For the Glory of the Lord Jesus Christ

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.

The treaty that had been written came to be the same formula that the Federal  Government began using for all other surrenders.  From April 26th to June  23, 1865, various field armies were brought to the surrender table until all  opposing battalions were subdued.  The American Civil War that had divided a nation had now ended and the mending of a nation and  its people had commenced.  The Reconstruction Era, according to an article  in Wikipedia lasted from 1865 to 1877 with the military  enforcing and enfranchising the freed men.  During this period, the South  formed a solid Democratic party, becoming bitter towards the North and towards  the black people that were now emancipated.

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:

Isaiah 40:1

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:

Genesis 4:10

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


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