Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 15.djvu/17

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XVII
INTRODUCTION.

'until properly,' the word 'exchanged' seems to be omitted. You doubtless intended to use that word.'

"'Why, yes,' said Grant. 'I thought I had put in the word 'exchanged.'

"'I presumed it had been omitted inadvertently,' continued Lee, 'and with your permission I will mark where it should be inserted.'

"'Certainly,' Grant replied.

"Lee felt in his pocket as if searching for a pencil, but did not seem to be able to find one. Seeing this, and happening to be standing close to him, I handed him my pencil. He took it, and laying the paper on the table noted the interlineation. During the rest of the interview he kept twirling this pencil in his fingers and occasionally tapping the top of the table with it. When he handed it back it was carefully treasured by me as a memento of the occasion. When Lee came to the sentence about the officers' side-arms, private horses and baggage he showed for the first time during the reading of the letter a slight change of countenance, and was evidently touched by this act of generosity. It was doubtless the condition mentioned to which he particularly alluded when he looked towards General Grant as he finished reading and said with some degree of warmth in his manner: 'This will have a very happy effect upon my army.' General Grant then said, 'Unless you have some suggestions to make in regard to the form in which I have stated the terms, I will have a copy of the letter made in ink and sign it.' 'There is one thing I would like to mention,' Lee replied after a short pause ' The cavalrymen and artillerists own their own horses in our army. Its organization in this respect differs from that of the United States.' This expression attracted the notice of our officers present, as showing how firmly the conviction was grounded in his mind that we were two distinct countries. He continued, 'I would like to understand whether these men will be permitted to take their private property?' 'You will find that the terms as written do not allow this,' General Grant replied; 'only the officers are permitted to take their private property.'

"Lee read over the second page of the letter again, and then said, 'No, I see the terms do not allow it; that is clear.' His face showed plainly that he was quite anxious to have this concession made, and Grant said very promptly and without giving Lee time to make a direct request, 'Well, the subject is quite new to me. Of course, I did not know that any private soldiers owned their animals, but I think this will be the last battle of the war—I sincerely hope so—and that the