Exchanging official letters.
When Colonel Parker had completed the copying of General Grant's letter, I sat down at the same little table and wrote General Lee's answer. I have yet in my possession the original draft of that answer. It began: “I have the honor to acknowledge.” General Lee struck out those words, and made the answer read as it now appears. His reason was that the correspondence ought not to appear as if he and General Grant were not in immediate communication. When General Grant had signed the copy of his letter made by Colonel Parker, and General Lee had signed the answer, Colonel Parker handed to me General Grant's letter and I handed to him General Lee's reply, and the work was done.