The dawn is chill and gray. Union soldiers line the small dirt road, ranks thin from disease, battle losses, and the scars of war. The 1st Division of the 5th Corps, Army of the Potomac, stands rank on rank, observing with some attention the far hill, where their enemies are gathered. Union Brig. Gen. Joshua L. Chamberlain describes this moment — the surrender ceremony led by Confederate Gen. John B. Gordon’s on the morning of April 12, 1865, at Appomattox Court House — in his memoir, “The Passing of the Armies:”

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