From the 29 March 1877 issue of The New York Times.


The Bangor (Me.) Whig recently stated that at the time of Lee’s surrender the rebel chieftain came to the spot designated “wearing a splendid testimonial sword that had been presented to him, and doubtless intending that the weapon should become the historic emblem of the lost cause at the national capital. Gen. Grant prevented this by gracefully waiving the surrender of the sword of his vanquished foe, and hastily prenciling the terms he demanded, passed the memorandum to Lee, who became visibly affected with emotion on perceiving the generosity with which all the officers of his command were to be treated by their conqueror.”

The accuracy of this statement has been denied by a communication printed in the Richmond (Va.) Dispatch, and the Whig substantiates it by the following letter from Gen. Grant:

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 23, 1877.
C. A. Boutelle, Esq., Bangor:

The Bangor Whig and Courier’s account is strictly correct except in this: Nothing was said about swords, side-arms, baggage, or private horses until I wrote the terms of surrender, in which I gave them, at which Gen. Lee was much affected and said those terms would have a good effect upon his army.

He had on apparently an entirely new uniform and a magnificent sword—such as is not usually worn in the field—and it certainly left the impression that the expectation was to surrender it.

Nothing was said in the preliminary conversation to warrant the assumption that anything more was to be granted to the rebel army than that the were to be permitted to return to their homes on laying down their arms, and not to be molested in their persons so long as they remained there and obedyed the laws in force thereat.