On March 27 and 28, 1865, Abraham Lincoln welcomed Ulysses S. Grant, William T. Sherman, and David Dixon Porter aboard The River Queen to discuss how to close out the Civil War.
Lincoln had been visiting Grant at his headquarters at City Point, Virginia, for several days when Sherman arrived. Here’s how Sherman described what came next:
For now it is enough to note that artist George P. A. Healy portrayed Grant as listening and Sherman as talking (in animated style, no less). Porter left an account as well, which he sent Sherman in 1866 (Grant left no account).
Whether Porter proved a dispassionate witness or whether he was playing to Sherman’s memory of the conference (for Sherman’s later actions were predicated upon a particular interpretation of his conversations with Lincoln) is worth discussion … but for now read the letters themselves.