absolutely in his power.
He proceeded at once to the interview.
The two armies came together in a long valley at the foot of a ridge, and Appomattox
was on a knoll between the lines, which could be seen for miles.
The McLean house
stood a little apart—a plain building with a verandah in front.
was met by Lee
at the threshold.
There was a narrow hall and a naked little parlor, containing a table and two or three chairs.
Into this the generals entered, each at first accompanied only by a single aide-de-camp, but as many as twenty national officers shortly followed, among whom were Sheridan
, and the members of Grant
's own staff.
No rebel entered the room but Lee
and Colonel Marshall
, who acted as his secretary.
The two chiefs shook hands, and Lee
at once began a conversation, for he appeared more unembarrassed than his victor.
He, as well as his aide-de-camp, was elaborately dressed.
wore embroidered gauntlets and a burnished sword, the gift, it was said, of the state of Virginia
, while the uniforms of Grant
and those who accompanied him were soiled and worn; some had slept in their boots for days, and Grant
, when he started for Farmville
two days before, had been riding around in camp without a sword.
He had not since visited his own Headquarters, and was therefore at this moment without side-arms.
The contrast was singular, and Colonel Marshall
was asked how it came about that his chief and he were so fine, while the national officers had been unable to keep themselves free from the stains of battle and the road.
He replied that Sheridan
had come upon them suddenly a day or two before, and they were obliged to sacrifice their