rebuffed him, however, very roughly, far more so than appears in Longstreet
's account of the interview.
Meanwhile, in our rear, more serious trouble threatened.
The 2d corps, closely followed by the 6th, began to advance.
, who was still awaiting between the lines Grant
's reply to his letter (which had over 15 miles to go, and did not reach Grant
until 11.50 A. M.), sent by his staff-officers two earnest verbal requests to Humphreys
not to press upon him, as negotiations were going on for a surrender.
, under his orders, felt unable to comply, although the second request was very urgent.
He sent word to Lee
, who was in full sight on the road, within 100 yards of the head of the 2d corps, that he must withdraw at once
then withdrew, and the 2d corps continued to advance, and deployed in front of Field
's intrenchments, and the 6th corps also deployed, on the right of the 2d, ready to assault.
At the critical moment when this assault was about to begin, it was suspended by the opportune arrival on the ground of Meade
had read Lee
's letter to Grant
of that morning, and he took the responsibility of sending Lee
a letter granting a truce of one hour, in view of the negotiations for a surrender.
This letter was delivered at Field
's lines, and, Humphreys
says, was received by Lee
between eleven and twelve o'clock. This truce may have been prolonged, for it must have been as late as 1 P. M. before the message sent by Babcock
from the front, to be presently told of, could have been started.
Meanwhile, during the morning, and before the first flag of truce was sent, Longstreet
had directed me to form a line of battle on which all of our available force could be rallied for a last stand.
I got up all the organized infantry and artillery in the column, and took up a fairly good position behind the North Fork
of the Appomattox River
To our left the enemy was still extending his lines, and some of my battery commanders were anxious to expend on them some of the ammunition they had hauled so far, for the firing had not yet ceased.
But I knew that Lee
would not approve an unnecessary shot, and not one was fired from our line.1