“To-day, at ten o’clock, the gratifying news that Lee has surrendered was received at General Steedman’s headquarters, creating the wildest excitement. As the news spread the men gathered in crowds and rent the air with the most vociferous cheers. The Twenty-ninth Indiana was ordered to “fall in” without arms, and then followed a regimental “three times three” that would have done your heart good to hear. At noon the forts that crown the crests of the hills about town fired a salute of one hundred guns, the whistles of the locomotives and machine shops screamed, while everybody feels good.”
But from a stout Confederate supporter, we read:
“After supper we went into the parlor and had music. We tried to sing some of our old rebel songs, but the words stuck in our throats. Nobody could sing, and then Clara Harris played, ‘Dixie,” but it sounded like a dirge.” The same writer goes on to remember the night Georgia seceded. “I shall never forget that night when the news came that Georgia had seceded. While the people of the village were celebrating the event with bonfires and bell ringing and speech making, he (her father) shut himself up in his house, darkened the windows, and paced up and down the room in the greatest agitation. Every now and then, when the noise of the shouting and the ringing of bells would penetrate to our ears through the closed doors and windows, he would pause and exclaim, ‘Poor fools! They may ring their bells now, but they will wring their hands – yes, and their hearts, too – before they are done with it.'”
It’s also amazing to note that neither account was given on the 9th. The first account received the news on the 10th and the second on the 19th.
*The towel in the picture was used by the Confederates as a flag of surrender at Appomattox.
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Sources: The Civil War Years: A Day-by-Day Chronicle by Robert E. Denney
The War-Time Journal of a Georgia Girl 1864-1865 written by Eliza Frances Andrews