This Week in the American Civil War: April 19-25, 1865

Posted by: on Apr 21, 2015 | No Comments

Information courtesy of the Minnesota Civil War Commemoration Task Force
Major Highlights for the Week

Wednesday April 19, 1865
FUNERAL SERVICES FOR PRESIDENT LINCOLN
President Andrew Johnson, the Cabinet, Supreme Court justices, members of Congress, military figures and the diplomatic corps in full “court dress” filed into the East Room of the White House. Robert Todd Lincoln represented the family as Mrs. Lincoln and Tad remained sequestered. At the head of the catafalque stood Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant alone. After the brief service, the funeral carriage, escorted by cavalry, infantry, artillery, Marines, their banners draped, and the bands playing sorrowful dirges, carried Lincoln’s body past throngs of people to the rotunda of the Capitol. Now it was the public’s turn, and, until the next evening, they filed past the catafalque in steady streams.

Federal Major General John Pope, commanding the Federal Military Division of the Missouri in St. Louis wrote to Confederate Lieutenant General E. Kirby Smith, commander of the Confederate Trans-Mississippi Department, suggesting that the forces west of the Mississippi River surrender on the same terms as those which Lieutenant General Grant gave to General Robert E. Lee ten days prior.

Confederate President Jefferson Davis and his entourage arrived at Charlotte, North Carolina. It was here that Davis first learned of Lincoln’s assassination.

Thursday April 20, 1865
More than 39,000 people filed by President Abraham Lincoln’s body lying in state at the U.S. Capitol as the public viewing came to a close.

Federal troops now occupied Macon, Georgia. Skirmishing continued near Spring Hill, Mimms Mills on Tobesofkee Creek, Georgia; and at Rocky Creek Bridge and Montpelier Springs, Alabama.

Former Confederate General Robert E. Lee wrote to Confederate President Jefferson Davis recommending suspension of hostilities and the restoration of peace.

The Arkansas legislature ratified the Thirteenth Amendment.

Friday April 21, 1865
The body of President Abraham Lincoln left Washington at 8 a.m. en route to Springfield, Illinois, with the train being stopped often to accommodate immense crowds of mourners. The train reached Harrisburg, Pennsylvania at 8:30 p.m.

At Millwood, Virginia, John Singleton Mosby’s Confederate rangers were formally disbanded.

President Andrew Johnson told an Indiana delegation that he did not believe the Southern states had ever left the Union, a position contrary to that held by the Radical Republicans.

Saturday April 22, 1865
Most of the military action was now insignificant, with only the Federal cavalry of James Harrison Wilson active in Georgia and Alabama. Skirmishing took place at Buzzard Roost, Georgia; Howard’s Gap in the Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina; near Linn Creek and near the mouth of the Big Gravois River, Missouri.

Federal Major General Henry Halleck assumed command of the Military Division of the James, and Major General Nathaniel P. Banks resumed command of the Department of the Gulf.

John Wilkes Booth and David Herold, after nearly a week out in the open, finally got across the Potomac River in a fishing skiff, to Gumbo Creek on the Virginia shore. Plans were now to continue southward. Meanwhile, the search had intensified north of the Potomac River.

The Lincoln Funeral Train traveled from Harrisburg to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where it would remain for two days.

Sunday April 23, 1865
Skirmishing occurred at Munford’s Station, Alabama; Hendersonville, North Carolina; and near Fort Zarah, Kansas.

President Lincoln’s Funeral Train was still in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where the deceased president lied in state at Independence Hall for mourners to pay their respects.

Monday April 24, 1865
Federal Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant arrived at the headquarters of Major General William T. Sherman at Raleigh, North Carolina to inform him that President Andrew Johnson rejected Sherman’s agreement with Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston. Sherman was ordered to give 48 hours-notice and then resume hostilities if there was no surrender. Johnston was promptly given notice of the truce’s suspension.

At Charlotte, North Carolina, Confederate President Jefferson Davis approved Johnston’s agreement with Sherman, not aware that it was already rejected by President Andrew Johnson.

John Wilkes Booth and David Herold crossed the Rappahannock River at Port Conway, Virginia, in their efforts to escape Federal pursuers.

At 4 a.m., President Lincoln’s Funeral Train departed Philadelphia and arrived in New York City at 10:50 a.m. where he laid in state at City Hall until the next day.

Tuesday April 25, 1865
Federal cavalry closed in on John Wilkes Booth and David Herold who were staying inside of a tobacco barn owned by Richard H. Garrett, south of the Rappahannock River in Virginia.

Confederate troops in North Carolina were preparing to move after President Andrew Johnson rejected the peace terms that Federal Major General William T. Sherman had negotiated. However, General Joseph E. Johnston requested that Sherman re-open negotiations. They agreed to a meeting the next day.

President Abraham Lincoln’s Funeral Train departed New York City at 4:15 p.m. and arrived at the Old Capitol in Albany, New York at 10:55 p.m.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of April 19-25, 1865
Active units:
1st Battalion Minnesota Infantry – On duty at Appomattox Court House until May 2, 1865.

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Raleigh, North Carolina until April 30, 1865.

3rd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Duvall’s Bluff, Arkansas until May 13, 1865.

4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Raleigh, North Carolina until April 30, 1865.

5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On the march to Montgomery, Alabama until April 25, 1865.

6th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On the march to Montgomery, Alabama until April 25, 1865.

7th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On the march to Montgomery, Alabama until April 25, 1865.

8th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Raleigh, North Carolina until April 30, 1865.

9th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On the march to Montgomery, Alabama until April 25, 1865.

10th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On the march to Montgomery, Alabama until April 25, 1865.

11th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Assigned to duty guarding the line of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad from Nashville to the Kentucky line. Companies E, G, and I were at Gallatin, Tennessee. Company A was at Buck Lodge. Company B at Edgefield Junction. Company C at Richland. Company D at Sandersville. Company H was at Mitchellsville. The location of companies F and K are unknown at this time. The regiment remained on duty at these locations until June 25, 1865.

2nd Regiment Minnesota Cavalry – Engaged in frontier and patrol duty between Forts Wadsworth, Abercrombie, Ripley and Ridgely with headquarters at Fort Snelling, until November 17, 1865.

Brackett’s Battalion of Minnesota Cavalry – Engaged in frontier and patrol duty between Forts Wadsworth, Abercrombie, Ripley and Ridgely with headquarters at Fort Snelling until May 1866.

Hatch’s Independent Battalion of Cavalry – Companies A, B, C and D moved to Fort Abercrombie. Companies A and B assigned to garrison at Fort Abercrombie. Company C assigned to garrison at Alexandria and Pomme de Terre. Company D on patrol duty from Fort Abercrombie to Pembina. Companies E and F on frontier duty. The battalion would remain in these duty locations for the duration of the war – until April 26, 1866.

1st Minnesota Heavy Artillery Battery – On garrison duty at Chattanooga, Tennessee until September 27, 1865.

1st Minnesota Light Artillery Battery – On duty at Raleigh, North Carolina until April 30, 1865.

2nd Independent Battery Minnesota Light Artillery – On duty in Philadelphia, Tennessee until July 1865.

3rd Independent Battery Minnesota Light Artillery – Various sections on duty at Fort Ridgely, Fort Ripley and Fort Sisseton until May 1865.

Inactive units:
1st Regiment Minnesota Cavalry “Mounted Rangers” – Formally mustered out of service on December 7, 1863. Inactive.

1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Mustered out of Federal service on April 29, 1864. Inactive.

2nd United States Sharpshooters, Company A – Transferred to the 1st Battalion, Minnesota Infantry on February 20, 1865 at Petersburg, Virginia for duration of service.

1st United States Sharpshooters Company I – Mustered out of Federal Service on March 19, 1865.

This Week in the American Civil War: April 12-18, 1865

Posted by: on Apr 14, 2015 | No Comments

Information courtesy of the Minnesota Civil War Commemoration Task Force
Major Highlights for the Week

Wednesday April 12, 1865
SURRENDER OF MOBILE, ALABAMA
The final major city of the Confederacy fell as Federal troops under Major General Edward R.S. Canby entered Mobile, Alabama, following the previous night’s Confederate evacuation. The capture of the city came too late to have an impact on the war. The defenses of Mobile had been strong but the Confederates were unable to man them in view of their slim numbers and the Federal’s overpowering strength. Federal losses numbered 232 killed, 1,303 wounded and 43 missing for 1,578 total casualties in the operations against Mobile.

Federal Major General William T. Sherman’s army was nearing Raleigh, North Carolina in its renewed advance against Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston, with actions near Raleigh and at Swift Creek.

A ceremony took place at Appomattox Court House. Federal troops formed along the principal street to await the formal laying down of battle flags and arms by the Confederates. As the bugle sounded, the Federal line shifted to the marching salute of carry arms. Confederate Major General John Brown Gordon saw the salute, whirled on his horse, dropped the point of his sword to the boot toe and ordered carry arms as “honor answering honor.” The battle-worn colors of the various regiments were then folded and laid down until only the Federal colors were against the sky.

At Greensborough, North Carolina, Confederate President Jefferson Davis met with Generals Joseph E. Johnston and P.G.T. Beauregard along with his Cabinet. The generals felt it was not possible for the army in North Carolina to resist Sherman’s advance. Johnston recommended negotiations, but Davis felt that further negotiations would be futile, that Sherman would only accept surrender. However, the general was empowered to meet with Sherman.

President Abraham Lincoln was in Washington greatly concerned about his plans for reconstruction of the South.

Thursday April 13, 1865
Federal Major General William T. Sherman’s army entered Raleigh, North Carolina, in heavy rain and after skirmishing Confederates near Raleigh and Morrisville. They were heading towards Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston’s main army and the temporary Confederate capital at Greensborough. Johnston left Greensborough to rejoin his army at Hillsborough, North Carolina.

Secretary of War Edwin Stanton ordered that the draft be halted and curtailed purchases of war material. The number of officers was reduced and many military restrictions were removed as the first steps in the demobilization process.

President Abraham Lincoln conferred with Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant, Stanton, Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles and others.

Friday April 14, 1865
ABRAHAM LINCOLN ASSASSINATED
At Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, distinguished Federal officers and dignitaries gathered, bands played, and guns thundered from the U.S. Navy in salute. In late morning at Fort Sumter, a flag-raising program began as Major General Robert Anderson, who had lowered the same flag four years earlier, seized the halyards and hoisted the Stars and Stripes once more above the fort that was the very symbol of that war. Henry Ward Beecher gave the oration. It was an occasion of solemn joy ending with fireworks from the fleet at night.

Federal Major General William T. Sherman’s army moved ahead in the rain from Raleigh to Durham Station, North Carolina.
It was a busy day for President Abraham Lincoln who met with the Cabinet earlier in the day to discuss the problems of reconstruction including the treatment of Confederate leadership. The president received numerous callers throughout the day up until 8:30 p.m. when he and Mrs. Lincoln departed for Ford’s Theater to see the comedy, Our American Cousin. Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant had turned down an invitation to attend, making the plea that he needed to see his children.

The 1,700 patrons at the theater stopped the play and cheered for the president and his party, as they entered the box over the stage. The crowd settled down and the play resumed. Shortly before 10:30 p.m. as actor Harry Hawk delivered the line: “Don’t know the manners of good society, eh? Well, I guess I know enough to turn you inside out, old gal; you sockdologizing old man-trap!” Hysterical laughter permeated throughout the filled theater. Lincoln was laughing at this line when he was shot in the back of the head by actor John Wilkes Booth.

Dr. Charles Leale, a young army surgeon on liberty for the night, made his way through the crowd and was the first medical professional to attend to the president. Lincoln, unconscious, was carried across the street to the boarding house of William Peterson and was placed in a rear bedroom. Reports were received that other attacks by conspirators, against Secretary of State William H. Seward and Vice President Andrew Johnson, had occurred but failed. Meanwhile, Secretary of War Edwin Stanton ran the affairs of the U.S. government from the Peterson House while attending to President Lincoln.

Saturday April 15, 1865
DEATH OF PRESIDENT ABRAHAM LINCOLN
At 7:22 a.m. President Abraham Lincoln was declared dead. The Cabinet, except for the injured Secretary of State William H. Seward, formally requested Vice President Andrew Johnson to assume the office of President. At 11 a.m. at the Kirkwood Hotel, Chief Justice of the United States Salmon P. Chase administered the oath of office in the presence of the Cabinet and several members of Congress. Johnson asked the Cabinet to remain with him. Much of the nation wept openly as the news went out.

John Wilkes Booth and David Herold, one of Booth’s accomplishes, escaped to the southeast of Washington and stopped at the home of Dr. Samuel Mudd, where Booth’s broken leg was treated.

Confederate President Jefferson Davis, having authorized negotiations by General Joseph E. Johnston, now left Greensborough, North Carolina, with a cavalry escort. Some officials were on horseback and some in carriages or wagons.

Sunday April 16, 1865
The North was deep in mourning while the South felt great dismay as news of Lincoln’s assassination spread. Federal troops pursued Booth and Herold in Maryland. Early in the morning the two fugitives arrived at the Rich Hill home of Samuel Cox, after a harrowing trip through swamps and over meager trails.

In Washington Mrs. Lincoln was prostrate with grief and President Andrew Johnson was gathering up the reins of his new office. Radical Republicans were hopeful that the new President would be more amenable to their policies, which included treating the Southern states as conquered territory.

In North Carolina, plans were set for a meeting of Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston and Federal Major General William T. Sherman, though skirmishing occurred at Crawford, Girard and Opelika, Alabama.

The entourage of carriages and horses of the fleeing Confederate government arrived in Lexington, North Carolina, but would have to continue on rapidly in light of the approaching Johnston-Sherman negotiations.

Monday April 17, 1865
Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston and Federal Major General William T. Sherman met at the Bennett House near Durham Station, North Carolina. A short time before, Sherman had received the news of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Johnston told Sherman that it was a great calamity in the South. Their talks did not just include the surrender of Johnston’s army but terms for an armistice for all the remaining Confederate armies. They agreed to follow up their meeting the next day.

Confederate President Jefferson Davis and his Cabinet were now in Salisbury, North Carolina, en route to Charlotte.

In Maryland, John Wilkes Booth and David Herold were hiding in a cluster of trees while attempting to obtain transportation across the Potomac River in the area of Port Tobacco, Maryland.

That evening, the body of President Abraham Lincoln was taken from the guest chamber of the White House to the East Room, where it lay in state until the funeral two days later.

Tuesday April 18, 1865
SHERMAN-JOHNSTON MEMORANDUM SIGNED
After more talk near Durham Station, North Carolina, Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston and Federal Major General William T. Sherman signed a “Memorandum or basis of agreement” which called for an armistice by all armies in the field; Confederate forces to be disbanded and to deposit their arms in the state arsenals; each man was to agree to cease from war and to abide by state and Federal authority; the President of the United States was to recognize the existing state governments when their officials took oaths to the United States; reestablishment of Federal courts would take place; people were to be guaranteed rights of person and property; the United States would not disturb the people of the South as long as they lived in peace; and a general amnesty for Confederates. The generals recognized that they were not fully empowered to carry out such far-reaching measures and that the necessary authority must be obtained. However, it was clear that Sherman was going far beyond what Federal Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant did at Appomattox by actually entering into reconstruction policy. He sent the terms to Grant and Major General Henry Halleck, asking for approval by President Andrew Johnson. Sherman also offered to take charge of carrying out these terms.

Despite the agreement, skirmishes still broke out near Germantown, Tennessee; and at Taylorsville, Kentucky.

Confederate President Jefferson Davis and his Cabinet slowly moved southward to Concord, North Carolina.

The body of President Abraham Lincoln lay in state in the crepe-decorated East Room of the White House.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of April 12-18, 1865
Active units:
1st Battalion Minnesota Infantry – On duty at Appomattox Court House until May 2, 1865.

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On Raleigh, North Carolina campaign until April 14, 1865.

3rd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Duvall’s Bluff, Arkansas until May 13, 1865.

4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On Raleigh, North Carolina campaign until April 14, 1865.

5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On the march to Montgomery, Alabama until April 25, 1865.

6th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On the march to Montgomery, Alabama until April 25, 1865.

7th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On the march to Montgomery, Alabama until April 25, 1865.

8th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On Raleigh, North Carolina campaign until April 14, 1865.

9th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On the march to Montgomery, Alabama until April 25, 1865.

10th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On the march to Montgomery, Alabama until April 25, 1865.

11th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Assigned to duty guarding the line of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad from Nashville to the Kentucky line. Companies E, G, and I were at Gallatin, Tennessee. Company A was at Buck Lodge. Company B at Edgefield Junction. Company C at Richland. Company D at Sandersville. Company H was at Mitchellsville. The location of companies F and K are unknown at this time. The regiment remained on duty at these locations until June 25, 1865.

2nd Regiment Minnesota Cavalry – Engaged in frontier and patrol duty between Forts Wadsworth, Abercrombie, Ripley and Ridgely with headquarters at Fort Snelling, until November 17, 1865.

Brackett’s Battalion of Minnesota Cavalry – Engaged in frontier and patrol duty between Forts Wadsworth, Abercrombie, Ripley and Ridgely with headquarters at Fort Snelling until May 1866.

Hatch’s Independent Battalion of Cavalry – Companies A, B, C and D moved to Fort Abercrombie. Companies A and B assigned to garrison at Fort Abercrombie. Company C assigned to garrison at Alexandria and Pomme de Terre. Company D on patrol duty from Fort Abercrombie to Pembina. Companies E and F on frontier duty. The battalion would remain in these duty locations for the duration of the war – until April 26, 1866.

1st Minnesota Heavy Artillery Battery – On garrison duty at Chattanooga, Tennessee until September 27, 1865.

1st Minnesota Light Artillery Battery – On Raleigh, North Carolina campaign until April 14, 1865.

2nd Independent Battery Minnesota Light Artillery – On duty in Philadelphia, Tennessee until July 1865.

3rd Independent Battery Minnesota Light Artillery – Various sections on duty at Fort Ridgely, Fort Ripley and Fort Sisseton until May 1865.

Inactive units:
1st Regiment Minnesota Cavalry “Mounted Rangers” – Formally mustered out of service on December 7, 1863. Inactive.

1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Mustered out of Federal service on April 29, 1864. Inactive.

2nd United States Sharpshooters, Company A – Transferred to the 1st Battalion, Minnesota Infantry on February 20, 1865 at Petersburg, Virginia for duration of service.

1st United States Sharpshooters Company I – Mustered out of Federal Service on March 19, 1865.

This Week in the American Civil War: April 5-11, 1865

Posted by: on Apr 6, 2015 | No Comments

Information courtesy of the Minnesota Civil War Commemoration Task Force
Major Highlights for the Week

Wednesday April 5, 1865
Confederate General Robert E. Lee was confronted by a lack of supplies for the Army of Northern Virginia at Amelia Court House, Virginia. With Federal Major General Phil Sheridan and infantry in front of him near Jetersville, he could no longer use the Danville Railroad and turned towards Farmville instead, where supplies were ordered from Lynchburg by railroad. Sheridan wanted to attack but Major General George G. Meade refrained from ordering the attack until more troops could arrive.

Confederate President was at Danville and was out of touch with General Robert E. Lee but was establishing an executive office there, not willing to leave Virginia.

President Abraham Lincoln entered Richmond again before returning to City Point where he received word that Secretary of State William H. Seward was injured in a carriage accident in Washington that afternoon.

Thursday April 6, 1865
BATTLE OF SAYLER’S CREEK
The last major engagement between the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia and Federal Army of the Potomac occurred at Sayler’s Creek, near the Farmville and High Bridge crossings of the Appomattox River. Crossing the stream was imperative for safety and the army attempted to keep together, which was impossible. In the bottom land of Sayler’s Creek, the retreating column split and the Federals moved in forcing a gap in the Confederate line. Confederate General Robert E. Lee, Lieutenant General James Longstreet and Major General William Mahone continued on while Lieutenant General Richard S. Ewell and Lieutenant General Richard H. Anderson followed behind the gap. The wagons were ordered on a detour to cross the river. Anderson and Ewell were quickly pressed back, but mounted a countercharge which failed in the face of strong artillery fire. Federal flanks closed in towards the middle and Ewell was forced to surrender. Some 8,000 Confederates surrendered while Federals suffered approximately 1,180 sustained casualties. It is estimated that the Confederates lost about a third of the men that departed Amelia Court House that morning. As Lee witnessed the engagement, he exclaimed, “My God! Has the army been dissolved?” It was clear that the numbers of the once proud Army of Northern Virginia were diminishing rapidly.

Friday April 7, 1865
Federal Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant, in an effort to avoid further bloodshed, sent a message to Confederate General Robert E. Lee asking for the surrender of his Army of Northern Virginia.

The Confederate army, meanwhile, received more punishment even though they repulsed the Federals in an engagement near Farmville, Virginia, and crossed the Appomattox River to continue their retreat on the north side. Though the Confederates attempted to burn the bridges behind them, Federal troop movements blocked Lee at Appomattox Station and Appomattox Court House, squeezing Lee between Federal forces on the east and west flanks.

Tennessee ratified the Thirteenth Amendment and inaugurated avowed abolitionist and unionist W.G. “Parson” Brownlow as the state’s governor.

At City Point, Virginia, President Abraham Lincoln sent a wire to Grant stating, “Gen. Sheridan says ‘If the thing is pressed I think that Lee will surrender.’ Let the thing be pressed.”

Confederate President Jefferson Davis and his Cabinet were in Danville, Virginia attempting to do what they could, though their efforts had little effect.

Saturday April 8, 1865
The road to Lynchburg, Virginia, the next goal of Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s army, passed through hamlets and villages and Appomattox Station near Appomattox Court House. Behind the remnants of the Army of Northern Virginia was Federal Major General George G. Meade with the Second and Sixth Corps., Federal Major General Phil Sheridan’s cavalry and the Fifth Corps to the south. By evening, a detachment of the Army of the James blocked Lee’s route to Lynchburg. Though skirmishing occurred throughout the day, Meade was unable to bring on a general engagement, while Sheridan’s cavalry seized Confederate supply trains at Appomattox Station.

Federal Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant, at Farmville, Virginia, received Lee’s reply asking what terms Grant would offer. Grant offered to meet with Lee to receive the surrender. Lee replied later in the day that he did not intend to propose surrender but merely inquired to ask the terms of the proposition. Still, Lee wanted to meet to discuss this with Grant.

Earlier in the morning, Lee was informed by a number of his officers that had conferred the previous evening and agreed that the army could not break through to join Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston’s troops and recommended that he open negotiations with the Federals.

Confederate President Jefferson Davis got information from Secretary of War John C. Brekinridge and messenger John S. Wise that the situation was critical. Nevertheless, a certain amount of routine business continued.

President Abraham Lincoln visited Petersburg, then late in the evening left City Point, Virginia by boat and headed back to Washington.

Late in the night near Appomattox Court House, Confederate General Robert E. Lee held his final council of war.

Sunday April 9, 1865
LEE SURRENDERS TO GRANT AT APPOMATTOX COURT HOUSE
On Palm Sunday, a clear spring sun rose in Virginia. At dawn, near Appomattox Station, the Confederates had attacked with the hope of forcing a passage through the Federals in front of them. At first they were successful, but there was more than just enemy cavalry in front of them. The route was also blocked by infantry. The Federal forces drove in, and on the east other Federals under Major General George G. Meade attacked the Confederate rear guard. Escape was now impossible. Lee arranged to meet with Grant.

On the field, there was confusion with truce flags mixed in with small arms fire. Federal Brigadier General George A. Custer demanded the surrender of Confederates.

Yet by the early afternoon in the home of Wilmer McLean at Appomattox Court House, Confederate General Robert E. Lee and one aide met with Federal Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant, his staff, and several of the major commanders. After pleasantries, Lee called attention to the matter at hand, discussion of surrender terms.

Grant wrote out his proposal, went over it with his staff, then presented it to Lee. The terms did not include surrender of side arms of officers or of their private horses or baggage, and allowed each officer and man to go home and not be disturbed as long as parole was observed. Lee brought up the fact that cavalrymen and artillerists owned their own horses, which would be needed for the spring planting. After a short conference, Grant agreed to let those who claimed horses to keep them. Arrangements were also made to feed Lee’s army from Federal supplies. Thus it was completed – a document from Grant to Lee giving terms of surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia, and one from Lee to Grant accepting those terms. Contrary to legend, Lee did not surrender his sword to Grant.

However, the war was not over. There were still armies in the field and a Confederate government at Danville, Virginia. It was only after a gentle reminder later in the afternoon that Lieutenant General Grant remembered to inform Washington to what transpired at Appomattox Court House.

President Abraham Lincoln arrived back in Washington in early evening as news was spreading throughout the land. Bonfires sprang up as crowds jammed the streets. In the Army of the Potomac, flags waved, bands played, artillery boomed and the air was filled with knapsacks, canteens, tin cups and roaring cheers. When the noise receded, a silence of respect to the fallen dead and the vanquished foe fell over Appomattox a four years of war in Virginia had ended.

Monday April 10, 1865
News of the surrender arrived in Danville, Virginia, late in the afternoon. By evening, what little remained of the Confederate government took to the railroad again and headed for Greensborough, North Carolina, fearful that the cavalry in the area might overtake them.

President Abraham Lincoln was serenaded several times throughout the day by relieved and happy crowds in Washington. He promised to make a more formal appearance the following evening, and asked one of the bands to play “Dixie.”

In Mobile, Alabama, Forts Huger and Tracy kept up their bombardment, but it was clear that with less than 5,000 Confederates at hand, Major General D.H. Maury would be forced to evacuate the city.

Confederate General Robert E. Lee issued his last general orders imploring the members of his former command to return to their homes then bid an affectionate farewell.

As Lee was in the process of issuing his general order, Federal Major General Ulysses Grant arrived and the two conferred about surrendering all of the Confederate armies. Lee made note that it was not his decision to make but that of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Other officers, including Major General George G. Meade who was not present at the surrender, visited with Lee. Memories and curiosity seemed to draw them all together.

Tuesday April 11, 1865
At Mobile, Alabama, the remaining defenses of Forts Huger and Tracy were abandoned and Confederate Major General D.H. Maury began evacuation of the city itself. Only a rear guard remained behind that night.

Federal Major General William T. Sherman’s troops continued to advance towards Goldsborough, North Carolina. Sherman entered Smithfield, North Carolina, where he learned of Lee’s surrender.

The Confederate government train arrived at Goldsborough, North Carolina, early in the day to a cold response in comparison to what they received in Danville, Virginia. Citizens were concerned about reprisals from Federal troops.

President Abraham Lincoln spoke to an enthusiastic crowd from a window of the White House. He expressed the hope for a “righteous and speedy peace” and discussed reconstruction, including giving the Negro the right to vote. Lincoln admitted the difficulties of reconstruction and desired that plans be kept flexible. It was a serious, anxious speech, full of the future – and was to be his last.

Where Minnesota Regiments were the week of April 5-11, 1865
Active units:
1st Battalion Minnesota Infantry – Present at Lee’s surrender and on duty at Appomattox Court House until May 2, 1865.

2nd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On Raleigh, North Carolina campaign until April 14, 1865.

3rd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Duvall’s Bluff, Arkansas until May 13, 1865.

4th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On Raleigh, North Carolina campaign until April 14, 1865.

5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Mobile, Alabama until April 12, 1865.

6th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Mobile, Alabama until April 12, 1865.

7th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Mobile, Alabama until April 12, 1865.

8th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On Raleigh, North Carolina campaign until April 14, 1865.

9th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Mobile, Alabama until April 12, 1865.

10th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – On duty at Mobile, Alabama until April 12, 1865.

11th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Assigned to duty guarding the line of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad from Nashville to the Kentucky line. Companies E, G, and I were at Gallatin, Tennessee. Company A was at Buck Lodge. Company B at Edgefield Junction. Company C at Richland. Company D at Sandersville. Company H was at Mitchellsville. The location of companies F and K are unknown at this time. The regiment remained on duty at these locations until June 25, 1865.

2nd Regiment Minnesota Cavalry – Engaged in frontier and patrol duty between Forts Wadsworth, Abercrombie, Ripley and Ridgely with headquarters at Fort Snelling, until November 17, 1865.

Brackett’s Battalion of Minnesota Cavalry – Engaged in frontier and patrol duty between Forts Wadsworth, Abercrombie, Ripley and Ridgely with headquarters at Fort Snelling until May 1866.

Hatch’s Independent Battalion of Cavalry – Companies A, B, C and D moved to Fort Abercrombie. Companies A and B assigned to garrison at Fort Abercrombie. Company C assigned to garrison at Alexandria and Pomme de Terre. Company D on patrol duty from Fort Abercrombie to Pembina. Companies E and F on frontier duty. The battalion would remain in these duty locations for the duration of the war – until April 26, 1866.

1st Minnesota Heavy Artillery Battery – On garrison duty at Chattanooga, Tennessee until September 27, 1865.

1st Minnesota Light Artillery Battery – On Raleigh, North Carolina campaign until April 14, 1865.

2nd Independent Battery Minnesota Light Artillery – On duty in Philadelphia, Tennessee until July 1865.

3rd Independent Battery Minnesota Light Artillery – Various sections on duty at Fort Ridgely, Fort Ripley and Fort Sisseton until May 1865.

Inactive units:
1st Regiment Minnesota Cavalry “Mounted Rangers” – Formally mustered out of service on December 7, 1863. Inactive.

1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry – Mustered out of Federal service on April 29, 1864. Inactive.

2nd United States Sharpshooters, Company A – Transferred to the 1st Battalion, Minnesota Infantry on February 20, 1865 at Petersburg, Virginia for duration of service.

1st United States Sharpshooters Company I – Mustered out of Federal Service on March 19, 1865.