On June 2, 1865, Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith who was the commander of the Confederate forces west of the Mississippi, signs the surrender terms.  With this signing, the last Confederate army ceased to exist and the bloodiest four years in U.S. History came to a close.

General Edmund Kirby Smith

Edmund Kirby Smith

The American Civil War began on April 12, 1861 when the Confederates opened fire on the Union’s Fort Sumter in South Carolina.  Within a few days, President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation call for 75,000 volunteer soldiers to end the Southern insurrection.  After four long years, the Confederacy was defeated at a cost of 620,000 Union and Confederate dead.



6 responses

  1. So incredible all the pain and suffering. Yet, in the aftermath it united our nation like never before. Even so, sometimes, in this day and age, when I read and hear the attitude in other parts of our nation, and see how vastly different they are from mine and everyone I know personally, I feel we are drifting back apart.


  2. What I always find curious is that there were wars in New Zealand at the same time. Both of them, but especially the US Civil War, are classified as among the first ‘modern, wars fought with industrial technology and particularly logistics. The wars of tbe 1860s also introduced the ‘industrial’ battlefield with its long range by comparison with the Napoleonic era.


    • Interesting about New Zealand. I had a history teacher once that made a comment about WWI not being the first world war because often wars that appear to be isolated to one country or region may not be the only war occurring at the time and there could be some interconnections.


      • The New Zealand Wars (1845-46, 1860-64, 1866-69) were internal to NZ, but very similar in characteristic to the US Civil War technologically – even down to using armoured gunboats in 1863, though we didn’t have railways. It’s quite true that WW1 was not, in fact, the First World War – Winston Churchill pointed out that this honour (if you could call it that) went to the Seven Years War of the 1760s which also engulfed Europe, and which was fought right around the world.


  3. Birgit says:

    Yesterday was my birthday and I had no idea something this major happened on this date. I don’t know why I didn’t know-chalk it up to ignorance. I have a feeling there are many in the South who would still like to go back to those time before the Civil War-nothing Civil about it.


    • Hope you had a wonderful birthday. I think the story of General Robert E. Lee surrendering at Appomattox on April 9, 1865 is more well known and most people probably thought it was the end of the Civil War but fighting still went on. I guess they could have used social media to pass the word west 🙂