Appomattox Courthouse Surrender
         April 9, 1865
 General Robert E. Lee was surrounded.  He knew it was over.  The Confederates were largely outnumbered with only 100,000 men. 
“There is nothing left for me to do, but to go and see General Grant and I would rather die a thousand deaths.”
Lee was questioned by many of his men about his decision.  What would history say about this surrender?  Lee responded,
“It is our duty to live; for what will become of the women and children of the South if we are not there to support and protect them?”
It was a difficult act, and he reassured them that he would take full responsibility, and then dispatched the white flag.  In all the hours they put into fighting, it was suddenly over. 
Grant remained silent, but his wretched headache was surprisingly gone.

 This picture shows soldiers standing in front of the Appomattox Courthouse


When Lee reached the Appomattox Courthouse, he showed up in a magnificent, crisp gray uniform, and a beautiful jewel stunned sword.  Lee thought, 
“If I am to be Grant’s prisoner, I must make my best appearance.”
The general waited for Grant for at least a half an hour before he finally showed up.  Grant was wearing a private’s dirty shirt and everything from the waist down was down was covered in mud.  He held no sword.
After the two men shook hands, Grant sat down to tell Lee of his terms of the surrender. Lee then asked for those terms to be written down on paper.  After Grant was done he read them over. The conditions were; the officers were allowed to keep their side arms, private horses and personal baggage.  Lee was most pleased with the terms, for he expected much harsher conditions, and immediately accepted.
When that discussion was over the two began talking about  “old times” and friends in the army. Grant said, 
 “Our conversation grew so pleasant that I almost forgot the object of our meeting.”
Then there was a great pause. Lee finally broke that by asking if the animals in his cavalry and artillery were regarded as private property or the governments.  Grant replied to his question saying that they belonged to the government and that was agreed.  Grant then asked Lee if they needed any food, and if so how much. Lee did so Grant offered him 25,000 rations.
After all was over Grant followed Lee out and said that he remembered feeling,
“Sad… and depressed at the downfall of a foe who had fought so long and valiantly and had suffered for so much, though that cause, I believe, was one of the worst for which people ever fought.”
When the Union troops were informed that the surrender had been signed they began to cheer. Immediately Grant ordered them to stop. He said,
" It is wrong to cheer for the defeat  of one's own countrymen."
Officers of the Confederacy sat on their horses watching Lee leave; one man called out,
“I love you just as well as ever, General!”

Geoffrey C. Ward, "The Civil War", Alfred H. Knope Inc., copywrite 1990

William Loren Katz, "An Album of the civil War", Franklin Watts Inc., copywrite 1974


John Russell Young, "Around the World with General Grant", copywrite 1879, "Ulysses s. Grant Talks About Appomattox",, 10/16/00

"Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee",,10/16/00

Hailey Hoobler 
8th Grade