back to Grant
‘If General Gibbon
and the Fifth corps can get up to-night,’ he said, ‘we will perhaps finish the job in the morning.
I do not think Lee
means to surrender until compelled to do so.’
He also sent word to Ord
that if they pressed on there would be no possibility of escape for Lee
Early on the 8th, Grant
had set out from Farmville
to join Sheridan
But he had been absent from his own Headquarters several days, sleeping in rebel houses, and messing with any general officers whom he passed.
Worn out with mental anxiety and physical fatigue, loss of sleep and the weight of responsibility, he became very unwell, and was obliged to halt at a farm-house on the road, where he spent most of the day.
About midnight, while unable to sleep from pain, he received the following communication from Lee
. ‘April 8th: I received at a late hour your note of today.
In mine of yesterday, I did not intend to propose the surrender of the army of Northern Virginia
, but to ask the terms of your proposition.
To be frank, I do not think the emergency has arisen to call for the surrender of this army;
but as the restoration of peace should be the sole object of all, I desired to know whether your proposals would lead to that end. I cannot therefore 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, I should be pleased to meet you at ten A. M. to-morrow, on the old stage road to Richmond
, between the picket lines of the two armies.’
This disingenuous letter was hardly worthy of