Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Lee's General Order No. 9

Portrait of Gen. Robert E. Lee, by Edward Pine, On display at Lee Chapel, Lexington, Virginia

The banner has been poisoned by hatred to an extent where it no longer inspires reverence for dead men.

If there is truly a two-thirds majority to remove the flag in the SC legislature, then I hope that the members of the legislature who would otherwise hold out, would not do so. I hope they find inspiration from from General Lee, and not be drug along, kicking and screaming, when their vote would do no good.

When the outcome of the fight is no longer in doubt, my advice is to accede gracefully.
Headquarters, Army of Northern Virginia, 10th April 1865.
General Order
No. 9

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 the result from no distrust of them.

But feeling that valour and devotion could accomplish nothing that could compensate for the loss that must have attended the continuance 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 the agreement, officers and men can return to their homes and remain 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 for myself, I bid you an affectionate farewell.

— R. E. Lee, General, General Order No. 9

Bid the flag an affectionate farewell. Allow it to exit gracefully.


  1. I couldn't disagree more. What ever South Carolina wants to do is South Carolina's business but, the general point about quietly taking the flags down, and by our silence, endorsing every heinous thing that has been said about our ancestors and their struggles is unacceptable to me. Are we going to quietly take down the monuments?

    1. I don't extend this to apply to monuments.

  2. "I here declare my unmitigated hatred to Yankee rule -- to all political, social and business connection with the Yankees and to the Yankee race. Would that I could impress these sentiments, in their full force, on every living Southerner and bequeath them to every one yet to be born! May such sentiments be held universally in the outraged and down-trodden South, though in silence and stillness, until the now far-distant day shall arrive for just retribution for Yankee usurpation, oppression and atrocious outrages, and for deliverance and vengeance for the now ruined, subjugated and enslaved Southern States!

    ...And now with my latest writing and utterance, and with what will be near my latest breath, I here repeat and would willingly proclaim my unmitigated hatred to Yankee rule--to all political, social and business connections with Yankees, and the perfidious, malignant and vile Yankee race."