Surrender Documents

The Civil War in actuality ended when Generals Grant and Lee sat at separate tables in the parlor of the McLean House at Appomattox Court House and wrote two separate letters. The original document signed by General Grant is at Stratford Hall, the birthplace of Robert E. Lee. The original letter of acceptance signed by General Lee was sent to the war department. The War Department sent it to the National Archives, but the original letter has not been located in recent years.

Below is a copy of the original terms of surrender:

 
Handwritten letter describing the terms of surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia
Handwritten letter describing the terms of surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia

Stratford Hall

Below is a typed copy of the terms of surrender:
THE SURRENDER TERMS

Grant and Lee met in the parlor of Wilmer McLean's home. They exchanged the following letters that would bring about the end of America's Civil War:

Terms of Surrender
Headquarters Armies of the United States
Appomattox C H Va Apl 9th 1865.
Gen. R. E. Lee,
Comd’g C. S. A.

General,
In accordance with the substance of my letter to you of the 8th inst., I propose to receive the surrender of the Army of N. Va. on the following terms, to wit;
Rolls of all the officers and men to be made in duplicate, one copy to be given to an officer to be designated by me, the other to be retained by such officer or officers as you may designate. The officers to give their individual paroles not to take up arms against the Government of the United States until properly exchanged, and each company or regimental commander to sign a like parole for the men of their commands.

The arms, artillery, and public property to be parked and stacked and turned over to the officers appointed by me to receive them. This will not embrace the side-arms of the officers nor their private horses or baggage. This done officers and men will be allowed to return to their homes, not to be disturbed by the United States authority as long as they observe their parole and the laws in force where they may reside.

Very respectfully
U. S. Grant
Lt. Gen

The following is a copy of the document that resides at Stratford:
 
Copy of a copy of Lee's handwritten letter of acceptance
Copy of a copy of Lee's handwritten letter of acceptance
Above is a copy of a copy of Lee's acceptance of the terms of surrender
 

The typed version of Lee's Acceptance Letter is:

Headquarters Army N. Va.
April 9th, 1865.
Lt. Gen. U. S. Grant
Com’dg Armies U. S.

General:
I have received your letter of this date containing the terms of the surrender of the Army of Northern Va, as proposed by you. As they are substantially the same as those expressed in your letter of the 8th inst, they are accepted. I will proceed to designate the proper officers to carry the stipulations into effect.

Very Respectfully
Your obt. Servt
(Sgd) R. E. Lee
General
 

General Order #9

General Order #9 is Lee's farewell letter to his troups after he surrendered his troops to General Grant. He read this to his troops on April 10,1865. His letter is as follows:
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 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 valor and devotion could accomplish nothing that would 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 the consciousness of duty faithfully performed, and I earnestly pray that a merciful God will extend to you His blessing and protection.
With an increasing admiration of your constancy and devotion to your country, and a grateful remembrance of your kind and generous considerations for myself, I bid you all an affectionate farewell.
R.E. LEE
Genl.

Last updated: June 7, 2022

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