What were the terms of Robert E. Lee's surrender to Grant?
Grant gave Lee generous terms of surrender. The Confederate Army of Northern Viginia was fed (at that time they were starving because of the Confederacy's lack of supplies), allowed to keep their weapons, and sent home.
It is interesting to note that when Lee came to Appomattox Court House to surrender to Grant, Grant was so excited to meet the famous general that Lee had to remind him that they were there to arrange a surrender.
Lee had no choice but to surrender to Grant, as he had run out of manpower, and his men were barefoot and starving. Those two very different men could both feel that it was a historic moment, and a time for noble conduct. Lee faced up to his position manfully, and asked for terms. Grant told him that if his men handed in their weapons and took the oath of allegiance to the United States…
After Lee's surrender at Appomattox , Grant had forbidden any demonstrations of rejoicing and sent following message to the Union soldier: Quote The war is over, the Rebels are our countrymen again and the best sign of rejoicing after victory will be to abstain from all demonstrations in the field. UNQUOTE
Why do you think general grant allowed total war to be used to defeat lee but then offered to feed lees men after there surrender?
Grant was not acting out of personal cruelty when he applied such harsh measures in the field. He knew that attrition was the only way. After the surrender, he could afford to be generous, and he certainly was. No hangings or jailings, and a good meal for every Confederate soldier, probably their first in months.