Armistice in Alabama – ‘With Joyous Poppings of Champaign Corks’

April 29, 1865 (Saturday) In February, Union General Edward Canby had been reinforced by much of the Army of the Cumberland. Near Mobile, he was to capture the port city if he thought possible, but to march as he could to Selma or Montgomery, Alabama. And so with 45,000 men, he was off, contested alongRead More

‘The Tide of War Will Follow Me’ – Davis Continues His Retreat

April 28, 1865 (Friday) Jefferson Davis was now on the run, though by the speed of his entourage, it might have been difficult to tell. While he was in Charlotte, North Carolina, he learned that Joe Johnston had surrendered and that John Wilkes Booth had been killed. The small band of cavalry which accompanied himRead More

‘Their Cries Made the Already Dark Night Hideous’ – The Sultana Disaster

April 27, 1865 (Thursday) It was quite a deal that was offered to steamboat captain J. Cass Mason. The Federal government, he learned, was willing to pay five dollars for each soldier (and ten for each officer) transported from the parole camp in Vicksburg, Mississippi to point in the north. This was proposed to himRead 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

The Flight and Capture of John Wilkes Booth

April 25, 1865 (Tuesday) The assassin and his accomplice made the successful landing on Virginia’s banks of the Potomac on the morning of the 23rd. Thomas Jones, the Confederate spy who provided the boat for crossing, has also provided them with a name of a women who would help them – Mrs. Quesenberry. Again onRead 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

And Darkness Favors Us – Booth Escapes into Virginia

April 22, 1865 (Saturday) John Wilkes Booth, accompanied by his compatriot, David Herold, had been on run for over a week. Having hastily planned to be in Virginia long before now, due to Booth’s broken leg they found themselves still in a thicket of pines on the Samuel Cox property near the Potomac River inRead 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

‘There Were No Truer Mourners’ – Gideon Welles on Lincoln’s Funeral

April 19, 1865 (Wednesday) From every part of the country comes lamentation. Every house, almost, has some drapery, especially the homes of the poor. Profuse exhibition is displayed on the public buildings and the dwellings of the wealthy, but the little black ribbon or strip of black cloth from the hovel of the poor negroRead More