Surrender of General Lee at Appomattox Courthouse, Palm Sunday, 147 years ago
In the year 1865, General Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant on April 9th, Palm Sunday, 147 years ago. It happened at the McLean House in Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia with General Robert E. Lee signing the surrender papers, which ended the Civil War. As gentlemen were in those days, both General Ulysses S. Grant and General Robert E. Lee shook hands after the official signing of the treaty. The American Civil War lasted four years with 630,000 soldier deaths and one million suffering casualties. There were an estimated 500 soldier deaths at the battles of Appomattox Station and at the Courthouse.
General Lee arrived at the McLean Home at 1:00 p.m. and General Grant arrived a half hour later. The entire meeting lasted for about an hour and a half with sixteen people in attendance; two from the Confederate side, General Robert E. Lee and Lt. Col. Charles Marshall. From those that were on the Union Side: Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant; Lt. Col. Ely Parker; Lt. Col. Orville E. Babcock; Maj. Gen. Edward O. C. Ord; Lt. Col. Horace Porter; Capt. Robert T. Lincoln; Lt. Col. Theodore S. Bowers; Maj. Gen. Phillip H. Sheridan; Brig. Gen. John Rawlins; Brig. Gen. Rufus Ingalls; Lt. Col. Adam Badeau; Brig. Gen. George H. Sharpe; Brig. Gen. Michael Morgan and Brig. Gen. Seth Williams,according to the National Park Service.
This article was inspired because today, April 1, 2012 is Palm Sunday and even though 147 years ago, Palm Sunday fell on April 9th, it was deemed appropriate as we begin the Passion Week, that ONE died for all and as it is written in:
Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God, Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she has received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.
This writer visited Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia in 2009 and curiously there was a perception of unrest on the grounds where so many Americans died. It reminded me of and gave me new insight into the Scripture in:
And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.
There was a felt need to pray over these grounds and to cleanse it from all of the spilt blood that must have covered this area. The one place where there wasn’t any need to pray over the ground, oddly enough, was in a small cemetery on the grounds, where both Union and Confederate soldiers (the few remains of about sixteen soldiers, that had been found approximately ten years after the conclusion of the war), had been laid to rest. Very few had names on the tombstones, but most were just known as either Union or Confederate, yet there was peace in this graveyard. I pondered over this anomaly and then the realization came, that it was because these soldiers had been given proper burials and honor was bestowed upon them. Therefore, their souls were truly laid to rest. Amen