One of four messages from Gen. Robert E. Lee to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant asking for a “suspension of hostilities” was purchased for $220,000 by publisher Malcolm Forbes, Sotheby’s said today.
The penciled note on a slip of yellowing paper about 8 inches by 10 inches was one of four Lee dictated and signed April 9, 1865, as the Civil War drew to a close.
The messages were sent by couriers to the Union general, who was difficult to find among his forces on a fog-shrouded morning near the village of Appomattox, Va. The three other notes are in the National Archives in Washington.
“I ask a suspension of hostilities pending the discussion of the terms of surrender of this army in the interview which I requested in my former communication of today. Very respectfully Your obt: srvt: (obedient servant),” the note said.