Saturday, April 09, 2005

April 9, 1865 -- The night they drove old Dixie down

Lee and Grant at Appomattox. Posted by Hello

Two very decent men, American heroes, met in Mr. McLean's house at Appomattox, Virginia, to arrange the surrender of the main Confederate army. Their actions showed the way to overcome the bitterness of six hundred thousand dead and millions wounded. For that, Americans must be forever grateful.

Surrender Triangle, Appomattox, Virginia. Posted by Hello

Three days after Lee and Grant met, the remnants of Lee's Army of Northern Virginia marched to Appomattox village to relinquish their weapons at what is known today as "Surrender Triangle."Union officer Joshua Chamberlain recalled:

In part:
Instructions had been given; and when the head of each division column comes opposite our group, our bugle sounds the signal and instantly our whole line from right to left, regiment by regiment in succession, gives the soldiers salutation, from the "order arms" to the old "carry," the marching salute. [Confederate General] Gordon at the head of the column, riding with heavy spirit and downcast face, catches the sound of shifting arms, looks up, and, taking the meaning, wheels superbly, making with himself and his horse one uplifted figure, with profound salutation as he drops the point of his sword to the boot toe; then facing to his own command, gives word for his successive brigades to pass us with the same position of the manual, honor answering honor. On our part not a sound of trumpet more, nor roll of drum; not a cheer, nor word nor whisper of vain-glorying, nor motion of man standing again at the order, but an awed stillness rather, and breath-holding, as if it were the passing of the dead!
As each successive division masks our own, it halts, the men face inward towards us across the road, twelve feet away; then carefully "dress" their line, each captain taking pains for the good appearance of his company, worn and half starved as they were...
What visions thronged as we looked into each others eyes!...With what strange emotion I look into these faces... It is by miracles we have lived to see this day, any of us standing here.