"The Appomattox of the Third Termers"

The final cartoon of Puck's anti-Grant campaign is one of the most acid commentaries ever to flow from Keppler's lithocrayon. In this scene the artist took the General's greatest and, as legend would have it, most gracious triumph and thrust it into the present day political situation with devastating symmetry. Instead of General Lee capitulating to the Union victor, it is "Unconditional Surrender" himself who plays the part of the loser. Behind him the various lieutenants of the Stalwart army lay down their weapons in submission; of particularly ironic interest is Grand Army of the Republic president John A. Logan. The winners of this political battle celebrate from their positions around "Fort Alliance" whose ideology is clarified to be "Anti-Third-Term". This group is clearly Mugwump in its composition, as its leaders are Schurz and Curtis, and Keppler's symbolic appearance as Puck clearly aligns him on the liberal side of the battle.

If Grant can be considered to be one of the central icons of Gilded Age politics because he represented the triumph of Republicanism in the Civil War, then it stands to reason that one of the war's the most poignant episodes in which he played a leading role would occupy an equally prominent position in the public's imagination. By recalling this scene to the people Keppler not only directed a stinging barb at their hero but also chronicles the end of Stalwart political dominance.