"...I have never believed we could, against the gigantic combination for our subjugation, make good in the long run our independence unless foreign powers should, directly or indirectly, assist us.... But such considerations really made with me no difference. We had, I was satisfied, sacred principles to maintain and rights to defend, for which we were in duty bound to do our best, even if we perished in the endeavour."
After his last attempt was made with Gordon and Fitz Lee to break through the lines of the enemy in the early morning of the 9th, and Colonel Veneble informed him that it was not possible, he said:
"Then there is nothing left me but to go and see General Grant." When some one near him, hearing this, said:
"Oh, General, what will history say of the surrender of the army in the field?" he replied:
"Yes, I know they will say hard things of us; they will not understand how we were overwhelmed by numbers; but that is not the question, Colonel; the question is, is it right to surrender this army? If it is right, then I will take all the responsibility."
There had been some correspondence with Grant just before the conversation with General Pendleton. After Gordon's attack failed, a flag of truce was sent out, and, about eleven o'clock, General Lee went to meet General Grant. The terms of surrender were agreed upon, and then General Lee called attention to the pressing needs of his men. He said:
"I have a thousand or more of your men and officers, whom we have required to march along with us for several days. I shall be glad to send them to your lines as soon as it can be arranged, for I have no provisions for them. My own men have been living for the last few days principally upon parched cord, and we are badly in need of both rations and forage."
Grant said he would at once send him 25,000 rations. General Lee told him that amount would be ample and a great relief. He then rode back to his troops. The rations issued then to our army were the supplies destined for us but captured at Amelia Court House. Had they reached us in time, they would have given the half-starved troops that were left strength enough to make a further struggle. General Long graphically pictures the last scenes: