National Archives and Records Administration



Civil War and Reconstruction (1850-1877)

Appomattox Court House

Signing this form, Robert E. Lee and six of his staff officers became paroled prisoners of war, pledged not to take up arms against the United States.

The surrender formalities lasted 4 days. On April 9, 1865, Generals Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee met in the parlor of a house in Appomattox Court House, Virginia, to discuss the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia. The terms were generous: The men of Lee's army could return home in safety if they pledged to end the fighting and deliver their arms to the Union Army. On April 12, 1865, in a quiet but emotional ceremony, the infantry of Lee's army surrendered their arms, folded their battle flags, and received their parole papers, which guaranteed them safe passage home.

Parole of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and six of his staff officers, April 9, 1865


Parole of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and six of his staff officers, April 9, 1865


National Archives, Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1780's-1917

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Last updated: July 1, 1998
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