Robert E. Lee surrenders to Ulysses S. Grant, April 9th, 1865
The end has come. The Army of Northern Virginia is cornered in a little Virginia village called Appomattox Court House—Lee’s 8,000 men surrounded on three sides by Grant’s 60,000. Dressed in an impeccable formal gray uniform, polished black boots, and clean red sash, Lee waits. Grant wears a private’s uniform; it’s missing a button and is spattered with mud. Grant’s terms of surrender are remarkably lenient. The gist is simple: Put down your guns and go home. Let’s rebuild the nation together. This is President Lincoln’s vision, to which Grant subscribes. Lee and Grant arise simultaneously and shake hands.