ALS, DNA WR RG 107, Presidential Telegrams, I, 173. On September 15, 1864, Sherman had telegraphed Halleck: ``My report is done, and will be forwarded as soon as I get a few more of the subordinate reports. I am awaiting a courier from General Grant. . . . Governor Brown has disbanded his militia, to gather the corn and sorghum of the State. I have reason to believe that he and Stephens want to visit me, and I have sent them a hearty invitation. I will exchange 2,000 prisoners with Hood, but no more.'' (OR, I, XXXIX, II 381).
At 6 P.M. on September 17, he replied to Lincoln:
``I will keep the Department fully advised of all developements as connectedPage 10 with the subject in which you feel so interested. A Mr. [Augustus R.] Wright, former member of Congress from Rome Ga and a Mr. [William] King of Marietta are now going between Gov Brown and myself. I have said that some of the people of Georgia are now engaged in rebellion begun in error and perpetuated in pride; but that Georgia can now save herself from the devastation of war preparing for her, only by withdrawing her quota out of the confederate army, and aiding me to repel Hood from the border of the State; in which event instead of desolating the land, as we progress I will keep our men to the high roads and commons, and pay for the corn and meat we need and take. I am fully conscious of the delicate nature of such assertions, but it would be a magnificent stroke of policy, if I could without wasting a foot of ground or of principle arouse the latent enmity to Jeff Davis, of Georgia.
``The people do not hesitate to say, that Mr. Stevens was, and is, a Union man at heart, and they feel that Jeff Davis will not trust him, or let him have a share in his government.'' (DLC-RTL).
The visit of Governor Joseph E. Brown and Alexander H. Stephens did not materialize.