Language and Rhetoric at Appomattox (Lecture)

Language and Rhetoric at Appomattox (Lecture)


Welcome to the 150th anniversary of the year
1865. So we made it. We made it to 1865 and we’ve already had two lectures last weekend
and we’ll have one tomorrow and every weekend. So come on out at 1:30 each weekend. So glad
you took time in your schedule to come out. If you’ve ever been a speaker you know how
it cheers you up on the inside when you look out and see an audience that’s receptive.
And particularly if it’s a big audience, you know, you get used to anything so this
is really really nice. Thank you for being here.
And today I’ll be talking about Appomattox and famous utterances on the way to Appomattox.
And I was talking to a couple of people that are volunteers here and they came up to me
and said “it figures Troy you were going to do a topic like that”. You know, about
words and that kind of thing. And one of the reasons that I take that angle from time to
time, and I’ve told some of you this, there are different mediums that you can look at
the past through. You don’t have to necessarily go through packaging a story from the past
through chronology, from a certain year and a date, a definite end and a definite conclusion
based on chronology. You can package a story in other ways, through the lens of the environment,
technology, through racism, through great men, great events, through religion, through
economics. There’s a host of different ways that you can peer into the past and arrange
the information around that particular topic, that idea. And one of the lens or tileologues
that we like to call it in the field is that we can look at the past is through language
and rhetoric. Language and rhetoric is another lens that we can peer into the past through
something other than straight chronology. And, for instance if you are dealing with
academic history in a broader sense there. I teach at Penn State credit courses to the
history department in the evenings and that’s my first love. I’ve told you some of that
and so many of you that before so you hear that in some of my talks. But academics like
to look at language as a lens into the past. For example the word frontiers. If you were
to use the word frontiers in an academic setting, say the word frontier in an academic setting
it’s a loaded word. And if you bring it up in a normal setting, let’s say you bring
it up with someone that’s not tuned into that word then it means nothing. But in an
academic setting frontier is a loaded word, It has numerous meanings and they’re books
written just about the term frontier. What it means cross time and space. Another loaded
word would be nation. When you teach 19th century American history for instance, or
European history 19th century the word nation is a loaded word. You don’t use the word
nation in the, prior to 1880s. In the 1870s and during the colonial period in this country
you don’t use the word nation. Probably the first time that a sitting president, as
best as we can tell, the first time a sitting president used the word nation in a speech
was Lincoln in the Gettysburg address. “That this nation shall have a new birth of freedom.”
Nation, nations then are, the term nation applies only to the 1880s and you do not use
it in the 1870s. And if you do, you qualify it. And so there are other such words. Another
word would be power. The word power. If you bring it up in an academic setting everyone
winces for a moment. They know you are talking about a specific word that’s loaded that
there have been many books written about. There’s a difference between, for instance,
the word power and authority. In this country for the most part since the American Revolution
there has been, if you’re a person that leads other people you’re a person in authority.
Under written law you function under written law. That’s different than power. Power
has to do with not answering to anyone and it has to do with the aggrieved person having
no access to an avenue to address grievances. Power is a loaded word. And I could go on
and on with some of these words. In civil war, particularly military history, there
are loaded words. Words that when you bring them up right away, if you’re a trained
audience, there’s an acknowledgement you’re dealing with a heavy word. A word that’s
imbued with meaning. For instance, the word invasion. If you talk about the Gettysburg
campaign in terms of invasion, like Alan Guelzo does in his recent book that has invasion
in the title, he knows exactly what he’s doing when he puts the word invasion in. He
knew that he dropped a bomb in the title because invasion implies so much more than a raid.
So if you’re talking about the Gettysburg campaign you have to be very careful with
a trained audience to differentiate whether you believe the movement into Pennsylvania
was a raid or the invasion. You see, invasion implies a whole host of other things. Terms
in the battle, terms related to the battle itself that are loaded would be terms like
dislodgement. And some of you have heard Bill Hewitt emphasize that on some of his talks.
That General Lee and Longstreet and Jeb Stuart and others mention that the third day of the
battle they were trying to dislodge the enemy. Well, if you’re a novice and you read the
word dislodgement or you’re not in a trained audience and you hear the word dislodgement
it means nothing to you. It just flies, it comes in one ear and goes out the other. But
to a trained audience, particularly to a military literate audience, the word dislodge. Everyone
lights up when they hear it because once you understand the word dislodge you understand
most of what General Lee was trying to do during the battle. All he has to say is “I
was trying to dislodge the enemy”. You don’t really need any other descriptions as to exactly
what he was doing. You can reconstruct everything he was trying to do based on that one word.
Dislodge. Or you hear General Longstreet say “No 15,000 men ever ready for battle could
take that position.” You hear the word position. To a novice position doesn’t really mean
anything. To a trained ear position means everything. When General Sickles told General
Meade on the second day of the battle he says “I don’t think Geary had a position”.
Remember General Meade said “Find it.” And General Sickles said “I don’t think
General Geary had a position.” If you don’t know the loaded meaning of the word position
then you can’t participate in the debate because position is different than location.
Position has to do with terrain. And once you understand a position then, and you read
Jomine for instance, then you know that General Lee was trying to take key terrain, not remove
the Union army. Unbelieve, there’s some words. I could go on and on and on. There
are words that are queued up like that throughout history. That once you introduce that word
into a trained audience they know you have just dropped a bomb in the room and you better
know what you’re talking about. OK, so language then is a lens in which we
can look into the past. Oh, let me give you one more big picture, one that academics look
at. And it’s the word freedom. Now that seems like a generic term. It’s just, it
could go in any direction. Freedom. Freedom is a loaded word. When Lincoln said that “this
nation shall have a new birth of freedom” he changed the orientation of the country
from the original conception of liberty to a broader berth of freedom. Right? Where personal
liberties, for instance owning property that includes slavery, give way to broader freedom.
Freedom trumps personal liberties even in the sense of property. So and then later on
you hear Woodrow Wilson talk about making the world safe for democracy and that being
a justification for America entering into World War One. And then he goes on and elaborates
and he talks about bringing freedom to the world. In the call for a declaration of war
against the Japanese in World War Two by FDR he talks about that there are four basic goals
that the country needs to achieve in this war. And that among those is freedom. And
then Truman brings up freedom in his ideas for the future of the country. And then again,
Lyndon B. Johnson talks about in his Great Society he talks about freedom. And they’re
not just talking flippantly about freedom. It’s a loaded bomb in the room word that
has volumes and volumes and volumes of books. It’s not a novice word, it’s a loaded
word. So you have to be careful if you’re in a trained setting, you bring up a certain
word. You look around, you immediately know uh oh, he’d better know what he’s talking
about. And at Appomattox, I worked at Appomattox
in ’84 and ’85, early on in my career, and I told stories there, like any ranger
that works there. But, but I’m going deeper now looking at rhetoric, language, the power
of words. We’re going to look at words that had meaning way beyond the simple utterances.
OK, so you have to understand a little bit of the context of American history to understand
the words that were uttered there. Some of these lines, you’ve heard them before but
probably not like this. OK so, famous utterances as we look at the power of language as the
lens into the past. Let’s look at Appomattox in the days leading
up to Appomattox and then through Appomattox through these famous utterings. And the first
one we’ll start with will have to do with General Lee’s surrender, or General Lee’s
loss of substantial number of his troops who surrendered at Sailor’s Creek. Now I’m
not going to go into depth about the battle because John Heiser will be doing that in
the future here, in the short future in one of these winter lectures. But for our purposes
General Lee watched in the distance from a hill, looking down over the valley, and he
watched Ewell’s corps, a portion of Ewell’s corps, surrender. Roughly 7,000 men. And among
the officers were General Ewell himself, Joseph Kershaw and Custis Lee his own son. And there
were a host of other too that surrendered. It was a disaster. You think about Pickett’s
charge. General Lee probably lost, I suppose we’ll never know for sure, probably upwards
of 4,000 troops or more in that attack in about a half hour but you think here, losing
7,000 men is devastating. And then to lose your son in the process and to see them being
surrounded and so he yelled out, almost like Christ on the cross “my God, why have you
forsaken me?” “My God has the army been dissolved?” It was one of those things.
In doing some graduate work at Lehigh University, I had an African American professor that made
the point once, that he said “You can’t really understand the 19th century unless
you understand a little bit of the Bible.” And that’s just, that’s not proselytizing,
that’s just you have to understand the language of the time and it was imbued with a lot.
You’ve heard me talk about that on previous talks. And Lee was a devout believer. His
original Bible is in Atlanta in a museum there, in a Confederate museum. And a girl who used
to work here, Chrissy Dunne, used to supervise here years ago, runs that museum. And anyway
she sent me a picture of his Bible. It’s marked up all the way through it. So he would
read that Bible regularly and this would have been a term – dissolved – that would have
come out. The word dissolved only appears in the King James version, the version that
he had, once in the entire Bible and that’s in second Corinthians 5. “For we know that
if our earthy house of this tabernacle – that’s your body – were dissolved, we have a building
of God, a house not made of human hands, eternal in the heavens.” And so, at this moment
think about… How many of you saw Mr. Holland’s Opus? You know and at the very end Richard
Dreyfus says “you come into this thing kicking and screaming, you do it your whole life.
You give it your guts and your soul and you think you’re making a difference and then
you realize you made a little mistake there. Not that many people really cared.” Well,
you know older people recognize this and he, he is given everything and tried to carefully
craft his life to perhaps make up for the mistakes of his father and to live up to the
Lee and the Custis and the Carter and the Page and the Reiss family names that he’s
all related to in Virginia and do everything right by his faith then he realizes in that
moment. You remember Abraham Lincoln said something to the effect of we shouldn’t
be worried about whether God is on our side and more that we are on His side. In this
moment I think, and devout believers are this way, devout believers do their part. You have
to do you duty, do your part, try to walk the walk and talk the talk but then you leave
a little room for God to act and then guide. You wait for God to intervene and then remove
the barriers in front of you and make it happen. And in that moment, Robert E. Lee realized
that he was not on God’s side. He realized that it was not going to happen. And it was
dissolving right in front of his eyes as he was watching Ewell’s corps surrender. And
so this call, this exclamation “My God! Has the army been dissolved?” it’s a … catharsis
is when you realize something and you’re overwhelmed by it or an epiphany that captivates
your mind for the first time, sort of takes over your thinking. He’s having one of those
moments where he realizes it’s not going to happen. And losing his son. For those of
you who have children, I have a twelve your old son, and eventually your whole life becomes
transferred in them and hoping they turn out well. Right? Every parent knows that. And
so a good bit of what motivated him is disappeared before his eyes. So he’s looking perhaps
at the world beyond at this point and the inevitable.
And here’s the word peace. And as we look at language… just before you read this let
me say this here briefly. That General Lee, after Sailor’s Creek, started corresponding
with Grant. Grant prompted Lee first in Farmville Virginia. And he wrote Lee through lines of
truce, letters were passed. In so many words he said to Lee “I don’t want to be responsible
for any more fusion of blood.” In other words, without saying it, you and I know that
you just lost 7,000 me yesterday. If you read between the lines that’s what he’s saying.
And you can’t keep going on like this and I don’t want to be responsible any more
fusion of blood. Do you want to sit down and talk? That’s eventually what the language
was. So Lee wrote back on April 8th, just two days after the disaster at Sailor’s
Creek, and says “General” he’s writing to Grant “I received, at a late hour, your
note of today. In mine yesterday I did not intend to propose the surrender of the Army
of Northern Virginia, but to ask terms of your proposition. To be frank, I do not think
the emergency has risen to call for the surrender of this army; but as the restoration of peace
should be the sole object of all, I desired to know whether your proposals would lead
to that end.” Ahh, the word peace. Now if you’re paying attention to language, which
that’s our theme today, that’s how we’re navigating through the past, not through chronology
but through, through language. The word peace. That’s a heavy word imbued with a lot of
meaning that’s beyond Grant’s pay grade that’s been dropped into the discussion.
And Grant writes back “Your note of yesterday is received. I have no authority to treat
on the subject of peace; the meeting proposed for 10 a.m. to-day could lead to no good.
I will state, however, general, that I am equally anxious for peace with yourself, and
the whole North entertains the same feeling. U.S. Grant”. So again the word peace then
becomes, it becomes a stumbling block. General Lee, uh Grant had met with Abraham Lincoln
before the retreat, this would have been in late March of 1863 at City Point near Richmond,
and briefed Grant on how to handle a potential surrender. And warned him not to discuss peace.
That’s for, that’s for presidents to talk about, that’s for congresses to talk about,
that’s for special committees appointed at that level to talk about. Your role is
more of a military role in the field. So peace. Have you, did you ever notice that before?
OK. Now how many of you heard Karlton’s lecture
last week? OK, and so he talked more in depth about this. I’m just going to look at it
from a language standpoint. Longstreet’s answering critics with this statement. Now
the context for this statement is the note that you just saw from General Grant to Lee
saying I can’t discuss peace but I can talk surrender. That then arrives in Army headquarters
camp at Appomattox, near the Appomattox River, on the evening of April 8th, the night before
the surrender and General Lee reads it by candlelight. If you’re trying to picture
it. Any visual learners here in the room? My wife’s an artist. She always tell me
to paint the picture. There’s always a right brain learner in the audience that will thank
me for it later. And so there’s a flickering candle, Lee’s straining through his spectacle
to read and has, and is able to do that and hands the letter to General Longstreet. And
Longstreet says “I was sitting at his side when the note was delivered. He read it”
that’s Lee “and handed it to me without referring to its contents. After reading it
I gave it back, saying ‘not yet’”. And then the following day, I’m sure Karlton
told you about this, when truce flags went up on April 9th all along the lines and the
firing stopped, there was a scene where General Custer broke into Confederate lines and demanded
unconditional surrender of, and General Longstreet chased him away in so many words said “if
you know what’s good for you, you need to leave” something like that. Along the lines
of, if you’re a trained army officer you know you’re acting beyond your limitations
at this point and you’ll be lucky to make it back to your own lines. No, well those
things are substantiated by some cross references. A. L. Long, for instance, Lee’s military
secretary said that General Longstreet was not present when there was talk the night
before the surrender of surrendering. So there’s enough cross references that indeed he seems
to have made a sturdy stand. Even at the last minute he was sending messengers to General
Lee saying I think there’s a window open where we can break through the Federal army
and resume our retreat towards Lynchburg where there was supplies, or would be more supplies.
The “not yet” though, as we’re looking at how words have much bigger meaning than
they appear on the surface, “Not yet’ has a lot more to do with reputation after
the war, doesn’t it? Now that’s not to say that he didn’t say “not yet”. No
one refuted him as having said that. But when he wrote Manassas to Appomattox almost thirty
years after the war and published that throughout the north at that point his reputation was
under attack, wasn’t it? That he had, that perhaps he was late in attacking on July 2nd
and General Pendleton and General Early, you guys , you’re a trained audience and you
know all this, but his, the notion that he didn’t want to fight at Gettysburg or that
he delayed fighting and there were some other accusations along those lines. So when he
wrote and published his book and told the story of Appomattox “not yet” means more
than let’s not surrender today or tomorrow. It means General Longstreet is a fighter.
Ok, and that’s the message he’s sending down through time. You all got that probably
last week, didn’t you? He was speaking to future generations that “I was there to
the end. You want to talk about me not wanting to fight at Gettysburg or you want to say
that I let General Lee down by attacking late or sunrise orders were not followed or anything
along those lines, or you want to say that I didn’t cooperate with Braxton Bragg in
Tennessee, you want to say those things, remember I was there with Lee when he surrendered and
I told him ‘not yet’.” So that’s the message here.
And so we have Edward Porter Alexander. And I’ve entitled this “Terrorism and Guerilla
Warfare?” This was a line so beautiful a few minutes ago what happened? But anyway
Edward Porter Alexander was in charge of Longstreet’s first corps artillery here at Gettysburg and,
as many of you know, tried to soften up the Union lines for the attack at the Peach Orchard
on the second day as well as supported Pickett’s Charge on the third day and he was a major
player all throughout the latter half of the war. He wrote a book called Fighting for the
Confederacy. It was edited and published by Gary Gallagher in the 1980s. How many of you
know about that book? It’s a classic read. There’s so many stories that I’ve quoted
second hand over the years that since I went back and referenced his book and found those
stories were in his book. It’s just filled with nuggets of wonderful, wonderful colorful
stories. One of the stories he tells relates to Appomattox. He saw General Lee headed to
the surrender and talked to him on the side and said “look I’ve got a plan, a plan
that’s different from what you’re considering, surrendering to General Grant.” And he said
that General Lee, he usually stood in awe of General Lee and he didn’t say anything.
He just froze up but he said in that instance he became emboldened because Lee seemed to
lend an ear. Lee was in a listening mood and Alexander said “the army”, that is Lee’s
army, “may be”, should be, “ordered to scatter in the woods and bushes and either
rally upon General Johnston in North Carolina, or to make their way, each to his own state
with his arms and to report to his governor.” How many of you knew about this before? OK,
so this was a plan that he had hatched in his mind and he went on to justify it to General
Lee by saying look these man have fought, some of them for three, four years and they’ve
lost family members, they’ve given up everything and General Grant has a reputation of being
‘unconditional surrender Grant’. And if that’s going to be the case they ought to
be given the option, another option, rather than the humiliation of surrendering to ‘unconditional
surrender Grant’. And so Lee listened to all of this and Lee’s response was, he said,
“well if they separate”… Lee responded intelligently, he listened and then he gave
a precise answer along the Lynchburg Richmond stage road, I suppose as they were standing
there along the roadside. Alexander’s real specific so let me appeal to the visual learners,
he said there’s a tree stump there and all the bark had been stripped from it so they
were sitting, at least one of them on this stump. And Lee said “if we scatter to the
woods and the bushes he said the men are going to eventually starve. I don’t know exactly
how many me we have but” he said, “something, at least 15,000 men and he said they’re
going to be hungry. Which means they’re going to have to result to robbery and thievery
to survive which is going to further damage the southern population.” He said “and
there’s going to be marauding.” He said “some of them will resort to desperate means
to stay alive.” He said “and that will result in Federal parties hunting them down
and eliminating them in separate components.” And he said “whereas”, he said “General
Grant” he said “he will give us good terms.” And he said “I intend to ask him for us
to keep our horses”. And he said “if we surrender now they can all leave, properly
exchanged with paperwork that will allow them to go home and there will be enough time to
plant and then there will perhaps be a harvest before the end of the year.” And so he explained
it like that and he did so humbly and he thought that General Grant, he felt from the letters
he had written, with Grant that he would receive those kind of favorable terms. And Alexander
wrote him fighting with the Confederacy, he said “from that moment on I saw General
Lee differently”. He saw him as a magnanimous person that was, because if he had been, if
Lee had been a terrorist he would have cut everyone loose at that point, take to the
hills. How’s this tie into our theme of looking at the past through the lens of language.
And imbued words, and imbued meaning and power of words and rhetoric. And it is that, here’s,
here was a precedent that could have been set in this country for terrorism and that
is holding up in the hills, coming out and raiding villages and creating chaos, anarchy
for decades to come. Who knows what kind of damage that would have done and the south
would have eventually… instead you’re sending home men with some dignity that can
then turn that into being good citizens again. And they can get about process. So he’s
not looking at a crash and burn outcome. He’s looking at this thing as gone as far as it
can go. But Lee, Lee then was offered the idea of terrorism, guerrilla warfare, to use
modern terms, those are modern terms. Guerilla warfare was a term used then. It’s not mentioned
in the correspondences then between these two men. Scatter in the woods and bushes.
Now we want to look at duty here and this has to do with… General Lee learned on the
morning of April 9th, sometime after 9 am that probably closer to 10 am. He learned
that Gordon’s division was fought to a frazzle. Gordon sent the language back that “I fought
my men to a frazzle”. Frazzle is the 19th century word that means emotionally and physically
spent. Don’t raise your hands but think to yourself have you ever been emotionally
and physically exhausted and that means you have nothing left to give. And so when the
word frazzle, I fought my men to a frazzle, that meant something to General Lee. It meant
that the troops that were out on the vanguard trying to open the way against E. O. C. Ord’s
24th corps and also trying to push aside the 5th corps and reopen the retreat towards Lynchburg
that was dead in the water. Frazzle meant that they couldn’t go any further. And so
Lee, dressed up in his nicest suit, one that the men hadn’t seen most of them hadn’t
seen in the entire war. It had probably been packed away in a wagon in mothballs somewhere.
It’s like you breaking into your tuxedo that you haven’t worn since the prom. It
doesn’t fit you anymore. So he puts this nice suit on and brings out an ornate sword
the state of Virginia had given him. It’s ornate, it had jewels on it, it had carvings,
and he looked immaculate. As I recollect from having worked there, I believe it was Charles
Veneable that said to him “why are you dressed like that?” And he said “If I’m going
to be Grant’s prisoner I want to look my best.” So, and so that’s, it’s a very
serious thing. He knows that he is, could be accused of treason, taken to extremes he
could be executed. At the very least this is very embarrassing, very humbling. We’re
talking about the former superintendent at West Point and brought to a very very low
depth here. And he said, he would also remark “There is nothing left for me to do but
to go and see General Grant and I would rather die a thousand deaths.” And you know historians
who have parroted that quote with this follow up, and it’s in more than one secondary
source, that if Lee had not gone to see Grant men would have died a thousand deaths. You’ve
heard that one before. Well, where does that come from? As we are looking at language today.
It comes from Julius Caesar, William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar “a coward dies a thousand
deaths but the valiant taste death but once.” And what’s Lee… Lee’s admitting something
to us here. He’s admitting to us that in his physicalness, in his humanness, he would
rather die the death of a coward. That’s what he’s telling you. He would rather die
the death… you know there’s been an expression going around a lot in sports lately, about
such and such team can beat another team through a thousand paper cuts. How many of you have
heard that? You know that’s one that’s been mentioned a lot lately with recent games.
Die a thousand deaths is the death of a coward and the coward hides. And the coward avoids
the fatal blow because the coward wants to exist in the shadows as much as possible.
And Julius Caesar is depicted as, in this version, as having a conversation with someone
who tells him that he needs to, he needs to be more careful. That he needs to not take
so many chances. That he needs to not always be so valiant and risk oriented. And Caesar
goes on to write that fear, or Shakespeare perceived or portrayed it this way, that fear
is not in his vocabulary. Caesar said that death is as part of life as anything else.
He said there’s no one that’s escaped death. And yet I suppose we all live under
the pretext that you can escape death. Since no one’s escaped death, why fear it? And
so if it’s inevitable and if it’s part of life and it’s a natural outcome and no
one’s escaped it, then why not go ahead and face it with a valiant response? Right?
It’s not going away, you’re not going to be the one excluded to it, so go ahead
and face up to it. Now there’s some recent scholarship that suggests that Julius Caesar,
on the day that the Ides of March that he was stabbed to death by the Senate. How many
of you know that story? There’s some new scholarship that suggests that when he walked
into the Senate building that he was handed a written note. That’s fact. But that he
read it or not is not necessarily factual. But the note warned him not to go into the
next room. That they were laying in wait to murder him, to execute him. And that he had,
this is the new theory, that he had palsy and he was starting to develop shakes and
he did not want to be perceived like that for eternity and so he was going to go out,
not the coward death but the valiant death. He went in there knowing he was going to be
stabbed and he was surprised that Brutus, his close friend, also stabbed him. But Julius
Caesar, some of you have been on my other talks and I point out that 19th century Victorian
people loved the classics, ancient Rome, ancient Greece, ancient Egypt and they loved the scriptures.
At least to quote. And so here he’s quoting second hand Shakespeare’s notion that the
valiant taste death but once. And he’s decided that this is social death for him. This is
social death for him. To walk into the McLean house and surrender.
OK. In the surrender at Wilmer McLean’s house in the parlor General Lee was sitting
there at a marble table and, as I recollect it’s in the Chicago Museum Historical Society
and periodically you know the Park Service at Appomattox has asked that it be taken out
on loan and restored to Appomattox at least for some time. But it’s still in the Museum
as far as I know. And Lee was sitting there at the marble table and General Grant began
to talk to him about terms of surrender and in chicken scratch just wrote those terms
down. But then it was time to transcribe them in some kind of formal way and a member of
Grant’s staff started to do that, to create a more professional copy and his hands began
to shake and he became overwhelmed by the moment and so Grant reassigned the duty to
Ely S. Parker to transcribe the official surrender notations. Now Parker had had done this for,
he’d written a lot of correspondence for General Grant for the last year of the war,
so he was accustomed to doing this sort of thing. Parker was a Seneca Indian, Native
American as we would say today, and in 1869, he had a lot of things on his resume, from
1869 to 1871 General Grant had him as the chief of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and
he was the first Native American to be in charge of that. And so he would do special
things after the war. So Parker was given this duty and he wrote in wonderful penmanship.
Parker would say afterwards to friends over and over again that he noticed Lee glanced
over him. He caught Lee looking over at him. I suppose while he was writing. And he saw
the glance and then Lee looked in another direction and then he said that Lee looked
back in his direction and leaned towards him and extended his hand. Those are Parker’s
exact words. And he said “it is good to have one real American here.” Oh, that’s
a loaded word isn’t it? A loaded set of words. And Parker came up with a brilliant
response “Sir, we are all Americans.” Now that, your bigger point here has to do
with nativism. Some of you know that from 1845 to 1860 there was a party, a political
party that existed mainly in the north known as the “Know Nothings”. How many of you
have heard of that? The Know Nothings were xenophobic, that is fear of foreigners. They
had fear of the Pope having some kind of control through Irish Catholics coming into this country.
They were also, they were alarmed by immigration into the country, mass immigration for industrialization.
And at one point in 1855 they even called themselves the native Americans, meaning we’re
more legitimate than the new people coming in. So when Lee said “it’s good to have
one real American here” you could only wonder who else in that room understood what he was
talking about. He’s talking about, if we want to have a debate in this country about
who’s a legitimate American, who’s a native American, who belongs in this country in the
era of immigration there’s a real American there. And so Parker handled it with grace.
That’s what they’re really talking about here.
The silent witness. How many of you know about the silent witness? OK. The silent witness
was a doll that belonged to a four year old girl named Lula and that four year old girl
Lula McLean was the daughter of Wilmer McLean. And she was apparently playing in the parlor
with her doll just before the surrender party arrived. Now as I try to paint the picture
Wilmer McLean took a representative of General Lee into another building and tried to persuade
him to use this other building. It was not his but he had apparently keys to it. And,
but it wasn’t furnished properly. So the question was, do you have another place that
we can look at. So McLean eventually offered his own place and the best room would be the
parlor. Now in the 19th century parlors were the one room where the whole family came together.
Some of you have heard me say this on other programs, the Victorians tended to section
off their houses. How many of you have been into a Victorian house and noticed how many
rooms there are? The notion of open rooms, open dens, that came about in the 1930s when
Frank Lloyd Wright came out with the rancher. And the rancher was designed to fit families,
living together all under the same house and finding social fulfillment in each other.
It’s called homo-social, it’s called hetero-social relations. The 19th century’s characterized
by homo-social relations. That’s men socialized with men at lodges and drinking their brandy
and smoking their cigars and their sporting games and their cock fights and their boxing.
They would separate from women and women would stay in the home for the most part, living
in a separate sphere. At least there was a lot of that going on. That’s called homo-social
relations where men socialized with men to find fulfillment socially and women with women.
That’s why Victorian homes are partitioned where the children are upstairs, the men and
women are in different rooms. Women have their knitting rooms, men have their brandy and
cigar rooms. And my wife and I bought a Victorian home and we had to tear out a lot of these
walls to create some open storefront space and partitions everywhere. How many of you
know what I’m talking about? The only room where men and women found social fulfillment
with each other in the 19th century in a home was a parlor. And so the parlor tended to
be immaculate and your finest furniture was there and there would only be on special occasions
would there family congregate there. That would be only room where they would all come
together. And let me add one other quick thing, big picture. 1920, 1920 – women gained the
right to vote and that changed a lot of how houses would look and if you men and women
started to socialize together and then were portrayed as living in dens and not parlors
where women and men and children would all come together under the same roof without
a lot of partitions. Well, parlors then were the one place, one neutral place in the 19th
century where they didn’t separate male, female and children. And so here’s this
off limits room. McLean takes them into the room, shows it to them, it’s fitting. And
as General Lee arrived there first, probably around one o’clock, the Grant arrived with
his party around 1:30 on April 9th 1865. And among the furniture in the room was a horse
hair chair, really a nice horse hair chair. How many of you have seen it? It’s beautiful.
And of course the one in there is a period piece, it’s not the original. And one of
the people who sat on that chair was Robert Todd Lincoln. He had been attached to General
Grants’ staff at the request of Abraham Lincoln. And as he was sitting there he noticed
this doll so that would have told him something right away. Lula, and he wouldn’t have known
her by name, some child, probably a girl because it was a girl’s toy there, had been in the
parlor unsupervised. That’s what it would have told him first and foremost. She has
been in there on her own to have left the doll there. SO that would have immediately
let him know that there’s some innocence here. A child has been in this room. And so
then he passed it around and several people looked at it and dubbed it the silent witness.
Now I’ve jotted down some noted here on the far right about the silent witness. One,
the silent witness as we are looking at language. The silent witness is not communicating verbally
with us but it’s communicating to the subconscious, isn’t it? And what’s it, what was it communicating
to the men that met for the surrender in that room? It communicated to them the contrast
of hardened veterans with innocence. They had seen war, killing, suffering, right? Sacrificing,
years of death, burials, all sorts of sad things. They were not naïve, were they? They
had seen the worst of humanity and here they were contrasted with some child that had been
in the room a few minutes earlier. Isn’t that… do you see that contrast? That’s
what was really coming over them. And then, that would then second point follows. That
would have been implanted in them as they passed this doll around the room, conscience
to do the right thing for our children. And if you have children eventually you start
to, your children parrot you, right? And so you want to be your best example for them
so you hand the baton off and they take it to the next generation and so on. And so there’s
this sense now, this awareness that a child’s been in the room and it pricks the conscience
that we must do the right thing for the innocent and for the children. And this leads to the
third point. There’s a tacit agreement with future generations, with future generations.
How many of you have heard of a witness tree? Witness tree, or you’ve heard the old expression
“if that house could talk”. Alright, so that’s what you have here. And so it’s
almost like this is an extension of not just Lula in the room but an extension of children
of the future that are silently hoping they’ll do the right thing. OK, alright.
OK, alright. Did they surrender under a tree? Well you know the answer to that. They didn’t.
But some of the inserts in Frank Leslie’s and Harper’s Weekly and some of those inserts
that people subscribe to in major cities began to circulate after the end of the war. They
depicted Lee, this is a colorized version of one of them, but depicted Lee surrendering
to Grant under a tree. And we know that he surrendered in a parlor not under a tree.
So why did this concept gain traction? And it has to do with symbolic truths. You’ve
heard me preach this on other programs but symbolic truths conflate truth with symbolism.
So the truth is not in the precise telling of the story. The truth is some deeper point
that we all recognize to be such. Like the copse of trees is the turning point of the
war. The trees themselves are just trees but there’s symbolic meaning attached to them
that take us through some portal into a transcending understanding. That’s symbolic truth. When
I worked at the Liberty Bell it’s the same way. It’s just a bell with a crack in it.
But it’s a symbol of liberty so it has symbolic truth that transcends the actual object in
front of you. So where did story gain any kind of traction at all? And it was when General
Lee sent a follow up letter to Grant on the morning of April 9th saying “I’d sort
of like to meet with you about those terms you suggested yesterday.” And Grant, when
Grant received it sometime around 11:50, which would have been almost two hours later, a
little less than two hours later, he would have recognized the urgency, he would have
recognized avoidance by General Lee to want to go to the surrender. But Lee was doing
his best to say I’ll met with you about the subject of your last letter. That’s
about all Lee could bring himself to say. And so Lee then went out to the front, near
the front lines, behind Gordon’s division but out on the Lynchburg Stage Road. And it’s
on a rise there in Appomattox, How many of you have been there? It’s called Surrender
Triangle. It’s not far from the Surrender Triangle. And on that rise there was an apple,
several apple trees and General Lee sat there and waited for a response to that last letter.
He expected at some point to see a flag of truce and some kind of response to surrender.
And, and eventually he fell asleep under an apple tree. So he took a nap, he fell asleep
under an apple tree. And I think that’s kind of symbolic in that, because there were
people at the time that noted that he was sleeping at such a critical moment in, not
only in his life but in the army’s existence and in American history, how could you relax
to that point and nap under those circumstances. And I think this is kind of an apocryphal
allusion to Christ sleeping in the boat while the storm is taking place on the Sea of Galilea.
It’s just that, there is such inner peace that outward circumstances for the believer
cannot alter the inner peace. So there is some kind of message there. But apparently,
literally, he did nap under this tree until he was awoken by a party that showed up of
Federal officers. And they were representing General Grant and they said “Grant did receive
your letter, he wants to meet with you about those terms. You choose the place where the
surrender will take place.” As soon as the Federal officers left and galloped away Confederate
soldiers who were standing nearby saw this and as soon as Lee left the area, they came
in and just ripped the tree apart. How many of you have heard that story before? They
tore it to bits and started chopping little sections and saving it and pocketing it. Edward
Porter Alexander said, by the next morning, April 10th he said “someone pulled the root
out of the ground and they were taking pieces of the root.” This, now this has to do,
as we talk about language, this gives you a sense of how poor communications were then
and in terms of visual communications. Here’s two enemies that fought each other for years
and their men didn’t know what the other commander looked like because to the Confederates
who tore apart that tree they thought they had seen General Lee surrender to General
Grant under an apple tree. And so they wanted a memento and they tore apart the tree. Now
when I worked at Appomattox one of the things they taught us in training was, they said
sometime this summer or fall you’re going to be approached by a visitor that will come,
we have these kind of conversations behind the scenes by the way, and they’re going
to come up to the Information Desk and you need to know that this happens periodically.
And they’re going to show you a piece of the original apple tree where Lee surrendered
to Grant. And when they do, when they do, do not be disrespectful. In other words, accept
what they’re saying, don’t try to debunk the story. And say something to the effect
of “well, it happened at McLean’s house down the road in the parlor.”
‘Cause you could ruin someone’s memento and their family heritage that way. You have
to be very diplomatic and so you know be very careful. And I have one instance I remember
that at least stuck in my memory, someone came in and they opened this box and then
inside, what I really remember, was this blue felt being opened and I remember the lights
in the Information Desk shining off the blue velvet and they took out this twig and showed
it to me. And it, you know, it may have been the original one. We were also warned that
there were, by word of mouth that story spread throughout the south so as Confederates, paroled
Confederates were walking back to their states in the lower south, they knew a lot of southerners
had heard the word of the surrender under the apple tree. So if they needed a meal and
they had run out of their last twig, they would break off a nearby twig and say “I
have an original” in exchange for a, you know, a dinner.
So the story of a tree then. But this really doesn’t look like an apple tree so it looks
like the artist took some more license. And so this is another depiction and this time
Lee’s on the right and Grant’s on the left. But I want you to see the symbolic truths.
The symbolic truth here, the artist has taken liberty with a story that’s already gained
traction throughout the country of Lee surrendering to Grant and under a tree, and so the artist
then makes the tree the focal point. Being married to an artist and an art teacher I
can tell you that artists find a focal point and they build everything around it. Like
the Last Supper. For instance Christ is in the center. That kind of thing. Focal points,
if you look at a lot of the art work on the monuments out on the battlefield, the etchings
and the carvings and the reliefs, they almost all have a focal point. The ones that you
can see right along Hancock Avenue all have a focal point. Focal point trains your eye
to one point. It puts a cluster of people around that focal point and then everything
closer than that focal point is made bigger. And everything depicted behind that focal
point is made smaller to create depth perception and in three dimension. Can you see that?
That’s what artists learn early on. If you want to create layered depth and depth perception
it’s called one point perspective. And so they chose to put this tree as the centerpiece
and the focal point along with Lee and Grant. And that’s, the tree then is the focal point.
To artists, when something’s made the focal point it’s studied because it’s the very
center of attention. And, and, and so what is the tree telling us? What’s the symbolic
truth? What’s the message that’s being passed on to us aesthetically here? And it’s
the notion of a family tree. Trees also denote witness trees. Trees have to do with the tree
of knowledge. When we do programs out on the High Water Mark there’s a tree out there.
How many of you know the big tree that gives us shade that all the rangers and guides fight
over to give talks under? We call that internally the tree of knowledge. And then there’s
the Liberty Tree. You know, Bostonians rallied around the Liberty Tree like you would gather
around a street lamppost maybe in an earlier time to discuss the latest grievances about
the British and how to counter them. And then Avalon, a story rich in radiant throughout
Anglo Saxon history on both side of the Atlantic. In this country and in Europe. King Arthur.
The story of Avalon is where he’s buried and it’s a mystical place and it’s filled
with apple trees. So there could be something going on there. In the American psyche the
tree would have denoted one of those things. Now family tree then means that… How many
of you have ever seen a family tree set up in a genealogical way where there’s… you
know, and you work your way down to the present. That’s the most likely message here. Is
that both north and south are part of the same family tree again.
They did now. As we undo the conflating we find there is an essence of truth of meeting
under a tree but it occurred on April 10th 1865. The day after the official surrender
of Lee to Grant before Grant returned to Washington and Lee to Richmond. And then Grant would
say as Lee departed the Wilmer MacLean house and he tipped his hat to General Lee and Lee
rode off. There was a certain excitement that was restrained and, and men would gently tip
their hats and so forth. But then eventually some applause started and there was some cheering
and it started to spread and Grant told those within hearing distance to stop. He said “the
Confederates are now our prisoners and we do not want to exalt over their downfall.
The war is over, they are our countrymen again.” Now how many of you have been taught that
as a child growing up? You don’t gloat over someone that’s a defeated foe. You don’t
do that. And you’re warned in the Scriptures if you do that it will come back to you. OK,
so he, he’s expressing a view that a lot of people would have fully understood and
the applause stops. The cheering stops. The celebrating stops. He’s saying they’re
our countrymen again. This could be an allusion to a story that his readers would have understood.
And that’s the story of the prodigal son. You know the prodigal son took all his inheritance
and left and spent it on riotous living and he found himself eating out of a hog pen and
then came home and through himself at his father’s feet and said I would like to be
one of your servants. I can’t survive on my own. I know I’ve disappointed you. I
know I’ve wasted the family inheritance. And the father does what in this famous prodigal
son story in the New Testament? And the father, instead of waiting for the son to throw himself
at his feet, he sees him far off. He starts running towards him. Kind of like the scene
in Gone with the Wind where Melany sees her husband walking and then she runs towards
him. The father has no judgement, no reservations. The father in the parable runs towards the
son and then says to other servants around “kill the fatted calf. Our son was lost
and now he’s found”. He’s come back home again. He’s our son again. So there’s
kind of this prodigal son. The Confederates were the prodigal son. They’ve gone away.
We don’t want to be the mean brother that won’t allow them back. We have to allow
them back, back into… By the way, several Confederates expressed in their writing after
the war that Grant was the perfect man for this surrender. Had there been anyone else
they felt the peace would have gone a lot worse. Come along a lot slower. And you can
see that Grant was not only restraining his men from cheering but then he would approve.
Lee said to Grant, and he said “my men are hungry” and General Custer and Sheridan
had captured 25,000 rations at Appomattox Station and Grant released those to feed the
hungry Confederates. Is that a beautiful picture right there?
OK and. OK this is, we’re down to two left here. This is from Joshua Chamberlain’s
account of the surrender. You know he was, he and his 5th Corps were given responsibility
to accept the official surrender of arms of Lee’s remnants at Appomattox in a formal
ceremony on April 12th. That would have been seventy two hours roughly after the surrender.
And so in this formal surrender Union soldiers lined up on either side of the Lynchburg-Richmond
Stage Road. The Confederates led by General Gordon started to march in and Chamberlain
wrote “Before us in proud humiliation stood the embodiment of manhood: men who neither
toils and suffering, nor the fact of death, nor disaster, nor hopelessness could bend
their resolve… honor answering honor.” He was a great writer, wasn’t he? And then
he goes on to talk about how these defeated men then looked him square in the eye as they
walked past them. And Grant would comment on that too. About their sincerity. So they’ve
given, they’ve lost everything, everything. They’ve lost their home, they’ve lost
their livelihood. Whether they deserved it or not, they’ve lost everything and they
have nothing. They have nothing. And it would have been easy for Chamberlain to keep them
there, not wanting to encourage them to rise above that humiliation. And instead he ordered
the Union soldiers that had aligned either side of the road for the surrender, all the
flags and everything that would be surrendered, weapons and so forth. He ordered all the Federal
soldiers to shift their arms to a carry arms position. If you’ve got several thousand
people shifting arms like that it’s electric. It’s powerful. And there’s a certain sound
and, John, you know about this, you know doing reenactments, others who have done reenactments,
have been to reenactments, reenactors, you know that when, when they shift arms in any
sort of way. Carry arms or shoulder arms, right should shift. It grabs your attention,
doesn’t it? And so that was a sign of respect. It was a sign of honor. And apparently Gordon’s
head and shoulders were slumped. His body language was one of defeat. And when he heard
that shift of weapons he stood erect in the saddle. And according to Chamberlain his horse
reared up and he touched the tip of his boot with his sword. And I’m getting chills telling
the story. I always do that. And so he gave them basic dignity, gave them honor. And now
honor. You’ve heard me say this before. Honor is different from conscience. Throughout
the north in the late 19th century, mid to late 19th century, the notion of the inner
light of the Quakers spread through a lot of Protestant denominations. You’ve heard
of the inner light? It says that you take every circumstance on its own merit and you
make a decision based on your conscience and what your conscience tells you to do. Well,
that’s different than honor and valor. Honor and valor has more to do with primal motives
of pride, shame and guilt. You make decisions not just on you conscience telling you “act
this way in this situation” but because this is how you should act in a rightful way.
That’s the inner light. In the south there was still, and in pockets in the north, they
were still seeped with the primal motives of pride, shame and guilt. Living up to family
ideals, lineage heritage. How many of you saw the latest version of the movie Titanic?
And then there’s a scene where the mother’s talking to her daughter who was the main actor,
her name is Rose. Is that, am I right on that? Her name is Rose. And they’re on this ship,
the Titanic, going from Ireland to New York and she’s supposed to marry this very wealthy
person. And instead she is falling in love with someone else on the ship that’s been
placed, he’s an Irishman, living below the deck. He’s in steerage. And so, her emotions
are getting carried away and she’s fallen in love with someone that can’t do anything
for her financially. And there’s a scene where the mother takes Rose, her daughter,
off to the side in a room. She says “listen here”. She closes the door and says “listen,
you’re about to lose everything your father worked for, and his father worked for and
our family worked for. We’ve lost almost our whole fortune. This is a way to restore
it.” She says “do you want me to work with my hands and have dirt under my fingernails?
Do you want to see me brought down to that level?” She said “if you don’t make
that marriage, that’s where we are going to go. Do you want to see all of our furniture,
our family furniture sold on open market? Do you want to see that?” And the daughter
starts to cry and then she decides to marry the rich man, at least for the moment, to
stop that disaster. That’s what we’re talking about. There’s these primal motives
that you’ve got to live up to the family ideal. Ok, and so what… we talk about language.
Chamberlain was touching on something deep inside the Confederates. That they were asking
themselves did they live up to these ideals and the Federals were saying you did. So it’s
a powerful message that was sent. They didn’t have to say it. It was understood.
And then Lincoln and Dixie. I’ve always thought Lincoln said, Lincoln was talking
to, there were about 3,000 people along Pennsylvania Avenue cheering and celebrating and jubilee,
because, this was on April 10th, because news, thanks to the telegraph had already reached
Washington less than 24 hours later that Lee had surrendered. The war was going, would
soon be over. At least the beginning of the end. And so there was this raucous crowd,
excitement. Lincoln opened the window at the White House and got their attention. And began
to speak to them. And he saw three or four bands around that were playing with the celebrating
crowd. And he says “I have always though ‘Dixie’ one of the best tunes I have ever
heard. Our adversaries over the wat attempted to appropriate it but I insisted yesterday
that we fairly captured it.” He was good with words, wasn’t he? So in a backhanded
reverse psychology way he was telling the crowd, “Do you mind if the band plays Dixie?”
And it was his way of staying politically out of trouble with them, but at the same
time acknowledging his hard fought fight with his foe. And giving them basic dignity. That’s
magnanimous, isn’t it? Playing your opponents’ favorite song.
OK, and so then in conclusion we’ve been looking at utterances that have carried from
then to now. We’ve talked about the power of language, the power of words. And discussed
how words are imbued with meaning in both academic settings and in military history
settings. And some of the words that were reverberating from then to now are, for Lee
and his army at Sailor’s Creek, dissolved, dissolved, dissolved, dissolved, dissolved.
Peace, peace, peace, peace. These voices come down to us today. Longstreet said “not yet”
yet, yet, yet. Edward Porter Alexander said “scatter in the woods”, woods, woods.
General Lee, like Shakespeare said “I’d rather die a thousand deaths” deaths, deaths,
deaths. Lee said to Parker “there’s one real American here”. There was a silent
witness to their conscience that they would do the right things for the future generations.
They’re in the same family tree, tree, tree, tree again. Grant said “They’re our countrymen
again” again, again, again. Kill the fatted calf, our brother has come home. Honor answering
honor, honor, honor. And Lincoln said “it was one of my, it was one of the best tunes
I have ever heard” heard, heard, heard. Thank you all for coming out today. Love all
of you. Thanks you for being here supporting the lecture series.

23 thoughts on “Language and Rhetoric at Appomattox (Lecture)

  1. I well remember reading Alexander's memoirs and his pleading with Lee to continue the fight and realising he (Alexander) hadn't thought it through and being somewhat shamed at his lack of foresight.

    Alexander's memoirs of the civil war are amongst the finest and most  insightful written. In particular I know of no finer description of daily life in the Petersburg trenches.

  2. Belief in god is the reason Lee lost at Gettysburg. When you apply faith as your method to come to a conclusion, it's unreliable. Longstreet gave him sound logic but thought god was on his side. "Lee realized god was not on his side". How can you know what Lee realized? I doubt he ever doubted god being on his side ever. But what about the battles he did when? God must have been on his side right? Battles are nothing more than individuals that ultimately make a ripple effect. I'm sick and tired of these well educated men talk such good sense, and then talk this nonsense of god. This is what Romans, Spartans, Vikings etc. thought too! Were their gods real too? No! You win some and you lose some. Ultimately it comes down to chance and how you work with that opportunity. It's fine that these men believed this stuff but it's 2015 now.. Let's talk about this in an academic way.

  3. Sorry! I had to get that off my chest! But the rest of the talk was excellent. I've been watching these videos all weekend.

  4. Thank God Lee did not decide to let the nation descend into permanent guerrilla war like the Middle East seems to be.

  5. Trained audience? This guy is full of it. Position terrain……words are dropping bombs…..you better know what you are talking about. Freedom is a loaded word. Just another revisionist so called historian who tries to change the reality that Robert E. Lee was just like an ISIS terrorist who was the line commander as his terrorist troops who tortured and murdered surrendering American troops who happened to be black…..all the nonsense about what this war was about cannot use loaded words to hide the reality that this was a war of white supremacy and xenophobic rejection of the American melting pot. Lee a devout believer….what a joke, he was an ISIS terrorist driven by ideology which rejected the humanity of non muslims like ISIS or non whites like Lee. Stop selling fantasy under the guise of serious history.

  6. The tree looks to me like a oak, and a oak is a symbol for enternity. A pledge given under an oak tree is holy and should last for ever.

  7. The purpose of rhetoric is persuasion. I respectfully suggest that Grant had done all the persuading he needed to before Lee agreed to come and surrender.

    Grant,'s additional interest for what he hoped would come from the surrender is that the surrendered off of his return home and served as guarantors of the rule of law in their communities in the disrupted wake of a lost War.

    Lee was a goddamn traitor. He was a leader of an interaction that killed 360,000 American servicemen fighting to preserve the Constitution. It is an open question whether or not hanging Lee would have been prudent. If he had been hang then the dumb Fox here in the 21st century pretending he was respectable would have found it harder to do that pretending.

    America's founding values are personal Liberty and equality protected under a rule of law founded on the Constitution. Lee fought to overthrow their constitution and did so in order to continue the opportunity to deny any and all personal Liberty, let alone equality, before Millions then living people and all their descendants.

    Americans are sick in their glorification of the Civil War. The daily surrendered his last 23,000 fellow Traders there were a million men in Grant's command. That's the drama you need from that story, The overwhelming determination of the American people to put down treason and end Insurrection and restore the rule of law under the Constitution.

    Lee and his fellow Traders were not respectable, not then and nor should modern Americans be pretending they were respectable now.

    Lee is only honored because he fought for white supremacy
    Lee was a traitor to the nation that educated him and employed him for most of his adult life. Lee was a murderer who killed more of his own men than any other General in the war. Let's quit pretending he was respectable.

    Those traitors killed 360,000 American servicemen. That is 3 times more than the Kaiser killed in World War 1 and 90% of all of those at Tojo and Hitler killed in World War II. Better to pretend the Kaiser, Tojo and Hitler are respectable than Lee. They killed American servicemen, but at least they weren't traitors.

  8. What a riveting presentation! Troy's passion is obvious & his intellect impressive. His insights will linger in my mind for some time indeed.

  9. What a great presentation, I wished that many who post negatively about Lee and the south would take the time to watch this. Maybe they would gain the depth of respect that the great men of those times (Grant and Chamberlain) had for their fellow countrymen. While some view the southerners as traitors, the fact that so much respect was shown towards a defeated foe, says volumes about the character and devotion to our great nation.

  10. Excellent! I translate academic documents from Spanish to English, and this lecture has helped me understand better the way in which words become invested with meanings in academic settings.

  11. Every single confederate should have been shot, hung, and quartered immediately upon surrender. This includes Jeff Davis and Robert E. Lee.

  12. Absolutely perfect! This examination and presentation was nearly as beautiful as of the encounter u made me of, unaware…Lol! Maybe not that extraordinary, but certainly a performance worthy of merit. Not only was the presentation connecting and informative with the nuance in detail necessary to provide the appropriate recount of such a moment. I wish I could have experienced such in full color, but would fear the suffering required for the toll to gain access of such a glorious, yet humbling moment. Lastly, I too revel over the power of language as truly, you already know, is the foundation for nearly every institute of our understanding and moment throughout mankind's experience. It is invaluable and beyond comprehension as to the scope of its end or overall mastering. In light of your reflection as tothe account of those of that time, it has once become apparent to me, the validity of our sacred Scripture in which John1:1 eludes to the importance and underlying, profound implication in not simply relating the Christ to "the Word" but even surpassing such dictating the Christ as "the Word". The mysterious validity in how Christ is recorded to even say that "…heaven and earth will pass, but his words will never.." escape us.. Meanwhile, while this continues to prove remarkably true, honored both by friend and for of the faith, still yet, retaining extraordinary consistency and general popularity. Finally and again, I thoroughly enjoyed your presentation and not only received learning about and of the subject matter, but also, importantly, received a hidden message concerning virtue. Whereby, after thought, I would presume this was a measure calculated or if not, still worthy of honorable mention and would demonstrate your attachment to nobility and righteousness…Tho, I am sure you agree…."Soli Deo Gloria!". and also, I love you and Thank you! God Bless!

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