General Order No.9
Confederate General Robert E. Lee issued his Farewell Address, also known as General Order No. 9, to his Army of Northern Virginia on April 10, 1865, the day after he surrendered the army to Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant. Lee's surrender was instrumental in bringing about the end of the American Civil War. The text of the order, which were written and drafted by Col. Charles Marshall, edited and finalized by Lee, were issued as follows:
Headquarters, Army of Northern Virginia, 10th April 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 yield to overwhelming numbers and resources. I need not tell the survivors of so many hard fought battles, who have remained steadfast to the last, that I have consented to the result from no distrust of them. But feeling that valour and devotion could accomplish nothing that could compensate for the loss that must have attended the continuance of the contest, I have determined to avoid the useless sacrifice of those whose past 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 an unceasing admiration of your constancy and devotion to your Country, and a grateful remembrance of your kind and generous consideration for myself, I bid you an affectionate farewell.
— R. E. Lee, General
This rare handwritten copy was composed and signed by J.B. Russell, likely James B. Russell who served on the staffs of Stephen Dodson Ramseur, John Pegram, and James A. Walker. The reverse is signed by Taylor Chenoweth of Brownsburg, Virginia, who is listed as a private in the 18th Virginia Cavalry. A wonderful historic document from the surrender at Appomattox.
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Inventory Number: CON 283 / SOLD