IN THE FIELD, RALEIGH, N. C.
April 18, 1865.
I have just got back from a long interview with General Johnston and Breckenridge, Secretary of War to the Confederacy, in which we arranged terms for the disbandment of all the Confederate armies from this to the Rio Grande, the submission to the national authority, etc., which I send at once to Washington for ratification, when this cruel war will be over. I can hardly realize it, but I can see no slip. The terms are all on our side. If approved I can soon complete the details, leave Schofield here and march my army for the Potomac, there to be mustered out and paid. If I accomplish this I surely think I will be entitled to a month's leave to come and see you. The assassination of Mr. Lincoln is most unfortunate, but we ride a whirlwind and must take events as they arise. I have notice that I was embraced in the programme, but the fellow who was to do the job did not appear, and if he is not in a hurry he will be too late. I don't fear an assassin, though I would prefer, for the name of the thing, to get my quietus in a more honest way, in open manly fight. . . .
SOURCES: M. A. DeWolfe Howe, Editor, Home Letters of General Sherman, p. 344-5. A full copy of this letter can be found in the William T Sherman Family papers (SHR), University of Notre Dame Archives (UNDA), Notre Dame, IN 46556, Folder CSHR 2/23