Earlier this month I tuned in on the re-runs of Ken Burns’ Civil War just at the battle ofIn April 1965 I was out with a station-wagon full of kids, driving through the marshes west of here, looking at migrating Canada geese. In those days geese all went South for the winter, and on the right day in spring, it was exciting to find huge returning flocks in the fields and ponds. We’d start early, have a tailgate breakfast and follow the same country roads every year.
. And sure enough, there he was, Ely Parker,
the Seneca Indian who wrote out the terms of surrender for General Grant. It took me back to the first time we ever heard about Ely Parker. Appomattox
|It looked like this one.|
The most fascinating part was the cabin itself, and the man who was there. He had just returned, he told us, fromGoogling for a picture of the Colonel, I came across this:
where he played the role of his ancestor, Ely Parker, in a centennial re-enactment
of The Surrender. And he took us up the
ladder to the cabin’s dusky loft, to show us an old trunk with "COL ELY PARKER" painted on it. Appomattox
The terms of the surrender were recorded in a document hand written by Grant's adjutant Ely S. Parker, a Native American of the Seneca tribe, and completed around 4 p.m., April 9. Lee, upon discovering Parker to be a Seneca remarked "It is good to have one real American here." Parker replied, "Sir, we are all Americans."
|Ely Parker fifth from right?|