Reviews for Bittersweet Surrender
Jen Crocker chapter 1 . 2/4/2012
Oh, goodness. Pickett. xD What a guy.

I like how you captured Lee. He is a truly amazing man, agreed? Exceptional.

- SH
C. Hinton chapter 1 . 7/4/2008
Wow, an excellent go at it man, I greatly enjoy the skip from Gettysburg (I imagine the first couple paragraphs were set in Gettysburg?) to his penultimate surrender.

The thing that stands out the most to me though, in a critical manner, is the anachronistic shortening of words and modern phrasing. I have trouble imagining Robert E. Lee contracting words even in his head, something about the man strikes me that even in his thoughts he would not contract words.

The other thing I would recommend is to add more detail, especially to the characters of Grant and Custer. They have so few lines it's drastically important that we get Lee's picture of them. What would he mark about Grant? The stained and muddy campaign uniform? The stench of cigar smoke? His gravelly voice, brought on by habitual smoking?

And Custer! Good lord what must Lee have thought of Custer, exploding into the house in the middle of one of the gravest moments in Lee's life, insulting him personally and by extent his beloved Army.

Certainly the two would have a great respect for each other, Lee and Grant that is, and I think you could do well to perhaps lengthen this to show that respect.

I also felt the homeowner was a little to jovial considering that the man he was flipping off to was Gen. Robert E. Lee, a man who very nearly won the American Civil War. Surely he would feel the gravity of the situation enough to show the man a little respect.

The bit of dialog between Lee and the Homeowner was rather jarring as well.

A little bit more editing and you'll have a fine touching piece on your hands.
someone's sideshow chapter 1 . 7/1/2008
Well, let's see. I noticed that this was listed under Angst/Humor. I can't tell if that is supposed to mean that it wasn't supposed to be a serious historical piece, or what. So I don't know how much you are shooting for historical accuracy, although I assume that that was at least somewhat important to you because you said you did a bit of research.

First of all, I think it's brave to try to pull off characterizations of such famous figures. I think your story was lacking a little when it comes to a sense of place. It felt rather modern, in how you described things and most of the dialogue (like the line "Hey, Lee, no hard feelings? Right?").

And I will point out a few historical inaccuracies, only because you did indicate that you did research:

First of all, it would be nearly impossible for any lieutenant to have contact with General Lee during battle. The general was kept in the rear (for the most part) and communication with him would have been done through the use of aides.

Second of all, (this is minor) General Lee arrived first at the McLean house on April 9. He ended up waiting for Grant.

Third of all, I am really confused about why Custer showed up at the signing of the surrender document. Nowhere in my readings has that come up. I was unable to tell if this was supposed to just be artistic license, or not.

Just some suggestions, since you said it would be welcome. Hope this helps.