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from the date of the firing of the first gun of the War at Charleston. The muskets turned in by the ragged and starving files of the remnants of Lee's army represented only a small portion of those which a few days earlier had been holding the entrenchments at Petersburg. As soon as it became evident that the army was not going to be able to break through the Federal lines and begin a fresh campaign in North Carolina, the men scattered from the retreating columns right and left, in many cases carrying their muskets to their own homes as a memorial fairly earned by plucky and persistent service. There never was an army that did better fighting or that was better deserving of the recognition, not only of the States in behalf of whose so-called “independence" the War had been waged, but on the part of opponents who were able to realise the character and the effectiveness of the fighting.
The scene in the little farm-house where the two commanders met to arrange the terms of surrender was dramatic in more ways than one. General Lee had promptly given up his own baggage waggon for use in carrying food for the advance brigade and as he could save but one suit of clothes, he had naturally taken his best. He was, therefore, notwithstanding the fatigues
the firing of the first gun of the
days earlier had been holding
cases carrying their muskets
the recognition, not only of
and the privations of the past week, in full dress uniform. He was one of the handsomest men of his generation, and his beauty was not only of feature but of expression of character. Grant, who never gave much thought to his personal appearance, had for days been away from his baggage train, and under the urgency of keeping as near as possible to the front line with reference to the probability of being called to arrange terms for surrender, he had not found the opportunity of securing a proper coat in place of his fatigue blouse. I believe that even his sword had been mislaid, but he was able to borrow one for the occasion from a staff officer. When the main details of the surrender had been talked over, Grant looked about the group in the room, which included, in addition to two staff officers who had come with Lee, a group of five or six of his own assistants, who had managed to keep up with the advance, to select the aid who should write out the paper. His eye fell upon Colonel Ely Parker, a brigade commander who had during the past few months served on Grant's staff. "Colonel Parker, I will ask you," said Grant, 'as the only real American in the room, to draft this paper.” Parker was a full-blooded Indian, belonging to one of the Iroquois tribes of New York.
t to arrange the terms of ic in more ways than one. imptly given up his own se in carrying food for the as he could save but one naturally taken his best. withstanding the fatigues
Grant's suggestion that the United States had no requirement for the horses of Lee's army and that the men might find these convenient for “spring ploughing" was received by Lee with full appreciation. The first matter in order after the completion of the surrender was the issue of rations to the starving Southern troops. "General Grant,” said Lee, "a train was ordered by way of Danville to bring rations to meet my army and it ought to be now at such a point,” naming a village eight or nine miles to the south-west. General Sheridan, with a twinkle in his eye, now put in a word: "The train from the south is there, General Lee, or at least it was there yesterday. My men captured it and the rations will be available.” General Lee turns, mounts his old horse Traveller, a valued comrade, and rides slowly through the ranks first of the blue and then of the grey. Every hat came off from the men in blue as an expression of respect to a great soldier and a true gentleman, while from the ranks in grey there was one great sob of passionate grief and finally, almost for the first time in Lee's army, a breaking of discipline as the men crowded forward to get a closer look at, or possibly a grasp of the hand of, the great leader who had fought and failed but whose fighting and whose failure had been so magnificent.
LINCOLN'S TASK ENDED
tion that the United States had of the horses of Lee's army and right find these convenient for " was received by Lee with
The first matter in order after
Lee, "a train was ordered by
the rations will be available."
On the 11th of April, Lincoln makes his last public utterance.
In a brief address to some gathering in Washington, he says, “There will shortly be announcement of a new policy.” It is hardly to be doubted that the announcement which he had in mind was to be concerned with the problem of reconstruction. He had already outlined in his mind the essential principles on which the readjustment must be made. In this same address, he points out that “whether or not the seceded States be out of the Union, they are out of their proper relations to the Union.” We may feel sure that he would not have permitted the essential matters of readjustment to be delayed while political lawyers were arguing over the constitutional issue. On one side was the group which maintained that in instituting the Rebellion and in doing what was in their power to destroy the national existence, the people of the seceding States had forfeited all claims
to the political liberty of their communities. According to this contention, the Slave States were to be treated as conquered territory, and it simply remained for the government of the United States to reshape this territory as might be found convenient or expedient. According to the other view, as secession was itself something which was not to be admitted, being, from the constitutional point of view, impossible, there never had in the legal sense of the term been any secession. The instant the armed rebellion had been brought to an end, the rebelling States were to be considered as having resumed their old-time relations with the States of the North and with the central government. They were under the same obligations as before for taxation, for subordination in foreign relations, and for the acceptance of the control of the Federal government on all matters classed as Federal. On the other hand, they were entitled to the privileges that had from the beginning been exercised by independent States: namely, the control of their local affairs on matters not classed as Federal, and they had a right to their proportionate representation in Congress and to their proportion of the electoral vote for President. It has been very generally recognised in the South