tv Grants Terms of Surrender at Appomattox CSPAN January 28, 2017 6:00pm-6:58pm EST
there was a flash and that was it. according to a nasa screen. blank and hent said there was no communication from the astronauts, they died silently and swiftly. the look atp.m. abraham lincoln. about the political forces that changed our president view on slavery. >> the fight must go on he wrote to a friend. race, the8 senate cause of civil river in the -- not beiberty may surrendered by one or even 100 defeats. >> to find our schedule go to c-span.org. war, this author slks about general ulysses
grant. she argues that grant through the agreed terms begin the agreement of reconstruction. this talk was at the annual lincoln symposium. it is just under one hour. [applause] good morning. welcome to the first session of the 21st annual lincoln forum symposium. it is always wonderful to come back to meet again with old friends and meet new people who are about to become friends. introduceleasure to our first speaker. ofrofessor and vice chair ucla department of history. she is the author of several monographs or it among them the
award-winning american hero. war andry of the civil american culture. war within a war, controversy on the american civil war. the work,ly published the american war. this came out this year in 2016. her scholarship has been recognized in the following awards. award, the 2010 choice the jefferson davis award in 2009. award for excellence in civil war biography. publication has that one cannot produce great scholarship without 14 great
excellence in teaching. she is the recipient of for teaching awards. including the most prestigious one at ucla. beyond theg extends classroom. she is a frequent participant and workshops, secondary schools, she has been featured in documentaries and programs towards the examination of the civil war. this topic will be the surrender of ulysses s. grant. [applause] joan: thank you. now it is my turn to say good morning. i am delighted to be here. this is my first time speaking at the lincoln forum symposium. am, i could not be more thrilled.
the title is abraham lincoln his life and legacy. certainly the civil war played a big part of his life and legacy. the title of my talk is actually ulysses s grant and the surrender of the appomattox. gently not that to just into a discussion on various times during reconstruction. ofis the annual centennial reconstruction. no one really cares about it. [applause] it is of vital importance. as you can see, i have a powerpoint presentation. i will be showing that as i go along. with --o start an echo? can i turn that off? [laughter]
is it ok now? it sounds ok now, are you sure? ok. 9,m going to start on april it is going to be 2015. 50th -- the hundred 150th anniversary of robert e lee's surrender to general ulysses s grant or it it was commemorated on that day. on april 15, this is a photograph of that day. at 3:00 p.m. the anniversary of the surrender was commemorated 3:00 p.m. bells rang out across the nation. sites,ols, historic
religious sites, for four minutes. one fell for each minute of the bloody conflict. the national park's core database. it put the statement on its website. some communities may bring their bells in celebration of freedom of a restored union. others out of an expression of mourning in a moment of silence for the fallen o. i think that statement is a desire to please everyone. no one was left out. how many in this room actually heard any of those bells? a few of you. on that day, april 9 2015, the 150th anniversary of the surrender many people gathered at the national historical park
near lynchburg, virginia. to hear speeches from historians, that was the high point of course. and national park officials, to the restagingnd of the surrender. when i students do lecture on the civil war. i cannot wait to do that next quarter. commemorating this unfolded over a full week. there were also some different perspectives that you would not normally get. aose changes reflected culture and society over the past half century. previously ignored
topics like the role of slavery. the story of emancipation, the extent of civilian suffering. the life of a common soldier, those were all highlighted in museum exhibits at appomattox area they were featured in reenactment's, i want to call your attention to one particular one. this is a picture you are seeing now. it was a part of the 150th celebration. the african-americans in this picturewere holding a of enslaved woman, who is the only civilian casualty at the appomattox campaign. she was caught in the final crossfire before the guns fell silent. as itcrifice was honored was not in the past. reenactment, 4000 candles were lit.
one for every slave freed in the surrender. this example underscores that emancipation and the unfolding story of black freedom. at our national narrative of the civil war. it was not always so. of course you know that. for at least half of the 20th century, it was reconciliation not emancipation that was at the heart of the civil war commemoration especially at the national level or it reconciliation blending in upon the most agreed-upon elements. however one facet of the commemoration in 2015 remained the same. the surrender that took place at the house at the village of appomattox court house, still
stands as a final monument to american history. it is a luminous event. bloodys the end of warfare, this is a reenactment that you see when grant left the courthouse. figures ofgreatest the civil war, grant and lee. and that intensely they followedt, etiquette that capture generations of americans. a national myth of the inonciliation was enshrined pictures from this moment. in paintings, infidels, infection, and history textbooks are. ever since this is that a peaceful reunion, for those who want to immerse themselves in the. period.
a pilgrimage to appomattox is necessary. that is our job to revisit and revise. all kinds of history. particularly civil war history. the surrender at appomattox has not escaped the dreaded scholarly scrutiny. it may still be the place where history ended and where it began a new grid the terrible civil war was over. the army's disbanded, the promise wasnerous proved wrong. that is what we are looking at as we go through these years of reconstruction. was a violent and bitter struggle over the shape of reconstruction. , i recentlyed that
reviewed books that came out about reconstruction. these books had a different view. there was a different argument, one thing they have in common is that reconstruction was a walk in the park. same, theyt feel the thought it was a failure. they thought that they among other authors who are ready now called the price of reconstruction resulted in jim crow. it resulted in over 100 years of black disenfranchisement. they call that price too high. a shamefulwas capitulation, or the beginning of one on the part of united dates. it began with generous terms. done, i do said and believe that appomattox will continue to reign as an american historical memory as a symbol of
our past renewal. -- our myths are so powerful, if you look at the nurse behind a myth, it is hard to shake the idea. as a historian of bread, that is the truth. at thes appropriate close of these centennial ceremony to revisit appomattox. surrender is the all about, to appreciate the into the lasting months of the war and into reconstruction. see the contingency, feel the urgency behind it. the principle of this war much ins the soldiers who fought the populations that supported them. no one knew if the war was ever going to end. this talk that i giving, that i by 45d must and at least
minutes. no applause please. [applause] i'm going to give you a brief introduction. i am going to linger on the campaign, and the surrender of appomattox. taking time to review and analyze some aspects that i think are great. then i'm going to give you some concluding thoughts about grants surrender at appomattox. mind, knew what was in my general ulysses s. grant said as he thought about writing out the terms of surrender at the appomattox courthouse. itehow that sentence makes all sounds so simple, it was not. that early day in april was the height of his military career. lamenting his reputation as a magnanimous warrior. as well as foreshadowing his postwar role, including his t
wo-term presidency. in his mind thinking he was carrying out lincoln's legacy in that regard. appomattox, grant accepted the surrender of a major confederate force. , and alson tennessee mississippi in 1863. campaigns, he was relentless in pursuing victory. once it was secure, he deliberately displayed in generosity. anticipating the more celebrated surrender at 1865. this generosity where he would give generous terms, or gestures at vicksburg, reflected his and president lincoln's desire for a easy reunion.
not that it was going to be easy after all the death and destruction. they wanted an easy reunion with the confederate army or it while the people of the rebellious states had to swear a loyalty oath to the states and swear emancipation. defy my terms in context, in terms of the civil war. finditary surrender is to by giving up something valuable. a fortress. an army. a defined territory, a country. a set of demands, to an enemy. grant was already well aware of the complications of surrender. ceremony,process, a this carried out implications for the future. consideringways theion while dealing with
immediate issues of the war. that was because all of the military commanders had to do that on the northern side. yes you have to defeat the enemy, but then you occupied. what are the policies for occupation. i just want to take a couple of minutes and refresh your memory on grant. i know you have lincoln's biography memorized or it. tonight, is theater will tell you more about grant it a much more open way. i want to remind you that lincoln asked for volunteers in 1861, grant was clerking at his father's store. it is a great story. he responded eagerly to the country's call. , thisidly advance to fame is a phrase i like to use.
to give you all the details. it was an amazing theater of war. i think it should really be studied. , iple should be interested know here at gettysburg that will fall on deaf ears. i thought i would give it a try. [laughter] carried out devastating military tactics. his surrenders at fix burke and tennessee, i want to go to the next part. he was combined council of war with lincoln. this is a very well-known piece. to give you the idea of grant
having a national perspective. at four donaldson and tunnel see, he earned the nickname the unconventional -- unconditional surrender grant. he combined these military victories with a surrender that included gestures towards reunion of the warring countries. waractions of winning the inld have to take its place winning the fees, both were important. when did rejoice that he had finally found his general that brought these. he was promoted to lieutenant general in 1864. lincoln and grant were both from illinois. they never met personally until grant came to washington dc. while lincoln develop skills and that startedtegy
his own national strategy for the union, grant and other generals developed a political skill that would complement his military abilities. with the ultimate goal in mind to save the union. grant assumed direction of the entire military effort in the last year and a half of war. that spring, during the overland campaign. were at the head famous armies. the potomac army against the northern virginia army. warfare wasthis high, the political drama i'm sure you are all aware of lincoln's reelection. the warfare and that to some extent when grant crossed the river and pinned lee's army.
he conducted a nine-month siege of petersburg. lieutenants, sherman and sheridan took the war to georgia and virginia. they conquered territories, beating rebel armies and destroying large parts of the countryside. their combined victories vindicated grants larger strategic plan. a guaranteed lincoln's reelection, breaking the confederacy to their knees. in 1864, that turned to 1865 union victory seemed brought aly likely it lot of new worries. the confederate leadership --ained defiant the spite despite lincoln's reelection. stanton and grant all worried about the terms of any kind of
surrender. what were their terms? politics? it mean for what it the policies of reconstruction? the secretary of war wanted to keep control of the political terms of surrender. he wanted to limit grants role in military matters. of all ofu are aware the initiatives that popped up during this time. this happened throughout the war. these initiatives happened with confederate officials, they worried lincoln. confederates were not going to accept giving up their independence. that any kind of these negotiations would be that for the united states. it would raise hope that was not ready to be fulfilled.
all of these overtures are going on. the point that i want to make point, lincoln and stanton were in constant communication with grant. lincoln visited grant athis point a couple of times. including when general grant invited president lincoln to 20, 1865.on march they had a meeting on the riverboat. on the river queen, i am sorry. grant and lee some famous pictures i put together. peacemakers by george healy. , who isriend of sherman actually the commander in chief in that picture and not lincoln. [laughter]
anyway, they had a meeting to discuss what the terms of surrender would be area the imminent surrender of robert e lee, if it did happen, where would it happen, what was the exact thing that we may say to lead? lincoln supposedly gave his ideas of reconstruction in that meeting. -- nobody was transcribing the conversation. historians have assumed quite recently that lincoln while expressing his desire for a reunion also insisted that two demands be made. oaththey swear a loyalty to the united states and that they accept the emancipation.
this is what he really wanted grant to know. grant would handle the surrender of lee's army. whenever and wherever that surrender was to take lace. going to have the surrender of one army to a another. lincoln center grant i will deal with the political risks and negotiate for peace. your job is to fight. i am sure this is something you the surrender of the confederate army were all conducted separately. this will be the topic of the next talk. when johnston surrendered to sherman, sherman went over his job description there. weref the surrenders conducted on the terms that grant be negotiated at
appomattox. that theseried commanders may go beyond their job description. wanted to put in grants mind. i went to address the appomattox campaign and the end of the war and the actual surrender of appomattox area here is a map that you probably cannot see very well. it is a map, it has spread and blue lights. it is from petersburg to appomattox. on appomattox campaign began march 25, 1865. this mark the end of the road for the confederate nation. siege, thenths of union forces broke through the defensive line of petersburg and richmond. the union's destruction of the rebels last supply line on april 1, they quickly evacuated petersburg and richmond. grants cavalry and infantry cut
off the remaining escape routes. on april 7, 1865 i have a great mind to some and lead to surrender. on april 7.te the result of the last week must convince you of the hopelessness of future resistance on your part of the army of margin -- northern virginia. i feel it is so, and it is my duty to shift the responsibility of any further diffusion of blood. that is not too much to ask, is it? no. [laughter] we had no obvious escape route to hear hisng grant proposal. he received another note from .rant writs in the next day
i would say that peace be my great desire, there is but one demand that the officers will be disqualified from taking up arms against the government for the united states until properly exchanged. point that we responded to grant with a note that he was not ready to surrender yet. needed ae said they meeting to discuss possible peace negotiations. that is a typical step when intending surrender that you ask for peace negotiations. that was something that grant did not do at tennessee or vicksburg. he said no i am not interested in that. went back to his headquarters, he pulled his that thes and found
overwhelmingly supported the sentiment for surrender, he said left for me but to go and see general grant and i would rather die a thousand deaths. at this moment in the civil war grant admired lee's decision to surrender rather than disband. warfarege guerrilla some feel that was suggested to him, he brushed that aside. important for reconstruction as well. moment moredramatic so, grant had been suffering a migraine headache. anxiousy he was very and exhausted despite his condition on the morning of the pro-life him and his staff rode
down the road towards appomattox courthouse intent on joining sheraton. , the mosysre easter good holiday on the christian calendar. at 11:00 a.m. they stopped to rest or it as they were resting they saw an aide running towards them. he was riding on a horse at a fast clip. in his hand was a sealed envelope containing lee's replied to grants most recent communique. the message was handed to his aid and was asked to read it out loud to his staff. aneral, i therefore request interview at such time and place that you designate to discuss the terms of surrender of this arm in accordance with your offer to have such an interview that would contain in your
letter yesterday. p.m. grantter 1:30 and his staff rode into the tiny village of appomattox courthouse , there you can see the mclean house. they were shown to a two-story farmhouse that was originally built in 1848. it was owned in 1863 by wilmer mclean. it is one of the most remarkable stories. quotes and you making sure you cannot hear enough. plantation during the battle of bull run. he quickly removed his family from the theater of war to the virginia hills country. the war found him in the end and at the end. we arrived first, at the house of his aid.
waited in the parlor, 30 minutes later, grant dismounted his horse and climbed the seven steps into the house. as he met with lee in the room to the left of the entrance. this is a depiction of that. that moment i am going to be talking about. grant came in, they returned to his chair and sat next to a pine table with a pedestal base. there was a square white marble top. a leather back seat and also sat down placing his gloves and hat on a nearby wooded trestle. about 10 feet from lee. outside thousands of weary soldiers watched and waited for news. this is a panoramic picture that
was put out for the centennial. i just love it. me akes it -- it makes little busy to look at. this is what it looks like. i want to think this image away from you now. was awaren the room of the extraordinary contrast between the two commanders, was so aristocratic looking while general grant looked like an ordinary dude. while lee had his best dress uniform, the commander of the northern army did not. instead he wore his preferred casual uniform with his lieutenant general shoulder straps pinned.
in addition he was covered in mud from the journey that they. he did not think that he was insulting, he just wanted to get the deal done. the two commanders engaged in a conversation with their service of the mexican war. ofbrought the conversation short and asked for the terms of surrender. read responded that it was the same that he had indicated on april 8. saying that the men and officers surrender could not take up arms again. now famously in his memoir, grant observed the counterparts faced during the conversation. he did not know what lee's feelings were as he was a man of much dignity with an impassive face. it was impossible to say whether he felt inwardly glad.
i think we can be grateful that there was no tweaking back then. [laughter] .rant prepared to write or when i put my pen to paper i thought there was no words i could make use of. i only knew what was in my mind. i wish to express a clearly so that there could be no mistaking it. there was no mistaking it. -- acutely aware of lincoln's plan, grant rejected any formal words i went for a straightforward explanation of the process by which the officers and men of the northern virginia army would stack their arms and record their parole. grant explained the thought occurred to me that the officers had their own private courses and affects.
it was no use to us. unnecessaryd be a affiliation to deliver their sidearms. love them to have their weapons and property excluded to the federal forces. the other was the final part of draft letter to lead. the famous last sentence which is as followed. each man, and officer may be allowed to return to their home, not to be disturbed by united states authorities so long as they observe their parole and the laws going forth where they may reside. to secure aanteed future for all confederate soldiers. even the highest military officials such as robert e. lee. importance inl ending the war and shaping the piece. ,rant looked at his handiwork
made a few corrections that it was lee's job to review it. when he came to the end he remarked that it will have a very happy affect on my army. we had one more request, would he consider allowing the enlisted men to keep their animals for farming. grant agreed. lee said this would be very gratifying and will do much towards consolidating our people. lee turned -- we returned the book to grant and a letter was drafted accepting the terms which also had to be copied to lease documents were prepared, grant was introduced to the staff officers and generals. including captain robert lincoln. 3:00 p.m. they parted ways and the confederate
.ommander left the house when the lee mounted, grant lifted his hat in salud without speaking as did the other officers present. we did the same and rode away. that grant went to his headquarters, he informed the officials of the surrender. news of the surrender spread quickly throughout the union, thousands of soldiers were cheering and throwing their hats in the air. a 100 gun salute commenced, grant stop it. the war is over, the rebels are sign oftrymen the best rejoicing would be to abstain from all demonstrations in the field did he said that does not mean that it did not happen, it was a bit soft, right.
grant was not interested in participating in a sustained celebration, a victory dance. winning that these would be just as vital as winning the war. although there were several more armies that would still have to surrender. the meeting between grant and lee at appomattox is considered the end of the civil war. ulysses s. grant got to washington, president lincoln express unqualified approval with the terms that he was given. although celebrated grant provoked controversy and the press. in the week after the agreement when it was heard about, many in the north were talking about traders and treason trials. overlyreement seemed generous, the feelings were tocked after the surrender
stand behind grant peace agreement. , thete the misgivings majority of loyal citizens conflated and combined the appomattox peace treatment with victory. nation,ly christian and commemorated the connection of what they deemed to be sacred occasion, paul sunday. which falls one week before easter commemorating christ's triumphant arrival into jerusalem. a very similar depiction a man who was published in 1865. this was after the assassination.
it invites america to witness the end of the civil war. unions work as an act of god. it prepares the ground for reconstruction. in the middle of this says blessed are the peacemakers. the christian spirit of reconciliation is not unfamiliar even to our more secular time. today who have been through a contentious election were called upon to make new beginnings. to come relationships, together as family and friends. it certainly was powerful. i only know what was in my mind, i say in my concluding comments.
describing his feelings general grant said with what was happening at the surrender. career,he height of his that grant who was prominent second only to lincoln had a view that once the war was over there should be no open to give policy towards the enemy. thatment to the policy was favored clemency. generosity love, mercy. his believe that reconstruction should not be an indulgence in revenge. joined lincolnnt firmly with reconstruction.
with as little rank or as possible. thati would argue reflected the majority of the northern's people vision. grant's final sentence made the atitary surrender appomattox. his final sentence made the militaries -- make the military surrender a military agreement. that would set the stage for reconciliation. and not in the near future, but sometime in the next few generations. if this picture and that is what historians are hired to do for you. i believe that the restoration completeion traveled a
success. especially when you look at the civil war in the past and the current civil wars. , grants terms offered peace and reconciliation to those who would embrace it. the final part packs so much punch, some have pointed allowed grant ,onfederate soldiers unmolested grant didulars that intrude on political reconstruction. lincoln had no problem with it. he loved the surrender document. he supported grant 100%. for --lk has been about
about grant at appomattox and the end of the war. the context of the civil war, a political surrender is defined by giving up some evaluable. a fortress, and army, a defined territory a country, a set of the vast when enemy. it can also mean other things. mean something beautiful, tender, forgiving. surrender is that too. it can mean surrendering to a lover. they can mean surrendering your soul to god. they can mean surrendering to selfishness to a greater good. appomattox was certainly a site of brutal warfare and conflict. it was also the site of reunion. a site of reconciliation. immediately a memory. war had scars to deep. generosity and the moment looked
easier then a true love with the union. reconstruction proved nearly impossible between blacks and whites, even in the north. there would be reconstruction, there would be restoration and the legal, economic solutions. -- no trueo tree reunion by our 21st century standards. what there was came after the appomattox surrender, it was an act of mercy. mayured the united states be just enough reconciliation of union the -- unity. the complex nature of the civil war encompass hatred and love. forgivenessterness,
can somehow be summed up in one deceptively simple sentence. i only know what was in my mind. thank you. [laughter] [applause] >> we have time for a few questions. >> thank you. do we have any details about grants communication to lincoln that he had the surrender in hand, if so what was lincoln's reaction to that executive action? stanton andegram to , it was ausual way terse statement. it said that general lee and i met and he accepted the terms of surrender. he said the text, what was the
reaction? they went bonkers in washington. it was incredible. >> thank you. bookjust recently read a focus on the, the , ins of the surrender was this book, emotional aftermath of the detractors. wondered, what was the motivation of the detractors? that heated attack on grant? was fouras motivated years of death and destruction
on both sides are it there was a lot of dissension. -- i hope so. it is a great question. you know that in a 40 minute talk i cannot give you all the information that you need. maybe outside and i will continue. much to be said about the negative reaction to can imagineyou after all of the bitterness that had accumulated, why shouldn't the victors impose harsh terms. why shouldn't there be treason trials. their motivation was that they were angry that the confederates were getting off too easy. they did not want that to happen.
, what a remarkable. of time. how can anyone be interested in anything but the civil war and the aftermath. [laughter] you have the end of this terrible conflict that most people supported. then a week later the assassination of abraham lincoln are. , i don't know what john is going to say about this, sherman gave incredibly generous terms of surrender to the confederates. politicsruded into the and that was so controversial. grants terms look reasonable at that time. that is a great question. high, i live near buffalo. >> congratulations. i gave a talk at there a few
years ago. we've had for super bowl's and not want a single one. i just wanted to mention that andt is interred in buffalo i wanted to extend a little bit about his role at appomattox immediately. the firstker was native american to be appointed to a top position in the government. granted that when he appointed him as the commissioner of indian affairs. this role acted as grants secretary. he was right there. right next to marshall. grants terms of surrender.
when lincoln saw him he thought he was an he was-american, but surprised he was a full-blooded seneca indian. he said there was at least one real american in the room. league could be a comedian. you tell me, i am forgetting. that was the perfect thing to say. eli parker had an incredible history area he was in california, he was an engineer. >> your presentation brings me to a concept that the german mission has which is
tactics. that is likened to the heart of it. it seems like they would get an a plus in those tactics. has spent so much time with his superior. his superior does not have to be there. preciselyhis case new what to do. wasoln as you pointed out approved of his terms. am curious can you give me hand where grant and lincoln disagreed? sure they am not disagreed very much. one example might be that grant
did not actually want to come to washington dc when he was made lieutenant commander and be corrupted by the rigged system in washington dc. [laughter] his original strategy was armiesy to move his through alabama and take mobile bay. then recapping on the countryside. let his other commanders take out the potomac. said you have to take out lee. that may be an example of a disagreement. at the summerppy was when the spring campaigns did not go well.
really, it was an amazing synchronicity between the two men. they were in constant contact. i like that idea that you articulated about the german military tactics. interestingly enough, jefferson davis did not accept lee surrender. as we know, that was a part of the problem with the surrender in north carolina. just want to point something out. first of all, a number of years ago i moved from los angeles to washington dc. things i am doing now is i go to the smithsonian museum of american history. part of it to her is we have
actuals of the surrender. those are at the smithsonian. the table, if anyone has seen the show mercy street. atwas a furniture maker mission green. he was portrayed on the show, he made the table. >> thank you. the only thing you missed about l.a. i'm sure. [laughter] very short questions. i want to continue on that but i will stop. you look at the roles of joshua chamberlain? grant the next stay for the surrender ceremony that took place.
he appointed joshua chamberlain, he gave him instruction in the spirit of reconciliation. that is what joshua chamberlain tried to do. that is another moving example, here is the thing. newnow that the confederate they had to give up their arms, they were not happy. they did not embrace that. the overwhelming feeling was, this is over. we do not have to die. at least in battle. that was a relief. from letters written at the time from confederate soldiers, we know that many of them appreciated that they were not humiliated the way that they thought they were going to be. thank you. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] you are watching american history tv. all weekend every weekend