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that might arise. Without replying directly to the question, however, I answered first that it was due to my command (of artillery) that I should tell him that they were in as good spirits, though short of ammunition and with poor teams, as they had ever been, and had begged if it came to a surrender to be allowed to expend first every round of ammunition on the enemy, and surrender only the empty ammunition chests. To this General Lee replied that there were only remaining two divisions of infantry sufficiently well-organised and strong to be fully relied upon (Fields' and Mahone's), and that they did not number eight thousand muskets together; and that that force was not sufficient to warrant him in undertaking a pitched battle. “Then," I answered, “General, there are but two alternatives: to surrender, or to order the army to abandon its trains and disperse in the woods and bushes, every inan for himself, and each to make his best way with his arms either to the army of General Johnston in North Carolina, or home to the Governor of his State. We have all foreseen the probability of such an alternative for two days, and I am sure I speak the sentiments of many others besides my own in urging that rather than surrender the army you should allow us to disperse in the woods and go, every man for himself”
What would you hope," he asked, "to accomplish by this?" I answered, " If there is any hope at all for the Confederacy, or for the separate States to make terms with the United States, or for any foreign assistance, this course stands the chances, whatever they may be ; while if this army surrenders this inörning the Confederacy is dead from that moment, Grant will turn 150,000 fresh men against Johnston, and with the moral effect of our surrender he will go, and Dick Taylor and Kirby Smith will have to follow like a row of bricks ; while if we all take 10 dispersing in the woods we inaugurate a new phase of the war, which may be indefinitely prolonged, and it will at least have great moral effect in showing that in our pledges to fight it out to the last we meant what we said. And even, General, if there is no hope at all in this course or in any other, and if the fate of the Confederacy is sealed whatever we do, there is one other consideration which your soldiers have a right to urge on you, and that is your own military reputation, in which every man in this army, officer or private, feels the ulinost personal pride, and has a personal property that his children will prize after him. The Yankees brought Grant here from the West, after the failure of all their other generals, as one who had whipped everybody he had ever fought against, and they call him ‘Unconditional Surrender Grant,' and have been bragging in advance that you would have to surrender too. Now, General, I think you ought to spare us all the mortification of having you to ask Grant for terms, and have him answer that he had no terms to offer you.”
I still remember most vividly the emotion with which I made this appeal, increasing as I went on until my whole heart was in it; and it seemed to me at the moment one which no soldier could resist and against which no consideration whatever could be urged ; and when I closed, after urging my suggestions at greater length than it is necessary to repeat, looking him in the face and speaking with more
boldness than I usually found in his presence, I had not a doubt that he must adopt some such course as I had urged.
He heard me entirely through, however, very calmly, and then asked, “How many men do you estimate would escape if I were to order the army to disperse ?"
I replied, “I suppose two-thirds of us could get away, for the enemy could not disperse to follow us through the woods."
He said : “We have here only about 16,000 men with arms, and not all of those who could get away would join General Johnston, but most of them would try and make their way to their homes and families, and their numbers would be too small to be of any material service either to General Johnston or to the Governors of the States. I recognise fully that the surrender of this army is the end of the Confederacy, but no course we can take can prevent or even delay that result. I have never believed that we would receive foreign assistance, or get our liberty otherwise than by our own arms. The end is now upon us, and it only remains to decide how we shall close the struggle. But in deciding this question we are to approach it not only as soldiers, but as Christian men deciding on matters which involve a great deal else besides their own feelings. If I should order this army to disperse, the men with their arms, but without organisation or control, and without provisions or money, would soon be wandering through every State in the Confederacy, some seeking to get to their homes and some with no homes to go to. Many would be compelled to rob and plunder as they went to save themselves from starvation, and the enemy's cavalry would pursue in small detachments, particularly in efforts to catch the general officers, and raid and burn over large districts which they will otherwise never reach; and the result would be the inauguration of lawlessness and terror and of organised bands of robbers all over the South. Now, as Christian men we have not the right to bring this state of affairs upon the country, whatever the sacrifice of personal pride involved. And as for myself, you young men might go to bushwhacking, but I am too old; and even if it were right for me to disperse the army, I should surrender myself to General Grant, as the only proper course for one of my years and position. But I am glad to be able to tell you one thing for your comfort. General Grant will not demand an unconditional surrender, but offers us most liberal terms, the paroling of the whole army not to fight until exchanged.” He then went on to speak of the probable details of the terms of surrender, and to say that about 10 A. M. he was to meet General Grant in the rear of the army and would then accept the terms offered.
Sanguine as I had been when he commenced that he must acquiesce in my views, I had not one word to reply when he had finished. He spoke slowly and deliberately and with some feeling, and the completeness of the considerations he advanced, and which he dwelt on with more detail than I can now fully recall, speaking particularly of the women and children as the greatest sufferers in the state of anarchy which a dispersion of the army would bring about, and his reference to what would be his personal course if he did order such dispersion, all indicated that the question was not then presented to his mind for the first time.
A short time after this conversation General Lee rode to the rear of the army to meet General Grant and arrange the details of the surrender. He had started about a half-hour when General Fitz Lee sent word to General Longstreet that he had broken through a portion of the enemy's line, and that the whole army might make its way through. General Longstreet on hearing this directed Colonel John C. Haskell of the artillery, who was very finely mounted, to ride after General Lee at utmost speed, killing his horse if necessary, and recall him before he could reach General Grant. Colonel Haskell rode as directed, and a short distance in rear of the army found Gen. Lee and some of his staff dismounted by the roadside. As he with difficulty checked his horse, General Lee came up quickly, asking what was the matter, but without waiting for a reply, said: “Oh, I'm afraid
you have killed your beautiful mare. What did you ride her so hard for?” On hearing General Longstreet's message, he asked some questions about the situation, and sent word to General Longstreet to use his own discretion in making any movements; but he did not himself return, and in a short while another message was received that the success of the cavalry under General Fitz Lee was but temporary, and that there was no such gap in the enemy's line as had been supposed. Soon afterwards a message was brought from the enemy's picket that General Grant had passed around to the front and would meet General Lee at Appomattox C. H., and General Lee accordingly returned.
Meanwhile, as the Confederate line under General Gordon was slowly falling back from Appomattox C. H. after as gallant a fight against overwhelming odds as it had ever made, capturing and bringing safely off with it an entire battery of the enemy's, General Custar, commanding a division of Federal cavalry, rode forward with a flag of truce, and the firing having ceased on both sides, was conducted to General Longstreet as commanding temporarily in General Lee's absence. Custar demanded the surrender of the army to himself and General Sheridan, to which General Longstreet replied that General Lee was in communication with General Grant upon that subject, and that the issue would be determined between them. Custar replied that he and Sheridan were independent of Grant, and unless the surrender was made to them they would "pitch in " at once. Longstreet's answer was a peremptory order to return at once to his own lines and "try it if he liked." Custar was accordingly escorted back, but fire was not re-opened, and both lines remained halted, the Confederate about a half-mile east of the Court-house.
General Lee returning from the rear shortly afterwards, halted in a small field adjoining Sweeny's house, a little in rear of his skirmish line, and awaited a message from General Grant, seated on some rails under an apple-tree. This apple-tree was not only entirely cut up for mementoes within two days afterwards, but its very roots were dug up and carried away under the false impression that the surrender took place under it. About noon a Federal staff-officer rode up and announced that General Grant was at the Court-house, and General Lee with one of his staff accompanied him back. As he left the apple-tree General Longstreet's last words to him were: “Unless he offers you liberal terms, General, let us fight it out."
It would be a difficult task to convey to one who was not present an idea of the feeling of the Confederate army during the few hours which so suddenly, and so unexpectedly to it, terminated its existence, and with it all hopes of the Confederacy. Having been sharply engaged that very morning, and its movements arrested by the fag of truce while one portion of it was actually fighting and nearly all the rest, infantry and artillery, had just been formed in line of batile in sight and range of the enemy, and with guns unlimbered, it was impossible to realise fully that the war, with all its hopes, its ambitions and its hardships, was thus ended. There was comparatively very little conversation, and men stood in groups looking over the scene; but the groups were unusually silent. It was not at first generally known that a surrender was inevitable, but there was a remarkable pre-acquiescence in whatever General Lee should determine, and the warmest expressions of confidence in his judgment. Ranks and discipline were maintained as usual, and there is little doubt that had General Lee decided to fight that afternoon the troops would not have disappointed him. About 4 P. M. he returned from the Courthouse, and after inforining the principal officers of the terms of the surrender, started to ride back to his camp.
The universal desire to express to him the unabated love and confidence of the army had led to the formation of the gunners of a few battalions of artillery along the roadside, with orders to take off their hats in silence as he rode by. When he approached, however, the men could not be restrained, but burst into the wildest cheering, which the adjacent infantry lines took up, and breaking ranks, they all crowded around him cheering at the tops of their voices. Gen. Lee stopped his horse, and after gaining silence, made the only speech to his men that he ever made. He was very brief, and gave no excuses or apologies for his surrender, but said he had done all in his power for his men, and urged them to go as quickly and quietly to their homes as possible, to resume peaceful avocations, and to be as good citizens as they had been soldiers; and this advice marked the course which he himself pursued so faithfully to the end.
E. P. A.
Foshua Davidson, Communist. Philadelphia : J. B. Lippincott & Co.
'HIS book will probably attract considerable attention among
those who are interested in social problems-a class of people who, though having very honest and praiseworthy intentions, are not uniformly distinguished for sound practical wisdom or agreeable personal characteristics. It may also fall into the hands of many of the artisan class, and some of the lower grades of society, who are sufficiently awake to catch at anything that has a bearing on the contest they are waging with Capital. And in view of such chances, it cannot but be considered on the whole a dangerous book. That the purpose of the author is a noble one we freely acknowledge; and surely there is enough in the lukewarmness and indifference with which the Church and Society look upon the wretched condition of the masses, to excuse extravagance of method or of teaching in an effort to arouse them to their duty. While, therefore, the views of life here inculcated are not likely to improve the temper of the poor and criminal classes, or to help them in forming a more rational and restrained purpose in their struggles after improved conditions of life, they may, as they should, do something to prick the conscience of Christians, and stimulate the philanthropic action of society by working upon its selfish fears. This book is only another of the many indications of coming social convulsion that fill the air. In Europe, and especially in England, where the population is unwholesomely crowded, and the political institutions are encumbered with many anomalies and abuses which have been the growth of ages, the rulers are brought face to face with the danger of a popular uprising, which, it would seem, cannot be much longer delayed. For the present, in America, the expanse of unoccupied territory furnishes a vent for the dangerous passions of the proletariat; but the day of evil will only be postponed, not prevented, unless we bring the proper remedy to bear with sufficient energy in the meantime. But the proper remedy is not that, we think, shadowed forth by the author of Foshua Davidson, in the sketch of his hero's life. His theory, which is rather vaguely put, is a perversion of the truth, which is usually more dangerous than the baldest falsehood. Professedly he takes Christ as his ideal; but with an arrogance which unfortunately is not unusual in this age of disordered thought, instead of the historic Christ he assumes a new Christ, modelled after his own conceptions of what He would and ought to be if He were dwelling on earth to-day. Finding that many of the facts of the New Testament history are in. convenient for his purpose; that Christ, though he extended his tender love and gracious sympathy to the outcast and despised, was in no sense a political agitator, nor the partisan of one class of society against another, but the rebuker of sin wherever He found it; the