Our One Common Country: Abraham Lincoln and the Hampton Roads Peace Conference of 1865
James B. Conroy
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[Read by Malcolm Hillgartner]
Our One Common Country explores the most critical meeting of the Civil War. Given short shrift or overlooked by many historians, the Hampton Roads Conference of 1865 was a crucial turning point in the War between the States. In this well written and highly documented book, James B. Conroy describes in fascinating detail what happened when leaders from both sides came together to try to end the hostilities. The meeting was meant to end the fighting on peaceful terms. It failed, however, and the war dragged on for two more bloody, destructive months.
Through meticulous research of both primary and secondary sources, Conroy tells the story of the doomed peace negotiations through the characters who lived it. With a fresh and immediate perspective, Our One Common Country offers a thrilling and eye-opening look into the inability of our nation's leaders to find a peaceful solution. The failure of the Hampton Roads Conference shaped the course of American history and the future of America's wars to come.
attack Fort Stedman on his left. If he succeeded, Grant’s connections to City Point would be threatened. If he failed, which was likely, he would force Grant to shift his forces “and delay the impending disaster for the more convenient season for retreat.” Davis approved the disaster-delaying plan. Sarah Pryor’s husband had enjoyed a colorful career as an American diplomat in Greece, a US congressman, a target of Thaddeus Stevens, and a Confederate congressman turned general. He resigned
30. Taylor’s talk with Davis: Richard Taylor, Destruction and Reconstruction: Personal Experiences of the Late War (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1879), pp. 204–06. 31. “a fixed, ineradicable distrust”: Crist, vol. 11, p. 59. 31. The “infernal Hydra”: OR, ser. 4, vol. 3, pp. 707–10; Crist, vol. 11, p. 78. 31. Speech in Columbus: Id., p. 76. 31. Speech in Augusta: McElroy, p. 423. 31. Speech in Columbia: Crist, vol. 11, p. 85. 31. “no reason to doubt”: OR, ser. 4, vol.
seven-year-old son. Preston and Eliza’s mansion was spared the flames but not the attentions of the Rebels, who liberated its wine cellar. The fun got started in the morning and continued until five, when General Early and his second in command rode up in a spitting rage. Early descended on the officers while General John C. Breckinridge laid into the troops, some of them with loot in their hands and lingerie around their necks. Breckinridge put men in irons and summoned a different regiment
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the Rebel emissaries and vouched for Seward’s pledge. His reputation suffered further when Lincoln decided otherwise. Convinced that Seward had betrayed him (an opinion he would later change), Campbell resigned and went home to Alabama, “to follow the fortunes of my people.” He met a cold reception. In July of 1861, the South Carolinian Mary Chesnut visited friends in Warrenton, Virginia, not far from Washington City. “We saw across the lawn, but not to speak to them, some of Judge Campbell’s