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William T. Sherman to William W. Halleck, April 18, 1865

William Tecumseh Sherman, engraving, detail
General William T. Sherman responds to General Halleck's note of three days before warning him of a possible assassination plot against him. Sherman was in the middle of negotiating the probable surrender of Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston and his army. He dismisses the dangers of a would-be assassin with humor and then reports more seriously on the way in which the news of President Lincoln's murder has been received both in his army and among the Confederate generals with whom he has been speaking. The feelings among the Union soldiery were "intense" but under control and Sherman notes that General Johnston was of the opinion that in Lincoln the South had lost the best friend they had. Sherman then adds that the fanaticism that fueled the murder plot was why he was trying so hard to secure an orderly surrender rather than have the Confederate forces disperse into guerrilla units led by "devils" like John Wilkes Booth. (By John Osborne)


How to Cite This Page: "William T. Sherman to William W. Halleck, April 18, 1865," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College,