Incidents of the surrender of General Lee, as given by Colonel Charles Marshall,In his address on the observance of the anniversary of the Birthday of General R. E. Lee, at Baltimore, Md., January 19, 1894.
After describing in his address correspondence which passed between Generals Lee and Grant before the surrender, Colonel Marshall said that General Grant in this correspondence ‘manifested that delicate consideration for his great adversary which marked all his subsequent conduct towards him.’ ‘General Grant offered,’ continued Colonel Marshall,
to have the terms of the capitulation arranged by officers to be appointed for the purpose by himself and General Lee, thus sparing the latter the pain and mortification of conducting personally the arrangements for the surrender of his army. I have no doubt that this proposition proceeded from the sincere desire of General Grant to do all in his power to spare the feelings of General Lee, but it is not unworthy to remark that when Lord Cornwallis opened his correspondence with General Washington, which ended in the surrender at Yorktown, his lordship proposed in his letter of October 17, 1771, “a cessation of hostilities for twenty-four hours, and that two officers may be appointed by each side to meet at Mr. Moore's house to settle terms for the surrender of the posts of York and Gloucester.” In view of this letter and of the fact that Cornwallis declined to attend the ceremony of the surrender of his army, deputing General O'Hara to represent him on that occasion, it is very plain that his lordship shrunk from sharing with his army the humiliation of surrender. General Grant's letter offered General Lee an opportunity to avoid the trial to which the British commander felt himself unequal. But General Lee was made of different stuff.