New York Herald, 4/7/1865, p. 4, c. 3
Highly Important from Richmond – Peace Negotiations Resumed.
We have the information direct from Richmond that President Lincoln is there actually engaged upon the business of peace; that on Tuesday evening last he had a private conference with Judge Campbell, one of the three rebel commissioners in the Famous Hampton Roads conference. Judge Campbell, it is understood, by and with the advice and consent of Jeff. Davis, with the rebel evacuation of Richmond, remained behind to see what could be done in behalf of his despairing rebel associates and followers in a treaty of peace. We are further informed that Wednesday last had been appointed as the day for a more formal meeting between the President, General Weitzel and one or two others on the Union side, and Judge Campbell and some other prominent rebel leaders on their side, and that high expectations were entertained that peace would speedily follow.
We attach the highest importance to this intelligence; for we accept it as substantially true. It is altogether probable that Davis may have come to the conclusion that if he desires, in behalf of himself and his ruling confederates, any abatement or commutation of the pains and penalties of treason now is his only time, while yet he maintains something like a respectable show of resistance In the field. That Judge Campbell is hopeful of some liberal concessions from Mr. Lincoln, for the sake of immediate peace, we are fully disposed to believe. But what can the President do, with the laws of Congress restricting him to a fixed line of action? Sworn to see the laws faithfully executed, can he go beyond them? He cannot; but he can promise some modifications, so far as they may be attainable through a message to Congress, with the meeting of an extra session upon the subject. He may go still further in the exercise of his military discretion, which in such a war as this cannot be regulated by Congressional enactments.
We know nothing of the purposes or views of President Lincoln in connection with his visit to Richmond; but we do know something of his humane disposition, and shall be somewhat disappointed if we do not receive before his departure from Richmond the announcement of a proclamation which will finish the disarming of the rebellion, and win back the masses of the Southern people to the blessings of the Union and of peace.