Tuesday, May 12, 2015

1865 - Exitus

Dearest Julia,
           One would think now to be a time of celebration. We won the war. Lee had no choice but to surrender. We go back far, he and I. The Mexican War, where me and many others had our first taste of battle. We crossed paths once or twice. I remember what few glances we shared heavily. He did not. Our solemn meeting in a little house was short. Nobody shouted in celebration, those who did were soon stopped. I tried to lessen the pain both of us felt by engaging in pleasant conversation. Though our chat was enlightening, I could tell Lee wished nothing more that a quiet send off. We both lost so much. The numbers still growing as we wait for further souls to be discovered. Hundreds, thousands, hundreds of thousands. Now that we are one again, one nation, we share not only our land, but our sorrow. This death toll that spans the North and South, now that we are one we shall mourn together. Nobody won. It would've been a tragedy had only a hundred died. But the magnitude of this war is sinking in. Though personally, our family is still intact, I cannot help but feel like the thousands that aren't. Lee and I agreed to highly generous terms, we wished not to harm, anger or hurt any more persons, not even regarding the uniform the wore. We wish to mend the nation by letting the sadness we feel, that we share bring us closer. The South paid the bigger price, but now as one we must help them pay interest. Even though I wasn't mentally sound at the time of our agreement, I could tell fully of our situation. Though the Confederate's fought an unjust cause, their hearts were put forth into every battle. They fought doubly as hard as us. This isn't to say I am a bad general, it is to say Lee is infinitely stronger. Half the power, double the drive. I do not pity his situation, but I commend his integrity. The Civil War is over, so we shall show civility to all who need it. All the thousands who do. Please dearest, if a rebel is to walk up to your door, act not as if they are a rebel, remember where we now stand, act as if they are a fellow American.

General Grant
April 12th, 1865

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