The Surrender of General Lee – Appomattox Court House (Part 2)

This is Part Two. To read Part One, please click here. April 9, 1865 (Sunday – Afternoon through evening) General Grant, from his Memoirs: Before stating what took place between General Lee and myself, I will give all there is of the story of the famous apple tree. Wars produce many stories of fiction, someRead More

‘My Command Has Been Fought to a Frazzle’ – Appomattox Court House (Part 1)

April 9, 1865 (Sunday – Morning and early afternoon) The night which passed at Appomattox Court House was chilling and cold, lonely and hopeless. General Lee had crafted one last plan to break through the enemy lines before him, which he thought to be only cavalry. For this, he had assembled 9,000 veterans under theRead More

‘We Have Yet Too Many Bold Men’ – Lee Rebuffs Any Thought of Surrender

April 8, 1865 (Saturday) The night previous a number of Confederate generals met to discuss the situation, the highest ranking among them, General William Pendleton. With neither Lee nor Longstreet within earshot, they came to the agreement that surrender was swiftly approaching. It was inevitable, they concluded, wishing now to discuss this with Lee. ButRead More

‘To Severe for All Their Resources’ – Lee Stretches Thin to Counter Grant

March 30, 1865 (Thursday) “It has been sometimes said that if General Lee had been allowed to do so, he would have evacuated Richmond and Petersburg at some time in 1864, and marched rapidly to Georgia to unite with Johnston or Hood and destroy Sherman. […] But I do not at all believe he wouldRead More

‘The Most Inviting Point for Attack’ – Lee Plans to Assault Grant

March 24, 1865 (Friday) Since the early days of March, General Lee had become certain that he could not hold Petersburg come spring. He would have, claimed Jefferson Davis after the war, simply abandoned the city at once had not his horses been too weak to pull their burdens through the quagmire that passed forRead More

Meade and Grant’s Cash-for-Guns Program a Hit with Deserting Confederates!

March 22, 1865 (Wednesday) For some time now, a curious policy had been in place – paying the Rebel deserters for their arms. Meade had noticed in February that most who defected the Southern army did not throw down their muskets, but brought them over. “Can they be compensated for them,” asked Meade of GrantRead More

Grant Cannot Talk Peace with Lee

March 3, 1865 (Friday) In the last week of February, a strange meeting took place between Union General Edward Ord and Confederate General James Longstreet. Along the lines between Longstreet’s men and the Army of the James, between Petersburg and Richmond, the pickets of both sides had more or less given up on the warRead More

The Aftermath at Fort Fisher

January 16, 1865 (Monday) “I am mortified at having to report the unexpected capture of Fort Fisher,” wrote Braxton Bragg to General Lee, “with most of its garrison, at about 10 o’clock to-night. Particulars not known.” Bragg was writing at 1am, shortly after learning that Fisher had fallen. Copies of the message went not justRead More

A Stupendous Disaster – The Fall of Fort Fisher

January 15, 1865 (Sunday) On Sunday the fire of the fleet reached a pitch of fury to which no language can do justice,” wrote Confederate General William Whiting, commanding at Fort Fisher. “It was concentrated on the land front and fort. In a short time nearly every gun was dismounted or disabled, and the garrisonRead More

‘But a Question of Time’ – Fort Fisher’s Fate is Sealed

January 14, 1865 (Saturday) Following the utterly botched attempt to take Fort Fisher and Wilmington, North Carolina by Benjamin Butler, the Union was not ready to abandon the idea. Grant had replaced Butler with General Alfred Terry, sending him with the same troops who had tried before, along with an additional brigade. This brought theRead More