Reminiscences of the Civil War

By John B. Gordon | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXX
THE END OF THE WAR

Appomattox--25,000 men surrender--Only 8000 able to bear arms-- Uniform courtesy of the victorious Federals--A salute for the vanquished-- What Lincoln might have done--GeneralSherman's liberal terms to Johnston--An estimate of General Lee and General Grant--The war and the reunited country.

GENERAL LONGSTREET'S forces and mine at Appomattox, numbered, together, less than 8000 men; but every man able to bear arms was still resolute and ready for battle. There were present three times that many enrolled Confederates; but two thirds of them were so enfeebled by hunger, so wasted by sickness, and so foot-sore from constant marching that it was difficult for them to keep up with the army. They were wholly unfit for duty. It is important to note this fact as explaining the great difference in the number of those who fought and those who were to be fed. At the final meeting between General Lee and General Grant rations were ordered by General Grant for 25,000 Confederates.

Marked consideration and courtesy were exhibited at Appomattox by the victorious Federals, from the commanding generals to the privates in the ranks. General Meade, who had known General Lee in the old army, paid, after the surrender, an unofficial visit to the Confederate chieftain. After cordial salutations, General Lee said playfully to his former comrade in arms that years were telling upon him. General Meade, who had

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