previous next

While Grant was writing he chanced to look up at Lee, who sat nearly opposite, and at that moment noticed the glitter of his sword. The sight suggested an alteration in the terms, and he inserted the provision that officers should be allowed to retain their side-arms, horses, and personal property. Lee had accepted Grant's conditions without this stipulation, and doubtless expected to surrender his sword. But this humiliation he and his gallant officers were spared. When the terms were written out, Grant handed the paper to his great antagonist, who put on his spectacles to read them. He was evidently touched by their general clemency, and especially by the interpolation which saved so much to the feelings of a soldier. He said at once that the conditions were magnanimous, and would have a very good effect upon his army.

He next attempted to gain a little more. The horses of his cavalry and artillery, he said, were the property of the soldiers. Could these men be permitted to retain their animals? Grant said the terms would not allow this. Lee took the paper again, and, glancing over it, said: ‘No. You are right. The terms do not allow it.’ Whereupon Grant replied: ‘I believe the war is now over, and that the surrender of this army will be followed soon by that of all the others; I know that the men, and indeed the whole South, are impoverished. I will not change the terms of the surrender, General Lee, but I will instruct my officers who receive the paroles to allow the cavalry and artillery men to retain their horses and take them home to work their little farms.’ Lee again expressed his acknowledgments, and said this kindness would have the best possible effect.

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.

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.
R. E. Lee (5)
U. S. Grant (5)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: