Lee and Grant at Appomattox: A Toast

You may remember James Thurber’s funny story, “If Grant Had Been Drinking at Appomattox.” In the story, the notorious tippler had binged the night before and, when General Lee showed up at the McLean house for the surrender proceedings, Grant lost sight of who was surrendering to whom. “There you are, General, “ he says. “We dam’ near licked you. If I’d been feeling better we would of licked you.”

 Well, the other day I heard this new twist on the Lee-Grant exchange. Reader alert: the following contains profanity which some may find in poor taste. 

At some point in the parlor-proceedings, Grant asks Lee to join him in a toast. Lee demurred, but General Grant ordered the brandy brought forth anyway, and makes his toast:

Here’s to the American eagle
That gray old bird of prey
Who eats on Northern soil
And shits on Southern clay. 

The gentlemanly Lee is of course stunned, but determined not to be outdone. A shocked Colonel Marshall stood by as General Lee offered his own toast:

Here’s to Dixie Land
Whose soil is so fair and rich
We need no turds
From your damn birds
You Yankee son of a bitch.

This entry was posted in Memory, Ties to the War and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Lee and Grant at Appomattox: A Toast

  1. Tom Van Wie says:

    Love the thoughts. I can picture this happening like a Civil War SNL.
    Thanks for posting.
    Tom Van Wie

  2. Ron Vaughan says:

    If I may add to this interlude of humor– I would like to share the Southern version of the end of the Civil War, which was printed in the Dixie Gun Works catalog years ago:
    Do to the lay of the land, the Union Army was retreating forwards, and the Confederate Army was advancing backwards. Then General Lee cleverly placed his army in the center of the Union Army, so he could attack in any direction. General Grant realized he had been out-maneuvered, so went to Appomattox to surrender. As Lee arrived, he mistook the disheveled and mud spattered Grant for an aid, and gave him his sword to polish. Late, he realized his mistake, but was too much of a gentleman to bring up the subject.

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