April 11, 1865: Davis making plans

Jefferson Davis

Jefferson Davis writes to the governor of North Carolina and to Joe Johnston, in charge of his remaining significant forces. He hasn’t heard from Robert E. Lee, but pretty clearly knows what happened. Now he wants to plan the next move.

Official Records:


GREENSBOROUGH, N. C., April 11, 1865.
Governor Z. B. VANCE,
Raleigh, N. C.:

I have no official report, but scouts, said to be reliable, and whose statements were circumstances and corroborative, represent the disaster as extreme. I have not heard from General Lee since the 6th instant, and have little or no hope from his army as an organized body. I expected to visit you at Raleigh, but am accidently prevented from executing that design, and would be very glad to see you here if you can come at once, or to meet you elsewhere in North Carolina at a future time. We must redouble our efforts to meet prevented from executing that design, and would be very glad to see you here if you can come at once, or to meet you elsewhere in North Carolina at a future time. We must redouble our efforts to meet present disaster. An army holding its position with determination to fight on, and manifestest ability to maintain the struggle, will attract all the scattered soldiers and daily rapidly gather strength. Moral influence is wanting, and I am sure you can do much now to revive the spirit and hope of the people.

JEFF’N DAVIS.

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GREENSBOROUGH, N. C., April 11, 1865.
General J. E. JOHNSTON,
Headquarters, via Raleigh, N. C.:

The Secretary of War did not join me at Danville; is expected here this afternoon. As your situation may render best, I will go to your headquarters immediately after the arrival of the Secretary of War, or you can come here. In the former case our conference must be without the presence of General Beauregard. I have have no official report from General Lee. The Secretary of War may be able to add to information heretofore communicated. The important question first to be solved is, at what point shall concentration be made, in view of the present position of the two columns of the enemy and the routes which they may adopt to engage your forces before a prompt junction with General Walker and others. Your more intimate knowledge of the data for the solution of the problem deters me from making a specific suggestion on that point.

JEFF’N DAVIS.

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