Temporary Surrender at Appomattox Courthouse

Although most historians will argue otherwise, the surrender made at the Appomattox Courthouse by General Robert E. Lee on behalf of the Confederate States of America was only temporary. The terms of surrender were signed and acquired by General Ulysses S. Grant on April 11, 1865, two days after their meeting at Appomattox.

To grasp the story better it must be understood that General Lee had always been a science enthusiast. He made his first egg-in-a-bottle at the age of four. The next year he contrived a small, replica volcano out of a bottle, baking powder, and vinegar. When it came time for General Lee to sign the surrender, he used disappearing ink.

General Grant signs his name under General Lee’s name, which would soon disappear.

Half an hour after General Grant and General Lee left Appomattox, Grant took out the papers to look at them. – he saw that Lee’s signature was missing. After a search that lasted almost 48 hours, Union soldiers found General Lee hiding in a two-seater outhouse hoping they would pass him by. General Grant sat down with Lee, provided him with a pen, and had Lee sign the terms of surrender. This was the end of the American Civil War.

Fortunately for schoolchildren and Civil War reenactors, General Lee left behind the instructions on how to make disappearing ink. They may be found here.

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