Topics

American Civil War (1861-1865)
Joan Waugh on Grant's and Lee's 'gentlemen's agreement' ending the Civil War
Joan Waugh on Grant's and Lee's 'gentlemen's agreement' ending the Civil War

A century and a half ago, a brief encounter between two men, a Northerner and Southerner, altered the course of American history. I don't mean what you probably have in mind; the Lincoln assassination happened five days later. It was the surrender of Gen. Robert E. Lee to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant. For modern Americans, President Lincoln's assassination has eclipsed the surrender that signaled the end of a savage war. But at the time, souvenir hunters emptied the farmhouse in the village of Appomattox Court House, Va., where the surrender was signed; in later years, the victorious Grant would be twice elected president. Joan Waugh is a history professor at UCLA (where Grant's...

Loading