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[711] commander, struggling with each other to wring him once more by the hand. It was a most affecting scene. Rough and rugged men, familiar with hardship, danger, and death in a thousand shapes, had tears in their eyes, and choked with emotion as they thronged around their old chieftain, uttering words to lighten his burden and mitigate his pain. He had so often himself uttered such words to them, when they bled on the battlefield or toiled on the weary march. Now simple as ever, very serious but collected, with the marks of a Roman manhood yet about him, he turned to his soldiers, not to insult the occasion with a harangue or explanations or regrets, but merely to say, as the signs of tearless suffering gathered in his face: “Men, we have fought through the war together; and I have done the best I could for you.”

The day after the surrender Gen. Lee took formal leave of his army in the following plain and manly address:

Headquarters Army of Northern Virginia, April 10, 1865.
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 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 could compensate for the loss that would have attended the continuation of the contest, I have determined to avoid the useless sacrifice of those whose past services have endeared them to their countrymen.

By the terms of agreement, officers and men can return to their homes, and remain there 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 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 an affectionate farewell.

R. E. Lee, General.

On the 12th April, the Army of Northern Virginia had its last parade. On that day, in pursuance of an arrangement of the commissioners of surrender, the troops marched by divisions to a spot in the neighbourhood of Appomattox Court-house, where they stacked arms and deposited accoutrements. About seventy-five hundred men laid down their arms; but the capitulation included in addition some eighteen thousand stragglers who were unarmed, and who came up to claim the benefit of surrender and accept paroles. With remarkable delicacy, Gen. Grant was not present at the ceremony, and had not been visible since his interview of the 9th with Gen. Lee.

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