Winik, Jay. “A Graceful Exit.” American Heritage (2010): 1-2. (2) So often villainized in modern culture, General Robert E. Lee represented forces which were thought to be morally adverse and culturally inadequate, leading soldiers towards a idealized future where the economy thrived under slavery and the Union and the Confederacy were separate entities. But as Jay Winik illustrates in his piece “A Graceful Exit”, Lee’s last moments of the Civil War saved the citizens, soldiers and government of the United States years of unnecessary bloodshed. Prior to his actions, leaders of the Union, including President Lincoln, General Grant and General Sherman, were terrified “that the war might end only after some final mass slaughter, or that it would dwindle into a long twilight of barbarism or mindless retaliation”.60 Perhaps one of the most important actions in the history of the way, Grants generosity towards Lee’s defeated men prior to the surrender at Appomattox Courthouse. Moments after “the instruments of surrender were signed …an emotional Lee mounted his horse…and let out a long deep sigh”.61 These actions of Lee and Grant set “a tone for the healing that was so critical” to the United States, a dictates an ideal war situation where, regardless of prior arrangements and views, leaders on both sides realized the absurdity in continuing in such bloodshed. As with situations revolving around the Emancipation Proclamation, it would be difficult not to questions if the motives of Lincoln were different what sort of United States we would see today? If Lee were to carry on, so relentlessly, or if Grant would have thought their fight to be a mute cause- -how would “our” America have been different?