Robert E. Lee at the Crossroads

Presidential History Blog


generallee General Lee and Traveler.

April 9, 1865 was only the beginning of a difficult time in the life of Robert E. Lee.

The Surrender

It was a horrible day for General Robert E. Lee (1807-1870). He has been famously quoted as preferring to die a thousand deaths rather than to go see General Ulysses S. Grant.

images_207 The famous meeting at Appomattox Court House.

But he bit the bullet, donned his last best uniform, complete with sash and sword, and rode off to a modest farmhouse in Appomattox Court House. In little more than an hour, it was all over. The terms were decided and signed, and for all intents and purposes, the four-year American Civil War, which destroyed the cream of a generation of men, was over.

Several more days passed as the business of signing paroles, the usual paperwork and reports, and formally discharging the remains of the…

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