Lee’s Choice at Appomattox Revisited

Sometimes it pays to read the original sources.

It is a common assumption that on April 9, 1865, Robert E. Lee made a choice which has rebounded to his great credit.  On that day, so we are told, the Confederate general, upon comprehending his situation, decided to meet Ulysses S. Grant to surrender the Army of Northern Virginia.  In so doing, so the story goes, he declined to continue hostilities by waging guerrilla war, and shared his reasoning about that decision with an artillerist, Edward Porter Alexander, who had proposed the guerrilla warfare option.

Not quite.

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