General Robert E. Lee’s Farewell Order

April 10, 1865

After General Robert E. Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia to General Grant on April 9, at Appomattox Court House, Virginia he issued the following to his army. Known officially as “General Orders No. 9, it is more commonly known as “General Robert E. Lee’s Farewell Order.” The Commander in Chief of the Confederate Army is saying goodbye to his loyal army.

General Robert E. Lee’s General Orders No. 9 – His Farewell Order

Headquarters Army of Northern Virginia, 10th April 1865

General Orders No. 9

Appomattox Court House, Virginia

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 brave survivors of some 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 could compensate for the loss that must have attended the continuance of the contest, I 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 a consciousness of duty faithfully performed; and I earnestly pray that a Merciful God will extend to you His blessings 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 all an affectionate farewell.

RE Lee

Ulysses S. Grant’s General Order to the “Soldiers of the Armies of the United States”

Lee Surrenders to Grant

April 9, 1865

Appomattox Court House, Virginia

Ulysses S. Grant

Ulysses S. Grant

On April 9, in the parlor of Wilmer McLean’s house at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia to Union General Ulysses S. Grant. The Confederacy was defeated, and the Union preserved.

Wilmer McClean had moved to Appomattox Court House from Manassas, Virginia. During the battle of First Manassas (First Bull Run), McClean had an artillery shell come down his chimney and wind up in a stew cooking for Confederate General Beauregard. After this, McClean moved to Appomattox Court House in hopes of finding a more peaceful place to live. You could say that Wilmer McClean had the Civil War begin in the kitchen of his home at Manassas, and then end in the parlor of his home at Appomattox Court House.




Robert E. Lee

Robert E. Lee

With General Lee’s historic surrender at Appomattox Court House, not all activities and bloodshed of the Civil War immediately ended. War, and Confederate surrenders, continued on for a bit.

At New Orleans on May 26, Confederate General Simon Boliver Buckner’s army is the last Rebel army to surrender. On May 13, in Texas at a place called Palmito Ranch (also called Palmito Hill) near the Rio Grande, there is a skirmish between Confederate and Union troops. This skirmish is recognized as the last military action of the Civil War. It was a Confederate victory, but it was too little too late.