parted in silence. As the tug bore him away from the ship, he stood with bared head between the files of undersized German and other foreign soldiers on either side of him, and as we looked, as we thought, our last upon his stately form and knightly bearing, he seemed a man of another and higher race, upon whom “shame would not dare to sit.”


After a few hours Colonel Pritchard left us here, and asked me for my waterproof, which I thought would disprove the assertion that it was essentially a woman’s cloak, and gave to him. Such provisions as we had were taken from us, and hard tack and soldier’s fare was substituted. Captain Grant, of Maine, however, was a humane man, and did his best for us. The effort was made to get a physician for my sister, who was exceedingly ill, but Dr. Craven accounts for our inability to do so in his “Prison Life of Jefferson Davis,” p. 77, by saying that the orders were to allow no communication with the ship. We were now visited by a raiding party, headed by Captain Hudson. They opened our trunks and abstracted everything they desired to have. Among these articles were nearly all my children’s clothes. My boy Jeff seized his little uniform of Confederate gray, and ran up to me with it, and thus prevented its being taken as a trophy. A very handsome Pennsylvania flag, which had been captured by General Bradley Johnson in battle, was also taken out of my trunk. Then Captain Hudson valiantly came with a file of men to insist upon having my shawl, and said he would take everything I had if I did not yield it to him, though he offered to buy me another to replace it. It was relinquished, as anything else would have been to dispense with his presence.

We were anchored out a mile or two in the harbor, and little tugs full of mockers, male and female, came out. They steamed around the ship, offering, when one of us met their view, such insults as were transmissible at a short distance. Some United States officers visited the ship, of whom I have no clear memory, except of the ” Roland” Mrs. Clay gave them for the “Oliver” they offered. Two or three of them looked into my sister’s state-room, with whom Mrs. Clay was sitting. She said, “Gentlemen, do not look in here, it is a ladies’ state-room.” One of them threw the door open and said, “There are no ladies here ; ” to which Mrs. Clay responded, “There certainly are no gentlemen there.” They retired swearing out their wrath.


Jefferson Davis:

After some days’ detention, Clay and myself were removed to Fortress Monroe, and there incarcerated in separate cells. Not knowing that the Government was at war with women and children, I asked that my family might be permitted to leave the ship and go to Richmond or Washington City, or to some place where they had acquaintances, but this was refused. I then requested that they might be permitted to go abroad on one of the vessels lying at the Roads. This was also denied; finally, I was informed that they must return to Savannah on the vessel by which we came.

This was an old transport-ship, hardly seaworthy. My last attempt was to get for them the privilege of stopping at Charleston, where they had many personal friends. This also was refused—why, I did not then know, have not learned since, and am unwilling to make a supposition, as none could satisfactorily account for such an act of inhumanity. My daily experience as a prisoner shed no softer light on the transaction, but only served to intensify my extreme solicitude.

Bitter tears have been shed by the gentle, and stern reproaches have been made by the magnanimous, on account of the needless torture to which I was subjected, and the heavy fetters riveted upon me, while in a stone casemate and surrounded by a strong guard; but all these were less excruciating than the mental agony my captors were able to inflict. It was long before I was permitted to hear from my wife and children, and this, and things like this, was the power which education added to savage cruelty; but I do not propose now and here to enter upon the story of my imprisonment, or more than merely to refer to other matters which concern me personally, as distinct from my connection with the Confederacy.

The man who led the rebellion and would by any measurable standards be guilty of treason would spend but two years in prison. During which, he would complain bitterly about his treatment – a subject he would not drop even after his hasty release.