Johnson, Grant and the Big Parade

Presidential History Blog

Andrew Johnson, 17th President

Mid-March through Mid-May, 1865 were fraught with events

March 1865

With General Ulysses Grant squeezing the Rebel Army even tighter in Petersburg, VA, and General William Sherman marching his vast army up the eastern coast, everyone knew that the end of a terrible Civil War was close at hand. Yes, there would be more fighting and more casualties, but the end was coming.

Lincoln meets with his Generals.

And to that end, President Abraham Lincoln, newly inaugurated to his second term, paid a visit to General Grant and Admiral David Porter. General Sherman made a flying trip to join the discussions.

Lincoln obviously meant every word in his “malice toward none” Second Inaugural speech. He wanted it to be policy: “let ‘em up easy.” A generous approach would woo the vanquished far easier than brutal blame and punishment demanded by many in Congress.

April 9-15, 1865

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