Our One Common Country: Abraham Lincoln and the Hampton Roads Peace Conference of 1865
James B. Conroy
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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.
precision. 172. a warm sun: See Willcox, p. 605. 172. on the vessel’s upper deck: Porter, Grant, p. 423. 172. The commissioners arrived first. See Stephens, CV, vol. 2, p. 599. 172. the River Queen’s saloon: George P. A. Healy’s carefully researched painting, The Peacemakers, on the cover of this book, portrays the River Queen’s saloon when Lincoln, Grant, Sherman, and Admiral David Porter met there a few weeks after the peace conference (see chapter 24). See also Arnold, p. 423,
Congress,” 4 The Conservative Review (September–December 1900): 97–112. ———, “The Hampton Roads Conference,” 29 Forum (March 1900): 92–103. Gorgas, Amelia Gayle, Sarah Woolfolk Wiggins, ed., “As I Saw It: One Woman’s Account of the Fall of Richmond,” 25 Civil War Times Illustrated (May 1986): 40–43. Holden, C. W., “Horace Greeley,” 3 Holden’s Dollar Magazine (January 1849): 32–35. Hunter, Robert M. T., “R. M. T. Hunter, The Peace Commission of 1865,” 3 Southern Historical Society
A., “Abraham Lincoln in Richmond,” 41 Virginia Historical Magazine (October 1933): 318–22. Nicolay, John, and John Hay, “Abraham Lincoln, A History: Blair’s Mexican Project,” 38 Century Magazine (October 1889): 838–44. Peabody, Elizabeth, Arlin Turner, ed., “Elizabeth Peabody Visits Lincoln, February 1865,” 48 New England Quarterly (March 1975): 119–24. Scoville, James M., “Thaddeus Stevens,” 61 Lippincott’s Magazine (April 1898): 545–51. Stephens, Robert, “An Incident of
The president should include no new offers or sentiments on the subject, Stanton said. He should merely say that the door was open, invite the ordinary people to return to their duties, ask them if they would not be better off if they had taken his offer a year ago and come back to the Union with their lives, their liberty, and their property. Lincoln did not disagree. But how was he to know what those ordinary people were thinking? There was no mail service between the North and South. What
civil war. Stephens replied that he was surely no enemy, but nothing on earth could “save us from the madness,” or so, he feared, it seemed. After his fellow Georgians chose him to help pick an interim Confederate government, he was urged to seek the presidency and respectfully declined. He had not been part of “the movement,” he said, but agreed to accept a unanimous draft. The burden passed when Davis was chosen instead. His selection as vice president, a sop to his fellow moderates, was a