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Articles of Agreement Relating to the Surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia (1865)

On April 9, 1865, Generals Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee met in the parlor of a house in Appomattox Court House, VA, to discuss this surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia, which would end the Civil War. According to the terms, the men of Lee's army could return home in safety if they pledged to end the fighting and deliver their arms to the Union Army.

The surrender formalities to end the Civil War lasted 4 days. On April 9, 1865, Generals Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee met in the parlor of a house in Appomattox Court House, VA, to discuss the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia. The terms were generous: The men of Lee's army could return home in safety if they pledged to end the fighting and deliver their arms to the Union Army.

On April 12, 1865, in a quiet but emotional ceremony, the infantry of Lee's army surrendered their arms, folded their battle flags, and received their parole papers, which guaranteed them safe passage home.

For more information, visit The National Archives' American Originals Online Exhibit.

Transcript of Articles of Agreement Relating to the Surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia (1865)

Appomattox Court House Virginia
April 10, 1865

Agreement entered into this day in regard to the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia to the United States Authorities.

1st The troops shall march by Brigades and Detachments to a designated point, stock their Arms, deposit their flags, Sabres, Pistols, etc. and from thence march to their homes under charge of their Officers, superintended by their respective Division and Corps Commanders, Officers, retaining their side Arms, and the authorized number of private horses.

2. All public horses and public property of all kinds to be turned over to Staff Officers designated by the United States Authorities.

3. Such transportation as may be agreed upon as necessary for the transportation of the Private baggage of Officers will be allowed to accompany the Officers, to be turned over at the end of the trip to the nearest U.S. Quarter Masters, receipts being taken for the same.

4. Couriers and Wounded men of the artillery and Cavalry whose horses are their own private property will be allowed to retain them.

5. The surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia shall be construed to include all the forces operating with that Army on the 8th inst., the date of commencement of negotiation for surrender, except such bodies of Cavalry as actually made their escape previous to the surrender, and except also such forces of Artillery as were more than Twenty (20) miles from Appomattox Court House at the time of Surrender on the 9th inst.

[Endorsements]

 

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