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Yearn for a time when honorable men meant what they said, and did what they agreed to do

We Surrender


By Invictus —— Bio and Archives--November 1, 2009

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imageAfter four years of Civil War, approximately 630,000 deaths and over 1 million casualties, General Robert E. Lee surrendered the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia to Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant, at the home of Wilmer and Virginia McLean in the town of Appomattox Court House,Virginia on April 9, 1865.

That was a different time, men were different; they were men of honor, and words meant things. Those words were what bound honorable men together, men of their word. The documents that ended that great conflict were short; thus ending the greatest military conflict that the world had yet to see. The words, took up less than two full sheets of paper, and were forever known and referred to as “The Gentleman’s Agreement”. Grant wrote a simple letter from himself to Lee, and Lee in turn wrote a simple letter to Grant.

Those two letters:

APPOMATTOX CT. H., VA., 
April 9,1865
GENERAL R. E. LEE, 
Commanding C. S. A.

GENERAL: In accordance with the substance of my letter to you of the 8th inst., I propose to receive the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia on the following terms, to wit: Rolls of all the officers and men to be made in duplicate, one copy to be given to an officer to be designated by me, the other to be retained by such officer or officers as you may designate. The officers to give their individual paroles not to take up arms against the Government of the United States until properly [exchanged], and each company or regimental commander to sign a like parole for the men of their commands. The arms, artillery, and public property to be parked, and stacked, and turned over to the officers appointed by me to receive them. This will not embrace the side-arms of the officers, nor their private horses or baggage. This done, each officer and man will be allowed to return to his home, not to be disturbed by the United States authorities so long as they observe their paroles, and the laws in force where they may reside. Very respectfully,

U.S. GRANT, 
Lieutenant-General

HEADQUARTERS, ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, 
April 9th, 1865
LIEUTENANT-GENERAL U. S. GRANT

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 inst., they are accepted. I will proceed to designate the proper officers to carry the stipulations into effect.

R. E. LEE, 
General

Count the words. Count the words in both letters; the letter from Grant to Lee contains two hundred seven words, and the letter from Lee to Grant contains seventy-three words. Those two letters, with a combined total of two hundred eighty words, handwritten on two sheets of loose-leaf notebook paper, effectually ended the bloodiest and costliest war the world have ever witnessed.

Contrast that to today, where a Healthcare Bill has been drafted by Congress; a Bill consisting of in excess of one thousand nine hundred ninety pages. A Bill that no one knows what it contains, nor knows what it will cost, nor knows the lasting impact on future subsequent generations of Americans yet to be born.

It should make us all, as Americans, yearn for a time when honorable men meant what they said, and did what they agreed to do. It was written long hand, with witnesses sitting around a table, an open meeting, with all parties concerned being fully represented. The current Congress, the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and the President of these United States, Barack Hussein Obama should be ashamed of themselves.

Invictus is a rancher, oilman, businessman and Patriot. He can be reached at: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)



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