Two Military Leaders
Parker and Lee

This is another of my sequels. My previous article dealt with two different national leaders: Lincoln and Putin. This essay is about two American military leaders. Over a century and a half ago in a farmhouse in Appomattox Court House, VA, General Ulysses S. Grant presented the terms of surrender to General Robert E. Lee.

Lee surrendered.

After some niceties, the two generals dealt with the terms of surrender. Grant wrote a rough draft and gave it to Lee to go over it. Then Grant gave the draft to his adjutant, Ely Parker, after Lee accepted the terms. If you look to the Union officer behind the desk at the right of the picture, it is Ely Parker. The paper on the desk is the draft of what Lee signed.

Parker signed the draft, and he transcribed to the document that Lee signed.

Parker gave the terms of surrender for Lee to sign. Someone with darker skin caught Lee off guard. Once he realized that Parker was a Native American and not a black, Lee said, “I am glad to see one real American here.” Parker replied, “We are all Americans.”

Lee was a pompous racist. He didn’t like anyone who wasn’t white. Native Americans and blacks, along with whites, were all Americans.

Brigadier General Parker

I wonder what Lee thought when an astute Native American from the Seneca tribe put him down for his racist remarks. Lee was a wealthy white slave owner. Before the Civil War began, Lee had around two hundred slaves.

“Lee's Home ”

Interestingly, Congress passed property tax in June 1862. All land owned in the insurrectionary South was taxed. The Federal government seized the land, which was Lee’s home before the Civil War. It became the Arlington National Cemetery. Lee never returned to his former estate after the war.