Hopewell, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Four Centuries: City Point, Virginia 1613 A.D.
“Let them surrender and go home, they will not take up arms again. Let them all go, officers and all, let them have their horses to plow with, and, if you like, their guns to shoot crows. Treat them liberally...I say, give them the most liberal and honorable terms.” – Abraham Lincoln, City Point Virginia, on board the President’s Ship, River Queen, March 28, 1865
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
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
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 the board of the River Queen at City Point.
President Lincoln and his son, Tad, were sketched by Winslow Homer, artist for Harper's Weekly during their visit to City Point in June 1864.
Erected 2013 by City of Hopewell, Commonwealth of Virginia.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Government & Politics • War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #16 Abraham Lincoln, and the Former U.S. Presidents: #18 Ulysses S. Grant series lists. A significant historical month for this entry is February 1865.
Location. 37° 18.934′ N, 77° 16.587′ W. Marker is in Hopewell, Virginia. Marker is on Pecan Avenue just east of Brown Avenue, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1016 Pecan Ave, Hopewell VA 23860, United States of America. Touch for directions.
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); Appomattox Manor (within shouting distance of this marker); City Point's Rails And Waterways (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); General Grant's Headquarters at City Point (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Depot Field Hospital (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hopewell.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. This marker has replaced the linked marker.
Credits. This page was last revised on May 9, 2020. It was originally submitted on May 9, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 50 times since then and 10 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on May 9, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.