Robert E. Lee to The Army of Northern Virginia
Appomattox Court House, Virginia, 10 April 1865.
Document Signed, 1 page.
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 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 valour and devotion
could accomplish nothing that would compensate for the loss that would have attended the continuance of
the contest, I determined to avoid the useless sacrifice of those whose past services have endeared them to
By the terms of the Agreement Officers and men can return to their home and remain there until
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 all an affectionate farewell.
R E Lee