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

‘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

Custer Captures Jubal Early’s Entire Command

March 2, 1865 (Thursday) Through the long night, Confederates under Jubal Early made their retirement to Waynesboro, leaving Staunton behind them. There, they established a thin line of defenses on either side of the road, just west of the town. “My object, in taking this position,” wrote Early after the war, “was to secure theRead More

Philip Sheridan About to Fall Upon Early Once More

March 1, 1865 (Wednesday) It was on the day previous when solid word reached Jubal Early that the Yankees north of him in the Shenandoah Valley were on the move. “Said to be [Winfield Scott] Hancock, with 20,000 men,” wrote Jedediah Hotchkiss in his diary. Through the day, Early and his Confederates moved supplies andRead More

‘My Orders Were to Destroy…’ – Dispatches from Sheridan’s March

February 27, 1865 (Monday) From General Philip Sheridan’s Report: On the morning of February 27, 1865, we marched from Winchester up the Valley pike, with live days’ rations in haversacks, and fifteen days’ rations of coffee, sugar, and salt in wagons, thirty pounds of forage on each horse, one wagon for division headquarters, eight ambulances,Read More

The Ill-Prepared Jubal Early Prepares for Battle

February 26, 1865 (Sunday) The Shenandoah Valley was a desolate place through this long, harsh winter. Jubal Early remained in command, but his command, like the supplies, forage and hope, was dwindled to a shadow of its former self. General Lee had stationed Early in the Valley with a small command trusting that the FederalsRead More

‘But the Enemy Were Obliged to Give Way’ – Early Makes His Retreat

November 12, 1864 (Saturday) Jubal Early’s Confederates were on the move once more. Marching north from New Market, they had arrived at the old battlefield at Cedar Creek the day previous. Finding it vacant, Early sent his cavalry farther north, toward Middletown and Newtown, pushing back the Union pickets and espying Philip Sheridan’s army, nowRead More

Jubal Early Pushes North Once More

November 11, 1864 (Friday) Word had come to Jubal Early that Philip Sheridan was preparing to send troops to Grant’s army before Petersburg. Since being defeated at the battle of Cedar Creek, Early’s command had licked their wounds near New Market. Sheridan, it was told, had vacated his position at Cedar Creek and moved north,Read More