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Notes and Queries.

We have determined to open this Department in our Papers, where brief comments, notes or queries, concerning men or events, may find a receptacle. We invite contributions from any who may have a question to ask, a brief note, or a pertinent comment, concerning any person or event in Colonial, Revolutionary, Civil, or Confederate History. We do not, of course, promise that we shall be able to answer all queries, or endorse or refute all notes that may be presented; but we will at least give others a chance at them, and will endeavor to make this Department one of interest and historic value.

“did Grant return Lee's sword at Appomattox Court-House?”

Poetry, Art, and Romance have combined to paint the “historic scene” of Lee tendering, and Grant magnanimously declining to receive, his sword at Appomattox Court-house; but nothing of the kind occurred.

We published in 1875 (in Reminiscences, anecdotes, and letters of General R. E. Lee) General Lee's own account of the surrender, in which he said, with emphasis, that as he had determined from the beginning of negotiations that officers should retain their side-arms, he did not violate the terms by tendering General Grant his own sword. This, of course, settled the question, for the world long since learned to receive implicitly the lightest word of R. E. Lee.

But it has also been recently set at rest by the following correspondence which explains itself:

Buffalo Lithia Springs, Virginia, March 11, 1881.
General U. S. Grant, New York:
Sir,--In a friendly discussion between several gentlemen of Northern [140] and Southern proclivities as to the “truth of history,” a question arose whether General Lee at the surrender actually tendered, and you received, his sword.

It was mutually agreed that you should be written to for a decision.

There is no idle curiosity or desire for notoriety in regard to this request, and a reply from you would be highly appreciated.

Very respectfully,

General Grant replied as follows on the bottom of the same sheet of paper:

General Badeau's book, now in the hands of the printer, will give the exact truth of the matter referred to in this letter. There was no demand made for General Lee's sword, and no tender of it offered.

We should be glad of an answer, by some one who can give the information, to the following courteous letter:

Cambridgeport, mass., March 16, 1881.
Rev. J. William Jones, Secretary Southern Historical Society:
My Dear Sir,--During the night of the 23d, and morning of the 24th of May, 1864, Hancock's Second corps, Army of the Potomac, was crossing the trestle bridge over the North Anna at Chesterfield, and during that time, more especially after dawn, whenever any considerable number of troops appeared on the bridge, they were the object of immediate attention from a Confederate battery a few hundred yards up the river, in position on the right bank. At times the fire of three Union batteries was concentrated upon it, at a distance, I should judge, of not more than six hundred yards, but it, nevertheless, held its ground, being well protected by earthworks. There must have been several hundred rounds of ammunition expended upon it. It was in a portion of the Confederate line then held by Longstreet's corps, at that time commanded by the late General R. H. Anderson.

The object of this communication, Mr. Editor, is to ask its insertion in your valuable Historical Magazine, in the hope that it will meet the eye of some one who can tell me the name of the battery, the kind and [141] numbers of guns (I think there were but two), the nature of the position, the casualties, and any other facts that may be of interest, which I should like to incorporate in the history of my company soon to be published.

Hoping to hear something authentic touching this matter in your next issue,

I am, sir,

Yours, very truly,

John D. Billings, Historian, and former member of Tenth Massachusetts Battery, Second Army corps, Army of Potomac.

The failure of General Hooker to cut Jackson's column when moving to his rear at Chancellorsville has been much discussed. The following letter will throw some light on an interesting episode of that great movement:

San Francisco, 26th January, 1881, 439 California Street.
General Fitzhugh Lee:
Dear General,--Accident some time ago placed me in poseession of a copy of your address of October 29th, 1879, which you ought to have sent me. I take the liberty of calling your attention to the part acted by Captain Moore, of the Fourteenth Tennessee, which I think you would have mentioned, had you known, or not forgotten it.

When the ordnance train of Hill's division was approaching Catherine Furnace (where the road turns abruptly to the left and down hill) the confusion ahead carried me forward, where I found bullets whistling through the wagons. Passing the crest of the hill and riding up to some cavalry, formed some fifty yards off and partially sheltered, I asked the commander (Lieutenant-Colonel Carter, of the Fourth Virginia, if my memory is correct) “why he did not protect the wagons.” He told me that the infantry had run out, and that he could do nothing with the force at his command. I told him that there was artillery in the train just back of my ordnance, and that I would run my wagons through the fire, if he would stop the artillery and check the enemy's advance. This was done, two guns placed in position, two shots fired and the men driven from the guns by the minnies of the enemy. At this moment Captain Stanard, A. P. Hill's ordnance officer, rode towards me, calling me, and told me that some infantry refused to “go in” for him, but said that they would accept orders from me. I [142] found Captain Moore, another Captain (whose name I have forgotten, I am sorry to say), and twenty-eight or thirty men, who had been left on picket in the morning, with orders to follow the brigade as soon as relieved. Captain Moore said that my orders would relieve him, in the eyes of General Archer, for not obeying instructions to follow the brigade without delay, and went in at once and drove back the enemy's skirmishers, relieving the train of all annoyance. Generals Archer and Thomas arrived back with their brigades a few minutes later, but never fired a gun, Captain Moore's brilliant dash having accomplished all needed. If Colonel J. Thompson Brown was in command or firing there I did not know it, and Captain Stanard never mentioned it to me then or afterwards, and when Archer and Thomas came back I was the officer who reported the situation to them, as I think General Thomas, if alive, can confirm. Dear General Archer is dead. 1Stanard and Thomas and Moore, I hope, alive and well.

Yours sincerely,

George Lemmon, Ex-Ordnance Officer Archer's Brigade.

We clip the following from a private letter from a gallant Colonel who served in the Federal army, and has written a valuable history of his regiment:

I take great pleasure in reading The Southern Historical Society Papers, and consider them invaluable. They show conclusively the great disparity of numbers, and the bravery and great sacrifices which the Southerners made in battling for their principles and for what they honestly consider were their rights. And I take a just pride, as an American citizen, a descendant on both sides of my parentage, of English stock, who came to this country about 1640, that the Southern army, composed almost entirely of Americans, were able, under the ablest American chieftains, to defeat so often the overwhelming hosts of the North, which were composed largely of foreigners to our soil; in fact, the majority were mercenaries whom large bounties induced to [143] enlist, while the stay-at-home patriots whose money bought them, body and boots, to go off and get killed instead of their own precious selves, said, let the war go on. The men that went from principle, as a rule, and who would fight, were those volunteers who sprang to arms at the first, without thought of pay or bounty. What was $11 per month to the men such as the Zouaves were composed of, many of whom left splendid positions? One of its captains was a retired merchant, worth at least $300,000. After a time we had every reason to be disgusted, to see how our army was used by the constant interference of vulgar politicians, and the wise men and advisers in Washington — the busybodies, who were always handicapping McClellan, and thwarting his plans, because he was a Democrat. Pardon me for this long letter.


Major P. B. Stanard died several years ago at his residence at Goshen depot, Va., and a gallant spirit and high-toned gentleman was thus lost to Virginia.

J. W. J.

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