Headquarters Army of Northern Virginia
Appomattox Courthouse, April 10, 1865
General Order No. 9
Robert E. Lee
I need not tell the survivors of so many hard fought battles who have remained steadfast to the last, that I have consented to this result from no distrust of them, but feeling that valor and devotion could accomplish nothing that could compensate for the loss which would have attended the continuation of the contest, I have determined to avoid the useless sacrifice of those whose past services have endeared them to their countrymen. You will take with you the satisfaction that proceeds from the consciousness of duty faithfully performed, and I earnestly pray that a merciful God may extend to you His blessing and protection. With an increasing admiration of your constancy and devotion to your country, and a grateful remembrance of your kind and generous consideration of myself, I bid you an affectionate farewell.
Robert E. Lee
General Grant gave generous terms. Confederate soldiers were paroled and allowed to return home. Officers were allowed to retain their sidearms. Grant ordered that the remnants of the Army of Virginia be issued with federal rations, as they were literally starving. Because horses and mules of the Confederate Army were the private property of the soldiers who operated with them, Grant allowed the soldiers to take the animals home. He said they would need them for the spring plowing.
Immediately, the snowflakes and moonbats of the day attacked Grant. Then, as now, they were politicians and "stay at homes" who had never joined the Federal Army. These slugs wanted treason trials. President Lincoln backed Grant, saying "Let 'em up easy."
When John Wilkes Booth (who never went anywhere near a battlefield during the war, avoiding military service) killed Lincoln it was a ghastly blow to the South. It allowed the politicians in Washington to implement what became an occupation of the South, called in the North "Reconstruction." That led to a lot of the problems that followed the war.
The South was devastated. Farms were burned, few able bodied men were left. The cities were destroyed, the rail lines were torn up. The new "Reconstruction" government was filled with "freedmen" and Northerners, as no one who served the Confederacy was permitted to hold any government office at any level. Federal troops were stationed throughout the South, and most of them were newly formed black regiments. That didn't work out too well.