Johnston Finally Able to Surrender His Army

April 26, 1865 (Wednesday) General Sherman had apparently overstepped his bounds, wishing to treat with the entire Confederacy rather than simply Joe Johnston’s army. In his mind, he wanted to wrap the entire war up in one fell swoop and thought that the capitulation of all the remaining Rebel forces, as well as the reestablishmentRead More

Sherman Learns of the Rejection; Davis Wants a Body Guard

April 24, 1865 (Monday) Though General Sherman was expected Major Henry Hitchcock to arrive on the train from Washington with news of Washington’s approval or disapproval of his terms of surrender for Joe Johnston, what he was not expecting was General Grant. Believing this too important to be left to Sherman alone, Grant decided toRead More

Davis Plans to Retreat into Texas or Mexico

April 23, 1865 (Sunday) “The dispersion of Lee’s army and the surrender of the remnant which remained with him destroyed the hopes I entertained when we parted,” wrote Jefferson Davis to his wife. Jefferson Davis was still in Charlotte, North Carolina. He had scurried away from Richmond mere hours before its fall, and by AprilRead More

Sherman’s Terms Rejected by Washington

April 21, 1865 (Friday) It was all going so well for General Sherman. He had convinced Confederate General Joe Johnston to capitulate, and drew up terms for the surrender of the Army of Tennessee. True, many of the objects touched upon in the terms were beyond the reach of the military, but Sherman was certainRead More

Sherman and Johnston Discuss Terms

April 18, 1865 (Tuesday) William Tecumseh Sherman had left City Point in the Richmond area, where he was visiting with General Grant, at the end of the month previous. While Grant pursued Lee’s retreating army, Sherman reorganized and readied his own in Goldsboro, North Carolina to move not against Joe Johnston’s Army of Tennessee atRead More

Both Davis and Lincoln Remain Hopeful

April 11, 1865 (Tuesday) Confederate President Jefferson Davis heard of General Lee’s surrender the night previous. He had re-established what was left of the government in Danville, Virginia, some eighty miles to the south of Appomattox. Almost immediately he began to make plans for another evacuation, fearing now that Federal cavalry would swarm down uponRead More

Lincoln: Let them Surrender and Go Home

March 28, 1865 (Tuesday) Gathered in the steamer River Queen were President Lincoln, Generals Grant and Sherman, as well as Admiral Porter. This council of war permitted no onlookers, though all but Lincoln wrote of the meeting after the war. Admiral Porter may have been the only one to take notes. The conversation, according toRead More