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Petersburg to AppomattoxThe End of the War in Virginia$
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Caroline E. Janney

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781469640761

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469640761.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 05 July 2022

Lee, Breckinridge, and Campbell

Lee, Breckinridge, and Campbell

The Confederate Peacemakers of 1865

(p.138) 5 Lee, Breckinridge, and Campbell
Petersburg to Appomattox

William C. Davis

University of North Carolina Press

In the late winter of 1865, the newly appointed Confederate Secretary of War John C. Breckinridge believed that the war was lost, reunion all but inevitable, and with Lee’s endorsement the Confederate Congress might press Jefferson Davis to sue for peace. For months prior to Appomattox, Lee, Breckinridge, and Assistant Secretary of War John A. Campbell strategized on how the Confederacy might avoid an absolute military subjugation. As late as April 2, Breckinridge and Campbell were devising a new peace strategy, and on April 7 Lee and the secretary of war discussed how they might yet avoid outright surrender. Highlighting the interplay between the military and political goals of the war, Davis’s essay places Lee’s exchanges with Grant between April 7 and 9 into context: if Lee could stall as long as possible and perhaps convince the Union general to agree to an armistice, perhaps the Confederacy might yet survive intact or at the very least the Union would be forced to make significant concessions.

Keywords:   Confederate States of America, Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, John C. Breckinridge, Surrender

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