Lee, Robert E. (1807-1870) General Order No. 9
Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC00035
Author/Creator: Lee, Robert E. (1807-1870)
Place Written: Head Quarters, Army of Northern Virginia
Type: Document signed
Date: 10 April 1865
Pagination: 1 p. ; 25 x 20 cm
Summary of Content: Lee’s farewell order to his troops, written the day after his surrender to Grant. The order reflects Lee’s respect and admiration for his men, and his unwillingness to continue to sacrifice so many for a lost cause. On 7 April 1865, Ulysses S. Grant sent a message to Lee proposing the surrender of Lee’s Army. Petersburg, Richmond, and almost every other major Southern city had fallen to the Union forces. Lee accepted Grant’s terms on 9 April 1865.
Historical Era: Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861-1877
Full Transcript: Head. Qr. Army N.Va., April 10, 1865, General Order No. 9}, After four years of arduous service, marked by unsurpassed courage and fortitude the Army of Northern Virginia has been compelled to yeild [sic] to overwhelming numbers. 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 would compensate the loss that would attend the continuance of the contest - I determined to avoid the useless sacrifice of those whose finest services have endeared them to their countrymen. By the terms of the agreement Officers and men can return to their homes and remain until exchanged. You will take with you the satisfaction that proceeds from the consciousness of duty faithfully performed, and I earnestly pray that a merciful God will extend to you His blessing and protection - With unceasing 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, R E Lee, Genl
Sub Era: The American Civil War
Background: This document is a transcript in the hand of Edgar Marshall, Lee’s Adjutant.
Resource: The surrender of Robert E. Lee, 1865Order Image