tv The Civil War Paroling Gen. Lees Army After Appomattox CSPAN July 5, 2019 6:15pm-7:01pm EDT
caroline jenny is the editor of the book petersburg to appomattox, the end of the war in virginia. next, she talks about how the union army developed the parole system where confederate general robert e lee's troops after their surrender, following the idol of appomattox courthouse. she also did tell stories of confederate soldiers from across the south who surrendered in the wake of appomattox. this 40 minute talk was part of a daylong seminar, cohosted by longwood university in farmville virginia, and appomattox courthouse national historical park.
>> our first speaker of the afternoon is dr. caroline jenny. dr. jeannie is the john l noll, and i pronouncing it correctly? professor of american civil war and director of the john l now, i will get it right, silver personal history and university of virginia. she is a graduate from uaa, worked at the national park service as a historian, an active lecture as you might imagine, winner of a number of different teaching awards. she is coeditor of the university of, and oppresses american civil war series, past president of the society civil war historians, published five books, have them listed on your program, civil war reunion and the limits of reconciliation. she edited petersburg appomattox to work in virginia, and another one on the list is during the debt but not the past, it is memorial associations and the lost cause.
her talk today is we were not surrendered, parole and lee's army after appomattox. >> good afternoon. it is nice to see so many familiar faces in the audience. i know this is the time right after lunch, this is why i teach in the mornings, i know what happens after lunch. i will try to keep you all awake. before i get started, though, if you think he is. first, thank you to longwood university for hosting us. thank you to the folks at appomattox, especially to robin snyder. and i cannot say enough about how helpful patrick has been for the past couple of years i have been working on this new project. he has been more than generous, jonah both professionally and personally is just a treat of national park service folks, thank you patrick. he does deserve and applause.
i also want to think two other historians in the audience his work has been so important to mine. that is chris hawkins and ron wilson. the use their books all the time. i am so appreciative of all the work they have done. so, let's get to appomattox. in the year since 1865, as many as you well know, appomattox has become shorthand for the swift close to the civil war. mounted of course by grant magnanimous time. into all are probably well familiar with this term, confederate soldiers would turn in their arms and go home on parole to be disturbed by u.s. forces, unless they broke the law. but, as major general george h sharp, head of the u.s. bureau of military information, and assistant provost marshal observed only one month after the surrender, a large number of lee's army were not paroled at appomattox. so, let's talk about that,
let's start with some numbers. of the approximately 60,000 men available to the army of northern virginia after the evacuation of petersburg and richmond on april 2, only somewhere between 26,020 8000, or to use some number, 28,300 -- 231 soldiers were officially promoted paroled at appomattox between the ninth and 12. if we account for the approximately 11,000 casualties sustained between april 2 and eight, a conservative estimate would suggested that at least 20,000 of these men were not paroled at appomattox. to date, using documents like this from the national archives, i have compiled a list of almost 16,000 soldiers. the database of 16,000 soldiers who were paroled somewhere beyond appomattox. appomattox, this creates a great irony.
it was, and continues to be seen at the end of lee's army, and therefore the war. but a significant portion of the northern virginia did not surrender in the small village. so, discovering what happened to them is the story of my talk today. we have had other discoveries of ships, of buildings, but i want to talk about rediscovering these men, why they were not there, where they ended up, and how their war ended. let's start with why these men were not at appomattox. their reasons were varied as the men themselves. many had been starting stragglers, unable to keep up with the relentless pace of lee's army. others had seen the writing on the wall during their retreat, leaving even before the surrender. a good example of this was benjamin sims of the 17th virginia. he was a conscript from louisa county, he had enlisted in 1863. and sims flood along with much of his regiment of five forks
on april 1 here he is in his journal. we take to the woods every man for himself, adding that he joined up with two other members of his company about a mile from the field. unable to find a spot to cross the appomattox river on april 2, he and his comrades simply went home. like others, he believed there was little use in resisting anymore. others made it to the field at appomattox. but, then decided to forgo the humiliation of surrender. others refused to be conquered. here, we have south carolinian until most david mcintosh who says as a great example. here he is writing in his journal a little bit later. our first inclination was to stay with my command and share their faith function convinced me my first and only duty was to my country. and, as long as that could be of service, as long as i could be of service to her, i should avoid surrender. so, unable to witness what he described as the spectacle of
surrender and he and seven others selected a ravine, and protected by woods for their escape, they ripped off their badges of rank, disguised their uniforms as much as possible. cut through a swamp, leaving the forces with them for several miles before forcing a black man to guide them southwest. they would make their way south, hoping to meet up with johnson's army and continue the war. a fair number of calvary men had escaped the union court on april 9. recognizing, here is one of these great maps by the civil war trust. thank you to the transfer all of the work that they do. recognizing his uncle had be forced to --, along with major general thomas walther, colonel thomas mumford, and about 1500 to 2400 of the troopers and head west towards lynchburg. smith we would return, he would try to find the, surrender himself here to farmville, surrender himself to meet on the 11th and get his parole other calvary men made their way
to lynchburg. we will come back and talk about some of those in a few minutes. others never made their way, never made it all the way to lynchburg, including private hear w harding company d the nephrogenic calvary. in his diary, the evening of april 9. he noted that the noble army of northern virginia was surrender today at 10 in the calvary order to buckingham courthouse there to be disbanded. having heard the news, though, harding headed home. >> i made my way out he wrote, crossed the james at horwitz bill ferry, came down the river and stopped for the night at mr. lewis's. from there, the next day he headed east, reaches his home on the chesapeake bay the following sunday. these are some of the men who weren't there. what about the terms, what did the terms say about men like harding, manlike roster, mumford, and other calvary men or artillery who had escaped the surrender? on april 10, the six
commissioners that had been appointed by grant and we met to discuss the details. here, you have your three union giving griffin and merritt, and your three confederate commissioners, hamilton, gordon, illustrated we discussed many issues. one of the most pressing issues as he was to be included in the surrender? at one point, what is getting rather frustrated with this conversation. he says the terms thus far have been magnanimous, they should continue to be so, he gives a passionate speech. afterward, all six generals agree that the terms should include all of lee's troops, except any calvary that had made its escape, and any artillery more than 20 miles from appomattox courthouse at the time of the surrender. now, granted to come to a similar conclusion. either on his own, or perhaps he hears about an early version of this agreement. regardless, only afternoon of april 10, as he is writing towards barksdale, he receives
a telegraph from secretary of war stanton, asking about who is to be included in the surrender. in particular, stanton is worried about the troops operating in northern and eastern virginia, and more specifically, he is really worried about mosby. he writes to grant, where the troops operating in northern and eastern virginia to be included in the surrender, or only those under lee's immediate personal commands? again, very much worried about mosby and other parts of the rangers. grant replied this matter was only of the men left with the pursuit army at the time of surrender. those who had escaped, and were detached at the area, at the time are not included. so, at first he says they are not included. but in the very same response, we see grant being flexible in his terms.
he believed, he said that the same terms should be offered to all of the fragments of the army of northern virginia so that they might voluntarily surrender. generosity flood naturally. here is the commission agreement. we should be looking at grant here. generosity flood naturally from grants from the winning commander, this is also part of what lincoln has wanted him to do. so, he is putting forth what lincoln has told him all along. he wanted to be a lenient piece but it is not nearly generosity. that motivates grant instead, his willingness to make these terms flexible reflected his desire to bring a swift and clear and to lee's army. he knows that lee's army is the centerpiece of confederate nationalism. and, he wants his army to come to an end once and for all. now, grant and stanton recognized the significant number of policemen had not
surrendered at appomattox. but they had either escaped, invaded or been detached. as such on the evening of april 10, stanton sent this to you, major general and phil scott hancock commanding the middle military division is up in winchester. stanton sends him instructions to print and circulate the final surrender terms all within his line. stanton instructed hancock that all detachments and stragglers, listen to that language there, detachments and stragglers from the army of northern virginia who turn themselves into union authorities would be paroled under the same conditions extended to those at appomattox. and then they would be allowed to return home. those who did not surrender, would be captured and held as prisoners of war. by the following afternoon, circulars such as the one as you see before you, are posted throughout the shenandoah
valley, reproducing the entire exchange of letters between lee and grant. so, these are posted throughout the lower valley, and in the newspaper. i know you cannot see this one, this is the type of thing that should've in the newspaper the very next day, a stern message from hancock about these terms. he writes in part, every military restraint shall be removed but is not absolutely essential. and, your sons, your husbands and your brothers shall remain with you unmolested. but, those who failed to turn themselves in, he warned, using stanton's language, would be treated as prisoners of war in . he offered one more word of caution, especially to those who have been harboring marauding bands, and perhaps partisan rangers, close, every outrage committed by them will be followed with the severest infliction. it is for you to determine the amount of freedom you are to enjoy, he declares.
i want you to pause here, and consider the uncertainty of this moment while people are celebrating, while washington is celebrating the surrender of lee's army, in places like the valley, it is still very uncertain what this means, does this mean the war is coming to an end? what about all of those men were still out there and attached to lee's main army, who might find other partisan bands. word goes out from washington to other union commanders throughout the region that the same conditions, the same terms offered need to be offered everywhere. so along the north and next, near norfolk, along the border with marilyn, union officers are charged with extending the same terms. all detached, no different patient was to be made. again, this morning follows.
those who did not would be captured and held as prisoners of war. underscoring all of this, was grant fear of continued guerrilla warfare. grant hoped that all of the rebels would soon lay down their guns, including partisan rangers. and, perhaps it was his conversation with lee on the morning of april 10, that had given him pause. grant later recalled in his memoirs, that lee had pointed out, the south was a big country, and that we might have to march over a three or four times before the war entirely ended. grant was thinking about this, if all those men do not lay down their arms with a regroup, with a joint with forces like mosby. other so-called guerrillas click even with the surrender of 28,000 men at appomattox, maybe this war wouldn't be over. in deed, there were those confederates who believed this
to be the case, who believed well after april 9 that, there might be another chance, there might be other opportunities. many of those who fled appomattox or were detached remain determined to carry on the fight among them thomas radford, excuse me thomas mumford, hank chamberlain, david mcintosh, john mosby and others. many of them would think their way to north carolina, trying to join up with jojo, instead, what i want to talk to who did take grant offered. that is in the days and weeks after april 9, thousands of lee's men would complete the process of surrender in paroling that began at appomattox. on april 10, hill will use the map to show us where we are, on april 10, lieutenant colonel
thaddeus l barker and ricky fermented court began issuing paroles here in farmville. from his headquarters on main street, marshall barker paroled at least 2384 confederates over the next 11 days. who were these men? some of those men were men who have been captured in the fighting on the eighth the night. there was debate about whether they were to be included in the terms. as of april 11, barker is paroling these men. nearly 600 of those paroled had been patients in the towns hospitals. some of them admitted only a few days earlier. but, the vast majority of the parolees who showed up here in farmville were able-bodied men, whose units had been present at appomattox on the morning of april 9. they came from nearly every confederate state represented in the army. virginia, north carolina, south carolina, georgia, maryland, tennessee, and from all of these units arrived here in farmville, where they signed
their paroles and were given the same conditions as those who have remained on the field at appomattox. to the west in lynchburg which is nicely cut off on my math, you can see the red circle. in lynchburg, somewhere around 2000 calvary men heads flood, many of them were still many of them dispersed on the morning of april 10 is still a significant number in lynchburg. the two offered themselves up to the federal calorie plans union soldiers took over town. between april 12 and 16, u.s. authorities issued approximately 5000 paroles in lynchburg. what's interesting about the paroles in lynchburg, though, unlike farmville, where soldiers had showed up pretty but as individuals, maybe one or two men from the same, those rendered in lynchburg itself as
units not lost on union major general mckenzie quite a number he reported surrendered in their company organization give you just a few examples of this. self, 30 members of the louisiana-based washington artillery had at appomattox. on april 13, at least 42 men from the battalion sought paroles in lynchburg 60 members of lynchburg's own ods battery, 21 men from the second maryland battery, with the ultimate light artillery, 39 men from the 11th virginia, all units who had been present on the morning of april 9 at appomattox. at burke phil, a key junction of the richmond and danville and southside railroad, the provost marshal recorded 1614 names in a three day period, stretching from april 14 to april 17 burke phil is a little bit different, in that it proves a popular site, because this is where you can catch a
train on the way to petersburg. if you show up in burke intricate paroled, if you have not been sold, not only is it possible, not guaranteed, but possible that you can hitch a ride to petersburg, but you might also get some rations some of the men showing up here are doing so because they realize that is their opportunity to get home faster, and to get some rations. here in brookville, they also come in as units. many of those who had escaped, or otherwise failed to arrive at appomattox made their way to their railroad junction in order to get the papers that they would need to get them home. then, on april 14, that evening, lincoln as you all know, was assassinated. contrary to what we might think, or even expect, rather than suspending the paroling process, lincoln's
assassination made it all the more pressing that remnants of lee's army who had not surrendered willingly do so. the dispersal of lee's army had inflamed fears of roving vans and marauders, even the organized dispersal that happens after appomattox, many union soldiers, and others are writing and talking about the fact that, what does this mean to send 27,000 men across the countryside, they are worried about marauders, we are worried about partisan warfare continuing, and in the wake of lincoln's assassination, these fears are only high-end. there are lots and lots of examples of union soldiers, some who are stationed here at farmville, and others stationed at burke phil talking about this. they are talking about the revenge they will seek, this is all because of grant magnanimous terms. because he has extended these
terms, now look what has happened. that does not change the union high command response, though. instead of saying no more paroling, they amped up the paroling. along the northern neck, up and down the shenandoah valley, and the counties north of richmond, across the potomac into maryland and west virginia, the u.s. calvary is sent out, looking for stragglers, looking for men who have not been paroled. back in the valley, in winchester, hancock recognized that hundreds, if not thousands of lee's men had taken to the hills and the hamlets of the shenandoah valley without parole. now, his announcement on april 10, offering the same terms as those given at appomattox, had already convinced at least 35 men by april 14, to come turn themselves in at winchester. that is what they would do, they would go into the town of winchester, where they would seek out the provost marshal and find their individual parole. but, the possibility of assassins escaping south through the valley, heightened a sense of urgency. hancock gets in a bit of a
battle with hallux, he is writing back and forth. how are you saying don't let anyone into your lives. hancock says wait, we are supposed to make sure that we parole all of these men. we have to encourage them to come in. he had reports that there were some that were going to come turn themselves in now with lincoln's assassination, it is unclear, is this were going to continue? are these men going to continue to seek out paroles? what hancock does, as he is waiting for a response from hallux which i don't think he really cared what hallock had to say, he instructs his provost marshals to continue to the paroling process. but now, instead of just recording the names of the individual, the company, and the regimen, and i wish you could see this better, here is a scanned version slightly darker, we look at the paroles that take place in the valley, he instructs his provost marshals to gather not only the name, company, and regimen, but also a physical description. age, height, complexion, hair,
and eyecolor. and, just as a side note, this is wonderful information for people doing genealogical research. was of these are in the compiled service records, this is how the provost marshals will have kept the record of them, so we can find out so much about what these men looks like. i wondered why all of a sudden this type of information shows up. i don't know this for sure, but it seems that perhaps this would be helpful in confirming paroles, or perhaps more ominously in identifying those who had been involved in the assassination. if some men willingly sought out paroles, others found themselves hunted down. rather than wait for men to come into winchester, hancock sends out calvary patrols up and down the shenandoah valley, looking for units and stragglers. as they make their way into mount jackson on the morning of april 18, here, union troopers
paroled at least 25 members of company d of the 12th virginia calvary, that unit was actually raised in jefferson county at that point, then west virginia. the next day, 24 men from the first maryland calvary were patrolled in newmarket. in short, in the wake of the assassination, word continues to spread among confederates, that hancock's men would be willing to parole any man who gave himself up. from his home in stanton, the as yet on paroled, not jedediah hotchkiss, said willing willing to do so. interest is interestingly enough, hotchkiss does not do so until early may. my he holdout is unclear. within a week, these are part of the maps i have been working on with my project, with in a week, at least 1793 men had been paroled in the valley,
including the vast majority of mosby's 43rd battalion, the vast majority of these men turned themselves in at winchester on april 22. so, the day after mosby has substantial his command. he takes off south. but a great many of his men do. remnants of lee's army stream in the federal post in small- town and throughout the virginia countryside. they gushed into richmond. here is a sketch we have of men crossing one of the pontoon bridges. here is the custom house, where mussina patrick would establish his office on april 13. even before he gets there, even before april 13, these on paroled men are coming into richmond, speaking for rose. most of these men are virginians, i am not sure how you can see this. with the chart on the right, it breaks out men by their regiments. just to give you a sense of
this 70 three men from the virginia infantry, 52 men from the third virginia cover and calvary, these men are coming in as units. these are not one or two men coming in at a time a great example of someone who comes in at the time is our wearing of the ninth virginia calvary it would have been a number of lee's division. i would like to link the family that shared this picture of him. i have his name and my database. a family member told me they had this picture. lo and behold, there he is, someone from richmond, turned himself in. we can now put a face to these names. it is not just virginians who are turning themselves in, in richmond. fragments of regiments from north carolina, georgia, louisiana, florida, south carolina, mississippi, alabama, at least 1610 soldiers from lee's army would surrender at
the former confederate capital. surrenders were going on throughout virginia in the month of april. on april 21 and 22nd, more than 500 men surrendered to themselves at the headquarters of the district of eastern virginia in norfolk. most of these men belonged to the fifth and 13th virginia calvary. unit organized in the surrounding princes and accomack, norfolk, nansemond counties as well as norfolk city. these are men who have made their way towards home. when they get the news about the paroles, make their way in on april 21 and april 22. then benjamin sims, 17 virginia, skedaddled at five forks. on april 27, benjamin sims had gone on to louisa county, decided that he too would go seek his parole. he goes to ashland, north of richland, where he would get his parole.
another story for another time, the paroling of lee's arm extended well be on the commonwealth. in west virginia, more than 600 men were paroled at charleston. 52 in clarksburg, and 65 in romney. overwhelmingly, these are calvary. again, a lot of these were detached units. not all of these men were men who should have been at appomattox. in north carolina, more than 2000 men from the army of northern virginia would be paroled. the vast majority of these, a little over 1000 would be paroled in greensboro about 450 in goldsboro, and 308 in charlotte between may 1, and june 5. most of the men in that group from charlotte, they were from every state. as you might expect, by may 5, or by may 11 to june 5, many of these men were north carolinians who made their way home and finally decided to get paroled.
throughout april, continuing into may, and even into june, the soldier struggled in, sometimes as individuals, but often as groups, to secure the paroles. the final number of men i have in my database which is certainly not complete this 15,739. this includes places beyond virginia, maryland, north carolina, west virginia. along the northern neck, the eastern shore, over the peninsula and richmond, and farmville, and lynchburg, throughout the shenandoah valley. the process begun here at appomattox of disbanding and paroling these armies continued. some decided it was in their best interest to turn themselves into union provost marshals and the region. others found themselves essentially hunted down by the
u.s. calvary, and felt they had no choice but to turn themselves in. regardless of confederate reasons in seeking and accepting pearls, their ability to do so reflected the inclusiveness, the flexibility, and the generosity of grant terms. more importantly, this often overlooked story is crucial to understanding how the war ended. it does not always fit neatly into our story of appomattox as a definitive moment of peace. of course, we all know that not only is johnson's army in the field, but there are other armies in the field. appomattox really is, read any popular book about the war. appomattox is a stand in for the end of the war. the fact that at least one third of lee's army was paroled at someplace other than appomattox, should remind us of three things. first, of grant desire for a swift and clear and to lee's army, and by extension the war.
second, the history is often far messier and less precise than we would like to imagine. and finally, in keeping with the theme of this year's serious, but we still have a great feel to discover about the civil war. thank you. >> great talk any questions, anybody step up to the mic and ask the question? we have one coming here. state your name if you would first >> jean cavanagh, i am a native new yorker, transplanted to virginia. some of the prisoners, cans, and stuff in upper new york, how did they deal with that, were they given paroles? >> not immediately, not until mid summer.
men who had been captured and sent to camp lookout or elsewhere would remain in those prison camps until mid summer. that is another part of the going home process that happens later in the story. >> what we are talking about is the ones that are in prison camp are not getting paroled like the soldiers in the field. they are taking the oath of allegiance, or swallowing the yellow dog to be let out of the prison camps, elmira, point lookout, and so they are taking a look to an oath to the united states to go home. some of them stay in those prison camps for august, maybe longer. in any more questions. we have another gentleman here. >> i have got to confess, i never understood this whole parole process.
the world of centralized databanks on the internet, if somebody surrendered in brookville, and they got a parole, and it was on a piece of paper, and they had to surrender their weapon, and they walked home, and they were challenged by a calvary patrol on their way home, and they said i have been paroled, i have got this piece of paper, how would the union not know it was a forgery, how do they know that this wasn't, i just don't understand how the whole thing functionally worked. >> you are right to point out, there is no overarching system. there are a couple different levels to that. the parole lists that are created at appomattox, and i'm going to defer some of these questions to ron and questions as well, those lists at the company level, at the
confederate and doesn't and they let him pass after he pulled out a gun. there is a story that years later he is still being harassed. there are all sorts of examples like that out there. >> we have a couple more questions. to your question, they didn't have the technology to confirm that this is this man and this is legitimate, but the other thing, i think, at the time of the civil war when someone gave their word or took an oath they tended to stick with it and live by it where as today we might not do that. people really, if they gave their word they were expected to do what they said.
>> my name is jim morgan. if you cover this i missed it typology is. i wonder about mcintosh and south carolina guys. i wonder what happened to them and in your list of units, did you find most hard-core would've been south carolina and how do you approach that? >> i haven't parse the regiment in that way yet you are talking about who leaves and who doesn't? >> [ inaudible question ].>> do you know that? >> ron enlightened me to this early on that what soldiers deserted most from northern virginia during the retreat to appomattox, anybody ? virginia because they are marching by their homes and having calls
from their family to come protect their homes and going by roads that will lead to their homes the virginians are the ones leaving the army more than anyone else. the troops that paroled appomattox are from , ron? georgia. i don't know what ratio they were with the army, but they could just take off on this road that goes to gordonsville when they have to go to georgia, that would be long process. i can't tell you what units, texans, whoever stated the most or the longest. it is those troops that have farther to travel home.>> it depends on what you mean by holdout, do you mean that stragglers were men like mcintosh who were bound and determined to continue the fight
and making their way johnson or kirby smith. that number is far fewer. it is not that many. i would say, numbingly and this is anecdotal they are virginians and they are young has been college-age men many of whom know each other, some of them had been at church and avoided surrender they will make their way to north carolina. david mcintosh had gone with chamberlain and they make wonderful accounts and johnson says he can't accept service and they keep going. mcintosh will go on to his home in south carolina and they will holdout for period of time. it is a lot of guys from richmond that are determined to continue the fight and one of the other parts to this is
another chapter to the story is what is going on in north carolina and what their response is. sherman is feeding his fear. he is constantly reminding brent about the threat of guerrilla warfare and one of the things he says is these young men those young hotheaded men and he is kind of right in the sense of which of those are determined to continue the fight or those who leave records about their willingness to do so. >> i had a question on the confederate hospital system. was that just, once they were captured, how did they do the surrender?
>> those are paroled as well and the hospitals, the men in the hospital is paroled as well so they are included in those for richmond and lynchburg and some of them continue to convalesce and others home. think you all very much. being holiday weekend, saturday 10 on real america, the 1970 honor america day like for celebration of the national featuring comedian bob hope and the reverend billy graham.
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talks about the recent discovery and several amputated limbs that had been buried following the battle. is hour- long talk was part of a daylong seminar cohosted by longwood university in virginia and the national historic park. >> our last speaker for the day- he has a long career in the national park service and was legislative record leader for the capita