From near his headquarters atop the rise in front of you, Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant sent a message that jolted a nation. After finishing his meeting with Lee at the McLean House, Grant paused along the road and scribbled an unassuming note announcing the surrender (see below). Within hours, the message reached Washington. By midnight bells tolled in celebration throughout the North.
Amidst the small gathering of tents here, General Grant spent his last night in the field. The next day he departed for Washington, D.C., leaving details of the Confederate surrender to a group of military commissioners. The defeat of Lee's army had required eleven months of constant toil, bloodshed, and death. But the job was done; Grant left Appomattox Court House a national hero.