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    Description

    1865 Manuscript Official Copy of Robert E. Lee's Farewell Address, also known as "General Order No 9." 1¼ pages, 8" x 10" letterhead of the State of Virginia Executive Department at Richmond (1863 watermark), Head Quarters A.N.V., April 10, 1865. A war-date transcription on official State of Virginia letterhead of Lee's touching and heartfelt farewell to his troops in the Army of Northern Virginia. It reads, in full:

    "After four years of arduous service marked by unsurpassed courage and fortitude, the Army of Northern Va 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 sacrifice of those whose past services have endeared them to their countrymen.

    By the terms of the agreement, Officers & men can return to their homes & 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 & protection. With an 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 all an affectionate farewell. R. E. Lee, General
    "
    This very well could be Virginia Governor William 'Extra Billy' Smith's personal copy of the Order since he fled the capital to Lynchburg and then to Danville taking government documents with him, directly responsible for the survival of documents such as these.
    Provenance: The Tharpe Collection of American Military History

    Exhibited: The Liberty Heritage Society Museum




    ‡ The owner placed a late bid on this unreserved lot and repurchased it, subject to applicable commission.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2007
    24th-25th Sunday-Monday
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