We have learned that when Grant had decided to surrender his milk-fed millions to Lee’s starving remnants and the rendezvous was arranged at Appomattox Court House, Lee demanded that Grant put his submission into writing. Unfortunately Grant’s pencil broke, and, removing his cigar from his mouth, he turned to General Lee and said with true military courtesy: “General, I have broken my pencil; will you lend me your sword to sharpen it with?” General Lee, always ready and willing to oblige, whipped forth his sword and tendered it to General Grant.
It was unfortunately just at this moment that the flashlight photographers and radio announcers got to work and the picture was erroneously given to the world that General Lee was surrendering his sword to General Grant.
The credulous public immediately accepted this story. The bells that were prepared to ring triumphantly in Loudoun County were stilled while the much inferior Yankee bells in Old North Church in Boston burst forth in a false paean of triumph. To this day the legend persists, but we of the Welbourne Journal are able to present to the world for the first time the real TRUTH about this eighty-year-old slander that Virginia lost its single-handed war against the allied Eskimos north of the Mason and Dixon line.
Specially printed for Fitzgerald as a gag (Baltimore: 1934); See letter from Fitzgerald to Maxwell Perkins, July 30, 1934.