General Robert E. Lee surrenders to General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House
, Virginia, signaling the end of the Civil War. Abraham Lincoln
is shot at Ford's Theater
. The first
President to be assassinated, Lincoln dies on April 15, at the age of fifty-six. He is buried at Springfield, Illinois. Andrew Johnson is inaugurated as the seventeenth President of the United States. Civil War causality totals are released: The Union - 359,000 dead, 100,000 wounded; The Confederacy -280,000 dead, 100,000 wounded. The war has cost the Union $5 billion and the Confederacy $3
billion. The Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is ratified, abolishing slavery in the United States.
January 1865 -- Fort Fisher, North Carolina
After Admiral David D. Porter's squadron of warships had subjected Fort Fisher to a terrific bombardment, General Alfred H. Terry's troops
took it by storm on January 15, and Wilmington, North Carolina, the last resort of the blockade-runners, was sealed off.
January 13-15, 1865 Fort Fisher
January 1865 -- The Fall of the Confederacy.
Transportation problems and successful blockades caused severe shortages of food and supplies in the South. Starving soldiers began to desert Lee's forces, and although President Jefferson Davis approved the arming of slaves as a means of augmenting the shrinking army, the measure was never put into effect.
February - Sherman Marches through North and South Carolina.
Union General Sherman moved from Georgia through South Carolina, destroying almost everything in his path.
February 3, 1865 Rivers' Bridge / Owens' Crossroads
February 3 -- Rivers' Bridge
Confederate force under McLaws held the crossings of the Salkehatchie River against the advance of the right wing of Sherman's Army. Federal soldiers began building bridges across the swamp to bypass the road block.
In the meantime, Union columns worked to get on the Confederates' flanks and rear. On February 3, two Union brigades waded the swamp downstream and assaulted McLaws's right. McLaws retreated toward Branchville after stalling Sherman's advance for only one day.
February -- A Chance for Reconciliation Is Lost.
Confederate President Jefferson Davis agreed to send delegates to a peace conference with President Lincoln and Secretary of State William Seward, but insisted on Lincoln's recognition of the
South's independence as a prerequisite. Lincoln refused, and the conference never occurred.
February 5-7 Hatcher's Run / Dabney's Mill / Rowanty Creek
February 12-22, 1865 Wilmington / Forks Road / Sugar Loaf Hill
March 2 Waynesboro
March 4 Abraham Lincoln Second Inaugural Address
March 5 --Skirmish At Gamble's Hotel
500 federal soldiers, under the command of Colonel Reuben Williams of the 12th Indiana Infantry, marched into the Florence area to destroy the railroad depot. These federal troops were met by a group of
Confederate soldiers who drove them away with the help of 400 reinforcements from the area home guard. The Columns is a popular name for The Harwell House at Rankin Plantation, a beautiful antebellum home that dates back over 100 years. The name refers to the 22 Greek style, Doric columns that surround the home on three sides.
March 6, 1865 Natural Bridge Florida
March 6 --Natural Bridge
Union Major General John Newton had undertaken a joint force expedition (including 2nd U.S. Colored Infantry and 99th U.S. Colored Infantry) to engage and destroy Confederate troops that had attacked at Cedar Keys and
Fort Myers and were allegedly encamped somewhere around St. Marks. The Navy had trouble getting its ships up the St. Marks River. The Army force, however, had advanced and, after finding one bridge destroyed, started before dawn on March 6 to attempt to cross the river at Natural Bridge. The troops initially pushed Rebel forces back but not away from the bridge. Confederate forces, protected by
breastworks, guarded all of the approaches and the bridge itself. The action at Natural Bridge lasted most of the day, but, unable to take the bridge, the Union troops retreated to the protection of the fleet.
March 7-10, 1865 Wyse Fork / Wilcox's Bridge / Second Southwest Creek
March 10, 1865 Monroe's Cross Roads / Fayetteville Road / Blue's Farm
March 16, 1865 Averasborough / Smiths Ferry / Black River
March 19-21, 1865 Bentonville / Bentonsville
March 25 Fort Stedman
March 27-April 8 -- Spanish Fort.
Maj. Gen. E.R.S. Canby's forces, the XIII and XVI corps, moved along the eastern shore of Mobile Bay, forcing the Confederates back into their
defenses. Union forces then concentrated on Spanish Fort and Fort Blakely. On March 27, 1865, Canby's forces rendezvoused at Danley's Ferry and immediately undertook a siege of Spanish Fort. The Union had enveloped the fort by April 1, and on April 8 captured it. Most of the Confederate forces, under the command of Brig. Gen. Randall L. Gibson, escaped and fled to Mobile, but Spanish Fort was no
longer a threat.
April 2 -- Selma.
Maj. Gen. James H. Wilson, commanding three divisions of Union cavalry, about 13,500 men, led his men south from Gravelly Springs, Alabama, on March 22, 1865. Opposed by Confederate Lt. Gen. Nathan B. Forrest, Wilson skillfully
continued his march and eventually defeated him in a running battle at Ebenezer Church, on April 1. Continuing towards Selma, Wilson split his command into three columns. Although Selma was well-defended, the Union columns broke through the defenses at separate points forcing the Confederates to surrender the city, although many of the officers and men, including Forrest and Lt. Gen. Richard
Taylor, escaped. Selma demonstrated that even Forrest, whom some had considered invincible, could not stop the unrelenting Union movements deep into the Southern Heartland.
March 29 Lewis's Farm / Quaker Road / Military Road
March 31 White Oak Road / Hatcher's Run / Gravelly Run
March 31 Dinwiddie Court House
April 2-9, 1865 Fort Blakely
April 2-9-- Canby's forces, the XVI and XIII corps, moved along the eastern shore of Mobile Bay, forcing the Confederates back into their defenses. Union forces then concentrated on Spanish Fort and Fort Blakely. By April 1, Union forces had enveloped Spanish Fort, thereby releasing more troops to focus
on Fort Blakely. Brig. Gen. St. John R. Liddell, with about 4,000 men, held out against the much larger Union force until other Confederate forces disengaged and Spanish Fort fell on April 8, allowing Canby to concentrate 16,000 men for the attack on April 9. Sheer numbers breached the Confederate earthworks compelling the Confederates to capitulate. The siege and capture of Fort Blakely was
basically the last combined-force battle of the war. African-American forces played a major role in the successful Union assault.
April -- Fallen Richmond.
On March 25, General Lee attacked General Grant's forces near Petersburg, but was defeated -- attacking and losing again on April 1. On April 2, Lee evacuated Richmond, the Confederate capital, and headed west to join
with other forces.
April 1 Five Forks
April 2, 1865 Ebenezer Church / Selma / Alabama
April 2, 1865 Hill's Plantation / Cache River / Cotton Plant
April 2 Petersburg / The Breakthrough
April 2 Sutherland's Station
April 3 Namozine Church
April 5 Amelia Springs
April 6 Sailor's Creek / Hillsman Farm
April 6 Rice's Station
April 6-7 High Bridge
April 7 Cumberland Church / Farmville
April 8 Appomattox
April 8 Spanish Fort
April 9 Fort Blakely Alabama
April 9 -- Surrender at Appomattox Courthouse.
General Lee's troops were soon surrounded, and on April 7, Grant called upon Lee to surrender. On April 9, the two commanders met at Appomattox
Courthouse, and agreed on the terms of surrender. Lee's men were sent home on parole -- soldiers with their horses, and officers with their side arms. All other equipment was surrendered.
April -- The Assassination of President Lincoln.
On April 14, as President Lincoln was watching a performance of "Our American Cousin" at Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C., he was shot by John Wilkes Booth, an actor from Maryland obsessed with
avenging the Confederate defeat. Lincoln died the next morning. Booth escaped to Virginia. Eleven days later, cornered in a burning barn, Booth was fatally shot by a Union soldier. Nine other people were involved in the assassination; four were hanged, four imprisoned, and one acquitted.
April 1865 -- Final Surrenders among Remaining Confederate Troops.
Remaining Confederate troops were defeated between the end of April and the end of May. Jefferson Davis was captured in Georgia on May 10.
May 1 -- Battle of Anderson South Carolina
The battle was one of the final conflicts of the war, taking place three weeks after Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House. Confederate forces suffered no casualties and the Union
forces had two casualties in the skirmish that took place.
May 12-13, 1865 Palmito Ranch / Palmito Hill
May 12-13 -- Palmito Hill Texas
Union Col. Theodore H. Barrett dispatched an expedition to attack reported Rebel outposts and camps.
Nov. 1865 -- The Execution of Captain Henry Wirz
The notorious superintendent of the Confederate prison at Andersonville, Georgia, was tried by a military commission presided over by General Lew Wallace from August 23 to October 24, 1865, and was
hanged in the yard of the Old Capitol Prison on November 10.
Thirteenth Amendment to Constitution ratified, abolishing slavery.
The sharecropping system in the southern states results from a lack of success in attracting European immigrants and Chinese laborers to replace slave labor, and from lack of cash for wages to former slaves. The system keeps African-Americans in a virtual slave state, or "peonage". Four African-American regiments
are established in the peacetime U.S. Army, and designated as the 24th and 25th Infantry and the 9th and 10th Cavalry. The units eventually acquire the nickname "Buffalo Soldiers" from the American Indians.