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April 09, 2004

Today's little historical tidbits...


Well, it's a big day for surrenders in US military history:

[Ed. Note: Despite the seeming best hopes of Kos's commenters, this year will not be added to the total for this date]

1865 Appomattox. Lee & the Army of Northern Virginia pack it in. Not too many civil wars in the history of man ended on such a 'civil' note. Usually there is a lot of dangling from trees and lightposts or standing in front of walls.

Headquarters Army of N. Va. April 10, 1865 General Orders, 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 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 this 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 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 all an affectionate farewell.

R.E. Lee, General

1942 Bataan: c. 75,000 U.S. & Filipino troops surrender to the Japanese, setting the stage for the Death March.


Most of the Philippine defenders were located near the southern Bataan city of Mariveles. Here the Japanese assembled their prisoners for the 55-mile march from Mariveles to the rail town of San Fernando. Here as many as 100 prisoners were loaded into box cars measuring 8 x 40 feet, and taken 24 miles to Capas, Tarlac. The deadly trip culminated with the 6-mile march to the infamous Camp O'Donnell.

For our neighbors to the north it's a day for martial pride:

Click the picture to visit a Canadian's memorial to Canada's soldiers. While you are at the site, read this letter.

1917 Vimy Ridge France stormed by Canadian troops. The entire Canadian Army in France fought together for the first time in the war at Vimy. They weren't a big army, but they, pretty much like all anglosphere armies, were a tough one!

Then there's those darn fractious Georgians. First 1861 and then again, 130 years later.

1991 Georgia votes to secede from US.

Oops. Forgot the "SR". Never mind.

Hat tip: Strategy Page.