blue were soon commingling freely with the boys in gray, exchanging compliments, pipes, tobacco, knives and souvenirs.
In the last days of fighting, which ended in Lee
's surrender, General Chamberlain
was wounded twice.
That his service was gallant in the extreme may be judged when it is told that both General Sheridan
and General Grant
commended him personally.
This the General
cared to dwell on but little.
But when it came to describing the final scenes of the war, the gray-haired army leader grew ardent with enthusiasm for his subject:
“On that night, the 10th of April, in 1865, I was commanding the 5th Army Corps,” he said.
It was just about midnight when a message came to me to report to headquarters.
I went thither directly and found assembled in the tent two of the three senior officers whom General Grant had selected to superintend the paroles and to look after the transfer of property and to attend to the final details of General Lee's surrender.
These were General Griffin of the 5th Army Corps and General Gibbon of the 24th.
The other commissioner, General Merritt of the cavalry, was not there.
The articles of capitulation had been signed previously and it had come to the mere matter of formally settling the details of the surrender.
The two officers told me that General Lee had started for Richmond, and that our leader, General Grant, was well on his way to his own headquarters at City Point, so called, in Virginia.
I was also told that General Grant had decided to have a formal ceremony with a parade at the time of laying down of arms.
A representative body of Union troops was to be drawn up in battle array at Appomattox Courthouse, and past this Northern delegation were to march the entire Confederate Army, both officers and men, with their arms and colors, exactly as in actual service, and to lay down these arms and colors, as well as whatever other property belonged to the Rebel army, before our men.
I was told, furthermore, that General Grant had appointed me to take charge of this parade and to receive the formal surrender of the guns and flags.
Pursuant to these orders, I drew up my brigade at the courthouse along the highway leading to Lynchburg.
This was very early on the morning of the 12th of April.
The Confederates were stationed on the hill beyond the valley and my brigade, the 3rd, had a position across that valley on another hill, so that each body of soldiers could see the other.
My men were all veterans, the brigade being that which had fired the first shot at Yorktown at the beginning of the war. Their banners were