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[356]

Fighting and Negotiating.

‘As soon as we had all had our turn at the shaving can we rode towards Appomattox Courthouse, when the sound of guns announced that Gordon had already begun the attempt to open the way. He forced his way through the cavalry of the enemy, only to encounter a force of infantry far superior to his own weary and starving command. He informed General Lee that it was impossible to advance further, and it became evident that the end was at hand.’

Colonel Marshall then gave the text of General Lee's letter in reply to a letter from General Grant, in which the Confederate leader said:

‘I cannot meet you with a view to surrender the Army of Northern Virginia, but as far as your proposal may affect the Confederate States forces under my command and tend to the restoration of peace, I should be pleased to meet you at 10 A. M. to-morrow, on the old stage road to Richmond, between the picket lines of the two armies.’

This letter of General Lee was dated April 8th. Colonel Marshall continued:

No reply to this letter had been received when, early on the morning of April 9th, General Lee arrived near Appomattox Courthouse, which was occupied by the enemy.

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