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[144] at Appomattox, fighting daily and desperately. The selfsacri-ficing, heroic and faithful body of men—infantry, cavalry, artillery and engineers—who composed the remnant of that glorious army, and fought constantly and courageously to the last, furnish to the world an example of devotion to right, duty and country, which has few, if any, parallels in history.

General Fitz was always free-handed and ready to divide his last dollar. On the morning of the 9th of April, 1865, when what was left of Gordon's 2nd Corps of Infantry and Fitz Lee's Corps of Cavalry had driven back Sheridan, and Ord's Infantry came up to his support, and it was seen that surrender was inevitable, General Fitz escaped with his cavalry towards Lynchburg, but becoming convinced that the war was virtually over, he rode to Farmville, and reported to General Meade, who advised him to return to Appomattox and be paroled. This he did and became the guest of General John Gibbon of the United States Army, under whom he had been at West Point, and whose family he knew well. In his ‘Personal Reminiscences of Appomattox,’ General Gibbon says:

That night Fitz, lying on the floor, slept as soundly as a child after, he said, having had no sleep for a week. Nothing could dampen his high spirits. With grim humor, he took from his pocket a $5 Confederate note and writing across its face, “For Mrs. Gibbon, with the compliments of Fitz Lee,” he said: ‘Send that to your wife and tell her it's the last cent I have in the world.’

“His was no hard, ascetic temper, which substituted harshness for courage, and reserve for wisdom, but a light and buoyant spirit,” a warm and merry heart that spread sunshine all around.

Mr. President, you will believe, I know, when I express my sincerest regret that I have not been able to pay the tribute to our dear friend that my heart prompts and the occasion demands.

His life was so full of great and brilliant exploits in the outer world, so brimful of all that was charming in the inner social world, where heart goes out to heart and smile answers smile, and the sweet offices of genial humor and heartfelt sympathy prevail, that the task was impossible within appropriate limits and upon so short a notice. A volume of no small dimensions would be needed for a career so eventful and so picturesque.

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John Gibbon (3)
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