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Grant's Surrender Terms At Appomattox
April 9, 1865

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The Civil War was, at least for the South, a war of attrition. Although Confederate General Robert E. Lee was renowned for making the best of poor odds through skillful planning and maneuver, over the four years of battle both the strength and the supply base of the southern armies suffered immensely at the hands of the North. Though his troops still had spirit, in the spring of 1865 General Lee came to the conclusion that any further fighting would simply be a waste of fine men.

In early April he wrote to Union General Ulysses S. Grant requesting terms for the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia, and expecting no easy deal after so much bloodshed. President Lincoln had authorized Grant to treat on military matters, retaining to himself the right to dictate political terms, which were not the immediate issue.

Armed with this authority, Grant was able to extend to his former enemy a level of courtesy and respect equal to that for which Lee himself was renowned. Despite his reputation for demanding unconditional surrender from his foes, Grant's terms were remarkably lenient and signaled the wish, at least on the part of the Army of the Potomac, to put aside the grievances of the War.

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Grant's Surrender Terms At Appomattox
April 9, 1865

Head Quarters of the Armies of the United States
Appomattox C.H. Va. Apl 9th 1865

Gen. R. E. Lee
Comd'g C.S.A.

In accordance with the substance of my letter to you of the 8th inst., I propose to receive the surrender of the Army of N. Va. on the following terms to wit;

Rolls of all the officers and men be made in duplicate, one copy to be given to an officer to be designated by me, the other to be retained by such officer or officers as you may designate. The officers to give their individual paroles not to take up arms against the Government of the United States until properly exchanged, and each company or regimental commander to sign a like parole for the men of their commands -

The arms, artillery and public property to be parked and stacked and turned over to the officer appointed by me to receive them. This will not embrace the side arms of the officers nor their private horses or baggage. This done each officer and man will be allowed to return to their homes, not to be disturbed by United States authority as long as they observe their parole and the laws in force where they may reside--

Very Respectfully
U. S. Grant
Lt. Gen
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