On the very day of the assassination Sherman had written to Johnston offering the same terms Grant had given Lee and Lincoln had most heartily approved. Three days later, on the seventeenth, just as Sherman was entering the train for his meeting with Johnston, the operator handed him a telegram announcing the assassination. Enjoining secrecy till he returned, Sherman took the telegram with him and showed it to Johnston, whom he watched intently. "The perspiration came out on his forehead," Sherman wrote, "and he did not attempt to conceal his distress. He denounced the act as a disgrace to the age and hoped I did not charge it to the Confederate Government. I told him I could not believe that he or General Lee or the officers of the Confederate army could possibly be privy to acts of assassination." When Sherman got back to Raleigh he published the news in general orders, and experienced the supreme satisfaction of finding that not one man in all that mournful army had to be restrained from a single act of revenge.
After much misunderstanding with Washington now in lesser hands, the surrender of Johnston's and the other Confederate armies was effected. Each body of troops laid down its arms and quietly dispersed. One day the bugles called, the camp fires burned, and comrades were together in the ranks. The next, like morning mists, they disappeared, thenceforth to be remembered and admired only as the heroes of a hopeless cause.
It was a very different scene through which their rivals marched into lasting fame with all the pride, pomp, and circumstance of war. On the twenty-third and twenty-fourth of May, in perfect weather, and in the stirring presence of a loyal, vast, enthusiastic throng, the Union armies were reviewed in Washington. For over six full hours each day the troops marched past--the very flower of those who had come back victorious. The route was flagged from end to end with Stars and Stripes, and banked with friends of each and every regiment there. Between these banks, and to the sound of thrilling martial music, the long blue column flowed--a living stream of men whose bayonets made its surface flash like burnished silver under the glorious sun.
Then, when the pageantry was finished, and the volunteers that formed the vast bulk of those magnificent Federal armies had again become American civilians in thought and word and deed, these steadfast men, whose arms had saved the Union in the field, were first in peace as they had been in war: first in the reconstruction of their country's interrupted life, first in recognizing all that was best in the splendid fighters with whom they had crossed swords, and first--incomparably first--in keeping one and indivisible the reunited home land of both North and South.
Thousands of books have been written about the Civil War; and more about the armies than about the navies and the civil interests together. Yet, even about the armies, there are very few that give a just idea of how every part of the war was correlated with every other part and with the very complex whole; while fewer still give any idea of how closely the navies were correlated with the armies throughout the long amphibious campaigns.
The only works mentioned here are either those containing the original evidence or those written by experts directly from the original evidence. And of course there are a good many works belonging to both these classes for which no room can be found in a bibliography so very brief as the present one must be.
"The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies", 128 vols. (1880-1901), and "Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion", 28 vols. (1894-), form two magnificent collections of original evidence published by the United States Government. But they have some gaps which nothing else can fill. "Battles and Leaders of the Civil War"(1887-89), written by competent witnesses on both sides, gives the gist of the story in four volumes (published afterwards in eight). "The Rebellion Record", 12 vols. (1862-68), edited by Frank Moore, forms an interesting collection of non-official documents. "The Story of the Civil War", 4 vols. (1895-1913), begun by J.C. Ropes, and continued by W.R. Livermore, is an historical work of real value. "Larned's Literature of American History" contains an excellent bibliography; but it needs supplementing by bibliographies of the present century. Inquiring readers should consult the bibliographies in volumes 20 and 21 (by J.K. Hosmer) in the American Nation series.
There are many works of a more special kind that deserve particular attention. General E.P. Alexander's "Military Memoirs of a Confederate" (1907), the "Transactions of the Military Historical Society of Massachusetts", Major John Bigelow's "The Campaign of Chancellorsville" (1910), and J.D. Cox's "Military Reminiscences", 2 vols. (1900), are admirable specimens of this very extensive class.