the valley between the two armies, but when they arrived at the rebel pickets it was discovered that no directions had yet been given to admit national officers.
A messenger, however, was promptly sent to Lee
's Headquarters for orders, and when the great prisoner learned that Grant
was at the picket line, he at once mounted his horse and with a single orderly came out to meet him.
waited for him on the hillock, and then, sitting on their horses, in sight of the two armies, whose lines could be seen stretching away under the bright spring sun for miles, the two generals conversed for more than an hour.
The officers and men who had accompanied Grant
fell back a rod or two, to be out of hearing, and formed a semicircle behind him of fifty men or more; with Lee
was his single orderly.
An orchard of peach-trees was in full blossom on one side of the knoll.
The sky was blue and without a cloud.
The armies which had fought each other so bitterly were closer than often before, but no longer in angry contact; and from the mound one could see national and rebel cannon never again to open on each other.
The two great opponents found much to say. Both were convinced, Lee
as firmly as Grant
, that the war was over; and Lee
expressed his satisfaction at the result.
Slavery, he said, was dead.
The South was prepared to acquiesce in this as one of the consequences of national victory.
The end had been long foreseen.
The utter exhaustion of resources, the annihilation of armies, which had been steadily going on for a year, could have but one termination.
, he said, would certainly follow his example, and surrender to Sherman