This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 the civil and military officers of the Confederate Government. I shall only say that there was not an officer in his army who did not feel bound to him by ties stronger than those of discipline, and to whom his approval was not a sufficient recompense for any service. The dignity and grandeur of General Lee never appeared to greater advantage than on the occasion of the surrender at Appomattox. Others have described better than I can his appearance in the interview with General Grant. Let me say, however, as the only Confederate witness of that scene, that had General Grant and the officers who attended him studied beforehand how to conduct themselves so as to spare as far as possible the feelings of their illustrious enemy, and show their generous sympathy for him in the supreme moment of his trial, they could not have acted their parts better than they did when they obeyed the promptings of the noble heart of the true American soldier. The scene was in no way theatrical, but in its simplicity it was dramatic in the extreme. It can only be painted by one who knows how to depict victory without triumph. As General Lee stood confronting General Grant, before they began to speak of the business they had in hand, a number of Federal officers were near General Grant, listening to the conversation, and some of them taking part in it, and had a stranger entered the room ignorant of what was taking place, it would never have occurred to him that anything was going on but a pleasant conversation among friends. General Lee was as calm and collected, as dignified and gracious as I ever saw him in the hour of victory. Through the pain and humiliation of his position, his great career about to close in defeat, and all that he had done about to be made unavailing, he saw the path of duty, and he trod it with as firm a foot and as brave a heart and as lofty a mien as if it had been the way of triumph.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.