This Week in the Civil War - #1015
On Saturday, January 28, 1865 President Jefferson Davis named Vice-President Alexander Stephens, R.M.T. Hunter of Virginia, and former U.S. Supreme Court justice John A. Campbell as commissioners to informal talks with Federal authorities about ending the war. On January 30 in Washington, D.C. President Abraham Lincoln issued passes for the three Confederate commissioners to safely journey through the U.S. military lines to Fortress Monroe where the talks were to be held. Few individuals on either side believed that anything of substance would be achieved through talking; yet the potential for a negotiated peace—if one was even remotely possible—might result in thousands of lives being saved. It was that hope that motivated both sides to meet and talk, even informally, about a possible end to the war.