Diary of Orrin Brown—April 10, 1865

Lee Farewell AddressDiary of Orrin Brown, New Berne, North Carolina

Monday–Apr. 10th

We had a fine shower in the night which makes every thing look lively and pleasant in natures line. We were routed out about 6 AM washed ourselves and got ready for breakfast, then marched down street about 4 blocks and they were crowded so that we had to wait over an hour, and then our breakfast consisted of Corn meal, and Molasses Softbread and a cup of Coffee. Then they came around took our names and the command we belonged too and our rank we then marched out 2 1/2 miles to Camp Chattanooga a Convalescent Camp and we lay there in the road over an hour, and it began to rain, then the Sargent came out and marched to our quarters which was log cabbins with roofs, and we nearly all got wet before we got our tents up, and it rained the rest of the day more or less. Our supper consisted of a cup of Coffee and three Hardtack. Takeing it all together it is useing sick soldiers rather rough, but Uncle Samuel dont know how his boys are treated if he did it would not be so a great while. I read 3 Chapt. today. I saw the first regular Fort today that I have ever seen but I did not learn the name of it. It lies just south of the town of Newberne and there is another one on the South East of town.

On 10 April 1865, after surrendering to Gen. Grant, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee issued  his farewell address to the former Army of Northern Virginia, at Appomattox Court House.

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 brave 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 valor and devotion could accomplish nothing that could compensate for the loss that must have attended the continuance of the contest, I 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 a consciousness of duty faithfully performed; and I earnestly pray that a Merciful God will extend to you His blessings 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 all an affectionate farewell.

Image and text from Civil War at the Smithsonian.



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