The Final Struggles: September 1864 to April 1865

Beginning of the End

What was left to do at this point?

Though Lee had entertained some hopes of escaping, and perhaps prolonging the war with a guerrilla conduct, the end was clearly in front of him. Therefore, when Grant initiated a conversation via letter, Lee was receptive. He did not immediately indicate a willingness to surrender.

Knowing his opponent’s reputation as “Unconditional Surrender” Grant, Lee wished to come to the peace table with some semblance of dignity. He, therefore, proposed that they should meet in person, and when aides made the arrangements, they found that Appomattox Court House was the best place to be found. It was close to the headquarters of both armies, and it was the only thing close to a town center. The meeting was arranged for the afternoon of April 9, 1865, which just happened to be Palm Sunday.


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