previous next
[159]

The surrender of Gen. R. E. Lee.

He did not offer his sword to General Grant.


During my sojourn at the Yellow Sulphur Springs, Virginia, last summer, as resident physician, I interviewed a number of our Southern people, both young and old, as well as a few Northern and Western people, as to whether General Robert E. Lee offered to surrender his sword to General U. S. Grant on the 9th day of April, 1865, at Appomattox, Va., and have been surprised to find that nine out of ten, including some old Confederate veterans, positively state that Lee did offer his sword to Grant, and that the latter was magnanimous enough to refuse it. The following, taken from the Confederate Veteran, Vol. VIII, May, 1990, page 204. J. F. J. Caldwell, of Greenwood, S. C., says:

I wish to call attention to the story of General Grant's refusal to accept the surrender of General Lee's sword at Appomattox, a story without a particle of foundation in fact and utterly unreasonable, yet widely circulated by Northern speakers and writers, and credited by a good many people in the South.

The account of the ceremonies attending the return of the flag of the Eighth Texas Cavalry, in the Veteran of December, 1899, reports Governor Sayers as saying: “And finally Appomattox came and General Lee surrendered; the great, heroic, magnanimous Grant refuses to take his sword.”

Colonel Charles Marshall, who was, I believe, the only officer accompanying General Lee on the occasion, has disclaimed that anything of the kind occurred.

Dr. J. William Jones, in “Personal Reminiscences of General Robert E. Lee,” at page 303, reports General Lee as making a similar statement during a conversation with a company of friends, as follows:

General Grant returned your sword, did he not?” asked


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
U. S. Grant (6)
Robert E. Lee (5)
Robert Edward Lee (3)
Sayers (1)
Personal Reminiscences (1)
Charles Marshall (1)
J. William Jones (1)
J. F. J. Caldwell (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
May, 1990 AD (1)
December, 1899 AD (1)
April 9th, 1865 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: