Back to the Union (April 20, 1865)

Charles J. Faulkner (Library of Congress).

Charles J. Faulkner (Library of Congress).

With the military aspects of the war wrapping up, the difficult task of reconstruction begins. George Meade will be involved with that process in one way or another for pretty much the rest of his life. Here he writes home about Charles J. Faulkner. Before the war, Faulkner had served in Virginia’s House of Delegates, as U.S. Congressman, and as minister to France for President James Buchanan. He was arrested in 1861 for arranging to have arms sold to the Confederates. After he was exchanged, Faulkner joined the Confederate army and served for a time as one of Stonewall Jackson’s staffers.

I am glad you were so prompt in putting your house in mourning for the loss of the President, and I am also glad to see the press in Philadelphia take so much notice of you.

Lyman, much to my sorrow and regret, leaves me to-day, he considering the destruction of Lee’s army as justifying his return home. Lyman is such a good fellow, and has been so intimately connected personally with me, that I feel his separation as the loss of an old and valued friend.

I have had for the last two days as guest at my headquarters Mr. Charles J. Faulkner, late Minister to France. He is on his way to Richmond, to assist in bringing back Virginia to the Union. He acknowledges the Confederacy destroyed, is in favor of a convention of the people to rescind the ordinance of secession, abolish slavery, and ask to be received into the Union. This is in my judgment the best course to be pursued. Mr. Faulkner goes from here to Richmond. We also had yesterday the arrival of a Confederate officer from Danville, who reported the rumored surrender of Johnston, and the flight of Jeff. Davis to the region beyond the Mississippi, from whence I have no doubt he will go into Mexico, and thence to Europe.

Meade’s correspondence taken from The Life and Letters of George Gordon Meade, Major-General United States Army, Vol. 2, (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1913), p. 274. Available via Google Books.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: