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surrender of this army will be followed soon by that of all the others, and I take it that most of the men in the ranks are small farmers, and as the country has been so raided by the two armies, it is doubtful whether they will be able to put in a crop to carry themselves and their families through the next winter without the aid of the horses they are now riding, and I will arrange it in this way: I will not change the terms as now written, but I will instruct the officers I shall appoint to receive the paroles, to let all the men who claim to own a horse or mule to take the animals home with them to work their little farms.'
"Lee now looked greatly relieved, and though anything but a demonstrative man, he gave every evidence of his appreciation of this concession, and said, 'This will have the best possible effect on the men. It will be very gratifying and will do much towards conciliating our people.' He handed the draft of the terms back to General Grant, who called Colonel Bowers of the staff to him to make a copy. Bowers was a little nervous, and he turned the matter over to Colonel (afterwards General) Parker, whose handwriting presented a better appearance than that of any one else on the staff. Parker sat down to write at the table which stood against the rear side of the room.
"Lee, in the meantime, had directed Colonel Marshall to draw up for his signature a letter of acceptance of the terms of surrender. Colonel Marshall wrote out a draft of such a letter, making it quite formal, beginning with, 'I have the honor to reply to your communication,' etc. General Lee took it, and after reading it over very carefully, directed that these formal expressions be stricken out, and that the letter be otherwise shortened. He afterwards went over it again, and seemed to change some words, and then told the Colonel to make a final copy in ink. When it came to providing the paper it was found we had the only supply of that important ingredient in the recipe for surrendering an army, so we gave a few pages to the Colonel. The letter, when completed, read as follows:
Headquarters Army OF Northern Virginia,
April 9th, 1865.
General,—I received your letter of this date containing the terms of the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia, as proposed by you. As they are substantially the same as those expressed in your letter of the 8th instant, they are accepted. I will proceed to designate the proper officers to carry the stipulations into effect.
R. E. Lee, General.