ACWA Reenactment

of

General Robert E. Lee's

Surrender of his Army

During the 2001 Memorial Day Event the American Civil War Association presented a reenactment of General Robert E. Lee's surrender of his army to General Ulysses S. Grant at the town of Appomattox Court House, Virginia. Both the Union and Confederate forces stood at attention in the background as one of the most dramatic events in U.S. history was reenacted with commentary by Mr. Ray Bisio.

The two commanding generals met on April 9, 1865 in a Mr. Wilmer McLean's house. (Ironically, Mr. McLean had moved from his shell-damaged house near Manassas in order to avoid any more active involvement in the war.)

The terms of the surrender were reasonably generous: the Confederate soldiers were assured that they would not be tried for treason as long as they met the conditions set forth in the surrender document. Also, the artillery and cavalry were allowed to return home with their horses. On April 10th General Lee issued his farewell order to his army. The North of course began to celebrate as soon as the news reached it.

In his memoirs, Grant wrote: "I felt...sad and depressed at the downfall of a foe who had fought as long and valiantly, and had suffered so much for a cause, though that cause was, I believe, one of the worst for which a people ever fought." When the Union soldiers began to noisily celebrate the end of the war, Grant said "The war is over. The rebels are our countryman again, and the best sign of rejoicing after the victory will be to abstain from all demonstrations."

Photographs © 2001
All rights reserved.

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