John A. Campbell Amnesty File, M1003, National Archives
[p. 13]

13. All these efforts being abortive, I could only await the ruin certainly to arrive. I wrote to Gov. Fitzgerald of Alabama of date 9th March 1865 telling him that Richmond would be evacuated, Gen. Lee’s army disbanded or surrendered, & the Confederate army destroyed & to take measure for the restoration of Alabama to the Union.

14. I determined to remain in Richmond when evacuation should occur & to renew my obligations to the U. S.

15. I reported to Brig. Gen. Shepley, Military Governor of Richmond 4 April 1865 and obtained military protection upon a statement of my determination.

16. I had a conference with the late President Lincoln the 4th April 1865 in which I informed him of my position.

I informed him that efforts for peace had been made during the winder & that the most prominent public men of the State were ready to aid in the work of pacification [14] and that if he would call them together the work would be nearly done “that when leniency & cruelty play for the conquest of a kingdom the gentlest player will be the soonest winner.”

He appointed a second interview the following morning & exhibited a broad, liberal, generous, & magnanimous form of settlement, that endears his memory to me – a portion of his plan was in writing, & he left it with me.

He voluntarily proposed, not to call the public & unofficial men, as I suggested, but the legislature of Virginia, “that they might attorn to the legitimate authority.”
My connection with President Lincoln was a connection of good faith & unfeigned desire to secure peace – in a permanent & abiding form for this Union. All imputations of an other purpose proceed from jealously, ill will, & distrust.

17. I subscribed the oath of amnesty under the proclamation of President Lincoln of 8th Decr 1865 the 6th May 1865. I applied for amnesty under an order of Gen. Halleck of the 4th of that month.
I have directed that proofs of that petition be forwarded & ask that they be considered with this.

18. I was arrested at my home, in Richmond at 10 P. M. the 22nd ult & sent to this Post the 30th ult.

[remainder, not related to Lincoln’s visit, or the peace plan, was not transcribed. MDG]

[signed] J. A. Campbell

Fort Pulaski 22nd June 65

Go to top