On this day in the Civil War,  at Appomattox, Virginia, the Confederate Army begins an attack on Federal troops blocking their path to the South. The Union infantry begins to advance against the Confederates. As the morning wears on Lee realizes that further resistance would be futile so he orders a white flag be carried through the Union lines with a request for a cease fire until he is able to work out terms of surrender with General Grant. In the early afternoon, the two generals meet at the home of a Wilmer McLean in Appomattox Court House. Grant writes the terms of surrender and, at Lee’s request, adds: ‘let all men who claim to own a horse or mule take the animals home with them to work their farms’. After signing the surrender, Lee mounts his horse and rides back to his men, he tells them,”Go to your homes and resume your occupations. Obey the laws and become as good citizens as you were soldiers”.

General Grant states, “The war is over. The Rebels are our countrymen again.”

Grant and Lee

(Photo Credit: Library of Congress)

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