American Civil War: 1865

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American Civil War: 1865
Date Begun April 12, 1861
Date Ended April 9, 1865
Casualties Total: 1,032,200
Killed: 203,000
Died from other: 417,000
Wounded: 412,200
United States (Union)
34 star flag.png
President Abraham Lincoln
Vice-President Andrew Johnson
Secretary of State William Seward
Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton
Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles
Confederate States (Confederacy)
President Jefferson Davis
Vice-President Alexander Stephans
Secretary of State Judah P. Benjamin
Secretary of War John C. Breckinridge
Secretary of the Navy Stephan R. Mallory
Military Leaders
Union Confederate

As 1865 began, Lincoln and his generals knew there would be at least one final bloody battle before the rebels laid down their arms; yet when they did, it was on terms as generous and humane as possible.

Beginning of the end

George Peter Alexander Healy, The Peacemakers, ca. 1868.

President Lincoln was delighted with Savannah as a Christmas present. In his congratulatory letter to Sherman and Grant, the Commander in Chief said that he would leave the final phases of the war to his two leading professional soldiers. Accordingly, from City Point, on December 27, 1864, Grant directed Sherman to march overland toward Richmond. At 3:00 P.M. on December 31, Sherman agreed to execute this last phase of Grant's continental sweep. In the final 100 days of the war, the two generals would clearly demonstrate the art of making the principles of warfare come alive and would prove that each principle was something more than a platitude. The commanders had a common objective: Grant and Meade would continue to hammer Lee. Sherman was to execute a devastating invasion northward through the Carolinas toward a juncture with Meade's Army of the Potomac, then on the line of the James River. Their strategy was simple. It called for the massing of strength and exemplified an economy of force. It would place Lee in an untenable position, cutting him off from all other Confederate commanders and trapping him between two Union armies. Surprise would be achieved by reuniting all of Sherman's original corps when Schofield, moving from central Tennessee by rail, river, and ocean transport, arrived at the Carolina capes. Solidly based on a centralized logistical system with protected Atlantic supply ships at their side, Grant and Sherman were ready to end Lee's stay in Richmond.

General Robert E. Lee, however, was aware of the fact that time was running out, and he wrote to Jefferson Davis that the Confederates would have to concentrate their forces for a last-ditch stand. Recognizing his contributions, the Confederate Congress conferred on Lee the title of supreme commander of all Confederate armies, which to the general - who could no longer control events - was a hollow tribute. He was keenly aware of the fact that Sherman had inflicted damage on South Carolina much worse than in Georgia, and as he received the "honor" from his government, the Confederacy's last available port, Wilmington, North Carolina, fell under the guns on February 11; it would fall a week later.

The peace conference

Just a few days earlier on Feb. 3, 1865 representatives from the Confederate government met with Lincoln on board the steamer River Queen in Hampton Roads. Authorized by Davis, the trio of Vice-President Alexander Stephens, Senate pro tempore Robert M.T. Hunter, and John A. Campbell, Assistant Secretary of War, had come to seek conditions for peace between them, on the basis of two separate countries. Lincoln told the trio that Federal authority over "our one common country" was essential to peace; Lincoln had never accepted the Confederacy as a separate country, and with the war all but won he was not about to change his stance. He had also let them know of the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment, which prohibited slavery everywhere. He offered to buy the slaves for cash and end the war immediately. They refused, insisting on independence. The four-hour conference ended in failure and the war went on.[1]

The Carolinas

The first weeks of February have Sherman closing in on Columbia, the South Carolina capitol and the epicenter of the secession. Sporadic fighting and skirmishes occur as the rebels try in vain to slow the progress of his army; River's Bridge, Dillingham's Crossroads, Fishburn's Plantation, and Blackville occupy the first week. At Williston on the 8th, Sherman is confronted by a complaint delivered across the lines from Confederate cavalry leader General Joseph Wheeler, who claimed that Union soldiers were indiscriminately destroying private property in their path. "I hope you will burn all the cotton and save us the trouble," Sherman replied. "All you don't burn, I will. As to private houses occupied by peaceful families, my orders are not to molest or disturb them, and I think my orders are obeyed."

More skirmishes would follow: the separate bridges called Binnaker's and Holman's; Orangeburg Bridge on the 12th; Bates Ferry on the Congaree River on the 15th. Captured was the Augusta and Charleston Railroad, putting the Union commander in a threatening position between rebel forces in Augusta and the coast, which meant Charleston was now on its own. Continuing attacks by Southern calvary failed to slow Sherman, who is now within sight of Columbia. Confederate generals Beauregard and Hampton have no choice but to evacuate, completing it by mid-day on the 16th. At the same time in Charleston, General William Hardee made similar preparations.

On the morning of the 17th, the mayor and town officials ride out to Sherman to formally surrender the city, with the last of the Confederate cavalry leaving as Federal officers took their pick of the fine mansions in which to settle in for the night. By morning of the following day, two thirds of Columbia was in ashes; a fire started during the night and spread rapidly, despite many of the 20,000 inhabitants battling the blaze. The finger of blame would point in both directions; Sherman said it was fleeing rebels, while the residents blamed Sherman and his men, an accusation which would linger for years.

More small pitched battles continued. Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston was restored to command with orders to stop Sherman, but the most he could do was an orderly retreat. An attack on two of Sherman's corps near Bentonville on March 19 provided a glimmer of hope, but the following day more of Sherman's forces were on the scene and Johnston had to continue his retreat. There would be no further major attempts to stop Sherman as he continued north.

Black soldiers for Dixie

On March 19, citizens of the Confederate capitol of Richmond woke up to the sounds of Dixie being played by men marching in the streets; as they stood watching they observed an extraordinary sight: newly mustered black soldiers, bearing arms, and marching in separate companies with whites. Earlier in the year, General Lee had suggested that blacks take up arms to defend the country, stating "We must decide whether the negroes will fight for us or against us." His suggestion was a practical one: the war was taking a toll on men they could not replace, while the North's supply was seemingly endless, and he proposed granting freedom to those who enlisted. But the idea was abhorent to many; to them, a black slave could not be a soldier, let alone be rewarded with freedom, and the point of the war was to maintain the Southern way of life - which was dependent upon slavery. "If slaves will make good soldiers than our whole theory of slavery is wrong" said Georgia Senator Howell Cobb. Mustered too late in the war, these soldiers never saw action.

Eastern Theater

As before, Lincoln assembled another peace conference on board the River Queen, but this time the peacemakers were Lincoln's leading generals. On March 28, Grant, Sherman, and Admiral David Dixon Porter sat down with the president to discuss the terms of surrender which Lincoln anticipated would happen very soon. The two questions on their minds were summed up by Sherman in his Memoirs: "What was to be done with the rebel armies when defeated? And what should be done with the political leaders, such as Jeff. Davis, etc.? Should we allow them to escape, etc.?" Lincoln wanted no more bloodshed; he wanted the rebels to lay down their arms and get back to work on their farms and in their shops. As to the leaders - Jefferson Davis in particular - Lincoln gave his answer in the form of a parable:

"A man once had taken the total-abstinence pledge. When visiting a friend, he was invited to take a drink, but declined, on the score of his pledge; when his friend suggested lemonade, which was accepted. In preparing the lemonade, the friend pointed to the brandy-bottle, and said the lemonade would be more palatable if he were to pour in a little brandy; when his guest said, if he could do so "unbeknown" to him, he would "not object." From which illustration I inferred that Mr. Lincoln wanted Davis to escape, "unbeknown" to him." [1]

Grant and Sherman now had an idea as to how to conduct the surrenders. Sherman gave his thoughts as he saw Lincoln for the last time:

"I know, when I left him, that I was more than ever impressed by his kindly nature, his deep and earnest sympathy with the afflictions of the whole people, resulting from the war, and by the march of hostile armies through the South; and that his earnest desire seemed to be to end the war speedily, without more bloodshed or devastation, and to restore all the men of both sections to their homes. In the language of his second inaugural address, he seemed to have "charity for all, malice toward none," and, above all, an absolute faith in the courage, manliness, and integrity of the armies in the field...We parted at the gangway of the River Queen, about noon of March 28th, and I never saw him again. Of all the men I ever met, he seemed to possess more of the elements of greatness, combined with goodness, than any other." [2]

Five Forks

William Sheridan's cavalry and VI Corps, fresh from his victory in the Shenandoah Valley, arrived in Petersburg towards the end of March and supplemented Grant's force. Now numbering 101,000 infantry, 14,700 cavalry, and 9,000 artillery - compared to Lee's 46,000 infantry, 6,000 cavalry, and 5,000 artillery - Grant renewed his efforts along a 38-mile front to get at Lee's right flank.

On March 29 Grant began his move to envelope Lee's right. Sheridan took his cavalry and pushed out to strike at Burke's Station by way of Dinwiddie Court; a railroad intersection (Southside and Danville Railroads) lay there. Lee had moved west as well, alerted to the threat. Lieutenant General Ambrose P. Hill - who would rather attack than defend - took his corps out of the trenches and assaulted the Union left in the swampy forests around White Oak Road, pushing Major General Gouveneur K. Warren's V Corps back at first, but Warren counterattacked and Hill was eventually driven back to his starting point on March 31. On that day Sheridan advanced toward Five Forks, a road junction southwest of Petersburg, and there encountered a strong Confederate force — cavalry plus two infantry divisions under Major General George E. Pickett, whom Lee had sent to hinder Sheridan. Pickett attacked and drove Sheridan back to Dinwiddie Court House, where he dug in; Pickett entrenched as well instead of pulling back to make contact with Hill, who had failed to destroy Warren, leaving a major gap between him and Pickett with Warren's corps in between. Sheridan, still formally the commander of the Army of the Shenandoah, had authority from Grant to commandier any nearby infantry corps of the Army of the Potomac, and he sent word to Warren to fall upon Pickett's exposed rear and destroy him; Warren's slowness in acting allowed Pickett to consolidate his position. On April 1 Sheridan attacked again, and again Warren had moved his corps too slow and put most of it in the wrong place; the ensuing debacle allowed Pickett to shift position. Late in the afternoon, however, the Union attack came in full force, hitting Pickett on both flanks. Outflanked, Pickett ordered a retreat, but his own slowness in retreating cost him nearly 5,000 men taken as prisoners.

It also convinced Lee to evacuate Petersburg, as he could no longer hold it. A message is sent to Davis on April 2, a Sunday, telling him that he and his cabinet would have to leave Richmond. Quietly gathering his family, he left church services and in the evening he is on a train to Danville, Virginia. Soldiers remaining had orders to burn military buildings, arsenals, and factories within the city. Union General Godfrey Weitzel would accept the city's surrender the next day.


Lee took the starving remains of his still-proud army west, hoping to feed them from supplies which he believed will arrive at Amelia Court House; when they don't he's forced to feed them from the countryside, all the while warding off Union attacks there and at Tabernacle Church. Sheridan sets his cavalry across the Danville Railroad at Jetersburg, cutting off an escape route and forcing Lee to move towards Farmville and skirmishes at Amelia Springs and Paine's Cross Roads on April 5. An accidental dividing of his army is an advantage for the Federals at Saylers Creek; Lee loses more than 8,000 men - one third of his army - to capture. The forced delay also benefitted the Federals in another way: they captured Lee's supply train.

On the 7th, Lincoln received a message sent to Grant from Sheridan: "If the thing is pressed, I think Lee might surrender." Lincoln wired to Grant: "Let the thing be pressed."

Grant learned of several trainloads of supplies and forage at Appomatox, and Sheridan made his move to capture them. He then sat down and composed a letter to Lee:

Commanding C. S. A.
The result of the last week must convince you of the hopelessness of further resistance on the part of the Army of Northern Virginia in this struggle. I feel that it is so, and regard it as my duty to shift from myself the responsibility of any further effusion of blood, by asking of you the surrender of that portion of the Confederate States army known as the Army of Northern Virginia.
Lieut.-General. [3]

The reply came soon, and was disappointing:

GENERAL: I have received your note of this day. Though not entertaining the opinion you express on the hopelessness of further resistance on the part of the Army of Northern Virginia, I reciprocate your desire to avoid useless effusion of blood, and therefore before considering your proposition, ask the terms you will offer on condition of its surrender.
R. E. LEE,
General. [4]

Still, Grant realized Lee's letter needed a reply, and he wrote out the terms he felt were based on Lincoln's remarks just days before:

Commanding C. S. A.
Your note of last evening in reply to mine of same date, asking the condition on which I will accept the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia is just received. In reply I would say that, peace being my great desire, there is but one condition I would insist upon, namely: that the men and officers surrendered shall be disqualified for taking up arms again against the Government of the United States until properly exchanged. I will meet you, or will designate officers to meet any officers you may name for the same purpose, at any point agreeable to you, for the purpose of arranging definitely the terms upon which the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia will be received.
Lieut.-General. [5]

During this exchange, Grant got what he termed "a sick headache"; mustard treatments and steam baths couldn't cure it, and Lee's reply to meet for discussions of things not involving a surrender made the headache worse:

GENERAL:—I received, at a late hour, your note of to-day. In mine of yesterday I did not intend to propose the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia, but to ask the terms of your proposition. To be frank, I do not think the emergency has arisen to call for the surrender of this army; but as the restoration of peace should be the sole object of all, I desired to know whether your proposals would lead to that end. I cannot, therefore, meet you with a view to the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia; but as far as your proposal may affect the Confederate States forces under my command, and tend to the restoration of peace, I should be pleased to meet you at ten A.M. to-morrow on the old stage-road to Richmond, between the picket-lines of the two armies.
R. E. LEE, General. [6]

"He still means to fight," Grant said.


At dawn on April 9, John B. Gordon's Second Corps attacked Sheridan's cavalry and quickly forced back the first line, while Confederate cavalry under Fitzhugh Lee moved around the Union flank. The second line, held by Ranald S. Mackenzie and George Crook, fell back. Gordon's troops charged through the Union lines and took the ridge, but as they reached the crest they saw the entire Union XXIV Corps in line of battle with the V Corps to their right. Immediately the battle fizzled out; Fitz Lee's cavalry withdrew and rode off towards Lynchburg. Ord's troops began advancing against Gordon's corps while the Union II Corps began moving against General James Longstreet's corps to the northeast. Colonel Charles Venable of Lee's staff rode in at this time and asked for an assessment, and Gordon gave him a reply he knew Lee didn't want to hear: "Tell General Lee I have fought my corps to a frazzle, and I fear I can do nothing unless I am heavily supported by Longstreet's corps." Upon hearing it Lee finally stated the inevitable: "Then there is nothing left me to do but to go and see General Grant, and I would rather die a thousand deaths." He then penned out a letter to Grant, and sent it through the lines:

GENERAL:—I received your note of this morning on the picket-line, whither I had come to meet you, and ascertain definitely what terms were embraced in your proposal of yesterday with reference to the surrender of this army. I now ask an interview, in accordance with the offer contained in your letter of yesterday, for that purpose.
R. E. LEE, General.

Upon reading it, the headache vanished.

A cease-fire was arranged, and several officers from both sides met to select a proper place for the surrender. At Appomatox Court House stood the only available structure considered proper enough: the home of Wilmer McLean, who had the previous bad luck to have lived on the site of the first battle of the War; he had moved to Appomatox where he had hoped "never to see another soldier again." Now, there were several in his parlor, with more showing up.

Lee arrived dressed in his finest uniform, a sash around his waist, and a sabre hanging at his side. He stood in McLean's parlor for thirty minutes when Grant finally arrived, wearing his uniform casually with mud-spattered boots and a private's overcoat with a general's shoulder-straps hastily sewn on. Pleasant conversation began, about times in the Mexican War, until Lee brought up the subject of the meeting. Grant replied the Lee's army "should lay down their arms, not to take them up again during the continuance of the war unless duly and properly exchanged." Lee suggested that the terms be made in writing:

April 9th, 1865.
Comd’g C. S. A.
GEN: In accordance with the substance of my letter to you of the 8th inst., I propose to receive the surrender of the Army of N. Va. on the following terms, to wit: Rolls of all the officers and men to be made in duplicate. One copy to be given to an officer designated by me, the other to be retained by such officer or officers as you may designate. The officers to give their individual paroles not to take up arms against the Government of the United States until properly exchanged, and each company or regimental commander sign a like parole for the men of their commands. The arms, artillery and public property to be parked and stacked, and turned over to the officer appointed by me to receive them. This will not embrace the side-arms of the officers, nor their private horses or baggage. This done, each officer and man will be allowed to return to their homes, not to be disturbed by United States authority so long as they observe their paroles and the laws in force where they may reside.
Very respectfully,
Lt. Gen. [7]

Lee read the document and said the terms would have a happy effect on the men, but saw something not mentioned that caused some distress. There were soldiers, cavalrymen, and artillerists who owned their own horses, and he wanted to know if these animals could be retained. Grant stated that according to the terms they would not, to which Lee reluctantly agreed. But after some thought - and with the realization that the spring planting season was about to start - Grant issued orders that all Confederates who claimed to own a horse or mule would be allowed to take them home to work their farms.

April 9, 1865.
GENERAL:—I received your letter of this date containing the terms of the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia as proposed by you. As they are substantially the same as those expressed in your letter of the 8th inst., they are accepted. I will proceed to designate the proper officers to carry the stipulations into effect.
R. E. LEE, General. [8]

That done, all that was left for Lee to do was to return to his lines, where he gave a few tear-filled remarks to his men. Grant on the other hand sent a simple message to Washington: "General Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia this afternoon on terms proposed by myself. The accompanying additional correspondence will show the conditions fully"[9]. The celebrations were stopped by Grant - who did not want to exult in the enemy's downfall - but there was wild euphoria in Washington where, despite heavy rain, some three thousand citizens came out to parade, play music, and celebrate what they thought was the end of the war. One of the parades ended at the White House, of which Lincoln came out to applause. Expecting a speech, the president asked for something else:

"Fellow citizens: I am very greatly rejoiced to find that an occasion has occurred so pleasurable that the people cannot restrain themselves. I suppose that arrangements are being made for some sort of a formal demonstration, this, or perhaps, tomorrow night. If there should be such a demonstration, I, of course, will be called upon to respond, and I shall have nothing to say if you dribble it all out of me before. I see you have a band of music with you. I propose closing up this interview by the band performing a particular tune which I will name. Before this is done, however, I wish to mention one or two little circumstances connected with it. I have always thought `Dixie’ one of the best tunes I have ever heard. Our adversaries over the way attempted to appropriate it, but I insisted yesterday that we fairly captured it. I presented the question to the Attorney General, and he gave it as his legal opinion that it is our lawful prize. I now request the band to favor me with its performance.’” [10]

But on the 10th of April there were still several major rebel armies in the field which had to be dealt with.

The ceremony

On April 10, Lee gave his farewell address to his army. The same day a six-man commission gathered to discuss a formal ceremony of surrender, even though no Confederate officer wished to go through with such an event. Brigadier General Joshua L. Chamberlain was the Union officer selected to lead the ceremony, and later he would reflect on what he witnessed on April 12, 1865, and write a moving tribute:

"The momentous meaning of this occasion impressed me deeply. I resolved to mark it by some token of recognition, which could be no other than a salute of arms. Well aware of the responsibility assumed, and of the criticisms that would follow, as the sequel proved, nothing of that kind could move me in the least. The act could be defended, if needful, by the suggestion that such a salute was not to the cause for which the flag of the Confederacy stood, but to its going down before the flag of the Union. My main reason, however, was one for which I sought no authority nor asked forgiveness. Before us in proud humiliation stood the embodiment of manhood: men whom neither toils and sufferings, nor the fact of death, nor disaster, nor hopelessness could bend from their resolve; standing before us now, thin, worn, and famished, but erect, and with eyes looking level into ours, waking memories that bound us together as no other bond;—was not such manhood to be welcomed back into a Union so tested and assured?
Instructions had been given; and when the head of each division column comes opposite our group, our bugle sounds the signal and instantly our whole line from right to left, regiment by regiment in succession, gives the soldier's salutation, from the "order arms" to the old "carry"—the marching salute. Gordon at the head of the column, riding with heavy spirit and downcast face, catches the sound of shifting arms, looks up, and, taking the meaning, wheels superbly, making with himself and his horse one uplifted figure, with profound salutation as he drops the point of his sword to the boot toe; then facing to his own command, gives word for his successive brigades to pass us with the same position of the manual,—honor answering honor. On our part not a sound of trumpet more, nor roll of drum; not a cheer, nor word nor whisper of vain-glorying, nor motion of man standing again at the order, but an awed stillness rather, and breath-holding, as if it were the passing of the dead!"

27,805 Confederate soldiers passed by that day, stacked their arms, and went home.

Durham's Station

Jefferson Davis had arrived in Greensboro, North Carolina on April 11, and immediately summond Johnston to assess his current strength. Still of the opinion that the war must continue, he pressed Johnston for a renewed offensive - this is, until members of what was left of his cabinet arrived and let the general know for the first time that Lee had surrendered. It was then that Davis faced the reality that the war was lost, and was persuaded to offer the best terms possible to the Union. Sherman, they plainly knew, was already in Raleigh, and Governor Zebulon B. Vance had offered to surrender the entire state to him [11]. Johnston already had his plans, and that was to avoid the needless waste of additional lives; he sent a message to Sherman on April 17 offering to meet at a selected place to discuss his surrender. Midway between the two camps, officers selected by both sides chose a small farm house owned by James Bennett, on the Hillsboro Road to the west of Durham's Station.

Both leading adversaries met and exchanged pleasentries. But as they entered the Bennett house Sherman indicated he wanted some time alone with Johnston. He then produced a telegram, handed it to Johnston, and watched his reaction carefully as he read shocking news from Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton. It was dated April 15: "President Lincoln was murdered about ten o'clock last night, in his private box at Ford's Theater..."[12] "The perspiration came out in large drops on his forehead, and he did not attempt to conceal his distress," wrote Sherman in his Memoirs. "He denounced the act as a disgrace to the age, and hoped I did not charge it to the Confederate Government. I told him I could not believe that he or General Lee, or the officers of the Confederate army, could possibly be privy to acts of assassination; but I would not say as much for Jeff. Davis, George Sanders, and men of that stripe."

As they both moved to the subject of the meeting, Johnston expressed a willingness to not only surrender his army, but all remaining Confederate armies in the field. His request also included additional military and political matters: arms were to be returned to the various state arsenals and stores; state governments then operating were to be recognized and not interferred with upon taking an oath of allegiance to the Union; the people were to be restored their political rights and property, with a promise of general amnesty. Excited, Sherman felt that he could end the war with a quick stroke of the pen, and on the following day had a document drafted for signing - it included the re-admission of Confederate states with full rights and citizenship.

The surrender proved to be a bombshell. The new president Andrew Johnson presented it to an emergency meeting of his cabinet on April 21; they denounced it unanimously, Stanton suggesting there were motives of treason on Sherman's part. Grant was ordered to meet with Sherman, tell him the surrender was rejected, and unless a new document was signed, based on terms given to Lee - and restricted to Johnston's army alone - that Sherman was to renew hostilities within 48 hours. When informed about it, Jefferson Davis ordered Johnston to disperse his men to reassemble in the southwest to continue the fight.

Johnston utterly rejected Davis' order. In a caustic message to his president, he said "We have to save the people, spare the blood of the army and save the high civil functionaries. Your plan, I think, can only do the last." On the following day, April 26, 1865, Johnson signed a new document based on the one signed at Appomatox, which included troops within his own department, a total of 89,000 men.

Remaining surrenders

The last fight of the war took place May 12–13 at Palmito Ranch, Texas, where 350 Confederates under Colonel John S. Ford fought 800 Federals under Colonel Theodore H. Barrett. It was a Confederate victory.[13] Learning of Lee's surrender the next day, they lost morale quickly and walked away from the field.

Johnston's surrender effectively ended the war in the east, leaving three major commands left in the field. A week later Lt. General Richard Taylor, son of former U.S. president Zachary Taylor, surrendered his army of 12,000 men within his command of the Department of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana on May 4 at Mobile, Alabama. Lt. General E. Kirby Smith, commander of the Trans-Mississippi Department, surrendered on May 26. On June 23 Brig. General Stand Watie - himself a chief of the Cherokee Nation - rode into Doaksville near Fort Towson in Indian Territory (Oklahoma) and surrendered his battalion of Creek, Seminole, Cherokee, and Osage Indians, becoming the last Confederate general officer to lay down his arms.

On November 6, 1865, the raider CSS Shenandoah arrived in Liverpool, England. Her commander, James Iredell Waddell, learned of the end of hostilities in August, but stubbornly refused to surrender his ship in a Union port. Shenandoah was the last military unit of the Confederacy to surrender.

Articles in the series


The Official Records of the War of the Rebellion



  1. William C. harris, "The Hampton Roads Peace Conference: A Final Test of Lincoln's Presidential Leadership," Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association 21.1 (2000): online, by a conservative historian