General Lee's Farewell Address
In the archives of a gentleman's club in this rural town is what is believed to be a signed copy of one of the most famous documents in the history of the Civil War.
April 9, 1865. With his Confederate armies on their last legs, Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrenders to General Ulysses S. Grant. The Rebellion is over. After four years of fierce fighting, Confederate troops are persuaded to lay down their arms by a now legendary document. Robert E. Lee's farewell address, "General Order #9," also known as Lee’s farewell address, is composed at Appomattox, Virginia, upon the surrender of his troops in April 1865 and allows Confederate troops to retain their dignity in the face of a crushing defeat.
The Beech Island Agricultural Club, a social organization formed by local plantation owners in the 1840s, has owned this copy for almost 120 years.
Now the group's membership chair and a descendant of one of the club's founders, has asked the History Detectives to find out if local lore is true — is this really the "original" copy of "General Order #9?"
- Related Investigation Copperhead Cane How did this cane inspire a fiery political movement that threatened Lincoln's presidency?
- Also with Elyse Luray WWII Landing Craft Did this vessel land tanks on the beaches of France during World War II?
- Also with Wes Cowan Lewis & Clark's Cane Was this family heirloom a gift from the famous explorers Lewis and Clark?
- Also with Wes Cowan Chinese Poems Who were the authors of the poems describing bitterness and misery on the Angel Island detention center walls?
- Related Investigation Liberia Letter Does this letter help to trace one freed man’s dream to return to Africa?
- Also in Season 1 Movie Palace Is this small Wisconsin town theater the country's first great movie palace?
This is a place for opinions, comments, questions and discussion; a place where viewers of History Detectives can express their points of view and connect with others who value history. We ask that posters be polite and respectful of all opinions. History Detectives reserves the right to delete comments that don’t conform to this conduct. We will not respond to every post, but will do our best to answer specific questions, or address an error.