Information

Surrender at Appomattox Courthouse


In early April 1865, Petersburg was abandoned by the Confederates as Lee made a desperate attempt to link up with Johnston to the southwest. Grant managed to cut off this march, then proposed terms of surrender. Grant offered generous terms:

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.

Lee accepted the terms. The war in Virginia was over.Johnston surrendered upon learning of the news from Appomattox. Some fighting continued in Alabama into early May. Jefferson Davis had escaped from Richmond and was apprehended in Georgia on May 10. On May 26 the last Confederate soldiers surrendered in Louisiana.


The Battle of Appomattox Court House

Appomattox Court House Battle Map

American Battlefield Trust

From April 2 nd and the Fall of Petersburg to April 9 th and the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox Court House, Confederate and Federal armies engaged in skirmishes and battles, including a major battle at Sailor’s Creek. The Confederates were desperate to get to Lynchburg for supplies and to break out to join Confederate forces in North Carolina. The Federals sought peace as Lincoln envisioned it, starting with the destruction or surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia.

The armies confronted each other on the gently rolling terrain in and around Appomattox Court House at dawn on April 9 th (G. Gallagher, 2000). Confederates of the Secord Corps, under the leadership of Major General John B. Gordon, swept forward across the ridgelines to clash with the Federal cavalry of Major General Philip Sheridan. Initial assaults were successful, but Federal infantry from Major General Charles Griffin’s Fifth Corps and Major General John Gibbon’s Twenty Fourth Corps arrived after a forced march. These men, including some 5,000 United States Colored Troops, blocked Lee’s army from accessing roads to Lynchburg and Danville (E. R. Varon, 2018, p. 259).

Confederates under the command of Lieutenant General James Longstreet could not provide support for Gordon because the Federal Second Corps of Major General Andrew A. Humphreys advanced against Longstreet’s troops (P. Schroeder, 2015). Grant, in a letter from April 7, had asked Lee to accept the “hopelessness of further resistance.” With his army surrounded, Lee now agreed with Grant’s assessment and ordered his officers to offer a white flag of truce.

Lee and Grant exchanged letters regarding the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia. Grant’s terms, reflecting Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address and Lincoln’s recent guidance provided at City Point, Virginia, required a promise to surrender arms and not engage in further conflicts against the United States (H. Porter, 2000). Grant did not ask for unconditional surrender (J. Waugh, 2012, p. 325). Lee accepted the terms.

Sergeant Major William McCoslin, serving in the 29 th Regiment USCI, declared in a May 1865 letter that “We the colored soldiers, have fairly won our rights by loyalty and bravery” (as cited in Varon, 2018). In contrast, Brigadier General Armistead Lindsay Long from the Army of Northern Virginia communicated that “It is impossible to describe the anguish of the troops when it was known that the surrender of the army was inevitable. Of all their trials, this was the greatest and hardest to endure” (as cited in Neal, 2016). On April 9, Colonel Elisha Hunt Rhodes, who served as part of the 2 nd Rhode Island Infantry, chronicled that the “Rebels are half starved, and our men have divided their rations with them . . . . We did it cheerfully” (as cited in Gallagher, 2000). Brevet Major General Joshua Chamberlain stated that “Brave men may become good friends,” but Chamberlain further reported that a Confederate officer was more uncertain: “You’re mistaken, sir . . . . You may forgive us but we won’t be forgiven. There is rancor in our hearts . . . which you little dream of” (1993, p. 201).

On the evening of April 9, Pvt. Hiram W. Harding, who served in the 9 th Virginia Cavalry Company D, described this poignant occasion in his diary: the “noble army of Northern Virginia was surrendered to day at ten Oclock & the Cavalry ordered to Buckingham courthouse there to be disbanded” (as cited in Janney, 2018). Federal officials printed parole passes for Confederate soldiers beginning on April 10 th from the Clover Hill Tavern the formal ceremony of the stacking of arms took place April 12 th . The American myth of Appomattox, Grant, and Lee and their individual and nuanced symbolism sparked simultaneously with the surrender (H. Howard, 2015).


Disaster at Sayler's Creek

Having lost his lead on Grant's men and believing his delay to be fatal, Lee departed Amelia on April 5 despite securing little food for his men. Retreating west along the railroad towards Jetersville, he soon found that Sheridan's men had arrived there first. Stunned as this development precluded a direct march to North Carolina, Lee elected not to attack due to the late hour and instead conducted a night march to the north around the Union left with the goal of reaching Farmville where he believed supplies to be waiting. This movement was spotted around dawn and Union troops resumed their pursuit.

The next day, Lee's army suffered a crushing reverse when elements were badly defeated at the Battle of Sayler's Creek. The defeat saw him lose around a quarter of his army, as well as several generals, including Lieutenant General Richard Ewell. Seeing the survivors of the fight streaming west, Lee exclaimed, "My God, has the army dissolved?" Consolidating his men at Farmville early on April 7, Lee was able to partially re-provision his men before being forced out by the early afternoon. Moving west, Lee hoped to reach supply trains that were waiting at Appomattox Station.


The Final Surrender: When General Lee Gave His Sword to General Grant

The surrender at Appomattox Court House was brought to a close a long, bloody, and emotion-filled chapter of American history.

Key point: Grant had won the day and so had the Union. With the surrender complete, he then ordered the Union artillery to cease firing in celebration since the Confederates were once agian fellow Americans.

When Confederate General Robert E. Lee learned on the morning of April 9, 1865, that Union infantry was both in front and behind of his meager army of 12,500 effectives as it approached Appomattox Court House in central Virginia, he resigned himself to the sad task before him. He must ride to Union lines and request an interview with Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant.

“There is nothing left me to do but go and see General Grant, and I would rather die a thousand deaths,” Lee told his staff.

Disaster at Sailor’s Creek Further Depleted Lee’s Already-Thin Ranks

A week earlier Lee had ordered Confederate forces in Richmond and Petersburg to retreat west toward a rendezvous at Amelia, a stop on the Richmond and Danville Railroad. At that time his army numbered about 36,000 men, but in a series of desperate clashes at Sailor’s Creek on April 6 a good chunk of his army was captured. Straggling also took a heavy tool.

Lee set out to meet with Grant shortly after Noon on Palm Sunday. He was escorted by Lt. Col. George Babcock of Grant’s staff and brought with him his adjutant, Lt. Col. Walter Taylor, his secretary, Lt. Col. Charles Marshall, and orderly Sergeant George Tucker. Grant had suggested in his correspondence that Lee choose the meeting place. So Lee sent Marshall ahead on the important task. Marshall selected sugar speculator Wilmer McLean’s red brick house.

This first appeared earlier and is being reposted due to reader interest.

Grant Makes Small Talk About Mexican War During Surrender

At 1:30 PM Grant entered McLean’s parlor and went immediately to shake Lee’s hand. They were a study in contrasts of age and attire. Grant in his early 40s wore a muddy and dusty uniform because his baggage had not caught up with him at the front. Lee in his late 50s was immaculately groomed in a dress uniform with polished brass buttons. Grant had difficulty reading Lee’s dignified demeanor. He did not fathom the deep sadness his adversary felt at having to surrender the remnant of a once formidable army.

Grant made small talk about their having met once in the Mexican War. When Lee asked for conditions, Grant said that the Confederates would be paroled but must pledge not to take up arms again against the U.S. government.

Shortly afterwards Lee rode off to inform his army of the terms, Union cannon began to boom in celebration. Grant ordered the firing stopped immediately, informing his staff, “The war is over. The rebels are our countrymen again.”

Appomattox Court House is situated in central Virginia about 90 miles west of Richmond and 18 miles east of Lynchburg. To reach it from east or west, take US 460. When approaching the town of Appomattox, take State Route 24 north to the National Park Service-administered site.

Speculators Dismantled McLean House, But Park Service Rebuilt It

Although there are a number of extant buildings within the park, such as Clover Hill Tavern, Meeks Store, and Woodson Law Office, the McLean House was dismantled in 1893 by speculators who concocted a money-making scheme. The speculators planned to reassemble the house in the nation’s capital as a war museum but nothing came of the scheme. Subsequently, the National Park Service rebuilt the house on its original foundation in the 1940s.

The best place to begin your visit is at the visitor center inside the reconstructed court house. Rangers and volunteers at the visitor center can answer questions about the park and the historical event that occurred on the site. The visitor center has museum exhibits, video programs, maps of the park, and restrooms.

Including the reconstructed court house, there are about 10 buildings (extant or reconstructed) that were in the village at the time of the surrender and are an integral part of the park. These are all within a short walk of the visitor center. Must-see sites are the McLean House and the Clover Hill Tavern. The tavern, which was built in 1819, is the oldest structure in the village. It was where Confederate parole passes were printed. Other key sites are a short drive away. They include the locations of Lee’s and Grant’s headquarters, which are at the east and west sides of the park, respectively.

A Tearful Farewell at the Stacking of Arms

On the Richmond-Lynchburg Stage Road, which passes in front of the court house, the surrendering Confederate soldiers on April 12 deposited their cannon, rifles, flags, and accoutrements in a ceremony observed by 5,000 Union soldiers who lined the road. Many tears were shed as Confederate soldiers said goodbye to each other to travel back to their farms and homes.


Ceremony and Legacy

Even in this relatively modest and reasonable form, Lee’s claim in the first sentence of General Orders No. 9 discounts the quality of Union generalship in the Eastern Theater from May 1864 to April 1865, as well as the efficacy of Union grand strategy during that period. It also passes over his increasing private doubts about the “unsurpassed courage and fortitude” of Confederate soldiers, thousands of whom deserted during the Appomattox Campaign. As the Lost Cause view of the war developed, it grew into a much larger, sweeping belief that the greater numbers and material strength of all Union forces made inevitable from the beginning the defeat of all Confederate forces, Confederate forces that nevertheless fought nobly and heroically in the face of this inevitable outcome. In his Personal Memoirs (Chapter 68) Grant sharply challenged this view, and many subsequent historians have done likewise. But the Lost Cause view played, and continues to play, a significant role in some versions of reconciliation, which focus on magnanimous victors welcoming the gallant vanquished back into the restored nation without mentioning the role played by slavery in the coming of the war and its subsequent prosecution.

Two noteworthy figures who helped enlarge the surrender at Appomattox into an image of national reconciliation were Confederate general John B. Gordon and Union general Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. Skeptics have argued that each man exaggerated or romanticized the role he played in the formal surrender ceremony, which took place on Wednesday, April 12, in the absence of both Grant, who left Appomattox on April 10 to see Lincoln in Washington, D.C., and Lee, who departed on April 11 to return to his family in Richmond. It is not clear, for example, what authority Chamberlain actually possessed, since he was not the highest-ranking Union officer remaining at Appomattox Court House. But whatever the truth of Gordon’s and Chamberlain’s respective accounts of the surrender ceremony—Chamberlain produced several during the remainder of his life—they agreed largely with each other, and those accounts shaped, and still do shape, many people’s vision of the surrender.

At 5 a.m. on April 12, almost four years to the minute after the first signal shot was fired at Fort Sumter, Chamberlain began assembling elements of the Union Fifth Corps along the road to Lynchburg, the main street of Appomattox Court House, near the courthouse building. Not long afterward the surrendering Confederates marched into the village from Chamberlain’s right, led by Gordon’s Second Corps. When Gordon and his soldiers came abreast of Chamberlain and his soldiers, the simple truth is no one knows for certain what happened. What does seem certain is that on some command, the Union soldiers made some change in how they were standing, and that change in turn changed the tone of the surrender ceremony. As Chamberlain later represented the moment, he ordered “shoulder arms,” intending a salute to the surrendering Confederates. Not to be outdone in gallantry, Gordon ordered his men to attention also, “honor answering honor,” in Chamberlain’s phrase.

The power of this moment, however embellished by subsequent narration, has captured many an imagination, its sublimity appealing to what Lincoln called the better angels of our nature. A subject of popular Civil War art, for example, it has also appeared in recent books on business leadership, the importance of forgiveness in personal relationships, and spirituality for ministers. For many it closes the unsettling, complicated history of the war on an inspiring and reassuring note, and in certain areas of popular imagination it may prove far more difficult to dislodge or qualify than the story that Grant and Lee signed the surrender papers under an apple tree, a legend that arose after Lee spent time waiting for Grant on April 9 in an apple orchard.

But recent scholarship shows that the surrender at Appomattox did not inspire all citizens toward reconciliation. Some members of Confederate associations, such as the United Daughters of the Confederacy , argued vehemently in the twentieth century against the erecting of a peace monument at Appomattox. Some have suggested that the leniency of Grant’s terms anticipated, and in some ways encouraged, a more general northern leniency toward southern racism during and after Reconstruction (1865–1877), and with respect to the history of African Americans in the United States, the surrender at Appomattox began new conflicts even as it ended others. What the surrender did do was bring to a relatively swift close regular military operations that could have continued for an extended period of time throughout much of the Confederacy, if Confederates in a position to continue fighting had rejected the pacifying tenor of the agreement reached in Wilmer McLean’s parlor.


The surrender at Appomattox Court House: 150th anniversary

Thursday, April 9, marks the 150th anniversary of the Confederate surrender at Appomattox Court House, Virginia. In recognition of this historic event that symbolized the end of the Civil War, take a look at our battlefield copy of the terms of surrender signed by General Ulysses S. Grant.

The Confederacy's days were numbered as Union forces advanced on General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. By April 3, the Confederate capital, Richmond, Virginia, had fallen to Grant. Confederate President Jefferson Davis, along with his cabinet members, escaped the Union's grasp and fled the region. In the following days, battles and skirmishes around Appomattox Court House left Lee's army in a dire state—encircled by Union forces. Cut off from supplies and virtually trapped, Lee decided to surrender rather than risk losing his men in a defiant and pointless battle.

On the morning of April 9, feeling the weight of his loss, Lee begrudgingly stated to his staff, "There is nothing left for me to do but to go and see General Grant and I would rather die a thousand deaths."

That afternoon, Lee, dressed in a dignified manner, met with a mud-splotched Grant at the McLean home in Appomattox Court House, where they formalized and signed the terms of surrender for the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia.

Though just under 200 words, it contains some interesting points. As Harry Rubenstein, curator of Political History at the museum, recently wrote, it "allowed Confederates who owned their own horses to keep them so that they could tend their farms and plant spring crops."

APPOMATTOX COURT-HOUSE, VA.
April 9, 1865
General R. E. LEE:

In accordance with the substance of my letter to you of the 8th instant, I propose to receive the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia 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 to be 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 officers 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 his home, not to be disturbed by U. S. authority so long as they observe their paroles and the laws in force where they may reside.

U.S. GRANT,
Lieutenant-General.

Although many reflect on this event as signifying the end to the Civil War, fighting continued between Confederates and Unionists. Like dominos, the remaining armies and departments of the Confederacy surrendered to terms similar to those signed by Grant and Lee. The Army of Tennessee surrendered to Major General William Sherman in North Carolina on April 26, followed by the Department of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana on May 4.

The Department of Trans-Mississippi surrendered in New Orleans on May 26, but not without a fight. The last battle between Confederate and Union forces was fought on May 12-13 at Palmito Ranch, Texas—a Confederate victory.

Leaders of American Indian Nations that allied with the Confederacy had to make their own surrenders to the Union. The last to do so was General and Chief Stand Watie who surrendered the First Indian Cavalry Brigade on June 23. Watie was also the last Confederate general to yield to the Union.

Though surrenders continued afterward, April 9 is the date most often commemorated as the effective end of the Civil War. On April 9 this year, bells will reverberate around the country as national parks and communities commemorate the end of the war. Bells will ring first at Appomattox Court House National Historical Park at 3:00 p.m. EDT, 150 years to the moment when Grant and Lee met to set the terms of surrender. Communities across the country will ring bells precisely at 3:15 p.m. EDT for four minutes, with each minute symbolizing one year of the war. Among them will be the sound of the Smithsonian Castle's Bell.

The commemorative events at Appomattox will also be available to watch online.

Christy Wallover is a project assistant in the Division of Armed Forces History. She has also blogged about the Battle of Ft. Fisher and Irish American artifacts.


Honor Answering Honor: “Bloody Chamberlain” and the Surrender at Appomattox

It was one of the most iconic moments in all of American history—the famed “stillness” at Appomattox. After four years of bitter struggle, General Ulysses S. Grant’s armies had finally vanquished General Robert E. Lee’s vaunted Army of Northern Virginia. While the surrender terms had been agreed upon by Lee and Grant on April 9, 1865, the formal surrender ceremony did not take place until April 12th. Neither Lee nor Grant elected to attend the surrender ceremony—instead, Grant selected Brevet Major General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain to receive the surrender of the Confederate infantry.

Chamberlain’s meteoric rise from college professor to Union general is now the stuff of legend—but in April of 1861, no one could have foreseen the role that he would play in preserving the Union. When the call to the colors was sounded following the firing on Fort Sumter, Chamberlain was residing in his native Maine, teaching rhetoric and modern languages at Bowdoin College. Stating that “I fear, this war, so costly of blood and treasure, will not cease until men of the North are willing to leave good positions,” Chamberlain wrote to the governor of Maine requesting an appointment and became a lieutenant colonel in the 20th Maine Infantry Regiment in 1862.

While Chamberlain’s role at Gettysburg is oft-repeated, his contributions during the Richmond-Petersburg Campaign of 1864-65 were of equal import. During that campaign Chamberlain sustained what was thought to be a fatal wound to the groin on June 18, 1864. Fearing his death was imminent, Grant promoted Chamberlain to brigadier general as a symbolic act of thanks. Miraculously, Chamberlain survived and returned to command in late 1864. He was in command of the Army of the Potomac’s 1st Brigade, First Division, V Corps on March 29, 1865, when he was severely wounded again, earning him a brevet promotion to Major General and the nickname “Bloody Chamberlain.” Chamberlain was profoundly honored to command the surrender ceremony. Writing to his wife just one day later, he stated:

For my personal part I…have been in five battles…twice wounded myself—my horse shot—in the front line when the flag of truce came through from Lee—had the last shot + the last man killed, in their campaign + yesterday was designated to receive the surrender of the arms of Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia.

The ceremony itself deeply moved Chamberlain, who would later write:

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…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.

At the time of his death, Chamberlain did not possess the legendary status he now enjoys among key figures in American military history. He went on to become a four-term governor of Maine and the president of Bowdoin College. He remained a relatively unknown figure until he was featured in the 1974 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Killer Angels (adapted to film in 1993’s “Gettysburg”) written by Michael Shaara and Ken Burns’ renowned Civil War documentary.


Contents

The antebellum village started out as "Clover Hill" named after its oldest existing structure, the Clover Hill Tavern (c. 1819). The village was a stagecoach stop along the Richmond-Lynchburg stage road. The activity in Clover Hill centered around Clover Hill Tavern. The tavern provided lodging to travelers. Fresh horses for the stage line were also provided at the stop, which had been done since the tavern was built. [6] It was also the site of organizational meetings, so when Appomattox County was established by an Act on February 8, 1845, Clover Hill village became the county seat. Appomattox County was formed from parts of Buckingham, Prince Edward, Charlotte, and Campbell counties. The jurisdiction took its name from the headwaters that emanate there, the Appomattox River. Early Virginians believed the name Appomattox came from an Indian tribe called Apumetec. [7]

From about 1842, Hugh Raine owned most of the Clover Hill area. He obtained it from his brother John Raine who defaulted on his loans. Later, he sold the property to Colonel Samuel D. McDearmon. Since his acquisition, it became the county seat and he surveyed 30 acres (12 ha) of the hamlet. He designated 2 acres (0.81 ha) to be used by the new county to build a courthouse and other government buildings. The courthouse was to be built across the Stage Road from the Clover Hill Tavern. The jail was to be built behind the courthouse. McDearmon divided the remaining land surrounding the courthouse into 1-acre (0.40 ha) lots. He felt that with Clover Hill's new status as a county seat he would find professional people ready and willing to purchase the lots. His hopes were later dashed in 1854 as the train depot stopped three miles (5 km) west in Appomattox, Virginia. The American Civil War put the final nails in the coffin. The district once known as Clover Hill and later renamed to Appomattox Court House continued to decline as businesses moved to the area of the Appomattox Station. [7]

The village contained 30 acres (12 ha) of the original Patteson's Clover Hill Tavern property of some 200 acres (81 ha). [7] Raine provided the Clover Hill Tavern for meeting space for the organization of the new county in May 1845 and naming the township "Clover Hill." [8]

"And be it further enacted, that not exceeding thirthy acres of land, now occupied by Captain John Raine, in the now county of Prince Edward, lying on the stage road leading from or through said county to the town of Lynchburg, at the place called and known as Clover Hill, the proposed seat of justice for the said new county, so soon as the same shall be laid off into lots, with convenient streets and alleys, with back and cross streets if necessary, shall be and the same is hereby established a town by the name of Clover Hill." [8]

The Battle of Appomattox Court House fought on the morning of April 9, 1865, was the final engagement of Confederate General in Chief, Robert E. Lee, and his Army of Northern Virginia before it surrendered to the Union Army of the Potomac under the Commanding General of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant. [9] General George Armstrong Custer of Little Bighorn fame received a flag of truce at the village of Appomattox Court House that brought about the discontinuance of hostilities of the Confederate and the Union armies leading to the surrender meeting between General Lee and General Grant at the McLean House. [10]

According to a Union writer at the time of the American Civil War the village consisted of about "five houses, a tavern, and a courthouse — all on one street that was boarded up at one end to keep the cows out." There were actually more dwellings in this obscure hamlet, some of which were off the main village street. There were a large number of cabins and out-buildings. The hamlet had two stores, law offices, a saddler, wheelwright, three blacksmiths, and other businesses. A tavern had been built by John Raine in 1848 that became the celebrated McLean house. Many rural counties in the Southern States had county seats whose names were formed by adding court house (two words) to the name of the county, hence the village name became Appomattox Court House. [11]

The program for the development of the park calls for a partial restoration of Clover Hill and the hamlet of Appomattox Court House to its appearance in April 1865. [12] This will constitute for the people of the United States a memorial to the termination of the American Civil War. World War II stopped temporarily the development of the park, however it was resumed in 1947. Some structures in the village that were built after 1865 were taken down that did not represent a true picture of the end of the Civil War. In 1954, Virginia State Route 24 was relocated south of the Appomattox Court House Historical Park so the National Park Service could restore the Richmond-Lynchburg stage road to its 1865 appearance. Also this would allow the National Park Service to do archeological exploration at the original Appomattox Court House building. [8] The park was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966. [13] The historical park was described in 1989 as having an area of 1,325 acres (536 ha). [14]

The park presently has a couple of dozen restored buildings. Some of the notable buildings are the Peers House, McLean House, New County Jail, Jones Law Office, Clover Hill Tavern, Woodson Law Office, Bocock-Isbell House, Mariah Wright House, Plunkett-Meeks Store, Sweeney-Conner Cabin, Charles Sweeney Cabin, Sweeney Prizery and the Old Appomattox Court House. There are also various ruins and cemeteries within the village. At the time of the Act of Congress that authorized the Appomattox Court House National Historical Park in 1935, [15] the existing buildings were the Clover Hill Tavern, the Tavern guest house and kitchen, the Woodson Law office structure, the Plunkett-Meeks Store, the Bocock-Isbell House, and several residences outside the village limits. [8] There are several markers throughout the field of the village that show points of interest within the park. Some of these are the sites of General Lee's and General Grant's headquarters the site of the apple tree where General Lee waited for General Grant's reply on the morning of April 9, 1865 and the position of the last cannon fired by the Confederate artillery on the morning of April 9, 1865. There is also a monument and two tablets that were erected by the state of North Carolina describing the last engagement of the armies this same morning. [8]


Surrender at Appomattox Courthouse - History

W ith his army surrounded, his men weak and exhausted, Robert E. Lee realized there was little choice but to consider the surrender of his Army to General Grant. After a series of notes between the two leaders, they agreed to meet on April 9, 1865, at the house of Wilmer McLean in the village of Appomattox Courthouse. The meeting lasted approximately two and one-half hours and at its conclusion the bloodliest conflict in the nation's history neared its end.

Prelude to Surrender
On April 3, Richmond fell to Union troops as Robert E. Lee led his Army of Northern Virginia in retreat to the West pursued by Grant and the Army of the Potomac. A running battle ensued as each Army moved farther to the West in an effort to out flank, or prevent being out flanked by the enemy. Finally, on April 7, General Grant initiated a series of dispatches leading to a meeting between the two commanders.

"General R.E. Lee, Commanding C.S.A.:
5 P.M., April 7th, 1865.
The results 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.
U.S. Grant, Lieutenant-General"

The note was carried through the Confederate lines and Lee promptly responded:

"April 7th, 1865.
General: I have received your note of this date. Though not entertaining the opinion you express of 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."

Grant received Lee's message after midnight and replied early in the morning giving his terms for surrender:

The fighting continued and as Lee retreated further to the West he replied to Grant's message:

"April 8th, 1865.
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 surrender 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 10 A.M. to-morrow on the old state road to Richmond, between the picket-lines of the two armies.
R.E. Lee, General."

Exhausted from stress and suffering the pain from a severe headache, Grant replied to Lee around 5 o'clock in the morning of April 9.

"April 9th, 1865.
General: Your note of yesterday is received. I have not authority to treat on the subject of peace. The meeting proposed for 10 A.M. to-day could lead to no good. I will state, however, that I am equally desirous for peace with yourself, and the whole North entertains the same feeling. The terms upon which peace can be had are well understood. By the South laying down their arms, they would hasten that most desirable event, save thousands of human lives, and hundreds of millions of property not yet destroyed. Seriously hoping that all our difficulties may be settled without the loss of another life, I subscribe myself, etc.,
U.S. Grant, Lieutenant-General"

Still suffering his headache, General Grant approached the crossroads of Appomattox Court House where he was over taken by a messenger carrying Lee's reply.

"April 9th, 1865.
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."

Grant immediately dismounted, sat by the road and wrote the following reply to Lee.

"April 9th, 1865.
General R. E. Lee Commanding C. S. Army:
Your note of this date is but this moment (11:50 A.M.) received, in consequence of my having passed from the Richmond and Lynchburg road to the Farmville and Lynchburg road. I am at this writing about four miles west of Walker's Church, and will push forward to the front for the purpose of meeting you. Notice sent to me on this road where you wish the interview to take place will meet me.
U. S. Grant, Lieutenant-General."


The McLean family sits on the porch
of their home. The surrender was
signed in the 1st floor room on the left.
Meeting at Appomattox
The exchange of messages initated the historic meeting in the home of Wilmer McLean. Arriving at the home first, General Lee sat in a large sitting room on the first floor. General Grant arrived shortly and entered the room alone while his staff respectfully waited on the front lawn. After a short period the staff was summoned to the room. General Horace Porter described the scene:

"We entered, and found General Grant sitting at a marble-topped table in the center of the room, and Lee sitting beside a small oval table near the front window, in the corner opposite to the door by which we entered, and facing General Grant. We walked in softly and ranged ourselves quietly about the sides of the room, very much as people enter a sick-chamber when they expect to find the patient dangerously ill.

The contrast between the two commanders was striking, and could not fail to attract marked attention they sat ten feet apart facing each other. General Grant, then nearly forty-three years of age, was five feet eight inches in height, with shoulders slightly stooped. His hair and full beard were a nut-brown, without a trace of gray in them. He had on a single-breasted blouse, made of dark-blue flannel, unbuttoned in front, and showing a waistcoat underneath. He wore an ordinary pair of top-boots, with his trousers inside, and was without spurs. The boots and portions of his clothes were spattered with mud. He had no sword, and a pair of shoulder-straps was all there was about him to designate his rank. In fact, aside from these, his uniform was that of a private soldier.

Lee, on the other hand, was fully six feet in height, and quite erect for one of his age, for he was Grant's senior by sixteen years. His hair and full beard were silver-gray, and quite thick, except that the hair had become a little thin in the front. He wore a new uniform of Confederate gray, buttoned up to the throat, and at his side he carried a long sword of exceedingly fine workmanship, the hilt studded with jewels. His top-boots were comparatively new, and seemed to have on them some ornamental stitching


Signing the surrender
From a contemporary sketch.
of red silk. Like his uniform, they were singularly clean, and but little travel-stained. On the boots were handsome spurs, with large rowels. A felt hat, which in color matched pretty closely that of his uniform, and a pair of long buckskin gauntlets lay beside him on the table.

General Grant began the conversation by saying 'I met you once before, General Lee, while we were serving in Mexico, when you came over from General Scott's headquarters to visit Garland's brigade, to which I then belonged. I have always remembered your appearance, and I think I should have recognized you anywhere.'

'Yes,' replied General Lee, 'I know I met you on that occasion, and I have often thought of it and tried to recollect how you looked, but I have never been able to recall a single feature.'"

The two generals talked a bit more about Mexico and moved on to a discussion of the terms of the surrender when Lee asked Grant to commit the terms to paper:

"'Very well,' replied General Grant, 'I will write them out.' And calling for his manifold order-book, he opened it on the table before him and proceeded to write the terms. The leaves had been so prepared that three impressions of the writing were made. He wrote very rapidly, and did not pause until he had finished the sentence ending with 'officers appointed by me to receive them.' Then he looked toward Lee, and his eyes seemed to be resting on the handsome sword that hung at that officer's side. He said afterward that this set him to thinking that it would be an unnecessary humiliation to require officers to surrender their swords, and a great hardship to deprive them of their personal baggage and horses, and after a short pause he wrote the sentence: 'This will not embrace the side-arms of the officers, nor their private horses or baggage.'

Grant handed the document to Lee. After reviewing it, Lee informed Grant that the Cavalry men and Artillery men in the Confederate Army owned their horses and asked that they keep them. Grant agreed and Lee wrote a letter formally accepting the surrender. Lee then made his exit:


General Lee leaves
From a contemporary sketch.
"At a little before 4 o'clock General Lee shook hands with General Grant, bowed to the other officers, and with Colonel Marshall left the room. One after another we followed, and passed out to the porch. Lee signaled to his orderly to bring up his horse, and while the animal was being bridled the general stood on the lowest step and gazed sadly in the direction of the valley beyond where his army lay - now an army of prisoners. He smote his hands together a number of times in an absent sort of way seemed not to see the group of Union officers in the yard who rose respectfully at his approach, and appeared unconscious of everything about him. All appreciated the sadness that overwhelmed him, and he had the personal sympathy of every one who beheld him at this supreme moment of trial. The approach of his horse seemed to recall him from his reverie, and he at once mounted. General Grant now stepped down from the porch, and, moving toward him, saluted him by raising his hat. He was followed in this act of courtesy by all our officers present Lee raised his hat respectfully, and rode off to break the sad news to the brave fellows whom he had so long commanded."

References:
Buel, Clarence, and Robert U. Johnson, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, Vol. IV (1888, reprint ed. 1982) Grant, Ulysses S., Memoirs and Selected Letters, Vol. I (1885, reprint ed. 1990) McPherson, James M., Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era (1988).


Historic photos, Gen. Lee surrenders at Appomattox, April 9, 1865

Editor's note: The Associated Press was at Appomattox for the surrender of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in 1865 and again April 9 for the 150th anniversary of this milestone to the end of the nation's bloodiest conflict on American soil. This account draws from reporting by an AP reporter present at Appomattox on Thursday and from historical reporting of events. The historical accounts draw primarily from wartime dispatches credited to The Associated Press or other accounts distributed through the AP and other historical sources.

APPOMATTOX, Va. - The surrender of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee to Union Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant 150 years ago on April 9 was a milestone event in the end of the Civil War. This is a rolling account of Thursday's commemoration of anniversary events that include a reenactment of Lee's last clash with Grant's troops and of the Confederate surrender in a Virginia farmhouse on April 9, 1865. Interspersed are historical accounts from 150 years ago:


Surrenders After Appomattox

Contrary to common assumption, the American Civil War did not come to a screeching halt after General Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Courthouse on April 9, 1865. The Army and Navy of the Confederate States of America did not surrender all at one time, but rather in a piecemeal fashion over a widely dispersed geographic distribution, including one unit overseas. Some units, in fact, never surrendered at all. Confederate army units surrendered in various places on April 12, 16, 19, 20,21, 26, and 27. Various Confederate units surrendered on May 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 26 and 30. Confederate surrenders also occurred on June 2, 3 and 23. On November 6, 1865 the CSS Shenandoah surrendered to HMS Donelgal at Liverpool England. On August 20, 1866, President Andrew Johnson declared what he called the “insurrection” officially over and peace restored. Many Confederate units never surrendered. On July 4, 1865, General Joseph Shelby led his Iron Brigade and other troops in his Missouri Division across the Rio Grande at Eagle Pass, Texas, into Piedas Negras, Empire of Mexico, to avoid surrender. Accompanying Shelby’s column were former Confederate governors Pendelton Murrah (Texas), Henry Allen (Louisiana), Thomas Reynolds (Missouri), and Isham Harris (Tennessee), as well as ex-generals Edmund Kirby Smith, Sterling Price, John Bankhead Magruder, Alexander Watkins Terrell, and other officers of the former Trans-Mississippi Department and their families. Under the direction of former Commodore Matthew Fontaine Maury of the Confederate Navy, the ex-officers and troops who had crossed into the Empire of Mexico established the New Virginia Colony in the state of Veracruz at the invitation of Emperor Maximilian. Between ten and twenty thousand former Confederates emigrated to the Empire of Brazil at the invitation of Dom Pedro II, who wanted to encourage the growth of cotton. Establishing themselves in several communities, these people became the foundation of an ethnic group unique to Brazil known today as Los Confederados, now centered in the Sao Paolo town of Americana. Other former Confederates settled in what was then British Honduras (now Belize). Ex-Rear Admiral John Randolph Tucker led a group of former Confederate expatriates into Peru to establish New Manassas. A Dr. Henry Price took another group into Venezuela to occupy large areas of the state of Guyana called the Price Grant.

Union Soldiers at Appomattox Court House, April 1865

Photograph by Timothy H. O'Sullivan. Courtesy of: Library of Congress

Contrary to common assumption, the American Civil War did not come to a screeching halt after General Robert E. Lee&rsquos surrender at Appomattox Courthouse. The Army and Navy of the Confederate States of America did not surrender all at one time, but rather in a piecemeal fashion over a widely dispersed geographic distribution, including one unit overseas. Some units, in fact, never surrendered at all.

The Confederate Navy was composed of ironclads, submarines, gunboats, torpedo boats, various supports ships, and a number of blockade-runners and commissioned privateers.

For most of the war, the Confederate Army was composed of three major field commands (Army of Northern Virginia, Army of Tennessee, and Army of the Trans-Mississippi), with a number of smaller independent field units such as Forrest&rsquos Cavalry Corps (in the latter stages of the war), the Thomas Legion of Cherokee Indians and Highlanders, and Mosby&rsquos Partisan Rangers, and of geographic units (Division, Department, District, in decreasing order of size).

The three field commands mentioned above were the most enduring, but several other short-lived commands designated as armies were formed at times, particularly early in the war.

For instance, the earliest field army in the western theater was General Albert Sidney Johnston&rsquos Army of Mississippi, which later combined with the Central Army of Kentucky (originally under Major General Simon Bolivar Buckner) to become the Army of Tennessee. Two other commands were also named Army of Mississippi, one formed around what had been Major General Earl Van Dorn&rsquos Army of West Tennessee, the other, under Major General John Clifford Pemberton, later merged into the Army of Tennessee, or at least its remnants did so.

There was also an Army of Middle Tennessee under Major General John Cable Breckenridge which became a division of Hardee&rsquos Corps in the Army of Tennessee. The Army of East Tennessee formed under Major General Edmund Kirby Smith became the Army of Kentucky before merging into the Army of Tennessee after Smith&rsquos promotion and transfer to head the Army and Department of the Trans-Mississippi.

None of these Confederate armies of Tennessee should be confused with Union Major General William Tecumseh Sherman&rsquos Army of the Tennessee. It was the practice of the Confederates to name armies after states and the Union to name them after rivers.

The surrenders of Confederate forces

The first attempt by a large field army or geographic section to try to surrender took place in the southwest. On March 11, 1865, Brigadier General James Edwin Slaughter and Colonel John Salmon &ldquoRip&rdquo Ford met with Union Major General Lewis &ldquoLew&rdquo Wallace and agreed to terms of surrender for all forces in the District of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona that included an amnesty for former Confederates and the gradual emancipation of slaves. Slaughter&rsquos and Ford&rsquos superior, Major General John George Walker, temporarily commanding the District in the absence of Major General John Bankhead Magruder, refused the terms, however.

On April 9, 1865, General-in-chief Robert E. Lee surrendered the Army and Department of Northern Virginia to General-of-the-Army Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox, Virginia.

On April 12, 1865, Brigadier General John Echols disbanded the Department of East Tennessee and Southwestern Virginia at Christiansburg, Virginia, upon learning of Lee&rsquos surrender through a telegram waiting for him when he mustered his forces in Christiansburg. The command&rsquos sixteen artillery piece carriages were cut apart, the gun barrels were spiked, and the ammunition was destroyed. All who wished were allowed to return home.

After Echols dissolved the Department, Brigadier General George Blake Cosby took the remainder of his brigade west into Kentucky to surrender to federal authorities. Echols led the remaining troops of Brigadier General John Crawford Vaughn&rsquos Brigade and Brigadier General Basil Wilson Duke&rsquos Brigade, toward North Carolina hoping to link up with General Joseph Eggleston Johnston and the Army of Tennessee. The former Department&rsquos District of Western North Carolina remained unaffected and intact.

On April 16, 1865, the remnant force from East Tennessee-Southwest Virginia split, with some few following Brigadier General Echols toward the Army of Tennessee and the remaining majority, under the overall command of Brigadier General Vaughn, hoping to meet up with Lieutenant General Joe Wheeler&rsquos cavalry.

The two brigades under Echols joined the bodyguard of President Jefferson Davis on April 19, 1865, under command of General John C. Breckenridge made up of Brigadier General George Gibbs Dibrell&rsquos Brigade, Brigadier General. Samuel Wragg Ferguson&rsquos Brigade and Colonel William C. P. Breckenridge&rsquos Brigade.

On April 20, 1865, Major General Thomas Howell Cobb surrendered the District of Georgia and Florida to Major General Edward Richard Sprigg Canby at Macon, Georgia.

On April 21, 1865, Colonel John Singleton Mosby disbanded Mosby&rsquos Partisan Rangers, (also known as 43 rd Battalion, Virginia Cavalry) at Salem, Virginia.

On April 26, 1865, General Joseph E. Johnston surrendered the Division of the West under himself, the Army of Tennessee under General Braxton Bragg, the Department of North Carolina under General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard, and the Department of Tennessee and Georgia under Lieutenant General William Joseph Hardee to Major General William T. Sherman at Durham Station, North Carolina. Brigadier General Echols, formerly of the Department of East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia, was by this time with Johnston, having left the column of Vaughn&rsquos and Duke&rsquos brigades on April 16.

On April 27, 1865, Confederate Secret Service operative Robert Louden used a coal torpedo (a bomb made to look like a lump of coal) to sink the SS Sultana on the Mississippi River near Memphis, Tennessee, killing 1,600-1,800 of its 2,400 passengers, most of them former prisoners from the Union Army. It remains the biggest maritime disaster in U.S. history and arguably the largest terrorist attack on U.S. soil prior to September 11, 2001.

On May 4, 1865, Lieutenant General Richard Taylor surrendered the Department of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana to Major General Edward Canby at Citronelle, Alabama.

On May 5, 1865, Major General Dabney Herndon Maury surrendered the District of the Gulf to Major General Edward Canby at Citronelle, Alabama.

Also on May 5, 1865, President Jefferson Davis met with his Cabinet for the last time in Washington, Georgia (Wilkes County), to dissolve the government of the Confederate States of America. The next day President Davis continued on with a small bodyguard under Captain Given Campbell.

On May 6, 1865, Brigadier General Joseph Horace Lewis surrendered the Kentucky Orphan Brigade along with the remnants of Ferguson&rsquos and Breckinridge&rsquos brigades to Captain Lot Abraham of the 4 th Iowa Cavalry in Major General James Harrison Wilson&rsquos cavalry corps at Washington, Georgia.

On May 8, 1865, Captain Jesse Cunningham McNeill surrendered McNeill&rsquos Partisan Rangers to Major General (and future U.S. President) Rutherford Birchard Hayes at Sycamore Dale, West Virginia.

On May 9, 1865, Lieutenant General Nathan Bedford Forrest surrendered Forrest&rsquos Cavalry Corps to Major General James H. Wilson at Gainesville, Alabama.

Also on May 9, 1865, Brigadier General James Green Martin surrendered the District of Western North Carolina and Colonel William Holland Thomas the Thomas Legion of Cherokee Indians and Highlanders to Colonel William C. Bartlett at Waynesville, North Carolina, after the Thomas Legion surrounded and captured Bartlett&rsquos entire command the previous day. The units of the Legion present included the Cherokee Battalion, Love&rsquos Regiment, and Barr&rsquos Battery.

Again on May 9, 1865, Major S. G. Spann surrendered his mostly Choctaw Battalion of Independent Scouts at Meridian, Mississippi.

Yet again on May 9, 1865, Brigadier General John C. Vaughn surrendered his remnant brigade to Captain Lot Abraham of the 4 th Iowa Cavalry at Washington, Georgia.

On May 10, 1865, Major General Samuel Jones surrendered the Department of South Carolina, Florida, and South Georgia to Brigadier General Edward Moody McCook at Tallahassee, Florida.

Also on May 10, 1865, Commodore Ebenezer Farrand surrendered the CSS Nashville, CSS Baltic, CSS Morgan, and several other vessels, nearly all the remaining warships in the Confederate Navy, to Rear Admiral Henry Knox Thatcher at Nanna Hubba, Alabama.

Again on May 10, 1865, Brigadier General Basil Duke surrendered the remnant of his brigade Captain Lot Abraham of the 4 th Iowa Cavalry at Washington, Georgia.

Finally, on May 10, 1865, former President Davis and his party were captured in Irwinsville, Georgia, by the troops of Lieutenant Colonel Henry Haruden from General James Wilson&rsquos command.

On May 11, 1965, Brigadier General George Dibrell surrendered the remnant of his brigade to Captain Lot Abraham of the 4 th Iowa Cavalry at Washington, Georgia.

On May 12, 1865, Brigadier General William Tatum Wofford surrendered the Department of North Georgia to Brigadier General Henry Moses Judah at Kingston, Georgia (Bartow County).

Also on May 12, 1865, Captain Stephen Whitaker surrendered Walker&rsquos Battalion of the former Thomas Legion, detached from the rest of the command, to Colonel George Washington Kirk at Franklin, North Carolina, upon hearing of the surrenders of Thomas and Martin. This was the last surrender of Confederate troops east of the Mississippi River.

On May 13, 1865, the last land battle of the war was fought at Palmito Ranch in Texas, near Brownsville, with Confederate forces under Colonel Rip Ford (including his own 2 nd Texas Cavalry) defeating decisively the Union forces under Colonel Theodore Harvey Barrett.

On May 26 1865, Lieutenant General Simon Bolivar Buckner surrendered the Army of the Trans-Mississippi to Major General Edward Canby at New Orleans, Louisiana. Buckner was in direct field command of the army at the time it was surrounded by Union forces.

On May 30, 1865, Brigadier General Slaughter and Colonel Ford disbanded the remaining field forces of the District of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona at Brownsville, Texas.

On June 2, 1865, General Edmund Kirby Smith surrendered the Department of the Trans-Mississippi to Major General Edward Canby at Galveston, Texas.

On June 3, 1865, Captain Jonathan H. Carter surrendered the CSS Missouri to Lieutenant-Commander William E. Fitzhugh at Alexandria, Louisiana.

On June 23, 1865, Brigadier General Stand Watie, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, surrendered the First Indian Brigade of the Army of the Trans-Mississippi to Lieutenant. Colonel Asa C. Matthews at Doaksville, Choctaw Nation (Indian Territory).

On November 6, 1865, Commander James Iredell Waddell surrendered the privateer vessel CSS Shenandoah and its crew to Captain R. N. Paynter of the HMS Donegal at Liverpool, England. It was the only Confederate Navy ship to circumvent the globe. The crew remained in Europe for several years afterward, for the most part, and eventually returned home. The Shenandoah was sold to the Sultan of Zanzibar.

On August 20, 1866, President Andrew Johnson declared the insurrection officially over and peace restored.

The Unsurrendered, exiles and expatriates

On July 4, 1865, Major General Joseph Orville Shelby led his Iron Brigade and other troops in his Missouri Division across the Rio Grande at Eagle Pass, Texas, into Piedas Negras, Empire of Mexico, to avoid surrender.

Accompanying Shelby&rsquos column were former Confederate governors Pendelton Murrah (Texas), Henry Allen (Louisiana), Thomas Reynolds (Missouri), and Isham Harris (Tennessee), as well as ex-generals Edmund Kirby Smith, Sterling Price, John Bankhead Magruder, Alexander Watkins Terrell, and other officers of the former Trans-Mississippi Department and their families.

Under the direction of former Commodore Matthew Fontaine Maury of the Confederate Navy, the ex-officers and troops who had crossed into the Empire of Mexico established the New Virginia Colony in the state of Veracruz at the invitation of Emperor Maximilian. Its central city was Carlota, named for Maximilian&rsquos empress. Slaves were not allowed, slavery being against Mexican law. When the republican Juaristas (supporters of President Benito Juarez, whom the French ousted in 1864) overthrew Maximilian&rsquos government, these former Confederates returned north, many becoming prominent citizens.

Interestingly, in 1851 Maury had once formulated a plan to both eradicate slavery from within the borders of the U.S. and slow or end Brazil&rsquos slave trade with Africa.

Between ten and twenty thousand former Confederates emigrated to the Empire of Brazil at the invitation of Dom Pedro II, who wanted to encourage the growth of cotton. Establishing themselves in several communities, these people became the foundation of an ethnic group unique to Brazil known today as Los Confederados, now centered in the Sao Paolo town of Americana. The now multi-racial Los Confederados are extremely proud of their history and send young people to the American South every year to see the former homeland. The original settlers included an ancestor of former First Lady Rosalyn Carter.

Other former Confederates settled in what was then British Honduras (now Belize), establishing the settlements at New Richmond near San Pedro, on the New River south of Orange Walk Town, and around the town of Punta Gorda. Within a few decades, these groups had assimilated and lost their distinctiveness.

Ex-Rear Admiral John Randolph Tucker led a group of former Confederate expatriates into Peru to establish New Manassas and wound up being assigned to chart the Amazon River. A Dr. Henry Price took another group into Venezuela to occupy large areas of the state of Guyana called the Price Grant.

Of all these, Los Confederados de Brasil is the only former colony whose descendants still survive as a distinctive ethnic group. The best account I have seen of these expatriate groups is the 2007 master&rsquos thesis of Justin Horton at the East Tennessee State University: &ldquoThe Second Lost Cause: Post-National Confederate Imperialism in the Americas&rdquo it is online. [1]

Brazil abolished slavery in 1888. Former slave owners, backed by the military, overthrew the imperial government in 1889. A military dictatorship ruled the country until civilian republicans came to power in 1894.

The Reconstruction of the former Confederate states lasted from the end of the war until the Great Compromise of 1877, which is also called the Corrupt Bargain. The so-called Redemption Era of the South (which brought us Jim Crow, the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, and drastic historical revisionism) lasted from that time until the civil rights legislation of the mid-1960&rsquos.

  • [1] The best account I have seen of these expatriate groups is the 2007 master’s thesis of Justin Horton at the East Tennessee State University: Horton, Justin Garrett, "The Second Lost Cause: Post-National Confederate Imperialism in the Americas." (2007). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper 2025. http://dc.etsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3386&context=etd , accessed May 1, 2015.

If you can read only one book:

United States War Department. War of the Rebellion: Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, 128 vols. (Washington D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1880-1901), Series I, volumes 46-49.

Downloads:

Books:

Frank Cunningham. General Stand Watie’s Confederate Indians. San Antonio, TX: Naylor, 1959.

Robert M. Dunkerly. To The Bitter End: Appomattox, Bennett Place and the Surrenders of the Confederacy. El Dorado Hills, CA: Savas Beatie, 2015.

———. The Confederate Surrender at Greensboro: The Final Days of the Army of Tennessee. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2013.

Organizations:

Web Resources:

Horton, Justin Garrett. "The Second Lost Cause: Post-National Confederate Imperialism in the Americas." (2007). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper 2025, East Tennessee State University, accessed May 1, 2015.


Watch the video: Video Tour of Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, VA (January 2022).