305. John A. Campbell to Gen. E. O. C.. Ord.
Richmond Va. April 14th 1865
Maj. Gen'l E. O. C. Ord — Commanding General,
Your note of this morning requesting the withdrawal of the paper left by President Lincoln with me by his direction, has been received. I have taken a copy of the only paper left by him with me and now return the original to you, No further action will be taken with this paper. I addressed thro, General Grant a telegram to Gen. Taylor,
The communication of President Lincoln in respect to convening the legislature of Virginia in Richmond was addressed to General Weitzel. I read the communication by the authority of the writer and communicated its purpose to those who were interested in fulfilling its requirements. The object was to restore peace to Virginia on the terms mentioned in the enclosed paper, by the agency of the authorities that had sustained the war against the U.S. I still think that the plan was judiciously selected and that the issue would have been most favorable. The events that have since occurred have removed some impediments to the action sought for and preclude the possibility of its failure.
In that portion of the telegram of President Lincoln, that refers to my letter to Gen. Weitzel, there is some misapprehension as to the import & object of the letter. After reading the letter of the President to Gen. W. — I told him that if the same policy were pursued in North Carolina that the result would be beneficial; That the most prominent Citizens of that State were ready to act through the Legislature. He invited a communication in writing on the subject My letter had special reference to the recommendation I had made, although there were suggestions of an important character which I supposed would facilitate the great end of obtaining a speedy pacification without further destruction of human life. I had no reference to the measures to be taken under the letter of the President and none as to the Conditions Contained in the paper enclosed. General W. has made no disposition of the letter that he was not justified in making, but if he had failed to send it to Washington, or to take any action upon it at all, he would not have violated any obligation or duty towards me.
This explanation I Conceive to be proper under the Circumstances.
I am General, Very Respectfully
(Signed) J. A. Campbell
(The foregoing is a true copy)
A.D.C. to Gen. E. O. C. Ord