Lee Surrenders at Appomattox - Maddox Family Website
By the end of the war, Lee was old, weary, and gray. He had aged more than
any other general on either side--probably because had to fight two wars at the
When Lee was at last given command of an army, he fought his own kind of war. In less than three months, he drove out the enemy and invaded the North. Even then, Davis kept a large number of soldiers on guard duty in Virginia. So it happened that one-fourth of Pickett's crack troops were guarding a supply depot near Virginia during the important battle of Gettysburg.
Lee lost the battle. Could he have won with the extra men? No one knows. But no one doubts that fighting two wars at the same time left Lee an old man. Lee remains a Southern hero.
He surrendered to General Grant at the Appomattox Courthouse on April 9, 1865 after Union forces prevented the escape of some 27,000 Confederate soldiers. They had tried to escape after the fall of Richmond when they tried to reach Lynchburg and it's railroad. But the Federals blocked their way, leaving Lee's men entirely surrounded and starving.
Grant told him that the unconditional surrender was the only option. When he was ready to sign the surrender, Lee told an aide, "There is nothing left for me to do but to see Grant, and I would rather die a thousand deaths." Lee and Grant met in the parlor of the brick house of Wilmer McLean, who had moved to Appomattox from Manassas Junction after a shell passed through his house during the first Battle of Bull Run. Lee arrived at the house first and was seated when Grant came in. Lee rose, a resplendent figure in his dress gray uniform, to shake hands with Grant, dressed in a rumpled military tunic with mud-spattered trousers that were stuffed into muddy boots.
Pictured here, Lee before the war, and then afterward. And Lee's sword, gloves and hat, shown against a Confederate flag. Lee was allowed to keep his sword when he surrendered to Grant at Appomattox. Courtesy Time, Inc., Simon and Schuster, New York, 1958. Copy sources: Time, Inc., and Chronicle Publications, Jacques Legrand, Publisher.