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      Battle Of
       West Point
 Lee Surrenders to Grant

      When Lee was at last given command of an army, he fought his own kind of war. In less than three months, he drove out the enemy and invaded the North.  Even then, Davis kept a large number of soldiers on guard duty in Virginia.  So it happened that one-fourth of Pickett's crack troops were guarding a supply depot near Virginia during the important battle of Gettysburg.


        Lee lost the battle.  Could he have won with the extra men?  No one knows.  But no one doubts that fighting two wars at the same time left Lee an old man.  Lee remains a Southern hero.

        He surrendered to General Grant at Appomattox Courthouse on April 9, 1865, after Union forces prevented the escape of some 27,000 Confederate soldiers.  They had tried to escape after the fall of Richmond when they tried to reach Lynchburg and its railroad.  But the Federals blocked their way, leaving Lee's men entirely surrounded and starving.

        Grant told him that the unconditional surrender was the only option.  When he was ready to sign the surrender, Lee told an aide, "There is nothing left for me to do but to see Grant, and I would rather die a thousand deaths."  Lee and Grant met in the parlor of the brick house of Wilmer McLean, who had moved to Appomattox from Manassas Junction after a shell passed through his house during the first Battle of Bull Run.  Lee arrived at the house first and was seated when Grant came in.  Lee rose, a resplendent figure in his dress gray uniform, to shake hands with Grant, dressed in a rumpled military tunic with mud-spattered trousers that were stuffed into muddy boots.







        Grant allowed Lee's men to keep their small arms and horses and to be paroled without punishment as long as they didn't take up arms against the North again.  Lee appreciated the generous terms.  After the surrender was signed, Grant asked Lee if he would permit him to send rations to the starving Confederate troops and Lee gratefully accepted.  Lee was free to go.  Bowing slightly to the men in the room, the General walked out to the porch to wait for his horse.  After four bloody years and a half million deaths, the American Civil war was over.