The Final Struggles: September 1864 to April 1865

Lee’s Surrender

Who was the odd man out in the room at the McLean house?

Numerous portrait painters attempted to capture the scene, and many did plausible acts of recreating the dramatic moments at the McLean house. The odd man out was Colonel Ely S. Parker, an Indian—a Seneca, to be precise—who was on Grant’s staff. When Grant and Lee had scratched out the terms of the capitulation, Grant handed the rough copy over to Parker, who turned out the transcribed copy. Lee said nothing to Parker, but there was a moment—noticed by several men—during which he looked at Parker, and seemed astonished, because he believed that Grant had made an African American a member of his staff.


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