Lee Surrenders to Grant, April 9th, 18651
by General Horace Porter
Generals Grant and Lee settle on the terms of surrender of the Confederate Army, with both men showing consideration for the welfare of the defeated soldiers.
Grant began the conversation by saying: "I met you once before, General Lee, while we were serving in Mexico, when you came over from General Scott’s headquarters to visit Garland's brigade, to which I then belonged. I have always remembered your appearance, and I think I should have recognized you anywhere." "Yes," replied General Lee; " I know I met you on that occasion, and I have often thought of it, and tried to recollect how you looked, but I have never been able to recall a single feature." After some further mention of Mexico, General Lee said: " I suppose, General Grant, that the object of our present meeting is fully understood. I asked to see you to ascertain upon what terms you would receive the surrender of my army." General Grant replied: "The terms I propose are those stated substantially in my letter of yesterday; that is, the officers and men surrendered to be paroled and disqualified from taking up arms again until properly exchanged, and all arms, ammunition, and supplies to be delivered up as captured property." Lee nodded an assent, and said: "Those are about the conditions which I expected would be proposed." General Grant then continued: "Yes; I think our correspondence indicated pretty clearly the action that would be taken at our meeting, and I hope it may lead to a general suspension of hostilities, and be the means of preventing any further loss of life."
Lee inclined his head as indicating his accord with this wish, and General Grant then went on to talk at some length in a very pleasant vein about the prospects of peace. Lee was evidently anxious to proceed to the formal work of the surrender, and he brought the subject up again by saying:
1 An intact excerpt from Section 2, The Surrender at Appomattox Court House, of the article "The Last Campaign" by General Horace Porter (The Century Magazine, November 1887).
PORTRAIT: General Horace Porter (between 1860 and 1875).
CITATION INFORMATION (in MLA format): Porter, General Horace. "Lee Surrenders to Grant, April 9th, 1865." Gleeditions, 17 Apr. 2011, www.gleeditions.com/leesurrenders/students/pages.asp?lid=409&pg=6. Originally published in Campaigning with Grant, vol. 2, The Century Co., 1897, pp. 475-86.