Kirby Smith

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“Voluntary dispersion of Kirby Smith’s Confederate army at Shreveport, La., May 23rd, 1865. There was a great difference between the surrenders of General Lee and Kirby Smith. The former surrendered his army to General Grant; while the army under Kirby Smith dispersed itself, leaving the Confederate leader no army. Our sketch represents the manner in which those roughest of the Confederates broke up their military organization, and scattered to their homes and haunts. The following is Kirby Smith’s orders, dated Houston, May 30th. ‘Soldiers: The day after I refused the demand of the Federal Government to surrender this department I left Shreveport for Houston; I ordered the Missouri, Arkansas and Louisiana troops to follow. My purpose was to concentrate the entire strength of the department, await negotiations, and, if possible, secure terms alike honorable to soldier and citizen. I reached here to find the Texas troops disbanded and hastening to their homes. They had forsaken their colors and commanders; had abandoned the cause for which we were struggling, and appropriated the public property to their personal use. Soldiers, I am left a commander without an army; a general without troops. You have made your choice. The enemy will now possess your country, and dictate his own laws. You have voluntarily destroyed your organization and thrown away all means of resistance.’"— Frank Leslie, 1896


Frank Leslie Famous Leaders and Battle Scenes of the Civil War (New York, NY: Mrs. Frank Leslie, 1896)


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