Random Facts about the Surrender of General Lee to General Grant
THE SURRENDER OF LEE TO GRANT
The surrender of General Lee was made at the house of a farmer named McLean, in Appomattox village, that house having been selected by General Lee himself at General Grant's request for the interview. General Grant went thither, and was met by General Lee on the threshold. The two went into the parlor of the house, a small room, containing little furnishing but a table and several chairs. About twenty Union officers besides General Grant were present, among them the members of the General's staff. The only Confederate officer with General Lee was Colonel Marshall, who acted as his secretary. General Lee, as well as his aid, was in full uniform, and wore a burnished sword which was given him by the State of Virginia; General Grant was in plain uniform, without a sword. After a brief conversation, relative to the meeting of the two generals while soldiers in Mexico, General Lee adverted at once to the object of the interview by asking on what terms the surrender of his army would be received. General Grant replied that officers and men must become prisoners of war, giving up of course all munitions, weapons and supplies, but that a parole would be accepted. General Lee then requested that the terms should be put in writing, that he might sign them. General Badeau says that while General Grant was writing the conditions of surrender he chanced to look up and his eye caught the glitter of General Lee's sword, and that this sight induced him to insert the provision that the "officers should be allowed to retain their side-arms, horses and personal property." This historian thinks that General Lee fully expected to give up his sword, and that General Grant omitted this from the terms of surrender out of consideration for the feelings of a soldier. Badeau says that General Lee was evidently much touched by the clemency of his adversary in this regard. The Confederate chief now wrote his acceptance of the terms offered and signed them. He further requested that the cavalry and artillery soldiers might be allowed to retain their horses as well as the officers, to which General Grant consented, and asked that a supply train left at Danville might be allowed to pass on, as his soldiers were without food. The reply of General Grant to this was an order that 25,000 rations should be immediately issued from the commissariat of the National army to the Army of Northern Virginia. The formal papers were now drawn up and signed, and the interview which ended one of the greatest wars was over.