Hopewell, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
The best-remembered visitor to General Grant’s headquarters at City Point was President Abraham Lincoln. During his first visit between June 21 and June 23, 1864, the President was greeted enthusiastically, especially by the black soldiers of General William F. Smith’s Eighteenth Corps, who had captured a portion of the original Confederate defense lines on June 15th. In February, 1865, Vice-President Alexander Stephens, Assistant Secretary of War John Campbell, and Senator Robert Hunter of the Confederate Government came to City Point in an effort to negotiate a peaceful end to the war. Grant hosted the Southern emissaries at his headquarters, then sent them through the lines to meet with President Lincoln and Secretary of State William Seward at Hampton Roads, Virginia. Negotiations ground to a halt when the Confederate delegation insisted on Southern independence as an indispensable provision for peace. On their way back to Richmond, the Confederate
Lincoln’s second visit began the evening of March 24, 1865, and lasted two weeks. During this time President Lincoln met with his staff on board the River Queen to discuss the military situation. The meeting established the basis for the magnanimous surrender terms by Grant and Sherman to the defeated Confederate armies.
. . . Old Abe’s Last Joke
Yesterday about one o’clock a long, gaunt, bony man with queer admixture of the comical and doleful in his countenance . . . undertook to reach the General’s tent by scrambling through a hedgerow and coming in the back way alone. He was stopped by one of the hostlers, and told to “keep out of here.” The individual in black replied that he thought Genl. Grant would allow him inside, and strode ahead. On reaching the guard he was stopped with “No sanitary folks allowed inside.” After some parleying the intruder was compelled to give his name, and announced himself to be Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, desiring an interview with Gen’l Grant. The guard saluted and allowed him to pass. Genl. Grant recognized him as stepped under the large “fly” in front of his tent, rose and shook hands with him cordially . . . It was ascertained that the President had just arrived . . . and was accompanied by his son “Tad” . . . (at dinner) the President was duly seated, ate much as other mortals, managed to ring in three favorite jokes during the meal, under the plea of illustrating the topics discussed . . .
- Excerpt from Mr. S. Cadwallader’s Dispatch, City Point, June 11, 1864, New York Herald, June 25, 1864
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 37° 18.936′ N, 77° 16.586′ W. Marker is in Hopewell, Virginia. Marker is on Pecan Avenue, on the left when traveling east. Click for map. Marker is in the City Point Unit of Petersburg National Battlefield. Marker is in this post office area: Hopewell VA 23860, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. General Grant's Headquarters (within shouting distance of this marker); City Point’s Rails And Waterways (within shouting distance of this marker); Appomattox Manor (within shouting distance of this marker); City Point (within shouting distance of this marker); City Point, Virginia (within shouting distance of this marker); Porter House (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named City Point (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Depot Field Hospital (about 400 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Hopewell.
More about this marker. The bottom right of the marker features a drawing with the caption, “President Lincoln and his son, Tad, sketched by Winslow Homer, artist for Harper’s Weekly during their visit to City Point in June 1864.” The top of the marker contains a painting of the famous meeting at City Point. It has a caption of “Painted after the fact, the G.P.A. Healy painting of The Peacemakers shows Major General William T. Sherman, Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant, President Abraham Lincoln, and Admiral David Dixon Porter on board the River Queen at City Point.”
Also see . . . Grant's Headquarters. National Park Service site offering details about Grant's Headquarters. (Submitted on June 4, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
Categories. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,030 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.