Wednesday, April 8, 2015


I'm not sure if I spelled that right, but Thursday is the 150th anniversary of Lee's surrender to Grant at Appommatox.

One of the most memorable TV moments ever for me was during Ken Burns' documentary on the Civil War where famed historian Shelby Foote describes the surrender in very human detail. It was hypnotic to listen to his soft-spoken words and the human emotions involved. Lee came all dressed up in his finery while Grant was in work clothes and muddy. Grant treated Lee with dignity which surprised him -- to the point that when Lee left, Grant instructed the assembled soldiers to salute him.

I looked for this segment on YouTube and then ran out of time -- hate when work interferes with my historical research time! But I'm going to go back and see if I can find it. Shelby Foote died a few years later and I felt bad. He was just so amazing describing this scene.

I've been to Appomattox which is not that far from DC. You can see the actual room in the courthouse where the surrender took place... plus they have rebuilt a little village so you can see what the town actually looked like. I remember being alone in the general store and it was like being in a tine warp... somewhat eerie as if I could snap my fingers and go back in time.

April 15th also marks the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's assasination.


fran said...

Girl, Shelby's great, but you are no slouch when it comes to descriptions! I felt I was standing next to you in the general store 150 years ago. You gave me the desire to visit Appomattox.

Pat said...

That would be a nice day trip for you and Mary.

Mary said...

I'm game!

Pat said...