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This is a work of fiction.

Any resemblance to persons or

organizations, living or extinct,

is entirely coincidental.





PROLOGUE


Palm Sunday

APRIL 9, 1865



It was not the end of the world. The end of their part in the drama, perhaps, but at least a momentary cessation of the hostility of hunger and decimation which had dogged them these past months.

The General rode erect on Traveler, looking more like the victor than the vanquished, exhibiting no outward sense his feelings of betrayal. The man riding beside him tried to emulate his commander though the weight of the crushing defeat and resultant humiliation made such outward display difficult.

"What do you suppose will become of us now?" Col. Marshall spoke after they had ridden in silence for some distance from the small grouping of buildings called the town of Appomattox Court House.

Lee grunted. "The war is not over yet, Colonel, except for our small part in it."

"But," the Colonel's anguish got the better of him, "they will claim Grant was a better general than you, sir."

The distinguished gray beard turned toward the younger man and a smile slowly creased the ancient face. "Charles, is that what bothers you so? Never mind what history will tell about it. History has a way of changing to match the tenor of the society. Caesar and Bonaparte both have been viewed as tyrants and then saviors as the years progressed and I can see the same happening for us as well, regardless of the outcome of this conflict.

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