The Confederate Instrument of Surrender was the legal instrument that established the armistice ending the Second Great War in North America. It was signed by President of the Confederate States Don Partridge and U.S. General Irving Morrell on July 14, 1944, at Pineville, North Carolina, with little fanfare or ceremony, and once signed, the Confederate States effectively ceased to exist as a political entity.
The instrument comprised six articles.
Article One specifically stated that the C.S. unconditionally surrendered to the U.S. all land, sea, and air forces under the direct control of the Confederate government.
Article Two set the end of the war for July 14, 1944, at 1801 hours (6:01 pm, the day the instrument was signed). Confederate forces were to surrender all weapons and equipment to U.S. commanders. No equipment was to be damaged, no ships to be scuttled. The article specifically applied this to the superbomb laboratory in Lexington, Virginia.
Article Three required that the various camps used for the mass murder of Negroes immediately cease operation at the instant the war ended. The officers in charge were to immediately begin taking care of any prisoners within the camp, and surrender to U.S. authorities. Those attempting to escape were summarily executed.
Article Four required all Confederate military commanders to obey orders from U.S. commanders. All communications were to be done in plain language and no codes.
Article Five stated that any final political settlement would supersede this instrument.
Article Six stated that the U.S. could take whatever punitive measures it deemed appropriate in the event that C.S. military and political leaders did not act in accordance with the surrender.
After Morrell read the terms, Partridge signed it. Partridge, at Morrell's direction, used the wireless in his vehicle to relay the terms of the surrender to his remaining commanders. Incredibly, while recognizing much of the Instrument as victor's justice, he expected to get back to the business of running the CSA, even though the document he'd just read and signed made clear that the CSA no longer existed as a sovereign nation. He was immediately taken into custody pending investigation as to whether he'd been complicit in any crimes against humanity.
References[edit | edit source]
- In at the Death, pgs. 388-389.
- Ibid., pgs. 389-390.