Saturday, April 1st, 1865
Review by Gen. Mower, our Corps Commander.
Dispatch stating the capture of Richmond (Virginia).
On Picket; orders to march in the morning; Abney, Gaines, Roggers, Matner ( ?) and Collins returned to the Company from the rear.
March 7 a.m.; pass through town; some skirmishing, camp 5 p.m., 10 miles; rain.
(Editor’s Note: It was on the 10th of April that Sherman’s army moved from Goldsboro’ starting at daybreak. Slocum’s column marched along the two most direct roads to Smithfield.)
March 11a.m., camp 6 p.m., near Smithfield (N.C.), 15 miles; rain; pass through a well improved part of the state; slight skirmishing.
Oppressively warm; dispatch from Grant stating that Lee had surrendered his whole army; pass through Smithfield; march 20 miles; pass through the best country we have seen; Kilpatrick captured a rebel train with the Governor and some [illegible] (sentries).
(Editor’s Note: On April 9th after all hope of escape for Lee and his battered army of scarce 10,000 men had been cut off and after a previous refusal to Grant’s note asking for surrender, Lee’s request for an interview with the Union General was granted. Arrangements were made for the interview at Appomattox Court-House. There the two commanders met with courteous recognition at 2 o’clock on Palm Sunday the 9th of April. The terms of surrender were discussed and settled. They were most extraordinary under the circumstances for their leniency and magnanimity. They simply required Lee and his men to give their parole of honor that they would not take up arms against their government until regularly exchanged; gave to the officers their side arms, baggage and private horses and pledged the faith of the government that they would not be punished for their treason and rebellion so long as they should respect that parole and be obedient to the law. Cavalrymen of his army were also allowed to retain the horses they owned so that they might use them in tilling their farms. Lee professed to be touched by this leniency yet on the following day in disregard of that generosity he issued a farewell address to his army which no right minded and right hearted man would care to imitate under like circumstances. Under the disguise of very guarded language he told his soldiers, in effect, that in taking up arms against their country they had done a patriotic act and therefore he invoked God’s blessing upon their acts. They were instructed in that address to consider themselves unfortunate patriots who had been compelled to yield to the overwhelming numbers and resources of a tyrannical and unjust government. His words were treasured in memory and feeling and in the hearts of the enemies of the Republic was the hope someday to regain the “Lost Cause”.)
March 6 a.m.; Kilpatrick skirmishes with Johnston; we enter town (Smithfield) at 11 a.m., 10 miles.
(Editor’s Note: With the surrender of Lee the war was virtually ended. Although he was general-in-chief he included in the capitulation only the Army of Northern Virginia. That of Johnston in North Carolina and smaller bodies elsewhere were yet in arms.)
In town; a very pretty little town about 10,000 inhabitants; the State House is a splendid building, also there is a Bronze Statue of Washington, an Insane Asylum, Deaf and Dumb and Blind.
This evening at 9 p.m. the news of Johnson’s surrender, freely circulated, afterwards contradicted.
(Editor’s Note: Johnston and Sherman met at Durham’s Station about half way between Raleigh and Hillsboro’ at twelve o’clock and Johnston gave Sherman to understand that he regarded the Confederate cause as lost and that further war on the part of the Confederate troops was folly.)
Report of Lincoln’s assassination reached us; it has cast a gloom over the whole army.
General Sherman’s order read to us.
(Editor’s Note: Johnston admitted that Grant’s terms conceded to Lee were magnanimous and all that he could ask but he wanted concessions concerning the safety of his followers from harm from the outraged government and he insisted upon conditions of general pacification involving political guarantees which Sherman had no authority to agree to. The next day Sherman consented to a Memorandum (or order) of agreement as a basis for the consideration of the government. It proposed, practically, an utter forgetfulness of the events of the war and made it a hideous farce with the features of a dreadful tragedy. That memorandum or order was signed by the commanding generals in duplicate and Sherman sent a copy to his government. In his anxiety to end the war and restore the Union, Sherman with the purest motives and most earnest desire to do right made a grave mistake. The Memorandum arrived at Washington when the excitement occasioned by the murder of the President was at its height and the friends of the government felt little disposed to be lenient or even merciful much less unnecessarily magnanimous toward the Conspirators. The Memorandum was published and created universal indignation and alarm. The effect at that critical moment might have produced calamitous acts had not information that the Memorandum had been rejected by the new President and his Cabinet with the approval of General Grant went out with it with such explicit reasons for its rejection given by the Secy. of War that the people were assured that the government was not disposed to yield an iota of the fruits of its victory over rebellion.)
Gen. Sherman reviewed the 23rd Corps.
The 20th Corps reviewed by General Sherman.
At church in town twice.
Letter from Richard; orders to march in the morning. Gen. Grant in town; rumors are plenty; inspection by Gen. Robinson.
(Editor’s Note: General Grant was immediately sent to Raleigh to declare the rejection of the Memorandum, to relieve Sherman of command if he should think best to do so, and to direct an immediate and general resumption of hostilities. Pressing forward he reached Sherman’s headquarters at Raleigh on the morning of the 24th and directed that officer to communicate the decision to Johnston and notify him that the truce would close within 48 hours after the message should reach the Confederate lines. The notification was accompanied by a demand for the immediate surrender of Johnston’s army on the term’s granted to Lee. Then Sherman directed his corps commanders to resume the pursuit of Johnston at noon on the 26th. Well satisfied that Sherman’s mistake was the result of zeal for peace acting under misapprehensions, Grant left him in command, and from the hour when he directed him to end the truce and demand the surrender of Johnson’s army he was untrammeled by any order from his superior. Johnston did not even know that Grant was at the headquarters of the Union army when on the 25th he replied to Sherman’s note and asked for another conference. Johnston’s request was granted. The two commanders met near Durham’s Station in Orange County, N.C., on the 26th of April, 1865, and then agreed upon terms of capitulation precisely the same as those at Appomattox Court-House. Grant, who was waiting at Raleigh, approved of the terms when Johnston’s army, excepting a body of cavalry led by Wade Hampton, was surrendered in number about 25,000.)
March 8 a.m., marched 11 miles, camped 3 p.m.
(Editor’s Note: On April 27th special Field Orders were issued by Gen. Sherman in which the surrender of the Confederate army was announced; directions were given for the cessation of hostilities and relief of the distressed inhabitants near the army and orders for the return of the greater portion of the soldiers to their homes. Gen. Schofield commanding the Depart. of N.C. was left there with the 10th and 23rd Corps. Gens. Howard & Slocum were directed to conduct the remainder of the army to Richmond & on to Washington. Jacksonville Daily Journal noted on April 28, 1865; “It is reported that Sherman’s army is to be disbanded, and it is stated that it will require $110,000 to pay the men. Gen. Schofield’s forces will remain in North Carolina to maintain order”.)
March to Raleigh [North Carolina] at 8 a.m., arrive at 1 p.m.; 11 miles.
15th and 17th Corps marched for Richmond.
Monday, May 1st, 1865
Move 8 a.m., march 20 miles, camp at 5 p.m. on the Tar River [North Carolina].
March at 6 a.m., march 21 miles, camp 5 p.m. near Williamsboro [North Carolina]; everything looks like peace; the men are at home and the women look pleased and the farms are in good order.
March 6 a.m., march 16 miles; cross the Virginia State line, 6 p.m.; cross the Roanoke River 10 p.m.
March 8 a.m., cross a small River; country very barren; march 22 miles, camp 6 p.m.
March at 8 a.m., march 20 miles camp at 4 p.m., at the Little Notterway River; the country is full of paroled Rebel soldiers.
Move at 8 a.m., reach the South Side Railroad [Virginia]; see some of the 6th Corps; march 13 miles, camp 3 p.m., very warm.
March 6 a.m., cross the Appomattox [Virginia], camp at 5 p.m., 20 miles.
March 5 a.m., 17 miles, camp at 3 p.m. on Falling Creek [Virginia], 7 miles from Richmond, put up our tents in regulation form.
March 10 a.m., 4 miles.
In camp, 4 miles from Richmond.
March 10 a.m., pass through Richmond, camp at 6 p.m., 10 miles.
Considerable hail fell during the night; march 5 a.m., cross the South Anna River [Virginia], 16 miles, camp at 6 p.m., roads bad.
March 5 a.m. 16 miles; camp 2 p.m., roads swampy from the heavy rain.
March 5 a.m., cross the North Anna River, 20 miles; camp at Spottsylvania Court House [Virginia] 12 p.m.
March at 5 a.m., pass through the battlefield; hundreds of men laid on the ground scarcely covered; passed through the Chancellorsville Battlefield, 15 miles.
(Editor’s Note: Battle of Chancellorsville, May 6, 1863. After a struggle of several days, this battle ended in defeat & disaster to the Union. The losses of each were heavy – Rebels 12,277 and about 2,000 prisoners; Union 17,197 and about 5,000 prisoners.)
Crossed the Rappahannock River 9 a.m., camped 5 p.m., 15 mi.
March 10 a.m. in the rear parallel with the Blue Ridge Mountains; 15 miles; camp 6 p.m., crossing Manasses Plains.
March 10 a.m., cross the Manasses Plains, 20 miles; camp 6 p.m., near Fairfax Station [Virginia].
March 9 a.m., 20 miles; camp 7 p.m. at Alexandria [Virginia]; rains hard.
Army of the Potomac reviewed.
(Editor’s Note: When the army had reached Alexandria, the editor of the Jacksonville Daily Journal felt that meant Washington, D.C. and reported May18, 1865: “Gen. Grant has relieved Maj. Gen. Dana from his command of the Department of the Mississippi, and appointed Gen. Warren to succeed him. Gen. Sherman’s army has reached Washington, where it is to be disbanded. The Morgan County Regiment, 101st, has been under Sherman’s command”. Again on May 22, 1865: “The grand review of the returned armies commenced on Tuesday. The dispatches state that there was twenty-one miles of soldiery, sixty abreast. Pursuant to printed notices circulated, a meeting of the citizens of Jacksonville was held at the courthouse on Monday evening, for the purpose of making arrangements for the due celebration of the national anniversary in this city, and to suitably welcome the returned soldiers of the Morgan County regiment (101st) and other returned soldiers who may be present on that day”.)
Sherman’s army reviewed, a grand affair; 15 miles.
Walked to town [Washington, D.C.]; the Capitol, Post Office and Patent Office are splendid buildings; at Presbyterian Church; 29th and 30th in Camp.
In Town; to give a full description of the curiosities seen there is impossible. It would take a month to do justice to the subject; the Capitol was the first visited; in the large Hall first entered are some splendid paintings, 1st is the discovery of the Mississippi River by DeSoto, 2nd is the baptism of Pocahontas, 3rd Declaration of Independence, 4th the Surrender of Gen. Burgoyne, 5th surrender of Lord Cornwallis, 6th Washington resigning his Commission, 7th Discovery of America by Columbus, 8th landing of the Pilgrims, a full length Portrait of Gen. Grant, also some splendid sculpture work; the dying Tecumseh is the perfection of art; there is a bust of Sir Walter Raleigh, also Pocahontas saving the life of Captain Smith; a bust of President Lincoln and others. The Hall of Representatives is a splendid room; there are 2 full length paintings, one of Washington, the other I could not learn; the Senate Chamber is also a splendid room, one great curiosity is a door representing all nations; in the stairways ascending the Galleries are 2 splendid paintings, one of Emigration to the Far West, the other of Gen. Winfield Scott mounted on a fine charger. The Patent Office is a splendid building, built of rock resembling marble; what attracted most attention was Washington’s clothing and horse equipments; his mess chest, tent poles, swords, pistols and everything he used during war, his Commission as Commander-in-Chief and the Original Constitution is there; there are 2 full length statues of Washington and one bust of Lincoln; there are many relics, and presents from foreign countries, also Patents of everything imaginable; the building covers an entire square.
We passed through the Treasury department; it also is a noble building, covering an entire block. The Smithsonian Institute is a building that all should visit; it was founded by John Smithson, an Englishman, the illegitimate son of the Duke of Northumberland: it has been partly burnt. I cannot think what was most interesting; there were so many curiosities, birds, fishes, and reptiles of every description, paintings and statues innumerable; there was the dress worn by Dr. Kane in his Arctic explorations; we reached camp at 6 p.m. completely tired out and well paid for our days’ work.
Thursday, June 1st, 1865
Meetings at the tents of the Christian communion.
Mustered out by Capt. Weiks of Division staff.
Break camp at 5 a.m., get on the cars 12 a.m., Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and Northwestern Virginia Railroad to Parkersburg.
Reach Parkersburg 9 p.m., camp in a large pasture.
Take passage on board the Steamer Dumont; the shores on the Ohio side were crowded with people, great enthusiasm.
Wheat in the shock on the Kentucky shore; arrived at Lawrenceburg at 8 p.m., received a supper, got on the cars 9 p.m., Cincinnati and Indianapolis Railroad.
Wednesday, June 14th, 1865
Reached Camp Butler 12. a.m.
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This concludes the diary entries of Sergt. Hassell Hopper
Jacksonville Daily Journal, June 16, 1865;
“The 101st Regiment of Illinois Volunteer Infantry, belonging mainly to Morgan County, have been paid off, and mustered out of the service, and will reach this city in a body today. The Ladies’ Soldiers’ Aid Society, in behalf of our citizens generally, are preparing a banquet with which to regale the weary, foot sore, battle scarred but laurel crowned veterans on their return. A public reception will be given and an address of welcome will be delivered on the occasion”.
 - In Smithfield, North Carolina.
 - Evidently a branch of the Roanoke River.
 - Parkersburg, West Virginia, via B&O and N.W.Va. RR
 - Steamer Dumont on the Ohio River.
 - Lawrenceburg, Indiana, via steamer.
 Lafayette, Indiana, via C&I RH
 Indiana—Illinois state line,
 Camp Butler, Springfield, Illinois.