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[742] that a capitulation was inevitable. Even if they were yet strong enough to beat off and cut through the host of pursuers so sharp upon their trail, they could only do so by the sacrifice of their remaining guns and munitions, and in a state of utter inefficiency from famine. Already, weakness and fatigue had compelled half of their followers to throw away the arms which they were no longer able to carry. Lee was not present; but the judgment of the council was conveyed to him through Gen. Pendleton.

Gen. Lee was spared by Gen. Grant the pain of first proposing a surrender. While directing from Farmville the pursuit, the latter dispatched to the front next morning the following letter:

April 7, 1865.
General — The result of the last week must convince you of the hopelessness of further resistance on the part of the Army of Northern Virginia in this struggle. I feel that it is so; and regard it as my duty to shift from myself the responsibility of any further effusion of blood by asking of you the surrender of that portion of the Confederate States army known as the Army of Northern Virginia.

The letter reached Lee toward night; ere which, Humphreys, following on his track, had been halted, 4 or 5 miles north of Farmville, by all that was left of Lee's forces, intrenched in a strong position, covering both the old and plank roads to Lynchburg, with batteries commanding an open, gentle southward slope of half a mile, over which an assaulting column could only advance at a heavy cost. Humphreys attempted to turn the enemy's flank, but found this impracticable with his single corps; when, sending up Barlow in front, and extending his right, he ordered Miles to attack on this wing; which he did, and was repulsed with a loss of over 600 killed and wounded. Brig.-Gen. Smyth and Maj. Mills were among our killed; Maj.-Gen. Mott, Brig.-Gens. Madill and McDougall, and Col. Starbird, 19th Maine, were severely wounded. When Barlow had got into position, it was too late to assault again that night; and, when darkness had shrouded his movements, Lee silently resumed his retreat, first sending this response to Grant, which reached him at Farmville next morning:

April 7, 1865.
General — I have received your note of this date. Though not entertaining the opinion you express on the hopelessness of further resistance on the part of the Army of Northern Virginia, I reciprocate your desire to avoid useless effusion of blood, and therefore, before considering your proposition, ask the terms you will offer on condition of its surrender.

To this, Grant immediately replied:

April 8, 1865.
General — Your note of last evening, in reply to mine of same date, asking the condition on which I will accept the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia, is just received. In reply, I would say that, peace being my great desire, there is but one condition I would insist upon, namely: that the men and officers surrendered shall be disqualified for taking up arms again against the Government of the United States until properly exchanged. I will meet you, or will designate officers to meet any officers you may name for the same purpose, at any point agreeable to you. for the purpose of arranging definitely the terms upon which the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia will be received.

Sheridan, with all his cavalry, had started again on the morning of the 7th; Merritt, with two divisions, moving by the left to Prince Edward C. H., to head off Lee from retreating on

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