previous next

Appomattox Court-House,

The seat of government of Appomattox county, Va., about 25 miles east of Lynchburg; famous as the scene of the surrender of General

M'Lean's House, the place of Lee's Scrrender.

Lee to General Grant. The Army of Northern Virginia was reduced by famine, disease, death, wounds, and capture to a feeble few. These struggled against [188] enormous odds with almost unexampled fortitude, but were compelled to yield to overwhelming numbers and strength. On April 8, a portion of Sheridan's cavalry, under General Custer, supported by Devine, captured four Confederate supply-trains at Appomattox Station, on the Lynchburg Railroad. Lee's vanguard approaching, were pushed back to Appomattox Court-House, 5 miles northward — near which was Lee's main army — losing twenty-five guns and many wagons and prisoners. Sheridan hurried forward the remainder of his command, and on that evening he stood directly across Lee's pathway of retreat. Lee's last avenue of escape was closed, and on the following day he met General Grant at the residence of Wilmer McLean, at Appomattox Court-House, to consummate an act of surrender. The two commanders met, with courteous recognition, at 2 P. M., on Palm Sunday (April 9). Grant was accompanied by his chief of staff, Colonel Parker; Lee was attended by Colonel Marshall, his adjutant-general.

The terms of surrender were discussed and settled, in the form of a written proposition by Grant, and a written acceptance by Lee, and at 3.30 P. M. they were signed. The terms prescribed by Grant were extraordinary, under the circumstances, in their leniency and magnanimity, and Lee was much touched by them. They simply required Lee and his men to give their parole of honor that they would not take up arms against the government of the United States until regularly exchanged: gave to the officers their side-arms, baggage, and private horses; and pledged the faith of the government that they should not be punished for their treason and rebellion so long as they should respect that parole and be obedient to law. Grant, at the suggestion of Lee, agreed to allow such cavalrymen of the Confederate army as owned their own horses to retain them, as they would, he said, need them for tilling their farms. Lee now returned to Richmond, where his family resided. He had started on that campaign with 65,000 men, and he returned alone; and for a month afterwards he and his family were kindly furnished with daily rations from the national commissariat at Richmond. Lee had lost, during the movements of his army from March 26 to April 9, about 14,000 men killed and wounded, and 25,000 made prisoners. The number of men paroled was about 26,000, of whom not more than 9,000 had arms in their hands. About 16,000 small-arms were surrendered, 150 cannon, 71 colors, about 1,100 wagons and caissons, and 4,000 horses and mules. See Lee, Robert Edward.

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.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
United States (United States) (1)
Lynchburg (Virginia, United States) (1)
Appomattox (Virginia, United States) (1)

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.
G. G. Lee (13)
Ulysses S. Grant (6)
Philip Henry Sheridan (2)
Theodore Parker (1)
Wilmer McLean (1)
John Marshall (1)
Devine (1)
George Armstrong Custer (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
April 9th (2)
April 8th (1)
March 26th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: