A flag of truce.
General Lee, with an orderly in front bearing a flag of truce, had proceeded but a short distance after passing through our rear guard, when he came upon the skirmish line of the enemy advancing to the attack. I went forward to meet a Federal officer, who soon afterward made his appearance coming toward our party. This officer proved to be Lieutenant-Colonel Whittier, of the staff of the late General Humphreys, whose division was immediately in our rear. Colonel Whittier delivered to me General Grant's reply to the letter of General Lee of April 8th, declining to meet General Lee to discuss the terms of a general pacification on the ground that General Lee possessed no authority to deal with the subject.Further correspondence between the Federal and Confederate leaders was then given by Colonel Marshall, who also told of the temporary cessation of hostilities which was ordered, and of the subsequent arrangement of a meeting between Lee and Grant at McLean's house. He said: