Statement of Significance (as of designation - October 5, 1992):
Here, on the afternoon of May 2, 1865, the final Confederate council of war occurred. Richmond had been evacuated the month before and the Confederate Government was in flight; Gen. Robert E. Lee had surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox Court House on April 9; and Gen. Joseph E. Johnston had surrendered Confederate forces in the Southeast on April 26. Still, President Jefferson Davis believed he could rally the troops of Lt. Gen. Richard Taylor in the Gulf States, join them with Confederate troops still active across the Mississippi, and continue the struggle for an independent Confederacy. In a meeting in this house, Davis asked his subordinates, among whom were Secretary of War John C. Breckinridge and Gen. Braxton Bragg, for advice on future military plans. His advisors responded that continued resistence was impossible, the war was over. Their unamimous opinion convinced Davis that all had indeed been lost.