In acknowledgement of the sad events of April 6 - 9, 1865. After the Army of Northern Virginia, General Robert Edward Lee commanding, departed the Petersburg and Richmond defenses, they tried to maneuver to join General Joseph Johnston’s army in North Carolina and continue the fight. However, the Army of the Potomac commanded by General U.S. Grant continued to restrict Lee’s movements and eventually on April 6 cut off about 1/4 of his Army at Sayler’s Creek, Virginia and captured them. The remains of the gallant Army of Northern Virginia attempted to break out of the confinement but they were unsuccessful. Starving, outnumbered, worn out and with few supplies General Lee exchanged notes with General Grant which led to their meeting at the McLean house at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia on April 9, 1865. General Lee was heard to say that he would rather die a thousand deaths than to face Grant and ask for terms. However, as he did all his life, he did his duty. This time it was to avoid the further loss of life in the nearly hopeless situation his Army was in.
Read this narrative of the events mentioned above and think of how it hurt our beloved General Lee to cease fighting for the liberty of the Confederate States of America. It is well written and very factual.
Here is the Farewell to the Army of Northern Virginia from General Robert E. Lee, Commanding. Notice he said the Army was “compelled to yield…” He did not say surrender.
God bless the South and God bless Robert E. Lee.