Imágenes de páginas


In his "Memoirs of Robert E. Lee" (J. M. Stoddart & Co.), General A. L. Long says of this scene: "When, after his interview with Grant, General Lee again appeared, a shout of welcome instinctively ran through the army. But instantly recollecting the sad occasion that brought him before them, their shouts sank into silence, every hat was raised, and the bronzed faces of the thousands of grim warriors were bathed with tears. As he

need of both rations and forage. I telegraphed to Lynchburg, directing several train loads of rations to be sent on by rail from there, and when they arrive I should be glad to have the present wants of my men supplied from them."

At this remark, all eyes turned towards Sheridan, for he had captured these trains with his cavalry the night before, near Appomattox Station. General Grant replied:

"I should like to have our men sent within our lines as soon as possible. I will take steps at once to have your army supplied with rations, but I am sorry we have no forage for the animals. We have had to depend upon the country for our supply of forage. Of about how many men does your present force consist? "


"Indeed, I am not able to say," Lee answered after a slight pause. My losses in killed and wounded have been exceedingly heavy, and, besides, there have been many stragglers and some deserters. All my reports and public papers, and, indeed, my own private letters, had to be destroyed on the march, to prevent them from falling into the hands of your people. Many companies are entirely without officers, and I have not seen any returns for several days; so that I have no means of ascertaining our present strength."

General Grant had taken great pains to have a daily estimate made of the enemy's forces

rode slowly along the lines hundreds of his devoted veterans pressed around the noble chief, trying to take his hand, touch his person, or even lay a hand upon his horse, thus exhibiting for him their great affection. The general then, with head bare and tears flowing freely down his manly cheeks, bade adieu to the army. In a few words he told the brave men who had been so true in arms to return to their homes and become worthy citizens." from all the data that could be obtained, and judging it to be about 25,000 at this time, he said:

"Suppose I send over 25,000 rations, do you think that will be a sufficient supply?"

"I think it will be ample," remarked Lee, and added, with considerable earnestness of manner, " and it will be a great relief, I assure you."

General Grant now turned to his chief commissary, Colonel (afterwards General) Morgan, who was present, and directed him to arrange for issuing the rations. The number of men surrendered was over 28,000. As to General Grant's supplies, he had ordered the army on starting out to carry twelve days' rations. This was the twelfth and last day of the campaign.

General Grant's eye now fell upon Lee's sword again, and it seemed to remind him of the absence of his own, and, by way of explanation, he said to Lee:

"I started out from my camp several days ago without my sword, and as I have not seen my headquarters baggage since, I have been riding about without any side-arms. I have generally worn a sword, however, as little as possible, only during the actual operations of a campaign."

"I am in the habit of wearing mine most of the time," remarked Lee; "I wear it invariably when I am among my troops, moving about through the army."

General Sheridan now stepped up to General Lee and said that when he discovered some of the Confederate troops in motion during the morning, which seemed to be a violation of the truce, he had sent him (Lee) a couple of notes protesting against this act, and as he had not had time to copy them he would like to have them long enough to make copies. Lee took the notes out of the breastpocket of his coat and handed them to Sheridan with a few words expressive of regret that the circumstance had occurred, and intimating that it must have been the result of some misunderstanding.

After a little general conversation had been indulged in by those present, the two letters were signed and delivered, and the parties prepared to separate. Lee before parting asked Grant to notify Meade of the surrender, fearing that fighting might break out on that front and lives be uselessly lost. This request was complied with, and two Union officers were sent through the enemy's lines as the shortest route to Meade, some of Lee's officers accompanying them to prevent their being interfered with. At a little before 4 o'clock, General Lee shook hands with General Grant, bowed to the other officers, and with Colonel Marshall left the room. One after another we followed and passed out to the porch. Lee signaled to his orderly to bring up his horse, and while the animal was being bridled the general stood on the lowest step and gazed sadly in the direction of the valley beyond where his army lay - now an army of prisoners. He smote his hands together a number of times in an absent sort of a way; seemed not to see the group of Union officers in the yard who rose respectfully at his approach, and appeared unconscious of everything about him. All appreciated the sadness which overwhelmed him, and he had the personal sympathy of every one who beheld him at this supreme moment of trial. The approach of

his horse seemed to recall him from his reverie and he at once mounted. General Grant now stepped down from the porch, and moving towards him, saluted him by raising his hat. He was followed in this act of courtesy by all our officers present; Lee raised his hat respectfully in acknowledgment, and rode off to break the sad news to the brave fellows whom he had so long commanded.

General Grant and his staff then mounted and started for the headquarters camp, which in the mean time had been pitched near by. The news of the surrender had reached the Union lines and the firing of salutes began at several points, but the general sent orders at once to have them stopped, and used these words in referring to the occurrence: The

[ocr errors]

war is over, the rebels are our countrymen again, and the best sign of rejoicing after the victory will be to abstain from all demonstrations in the field."

Mr. McLean had been charging about in a manner which indicated that the excitement was shaking his system to its nervous center, but his real trials did not begin until the departure of the chief actors in the surrender. Then the relic-hunters charged down upon the manor-house and made various attempts to jump Mr. McLean's claims to his own furniture. Sheridan set a good example, however, by paying the proprietor twenty dollars in gold for the table at which Lee sat for the purpose of presenting it to Mrs. Custer, and handed it over to her dashing husband, who started off for camp bearing it upon his shoulder, and looking like Atlas carrying the world. Ord paid forty dollars for the table at which Grant sat, and afterwards presented it to Mrs. Grant, who modestly declined it and insisted that it should be given to Mrs. Ord, who then became its possessor. Bargains were at once struck for all the articles in the room, and it is even said that some mementos were carried off in the shape of flowers and other things for which no coin of the realm was ever exchanged.

Before General Grant had proceeded far towards camp, he was reminded that he had not yet announced the important event to the Government. He dismounted by the roadside, sat down on a large stone, and called for pencil and paper. Colonel (afterwards General) Badeau handed his order-book to the general, who wrote on one of the leaves the following message, a copy of which was sent to the nearest telegraph station. It was dated 4: 30 P. M. "HON. E. M. STANTON, SECRETARY OF WAR, WASH


"General Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia this afternoon on terms proposed by myself. The accompanying additional correspondence will show the conditions fully. "U. S. GRANTt, Lieut.-GenERAL."

Upon reaching camp he seated himself in front of his tent, and we all gathered around him, curious to hear what his first comments would be upon the crowning event of his life. But our expectations were doomed to disappointment, for he appeared to have already dismissed the whole subject from his mind, and turning to General Ingalls, his first words were: "Ingalls, do you remember that old white mule that so-and-so used to ride when we were in the city of Mexico?" "Why, perfectly," said Ingalls, who was just then in a mood to remember the exact number of hairs in the mule's tail if it would have helped to make matters agreeable. And then the general-in-chief

went on to recall the antics played by that animal during an excursion to Popocatapetl. It was not until after supper that he said much about the surrender, when he talked freely of his entire belief that the rest of the rebel commanders would follow Lee's example, and that we would have but little more fighting, even of a partisan nature. He then surprised us by announcing his intention of starting to Washington early the next morning. We were disappointed at this, for we wanted to see something of the opposing army, now that it had become civil enough for the first time in its existence to let us get near it, and meet some of the officers who had been acquaintances in former years. The general, however, had no fondness for looking at the conquered, and but little curiosity in his nature, and he was anxious above all things to begin the reduction of the military establishment and diminish the enormous expense attending it, which at this time amounted to about four millions of dollars a day. When he considered, however, that the railroad was being rapidly put in condition and that he would lose no time by waiting till the next noon, he made up his mind to delay his departure. That evening I made full notes of the occurrences which took place during the surrender, and from these the above account has been written.

There were present at McLean's house besides Sheridan, Ord, Merritt, Custer, and the officers of General Grant's staff, a number of other officers and one or two citizens who entered the room at different times during the interview.

About 9 o'clock on the morning of the 10th General Grant with his staff rode out towards the enemy's lines, but it was found upon attempting to pass through that the force of habit is hard to overcome, and that the practice which had so long been inculcated in Lee's army of keeping Grant out of its lines was not to be overturned in a day, and he was politely requested at the picket-lines to wait till a message could be sent to headquarters asking for instructions. As soon as Lee heard that his distinguished opponent was approaching, he was prompt to correct the misunderstanding at the picket-line, and rode out at a gallop to receive him. They met on a knoll which overlooked the lines of the two armies, and saluted respectfully by each raising his hat. The officers present gave a similar salute, and then grouped themselves around the two chieftains in a semicircle, but withdrew out of earshot. General Grant repeated to us that evening the substance of the conversation, which was as follows:

Grant began by expressing a hope that the war would soon be over, and Lee replied by

stating that he had for some time been anxious to stop the further effusion of blood, and he trusted that everything would now be done to restore harmony and conciliate the people of the South. He said the emancipation of the negroes would be no hindrance to the restoring of relations between the two sections of the country, as it would probably not be the desire of the majority of the Southern people to restore slavery then, even if the question were left open to them. He could not tell what the other armies would do or what course Mr. Davis would now take, but he believed it would be best for their other armies to follow his example, as nothing could be gained by further resistance in the field. Finding that he entertained these sentiments, General Grant told him that no one's influence in the South was so great as his, and suggested to him that he should advise the surrender of the remaining armies and thus exert his influence in favor of immediate peace. Lee said he could not take such a course without consulting President Davis first. Grant then proposed to Lee that he should do so, and urge the hastening of a result which was admitted to be inevitable. Lee, however, was averse to stepping beyond his duties as a soldier, and said the authorities would doubtless soon arrive at the same conclusion without his interference. There was a statement put forth that Grant asked Lee to go and see Mr. Lincoln and talk with him as to the terms of reconstruction, but this was erroneous. I asked General Grant about it when he was on his death-bed, and his recollection was distinct that he had made no such suggestion. I am of opinion that the mistake arose from hearing that Lee had been requested to go and see the "President" regarding peace, and thinking that this expression referred to Mr. Lincoln, whereas it referred to Mr. Davis. After the conversation had lasted a little more than half an hour and Lee had requested that such instructions be given to the officers. left in charge to carry out the details of the surrender, that there might be no misunderstanding as to the form of paroles, the manner of turning over the property, etc., the conference ended. The two commanders lifted their hats and said good-bye. Lee rode back to his camp to take a final farewell of his army, and Grant returned to McLean's house, where he seated himself on the porch until it was time to take his final departure. During the conference Ingalls, Sheridan, and Williams had asked permission to visit the enemy's lines and renew their acquaintance with some old friends, classmates and former comrades in arms who were serving in Lee's army. They now returned, bringing with them Wilcox, who



had been General Grant's groomsman when he was married,- Longstreet, who had also been at his wedding, Heth, who had been a subaltern with him in Mexico, besides Gordon, Pickett, and a number of others. They all stepped up to pay their respects to General Grant, who received them very cordially and talked with them until it was time to leave. The hour of noon had now arrived, and General Grant, after shaking hands with all present who were not to accompany him, mounted his horse, and started with his staff for Washington without having entered the enemy's lines. Lee set out for Richmond, and it was felt by

all that peace had at last dawned upon the land.

The charges were now withdrawn from the guns, the camp-fires were left to smolder in their ashes, the flags were tenderly furled,- those historic banners, battle-stained, bullet-riddled, many of them but remnants of their former selves, with scarcely enough left of them on which to imprint the names of the battles they had seen, and the Army of the Union and the Army of Northern Virginia turned their backs upon each other for the first time in four long, bloody years.

Horace Porter.

[graphic][merged small][merged small]



REGRET to have to use so unpleasant a description, -and nothing in the world would induce me to do it outside of this confidential circle,- but Juliet Scatterbury, who afterwards became Mrs. Bang, was one of the most surprising of liars. Oh, it was so admitted. You should hear the gentle irony of Sam Lambert's remarks about her! His wife checks him, it is true, as to the particular case here to be described, believing that to have been largely her own fault, but the fact remains that Juliet was an egregious follower of Ananias and Sapphira.

There was wide range and ingenuity in her inventions; no one ever appeared to take a more genuine comfort in mendacity than she. It often seemed as if she would rather employ it than truth, even when the latter would have answered the purpose better. She sometimes wore a rapt and imaginative air as if she thoroughly believed in her statements herself. She would romance, for instance, about her early life, tell you of journeys she had made, thrilling adventures she had met with, priceless jewels and wondrous ball-dresses she had worn, and unmeasured social attentions that had been showered upon her. She would make small scruple, if it suited her whim, of claiming that she owned the largest steam yacht in the world, had written, anonymously, the last popular novel, or had sometimes played the part of Ristori or Bernhardt, appearing under proper disguise. With all this, she was young, pretty, possessed of the art of dressing well, and accomplished in several ways.

Her career in the large Western city oflet us say Minneapolis was but a brief one. Her family were not in affluent circumstances; they had moved about a good deal,- her father had something to do with contracts,but they were respected, and, for Juliet's part, she was the associate of the leading people. While there she was not thoroughly found out. There were always some who believed in her, thought her a very sprightly and entertaining person, and confidently expected her to make a great match. The young men in particular did not credit all the ill they heard of her, but laid a good part of this to the natural jealousy of their sisters and cousins, her rivals. It was probably not till individuals from different VOL. XXXV.-23.

quarters of the country began to meet casually and compare notes about her that the full measure of her iniquities came out.

Now, Juliet Scatterbury also confidently counted on making a brilliant match. When she removed to New York, and, in some unaccountable way, made one of quite the opposite sort instead, she was still anxious that an impression to that effect should go out among the denizens of the place she had left. The view, in fact, prevailed there, from some artful hints let fall in a few letters she had sent back, that, though the marriage had been a very quiet one, it was due to a recent death in Mr. Bang's family, that it covered in reality a good deal of solid magnificence, and that her position in the world was a highly enviable one.

She had, in truth, married a club man, and the son of a club man, a fellow of good intentions enough, but not at all enterprising and with no very definite means of support. They lived in a small flat, in a respectable neighborhood, where everything was, as it were, something else. Their bedstead, for instance, was a mantelpiece, when off duty; their piano a refrigerator, and the principal arm-chair a coal-box. About the only genuine piece of furniture was an easel, holding some photoengravings. This gave an elegant air of space, and served no extraneous purpose save to suggest to Mr. Bang his very obvious standing pun as to the facility with which it also might have been something else.

This manner of living was Juliet's own doing; she was brimful of vanity and active social push still.

They had some prosperous acquaintances who befriended them; among these, Mrs. Lambert, a former schoolmate of Juliet's, and friend of her husband, and a person, it would seem, of quite phenomenal good-nature.

"Poor little thing," said Mrs. Lambert, "and her husband has the makings of such a good fellow about him, and they have so much to contend with."

Many the little dinner, therefore, they had at her house, and many the comfortable drive for Juliet in her carriage.

As to Mrs. Bang's peculiar trait of invention, she probably employed it outside of the house, at this time, as briskly as ever, but she did not employ it at home, having found out, in very emphatic form from Jim, soon after their marriage, that he did not approve of it.

« AnteriorContinuar »