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the South advantages greater than a radical faction would have conferred on them. At the time of his assassination the Southern people had no warmer friend than the President, whose inclination and purpose were to do them every good office in his power, to promote by his future policy the reunion of the two sections of the country in a spirit of fraternal concord, and to labor for the prosperity of the entire nation. Vindictiveness had no place in that great soul; and men who, like my father, gave him their cordial support, did so in the belief that his continuance in office during the years of reconstruction about to follow would prove the guarantee of harmony and secure equal rights to all who bore the name of American. It was not only madness, but gross ignorance of the true relations of things, that inspired the atrocious act of certain fanatics, by which the man on whose life such interests depended was suddenly struck down into darkness and death.
Events followed each other, at that critical time, with a rapidity which kept the whole country in a state of ferment. The long struggle was ending, yet not calmly, but amid convulsions. On the morning of Passion Sunday, April 2, 1865, the papers were filled with despatches from the War Department in relation to the rnilitary operations at City Point. Grant, attacking along the whole line, was sweeping everything before him. On Palm Sunday, about eleven o'clock at night, we received the news that General Lee, with his entire army, or what was left of it, had surrendered that afternoon. Four or five days followed of such rejoicing as had not been known for many a weary year, till on Easter Even the city and the country were stunned by the intelligence of the assassination and death of the President. Then came mourning, lamentation, and woe; solemn services of penitence in the churches, and at home fasting and tears. The body was taken from the capital to its long home, passing from city to city, met at its entrance into each Military Department by the commanding officer of the same, and escorted by him, under guard, to the limit of his jurisdiction; the Executives of the several States giving directions meanwhile for such ceremonies and public honors as were deemed expedient. It was an awful progress; viewed by all spectators with heaviness of heart and an undefined sense of apprehension for the future.
Some show of opposition to the Government forces was still kept up till toward the end of May. At last, a despatch from General Canby, dated at New Orleans, on the 26th of that month, announced that arrangements had been concluded for the surrender of the Confederate forces in the Trans-Mississippi Department, all the men and material of the insurgent army and navy being comprised in the act of surrender. With this the strife ended. And now politicians took up with avidity the work which was turned over to them with the sheathing of the sword and the disbanding of the Armies of the Union.
Later on in that year General Dix (still in command of the Department of the East) was sent to Canada. He left New York June 17, taking with him, besides an aide-de-camp and orderly, his youngest daughter. His errand had reference to threatening complications between our Government and the Canadian authorities with regard to the right of asylum in behalf of persons formerly in rebellion. Among the incidents of his journey one of the most agreeable was that of a visit to his old Alma Mater, the “Petit Séminaire," as it was formerly called, now the College, at Montreal. He was received by the Reverend Fathers, the students, and many citizens of the town, with all the honors which they could pay, and cordially welcomed to the place which had sheltered him when a school-boy. Of all whom he had known when a pupil at the college not one survived, excepting “ Jean,” a very old man, a servant, whose name and office the General recalled. He was greatly pleased, and not a little touched, by the warm greeting of those kind people, and by the address prepared for the occasion, and delivered by one of the students, as follows:
“GENERAL Dix,- At this moment, when the world is resounding with the joyful news of peace in the United States, which many of us here are proud to call our home, and when the names of those great and glorious men who have taken prominent parts in the struggle are in the mouths of all, how great must be our joy to welcome among us to your Alma Mater, as students, a graduate of our College, and, as Americans, a man to whom we owe in no small degree the blessings of peace that now shed a benign influence over our country!
“ Proud are we, General Dix, to have this opportunity offered us of honoring in your person those illustrious ones whose career we have so anxiously followed during the past four years.
“Removed as we have been from those stirring scenes, little more than the deepest sympathy was left us to contribute; but that we gave with overflowing hearts. Later perhaps will arrive our time for action, and may we too not hope, when from these same halls went forth one whose virtue and integrity has done them so much honor, and whom the world recognizes as one of the greatest men of a great nation?
“ In proportion, then, is our gratitude, General Dix, for the honor you have conferred upon our College by this visit. Deign to accept this humble expression of our sentiments, which we offer in all sincerity.”
In reply the General said :
“GENTLEMEN,—I beg you to accept my sincere thanks for your very kind reception, and especially for the compliment you have paid me in associating me with those of our countrymen who have been instrumental in restoring peace to our country.
“It is now more than fifty years since I was a pupil of this institution; and the pleasure of my visit to it, after the lapse of so long a period of time, gratifying as it is, is painfully alloyed by finding that not a single one of the distinguished scholars, from whom I received so much excellent instruction, remains. M. Roque, the principal, and Messrs. Houdet, Rivière, and Richards—all alike eminent for their learning and piety—are slumbering in their graves. I can never forget how much I owe those exemplary men. To their scholarship, their purity of life, the influence of their example in all things, and their wise and parental counsels, I am indebted for much of my success in life; and although their trust has passed into other hands, it is most gratifying to me, as one of the pupils of the institution, to see it still flourishing, still devoted, under worthy successors, to the preparation of young men for the active business of the world.
“Participating with you in fervent gratitude to Heaven for the restoration of peace to a country to which many of you belong, and renewing the expression of my thanks for this demonstration of kind feeling, I tender to you all my sincere wishes for the continued prosperity of this admirable institution, and for the happiness of all who are connected with it."
About a month afterward General Dix was relieved of his military command. It was well known to us at the time that he might have continued in the army had it been his wish to do so; but nothing was farther from his thoughts · and wishes. What he was able to accomplish as a soldier he had done, and he now desired to resume and enjoy a life of quiet and peace. The Order in which he took leave of the officers and men under his command appropriately closes the record of his army life:
“Head-quarters, Department of the East, New York City,
July 15, 1865. “ General Order's, No. 55.
“Pursuant to General Orders, No.118, current series, War Department, Major-general Dix hereby transfers to Major-general Joseph Hooker, of the Army, the command of the Department of the East.
“In taking leave of the officers and troops under his command Major-general Dix returns to them his sincere thanks for their faithful and efficient services and the promptness with which they have discharged their respective duties. It is needless to say to them that this association, which bas never been disturbed by any want of harmony, or by any unwilling acquiescence in his authority, is not broken without unfeigned regret.
“He also desires to acknowledge the ready response and the patriotic aid he has always received from the civil, military, and municipal authorities of the States composing his Department whenever the emergencies of the war have rendered it necessary to call for assistance. This generous co-operation has greatly lightened his own labors and responsibilities; and he refers to it not only as a matter to be gratefully remembered by him, but as one of the most gratifying evidences of the united feeling by which the Government of the country, in a desperate struggle for its existence, has been zealously and triumphantly sustained.
“JOHN A. Dix, Major-general. "Official.-Chas. (). JOLINE,
“Brevet Lieutenant-colonel and Aide-de-camp.”