1865 Copy of General Robert E. Lee's Order No. 9

Value (2017) | $6,000 Auction$8,000 Auction
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GUEST:
Well, these are a couple of documents that have been passed down through the family to me. They were originally drawn up by-- or copied if you will-- by my great-grandfather Edwin Lee Hoffman, who was a captain in the Confederate Army. He started out his service right at the beginning, as soon as Virginia left the Union. He was in a little militia unit from Martinsburg-- then Virginia, now West Virginia. They eventually became D Company of the 2nd Virginia Infantry, in the Stonewall Jackson Brigade. He served for several years, until he was wounded at Kernstown, and he had several bouts of diarrhea during the war, and by 1864 was deemed unfit for combat duty, so he was reassigned to what they call the Invalid Corps. He was the post adjutant at a supply depot in Staunton, Virginia, for the last year of the war. The adjutant is normally the person that takes care of doing the paperwork.

APPRAISER:
Right, right.

GUEST:
So he would have received a copy of the orders of surrender and also-- it's General Lee's order of surrender-- and also his farewell to his troops, which he then made another handwritten copy of, and they're official copies.

APPRAISER:
April 9, 1865, General Lee's army surrenders. About 28,000 troops at Appomattox Courthouse. And, on April 10, Robert E. Lee issues his famous General Order No. 9, which we have right here, on the copy of it, as you said. As he was the adjutant, he would have been required to write these up, and they would have been read to the troops.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
The war's finally over, thousands of dead, and at the end here... he's talking about surrendering the army, but at the end he's just-- he's trying to get them to go home "with an unceasing admiration "of your constancy and devotion to your country, and a grateful remembrance of your kind consideration. For myself, I bid you an affectionate farewell." You read all the histories of Lee, his men loved him, and this is just another example of why they did.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
And we've got this document over here, which is also April 10, and it's basically the agreement on how the troops will be surrendered. They'll turn in their equipment-- sabers, pistols, flags, and they will march home as a unit, in a brigade, and they'll be exchanged later. Well, there are the original copies of Lee's order, and then there are the copies that were...

GUEST:
Made.

APPRAISER:
Right, copies that were made to be read to the troops of the original order. So we talked about it for quite a while, and we thought that an auction appraisal, probably conservatively, would be in the $6,000 to $8,000 range. And they could-- they could do better than that.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
I mean, it's just-- it's one of those moments in time.

GUEST:
Right, yeah, I've tried researching it, and really have not come up with anything.

APPRAISER:
Yeah, yeah, and there's probably a lot of these made at the time, and there's not a lot of them that seem to survive.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Skinner, Inc.
Boston, MA
Appraised value (2017)
$6,000 Auction$8,000 Auction
Event
Harrisburg, PA (June 03, 2017)
Material
Ink , Paper

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