Total War: March to September 1864

From Dalton to Atlanta

Who were Jaquess and Gilmore?

James Jaquess, often called the “fighting parson,” helped to recruit a regiment in Illinois. James R. Gilmore was a New York City businessman. Both men wished to see an end to the fighting, and to that end they obtained a pass from Lincoln, allowing them to pass through General Grant’s lines. Jaquess and Gilmore experienced some slight difficulties in passing through the Confederate lines, but upon their repeated description of their mission (as one of peace), they were allowed through to Richmond. On July 17, 1864, they met with Confederate Secretary of State Judah Benjamin, whom they clearly did not like; then that evening they met Benjamin and President Davis. Their description of Davis was as follows:

He had a broad, massive forehead, and a mouth and chin denoting great energy and strength of will.… His manners were simple, easy, and quite fascinating; and he threw an indescribable charm into his voice, as he extended his hand and said to us, “I am glad to see you gentlemen. You are very welcome to Richmond.”


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