A Week of Remembrances

by HB Auld, Jr.

Today marks the beginning of the end for the Confederate States of America, 156 years ago today. (credit: Phil Galloway for the original post)

Back on April 9, 1865, Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his Army of Northern Virginia to Union General Ulysses S. Grant. The army was down from nearly 100,000 earlier in the war to a mere 28,000 by then.

Union forces blocked the Confederate attempt to unite with General Joseph Johnston’s troops in North Carolina and so in order to prevent any further bloodshed in an unwinnable situation General Lee chose to surrender.

Although that major surrender is remembered as the official end to the war, that was not the end of the war however. Joe Johnston surrendered the largest Rebel army on April 26, some 90,000 men. General Richard Taylor surrendered another 10,000 in Alabama on May 4th and General Edmund Kirby Smith surrendered in the Trans-Mississippi arena on May 26th. The final surrender of land forces occurred in Indian Territory on June 23rd when Cherokee Brigadier General Stand Watie threw in the white flag. The last Confederate unit to surrender was the CSS Shenandoah which had been at sea and had not received the news of the collapse. She gave herself up in August, thus bringing a close to a horrific war.

Today marks the beginning of a week of historical remembrances. The Civil War officially ended today, April 9, 1865. The start of the Civil War began on April 12, 1861, (160 years ago), with the firing on Fort Sumter. President Abraham Lincoln was shot on April 14, 1865. He died the following morning on Saturday, April 15, 1865. The RMS Titantic struck an iceberg and sank in the early morning hours of April 15, 1912, in the North Atlantic Ocean, four days into her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City.

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