previous next
[599] that was left of the host that had so long defended Richmond was in reality enclosed by the lines of the conqueror. Lee therefore undoubtedly intended to yield when he declared to Sheridan that he had already done so. But if he had sent to Grant, he had no right to fight Sheridan; and if he had not sent, he had no right to say that he was negotiating.

The dispatch that he wrote to Grant on the 9th was in these words: ‘I received your note of this morning on the picket line, whither I had come to meet you, and ascertain definitely what terms were embraced in your proposal of yesterday with reference to the surrender of this army.’ Even this was not ingenuous, for Grant's terms had been explicitly stated; and Lee evidently understood them, for he continued: ‘I now ask an interview, in accordance with the offer contained in your letter of yesterday, for that purpose.’ This was definite enough, and doubtless hard enough to say; and a brave man struggling against misfortune and humiliation should receive the generous consideration, especially of victorious enemies. Nevertheless, there is a noble, manly way of confessing defeat, and Lee's method of submitting to the inevitable was neither frank nor altogether honorable.

Grant had started for Sheridan's front at an early hour, and Lee's communication was sent by the way of Meade's command. It therefore did not reach the general-in-chief until nearly mid-day. He immediately replied: ‘Your note of this date is but this moment (11.50 A. M.) received, in consequence of my having passed from the Richmond and Lynchburg roads to the Farmville and Lynchburg road. I am at this writing about four miles west of Walker's ’

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)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Lynchburg (Virginia, United States) (1)
Farmville (Virginia, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

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.
Fitz-Hugh Lee (4)
U. S. Grant (4)
Warren Sheridan (3)
Walker (1)
Meade (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: