‘They Have Mustered Out Some Few’

May 27, 1865 (Sunday) The mustering out of soldiers began almost immediately following the Grand Review. Some left as early as the 25th. For others, like sixteen year old Samuel Bassitt, who had volunteered the year previous. He had marched with Sherman’s army through Georgia and the Carolinas, but in early April, he came downRead More

The Second and Last Day of the Great Pageant – The Grand Review of Sherman’s Armies

May 24, 1865 (Thursday) As with the day previous, below you’ll find text pulled from the New York Times describing the second day of the Grand Review. It is accompanied by photographs taken mostly by Matthew Brady. The men who marched from the Ohio to the Tennessee under BUELL, only to march back again; whoRead More

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’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

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

Sherman’s Lovely Little Visit with Grant and Lincoln

March 27, 1865 (Monday) While the Confederates struggled to figure out just how to escape from Petersburg, across the lines, General Grant had received word that General Sherman was about to visit. That afternoon, the two were reunited. “Their encounter was more like that of two school-boys coming together after a vacation than the meetingRead More

‘I Fear Now It Will Be Impossible’ – Lee With Nowhere to Turn

March 26, 1865 (Sunday) With the utter failure of the assault upon Fort Stedmen the day previous, General Robert E. Lee had now to consider what was best for his army. But first, he had to explain to President Jefferson Davis why he took the risk of an assault, and why it failed. “I haveRead More

‘I Can Do No More Than Annoy Him’ – Johnston Must Give Up

March 23, 1865 (Thursday) Following the Battle of Bentonville, Joseph Johnston, commanding the Confederate forces, retreated across Mill Creek, into and through the town. Taking up positions a couple of miles beyond the crossing, Jo Wheeler’s cavalry held the bridge until the Federals came near to crossing. By that evening, Johnston’s army was near Smithfield.Read More

Sherman’s Mistake at Bentonville

March 21, 1865 (Tuesday) “The next day,” wrote General Sherman, “it began to rain again, and we remained quiet till about noon.” Sherman had placed Francis Blair’s Seventeenth Corps on the right, with Joseph Mower’s division holding the flank near Mill Creek. In his report, General Mower wrote: Learning that a road. leading from theRead More