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[601] Forsyth, of Sheridan's staff, escorted by a rebel officer.

Lee then rode on to the village of Appomattox, and selected the house of a farmer named McLean for the interview with Grant. Information was at once sent back to Sheridan's Headquarters, not half a mile away, where the cavalry leader was impatiently awaiting the arrival of his chief. Firing of course had ceased, and Sheridan was at the very front with a handful of officers. Aware that Grant now held the remainder of the army of Northern Virginia in his grasp, and indignant that Lee should have continued to fight after he had proposed to surrender, the national trooper was inclined to consider the rebel overture a ruse—invented only to gain time to escape. He was pacing up and down in a little farm-yard, like a panther in a cage,1 when the general-in-chief arrived, and assured him of the truth—that Lee, finding himself circumvented and surrounded, had indeed expressed a willingness to surrender.

A few words from Sheridan explained the situation in his front, and made Grant aware how completely the rebel leader and the fragments of the rebel army were at his mercy. With the army of the Potomac on the north and east, and Sheridan and Ord on the south and west, the circle was complete, and the enemy that had withstood, and repelled, and averted, and avoided Grant so long was

1 I had been on some duty that separated me from the staff, and chanced to ride up to Sheridan's Headquarters in advance of the general-in-chief. ‘What do you think? What do you know?’ he asked. ‘Is it a trick? Is he negotiating with Grant? I've got 'em,’ he continued, ‘I've got 'em, like that!’ and he doubled up his fist and clinched it, as if to hold them fast.

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Warren Sheridan (6)
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