As stated, April 9, 1865, in the surrender terms, "The officers
to give their individual paroles not to take up arms against the government of the United States until properly exchanged
and each company or regiment commander sign a like parole for the men of their commands... This done, each officer
and man will be allowed to return to his home, not to be disturbed by United States Authority so long as they observe their
paroles and the laws in force where they reside."
On the morning of April 10, 1865, Generals Lee and
Grant had their last meeting at Appomattox Court House. General Lee requested that his men be given some type of evidence
that they were paroled prisoners to protect them from arrest or annoyance.
General Gibbon was ordered to arrange for a small printing press
to print blank parole forms. General George Sharpe supervised the operation, which was carried out at the Clover
Hill Tavern. Printing began the afternoon of the 10th and continued from daylight to a late hour each night through the 15th.
The total number of officers and men paroled was 28,231.
General Gibbon reported, "Rolls in duplicate had been prepared of the
different commands and on the backs of these was placed a printed slot duly filled out and signed by General George H. Sharpe,
the assistant provost marshal, each party keeping a copy. Such officers as did not belong to any particular organization signed
the parole for themselves. In addition, each officer and man, when he separated from his command, was given one of
the paroles to which I have referred after it was properly filled out and signed by his immediate commanding officer."