Having surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia, General Lee rode back toward his headquarters tent through a cool and dark Palm Sunday evening. Under orders from Alexander and his subordinate officers, artillerymen hurried to the roadside and formed into line. Alexander instructed them "to uncover their heads, but in silence," as Lee passed.
During General Lee's short, simple remarks, "a wave of emotion seemed to strike the crowd & a great many men were weeping." Soldiers pressed close to touch the general or his mount, "to try & express in some way," General Alexander wrote, "the feelings which shook every heart."
A South Carolina surgeon who had served under Lee for most of the war described the moment in a contemporary letter to his wife: "I heard some of our men yelling, and saw General Lee and his staff riding towards us, and as he stopped…the men crowded around him to shake his hand and every man was shedding tears." Another observer used comparable language: "The men flocked round General Lee…and met him with shouts and tears."
Image Size 27 x 20"
Limited edition of 1000