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General Horace Porter, Campaigning with Grant, Chapter 30 (search)
passed through the enemy's lines, and found General Lee a little more than half a mile beyond Appomattox Court-house. He was lying down by the roadside on a blanket which had been spread over a few fence-rails placed on the ground under an apple-tree which was part of an old orchard. This circumstance furnished the only ground for the wide-spread report that the surrender occurred under an apple-tree, and which has been repeated in song and story. There may be said of that statement what Cuvier said of the French Academy's definition of a crab-brilliant, but not correct. Babcock dismounted upon coming near, and as he approached Lee sat up, with his feet hanging over the roadside embankment. The wheels of wagons, in passing along the road, had cut away the earth of this embankment, and left the roots of the tree projecting. Lee's feet were partly resting on these roots. Colonel Charles Marshall, his military secretary, came forward, took the despatch which Babcock handed him,