When General Lee rides to meet General Grant at Apomattox, it can only mean one thing, the Army of Northern Virginia is about to surrender to Grant’s Union Army. What terms will Grant offer, and will they be acceptable?
Grant is famous for unconditional surrender. There are a few inaccuracies in the report, but are probably there to simplify the situation. For example, it’s reported that Lee has defeated Grant for the past 4 years. Though Lee had shown great wisdom as a military leader, and his troops were fierce in battle, unlike the South, the North had many Generals during the course of the war, not just one. Grant had only been the General for roughly the previous year, not all 4 of them.
But I digress from the story of the day. CBS reporters interview Lee’s other commanders to get their feeling on whether Lee is making the right decision. Like good soldiers,they don’t like the idea of surrender, but will support Lee, and follow orders.
As the famous generals ride to meet each other, more interviews are done to show how worn down, and weary the Southern troops are. Other generals are still proud enough to consider the thought of reorganizing forces and taking up the fightt on other fronts. As confident as this sounds, it still would never have worked out. The supplies of men and equipment in the South was shrinking, and couldn’t keep pace with production in the North.
As Lee rides off to Apomattox courthouse, the scene switches back to the news room for more commentary, and speculation from the war corespondants. As the generals meet, reporters talk with the other union generals to get their opinions on the day’s events. A good observation is made about the dress of the leading generals. Lee is said to always be impeccable in his dress, even in the field. No doubt, he would have looked the part of a high ranking officer. Grant is said to be dressed in a privates uniform. I’m not sure about that exactly, but he was typically dressed for the field, and in a slouchy manner. Definitely an odd sight for an uninformed observer to see the man in fine dress surrendering to the one in shabby clothes.
The big moment comes, and Lee announces to his men of the surrender, and the terms of it.