cruel mockery to mention such a possibility.
They were thankful not to be tried and executed for treason, like other men who attempt to subvert a government and fail; grateful that they were not condemned to languish in long captivity, but might return at once to their unfamiliar homes.
And not one word of reproach was uttered by those who had been their enemies.
No exultation was manifest, only joy and good feeling that the war between brethren was over; that, though worn, and famished, and suffering, the prodigal, even if forced, had yet returned.
We sat for an hour or more on the steps of the porch, or in the verandah, and at noon Grant
mounted his horse and set out for Washington
, not having entered the rebel lines.
On the 12th of April, the army of Northern Virginia was formed by divisions for the last time.
had already given his personal parole, and was not present.
But commissioners had been appointed on each side, under whose direction the troops marched to a spot in the neighborhood of Appomattox courthouse.
The national column halted on a distant hill, where a white flag was waving.
No guns were in position, no bands played; no cheers taunted the unfortunate.
In profound silence the Southerners dressed their lines, fixed bayonets, stacked arms, and deposited their accoutrements.
Then slowly furling their flags, they laid them down; and many a veteran stooped to kiss the stained and tattered colors, under which he might fight no more.
All day the sad ceremony went on, the disarmed men streaming to the provost marshal
's tent for their paroles.
Then they started for their homes.